Very heavily "American" themed cruise, buffet 6-10, variety of food ,6-10. Booze prices were very reasonable,eg 5 x 660ml bottles of heavy beer for $24.00 and really good Margarita's for about $8.00 inc gratuities, other cruise lines could learn from this ship. Mini suites have a very large
uncovered balconies located on "Dolphin" deck 9, which proved useless with 7 days of wind rain there is no shelter to talk of, you can't even have the door slightly ajar because the door is flush with outside wall. When sunny it was blazingly hot , not to mention no privacy at all from the gazing eyes of about 50 rooms above on the next 2 decks above which are either half or fully covered. Forget about private sun bathing. If you like balconies like us, book a standard balcony on the "Aloha" "Baja" and "Caribe" on the upper decks only.
24 hour room service was fantastic, as was our steward named "Arlon". "Movies under the Stars" on deck 14 was fantastic with the free freshly cooked Hotdogs, Pizza, Ice Cream and Popcorn. Picture quality and sound system have to seen to be believed. Several staff had some attitude but that's bad from a crew of some 1600 people. Itinerary was OK but the trip from Melbourne to Hobart was dragged out. We feel that an overnight stay in Hobart would have been very achievable. Maybe they were conserving fuel? Shore excursion prices can easily be beaten by a bit of google work prior to arrival, car hire was really cheap both in New Zealand and Hobart which meant we could actually do about 2 or 3 ship based tours for a fraction of the price.
Example in Hobart we hired a new XR6 Ford and did the "Cadbury Factory" "Port Arthur" "Wrestpoint Casino and Mt Wellington with beverages and a beautiful seafood lunch for two back at the dock for under $250 OZ dollars, car was $110.00. I'll let you find out how much those trips cost onboard.
Duty free alcohol sales were held on the 2nd last day for several hours only, a disaster to say the least, 1 hr queues, most stocks ran out after queing for 40 mins,a lot of disgruntled passengers. It was terrible organisisation considering we had 12 days prior to purchase. What happened to secure sales held in storage and delivered to you room the night before disembarking. Ship was huge and beautiful yet quite difficult to navigate, took us about 4 days to settle in.
Tipping is very foreign to "Aussies" and maybe the etiquette of this practice should be explained a bit better to the locals? We heard stories of 2 couples having the experience of being almost completely ignored by their cabin stewards after a few days of no tipping when they thought the automatic tipping charge of $12.00US per person per day to their account was sufficient. To save this embarassment sign a "Gratuities Waiver Form " at the customer service desk upon boarding, this frees you up to tip anyone when and where you see fit. Or maybe Princess could stop paying subserviant wages and add a few bucks to everyones fare to delete this antiquated practise. A tip only means something when it is above your normal rate of pay. That's when it truly is a bonus, not a right!
We tipped our Steward about $120.00 US because we wanted too, and on occasion bar of Cadbury's chocolate with a $10 note after we visited the factory, he loved it. We also tipped some of the staff at the Italian Restaraunt for their examplary service.
This may sound snobby but the service was almost too good! too many waiters asking about everything every 2-3 mins it was very hard to hold a converstion with your fellow diners. But I guess it's better too have too much service than none hey. Happy Cruising.
We spent 23 wonderful days on board this amazing ship and could not fault anything . We had an inside cabin and it was the best we have ever had after 4 previous cruises. We went to Pt Douglas' Darwin ,Bali Hong Kong Taiwan Nagasaki Dalian And Shanghai.All the ports were different but equally as
exciting and we shared many wonderful experiences both on our own and on shore tours. I would have no hesitation Cruising with Princess or P and O again . In fact I have just booked another cruise and cant wait to be off into the wild BLUE sea again
Embarkation was on time despite the ship being delayed 2 hours because of fog. We found the staff, room steward and waiters all welcoming and friendly. We opted for an inside room as flying from Australia had taken up a big chunk of our funds. We found this room to be the smallest of all cruise
lines we had used before but as sunrise was around 4am each morning was quite happy for the room choice. Food on board was not to our liking but looking around most other people seemed not to have a problem and we did enjoy the desserts. This ship had predominently Japanese travellers but we enjoyed this interaction, the staff for the most part spoke english and all but 2 of the shows were in english, we found the standard of the shows outstanding but the other entertainment on board was really aimed at a far older demographic and they seemed to enjoy it immensly, grantedly the agrigate age seemed to be 70'ish so most people had a ball. Being 20 years younger made a big difference. We did go up to the disco but it was empty most nights. We did the north Island and the ports were outstanding, most ports had information booths as you disembarked and the Japanese made us most welcomed. I would highly recommend this cruise, The ship, food and basic entertainment was not the nicest for us but the staff and ports of call more than made up for the short fall of the ship.
