I suppose every new experience has its good and bad and our first cruise was no exception.
I'll start with the good: great food, excellent stateroom steward, made many new friends, ship was spotless throughout and the trip was very relaxing.
The not so good:
Our cabin flooded at 3am on day 2 of the cruise. Water was pouring out of the base of the toilet and quickly wet everything including our shoes and suitcases. By the time someone arrived to fix it the water was pouring down the corridor! They did some plumbing, dried the carpet as best they could and told us to get out of our room as early as possible in the morning so they could dry it out properly. We dragged ourselves out at 6am, having had no sleep since the flood started, and no one told us when it was ok to go back to the cabin. We had to ask several people unit we finally got an answer! I feel this is due to the lack of English from maintenance staff.
Our toilet blocked up 3 times in 2 days, also. We felt we should have been offered another room, but were not. Fortunately the problem did not occur again. I happened to see the first officer and doctor on deck and told them about our plight. They explained about the toilets and how, if someone further along placed disallowed things in the toilets it would block a whole section! The first officer arranged some on board credit as compensation and the doctor said if we had any further problems to tell him and he would sort them out! It's a pity that the ship's doctor has to sort out this sort of thing, out of the goodness of his heart! Not really his area of concern! But thank you, Dr Cameron, for listening to our problem.
The food, as I said, was great, but we all felt a bit rushed in the dining room at evening meal time. We were at the late sitting and no sooner was the menu placed in front of us and someone wanted our order!
Did the staff want to get us out of there quickly for some reason?
Many passengers complained that the volume on the movie screen was deafening and the shows were too loud also. Perhaps because many of the frail elderly passengers on board were hard of hearing? I know everyone is entitled to a cruise, but honestly, as a nurse, I was shocked at the frailty of some elderly passengers. The crew were acting as carers and it clearly states in the brochure this is not done. The tenders at Akaroa took ages to get the transfers done and, although I did not go on shore, at least 6 people remarked to me that it was because so many of the frail passengers took so long to get on to the tender. Please note, I know we will all be frail and very elderly one day, but...I hope if I get to that stage I would not dream of going on a cruise and expecting the staff to be my nursemaids and holding up everyone else. I would be too embarrassed.
Overall though, the cruise was great. The majority of staff were lovely and we would consider another cruise in the future. It is not, however, a great way to see a country, as you barely scrape the surface, being on shore for such a limited time. But for sheer relaxation it's hard to beat!