During one sea day, I spent a couple of hours being pampered at the Lotus Spa, pool and fitness center, and several times got in my cardio on modern, tech-forward workout equipment. Admittedly, I didn’t take full advantage of the live entertainment programmed at the Princess Theater, but I did watch folks gamble with dauntingly towering stacks of chips in the Grand Casino. I later learned that each chip represents only a single dollar, so they weren’t quite high rollers.
Eclectic Japan-centric activities filled out each day, like Furoshiki gift wrapping class, yukata-wearing, and, big crowd favorites, balloon dropping, and paper-plane flying in the ship’s atrium. On some days, bars and lounges were transformed into pop-up shopping spaces, and themed dance classes, including Bollywood and ballroom, drew enthusiastic crowds. Ditto for formal receptions with appearances by handsome Italian ship captain, Gennaro Arma. Japanese women really went to town with elegant and nouveau-style kimonos on these occasions.
When it comes to dining, one can find sushi, a soba noodle bar, and other Japanese specialties at the Horizon Court buffet, where I often chose to eat due to its perpetually casual dress code, multiple dining rooms and seating areas (plenty with ocean views), ever-changing array of Western/Eastern comfort fare, and prime people watching. Those preferring classic, formal sit-down cruise dining can opt for early or late seating at a quartet of lower-deck dining rooms where menus boast a selection from celebrity chef Curtis Stone, or premium specialty restaurants Sabitinis (Italian) and Sterling Steakhouse.
I also partook of a deluxe breakfast on my deck one morning: there’s a choice of Japanese or Western style. One profound shortcoming of the cruise, surprisingly, was its coffee. I’m convinced that the dining rooms’ java lacked caffeine, as I received nary a jolt after even three full cups. Ditto for the atrium’s premium coffee bar. Word of advice for caffeine and coffee lovers: pack instant pouches of your favorite brands.