7 Auckland Romantic Cruise Reviews

My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: ... Read More
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: (1) I badly wanted to visit my mother's grave in Hobart (Tasmania) and this cruise included Hobart in its itinerary; (2) we wanted to go to Australian Open tennis tournament after the cruise; and (3) we wanted to see the main cities of New Zealand and Australia. Additional considerations for us included the newness of Viking Orion, good reviews of Viking ocean cruises, being only for adults and no requirement for formal attire. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was beautiful; eveything on the ship had been tastefully designed. Our cabin was on deck 6 and classified as deluxe veranda; its size was perfectly satisfactory, the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was fine. There was an excellent fridge in the room and the WiFi signal was acceptable. In commen areas WiFi worked very well about 80% of the time (10-15 Mbps), which is excellent considering the remote areas we were sailing at. Dining: There were two specialty dining venues in addition to the main dining room and the "world cafe" where food was served buffet style. There were also three other locations where one can have open sandwiches, hamburgers etc. Entertainment: Compared to other cruises there was minimal entertainment of relatively low quality. Since we didn't much care about the generally low quality stage performances on cruise ships this was not an issue for us. The lectures were fine. Now, why do I give this cruise only 2 stars: The captain decided not to go to Christchurch and more importantly Hobart for weather related reasons. In his announcements he repeated that "our safety was his main priority" and provided only scant reasons for his decisions, which didn't satify anybody because weather, as far as we could determine, was not particularly bad at either port. That is two ports of call out of seven. I was very disappointed and angry as I wondered when will I ever have another chance to go to Hobart. So we ended up spending two extra days at sea and one extra day in Melbourne, which meant nothing to us because we were going to be in Melbourne for Australian Open anyway. The food was prepared by non-specialist cooks and the quality was in general quite poor. Our first dinner on board was just awful and I knew right at the outset we were going to have problems with food quality. Dinner on December 31st, New Year's Eve, was nothing special. They made no effort whatsoever to celebrate the arrival of the new year in the dining room. The variety of the food items included in the menus of the main dining room and the World Cafe became absolutely monotonous and boring. Fruit selection consisted of melon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, and strawberries all of which were tasteless. There was plently of meat but very little edible seafood. They even managed to cook salmon welldone! Shellfish was also plenty but tasteless. Imagine, you are travelling in the middle of summer in places that are well known for their vegetables and fruits (e.g. kiwi fruit, mangos, peaches, grapes) and none of them made an appearance at our dinner table. Same for seafood. The fish served were all of European origin and frozen - that's probably why they always cooked the fish until it was compeletly dry. Barista coffee was bad - we were told by one of the coffee baristas that the machines, not the coffee beans, were to blame. The staff clearly needed more training and better language skills. Often they did not understand what we asked for. Poorly selected music (rock, country etc.) played loudly on deck 7 where everyone congregated most of the time. The cover over Deck 7 would often be closed when the weather was hot with no wind making the place like a sauna and open when it was windy and cool. I mentioned this to staff and got no response. The included shore excursions were good. We received an email from Viking offering us $250 credit towards a future Viking cruise for missing out on two ports of call. I also received a phone call from a Viking representative after we returned home who tried to sell me another Viking cruise by offering "additional (to $250) cruise credit as further compensation". That is not an acceptable service recovery in my book. I will not go on another Viking Cruise and my wife feels the same. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I picked this cruise for our honeymoon. We booked through vacation club Mariott as we are owners. This was our first cruise. The booking process went smoothly, however the online process was extremely confusing, even though ... Read More
My husband and I picked this cruise for our honeymoon. We booked through vacation club Mariott as we are owners. This was our first cruise. The booking process went smoothly, however the online process was extremely confusing, even though we are both tech savvy. The was much confusion on the passport situation as well. My husband’s passport met the criteria all the way up until the week before we were to leave. We were unable to complete anything online because it stated that his passport is expired, even though it didn’t expire until 5 months and 20 days after our return. Princess stated we needed passports good for 6 months after return. However when initially put through, this was fine. After hours of phone calls, we were finally given the ok, however when checking in, we had to got though the whole process all over again. In the mean time, they lost our room keys. After finally boarded, we were not told where to go. We were given a map and they sent us on our way. Mind you, this was our first cruise. We had no idea what to do or where to go. When we finally found our room, we were told we needed our safety talk in the casino area. Again, we