Well, this was our first excursion from anywhere apart from Auckland. We had both been on board a Princess Vessel previously (Sun Princess), but this was the first Cruise on the Diamond.
We had a terrific flight over to Oz with Air NZ, then an informative afternoon in Sydney, and best of all, it this was a free one!
Next morning, we trundled down the street with our luggage, and found the vessel. It was a much larger one in comparison to others we had been on. No sooner had we got to the port, we said goodbye to our luggage (No, they weren't stolen!) and casually boarded the ship.
As it was around noon, decided to test out the on board restaurant. As usual, the meal was outstanding. But more about that later.
After the on board emergency test, we casually tasted our first drink and waved goodbye to the land as we departed. Unlike our last cruise we didn't go under the Harbour Bridge, as the Diamond Princess is too tall to do that!
Well, the next twelve days simply flew by. We were extremely well fed, and there was always a tea/coffee machine available!
The first sight of land was when we ventured through the fiords. Despite the poor weather, the picturesque views were ultra fantastic.
During the night, we went through Fouveaux straight and spotted the lighthouse on Stewart Island. Next day, we were in Dunedin.
The entire trip for me was very good. Nothing seemed to be a problem for our Cabin Steward. To be honest, I rarely got time to sit down and relax. There were so many options to try. I even partook a few amazing afternoon teas where it was like a 5 star Hotel!
The evening meals were all outstanding. For example a Duck Terrine, Apricot Preserve, Ossobuco Agnolotti (a crisp sage with veal) Blueberry Mojita Sorbet, and the final treat that night was the Chocolate extravaganza. That was a Chocolate Raspberry Mousse with Vanilla Creme Brulee and crunchy Shortbread!
My mouth is watering as I recall this. But wait, one could order what ever they wanted from the menu! There were many options. I was in wonderland!
All in all, I thought the trip was excellent. I was never bored, there were so many things to do.
We even missed out on a couple of events due to attending other ones! Still, that gives us the desire to undertake another cruise soon.
This was our sixth cruise, and even as I recount it, my desire to get out on the open sea again is astounding.
I watch out my window here in Auckland and whenever I see a passenger liner going in or out, recall my previous cruises, and I think recall the fantastic times I had on board various ships, and of course, cant wait for my next cruise!
Went to Singapore in March/April 2015 on the Diamond Princess. Beautiful ship all pretty new. Cabins are quite roomy. We had an inside cabin and much bigger than the Sun and Sea Princess. But it is a larger ship. Good amount of closet an hanging space as well as shelves. In room entertainment eg TV
great choice of movies many channels. Your cruising information at all times on TV. The food was restaurant class but would have liked more vegetables to come with meals but you could ask for extra and it was no problem. The Japanese Baths was amazing and relaxing only the price of a cocktail for 2 hours. The entertainment could do with improvement. There wasn't very much through the day just Basics. The shows were 3 stars. More on deck entertainment would be good not just 1 or 2 times in a 20 night cruise. Captains parties was a joke no one saw the Captain or his crew the whole cruise walking around or otherwise. Other ships always interacted.
