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873 Australia & New Zealand Family Cruise Reviews

We wanted to try out cruising, and being school teachers, needed a cruise that left or arrived in our home town during school holidays. This 4 night cruise from Auckland to Sydney was perfect. Embarkation was a breeze at the port of ... Read More
We wanted to try out cruising, and being school teachers, needed a cruise that left or arrived in our home town during school holidays. This 4 night cruise from Auckland to Sydney was perfect. Embarkation was a breeze at the port of Auckland. There was no problem with being dropped off with luggage right by the terminal. We were happy with the cabin, it was exactly as we expected after researching. It was comfortable and clean, with everything we needed. Our steward was amazing at looking after us. That was actually the theme of the cruise - the most incredibly staff are on Princess. Our daughter has coeliac disease, and safe eating is the hardest thing when travelling with her. Not on Princess though - we ate in the formal dining room for pretty much every meal after the first day as the food was incredible, and they were able to cater for my daughter's gluten free needs, as well as her wants. I was blown away by how great the food was. The other options on board were perfectly good (we had breakfast once at the buffet, and tried out the terrace grill for lunch as well once, both good meals), but the anytime dining at Traviata was super special. Bar service was equally great. The staff are so friendly and welcoming. Nothing is too much trouble. There are amazing cocktails on Princess! Our daughter had great fun at the youth club, and she also loved the pools. We became addicted to the trivia sessions, and found that there was always something to do if we wanted to do something. The show Encore was amazing, extraordinary talent. Lots of live music from classical to rock band, at all different times, and loads of opportunities to take part in activities - not bad for a 4 night cruise! The crossing was a wee bit rocky - as it often is when crossing the Tasman, which also meant they couldn't disembark at Bay of Islands, but they really tried to make it happen. We weren't planning on getting off there, so that didn't impact us. We were having too much fun exploring the boat. We would absolutely sail with Princess again, the trip exceeded expectations in so many ways. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this for a weekend away with adult kids. These dates and prices worked out at the time for us. This was our first Princess experience. For reference, we have sailed on Carnival Spirit, RC Voyager OTS, and Pacific Explorer. We ... Read More
We chose this for a weekend away with adult kids. These dates and prices worked out at the time for us. This was our first Princess experience. For reference, we have sailed on Carnival Spirit, RC Voyager OTS, and Pacific Explorer. We had four adults in a mini-suite. The lounge became a narrow single bed, with a pullman being the fourth berth. Shower over bath. Narrow balcony. No complaints about the room. Food did not quite meet our expectations, given the hype about Princess food. The desserts were terrific. Service in the MDR terrific of course. The buffet had a very weird grid-like pattern layout, which no real logic to it. I found this area very claustrophobic. I would rate this area and the food at 2.5/5. The inside of the ship seemed very disconnected from the sea outside. Almost all of the public areas are enclosed by restaurants around the outside, or the shops. Way too many shops in my view, but I know some people love them. Even the door to exit onto the small outside (uncovered) area on deck 7 was frosted. You may as well just be in a Westfield anywhere. There did not seem to be enough public areas to suit the number of passengers and not enough shady areas outside. The lack of promenade deck adds to the challenge in this area I believe. The atrium area is very pretty but very noisy with mostly paid restaurants or the photos etc around it. Sometimes parts of this area or the access way to it was blocked off for an activity, making it even more difficult to get around on the ship. I would not want to be on this ship in poor weather as I feel the inside public areas would become very unpleasant. You would be extra glad of your balcony cabin in bad weather. As mentioned by others the theatre area seems to fall well short of requirements for the number of passengers. We saw the new show which I did enjoy. The fact that the 7.15 pm show is televised live into the Princess Live theatre indicated that the supply of seats does not meet the demand. On the other hand, some of the game shows were done in the Princess Live theatre, which seemed too small for the number of people who wished to have a seat. Hollywood Conservatory is quite pretty, although I personally am not a fan of indoor pools. Table Tennis, golf driving range, basketball court seemed to meet with approval. The