had to wander around to find it. Here I thought we would be introduced to the boat, told how everything works, etc, but this was not the case. They showed us how to put a life jacket on and sent us away. We were so extremely disappointed with the start. Then we noticed our floor was leaking and required maintenance nearly everyday. Our bedroom was dingy, with dirty cloth headboards and a smell of mold. There was a glass left in the closet when we arrived in our room. There was also mold all along the tile in the bathroom. Next, the hot tubs NEVER worked. The saunas only worked if you requested the spa to turn it on. The food was good but only in the dining room. The food in the buffet was clearly cafeteria food, except cold. The best part of our cruise was sitting at the table with fellow cruisers. If it wasn’t for them, we would not know the ins and outs of cruising. Such as the coffee is free in the Buffett and dining room, but expect to pay over a dollar for a regular coffee anywhere else. It was absolutely ridiculous. The shows repeated every 3rd day and they were not entertaining at all. Lastly, we were told there would be two formal days. We had one; plus the dress code policy was not adhered to at all. Our stateroom steward, Emile was phenomenal however. He always came in and tidied up the room; he also always brought us ice which we requested on the first day. We did not book any excursions through princess and I am so glad we didn’t. They were way overpriced and extremely full. One last plus, was our captain. He was extremely entertaining with his talks and nautical trivia. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
After sailing on Holland America Line (HAL), four times and the last on the Noordam in February 2017, we have come to the conclusion that HAL treats some places better than the south Pacific. 1. Ships meals have been reduced in quality ... Read More
After sailing on Holland America Line (HAL), four times and the last on the Noordam in February 2017, we have come to the conclusion that HAL treats some places better than the south Pacific. 1. Ships meals have been reduced in quality and service as 4 meals had to be sent back, due to; 1 being cold, 2 overcooked and dry, 3 a steak that was tough and suspect quality while, 4 the fish was again overcooked and tasteless, 5 a Pasta carbonara was dry without any sauce, some sauce was supplied after I ask for it, then it was edible. 2. The hygiene control on the ship was/is lacking, as my wife was infected with the cruise cough/flu like symptoms this was the second time (again Holland America) and yet has NEVER been infected on the other cruise lines we have sailed with. We have sailed around New Zealand 4 times, twice with HAL, once with Cunard and Celebrity X, however my wife was struck down with ship flu both times on HAL, but not on the other cruise lines. Therefore, the food/ships hygiene on HAL appears to be at fault. 3. It appears that HAL uses the sailing in Southern climes of Australia/New Zealand as a training ship or just the area with disdain, knowing that Australian/New Zealanders do not complain/demand as much as some other natation’s do/can. 4. The Gratuities that are expected are also in contrast to other means of transport, such as airlines where the crew wages are similar for respective position and ranks on HAL but only draw their wages/salary. Also, it has been rumoured that the crew do not get all the monies collected, but a proportion it goes into the company revenues. 5. Defects with the ship a. 3 windows cracked, 2 on the Crow’s Nest lounge forward windows and the 3rd on the external glass wall (ship) of the aft/rear right side elevator on the 4th deck b. 2 lifeboats had damaged entrance/exit hatches (the stitching had separated from the hatchway) allowing water to enter the lifeboat, which would jeopardise the safety and integrity of both, the lifeboats were 11 and 14. They were reported 3 times to the front desk and each time I was given incorrect/differing answers, they were finally repaired. Photos are available. c. In the Lido dining area, a glass tea bag caddie was cracked with glass splinters missing, it was reported and it was changed to another position, again it was reported and it was finally removed to??? d. The cup/mugs for tea/coffee in the Lido were not washed properly (suspect the dishwasher) with foreign bodies/food being left in/on the mugs. e. Our cabin bathroom was in disrepair as the floor tiles were adrift/lifting and the shower wall tiling grout was missing, with several areas having dark mildew type stains. As we were dissatisfied with the overall Hotel and engineering (safety equipment) we spoke to many other passengers and they were of the same opinion that Holland America have lowered their standards and treat the south pacific cruises as training. Also, you can see by the above list, this cruise with Holland America Line was not as comfortable or as pleasant as the other cruise lines we have sailed with, (some 10 in all) then being told that we must pay the gratuities, gives an idea of what they think of the south pacific, so much so that I doubt it very much that we will sail with Holland America Line again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise as it was a one way trip from New Zealand back to Australia. We were on our Honeymoon and spent a week before hand travelling ourselves around the South Island. Embarkation- We were on the Concierge Class. If you ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a one way trip from New Zealand back to Australia. We were on our Honeymoon and spent a week before hand travelling ourselves around the South Island. Embarkation- We were on the Concierge Class. If you like your in-room breakfast, definitely go this level or higher. We found out from our neighbours (who have travelled on the ship a number of times) that