11 Auckland Romantic Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very frustrating and the music on board was obviously to cater for them - 30s and 40's (which my husband and I can't stand). We don't have children (by choice, they annoy me); so it was good that there weren't too many to be seen or heard. The ports were mostly good but I would get rid of Lautoka and Suva and try and use a beautiful outer Fijian island. I've been to Fiji a few times and the ports are not a true reflection of the beauty of the Fiji. We both really enjoyed Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga - we did shore trips in each location but not through the ship. We did the Oolala trip, with the ship, in Lautoka and it was terrible - I went two years ago and everything has changed for the worse. It was overcrowded, mean and the food was inedible. The entertainment was generally ok, if geared towards very old people. The dining was good but portion sizes are very small. I'm a size 8 and I had to eat 2nd dinner in the buffet some night as I was still starving. One of the guys (a professor) giving talks was so boring and his material very old. Surely they can find people who are actually interested in their material and pass that on to the cruises. Cost for gym classes is a bit expensive at $17US Why is the spa so expensive? I would love to have treatments but not at twice the price of Australia. The shops are ridiculous - LV and Tiffany - seriously???? why not have nice brands that your target market can afford. Get rid of the stupid art show - just have nice stuff around the ship to admire (not to purchase) Based on this cruise, we have decided to cruise again in about 20 years time - unless Celebrity really do something to encourage a younger (but Childfree) market. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
MAJESTIC PRINCESS We did this trip for our 25th anniversary. Thanks to the Princess staff for the lovely banner and balloons. EMBARKATION was poor due to us receiving the wrong wharf information. We had Prince’s wharf in our ... Read More
MAJESTIC PRINCESS We did this trip for our 25th anniversary. Thanks to the Princess staff for the lovely banner and balloons. EMBARKATION was poor due to us receiving the wrong wharf information. We had Prince’s wharf in our itinerary but the day before we received an email telling us it was now Queen’s wharf. After being dropped at Queens Wharf, we had to trawl our suitcases through the busy ferry terminal to get to where the ship actually was on Prince’s wharf. Not sure what that was all about. Once at the right place everything went very smoothly. DISEMBARKATION was good. We booked the Princess airport transfer as it was only a few dollars more than public transport would have cost us and meant we were basically ship to airport (without getting too wet). Cabin L228 Cabin was comfortable and our steward Gomez was excellent. Bed was comfortable to sleep in but pillows were poor. One feather, one foam. I dislike feather but foam was not firm enough for me. Bathroom was extremely tight and neither of us are large people. Plenty of hanging space but not many drawers. Small fridge in cabin. Two USB ports but neither worked. Windows in need dire of cleaning, very annoying when going through the fiordlands. Also deck balcony glass impossible to see through and as you sit at a low level very annoying. The buffet marketplace is well set out so people have areas to go for what they want. Food choices ever changing and difficult to get to try everything or you would explode. Food is enjoyable, plenty of choices for all tastes. Just lacking seasoning but that is understandable due to the numbers aboard. Dining rooms are well decorated and spacious. Found food to be bland and either under cooked or over cooked. I have dietary requirements and tried to speak to the maître de as requested on the first and second nights in dining room. This did not happen and I was given food I am allergic too. After this everything was sorted out for me in the dining room. Harmony restaurant was enjoyable and worth the money. People we met liked the Le Mer food. Lots of small food places to get burgers, hotdogs, ice cream, noodles. Bakery cakes looked superb but were sometimes not quite as tasty as they looked. Loved Alfredo’s on deck 6. Great pizza and veal tortellini. Drinks packages are available but you need to work out for yourself if they are worth it. We didn’t buy one. Plenty of places to sit and read, have a drink, or play games. Laundry facilities on are all decks 7-15 at rear of boat. Some are larger than others. Very easy to use as you swipe your ships card to buy tokens for washers and dryers and powder, bleach and dryer sheets. Could do with more dryers though as wash takes 30-35mins and dryers 40-45mins. Causing a backlog waiting for dryers. The ship itself is clean and quite pretty. Crooners lounge was always good for a quiet pre dinner drink. Crown Grill was more pub like and livelier. Did an English pub lunch on two occasions which we never tried. Hollywood adults area on deck 17 at front was relaxing. The pool and hot tubs were lovely. Lounge area lacking enough of the comfortable loungers. Smoking area is outside on 17 starboard and if you forgot and went out the wrong doors you got a face full of smoke. Main pool area is spacious but busy on a sunny day. Liked the skywalk. Overall the ship was well appointed and enjoyable and we would sail on her again. Crew were overall polite but not overly friendly