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Considering a Transpacific 14-night on Quantum of the Seas

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Hi, I am considering a transpacific cruise with a friend on Quantum of the Seas this September-October. This is a DREAM CRUISE for me, but I have a lot of questions! 


  • Other than it being twice as long as my previous cruises, what other considerations do I need to keep in mind?
    • How many formal nights?
    • What's the weather like?  Is it safe to pack shorts onboard?
    • Will it be warm enough to swim onboard?
    • What items that I don't normally take on a 7-night cruise will I wish I had?
  • This cruise has stops and ends in Japan.
    • Is there a way to find out the range of costs for excursions? I can't seem to find anything on RCCL's website unless I'm already booked
    • What will the weather be like in Japan in October?
    • Are there any special considerations I will need to keep in mind as a tourist in Japan?
  • Anything else you can add that would be helpful would be greatly appreciated! 


This will be my first long cruise, and of course my first repositioning, so I'm a little nervous to book it, but it's something I've wanted to do for a long time and the price is so tempting!


Thanks in advance!

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I will try to help, but keep in mind we have not cruised on RCI for some time (we are Diamond Plus) and have never been on one of their mega ships like the Ovation.  We have done a few Pacific crossings between Japan and the USA. most recently last May (Japan to Seattle).  I also lived in Northern Honshu for two years (long time ago) and have a pretty good idea of the fall weather.


That time of the year, from Seattle to Sapporo (which is actually some distance from the port) is going to be a northern pacific crossing and will likely be a mixed bag with temps often not warm enough for outdoor swimming.   


Another issue for folks who have not done trans ocean cruising is that there are a lot of sea days.  Some of us love long lazy sea days, and others hate it!  On the Ovation there will be lots of daily activity options, but keep in mind that you will have 9 straight days at sea.  


As to Japan, if you limit yourself to cruise line excursions it will not be cheap (all the cruise lines have been increasing excursion prices).  You can always book private excursions or even go off on your own (we do a lot of independent port days).


I am not a big fan of that itinerary because it goes to some more obscure ports (i.e. Muroran,  Hokodate, Akita, etc.  I do know those places (I lived about an hour from Hokodate) and while I loved being in northern Japan, I am not sure it is ideal for cruisers.  If you can find the time and money, spend some post cruise time in Tokyo and try to squeeze in some time in Kyoto (one of the best parts of Japan for tourism).  Tokyo is connected to Kyoto (and Osaka) via excellent bullet trains.  But also keep in mind that spending time in Japan can become expensive (although those of us who do independent travel have ways to control costs).


I also have a criticism to aim at RCI (and other cruise lines).  When your itinerary says "Sapporo" you may not be aware that the port or Muroran is at least 1 1/2 hours (each way) from Sapporo via train or excursion bus.  On our recent HAL cruise, that also stopped at Muroran, I do not even recall if they offered an excursion to Sapporo.  It is a long day.   Your final port of Yokohama is also some distance from Tokyo (generally about 45 minutes) although some do consider Yokohama as akin to a distant Tokyo suburb.  DW and I actually like Yokohoma (we will return next year), but most first-time visitors will certainly want some time in Tokyo.


And finally, when looking at a budget you should consider that airfares between Japan and the USA are quite pricey.   Depending on where you fly you are talking about 9+ hours on the plane which makes business class very tempting, and also outrageously priced.  



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I crossed the Atlantic last November from Barcelona. I loved Barcelona so much I am returning this year. I chose a Transatlantic because I would have so many sea days. Previous poster was spot on about airfare. One way to Barcelona was almost as much as return! Then I had to book a flight home from Florida. All more than worth it. I loved the sea days. I love the rough waves. I would love to cruise to Australia but don't want the flight that comes with it. 

Regarding excursions, I dont want to be on a bus for two to four hours in order to spend three hours at a site.

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  • 2 months later...

Craftyneighbor...We are going on that Quantum.I do not know if you have read the thread on Cruisecritic about that very cruise, but you might gain some insight from it. We believe the lack of posting of excursions might be due to the fact that this Itinerary was changed only a little over a month ago and they might not have all the info up yet.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just looked up this cruise. It's not a time when I can travel, but if I could I would book immediately: right now balcony staterooms have lower fares than inside or oceanview.

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