you only get a basic continental breakfast if you are on a 'lower class'. The embarkation process was long, there were SO many people on our level or higher - we could board at any time, but everyone wanted on straight away. It seemed that the 'lower classes' had priority as there were less than the 'priority entry' cohort. Oh, and no Sail Away party either. We were waiting for the horn to go off and people were all out on the decks to meet and greet, but there was nothing. No music, no message from the Captain to say welcome aboard even. Disembarkation- a colleague of mine was on the same cruise with us. They got off one port early (which was an option). Her husband was VERY ill and it took them 5hours to disembark the ship. Each time she asked if the authorities were there to check off documentation, they were told it would be 'just a couple of minutes'. Ship- It was beautiful. Stunning, a real 'water city'. Cabin- No storage (apart from one little cupboard. We ended up having our two suitcases on the couch and using it rather than the wardrobe as there was no place to store suitcases either. They mentioned a pillow menu... we didn't see any of it and our steward didn't know what we were on about either... Dining- RANCID BUTTER for one night in the Dining Room. We mentioned this to our waitor. Husband ended up with severe food poisoning- calling the plumber to clear the lines in the middle of the night. Tried to complain to the Guest Relations, but they were UTTERLY USELESS! They said that there was no way of telling if my husband had food poisoning without him seeing the doctor- he was STILL in the room vomiting after 24hrs (thank goodness for vitamin water to rehydrate him). They took me on the rigmarole of needing to see a doctor, it could be gastro and so on. The butter turned the nose of the waitor as soon as he saw it. Note to others, if you have any food that smells or tastes 'off', call over the Maitre De. In hindsight I should have caused a scene in the dining room, but he only had a corner of a slice of bread so we didn't think anything of it until 3hrs later when it all started... Food overall was average. It was alright considering how many they had to feed, but we had better on a P&O South Pacific Cruise. Entertainment- Not to our taste, a LOT of repetitive activities. If you are in for a more entertainment related cruise, definitely go another Cruise liner. Went along for the Scullery Tour... waste of time again... there were no fruit carvings made into animals or anything and the wait time to get downstairs was rediculous too (20mins). Service- the only person with somewhat reasonable service (and the ONLY person who gave us a smile) was our Room Steward. He was lovely and did his job. On one occasion I went down to the shop to purchase an item. There was a young lady there who was VERY snappy and had a red-hot go at me after asking when the jewellery person would be back to order a necklace. Complained to Guest Relations, but they didn't want to know about it (even though it is said everywhere to tell them about good and bad service). Ports/Shore excursions- We only did a few as it was a more relaxing cruise. The ones we did we enjoyed. In the Bay of Plenty, we did a fantastic tour around the area sampling all kinds of food (highly recommended!!). Also purchased the CD of cruise memories. We went on our honeymoon back in December 2014. Shorts they advertised in the Photography area weren't put onto the CD, even though we we asked and were advised on 4 separate occasions to different staff that they would be. Poorly made, not worth the $40+ and STILL waiting to hear back from them.. (am not holding my breath!) Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is our Third Cruise our first being on the Queen Mary 2 love at first cruise my partner and I were smitten by the beautiful outstanding service and the non ending sea,our next cruise was the Celebrity Millennium where my partner ... Read More
This is our Third Cruise our first being on the Queen Mary 2 love at first cruise my partner and I were smitten by the beautiful outstanding service and the non ending sea,our next cruise was the Celebrity Millennium where my partner proposed to me at dinner in the fine dining restaurant. P&O Pacific Pearl had a cruise going from Auckland around Australia so we decided to have our honeymoon on this ship.Embarkation day you could say was excellent a non event so quickly done AA++In no time when we got on the ship our room service attendant had our cases outside our cabin so impressive quick service Lizel also introduced herself , Our cabin was spacious and very clean and our room was serviced nicely each day, Lizel was lovely. the only things wrong with the Cabin was when you pulled the plug in the sink it wouldn't empty very well the Air conditioning only worked on cold so the cabin was real cold but Lizel quickly gave us another Duvet so we were happy.After packing our things away in the drawers and cupboard off to inspect the ship for lunch in the Buffet area this was the best meal of the trip. the food was diabolical but hey we could cope with it. well first thing we noticed was a few coughs on board so we decided to steer clear, they have a system in order to clean your hands with a gel. one morning we were in line a old woman with a cold coughed over the toast we looked at the server behind the counter and he shrugged his shoulders and left it there we went round the other side to get our food (yuck) They need to supply face masks for people with colds ( THIS WAS OUR FIRST DAY) Ship full of Kiwi's and a few Aussies i think we were on a ship full of old people 78 and up and to say the least they were rude pushy etc I felt sorry for the staff putting up with there bad manners and felt ashamed to be a kiwi among them.The Marquee is poorly set up the shows were not up to the standard