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Ray Palandri

Age: 67

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 14

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Diamond Princess

Sailing Date: 09-20-2008

Itinerary: Alaska to Thailand

Overall it was a great cruise because of the ports we visited. The little people on the ship were great, i.e. the room steward, the waiters and assistant waiters, but the management was below par. Passenger services was an oxymoron. The front desk personnel were poorly trained and rearely could answer simple questions. The internet did not work for the first 3 and 1/2 weeks and they continually gave us lame excuses and out and out lies as to when it would be available. Upon initial boarding of the ship, our greeter had to ask us if we had the ship's map so he could direct us to our room! I have sailed mostly on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean and felt that their services were superior to Princess, at least on this ship. I spoke to several passengers who were dissapoionted with the food, I however, found it to be very good and comparable or better than other cruises I have taken. Our stateroom was adequate and comparable to other ships I have been on. Again, they were adequate, but we generally do not partake of the shipboard activities. We usually do our own activities. The ships excursions were poorly organized and grossly over priced. We were told to assemple at a certain time, but if we got there at the specified time, we found that we were already way down the list of busses. Where I could, I scheduled private tours and they were far superior to the ships tours and less expensive. Instead of a bus loaded with 50 people, four of us were in an air conditioned van with a driver and english speaking tour guide. They were able to take us to places that the buses didn't go or to get us to places before the busses got there. Also, we were able to go to more places in the time allotted. Sometimes we were able to take in places that would have required two of the ships tours to take in. In the future, I will avoid the ships excursions if at all possible. We went from Alaska to Bangkok, Thailand in 31 days. The highlight of the trip had to be Beijing were we had a private tour to the Great Wall of China. It was a beautiful day, the guide was able to take us to a place on the wall that the tour busses don't go and the crowds were mostly Chinese and few at that. We also still had time to visit and walk around Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Hong Kong was also a highlight, where we had a private tour with an uncle of a friend of mine. On our trip we visited, Kodiak, AK, Muroran, Japan, Vladivostok, Russia, Pusan, South Korea, Kagoshima, Japan, Dalian, China, Beijing, China, Shanghai, China, Okinawa, Japan, Taipei, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Nha Trang, Viet Nam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Viet Nam, Singapore, Bangkok, Thailand

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