We were extremely happy with our cruise. The attention of the staff was what most impressed me on this cruise. A large majority of passengers were older people who had walking sticks and walking frames and the staff looked after these passengers wonderfully by helping them in the Horizon Buffet, carrying their plate and serving the food.
Our cabin was in a great position, towards mid ship and quite close to the lifts and laundry.
The food was great in the dining room and you can order as many courses, or double size meals as you like. If you buy a bottle of wine in the dining room or in the bar, you can take it with you to the next area you are going to. Buying by the bottle is cheaper than buying by the glass.
While I enjoyed the food from the Horizon Court Buffet, it is never very hot as it would all burn up to nothing. Next time I might be brave enough to ask for something to be heated in the microwave.
We really enjoyed the entertainment. When you go around New Zealand on a ship you realise that the ports are quite some way from where some of the popular tourist sites are, e.g. Rotorua and that if you took an excursion to some of the places it could easily take nine hours before you were back on board.
When you go to ports that need a tender, (e.g. Bay of Islands - which would be beautiful on a nice non-rainy day) there never seems to be sufficient tenders released from the ship to do this job - but we were told that a certain number had to be kept on board in case there was an incident on the ship.
Tauranga was after Auckland and we had the day off from going ashore. I think it can get very tiring if you are trying to do something ashore and things on board every day.
Napier, the Art Deco City was next. There was a free shuttle bus from the ship. Napier is good to walk around - heaps of art deco buildings to photograph. Food places galore. Had a good vibe to it.
Akaroa was the next port after Wellington, another tender port. I decided not to go ashore because I couldn't be bothered waiting if there were insufficient tenders used again. My partner went ashore, and although the ship's announcement kept saying that they were sorry for the delays, because of choppy seas - they were using more tenders and he was there and back by 11.30 a.m. Akaroa is a very pretty village which had originally been settled by the French. We have nice photos from there.
Fiordlands was the next place we cruised through and it's scenery on a gigantically tall scale. Lots of photo opportunities - we were lucky enough to have both fine and wet weather - the rain puts mist on the cliffs and makes them look good and when it's fine, it gives clarity.