Pacific Venus - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Pacific Venus


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 388 out of 500

Accommodation: 147 out of 200

Food: 310 out of 400

Service: 310 out of 400

Entertainment: 75 out of 100

Cruise: 301 out of 400

Overall Score: 1531 out of 2000

Pacific Venus Statistics

Size: Small Ship

Tonnage: 26,518

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Venus Cruise

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9160011

Builder: Ishikawajima Heavy Industries (Japan)

Original Cost: $114 million (13 billion yen)

Entered Service: Apr 1998

Registry: Japan

Length (ft/m): 601.7/183.4

Beam (ft/m): 82.0/25.0

Draft (ft/m): 21.3/6.5

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (13,636kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 7

Total Crew: 220

Passengers (lower beds): 476

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 55.7

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.1

Cabins (total): 238

Size Range (sq ft/m): 164.6-699.6/15.3-65.0

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 20

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 1

Wheelchair accessibility: Fair

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 4

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 1

Hot Tubs (on deck): 1

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/94

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: Japanese yen


Comfortable decor and fine style for Japanese cruisers

Overview. Pacific Venus is best suited to Japanese-speaking couples and single travelers of mature years who appreciate very comfortable surroundings and good food and service, all at a moderate cost. The ship is often operated under charter to travel organizations, so drinks aren’t always included in the fare; when operated by Venus Cruise, alcoholic drinks are not included.

The Ship. The company Venus Cruise is part of Japan Cruise Line, which is itself part of SHK Line Group, a joint venture between the Shin Nohonkai, Hankyu, and Kanpu ferry companies, which operate more than 20 ferries. There is a decent amount of open deck space aft of the funnel - good for deck sports - while protected sunbathing space is provided around the small swimming pool. All sunloungers have cushioned pads. The open walking promenade decks are rubber-coated steel - teak would be more desirable.

The base of the funnel itself is the site of a day/night lounge, which overlooks the swimming pool - it is slightly reminiscent of Royal Caribbean International’s funnel-wrapped Viking Crown lounges aboard its first ships. There is plenty of space per passenger. The decor is clean and fresh, with much use of pastel colors and blond woods, giving the interiors a feeling of warmth.

The dining rooms are located off Deck 7, which has a double-width indoor promenade, with high ceiling height. The three-deck-high atrium has a crystal chandelier as its focal point, and a white baby grand piano on its lower level, where the Reception Desk is situated.

There are special rooms for meetings and conference organizers, for times when the ship is chartered. A piano salon has colorful low-back chairs, and a large main hall has a finely sculptured high ceiling and over 700 moveable seats and hosts production shows. There’s a 350-seat main lounge for cabaret shows and ballroom dancing, a small movie theater, and a library/writing room and card room. A casino gaming area is located as part of the Top Lounge set at the front of the funnel. Winners receive prizes instead of cash, under Japanese law. There’s also a smoking room, Chashitsu (tatami mat) room, karaoke room (for rent) and card room/mahjong room, free self-service launderettes on each accommodation deck, and two (credit card/coin) public telephone booths.

Overall, this company provides a well-packaged cruise in a ship that has a very comfortable, serene environment. The dress code is relaxed, and no tipping is allowed.

The ship has two classes: Salon Class and Standard Class. Salon Class passengers pay more, but get suite-grade accommodation, eat in the Grand Siècle private dining room, and are given lots of extra goodies and services, including a welcome embarkation basket, more toiletries, and priority tickets for shows and shore tenders.

Accommodation. There are four types: Royal Suites, suites, deluxe cabins, state cabins (in four price grades), and standard cabins. All are located from the uppermost to lowermost decks, respectively. All suites and cabins have an outside view, but few cabins have a private balcony.

The four Royal Suites (Archaic, Elegant, Modern, and Noble) are decorated in two different styles - one contemporary, one in a more traditional Japanese style. Each has a private balcony (with a drinks table and two chairs) with sliding door, an expansive lounge area with large sofa and plush armchairs, coffee table, window-side chairs and drinks table, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a large flat-screen TV set, with separate DVD unit. There is a separate bedroom, with twin- or queen-size bed, vanity/writing desk, a large walk-in closet with personal safe. Also provided are high-quality binoculars, camera tripod, humidifier, coffee/tea-making set, and free minibar set-up. The large bathroom has ocean-view windows, Jacuzzi tub, a separate shower enclosure, and his/her washbasins.

Sixteen other suites have private balconies (with teak table and two chairs), a good-size living area with vanity/writing desk, dining table, chair and curved sofa, separate sleeping area, and bathroom with deep tub slightly larger than the Royal Suites, and single large washbasin. There is ample lighted closet and drawer space (two locking drawers instead of a personal safe), and a DVD unit.

There are 20 deluxe cabins; these have large picture windows fronted by a large, curtained arch, sleeping area with twin or queen beds, plus a daytime sofa that converts into a third bed.

The so-called ‘state’ cabins, many with upper berths for third passengers, are in three price levels, have decor that is best described as basic, with reasonable closet space, but very little drawer space.

The standard cabins, however, are really plain, but can accommodate three persons - useful for families - although the drawer and storage space is a bit tight.

All accommodation grades have a tea set with electric hot water kettle, TV set, telephone, and stocked minibar/refrigerator - all items included in the cruise price. Bathrooms have a hairdryer and lots of Shiseido toiletries, particularly in the suites. All room-service menu items cost extra - this is typical of all Japanese cruise ships - except for Salon Class suite-grade accommodation. All passengers receive a yukata (a Japanese-style light cotton robe). Suite occupants also get a plush bathrobe, and all accommodation grades have electric, automatic toilets (washlets) with heated seats.

Dining. The Primavera Restaurant is located aft, with ocean views on three sides, and has a high ceiling. Passengers dine in one seating, and tables are for six, 10, or 12. The food consists of both Japanese and Western items; the menu is varied and the food is attractively presented. For breakfast and lunch it includes a self-serve buffet, while dinner is typically a fully served set meal.

A separate, intimate 42-seat restaurant, Grand Siècle, is reserved for occupants of suite-grade (Salon Class) accommodation; it is tastefully decorated in Regency style, with fine wood-paneling and a detailed, indented ceiling. It has mostly tables for two (with plenty of space for correct service), better quality chopsticks, nori seaweed, and better quality and variety of fine china. Cold and hot towels are provided, and the whole dining experience is far better than in the Primavera.

Entertainment. Le Pacific Main Lounge is the venue for all shipboard entertainment and also functions as a lecture and activities room during the day. It is a single-level room with seating clustered around a thrust stage so that entertainers are in the very midst of their audience.

On most cruises, special featured entertainers such as singers, instrumentalists, storytellers, and dance champions are brought on board from ashore.

Spa/Fitness. Spa facilities include male and female Grand Baths, which include two bathing pools and health/cleansing stations, ocean-view windows, a steam room, a gymnasium with ocean-view windows (in a different location just aft of the funnel); and a sauna.

Japanese massage is available, as are hairdressing and barber services in the small salon, located on the lowest passenger-accessible deck of the ship.