Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Florida_cruisers

Bad reviews on Japan cruises out of China have me worried

Recommended Posts

My husband and I have been on many, many cruises. We just came back a few months ago from our second Mediterranean cruise with relatives and friends (18 of us). This same group agreed on a cruise to Japan Summer 2021. The itinerary had not been released but I think is safe to assume it will be on the Spectrum. Which DH is excited about because it’s a new ship. 

 

However reading the reviews on the Spectrum and the Quantum, which was previously on this route, I am worried, very worried. 

 

DH and I have been to China and Thailand before and we loved it. Never an issue. We also stay at high end hotels and hire private guides to take us around. So I think we are prepared on what to expect. But the reviews are terrible! They most talk about the quality of the food and selection, rude and loud passengers and the unacceptable entertainment. Even the lack of announcements in English. 

 

I understand that this sailing is geared towards the Chinese market, which is fine. I am mostly concerned that it’s not just the usual two or three bad reviews but it’s 85% of the reviews are bad. 

 

I looked into escorted land tours but those pack 40 people in a group and we don’t like their hotel options. Not to mention we have 2 young teens that will be bored to death. Another reason why I thought this new ship would be great for them. 

 

Thoughts? 

Edited by Florida_cruisers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that this ship and the cruise experience is designed specifically for the Chinese market, not just geared toward it.  The food on board, the entertainment and the activities (including tours) is for that market.  The primary language on board is Mandarin (all passenger facing crew must be able to speak Mandarin).

 

I am guessing that you and DH stayed in hotels that catered to Western travelers and your private guides were catering to your Western sensibilities.  This is a mass market cruise for the Chinese market.  I'm sure it's an awesome cruise but you need to manage your expectations - it is definitely NOT your typical RCL cruise.

 

Also, the Chinese are very heavy smokers.  The casino and designated smoking areas will have a pall of smoke throughout the cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Florida_cruisers said:

 Not to mention we have 2 young teens that will be bored to death. Another reason why I thought this new ship would be great for them. 

It will be fine if they can entertain themselves in the Seaplex/Flowrider, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh boy....

 

One of the reviews state:

it took two hours thirty minutes to get on ship ,as people where jumping queues and removing barriers,we where literally pushed out of way,

food was rubbish ,we eat off classic menu every night for eight days.

windjammer was a no go area ,as chinese would again push you out of the way ,tables not cleared ,nowhere at all to sit.

coughing up phlegm was a everyday scenario , with some even spitting on carpeted floors.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been on these cruises but have been following the reviews as we are going on Quantum from Singapore next Feb. Personally I'd still give it a try and be prepared for a cultural experience but if you feel it will be 'too Chinese' have you looked at Celebrity and Princess in this area. From what I've read they gear the ships more to the Western market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did not have any issues with spitting or bad food selection; there was a bunch of pushing/shoving everywhere and a much heavier concentration of cigarette smoke. The only other odd thing was a lot of the ship was set aside for suite passengers; i.e. the Solarium was for suites only.

 

Overall we enjoyed our Japan cruise out of Shanghai, but wouldn't do it a second time. I would suggest just going in with the right attitude; be prepared to stand your ground and be a little pushy yourself, or book specialty dining to avoid being with the masses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, kernow said:

if you feel it will be 'too Chinese' have you looked at Celebrity and Princess in this area. From what I've read they gear the ships more to the Western market.

Ive looked but they don’t sail to that area in the Summer. With kids, that’s the timeframe we must adhere to. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you consider another cruise line? 

I don't knkw what is offered, but might be worth it to research alternatives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, nalrudaini said:

Did you consider another cruise line? 

I don't knkw what is offered, but might be worth it to research alternatives. 

RCL was our first choice since we are most familiar with this line as diamond members. My next choice was Celebrity: not available for the Summer in Asia. Princess was similar and their itineraries are 15+ days, for which we cannot do as we all work. I have a feeling many retirees go on that line. NCL has terrible reviews. The rest are the higher tier line like Azamara which will be prohibited in price to 99% of the people in our group. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've done the Singapore-Shanghai itinerary...loved the itinerary but we also experienced a few of the above. It was not designated as a "Culturally Enriching" cruise...so that might be a difference. We enjoy our China land based trips but for some reason not too interested in Japan at this point in time. JMHO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Ashland said:

We've done the Singapore-Shanghai itinerary...loved the itinerary but we also experienced a few of the above. It was not designated as a "Culturally Enriching" cruise...so that might be a difference. We enjoy our China land based trips but for some reason not too interested in Japan at this point in time. JMHO