Laser shooting area did not seem to be open or accessible with no explanation given. Service terrific, poolside music, movies etc good. As mentioned by others trying to get around on this ship is clunky, with corridors and walkways on both the lower and upper public decks ending abruptly. I felt almost all of the public corridors, stairwells, lift lobbies, buffett area were too narrow for the number of people trying to move around on the ship. Seawalk area and bar a nice quirk. In short, I am not too sure that this ship suits the Australian market or cruising in warm climates or scenic areas. Lucky there is a lot of balcony rooms on this ship because it may be the best spot to sit and realize that you are traveling on the ocean. (other than on deck 17). We enjoyed our first taste of Princess overall, and will do again, but probably not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We did a 3 days cruise to no where. The ship is only 2 years old so is quite new and in good condition. Highlights were the movies under the stars, good steak at Crown Grill, quite good food at the buffet with a wide variety, good gym and ... Read More
We did a 3 days cruise to no where. The ship is only 2 years old so is quite new and in good condition. Highlights were the movies under the stars, good steak at Crown Grill, quite good food at the buffet with a wide variety, good gym and other sporting activities such as golf practice range, basketball court and numerous table tennis tables. Our balcony cabin was in good condition but the pull down bed for our daughter meant it was hard to get out to the balcony when it was down. The room seemed a little small but the wardrobe was a good size and the bathroom nice and modern and clean. The shows were very good, the violinist and the dancers put on great events especially the tech based dance show. Afternoon tea in one of the dining rooms was good, nice tea, cakes and nibbles. Did not like the lack of ambience of the speciality restaurants, they open to a bar or to a walk way, too noisy. Poor service in the Crooners Bar Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a wonderful time. The crew really are a credit to Celebrity - nothing is ever too much trouble for them and they do everything so cheerfully. We had the best waiters in the MDR in Mary Grace and Umesha - they truly cared about what ... Read More
We had a wonderful time. The crew really are a credit to Celebrity - nothing is ever too much trouble for them and they do everything so cheerfully. We had the best waiters in the MDR in Mary Grace and Umesha - they truly cared about what they were serving and were fabulous. Captain Alex was very engaged with us and we looked forward to his daily announcements. Our cabin was mid ship on the hump on Deck 9 so we had a perfect view and were within walking distance of everything. Our room steward was lovely and was like the invisible man - we knew he'd been because the beds were made but he was just so unobtrusive. He kept the cabin beautifully clean. The only downside was that we have done several cruises with Celebrity and the shows are the same. It's time to get some new shows Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Be prepared to cough up a lot of extra money! Everything’s got an extra price on it. Photos are an unbelievable price! Average $20-30 each printed picture of about 5x7 or 8x10. And there are ALOT of pictures being taken- photographers ... Read More
Be prepared to cough up a lot of extra money! Everything’s got an extra price on it. Photos are an unbelievable price! Average $20-30 each printed picture of about 5x7 or 8x10. And there are ALOT of pictures being taken- photographers are everywhere trying to pump this money making machine... whilst also talking you that you can’t take photos with your own phone of your family/child with the characters/port set up. Dr seuss breakfast- extra cost PLUS find yourself again paying $20 each picture taken with different characters. Food is ok in the dinning room, but you will find generally below average and luke warm in most places. Bingo- $35 for 5 games! Port stops in the Great Barrier Reef are very poor and EXTREMELY rushed. Expect to get about one hour to snorkel on most shore tours due to the very limited time spent at the ports of Airlie beach, Yorkeys Knob and port Douglas (meanwhile again coughing up on average $200+ pp for a snorkel tour of the reef) Oh and be aware your account will be held for all purchases while your sailing and will not be released when you get back BUT carnival will charge you the entire amount on top. Essentially double dipping into you account until the “holds” of amounts are released which they attempt to put back on to you own bank being the problem not them. I have sailed in the past and enjoyed but this time I will not come back the this company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Sydney to Nth QLD September 17th 10 days We took my wife’s father on this cruise - and he was in good company. This was the oldest crowd we had ever seen on a ship. Lots of walkers, scooters, slow moving folk so don’t be in a ... Read More
