This cruise is the best I have been on to date. To be honest, I could have flown home after Auckland, as I found 14 days just a little too long for my sensibilities, but the NZ part of the cruise was fantastic! Sea days were made fun by the awesome staff, a special shout out to John Loney Jr, the Cruise Director. A very special man, who makes everyone feel good just by being around him. If you get the chance to do a NZ cruise, grab it with both hands. I was very impressed with both the destination and the cruise line.
5 out of 5
Very quick, smooth very little waiting. Straight up to the desk, given a number...to the lounge...then on! Princess seem to have this process down pat, with a lot of help from the Port of Brisbane Staff. I would like to give a particular shout out to Nancy, who made our embarkation process so seamless.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Sea Princess outshone each of the other two ships I have been on so far regarding food, venues and service. I think they particularly shine in the service department. I was more than happy to eat in the Buffet, heaps of choice each day. The main dining room was a pleasure to dine in. We had anytime dining, and never had a problem getting a seat. Cafe Corniche and the Steakhouse were a pleasure also, with great food and great staff.
4 out of 5
We didn't do many of the onboard activities, but there was always something going on. We did participate in some trivia games, saw an ice sculpting demonstration on deck, and a cooking demonstration with the head chef, which was hilarious. If you wanted to, you could have filled your days with activities. We just liked to do nothing some days.
4 out of 5
I saw Encore, which was very good, especially if you like opera - think Il Devo etc. The resident band Opus, were very good, as was a man in Crooners on the piano...I can't remember his name, but he was great. There was never a lack of good entertainment if you chose to look for it.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Our Cabin steward, Arnold, was attentive without being intrusive, kept our room tidy and clean, and always greeted us with a smile and a word. Most of the other staff were wonderful, with three exceptions, who didn't seem to want to be there. They stood out as all of the others we encountered were friendly and couldn't do enough to help.
4 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
We had a premium oceanview cabin, which is as large as the balcony rooms, probably larger as our room went right to the edge of the ship, whereas the balcony rooms incorporated their balcony, so where the balcony is in balcony rooms, we had more room and a large window. We were very comfortable and had plenty of space. I have to say that our rooms on the Pacific Dawn and the Aria, were larger though. Bathroom was adequate with plenty of hot water.
Did the Taieri Gorge train from Dunedin Railway station, booked directly with the station and Headfirst tours did the shuttle and city sights tour afterwards. Well worth it, and half the price of the Ship's own tour. We actually got the heritage carriage to travel on as well, which was an added treat. The scenery is spectacular.
Beautiful spot, and the gateway to Christchurch. We opted to stay in Akaroa and have a look around. We went up in the lighthouse for a nominal fee, for which you get a guided tour. We walked around, and then had a fish and chips lunch at Murphy's on the Corner. You will find this opposite the library, up one of the side streets. Don't line up at the "best fish & chips" along the waterfront. There was another ship in that day, so tendering was a long process, but well worth the effort to get off.
I loved Wellington, and could spend a lot of time there. So much to see and do. We rode the Cable Car, of course, and went through the museum at the top. There is a coffee shop and a wonderful perfumery up there also. Great views, and the Botanical Gardens there too. The Waterfront area of Wellington is brimming with things to see, do, eat and experience. A great Capital City!!
Art Deco, and lots of interesting places. We did a winery tour so that we could go out into the countryside. So interesting with the apples growing, and, of course, the grapes. Mission Estate Winery was the highlight for me. I could happily stay here for weeks.
We climbed Mt Maunganui! Yes...UP! It wasn't an easy walk by any stretch, with even the seasoned, daily walkers saying it doesn't get any easier, but the view!! So worth it. Do it if you can. Take your time...sit on the seats provided to catch your breath, if you can as the views are breathtaking. Great shopping here for souvenirs, and good wifi at the Mexican place or Burger King.
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