6 Auckland Romantic Cruise Reviews

Choose 4 day New Year’s Eve cruise for something different having previously cruised with Golden on South Pacific holiday. Embarkation at Auckland was messy and uncoordinated. Ships Interior condition seems to have lost it’s ... Read More
Choose 4 day New Year’s Eve cruise for something different having previously cruised with Golden on South Pacific holiday. Embarkation at Auckland was messy and uncoordinated. Ships Interior condition seems to have lost it’s “shine” for more of a better word with worn carpet in areas and faded chairs and lounges. Notice confetti in atrium centre light that was there 3 years ago. Biggest disappointment was wifi access. Payed $99 for 220mins and within the second day was used up. No way had we used almost 4 hours in that time and the speed of internet is 3rd world. Most hotels offer complimentary wifi and it feels like the ship is holding you hostage from the outside world. Good points about the cruise, food was plentiful and delicious and our cabin housekeeper (Allan Signey) was superb. Overall my wife and I were very much looking forward to this cruise, but were left very underwhelmed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have done over 30 cruises, with over 20 on Princess. This is our second cruise on the Royal Class ships. We do not like the new layout. Too big with over 4000 passengers. All our old favourite dance venues have disappeared including ... Read More
We have done over 30 cruises, with over 20 on Princess. This is our second cruise on the Royal Class ships. We do not like the new layout. Too big with over 4000 passengers. All our old favourite dance venues have disappeared including Explorers Lounge, Wheelhouse bar, Club Fusion and the Sky lounge. It seems these have been replaced by more cabins and restaurants. All the dancing on the Royal class ships is in the atrium/piazza. Unfortunately the dance floor gets quite chaotic with toddlers, young kids, teenagers, line dancers all trying to use at the one time. We reported the presence of young unassisted kids on the dance floor to the staff as this was a real safety issue. No action was taken. On News Year eve, people were dancing on the floor with beer bottles and wine glasses - another safety issue. Many of the people who were dancing were wearing shorts and thongs even at 10pm. No dress standards are enforced. The food in the Marketplace buffet was sub standard compared with other ships. The head chef is non-European. The four aisles in the Marketplace could not cope when 4000 passengers decide to have breakfast at the same time. Utter confusion. The central bench layout on other ships is a much better format. Also two small wash bowls at the entrance to the Marketplace was totally inadequate. The ship especially caters for the Chinese market with lots of Chinese families on board. The two bands on the ship Evolution and Silver Lining were excellent. We definitely prefer Princess's smaller ships such as Diamond, Emerald, Sapphire, Crown etc. In conclusion, in our opinion bigger isn't always better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first time on Celebrity, we are RCCL people, which own celebrity. Embarkation was OK no issue at all, the ship looked good but you can see some areas are tired and in need of some work but that is not a big issue. From ... Read More
This was our first time on Celebrity, we are RCCL people, which own celebrity. Embarkation was OK no issue at all, the ship looked good but you can see some areas are tired and in need of some work but that is not a big issue. From the minute we got on board we were endlessly pounded with first, drinks packages, then were ever we went it was specialty restaurants. I felt they were hiding at every corner, breakfast , lunch before entering dining room and leaving dining room , it just never stopped. Then when going to the gym you had to run the gauntlet of massages etc etc. I want to pass on a tip, you can offer specialty restaurants but when you ask around $40-$50 US, then the food needs to be rather special and sorry, it was not. Drinks on all cruise lines are out of control and crazy expensive, $6US for a ordinary coffee UP to $15 US for a cocktail and $11-15 US for wine really is too much. which includes an 18% gratuity .For us poor Aussies add at least 25%+ to get Aussie pricing We booked a concierge cabin and we thought it was good value with the extras you got. Our cabin was a bit smaller than we were used to, with not as much storage space but a slightly larger bathroom I thought the service on the ship was great however for some reason, the staff do not appear happy. The food in the dining room was mostly good although became repetitive. I thought the Buffet selection was ordinary and not a great variety. Entertainment was generally Ok, I have a thought, do not expect good entertainment and if you get it then it is a great bonus. I was happy with most of the entertainment I did notice there were a lot of bars on board but not much to do like, mini golf etc. If you did not follow the daily activities then there was not much else. The top deck was covered in lawn which was different but frankly, useless and the glass blowing for me was a little boring. The adds say Premium cruising and I did expect to get the wow factor but generally speaking it was very little difference to any other of the 300 nights I have been on ships Cruising has become like " lamb to the slaughter", they just try and extract every dollar possible. I would not personally, go on Celebrity again and I hope other cruise lines are not pounding you with upselling otherwise I will stop going. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my 4th Princess Cruise (also been on Avalon, Azamara, Oceania, HAL, Voyages to Antiquity). My 1st Princess cruise was in June 2012, did a 12-night British Isles aboard the Caribbean Princess in an obstructed OV (felt ship itself ... Read More
