We embarked from Brisbane on Feb 18th on Sun Princess as second time cruisers on an around New Zealand 14 day cruise.
We encountered rough seas for two days on route to Auckland causing not only mass seasickness but numerous fractured limbs . The ship's rolling and pitching really amazed us as we had thought that these large cruising ships were designed with more stability under such ocean conditions .
The other sobering aspect of cruising down-under was the largely over 70 age of fellow passengers , and it was 97% of fellow passengers that would have been over 65yrs.
Our choice of cabin was located on the top accommodation level L.12 where we enjoyed a QS cabin with balcony with all the necessities one would expect .We soon found the constant hard selling efforts by ship crew to be highly undesirable where everything from coffee , wine , massages , bottled water , beauty treatments was constantly in evidence to the point of annoyance when dining . The food choice and quality in the Horizon Buffet restaurant was throughout our cruise described as hospital standard , and the waiting service not much better from disinterested wait staff .
Food in this restaurant was the biggest negative of our cruise and I spoke to the chef several times about the lack of vegetarian choice and lack of diversification as the days went on , a waste of my time it seems , as choice service or quality did not improve at all .
We found that most if not all ship board food originates from USA along with the inherent lack of quality and taste that that US food encompasses . Fruit for instance - apples were not of retail quality , watermelon without taste , grapes not of retail quality and so on .
The steak I did enjoy originated in Nebraska and spent it's numerous days frozen in the hold for weeks on end .
We were advised one afternoon that our cabin was scheduled to have maintenance done on the balcony door that afternoon , could we disappear for two hours ?.
We declined and prompted the manager to reschedule his maintenance for when we were onshore in Auckland , which they did , however I returned to cabin to drop off my laptop only to find our cabin door wide open with no person in sight .
I don't know how long our cabin security had been compromised and I had to contact the Purser to have someone visit to explain the situation to me .
Things went downhill from there , my wife managed to be invoiced for some-one's retail expenditure , sales date was when we were bed-bound sea sick .
That took a lot of effort to have corrected and an apology received , however no explanation as to how some other passenger can access our on-board account ?
Dining one night in Horizon , the restaurant supervisor got all hot under the collar with staff not wearing a correct jackets and made a big scene amongst diners that was just plain embarrassing and uncalled for whilst we were dining .
Overall the standard of dining was substandard and the hotel management was less than satisfactory .
We found that the age of most passengers was such that one admired their adventure however their presence turned the cruise into an aged care facility where one had to be extremely patient at every step to make allowances for the aged and infirm . The additional effort to accommodate their slow pace and fragility detracted from a pleasant cruise experience .
One big plus on this ship was the large open-air screen , but alas the movies shown were so old or inappropriate for seniors and most were played 2 or 3 times per day .
The single "night-out" a Hawaiian night was held on the top deck ( poolside ) on the coldest night where even with warm clothing one could stay long to enjoy again just inappropriate decisions by management .
Overall a wonderful destination enjoyed by the elderly however the ship's hotel management lowered their standards beyond acceptability .
Disappointed with Sun Princess , just not up to overseas cruising standards .