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Australia & New Zealand cruises are great. But a very big country so you need to do a little work and pick your cruise. For this part of the World change 180 degrees from the United States Seasons. US winter is AU summer. January February March is the Summer in AU.
You really need two weeks in AU/NZ. You will lose 3 days to travel, coming from the east coast of the US it will take two days to get to AU, going back will take only one day (because of International date line). So if you have 14 days, 3 gone to travel, 2 days before and after cruise. Two weeks gives you no more than 9 days.
If you want to do a Australia Circle Cruise IE: Sidney to Sidney you would need about a 12 day cruise, if you want to add New Zealand it would be about 14 days. You can do a Australia East Coast, West Coast, or Southern cruise in about 7 days.
Yes it is a very long flight, airport to airport total travel time 30 plus hours. many people split the trip and stop in SE Asia first fly to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore for a few days and then fly on. All are hubs to Australia
Most cruise lines do not cruise in the US Summer in AU they head to other ports. .So May through August not really a option. And yes you can take a cruise for America to Australia but limited trips and you will see very little of AU or NZ this way. If you cruised to Australia you would need another two weeks to land tour and fly home.
Last option is a World Cruise, no flying about 3 1/2 months, but not a choice most can do.