Having travelled on various cruises in Europe, Asia and Australia I encouraged my elderly parents to accompany me on the cruise from Brisbane to New Zealand.
The Mini Suite was in theory, thought to be ideal for our travel purposes.
However, the bedding for the third person was little more than a camp stretcher. It had a 2" foam mattress on a frame that was faulty and collapsing in the middle.
Each day the room steward attempted to rectify. At one stage we had 3 mattresses stacked on top of each other on a piece of marine ply with blocks of timber to hold the frame in position. Each day my back became a huge problem. Eventually they did replace the bed, however, they did not take away the old lounge bed and we were unable to use the lounge area which had the new bed in the middle of the room. It was only the last 3 days of a 14 day cruise that I was able to sleep without waking with a bad back.As myparents are 88 and 86 it was also a mobility problem with the bed taking up the entire floor space of the loungeroom resulting on the elderly passengers having to enter their section through the bathroom.
The cruise did have some good points. The itinerary was very good. Particularly,Fiordland and Akaroa.
The food in the Regency Dining was up to the usual high standard as was the service. The Sterling Steakhouse was greatly improved over past experiences with food quality and service.
The Horizons Restaurant food was disappointing.
Hot food was not kept hot. It was at best tepid at times.
The range of food at Horizons was reasonable, however, not up to the expected standard as experienced on previous cruise.
The staff were very good overall. The entertainment was excellent as was the increased provision of good new release movies in the Princess theatre.
The staff at the Patisserie on level 5 were marvellous. Through their friendliness and attention to detail, the cruise was greatly enhanced. It was nice to be able to turn up at all hours and the staff knew right away each customers preferences for coffee etc or even just a friendly chat.
Overall the Cruise was enjoyable but certainly not perfect.