Sydney to Nth QLD September 17th 10 days We took my wife’s father on this cruise - and he was in good company. This was the oldest crowd we had ever seen on a ship. Lots of walkers, scooters, slow moving folk so don’t be in a rush. The vessel size and the ports visited meant all but 1 were disembarked/embarked by tender. Combined with the age profile of the guests and some appalling organisation by Princess made this experience really poor. We felt the itinerary was boring would never do something similar again. Even sea days were boring - its the first holiday we were happy to see the end of. The Ship Nominally 3500 pax. We have been on bigger ships however this vessel felt crowded in the public areas. It’s an “odd” sort of vessel to get around. Lots of waiting for lifts. Moving from front to back you basically have to funnel through 1 public area which makes the whole ship feel crowded. There is no external promenade deck around the vessel. The gym is excellent. There is a large number of treadmills, cross trainers, bikes etc. the weights area is a little small but well stocked. There’s a golf practice net however, ridiculously, it was so low in height that you could not make a full swing - what a waste. There is a put putt course, basket ball come racket ball court. The central piazza is typical Princess - however it was also very crowded ...always. Finally probably the worst coffee we have ever had and we tried every location on the boat. They just have no idea. We were so delighted to go ashore for a drinkable cup of coffee. The Staff Just like the standard of food there are some hits and misses with the staff. Our suite cabin steward was MIA - days would go by between glimpses and waves in the corridor. Not once did he ask how we were going, need help etc. Some of the bar staff and food waiters were great. The people at the tour desk were just plain unfriendly - they definitely need a break from the customers. Restaurants General dining Concerto/Symphony/Allegro As a suite customer we had Anytime dining - which worked out to be anytime they aren’t busy. There is absolutely no difference or value in anytime dining on this vessel. The food in the general dining restaurants was also hit and miss. I had 2 genuinely awful meals which required meals to be sent away and 2 OK ones which didn’t. The service is fine. Alfredo Casual Italian/Pizza Good quality pizza. Thin base nice sauce. Tasty egg plant parmigiana. This is a safe place for dinner. La Mer French It is on the third level of the piazza. With a band playing on first level of the piazza it was impossible to have a conversation without virtually yelling at each other. I told the maître dei no thanks see you on a quieter night. When we did eventually go to the restaurant it was OK. They had a snail agnolotti with an awsome sauce and this should have been great ...however the pasta was not aldente :-( Overall nothing special and probably not worth the cover charge. Crown Grill - The best steak on any cruise line (not that i have been on many) Every time I eat at Crown Grill I have a small fillet Mignon and swear it is the best steak I have ever eaten. Good food, great service, just love it. We had 2 meals here. The first was typical and fantastic. The second was on our final night and was pretty ordinary - they were very busy and everything was overcooked - even desert. We had two glasses of wine which were off so i sent them back - the waiter didnt appreciate it and was exceptionally rude in dealing with us. The excellent maître d' sorted it out but it shouldnt need this intervention. Harmony Chinese It was just OK. We live in Ashfield Sydney which has a large Shanghainese community so we eat fresh, vibrant Chinese food - this food was the opposite to this. Not worth the cover charge. Market Place By the standards of cruise ship buffet of the same class as Princess this is typical - and awful. The idea is a taste of worlds which is a nice idea however it just comes off as disorganised. We had 1 lunch here and that was enough for us - maybe dinner may have been better? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
From the warm welcome of the immediate team on emarkation to the seemless tender trips to airlie beach, port douglas, yorky's knob and others we had an unreal experience and all of our expectations were met and exceeded. There were ... Read More