My husband and I cruised on the Diamond hoping we would be able to dance every night. And we did!! It was fantastic fun dancing to the great music of Evolution and the Crimson Duo. They were terrific to dance to playing anything we asked and were so friendly by the end of the cruise we could count
them as friends and hope we are lucky enough to catch up with them on another cruise.
The bar staff, particularly in the Wheelhouse Bar were so friendly, greeting us every night by name and remembering our order.
We loved the anytime dining option, eating in the restaurant where we were served delicious food. It was always served quickly and again the staff are unbelievably friendly and efficient. Everything works like clockwork.
We had a balcony cabin and enjoyed having breakfast on our balcony every morning.
We did not do any of the tours offered on the ship because we had toured New Zealand by land previously but we enjoyed the port lectures which gave us options of self guided things to do. The presenter had quite a sense of humour which made the presentation quite amusing as well as informative.
I think the one big impression of our cruise with princess was that it was a happy ship.
This was never a cruise about the ports but one to experience the Diamond Princess after hearing so much about the BIGGER American ships.
We must say we are very happy with the Diamond, her crew and services but find very little difference to our Australian Dawn, Sun & Sea as far as those areas are concerned.
We have discovered that Princess is Princess no matter what ship it is. Their brand obviously flows through all her fleet from services, to food, to entertainment etc.
The biggest difference was her size and the ability to get around to venues and events. The number of passengers that showed in ques and lines, the inability to find a seat at venues and the buffet, waits for the lift etc. We heard often from fellow passengers that she is too big and we concur.
We would probably prefer to stick with our sun class ships cruising in Oz although if a good price came our way and to the ports we wanted, we would not hesitate to book the Diamond again.
The one thing we will not do again is the Around Australia cruise as we have done it twice now and twice is enough for anyone although we met many previously cruised with passengers and staff on this cruise which added to the enjoyment.
We were lucky enough to meet many good, a few bad and even less ugly passengers which made it wonderful. The average age group was about 70ish I think, with very few family with young ones.
The layout seems it has less seating and only one side remains open for general passengers
The other side closes for the Sterling Steakhouse service in the evening
The food is repetitive but of reasonable quality and always hot or cold as appropriate
Pizza: by the slice at the Pizzeria bar on deck 14 forward next to the Trident Grill but I didn't find it anything special but not a great pizza lover anyway.
2 pools- forward and aft. All have steps for easy access - Lotus Spa & Terrace pool.
The main pool is covered and seems a very nice place to relax and swim but access is difficult if you have mobility issues with only ladder access.
The various dining venues other than the main International & Vavaldi Dining rooms, Savoy, Santa fe & Pacific Moon (anytime). Along with the additional charges venues: with the Japanese: Kai Sushi and Italian: Sabatini's and the Sterling Steakhouse.
We enjoyed the chippies from the Trident grill and sugar-free icecream from Swirls. The miso soup from Horizon's buffet was delicious.
Room service is free and we used it a lot on this cruise after picking up a flu bug on board. We can recommend: the Chef's salad and the Moroccan hot pot with pita. their caramel flan is to die for!
Layout is like the P&O ships with a large open hanging area dividing off the sleeping area. The cabin is slightly wider with 2 bedside cupboards between the beds but the shower area is smaller but having a fantastic shower head. The door is not heavy and hard to open like the Oz ships and it is a straight entrance to the room.
Over-all the ship is about 1/3 larger and walking from venue to venue takes some getting used to but all the lifts go to all decks except for the very highest point: Skywalkers Nightclub. Once you learn your way around, you soon find the best route.
The layout I was told is kinda like the P&O ships and I agree with all the various entertainment venues on deck 7 while like Princess, the theatre at one end (forward) and the other main entertainment venues, The Explorer's lounge in the middle and Club Fusion is situated aft.
