7 Auckland Fitness Cruise Reviews

Visiting New Zealand was on my bucket list. The trip was a way to celebrate my retirement. I was impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the ship. Every room had an outside balcony. The food was made from fresh ingredients and ... Read More
Visiting New Zealand was on my bucket list. The trip was a way to celebrate my retirement. I was impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the ship. Every room had an outside balcony. The food was made from fresh ingredients and beautifully prepared! I went to the spa often and felt renewed each time. The staff were friendly, competent, and available. I enjoyed the presentations from the historians and the beautiful music from the musicians. Even though the Orion was at capacity, the ship never felt crowded. There were lots of cozy places to relax and visit. I participated in the Kitchen Table experience, meeting a chef and preparing a delicious meal. I loved both the included and extra excursions that I participated in. Handing out water to us each time we left the ship was helpful . As a nurse, I also appreciated the emphasis on washing hands when entering the restaurants. A fabulous experience!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have never been on a cruise before and, I have to admit that I will never forget this experience. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Our mini-suite room was great: comfortable bed, air-conditioned, safe box, ... Read More
I have never been on a cruise before and, I have to admit that I will never forget this experience. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Our mini-suite room was great: comfortable bed, air-conditioned, safe box, minibar, movies on demand and the ensuite bathroom that was small but pleasant. Anytime dining was just amazing. Lots of quality food options were available - Mexican, Italian, French, vegetarian. My favorite place was BAKERY :) The room service is so quick and there were no separate charges. It was a 12-nights on the cruise and has no boring moments because the cruise has a wide range of entertainment programmes throughout the day. Also, it was so big that you will find a new place every day when you explore it. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The events organized by cruise were fabulous :) Fully recommended this ship to all age group of people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have never been to New Zealand and Australia before, and figured out that a cruise could be a good way to get a glimpe of this part of the world. The result exceeded our expectations. We had a great cruise and visited new, interesting ... Read More
We have never been to New Zealand and Australia before, and figured out that a cruise could be a good way to get a glimpe of this part of the world. The result exceeded our expectations. We had a great cruise and visited new, interesting places. We found the route to be beautiful. The ship was nice, the cabin very comfortable, the food was excellent. We liked the informal dinning at the buffets, however we tried the dinning room as well. Both served gourmet food. The main entertainment show performed twice every evening was weak in compare to other cruises, yet the ship's artists were good. The gym was good and well equipped. The service was terrific. The staff, mainly Indonesian, has been very friendly, efficient, ready to help and fluent in English. All other ships's facilities were good, clean and well maintained. Embarkation and disembarkation were short and easy. Shore excursions were unreasonably expensive. We hated to be "captive customers" so we organized our own tours once off the ship. Whenever we docked there was a tourists office with lots of tour suggestions. Holland America should seriously reconsider its tour exursions prices. Yet another constructive comment: The channel selection in the cabin TV is poor and should be augmented. Summary: A great cruise with a great company. We will certainly go again with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This cruise was our 6th overall and third with Holland. We did our first 3 cruises with Princess but they were full of noisy and unruly children whose parents did not even try to control them. The staff and crew of our Princess cruises did ... Read More
This cruise was our 6th overall and third with Holland. We did our first 3 cruises with Princess but they were full of noisy and unruly children whose parents did not even try to control them. The staff and crew of our Princess cruises did not seem to care that many of the children were running amuck with no parental supervision. We found that Holland caters to a more mature clientele and that suits us just fine. I believe that there were only 5 or 6 children on the Maasdam out of 1138 passengers. The service was outstanding and the port stops were more than satisfying. I particularly want to give a shout out to the management and crew of the Lido dining room as well as the people who ran room service. We like to hike and found several very nice trails at Mauganui, Picton and Akaroa. These trails were all within walking distance of the port. I have seen some not so good reviews of the Maasdam but all I can say is that these folks would probably complain if their heads were in a vise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Intro: My wife and I have been on maybe 10 cruises but never Celebrity. We are active and in our mid-40’s. We live in northern California and are serious wine and wildlife lovers. I always book DIY tours and the only pre-booked tour I ... Read More
