Leisure 2 week cruising on two separate 1-week legs: first leg around Hokkaido and Russian Siberia (which I did not do). Second leg: cruise around Honshu with a stop in Korean port of Busan. Loved the grilled uni, whelk and scallops at the Hokkaido fish market stops. Same room,B408, on Baja Deck midships with a balcony, port side. Embarking at Yokohama unpleasant with a large air hangar- type building with no a /c. Port shore excursions expensive. Did my own sightseeing. Need to pay $10 per passenger for shuttle bus from most pier to downtown areas in Japan.Need to get local maps at the port terminals and know the Mass transit bus, train and applicable ferry services. Do advance tour book reading of Lonely Planets one month before and know some quick Japanese phrases in their glossary. I did Hiroshima Atom Bomb Museum and Memorial by tram and the famous floating shrine, torii, by ferry. I like the last stop, Sakata, where I had free sake and, a Green tea demo by friendly hs kids practicing their English and helping lost tourists get back to the shuttle (me). I went to the 100 yen floor of a local department store to get souvenirs for my friends and co-workers back in the States. The folks in Sakata gave us a farewell dance by ladies in traditional kimono. Saw a dragon dance. Saw a mock samurai sword fight. An orchestra played American military and patriotic tunes as they waved farewell to us at sunset dockside as the ship pulled out. Got that on video with balloons released. Touching.
Overall food in the MDR ok. Buffet on Horizon Deck with a ramen noodle bar was better. Formal night ok as some folks dressed up to the max. Repeat fares and theater performances on both legs a minus. Another minus was a medical evacuation of a fellow passenger which caused a 6-hour delay in returning to Yokahoma for the completion of my first leg of cruise. Those passengers completing their cruise had to reschedule their airline flight departure for later flights if available!!! Lesson learned : buy travel insurance as most of those passengers needed it. Me, I got a $25 refund on my costly internet service in the event of calling my airline as I made my flights independent of Princess Cruises. A plus as I dragged my bags off ship first at 730am and hailed the first taxi to Haneda (not Narita) for $90USD for my wife and I, for a 1030am flight to Hong Kong. Flexibility is key for unanticipated delays like typhoons alerts and medavacs. Also add 2 days before and after for pre- and post-excursions of Tokyo and Hong Kong. JimWofFlushing, USA.
Nice, spacious and port side center great for the Sakata sendoff festivities
Yokohama Chinatown and Ramen Museum on my own.
Great sashimi restaurant, tram ride, visit of a rich fisherman family 's mansion, and a clock museum.