like other cruises we have been on. Downside. Usual problems with finding a seat at certain entertainments. Atrium activities and Princess Theatre shows especially. Something needs to be done as some people were saying they had seen the early show and went again for the later show. This left people standing in the aisles which blocked those sitting at the back. Surely a ticketing system using your cruise card could be designed so you could only get in once unless there was space. Spoke to a staff member but felt I was being humoured. Another staff member did come and move those standing in our view. Would travel on this ship again. TAURANGA Ship actually docks at Mt Manganui so you need to get shuttle or taxi into Tauranga itself. Just walked off ship. Nice seaside area with good coffee shops. We walked to the top of Moturiki Island then had a coffee. This is main port for Hobbiton which we had done prior to cruise. WELLINGTON Went on free shuttle into town. Rode cable car to top of hill then walked down through Botanical gardens. Stopped for a cup of tea in the rose garden then had a stroll to Old St Pauls church then we caught shuttle bus back to ship after a short ride around Wellington. AKAROA You tender in at this port so allow time if you book a private tour. We had organised to ride a V8Trike with Marty. We did the 1hr ride which was great. We then had lunch in town, lovely fish and chips and green lip mussels. Very easy to walk around this small quaint town. DUNEDIN Unfortunately we did not make this port due to a fog bank which caused us to miss the tide to get into dock. FIORDLANDS Cruising through the three sounds on a beautiful sunny day was wonderful. The ship cruises one way through DUSKY and DOUBTFUL sounds then has to turn around in MILFORD sound. Meaning you see everything twice or everything from your balcony. HOBART We booked a ship shore excursion to Mt Wellington and the Botanic gardens. We had to clear customs here which held the tours up by a small amount of time. Whilst enjoyable and I thought good value for money, I felt hurried in the gardens and we lacked time on Mt Wellington. The tour was booked as Mt Wellington then Botanic Gardens and we planned to spend extra time at the gardens then make our own way back to the ship. This obviously didn’t happen as we did the gardens first. DAYS AT SEA are relaxing days or there was plenty going on if that is your choice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Loved this cruise itinerary. All ports were fantastic. Ship is okay. Needs some updating. I will say it has great stabilizers though because we hit rough seas crossing from New Zealand to Australia and it was not bad. Holland food and ... Read More
Loved this cruise itinerary. All ports were fantastic. Ship is okay. Needs some updating. I will say it has great stabilizers though because we hit rough seas crossing from New Zealand to Australia and it was not bad. Holland food and service (except for breakfast and lunch in the dining room, even after complaining because they didn’t seem to care) was excellent. Shore excursions were all good but very expensive. Embarkation took too long (over an hour) but debarkation was a breeze - best ever. There wasn’t much to do onboard, especially on sea days. Mainly test kitchen offerings, if you like that. A couple of the entertainers were poor (ventriloquist and singer) but others were good (singers and dancers) or great (comedian, pianist). They offered a Lincoln Center Stage venue and the musicians were outstanding - that was an unexpected surprise we enjoyed. The other negative was they closed the ship stores during the last week to get it ready for a new opening (not sure why) so almost no merchandise even before closing - not good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose the cruise for the destination as we wanted to be in Sydney for the New Year Celebration and the cruise ended on December 30th. I was very disappointed in the Lotus Spa on this ship. I booked a 90 minute massage and upon my ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destination as we wanted to be in Sydney for the New Year Celebration and the cruise ended on December 30th. I was very disappointed in the Lotus Spa on this ship. I booked a 90 minute massage and upon my arrival was shown to the co-ed “relaxing” area. This was not a spa atmosphere - more like a doctor’s office waiting room. No nice bathrooms to relax in, not even in the treatment room. Totally co-ed. No free use of whirl pool, sauna or steam room, but you could buy a week pass for $199 to use them (The Enclave”). Was told by spa personnel that this ship wasn’t like the other Princess ship spas and they needed to control the amount of people using the spa whirlpool, etc and that is why they charged for them. However, the message was wonderful! Just wish I could have relaxed before my message. Felt very disappointed about that. Hollywood Pool Club was Adult only, no charge and it was lovely. Very relaxing and serene and no charge. I just chose to lounge and read a book. We did pay extra for Club Class but did enjoy not having to wait at all for a table for anytime dining. It was really nice to have a special section reserved for Club Class. The waiters were phenomenal! We sailed over Christmas and felt that they did a wonderful job with Christmas decorations and celebrating Christmas. Christmas Carols were sung and everyone joined in. On Christmas morning Santa appeared in the atrium and had a gift for every child under 12 yrs. Every child got to take pictures with Santa and his helpers. It’s a beautiful ship but felt crowded in the corridor the public areas. Personally, too big of a ship for me. Will definitely use Princess again but will sail on the smaller ships. Our ages are 59-65. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We left Sydney in glorious sunshine at an early 3.30pm. Boarding was easy and efficient. The overall condition of the ship was good, older but perfectly acceptable and no way near the condition some reviews indicated. We stopped at 6 ports ... Read More
