unfortunately strong winds meant that Milford sound was dropped off our cruise. We were boarding in Akaroa when the word went around that the boat was turning back. it was true. we went to Picton instead. and then very slowly bobbed across the Tasman Sea to Brisbane. We did get a credit of $13.50 - refund of port fees from Dunedin. And because the boat was so far ahead of time the trip was slow and there were lots of sea sick people .
If you don't really care where you are then this would be ok. Staff are wonderful and cheery all the time. not too many cases of Listovirus on the trip (we did receive email days before sailing to say - be clean and beware.) there were 300 kids on the ship and except for the gang of 30 little shi# , who ran, screamed, jumped and generally were over the top, kids were not an issue. this is Australian school holiday time.
food was great and we ate in the formal dining room every night, the menu was interesting varied and very nice. in the buffet staff were everywhere to serve out the food - passengers were not expected to put their hands into the food. Yes - even thought the letter went out - there was still too many starving people who could not wait a minute for the staff member to serve out the cake, fruit, etc.
pizza place was an enjoyable place too - pizza takes about 45 minutes from order to table.
wish we had organised on shore activities a bit better. had to pay $10 return at wellington - to go from port into mystery street in city. no where near the information centre. and most people could have walked the distance into the city. taxi fare was cheaper - princess should have provided free bus into town here. they did at Napier and Picton ( when we expected to be in Dunedin).
advice - if you are not doing the cruise on shore trips , it is much cheaper to use the locals at the dockside BUT beware of getting grabbed and talked into first option. at Akaroa we wanted to go to Christchurch - once we had paid up and we were a group of 15 then advised we had to wait an hour and half - turned out company wanted full bus . just ask the questions - when are you really going to leave the port? same happened at Tauranga - bus to Rotorua . paid up as a group and then we were told ' now gather back here in 60 minutes time !!' then we walked out of the official tourist tent to find lots of tour buses who were all ready to leave immediately. so don't get too involved with the first one you see. go outside the tent to have a look at the rest of the guides.
Baga deck room 504 twin beds with balcony. compact.
not too many shops on board, bingo and trivia. art auction - if you win the painting it will cost you about $200 . you cannot take the art from the ship it has to posted out from USA.
and cash in your casino money early on the day before hand - I missed out on collecting my $12 dollars !
cocktails were the best!