Intro: My wife and I have been on maybe 10 cruises but never Celebrity. We are active and in our mid-40’s. We live in northern California and are serious wine and wildlife lovers. I always book DIY tours and the only pre-booked tour I reserved was ‘The Squeeze’ in Rotorau. Auckland: We spent first two days in the Hilton Princes Wharf. The location was ideal. The boat docks so close to the hotel that they warm you to shut your curtains at night when the ship is coming into Aukland for privacy. On day 1, we took the hop on/off bus for $45 each. We hopped off at Kelly Tarlton Sea Life Aquarium. We were blown away by the penguin exhibit. There was a lot to see in a compact area. Next we hopped off at the Zoo. It was also compact and a good value. We saw everything in 2-3 hours. We then stopped off at Parnell to shop. On day 2, we took the 9 AM ferry to Waiheke Island for $45 with an all day bus pass. We had a great breakfast at OBC in the village and then took a cab to Jurrasic Ridge winery. If you are into wine, this isn’t to be missed in my opinion. The wines were incredible and the tasting experience was second to none. This is wine made by one man, his way. It got busy as we were wrapping up so I’d recommend getting there at 11AM when he opens the cellar door. We then walked to Cable Bay and enjoyed a tasting and lunch. The chardonnay was great and we purchased two bottle for the cruise; food was also excellent. We then walked (all down hill) back to the bus stop and went to Te Matu. It was ok but not nearly the experience we had at Jurrasic. Even if you are not a wine lover, I’d recommend a ferry to Waiheke for a lunch. Embarkation: We checked out at noon. Embarkation was very orderly and efficient but we were not ready for the heat and humidity. To my surprise, we were able to bring on as much bottled water and soda as we wanted. We had put the two bottles of wine in our checked luggage. That luggage was delayed but showed up after dinner with a message that it had to go through secondary inspection. I had a magnum bottle in my carry-on that they didn’t mention. We were in our room by 2 PM. We were in a concierge class room (Rm 1036) and found a 50% Embarkation sale for the Tuscan Grill in our welcome letter. We booked a 6:30PM and were treated to a table up against the window on the far back. We were able to eat and watch the boat sail away from Aukland at 8 PM...that was a special treat and the food and service were fantastic. It was the perfect start to our cruise. Bay of Islands: The weather was perfect in the morning. We had our balcony door open all night and enjoyed the ocean sounds and breeze. We had ordered room service breakfast for 7AM and ate on the balcony. We got a tender at 8AM and rented kayaks for four hours and paddled to the Haruru Falls and through the mangroves. We then walked to Paihia and booked ABC tour to the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves. The tour was $40 plus $20 of entrance to the cave per person. It was unique and kids would love it; for me, it was ok. Tauranga I booked RiverJet’s ‘Cruising Overland’ tour with “the Squeeze” option (http://www.riverjet.co.nz/jet-boating/the-squeeze). This tour was in Rotorua and was the highlight of the trip. It was a once in a life time experience. I made a short video. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyUNVGddonU Wellington This day was a wash...literally. It was pouring rain and we needed to do laundry. I pack up everything and headed out in search of a coin operated laundry. I found a laundry about ten blocks up Cuba Street (next to bus drop 1) called The Soap Opera. Loads were $4 each and detergent was found at the Superette across the street. I’d suggest bring enough one dollr coins as the nearby businesses get asked for coins daily. There are some very cool coffee shops on Cuba Street to pass the time. On the way home I stopped at Fork and Brewer and had an amazing Coffee and Fig Stout at the beer-tenders suggestion. If you enjoy craft beers, this was the best place I found on the trip. Akaroa: We were blessed with amazing weather. The boat docks in a very old volcanic cauldron which was the best harbor I’ve ever seen. We were surrounded by high mountains with no wind or clouds. After a bit of a tender wait, we got to the wharf and booked a bay cruise from Coast Up Close. We left the dock at 10AM and saw amazing dolphins, penguins, and fur seals. The owner Tony was great as he shared his knowledge and passion for the area. He has a great website that is worth checking out: http://www.coastupclose.co.nz/ Afterwards, we ate a snack at the Harbour Bar which was a little past the initial grouping of cafes. The fish bites were AMAZING and the beers were solid. I eat a lot of sea food and these blue cod fish bites were really amazing. We were talking about them for days. Dunedin: We took a bus to town and found the Museum, the Cadberry plant, and Speights