We left Sydney in glorious sunshine at an early 3.30pm. Boarding was easy and efficient. The overall condition of the ship was good, older but perfectly acceptable and no way near the condition some reviews indicated. We stopped at 6 ports and cruised around Fiordland for a day which was brilliant. It rained at all ports except 2 and rained pretty much the rest of the time- no fault of the ship/cruiseline. This did not really affect our enjoyment of the cruise. We have tried 3 other cruise lines and this unfortunately was the worst for food we have tried so far. The choice of food in the Horizon buffet was very limited and the lunch and breakfast options changed little each day - this became monotonous very quickly. There was a buffet line each side of the ship but they served the same food. The main dining room was better, but personally I found the dish selection again uninspiring with a lot of seafood dishes and not many meat options on the menu. I like seafood but my wife does not and I could see her point of view. Ships aircon seemed to make the ship warm then cool then warm again all the time. The shows were of a good standard, with a variety of acts. Entertainment during the day was good but not as good a Royal Caribbean. I thought the drinks prices for cocktails was high and the amount of alcohol in each drink was not generous- I tried a few. The staff were great and hard working. All the passengers we met had a great time and we arrived back in Sydney to glorious sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We picked the Celebrity Solstice sailing from Auckland to Sydney so that we could visit my husband's family in New Zealand. We were pleasantly surprised, having done multiple sailings around the world with Princess, this was our first ... Read More
We picked the Celebrity Solstice sailing from Auckland to Sydney so that we could visit my husband's family in New Zealand. We were pleasantly surprised, having done multiple sailings around the world with Princess, this was our first with the Celebrity line - we were not disappointed. I will try & summarize as best as I can. Embarkation/Disembarkation/Tenders Etc. I had read mixed reviews about how there were far too many passengers which made for extremely long wait times. There was 2871 passengers onboard our cruise. We never waited more than 15 minutes. We were on the ship on day 1 within minutes of receiving our room keys and even on tender days things went very smoothly. Coming back the longest wait we had was 10 minutes and that's because all of the shore excursions were returning at the same time. Cabin We had cabin 8253 which was a midship, deck 8, category A1 cabin. We could not have been more pleased. We were located in a fantastic position close enough to the lifts, but not close enough for any noise. Our cabin was fantastically appointed with all the modern amenities and we found everything we needed. At one stage, we noticed some small holes in the curtains, but as soon as we bought it to our room attendants attention they were replaced within 2 hours. Our shower was great (sometimes water pressure can be a bit basic on cruise ships - but we weren't disappointed). The one weird find I thought, was a mini bar that had 2 cans of coke & 2 cans of diet coke in it. We were told that the mini bar was not free, however we had the premium beverage package as part of our promotion & we could get cans of coke anywhere on the ship. The room attendant said if we wanted to drink them we would need to replace them - I found that odd, but it didn't affect my journey. Food This was probably the only let down of the cruise. We were spoilt on night 1 dining at Tuscan Grille, it was so delicious that we walked away in a food coma. That night we visited the Grand Epernay to advise of my husbands allergies, where we got told a few lies about how the chef hadn't yet prepared the next nights menu. After taking a stand they finally bought us the menu and we pre-ordered. However the food was terrible the next night and we left after the starter. The Maitre'd tracked us down in the buffet and we told him of our experience. That night waiting in our room was the entire dining menu for the remainder of the cruise for my husband to pre-order. We went back multiple times after that and it was ok, never great, just ok. The food was always just warm. On lobster night, the butter was warmer than the lobster leaving for a cold clarified solution which was a let down. In the buffet, the pizza was soggy through, the ice cream, no matter which flavor you had tasted bland. On some of the desserts the icing wasn't dissolved. But, you could have your own stir-fry's made from scratch and they were fantastic. We also ate in Silk Harvest. The starters were exciting but when the main dishes came out we found them very underwhelming and not very asian. All in all though, we were always able to find something to eat that