It does not help to receive a sms advising late embarking, then stand in a line like cattle for an hour trying to board, the reason... ship was being fumigated because of virus on board. It was hot, we were tired after an early morning interstate flight that could not be changed, a cool drink would have been appreciated. How they could increase the passenger numbers by over 200 and reduce staff levels is quite unbelievable. Did some passengers sleep in the crew quarters?
Once on board it was a huge effort for the staff standing along side the lift to answer a simple question. Our veranda cabin was much smaller than we had experienced on Holland line. We eventually turned the mattress over to try and stop rolling into the middle of bed, it was much better. Our room serviceman often forgot to give us the proper information sheets, ie when to turn on our clocks, we often had 2 shampoos but no conditioner! He had fun playing with my nightie and arranging it with chocolates on the bed each night. TV was almost non existent and there is no news sheets circulated.
First day, the toilets blocked, everywhere. Yes they work fast to unblock your cabin toilet, but every public toilet blocked, and often no signs to tell you before you enter. This was a daily occurrence, the ship is old.
Kids, kids, kids. Yes it was holiday time, but there are ship rules, children must be supervised, but staff turn a blind eye to them. Adult pool should be for adults, not kids bombing, yelling etc. There are two large pools for kids.
Kids should not be permitted at 8pm dinner sittings, this completely ruined our cruise, 8 kids at the table next to us, parents did not supervise. We asked to change eventually, even though we loved our table and our waitress.
Onshore excursions are far too expensive for what you get. We enjoyed them, but thought we didnt get value for our dollar. Trying to sell you bottled water before each shore excursions was a disgrace.
The duty free shopping was a laugh, perfume dearer than Myers counter price. Take your own lanyard, dont pay $7.95 for their plastic one.
Every time i needed to visit the pursers desk there was a huge line, most annoying.
Good Points, there are many.
Food is five star, always, breakfast, lunch, dinner. We ate in the dining room most times, after observing the buffet and remembering the last virus. The waiting staff were excellent. The bar staff around the ship are wonderful, always smiling and willing to suggest new cocktails.
We met many nice passengers and enjoyed dining with them. Our cruise was very relaxing.
We also visited Napier, not on the list, but i would not advise anyone to do the history tour, its a waste of time.
Tauranga..... make sure you go on the Wai-o-tapu thermal wonderland trip, worth every cent.
Bay of Islands - if you ever get to shore, the tenders are disgusting,
just walk around and take the free shuttle into town.
Christchurch - dont do the tramway lunch unless you are a midget, the
seats are tiny, although the lunch was good. The bus shuttle was slow
and wasted most of the day.