We stayed two nights in Melbourne prior to the cruise - so jumped a taxi at 10.30 to go to the terminal. Embarkation was a dream - cases "disappeared" into a trailer as we approached the cruise terminal - had already completed green cards - so just did the "medic list". By 11.30 we were on the ship. As soon as we boarded we got the ultimate packages sorted out - then off to the cabins - checked them out - then went and had something to eat in the Horizon Buffet. All as smooth as you like. We never cruise with high expectations - we go with the flow. Found nothing to disappoint. We didn't use the main dining room at all - in 14 days!!!!!!!! Our choice. The Steak House was worth every cent of the $20.00 cover charge.
Went three times - and you can't buy what you got there for $20.00 anywhere. Fabulous. We are on holiday and we do what we want to do. Loved that we could go to the outdoor barbecue area and get a couple of bowls of chips to nibble on with drinks - pretty casual. Loved going through Milford Sound, Dusky Sound with the commentary from whoever - it was very informative. During the cruise the bridge let us know when the whales were about and the dolphins. The weather wasn't the best - and we had cabins B204 and B202 right at the "pointy end" Oh boy - did we know about that one night - but a cruise line cannot control the weather. They did a fabulous "Santa is here" thing for the littlies on Christmas morning - complete with snow machine - and a running commentary on his approach to the ship - how he would come down the funnel - fabulous - and we don't have littlies.
New Years Eve on the pool deck was great - as we were cruising we could see fireworks on shore - somewhere - at midnight. As usual - Sydney had their fire works at the same time as NZ - so we saw them on the big screen - double bonus. There were balloons in the atrium - but we weren't in there - so don't know how that went on.
We got as involved as we wanted - there were choices - some show good - some okay - but all venues have an exit if what you have come to see/do is not what you want.
Loved the commentary from Akaroa into Christchurch from the driver of the coach. Found that the "tourist guides" at the drop off points in New Zealand were very helpful and informative.
Back to the ship - again - we never aim high - can't be bothered with nit picking - and we found everything to our satisfaction. Did buy a power board in Burnie (forgot to bring ours) - one socket in each of the cabins - but we managed with one power board between us.
Found that on the ship you could be as involved or not - as you pleased. Had a very relaxing holiday.
After a while - We were fed up of eating - so just nibbled our way through Horizon Court as and when we were hungry. After 10 days - the food gets to be repetitive - or is it that I am sick of eating - who knows. I didn't starve.
Our cabin person (can't remember her name now) - was great.
Would I cruise Princess again? - in a heartbeat.
We opted for the transfer to the airport at the end of the cruise - disembarkation - great - so smooth. The coach driver gave us a commentary on the way to the airport about the various areas we passed through - which I thought was very in formative. Yep- we had a good cruise