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Asia Immersion Cruise?

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On a recent Ireland/Iceland cruise I booked the Millenium 14 day voyage in 2019 to China, Korea, and Japan. Nothing was said at the time, but when I read the fine print on the confirmation it said it was an immersion cruise. It indicated that “staff would still address in English” but food, entertainment, etc would be changed to reflect the local culture.


This sounds a little exciting, and a wee bit scary. We’re traveling in a Sky Suite, so I’m interested in a few specific questions:


1. For food in Luminae, are the regular menus followed, or how are they altered? Having a local option with some of the regular options would be fantastic.


2. For the entertainment, is this like Baltic or other cruises where a local act will come on in a port, but the regulars entertainment folks are also present? Again, this would be fantastic, but I’m hoping we will still have a party band and at least one “normal” lounge act.


3. What percentage of the passengers typically speak english? While I like the idea of mingling with people from different cultures, if there are only a handful of English speakers, that might not be so fun.


4. What other changes are typical for these types of cruises?


5. If you had it to do again, would you go? Did you like this experience more or less than the typical celebrity experience.


Thank you in advance for sharing your experiences. I did see a few comments in other threads, but most of these topics were covered tangentially at best.



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We did a similar cruise out of Shanghai in October on the Millie. About 50% were probably English speaking as first language from many countries. Many others had English as a second or even third language. Food had the traditional things one finds cruising with perhaps more International flavours in the buffet. We did not do speciality dining. Only local entertainment was available one night with a variety of guest entertainers along with the house bands. Biggest difference was the number of empty deck chairs as many guests preferred to be out of the sun and enjoying table games. Very few children were on board probably due to time of year. During our Manilla overnight in port many of the crew had a chance to visit with their families or even bring them on board. This to us was a highlight as we could see their pride in the ship as well as the excitement of visiting loved ones after so many days away.

We would do a similar trip again if the flight was not 19 hours!



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Thanks! That is helpful.



What date is the cruise. We are looking at one in Nov 2019 and so far there is no roll call for it.

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We have done three Asia cruises by now. One was south-east Asia, the second one Japan, and the third one was the one you are describing.


Let me say something in general first. Everything will be just as on any other international (and by saying that I mean to exclude the Caribbean cruises :-) ) Celebrity cruise.


Passengers will be from a variety of nations. However, most of them speak English. Otherwise they wouldn’t book a Celebrity cruise.


The restaurants will serve the same food as you are used to. The exception is the buffet restaurant. In addition to the normal selection, it offers some local flavours.


On some cruises local entertainers come on board for a night or so. In Japan we had a Japanese drum group for one night.


All of the cruises were great - different regions, different cultures, different experiences... amazing.


Would we do it again? Yes, yes, yes...


After absolutely falling in love with Japan, we are already booked for another cruise to Japan next year. If you are interested in reading about our Japan cruise just click on the link in my signature.


Unfortunately we have not had the time yet to complete the reviews of the other two cruises.


If you have any questions, just let me know.

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We did a wonderful cruise on Millennium October 2015 called Japan and China. Cruise was out of Tokyo (we did 8 wonderful nights pre-cruise in Tokyo and Kyoto) and stopped at four more Main Island Japanese ports, then Shanghai, Okinawa, 2 days in Taiwan, ended in Hong Kong. It was one of our most favorite trips.


Japan is fantastic. One of the cleanest countries we have visited (Switzerland as well). Loved the Japanese people. We liked many things about the country, including the food, riding the trains and more. People don't dress like slobs or grungy. Unlike China people queue up and are polite and helpful.


If you want to do China right, a land tour is the way to go. There is so much to see, from Beijing to The Great Wall to Xian and the terra-cotta warriors, Shanghai, riding the bullet train, taking a Yangze River cruise, the Three Gorges Dam and the gorges are wonderful. Also, inland to the city that once was called Chunking, the Li River with is amazing rock formations and Guillem.


Here are my reviews of our Millennium cruise and our China Vantage Tour:


Japan and a little bit of China





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We have travelled in Asia a number of times both cruises and land based touring. The cruise you've described is a good introduction to three asian countries, but it's a drive by shooting. You will get a flavor, but not have the experience and see the sites that you would see if visiting on land. Celebrity is not known for their "immersion"....I suspect that what they consider "immersion" is adding a few dishes in the buffet, maybe a special (not on the menu) option at dinner and a local entertainer (likely group) to provide entertainment at night. Possibly, and it's really a 50:50 shot, they will have speakers during the day who talk about the areas you're visiting (not port shopping talks...but talks with actual content). I say 50:50 because on our recent cruise from Santiago to Fort Lauderdale thru the panama canal, we had a speaker who talked about arctic expeditions (unrelated to our cruise).


You will enjoy your cruise...every celebrity cruise is enjoyable. You will see a part of the world that you probably haven't visited. Hopefully, you'll return saying "Now I have to go back and really see those countries..on land" and not say "OK, I've now seen China, Korea, Japan...where do we go next"

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