Brewery. We didn’t take any tours. The museum was the highlight. It not only had early NZ history but a great time capsule displays from early TV, radio, and cooking up to 1980. We spend about two hours there. I didn’t care for the beers at the brewery at all but the food was good. Dusky Sound: WOW. AMAZING. We popped our champagne and had mimosas while watching some of the most spectacular scenery we have every seen. It was similar to Alaska but without the snow (and cold to go with it). We had t-shirt weather and camped out on the balcony and took about 100 pictures! The on-board Naturalist Dirk Younkermann narrated for several hours. He really added to the exceptional experience. Hobart: We booked a private van off the pier with Trevor Glover (0419-556060) to take us around the city. It was a four hour tour and Trevor was exceptional. We saw Mount Wellington, the wildlife reserve, and the city of Richmond. The wildlife reserve was the highlight but I was surprised at Mount Wellington; the weather was ideal. We saw tazy devils, koalas, colorful birds, and fed kangaroos. After the tour we grabbed some oysters at Mullins near the pier which I didn’t care for at all but still loved Tasmania. Sydney: We walked off the ship after breakfast and carried our luggage so we were flexible. We were disembarked within 20 minutes without and issues. We stayed at the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. The room was great but beware - there was no lift so getting the luggage to the room was a workout. I really enjoyed the charm of the hotel and the location was good. We did all the top tourist sites in the three days we had. Wining and Dining: 1) Getting a table for two at rear windows of the Tuscan Grill during was a perfect start to us in Auckland! We heard the french restaurant was very good but didn’t experience it ourselves. 2) We had select seating and never had a wait; we are early diners. Great service all around and the food was mostly good. If the food wasn’t suitable, the service made up for it. We typically stopped into the Master Cellar with a picture of the menu for suggestions from the Sommelier on wine parings. The lecturing Sommelier Csaba was truly exceptional. 3) We booked the ‘Wine Connoisseur Dinner’ for $92 each. There was zero wine education and the seating wasn’t optimized. In addition, the menu was the same as our initial visit. While we enjoyed ourselves, I wish we hadn’t selected this event. The events under the lecturing Sommelier control were far better. 4) We did just about all the on-board wine events. The Privee Wine & Cheese Tasting was a replication for the 1973 Paris tasting that put California wines on the map. This was great. There was a lot of old world/new world wine education provided, I also really enjoyed the NZ and Australia wine pairing. The other events were good but those two stood out to me. Things we loved: 1) Celebrity provided an umbrella and binoculars in our room; great touch. 2) The evening canapés; We were always hungry right when they showed up! 3) Our room steward Marlon was great and made sure we had everything we needed for a great day. 4) The itinerary was amazing; every stop offered something new and unique. We are used to cruising in the Caribbean and Mexico so we were surprised that we didn’t get hounded by trinket sellers and aggressive tour operators. That’s about it....we LOVED this cruise! It exceeded our expectations in many ways.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Our family enjoys cruising on Princess, this was our fourth voyage and it took us to a part of the world we'd never seen: New Zealand and Australia. There were six of us on this trip, no kids. The service, particularly in the ... Read More
Our family enjoys cruising on Princess, this was our fourth voyage and it took us to a part of the world we'd never seen: New Zealand and Australia. There were six of us on this trip, no kids. The service, particularly in the Lido deck, was among the best we've ever had. The room was kept clean and tidy, the steward was quick to respond to every request. Embarkation and Disembarkation Brilliant! Our trip started and ended on a high note. We had no delays getting on or off the ship. We didn't have to sit once (in the past we've been parked for 15 minutes to a half hour.) The processing went smoothly, the folks processing our documents were not only pleasant but in a good mood. Very pleasant. When we disembarked, we had breakfast in the Lido and decided to walk down twenty minutes early to meet at the appointed spot for disembarking. When we got there, they told us to walk off the ship. Our luggage was easily accessible and in minutes we were out the door and waiting for our taxi. Ship: As this is our fourth trip on Princess, we may be getting a bit picky. The ship shows its age. The balcony furniture in our room had peeling paint. The mirror was discolored at the bottom where water had seeped in behind. But you had to look close to see signs of aging and for the most part, there was too much to enjoy to notice the signs of age. Food: We're pretty set in our ways. We do traditional dining, early seating. There was a hitch in our reservations, so our group of six was split between two tables. We caught up with the maitre d' just after