When we first boarded this beauty, I thought WOW. The ship is beautifully set out and the 3000+ passengers were swallowed up by the size of the vessel. Lining up for anything was not a problem with the exception of the Australia Day BBQ where guests were waiting up to one and a half hours to get their meals. In saying this, there were plenty of other options for guests to dine. I found the activities were not as readily available as other ships but if you looked hard enough you found something to do.
The ports of call were good but the onshore tours from on-board the ship were as always way way way overpriced. Again, this was not an issue for us because I always book my own tours before I leave home directly with the tour operators or just find something to do when I get there.
The best money saver I found this time was the Premium Drinks Package (Alcohol)-Beer, Spirits and a limited wine selection. $770 US Dollars - Excellent Value.
Meals as always were More
sensational. Dining room staff superb, A little more robotic in the Windjammer. I found Portofino's overrated and I regretted going there. Dining room meals won it for me hands down. Less
We took a ferry across to picturesque Devonport where we spent the day on the shore, plenty of shopping and eateries. Overall the Kiwi's are a nice bunch and found them very hospitable. In Auckland, much the same as any other capital city in Australia only cleaner.
The Free shuttle drops you off at the information centre where you can just have a walk around town and take in the sites. A little expensive but a pretty place nonetheless. We took a city bus tour for $15 AUS per person. Filled in about 2 hours and overall very nice.
Tauranga offers everything from sightseeing to shopping to bushwalks to eating and drinking in a very relaxed environment. We drove into the main part of town were the wife went out with friends to do a lot of shopping and a few of the blokes found a nice little English pub and had a few drinks looking over the Bay. As we headed back to the ship, we stopped at a pretty beach and had a nice walk along the shore - One of my favourite places in NZ.
Strong winds, rain and sun (This was just in the first 1/2 hour). Wellington is a very clean city. We took a bus into town from the port and due to the weather, we spent most of the day in the cities museum. Nice and interesting place. When the rain eased, we took a walk down the main street and looked at more shops.