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NCL Japan port arrivals/departures

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Question for those that have taken NCL to Japan.  We just cancelled our RCL cruise to Japan for a much better and now more affordable NCL Japan cruise (13 nights to all the places my kiddo really wants to see).  A big box travel agent told my friend who is also going with one of her friends) that NCL doesn't let you off the ship until 2 hours after arrival and then you have to be back on the ship 2 hours before departure from ports.  I've never heard that before, but granted, I've *only* cruised Bermuda, Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska, and the Med--the more "mainstream" places to go.  They didn't say you always lose those four hours, but then they suggested a land tour instead (which I won't do--my kid, as much as I love her, even though she is turning 16 during the cruise will definitely not survive a land tour, too much doing everyday, she would hate it).  They also said we'd be spending about 2k in excursions per person, which is insane.  Is this all true, or is this a big box travel agency's ploy to get a better commission on a land tour?  (I would ask my TA... but she has had a death in the family, and I refuse to bother her right now).

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On 8/7/2019 at 10:54 AM, xitappers2bx said:

Question for those that have taken NCL to Japan.  We just cancelled our RCL cruise to Japan for a much better and now more affordable NCL Japan cruise (13 nights to all the places my kiddo really wants to see).  A big box travel agent told my friend who is also going with one of her friends) that NCL doesn't let you off the ship until 2 hours after arrival and then you have to be back on the ship 2 hours before departure from ports.

 

No, ports in Japan are just like ports anywhere else.  You'll get off as soon as the doors are open (normally at the scheduled time), subject to crowds.  All aboard time is half an hour before sailaway, just like anywhere else. We were in Japan in April this year.  The Japanese ports are very welcoming, and usually have a band or dancers on the pier during sailaway.  Cruising there is nice.

 

The TA (or friend) may be confused with the check-in time on embarkation day (at least two hours before sailing, like most cruises), and the way Norwegian state you should allow two hours on disembarkation (usually much quicker, especially if you carry your own bags). None of this applies to ports of call.   

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We haven't done them yet (we leave a week from Friday for our transpacific) but in Tokyo and Kyoto we have booked  "goodwill" guides.  These are Japanese folks interested in improving their language skills who act as free guides.  Your only cost is to pay for your and their admissions to any sights you visit, any meals you st together and any transportation you take with them. 

 

We connected with four others on our roll call and in Tokyo our guide is meeting us at the subway station near the port (she sent a picture of herself and where she will be waiting).  She took our list of desired sighs and put a plan together.  With the exception of whatever w end up doing for lunch, it looks like it will cost each of us under $20 total for the day including our share of her expenses. 

 

In Kyoto we haven been assigned a guide yet....I suspect because their guides are college students and maybe aren't back in school yet?

 

i suggest you use your favorite search engine and look for free (or goodwill) guides in whatever city you need. 

 

Have a great trip....your daughter is a lucky child!

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Yourblogs an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to our day in Hakodate next year. Thanks for the tips!

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7 hours ago, caneable said:

Yourblogs an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to our day in Hakodate next year. Thanks for the tips!

You’re most welcome and thank you for the positive comments...just paying it forward!

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