The holiday was fine but in a few respects, lacked attention to detail. The least satisfactory component was the lack of coordination related to the travel plan and the pre and post activities. APT claimed that they provided detailed options to clients for both but none of this information made its way to us. APT staff said that if clients booked direct they got all details but clients who booked via second parties missed out because agents fail to pass on information. The truth might be different?
We thought the trip overall was excellent but multiple journey APT clients seemed to be grumbling that the execution of arrangements fell short of previous experiences. Some are hard to please!
One real deficiency is that there was no meet and greet activity on arrival in Tokyo. We arrived at the hotel and found one other couple wandering around. We didn't see an APT representative until next day.
On departure we were scheduled to leave the ship at 9 am but not fly out until 11.45pm. Last minute changes were made by APT, at additional cost, but we still reached the airport almost 8 hours before fly time and five hours before luggage could be handed over.
Once on the ship we were well catered for and most daily plans seemed appropriate. We saw rather too many temples and gardens. With a little thought the program could be enhanced. For example, the staple Japanese food is rice. It would be possible to visit a rice farm and hear about production, transport and marketing of this important crop. We just drove past farms like they didn't play any role in society. Further, several major car manufacturing plants were observed being Mazda and Toyota. Many on the trip would have loved an opportunity to see a robotic car production line. Japan is a great manufacturing country and they have enormous price in their products. Surely more diversity is possible?
A lasting impression will be the friendly welcomes provided by locals in all of the small ports visited. Their efforts were remarkable. The brief visit to South Korea was no different.