getting on board and he found us a table for six in the Vivaldi Dining room. Service started out a little rocky, but by the end of the trip we felt we'd been extremely well-treated. Things got better every day. The food itself ranged from excellent to so-so. Their steaks were particularly disappointing most nights. I enjoy salmon, but their daily offering left me cold. The daily specials with fish and sea food were generally excellent. We started taking our waiter's recommendations after a few days and found she had an excellent sense of what was good on the menu. Lido Deck The service on the Lido Deck was exceptional. There was always someone there to help out, carrying trays, bringing coffee, etc. The food was as good as any we've had on Princess. In the morning, they did a top-notch job of serving eggs -- which isn't easy on a big ship. They poached, fried, soft-boiled your egg in a jiffy. And they offered specialties, like eggs benedict that were very good. At lunch they set up a daily buffet line outside on the deck offering a different themed food each day: Italian, desserts, Mexican. Those were quite good. Everyone tried the pizza, hamburger, or hot dog line at least once and no one was disappointed. Big issue: The rear section of the Lido Deck opens on the smoking area. For some reason on this ship, Princess didn't set up the doors properly to reduce the smell of smoke in the dining area. We nabbed some tables for the six of us in the stern area on the first day and expected to come back, but after a couple of days, we were chased away by the smell of smoke. Until this gets fixed, we won't be going on the Diamond Princess again. Fitness Area My wife and I hit the gym almost every day. The first day, only some of the treadmills had been turned on, so there was a line of people waiting for the few machines that were operating. There are no attendants, so exercisers started experimenting with various buttons and soon got all but one working. In general, Princess has enough equipment for runners and joggers. It looks like most people follow the 30-minute recommended maximum when the machines are full, so there is rarely a long wait for a machine. The group also took part in a few of the line-dancing and Zumba classes to keep our blood pumping. Entertainment The main stage was disappointing compared to other cruises. We saw one show with the Princess dancers and didn't go again. Two Texan artists were very good. One was a comedian and pianist, the other a tenor. The best show was a ventriloquist. Very funny with humor targeted at a cruising audience. Diamond Princess has some of their acts do the main stage once and a smaller venue for a second night. This seems like a great idea. If you like an act, you can see it again. We were, as always, delighted by some of the various performers at the lounges. The pianist at the crooner's bar, the pianist in the atrium who also played the pan flute, and the classical quartet that played in the atrium almost daily. Excursions The six of us arranged some independent tours, which worked out well, and took some tours arranged by the ship, which also worked out well. We find the independent tours tend to be less expensive and more flexible, even if you are seeing similar things. Auckland Not much to see. Tauranga Best excursion of the cruise overall. The six of us got an all-day tour of Rotorua and the surrounding area from a guide who is a resident of Rotorua. Delightful. We loved the lakes, the thermal features, and the sheep-shearing exhibition. Perhaps the highlight, though, was a picnic lunch in the town's rose garden, with fish and chips from an award-wining local restaurant. Picton This was the ship's first trip to Picton. Our group split up. My wife and I went hiking on Queen Charlotte Track. This was a ship's tour: a one-hour walk after a twenty-minute boat ride. We got to see the sound, which is beautiful, then walk through the fern forests. We loved it. They dropped us off in Picton and we caught the free shuttle back to the ship after walking around the stores. Others went to the wine country and got to taste some of New Zealand's wonderful whites, also on a ship's tour. Wellington We were in town on New Year's Day, so shops were closed. We took the transfer to downtown, then walked to the Te Papa Museum. Nice museum. Akaroa Took a cruise of the harbor, saw seals, blue penguins and Hector's dolphins, which raced alongside the boat. The weather was perfect, sunny, and the skipper was a local who moved around the deck in bare feet and told stories about his exploits as a teenager diving for crayfish. Dunedin Best wildlife day. We split up again. Three of us took a private trip that required a fair amount of walking. We went to the Royal Albatross preserve and then to a private area with sealions, blue penguins, yellow-eyed penguins and a breeding ground for fur seals (with dozens of young pups sparring with each other in the tidal pools). The walk got us a few feet away from most of the animals. The other three arranged a wildlife cruise through the ship. They were able to see most of the same animals, except the yellow-eyed penguins, from the water and the boat was able to move in fairly close to the wildlife. Hobart Petted the kangaroos. We arrived while wildfires