From the warm welcome of the immediate team on emarkation to the seemless tender trips to airlie beach, port douglas, yorky's knob and others we had an unreal experience and all of our expectations were met and exceeded. There were numerous daily activities to suit just about everyone. The Princess Majestic team went out of their way to ensure every detail was covered from the food which was exceptional with great variety to the smiles from all of the team members.The rooms are extremely quiet and well equipped with the room attendant making sure towels were changed regularly as well as the bed. There was an older customer base on this cruise but you can never know that when booking. The food was great in both the marketplace and the restaurants with a great variety to suit just about everyone. We had a coffee and soda package that suited us and i think was value for money. The upper deck areas accomodated plenty of people for sunbaking etc. There were many areas you could just chill for a drink or sit with friends or hang at a bar and watch the bar tenders do tricks. We were on deck 15 in a deluxe balcony and found it to be perfect for us, easy access to food. The on board app assisted with the daily timetable so you could easily check what was on for the day from art and jewellery auctions to bingo. Shore excursions could be prebooked for day trips or make your own way. We have booked another cruise on a different ship but look forward to going on the Majestic again next year in 2020. The Majestic handled well in rough seas on the first night and then it was smooth sailing, i recommend the 10 day from Sydney to Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, yorky's knob and Willis island. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose princess as I had previously cruised with them in 2013 on the ruby princess by far the most amazing cruise I have ever done. I loved the itinerary and have always wanted to cruise with Princess up to the barrier reef. The ... Read More
I chose princess as I had previously cruised with them in 2013 on the ruby princess by far the most amazing cruise I have ever done. I loved the itinerary and have always wanted to cruise with Princess up to the barrier reef. The majestic princess looked amazing new clean we were very excited to be on the ship. This was a huge disappointment the ship is catered for an Asian market so the food was of the lower standard The entertainment was boring and the staff unfriendly. Also we felt like we were on a moving nursing home everyone on the ship was so old it was truly a geriatric cruise even my 71-year-old mother felt out of place. The entertainment at night was so dull that they had a string duo playing at 8 pm 9 pm in the main atrium. There is also no place to dance no dedicated place to dance only in the atrium where all the ballroom dances with frustrated if you got in their way. We paid a premium price for this cruise and were highly disappointed the only thing that redeemed it was the amazing itinerary I’m not sure I want to cruise princess again which makes me feel sad because the best cruise I ever did was on the Princess ship. The food was terrible just terrible my carnival cruise was better food,Actually even the p&o and MSC was better. So disappointed such an Asian ship it does not belong in the Australian market its really catered to the asian market. It was a floating nursing home a geriatric flop with bad food and boring entertainment the only good entertainment was zinger band they were amazing. . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cruised with Princess before, but the Majestic Princess was too big for us, very hard to navigate when your cabin is at the back of the ship. Were on Deck 12 & had to take lift to 7 and walk to the middle to get anywhere. Went with my ... Read More
Cruised with Princess before, but the Majestic Princess was too big for us, very hard to navigate when your cabin is at the back of the ship. Were on Deck 12 & had to take lift to 7 and walk to the middle to get anywhere. Went with my Mum who has a walker, so could not do stairs, lifts always busy & waited a while. Atrium was far too noisy, all the action happens here. Pity there was no Promenade deck (which we did know about) did miss this one. Tender ports took too way too long to get ashore. Ticket system, waited over an hour in dining room, took about another 15 minutes or so to get to the tender and another 15-20 min to get ashore. Staff very helpful when trying to board tender. No Happy Hour, which I did miss, drinks package way too expensive for me. Drinks expensive.but managed with our OBC. Grown Grill was a wonderful experience, food excellent as well as great service. Food generally average, did have issues with consistency Staff could have been more friendly & chatty. Thanks to Arthur in the Symphony Dining Room Table 7 for lots of laughs & jokes with dinner. Balcony cabin rather small as well as balcony. Overall we did enjoy our time on board & ashore Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No ... Read More