 

I am the opposite; China was a one and done for us land trip wise, but Japan we've done three and have our fourth planned

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just be sure you know what is a charge in that market as well.  Seem to remember that iFly is a charge--not sure about activities in the seaplex or North Star.  Also, it's one thing for adults to manage expectations and go in with eyes open, but it can be harder for kids while on vacation especially.  Just be sure they are OK with what may be different as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have decided to explorer Japan on our own rather than cruise.  I do like the Celebrity itinerary, but 14 days is longer than we can do while we are still working.   No interest in China. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We cruised on Legend OTS from Yokohama to Tianjin (Beijing) back in 2012 with 15 and 17 year olds.  It was a "Culturally Enriching" cruise with the vast majority being Chinese passengers.  We did find them to be pushy around buffets and elevators, but we also learned that the way to deal with it is to hold your ground and otherwise ignore it.  We had the pool and bars to ourselves which was a nice bonus.  But, our attitude was that we were there to see a part of the world we had never been to.  In our mind, that included dealing with the local cultures for better or worse, including entertainment and food which may not be familiar to us.  In the end, it was a great trip, and the kids loved it in spite of the lack of other teens to hang out with.  If my goal was to see a part of the world we haven't been to, with the added bonus of a cruise to get me there, I wouldn't hesitate to do that again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My young adult daughter cruised by herself out of Shanghai to Japan on Quantum and had a fantastic time.  Announcements were made in English as well as Mandarin even though there were very few native English speakers on board.

 

Much of the grumbling by other English speaking passengers on her particular sailing were that ship excursions were cancelled because insufficient people signed up to take them.  She planned to do and did all ports independently so was not bothered by this.  If you are arranging private excursions it will not be an issue.

 

My daughter enjoyed the food, particularly the hot pot in the Solarium Bistro.  She also enjoyed her time in Shanghai (she was there for a month).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/3/2019 at 9:55 AM, Ashland said:

We've done the Singapore-Shanghai itinerary...loved the itinerary but we also experienced a few of the above. It was not designated as a "Culturally Enriching" cruise...so that might be a difference. We enjoy our China land based trips but for some reason not too interested in Japan at this point in time. JMHO

That is what I would recommend. We also did a transit cruise last year (Singapore to Tainjin) which did not attract a Chinese crowd. It was primarily US, Australia, Europe. There is a link to our cruise report in my signature. 

 

 

Edited by PCWalton1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/3/2019 at 10:32 AM, Florida_cruisers said:

Oh boy....

 

One of the reviews state:

it took two hours thirty minutes to get on ship ,as people where jumping queues and removing barriers,we where literally pushed out of way,

food was rubbish ,we eat off classic menu every night for eight days.

windjammer was a no go area ,as chinese would again push you out of the way ,tables not cleared ,nowhere at all to sit.

coughing up phlegm was a everyday scenario , with some even spitting on carpeted floors.”

 

I  worked with Chinese people ( scientists) and this is how they are. These comments are all true. It’s their culture. We see them as pushy, rude, loud, inconsiderate, sloppy, and most are heavy smokers. This is their culture. We shouldn’t judge them. It’s the way they are. 

Edited by lovesthebeach2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been to China many times but have never done a cruise.  Pushing and shoving is not rude to them...it's normal behavior.  In a country of a billion people, if you queue, you lose.  On a recent trip, my boss's boss was trying to figure out how to use the fingerprint machine at the airport when entering the country.  He must have been taking too long because someone literally reach across him from the side to use the machine that he was standing in front of.  Other people started to follow suit and he needed to physically block access to the machine from the sides so he could use it.  You just need to embrace it and push/shove along with them.  If that bothers you, I'd suggest looking elsewhere, as you will almost certainly experience this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

I've been to China many times but have never done a cruise.  Pushing and shoving is not rude to them...it's normal behavior.  In a country of a billion people, if you queue, you lose.  On a recent trip, my boss's boss was trying to figure out how to use the fingerprint machine at the airport when entering the country.  He must have been taking too long because someone literally reach across him from the side to use the machine that he was standing in front of.  Other people started to follow suit and he needed to physically block access to the machine from the sides so he could use it.  You just need to embrace it and push/shove along with them.  If that bothers you, I'd suggest looking elsewhere, as you will almost certainly experience this.

Very similar to Italy.  The Italians will do the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...