This was my 4th Princess Cruise (also been on Avalon, Azamara, Oceania, HAL, Voyages to Antiquity). My 1st Princess cruise was in June 2012, did a 12-night British Isles aboard the Caribbean Princess in an obstructed OV (felt ship itself was too big for British Isles itinerary but overall a very nice experience); 2nd was in Dec 2012, a 15-night Hawai'i cruise (L.A. round-trip) aboard the Golden Princess (inside cabin). I will never forget this cruise because of the great Hawai'i cultural facilitators who taught us how to play the ukulele and hula dance, and highlight for me was performing in the Farewell evening Passenger Talent Show with 70 other ukulele playing passengers; 3rd time was in Nov 2013 on a 15-night Panama Canal Full Transit cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to L.A aboard the Island Princess, excellent all around experience in an inside cabin. This review is for February 2017, we sailed aboard the Emerald Princess for 12-nights from Auckland to Sydney: The itinerary was impeccable, the food was very good, but over-all it really felt like Princess cut back on the little things that used to make Princess a cut above the rest. For example, this was my 4th "wine-tasting" event ($13 per person), and for the first time, it did not include the "complimentary shot glass" at the end with the dessert wine - This s very minor, but the biggest thing that our cruise was missing on board was a live, full time, port expert lecturer. This time, the only way to get any port information was to watch the tv in the cabin, which re-ran old episodes of a previous port lecturer, which would have been fine, except that the taped lectures were in reverse order of our Auckland to Sydney ports. We relied heavily on the kind locals at each port to give us port information and maps (as the Princess Patter cartoon maps emphasized shopping). Only when we were cruising in Milford Sound did they finally bring on board a "NZ park ranger" to talk over the public address system. Unfortunately, the PA system was very hard to hear and it didn't help that 2 very rude ladies from Spain insisted on screaming in my ear as they talked to each other the whole time, so I could not hear a word of the Park Ranger. When I asked them "por favor, I cannot hear" they spoke even louder to each other, ignoring others around us trying to hear the park ranger. Another disappointment was the Specialty Dining at the Crown Grill. We decided to forego the extra expense when their menu clearly emphasized "only one item per course per person" which was a change from 2012 when we 4 were allowed to try multiple dishes per course, and thus we were able to try almost everything on the menu as we shared our plates. Also, this was the smallest inside room I've every experienced - D123 (Deck 9, Forward). There was only one straight-backed chair that came with the vanity/desk, and no other chair/sofa in the room, so we had to use our lower twin beds for seating. Luckily we are not "room service" people, so we did not need the extra seating, but it did feel very cramped. The room steward parked his cart near our cabin but that did not bother us, especially as he was very attentive and quick in his duties. The closet space and bathroom space was adequate for 3 of us (as we are light packers). The service of all staff we encountered: servers, hosts, maitre-d's, room stewards, passenger service officers, casino staff, International Cafe servers, are all beyond reproach. While Princess corporate management may have cut back on little extra touches and niceties for the passengers, the front line staff is consistently excellent in professionalism, manner, and attention to detail and prompt service. I most highly commend our maitre'd, Carlos from Spain, for his kind attention to my daughter who has a "peanut and all tree-nuts" food allergy. He reassured her food safety for lunch and dinner every day by nightly presenting her with the next day's menus so that she could pre-select her meals, and the cook-staff ensured her food was not contaminated. Regarding the talent on-board, the Princess cast only presented 3 times in 12-nights, and the various talents brought on board for a show or two were average. While there was no crew or passenger talent show, we did enjoy the cooking demonstration presented by Executive Chef Giuseppe Pollara with Matre D'Hotel, Luigi Pascale. All ports in NZ & AU are fabulous and very easy for us to do on our own. In Akaroa, we booked with Princess the "Swim with the Hector Dolphins" excursion for $199 US. The local outfit was beyond reproach and told us before suiting up: "on this morning's excursion, no Hector Dolphins were spotted, and very unlikely you will be able to swim with them this afternoon", and they gave up the option of a lesser non-swimming excursion (with little prospect of seeing the Hector Dolphins) or a FULL REFUND. They were very kind and honest to let us have the option in advance. (ps: you can book direct with BLACK CAT