we have had on previous cruises, the best one was the circus show the opera and Karen BeckettOkay P&O how can you run out of affordable New Zealand white wine on the SECOND DAY of our cruise they said that we drank it all and they also said that they would not be getting anymore from the ports of call so to get a bottle of wine was $46.00 and up.Duty Free shopping WHAT DUTY FREE I got my perfume in Brisbane.Don't be drawn into all the theme nights there is nothing much going on till 11pm at the dome. Getting dressed up for the formal nights were disappointing because a percentage of people were not bothered and the photos of formal nights were over priced.We dined in the Waterfront Restaurant each night Table 182 table for two but another table was next to us we met some real nice dinner buddies who now we keep in touch with. our highlight was Emilio the waiter who entertained us with magic tricks each night worked so hard to please us along side was nimfa. guaranteed you eat at that table or there bouts first class service no delays of meals being served if you let him know you have a show to go to he will make sure your served, they need your appreciation at the end of the cruise as they work so hard. The greatest let down was that during the cruise we noted people had a virus like playing dodge ball in the restaurant people were sneezing and coughing and sadly last night of the cruise my husband and I succumb to the virus and so did our dinner mates and of all things our waiter Emilio was sick too, Breakfast the next morning he was real poorly.We couldn't wait to get home, been home 11 days now in bed sick and $200.00 dollars later spent at the doctors.Our honeymoon a trip that we were looking forward one we wouldn't repeat on P&OThe highlight was the weather and the ports of call, avoid the tours there expensive we did our own thing which we enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We'd heard a lot of good things about P&O (including here), and were looking forward to our first cruise with them. While not BAD, it certainly didn't live up to it's reputation. Food was mediocre at best, service ... Read More
We'd heard a lot of good things about P&O (including here), and were looking forward to our first cruise with them. While not BAD, it certainly didn't live up to it's reputation. Food was mediocre at best, service inconsistent, entertainment was a mixed bag with some pretty good stuff and some amateur hour quality, special interest lectures were consistently poor except for those given by the cruise director himself. Aurora herself is beautiful, but seemed very cluttered, with shops stuck in the hallways. The mattress sagged and was lumpy, should have been replaced last year. Noisiest ship we've ever been on, we could hear both adjacent cabins plus our neighbors on the floor above. No WiFi in the cabins, I had to go to the computer room itself to log on.Orangery cafeteria was very disorganized, often not set up for lunch by noon. They usually ran short of glasses, and when I asked for more was often greeted by a blank stare.The pool is fresh water, which means it is very expensive to fill. So after draining it due to rough weather, they declined to refill until our next main port.Tender service at the smaller ports was extremely inefficient compared with other ships we've been on. At one port they only put 2 boats in the water - this for 1800 passengers and a 30 minute ride to shore. Only about half the passengers that wanted even got ashore before it was time to get back aboard.I could go on, but you get the idea. As I said, it was not so bad that we'd absolutely refuse to go again, but we'll take any other option first.The only excellent item was the bridge classes and tournament. We're big bridge fans (not all that good, just love it), and that ended up being the only highlight of each sea day. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We'd looked forward to our honeymoon with much anticipation. It was our first trip to New Zealand and Australia, and we couldn't wait to get on board and start sailing. Unfortunately, from the minute we boarded, we experienced ... Read More
We'd looked forward to our honeymoon with much anticipation. It was our first trip to New Zealand and Australia, and we couldn't wait to get on board and start sailing. Unfortunately, from the minute we boarded, we experienced difficulties on the Millennium. We later found out that the ship was scheduled for dry dock in April, which explained the numerous external signs of disrepair. Windows, walls, elevator shafts looked old and tired. The beautiful Persian Spa didn't work most days, and was never fully functioning. The food was not varied in the main dining hall or buffet areas it was bland and far from fresh. For the first week of the trip, we had frozen eggs for omelets. When my husband tried to order room service one night, they said the grill was off and they could only bring TOAST. The best time we had off the ship was in Akaroa, NZ. We took a cab from the Antarctic museum in Christchurch to Akaroaan incredible road trip which we definitely recommend a real highlight of the trip. Once in Akaroa, we had an amazing time there but mostly because we spent the night OFF the ship in a little hostel called Onuku Farm Hoste they gave us a bed with a view of the stars, amazing home made food, and the best dolphin adventure experience ever. We were sad to have to board the ship again! All in all, we LOVED New Zealand and Australia, will be back to visit there soon. Akaroa, Melbourne and Sydney were delightful. However, we will never travel with Celebrity/Royal Caribbean again. Save yourselves and avoid this cruise line...we were not the only ones to be extremely disappointed with our experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008

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