were raging in the area. Many tours were cancelled, but our guide arranged a tour even though she was trapped by the fires and couldn't get out until the next day. She got a substitute driver and van which took us on a wide-reaching tour of the area around Hobart. We were most happy with the stop at the Bonorong Wildlife Park. This is a home for rescued wildlife. They have dozens of Kangaroos that roam the area without restraint. We got to feed and stroke them. The park participates in the Tasmanian Devil research aimed at saving the species and they allowed us to get very close to the devils, baby Wombats, koalas, and dozens of others species. We enjoyed our stop at the Cascade Brewery where we tasted a flight of their beers. The smoke ruled out a visit to their waterfalls or to the top of Mt. Wellington. Visibility was pretty bad. Melbourne We took the express bus to downtown, then took the tourist bus that showed us the highlights of the city. Very straightforward. Good place to shop. Got presents for the kids. Sydney What can you do in half a day in Sydney? We found out when we arranged a private van to get us to the airport by 1 pm so we could catch our flights. Terrific tour that included a stop at the Sydney Fish Market and a half dozen stops at the best places to take photographs of the harbor. Summary Overall we had a great time and we wouldn't hesitate to get back on a Princess cruise, though not on the Diamond Princess. While it might be a minor issue for some, the smoke in the Lido deck is a deal-breaker for us. We also left the cruise with a tremendous desire to head back to New Zealand and Australia. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We planned this cruise a year ago to visit with our son who is studding medicine in Australia. It was a time for family bonding even though he is an adult.We flew from Canada on Air Canada/Air New Zealand and they were very good. We met ... Read More
We planned this cruise a year ago to visit with our son who is studding medicine in Australia. It was a time for family bonding even though he is an adult.We flew from Canada on Air Canada/Air New Zealand and they were very good. We met him in Auckland at the Hilton hotel which is next door to the pier, how convenient to just walk your bags down the block. Great views right by the ferries beautiful rooms and wonderful breakfast. Boarding was a bit disorganized as it is a small chopped up area so you were moved from one place to another before final processing. Once on as typical of Celebrity you were greeted with smiles and a drink. Cabin was very comfortable with lots of storage space but bathroom needs a clean up, new grout and shower curtain would help. I quickly checked our table as I have asthma and need to sit with just our family who know not to wear cologne, alas they screwed up again with a table for 8. After giving them some time they did come back with a table for just the 3 of us and things worked out fine. The ship is in good shape for it's age and the new Persian garden is a welcome item. My son was pleased with the the quality of equipment in their gym and we all spent most early morning there and enjoyed having the Spa Cafe are for our breakfasts. The staff were most accommodating and any problems were dealt with quickly the captain made a wise decision at the port in Akora not to tender in as it was bad weather and he was concerned about getting the passenger back since I was told last cruise they had this problem. The crew stepped up to the plate quickly planned some trivia games, informative talks and other games to keep everyone busy. I found the food in the dining room had improved from other cruises as it was less saucy and good alternatives. The entertainment was the one let down on this cruise both in the main theater and dancing lounges. We found the shows to be draggy and the music for dancing older tunes and very short times. The cruise critic party that the ship put on was a wonderful way to meet all the people I had talked to on the months leading up to the cruise. Our weather on this trip was not great but in most ports we were able to enjoy our tours as we had booked many from cruise critic suggestions and Trip Advisor. The day in Bay of Island it rained most of the day so our planned sailing adventure was a bit damp. On the second port of Tauranga we had a tour company take us white water rafting and then to the area with the geologic openings he chose a place called "Hell's Gate" as it was not as busy as others. It only started to rain as we visited the Kiwi factory so it made for a wonderful day out. In Napier it was rainy and windy so our planned bike trip was ditched and we headed for a winery for a great tasting and lunch. We were very pleased as a family that the cruise line planned a Hanukkah celebration with candle lighting and latka's, with all the Christmas hype all the time it was nice to celebrate our holiday with our son. Disembarkation was quick and efficient I can not remember a cruise doing it so fast and painless. Bags were easy to find and exit was also quick. This is a crew that makes this ship feel like a home, they have spunk and dedication. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

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