CRUISES in Akaroa Harbour for a little bit of savings versus booking through Princess, the ship docks right in Akaroa Harbour). We are getting ready for our next Princess cruise, 29-nights aboard the Pacific Princess sailing Nov. 23, 2017 from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale. Bon Voyage, and happy and safe sailing to all. ps: the only reason I rated the Embarkation in Auckland as "Terrible" is because they had all non-VIP wait outside the port building in the blistering sun & heat until 1pm embark time (in all my other experiences we were always sheltered indoors). I did not mind as this gave me 2 hours to explore Auckland waterfront while my husband found shelter in a cafe, but there were some elderly people who had to sit hodge-podge anywhere they could find outside the Princesss port building as they were not allowed inside, and there was very little shade to be found outside. Passengers with privileges were allowed to embark at 11am. There was quite a bit of confusion all around, and when 1pm embarkation began for the common-folk, the queue was very disorganized, a bit helter-skelter, until we got up the escalator to the check-in counter. Everyone was very polite through-out, just disorganized. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My 8th cruise (Royal Caribbean- LOS, VOS, Cunard, Princess) and first on Celebrity. I chose this ship over the sister line Voyager of the Seas as it had a marginally better itinerary. A mistake! We were in Concierge class with a balcony ... Read More
My 8th cruise (Royal Caribbean- LOS, VOS, Cunard, Princess) and first on Celebrity. I chose this ship over the sister line Voyager of the Seas as it had a marginally better itinerary. A mistake! We were in Concierge class with a balcony and an inside stateroom just down the corridor. First the good things: 1.Biggest staterooms of any cruise ship we have been on, even the inside state room was very roomy and had lots of storage. Good sized balcony. Liked the little extras like the binoculars, umbrellas, tote bag and daily canapes. 2.Thoughtfully arranged shower stall, lots of space for the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bathgel plus our own stuff. Nice touch to have the little bar for feet and glass sliding doors not nasty curtains. 3. Lower level staff (room attendants, toilet attendants, waiters) all very good, eager to please, proactive, had initiative, go out of their way to serve and helpful. 4. Good lecturer Milos - humourous and engaging, although not always correct on the facts, that saved the day on some sea days. 5. Culinary events - good that they had them but the content could have been improved. Now the bad: I cruised with my 2 teenage sons who love cruising for the fine dining, shows, and family bonding over games. They normally don't bother with the teen club and we are usually happy to find our own fun playing table tennis, shuffle board and board games and for us, dancing every evening; even on the very small ships like Pacific Princess. There were none of these onboard!! The table tennis tables only get set up occasionally outside the theatre for tournaments and about 2 "freeplay" sessions during the 12 night cruise. The only board games available were checkers and scrabble and a few more in the teen club which were missing instructions and pieces but a very poor selection in the first place anyway. C'mon, which ship can't find a little deck space for shuffleboard? There were supposed to be lawn games on the lawn but it was often roped off ("The lawn is resting" and therefore a major waste of space on the top deck), so the promised (in the promotional pictures) of picnics on the lawn never happened. A few sad putters, insufficient golf balls and 3 little holes clustered together in front of the smokers corner made up all the minigolf there was. We watched every Hot Glass show even when the weather was freezing and the wind was blowing hard - there was nothing else to do! There were organised activities but many were lame like the much touted "Celebrity Life" activities. For lack of anything to do, we attended "Question of the Day": it consisted of one crew member walking around a bar quietly asking people the answer to the question: "How many Indian crew members are there on board?" and taking down their names, after half an hour of this, he announces the answer "385" and the closest answer won a t-shirt - YAWN! It is kind of sad when the most exciting highlighted event on a sea day is the lecture on Marsupials! The tour of the galley with the Q&A was well attended and a good idea. This was followed by several other culinary events that were more talk shows and lame jokes than cooking lessons. I would have preferred more focus on the chefs and their cooking than the cruise director making racist jokes at the chefs expense, when it is supposed to the a cooking event! This is a ship for organised activities only - there was simply no facility for people to amuse themselves. Very simple beginner dance classes were conducted in the afternoons, nothing for more slightly advanced dancers. There were few opportunities to dance in the evening, only 1 hour of scheduled ballroom dance music and at other times, the dance floor in the Sky lounge was not in use and only elevator muzak playing with no DJ around. We had to resort to dancing to music from an iPhone in my husband's pocket! Requests to the cruise director (about dance music) and Celebrity Life staff (about