suited us, even if it was luke warm. My husband was particular fond of the burgers & hot dogs in the Mast Grill they were definitely yummo. With all that being said, we aren't the kind of people who come of cruise ships as cargo rather than passengers so we weren't too affected. Bars & Public Areas We spent alot of time in the main areas. Our favourite bar was the World Class Bar, however we found the staff weren't always happy to be there. In particular one gentlemen who we talked to every day, seemed very depressed about being onboard & particularly home sick. It made us feel incredibly sad for him, but he still made great cocktails so we kept returning. More so than Princess, sometimes the staff struggled to understand our orders - ie we would have to repeat a drinks order 4 to 5 times. But again, it's a nitpick not a major issue. Cafe El Bacio did a wonderful hot chocolate and fresh cinammon donuts each morning were a treat. Also, when we travelled with Princess, once we became a regular they would always remember our drinks order but this didn't really happen on Celebrity - nobody ever remembered our orders. We spent a lot of time in the Solarium which was lovely and relaxing. If I was being really picky I would say that it would have been nice if they had staff wandering to take drink orders, but that didn't happen at all and they are missing an opportunity there. We also loved the shopping areas which are vast and beautiful, the main atrium which was decorated for Christmas & all of the different public areas including the library and most of all the way the lifts face inwards towards that magical tree (which happened to reach it's peak on Deck 8 so we spent a lot of time loving it from our cabin's deck). Crew & Captain Captain Tasos. Wow! That man is absolute comedy gold & perfectly suited to be on cruise ships. His demeanor, sense of humor, ability to calm the masses - it was a masterpiece and I will follow him and sail with him wherever possible. His crew were always warm & welcoming everyone was polite and friendly. Yes, sometimes there were language barriers but in the grand scheme of things we were swept up in the beauty of this wonderful cruise line and it's amazing experiences. As a final note, I would rate Princess 7/10 and Celebrity 8/10. They are almost on par, and where one lacks the other picks up. But when we got off in Sydney we really felt like we were leaving home as opposed to returning to it. If you are thinking about doing a cruise, Celebrity Solstice will not disappoint. It's too beautiful to do anything other than amaze you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Having sailed on the Paciifc Dawn out of Brisbane last year, we wanted to save travel costs and sail from our home port in NZ. Cruise departed from Akl and have to say embarkation was much simplier and efficient in Auckland. Disembarkation ... Read More
Having sailed on the Paciifc Dawn out of Brisbane last year, we wanted to save travel costs and sail from our home port in NZ. Cruise departed from Akl and have to say embarkation was much simplier and efficient in Auckland. Disembarkation was just as painless. We had a balcony suite 10176 and was in a great spot on the ship never had any trouble with noise. Was very happy with the dining, while we spent most of our dining time in the waterfront, on the occasione we used the pantry we were very happy with the food selection. Also dined at Salt Grill on night of Gatsby party, food was fantastic and thouroughly enjoyed the very professional service from the staff who were also very accomodating when one of our party fell ill ( sea sickness). Gatsby night was a winner yet again. My only critique would be of the entertainment staff, didnt feel the same vibe and happy involvement from the crew as we did on the Dawn. Also felt the quality of bands and singers not quite at the level of those on th Dawn, with the exception of Lisa Crouch who was phenonmenal. We we all very pleased that they gave her a second show which was packed out. Service staff are the best and go out of their way to be of great service to all. As stated by others the Jewel is in need of an update as she is looking a bit tired, look forward to sailing on her again when she has a refit. Loved every port we went to, did not do any ship tours but arranged our privately. Off to cruise expo this weeknd to book the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
best thing we have ever done as a married couple and I highly recommend to anyone who is looking at cruiseing....its the best thing and is priced more so everyday people can do more of it now....do your research well beforehand and book ... Read More
best thing we have ever done as a married couple and I highly recommend to anyone who is looking at cruiseing....its the best thing and is priced more so everyday people can do more of it now....do your research well beforehand and book well in advance, worked well for us... the islands and snorkelling in warm waters far from new Zealand is marvellous,and the shore tours are safe and well organised...couldn,t have asked for better,and you meet some very nice people for lots of laughs on this boat... STAY WELL AWAY FROM PARKWEST ART GALLERY...they ruined our trip after we bought a painting from them and have been trying to get it delivered or our money refunded ever since....just lies after lies after lies and nothing...it,s now been 7 months trying to get some sort of resolution from them...(too get our money back)....has left a real sour taste to a marvellous P and O trip... MANY MANY thanks to P and O and all who work for her....its a shame one bad apple lets you down so... Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Overall was it worth it - yes. Would I recommend it - yes. Would I come again - yes. The details - 5 star food, some of the best I've had even the buffet had real crockery rather than melamine, but the rooms were more spacious than ... Read More
