We have cruised for many years. Since 2000 we have cruised mainly with Seabourn. Getting sick of the long flights from Australia to join cruises, this year we have sailed to New Zealand twice from Sydney. In March we travelled with Celebrity Millenium, and we enjoyed the cruise so much we decided to do nearly the same itinerary with Diamond Princess in December to get a break before Christmas. We were in a mini suite at the back on Dolphin deck. We were concerned that there may be excessive movement, but the ship was very stable throughout the voyage, despite getting a force 9 trip down the east coast of Australia, and a force 11 around the bottom of New Zealand.
The crew on board were excellent: very pleasant and courteous throughout. Our cabin attendant, Armondo, worked very hard, but did a very thorough job nonetheless. Our cabin was always spotless after he left. The food was good. We chose anytime dining, which was a bit of a schmozzle on the first few nights, but after that everything seemed to settle down. We mainly ate in the Pacific Moon restaurant, which seemed more open than the other anytime dining venues. The enrichment program lecturers from New Zealand for the fiordland section of the cruise were excellent. There was a lecturer from New Zealand who lectured on Australia, but had completely incorrect information in her lectures. I hope the non Australians on board ignored what she told them because it was not right. Other than the constant sell, sell the cruise was very enjoyable.
Lovely city and harbour. Ships dock right in the middle of the restaurant action and there is a mall just around the corner with lots of shops, duty free stores. The Maritime museum is right at the wharf.
Nice little village at Port Chalmers where the ship is docked. The entry into Port Chalmers is very narrow, but the picturesque farms on the hillsides surrounding the harbour are worth going up on deck to see.
The ship berths at St Kilda, and the city is very close by tram. For the shopaholics, Melbourne some of the best fashion shopping in Australia.
One of the best harbours in the world. Ship is docked right in the middle of the city and opposite the Opera House. Never fail to get a lump in the throat when leaving or returning.