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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted the all-immersive Chinese atmosphere this cruise ship offered. We also wanted to visit its home port, Shanghai, and the 3 Japanese ports. The ship is new, and we also wanted the 'new ship' experience. Exploring Shanghai was ... Read More
We wanted the all-immersive Chinese atmosphere this cruise ship offered. We also wanted to visit its home port, Shanghai, and the 3 Japanese ports. The ship is new, and we also wanted the 'new ship' experience. Exploring Shanghai was great, a never-ending excursion of its own. Embarkation was a little slow, but then there were thousands boarding. Took about 1,5 hours. We had a great balcony cabin aft, wonderful views. No problems in the cabin. We were overwhelmed by an engaged crew (we spent our anniversary at sea and they really spoiled us). And to our surprise, complimentary breakfast in the cabin was offered daily. Some things we missed: No laundry promotion as on other Norwegian ships (one bag laundered for a price). Inexplicably, the fitness room was tiny, and it was crammed with users most of the day. And although we heard there had been Tai Chi classes on previous cruises, there were none on ours. The food in the buffet was disappointing, and if you are not prepared for ordinary Chinese table manners, better read up before hand; although the service was excellent. The food in the one specialty restaurant we went to (some kind of Fusion cuisine) was good, the service was excellent, and the food was prepared and appeared within minutes of ordering. The quality of the show was good. We were particularly impressed by the decor, especially the art work on display. We did not partake of shore excursions, since they were not bookable in advance for English speakers (the ship language was Mandarin). So we had made other arrangements prior. But there were free or very cheap shuttles (in Hiroshima, you have to change from shuttle to the train, so we opted for taxi). We travelled without children, but there were more children on this cruise than I've seen on 6 other cruises I've been on. In fact, it was the youngest group. It seemed many families were travelling with several generations. The many computer and virtual (4D, etc.) offers are certainly great for the youngsters, less for us. However, the Japanese cities were enough to keep us busy. Read Less
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