board games) early on in the cruise met with excuses and no results. Shows were hit and miss, mostly miss. The ship's singers and dancers were good and really impressive - they could dance, sing and do Cirque de Soleil type acrobatics but only put on 3 shows out of the 12 nights. The rest of the nights consisted of a single solo performer each night - 2 comedians (Brit and American), one doing some magic on the side, they started out fairly good but ran out of material after having to do a number of shows each; they were followed by a really really bad singer (Tracie something doing Celine Dion impressions that sounded nothing like Celine Dion) and a rather good violinist (Jane Cho Elecktra). Not impressed. Food in the Grand Epernay - another letdown. My neighbourhood cafe plates the dishes nicer than that! The quality of the steaks and produce was excellent but part of the joy of fine dining is the visual appeal and meat and veg thrown together on a plate anyhow just doesn't cut it. They were also very stingy with the seafood. 2 miserable prawns per main course! The appetiser sous chef was a little better and at least that gave some nice looking photos. Desserts mostly good although the planning was a little off - on the last night, 2 of the 3 featured desserts were either chocolate with banana or banana with chocolate. However, there was always a good choice of icecreams and sorbets and the standard 3 desserts of chocolate cake and creme brulee etc. Some of the Asian selections on the dinner menu were surprising good although at other times, they were the poor westernised versions (like the dry, tasteless and tough 'balinese satays" served with thai chilli sauce at lunch). We gave up on breakfast in the buffet - always very long queues everywhere and we had to walk at least 2 circuits before we found a table for 4. Waiters were overworked (busy serving food as they had a "no self service" policy) and did not clear the tables so we were not sure if the tables were vacated and could be taken over. We started having room service breakfast on port days and this was prompt and hot, plus for our concierge cabin, we could order complimentary smoothies and fresh squeeezed orange juice, that had to paid for if ordered at the buffet bar . Food was unchanging in the buffet breakfast but because of the large amount of choice, it did not get boring. There was soft serve ice cream and several tubs of different flavours including sugar free and low fat options with toppings, all afternoon till 10pm. We took only 1 ship excursion - a walking tour of Akaroa, mainly to get onto the earlier morning tender and to kill the time till the main highlight of our day there which we had organised for ourselves (kayaking with the Penguins with Pohatu Plunge - highly recommend this). The walking tour was so-so but very reasonable in price. For the rest of the ports, we either hired a car or organised private small group tours on Cruise Critic. Overall, this was not the right ship for us. We chose it for the itinerary and to try a different line as my older relatives had a good experience on it last year. We are unlikely to chose it again unless the itinerary is so unique and attractive that it can outweigh everything else (eg Galapagos Islands). We would recommend it for people who don't want to think for themselves and want to have everything organised.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Good value overall, though looking back we wish we had done more research and looked at other ships and taken closer attention to the Ports. Early on in the cruise we heard entertainment staff saying that of the last 12 cruises that ... Read More
Good value overall, though looking back we wish we had done more research and looked at other ships and taken closer attention to the Ports. Early on in the cruise we heard entertainment staff saying that of the last 12 cruises that have been scheduled to go to Norfolk Island, theyve only successfully docked there twice. ASccordingly the same thing happened to us. I have to wonder why they bother continuing to include Norfolk Island in their itineraries if this is the case??? All the other Ports of call were awesome! No complaints there. We felt the food offerings were very average, and despite getting a letter in our room on the day of arrival telling us to visit the chef in the main restaurant, we found that being vegan on a ship is not easy. We were having to pre order meals the day before, from tatty photocopied menus and having to basically dictate how to make things vegan. Never mind lost a few kgs on the cruise instead of as expected gaining it. Anyway on the upside had a couple of cool wins at the Casino! Very happy about that as we didnt take enough spending money. Oh and loved the Duty Free in Vanuatu. $30AUD for cartons of Dunhill with 2 free packets included! I felt like I was robbing them, LOL!My only other complaint was at the booking process. We booked midship Level 9 and got an upgrade to Level 10 right up the front. We did not consider this an upgrade in fact specifically wanted to be mid ship. We asked to turn down the upgrade but they had then sold out the category we booked in by upgrading others into it. After I complained quite alot, we got moved to Level 10 back of ship but certainly still not in the middle as we booked. Not so good for our sea sickness!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

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