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Home > Member Reviews > blackcatcruises's Port Reviews of Sydney (Australia), Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland

blackcatcruises's Port Reviews of Sydney (Australia), Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland
Celebrity Solstice cruise in January 2013
Member Name: blackcatcruises
Cruise Date: January 2013
Embarkation: Sydney (Australia)
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Member Review: blackcatcruises's Celebrity Solstice Review
Sydney (Australia)
Port Rating: Not Rated
Very good itinery. Chantal, the tour guide on the bus, was awful. She didn't give us an overview of stats re Australia and Sydney (this was our first port on the cruise), was very hit and miss on info. Tour guide at Opera House was great. Bus driver added a lot of humor and some local customs and sights interest.

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Dunedin
Port Rating: Not Rated
A full day and worth the money. Larnach Castle was very interesting; lunch was awful. Loved the Penguin Place/ yellow eyed penguin spot, the Royal albatross center (great guides at each place)and very unique opportunity, overview tour of Dunedin.
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Christchurch
Akaroa Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Very accomodating and informative bus driver/tour guide. Tone is his name I believe. He's middle aged, very large Maori with a great British accent :) Long ride to Christchurch from port of Akaroa and not much to see in Christchurch. We very much enjoyed the Canterbury Museum exhibit on Antartic Expeditions and the shops in the containers about 1 block away. We went to the Boat Shed on the Avon River for a light lunch. Good choice. A stop midway back to Akarora in a little village for hokey pokey ice cream (thank you Tone!) was super- great ice cream, lots of yummy food items in the deli. Would have been a dud without those spots.


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Wellington
Port Rating: Not Rated
Would have been a 5+ except the Lindale Farm was like going to a petting zoo. I was hoping to see some sheep HERDING instead of just a sheep being sheared although the staff was very nice. Lunch was just so-so. Good ice cream and gift shop there. The classic car museum was fantastic and a VERY smart inclusion for the men in the group. They need to sell a museum guide book in addition to their DVD. Cable car and Victoria Peak was nice inclusions.

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Tauranga
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We selected the Maori Village Experience. Long bus ride to Rotorua and then to the Tameki village. They are trying but need to upgrade their game. Initial "greeting" was memorable, huts with women's and men's games were good interactive piece. There was no opportunity for the male guests to participate in a haka dance as advertised. Dancers, singers of the tribe were really very average. Maybe they need to expand their talent pool.

Please let them know that the building where they performed for us is dark inside with the outdoor daylight behind them therefore, we can't take good photos! Lunch was fine, servers worked hard, "gift shop" needs major work re need for quality, native items for sale. We were ready to buy and there was nothing worthwhile. The experience was honestly not worth the money. Disappointing.

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Auckland
Port Rating: Not Rated
This made for a very long day but unavoidable. We were up at 6:00am to disembark at 7:30am and begin our tour. We drove to the Botanical Garden, arrived at 8:30am, only to learn it didn't open til 9! Missed seeing it. Drove to the harbor for our sailboat tour- was told we were late so our sail was quite short, about 20 minutes. The guide at the Maritime Museum droned on and on and lost most of his guests. Loved the aquarium! Need a good guide book to sell here! Drop off at airport around 1pm. Flights to San Francisco/ Los Angeles don't leave until 7-7:30pm (or that's when they're supposed to go, both were very late boarding on Jan. 28). We were in check-in line for Air New Zealand for 2 1/2 hours due to the huge number of travelers (over 500). Whoever created this flight schedule for the LA and SFO flights should be canned. Of course we missed seeing the Duty Free shops as we ran for the gate. Then we didn't begin boarding on Air New Zealand #8 until 7:30pm- when we were supposed to leave. Then sat on the plane for another hour while the Sky Chef crew brought the food on board. Amazing...

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