Overall was it worth it - yes. Would I recommend it - yes. Would I come again - yes. The details - 5 star food, some of the best I've had even the buffet had real crockery rather than melamine, but the rooms were more spacious than others but the quality was no better than others. Despite being given a boarding time, it didn't seem to matter what time we arrived. The boarding procedure was quite slick with no delays and a nice glass of champagne to start off with. Bags arrived at the cabin quickly. The cabin (and ship as a whole) was very spacious. A large bed and plenty of storage space set it apart from other cruises that we've been on and so did the hole in the plastic sofa upholstery and the nice stain in the carpet. The emergency drill procedure was disjointed and a couple of hundred people had to look at a regular TV screen. Some of the public rooms upholstery was worn around the edges. The waiters all tried to sell us a drinks package which became tiresome but they confessed to being on commission - this became unpleasant after a while. The first dinner was very good - drinks package selling again - but the guest dress code was not observed or enforced and this spoilt the evening as a good many people frankly just looked scruffy. Shorts and T shirts were even allowed to dinner! The waiters de-crumbed the table with a scraper - but not into a cloth, but onto the floor/carpet on 1 night and then never bothered again for the rest of the cruise. The return tender boarding service today 15 Nov 2015 was dangerous as it should have been changed to the sheltered side of the ship but instead was left on the windy side with a big swell on the sea. Raining today, but no covering over the walkways when getting off the ship for a tour. Returning to the ship in sun or rain, one line stretched into the distance with no covers for shelter. The in cabin movie(s) didn't work properly and took over 45 minutes not to download before giving up. I should have known something was wrong as the screen declared that the temperature was 140 degrees F / 60 degrees C. Guest Relations were called and they promised to fix it in 15 minutes, but that deadline came and went, so another film was attempted. Still nothing. After half an hour they reset the entire system and all was well. After a minute it cut out and I had to start all over again! And again, and again. And again on another day and whilst waiting I noticed that the signage on the balcony door was damaged; not 5 star! Hole/tear in the bed valance. Marks on the sliding cupboard door For some reason the Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14 vibrates continuously. Guest relations staff were quite surly and abrupt. Disembarkation was exactly on time but the store staff did not organise the luggage well. Finally found our luggage in Hall 1 whereas the marker was in Hall 2. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Embarkation and disembarkation was very easy. We arrived early 11am for 1pm and were allowed on at 11:45. Luggage arrived promptly. Disappointed in the buffet so never went back there. Ate all our meals in the dining room and enjoyed the ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was very easy. We arrived early 11am for 1pm and were allowed on at 11:45. Luggage arrived promptly. Disappointed in the buffet so never went back there. Ate all our meals in the dining room and enjoyed the food. Friendly staff and good service.The only problem was finding the dining room. Very strange layout on this ship. Afternoon tea was delightful. No wine package for white wines. Itinerary was good. Only did one tour at Tauranga. Very enjoyable despite pouring with rain all day. Entertainment mixed. Crowded venues for some of the entertainment which was in one of the bars. Disappointed in the fact they had no lecture series. Disappointed in the way people dressed on formal nights and in general. Inconsistent temperatures around the ship. Some places were like an ice box. Now for the big negative. Our bed was terrible. So hard we couldn't sleep the first night. The worst bed we have ever slept on on a cruise ship or anywhere else for that matter.After complaining they put on a cheesy cheap mattress topper which had not been aired and therefore gave us a second sleepless night because of the smell. In the end they brought us old ones and 2 of them. We finally slept. Could not watch TV in bed because the TV was adjacent to the bed. You could only watch by lying crosswise on the bed. How ridiculous is that. I took my own hairdryer because I read someone complain about the one in the room on cruise critic. I was glad I did because the one they provided was useless for styling short hair. It had a rectangular outlet 2"X5"! We also took along an adapter with 3 outlets(2 provided in the room) Read that on cruise critic. If only Princess had got the bed right from the start what a difference it would have made. It has made me wary of sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

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