1. Good pool access.
2. Good quick service
3. Japanese style bidet toilets in some public area - an experience
4. Large variety of events
5. Laundry service in 24 hours
6. On demand TV
7. Obvious Asian influence in food and staff
1. Over-all size and ability to get around
2. Poky public areas that seem dark even in the day time
3. Distant between venues
4. Timing of event ie WiFi bowling @ 8pm
5. Design of theatre and the steps in and out on either deck
6. USA dollars - although that will be changing when she returns to Oz
Have cruised on smaller ships with Princess and went on this basically because of the good price, left from Auckland, and the loyalty rewards were there after cruising with them doing the World Cruise etc. The Dawn Princess World Cruise seemed okay with fantastic entertainment and the day filled
with choices of activities but this Diamond Princess was a buzz from the time we boarded - it had that extra magic feeling - it left us on a high - the dining layout was incredible, flexible eating and not the fixed seating - happy staff who were smiling and really felt like they were there for you, great outdoor screeen with popcorn and blankets and even soaked in a spa pool and watched the movie - out of this world. Wow - can't believe it was the same cruise line - the bigger ship is one step up on the smaller ones. If you are in any doubt go for the bigger ship - it is great. We also participated in the art auctions for the first time and ended up buying art works - never thought we would ever do that .......... the auctioneer had auctions where everyone took part and then put hands down as the price went up and it was getting too expensive but we were able to participate and that just was the icing on the cake. Chocolates on the pillows at night is a nice touch at the end of the day. Room service at no extra cost. It is the best way to go if you really need a holiday to relax and rejuvenate with relaxation as the key. Highly recommend cruising and can't wait for our next cruise.
We love cruising and go every year so always looking for new destinations and experiences. On this last cruise everything was as usual perfect. The only thing we found a bit lacking was the entertainment on board Diamond Princess. We feel a good cruise is intrinsically linked with a colourful and
vivacious Cruise Director someone who is present and available to the passengers whilst keeping the momentum of the entertainment moving. This is especially critical on cruise lengths where there are lots of back to back sailing days. Unfortunately on this last Princess cruise the Cruise Director was not out and about much or visible to the passengers and the energy of the cruise entertainment lost momentum. Other than that the staff on ALL the cruises we have been on are a cut above the rest. They all go out of their way to ensure passengers have the best holiday. Considering most of them are away from their families for long periods of time it still amazes me how they can be so attentive and accommodating to the passengers day in and day out which come and go. They seem so dedicated to their jobs and the service they are providing we are really always so impressed. The food of course goes without saying is always wonderful!!
As one of just two cruise ships in the fleet built in Japan, the Diamond Princess is also something of a rarity. She can hold as many as 2,706 guests, and needs 1,100 staff to run at full capacity.
She has a maximum of 22 knots, is 952 feet long and has 18 decks and 700 balconies.
Destinations include ports around the country of her origin, visiting Kobe, Tokyo, Nagasaki and other Japanese ports. She also journeys to South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.
In another nod to her origins, the Diamond Princess boasts the world's largest open air Japanese baths, a feature only found on this ship. There are serene indoor and outdoor areas perfect for finding the ultimate in relaxation.
There are also four pools and six hot tubs, as well as an adults-only area for some peace and quiet. Pass the time at the nine-hole putting course, in the gym or in the library. You can even check out some of the fine artwork in the gallery, learn through the ScholarShip@Sea programme, watch a live show at the theatre, catch up on the latest movies at the outdoor cinema, or shop in one of the many boutiques.
You can even say your vows in the beautifully appointed Hearts and Minds Wedding Chapel.
Take your pick of 28 suites with private balconies, 186 mini suites with private balconies, outside cabins, inside cabins, deluxe oceanview rooms, family suites with interconnecting cabins, and outside cabins with private balconies. All together, there are 1,337 rooms available, and 27 of them have wheelchair access.
There are so many dining options on the ship you'll have to book a longer tour to enjoy them all.
For a traditional cruise meal, visit the International Dining Room where each meal is served at the same time and you will be served by the same waiter throughout the cruise. If a less structured itinerary suits you better, there are four 'anytime' restaurants where you can enjoy a meal when you're ready for it.
There are also speciality Italian, sushi, steak, and balcony dining options, as well as a range of more casual options such as a buffet, ice cream bar and pizzeria.