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BruceMuzz

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About BruceMuzz

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About Me

  • Location
    Shanghai, PRC / Sete, France
  • Interests
    languages, Japanese woodworking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Virgin
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Mediterranean

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  1. It depends a bit on what sort of touring you are planning to do. Kita Shinagawa is nearly halfway between Central Tokyo and Yokohama. Tokyo is certainly exciting, but so is the Yokohama area. There are many subway lines, JR Trains, and Shinkansen passing through Shinagawa Station. The MESM Hotel appears to be very close to the Tokyo Monorail station, which is next door to a JR Station, which is next door to Daimon Subway station on the O-Edo Line. O-Edo line is one of the best for getting you around Tokyo and connecting to other subway lines. The Haneda Airport Monorail was designed to carry passengers and luggage back and forth from the airport. When I fly to my ship from Haneda, I often take 4 pieces of heavy luggage by myself on the Monorail. The MESM hotel may not be well located for nearby restaurants, but neither is the Shinagawa Marriott. Both locations will allow you to get to neighborhood restaurants on foot or via subway in just a few minutes. MESM does have the advantage of being a bit closer to central Tokyo.
  2. Marriott hotel in Kitashinagawa (Kita means North in Japanese) is actually very close to the cruise terminal - as the crow flies. But you need to get across the water between the mainland and the island where the cruise terminal is located. So you need to go the long way around to find a bridge.
  3. There are several Marriott Hotels in Tokyo. You are probably looking at the one in Shinagawa. That hotel is nice, but in a rather out of the way industrial area. I have never heard of the Mesm Hotel, but it is located in a great area; right on the subway line that runs between the cruise terminal and downtown. Very convenient. Also has easy access to the Haneda Airport monorail, several other subway lines, and a JR Station. Hilton ODaiba is a Japanese business and family hotel for the Odaiba Entertainment District. Unfortunately it is in the wrong direction from downtown Tokyo
  4. Only one mainstream cruise line maintained a kosher kitchen onboard. That was Cunard. They discontinued the practice a few years ago. Not all cruise lines will provide kosher food with advance request - but most will. Bear in mind that the choices are usually quite limited. The kosher meals are prepared commercially in a kosher kitchen ashore. Then sealed by a Rabbi in a styrofoam container, frozen, and made available on ships. They are micro-waved, then the styrofoam box is opened in front of the kosher diner. Plastic utensils and paper napkins are provided - to maintain kosher. Over the 3+ decades I have been serving these meals onboard ships, the overall satisfaction levels have not been very good.
  5. There are basically 2 options; taxi or city bus. You might check if your cruise line has arranged shuttles - but it is unlikely.
  6. My ship sails in Japan for several months each year. Many of the crew use mobile pocket WIFI during the time we were there. On a typical Japan cruise, we are rarely out of range of the mobile coverage.
  7. Waiting times can vary dramatically based on the number of flights that are arriving at the same time. Typically - if you have all your papers completed and in order - the wait for foreigners to get through immigration at Narita is much quicker than going through immigration in the USA. You can expect to take about 20 minutes on average. By the time you get through immigration, your bags should already be on the carousel, one floor down. Customs is quick and painless. The entire process should take a bit less than 45 minutes. When you exit Customs, the desk selling Limousine Bus tickets will be directly in front of you. The bus stops are located just outside the door - about a two minute walk.
  8. Pearl, This one you can do on your own. Every foreigner who visits Hiroshima wants to visit the memorial. In the cruise terminal you will find a great deal of information on getting there. There will be English speaking volunteers who will be happy to write Japanese instructions for a taxi driver. Hiroshima has an excellent public transit system that can take you to the memorial. Many of the exhibits at the memorial are bilingual. You will not have any problems.
  9. Boatharbour is correct. I speak Chinese and Japanese, and I have lived in this area for decades, so these ports are DIY for me. If you don't speak the languages and do not know the area, doing it on your own may save you a lot of money - but you will miss 90% of all the "good stuff".
  10. Daikoku and Yamashita Piers are both commercial cargo piers that handle a few cruise ships when Osanbashi Cruise Terminal is full. Yamashita pier runs parallel to Osanbashi pier, just a few hundred meters away. As a commercial pier, the public is not allowed to walk on it. You must catch a shuttle bus at the entrance gate on the main road that runs along the waterfront. Sometimes they allow taxis to take you to the Yamashita Terminal. Maybe they plan to collect you at the entrance gate? Maybe you must take the shuttle bus to the Yamashita pier Terminal to check in? Only Princess knows where they plan to pick you up at that location. You really need to talk to them.
  11. There is not. The cruise terminal is on an extremely long paved strip strip that juts out into the harbour. Some cruise lines arrange transfer buses that take you to the shopping / train station area about one mile away. Or it is about a 20 minute walk. There are some taxis on the pier, but unpredictable.
  12. Casofilia, This would be a local Japan Railways train. There are many of them. Some might take you just a few miles; some might go all the way to Yokohama. They generally stop at every station on the way, so are very slow and very inexpensive. Going from Narita to Yokohama would most likely require several changes. All the details would change depending on the time of day you are traveling. If you go to a website app like Rome2Rio and enter your starting and ending points, you can get all the possibilities and details.
  13. The cheapest method is walking - but not recommended. Next would be a local JR train - from the basement of your Narita Terminal to Yokohama Station.Cost is less than US$10 per person. And it is slow. Probably take you around 3 or 4 hours. Next would be a Limousine Bus - from your arrival hall at Narita to Yokohama Station and / or local Yokohama Hotels. Cost around US$30 per person. Travel time about 2 hours. Next is Narita Express Train - from the basement of your terminal at Narita to Yokohama Station. Cost is around US$40 per person. Travel time is 90 minutes.
  14. BruceMuzz

    Transfers in Tokyo

    Pearl, For future reference, international long distance calling from USA to Japan should not cost you more than 10 cents per minute. That’s what my friends and family in the USA pay when they call me in Tokyo. Telephone etiquette in Japan is quite a bit more sophisticated than in the USA. When you telephone a company here, a real human always answers the telephone and talks to you. Putting somebody on hold on the telephone in Japan is considered very rude and very rarely happens. When you telephone a Japanese company and get a Japanese answer, just say “English Please”. In a few moments, an English speaker will help you. Those terribly annoying robo-calls you receive in America (seemingly every hour) are illegal in Japan. If you have a telephone here, you will never receive one. So far as costs are concerned: My Japanese friends tell me that when Americans go shopping, they ask, “How cheap is it?”; when Japanese go shopping they ask, “How good is it?”. You are going to find that the Japanese value high quality and convenience over just about anything else. Most everything in Japan is expensive by American standards - but it is also much higher quality than American standards. From food to housing to transport to everyday goods, Japanese is very good and usually quite expensive - but a great value for money. This information may be of some help to address the culture shock you will experience when you visit Japan.
  15. You are docking at a big dusty, dirty, busy commercial port with berths for large cruise ships. There is really nothing of interest to see or do there. Not dangerous - except the possibility of being run over by a forklift. Transport to the Bund takes about 25 minutes and costs just a few dollars.
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