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No variety unless you like curry or a roast. The breakfast options were a bit better. The waiters never came to us to offer a drink, They clean tables only. On Princess Cruises they routinely would ask if you wanted a drink. That counts for paid drinks as well. On that note, without the drinks package all that was included was water or watered down orange juice. The poocific explorer on some days there was a sewerage smell around deck 12 and even in our room. We notified reception and they sanitized our room promptly to their credit. Also they don't tell you at time of booking that the waterslides cannot be used at the reef. Travelling with a child we would have liked to have been informed. I think i will stick to princess cruises Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked this cruise because it seemed an amazing deal, after booking I was really tentative about whether we'd enjoy it or not (our first time cruising) but I didnt need to worry too much! Everything was just so easy, we knew ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it seemed an amazing deal, after booking I was really tentative about whether we'd enjoy it or not (our first time cruising) but I didnt need to worry too much! Everything was just so easy, we knew not to expect 5 stars but it was a pretty solid 3. Having a balcony made all the difference and we loved sitting out watching the waves (and dolphins!). The kids enjoyed the kids clubs (ages 6 & 9) especially the planned activities. Which was brilliant because we got to enjoy the adults only area - settling in on a daybed with a mocktail and a book was bliss - really appreciated having no internet, made it much easier to just zone out totally. Food was fine, the mexican was great and the sushi was well worth afew dollars. They poached eggs to perfection every breakfast. Everything else was just fine, even Nouveau was just ok. We didnt really do any of the activities onboard as they were all either on while we were eating or really late but doing nothing in a pleasant room was perfect for what we needed. Would cruise again based on this trip but might look at higher end cruise lines (although love that Carnival has so many balcony rooms) Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, ... Read More
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, I suggested a short cruise. The Golden Princess had a 3 night cruise from Melbourne to Sydney. Perfect! With 13 passengers and an age range from 3 to 69 we boarded in Melbourne for what proved to be an amazing way to be together. With so much to see and do, everyone was treated to some activity they really enjoyed. Kid’s Club provided magical experiences for the little ones whilst Wine Tasting and night life were enjoyed by the adults. The live shows and movies were enjoyed by all. The gym junkies in the group were pumping in the early morning at the very well appointed Fitness Centre. The food was sensational. So many choices and every meal was delicious and beautifully presented. There was something for everyone. Half time pies at the AFL footy telecast, pizza and icecream at the pool, High Tea and late night snacks after Dancing the night away. We also got together for Buffet breakfast and fine dining in the evenings. The staff were excellent and so attentive to all our needs. In every area of the ship our requests were cheerfully attended. Each member of the group gave our trip a 10/10 rating and we are already planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let ... Read More
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let down people dressed up waiting for the party to start just hanging around stairs etc The band played wrong era music rock and Beatles Then when they did the Charleston it was by record Back to school was fun Shows were hit and miss Cabins are ok plenty of space balcony was big enough for two but needs the refurbishment Two many costly extras that are free on other cruise line Edge a waste of money and Soda drinks packages use cans to fill the glass which was often warm or flat Our cruise was a great price so I wasn’t expecting too much but unfortunately I was disappointed with the food choices in the restaurants and didn’t match was on the menu to on the plate Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First impression entering the Piazza, was wow. Very impressive. But the biggest thing that lets it down is the layout. The Market place is so confusing, it’s set out in 2 sections a bistro and buffet. To get your food you have to ... Read More
First impression entering the Piazza, was wow. Very impressive. But the biggest thing that lets it down is the layout. The Market place is so confusing, it’s set out in 2 sections a bistro and buffet. To get your food you have to negotiate .different areas. For example I wanted toasted Banana bread, I went to the counter with the Banana bread, then had to take it to another area to get it toasted then again to get butter. The Market place seating is divided by many screens, it feels a bit closed in. The Princess theatre is a good size but entering and exiting is a problem as the aisles are one person wide, which causes big problems with everyone trying to leave. The future cruise desk and captains circle club are in the same very small room, with only one staff member looking after each area. Causes major cuing. For a ship with 3500 passengers you would think they would have more room and more staff to handle the volume. Our cabin was excellent, we had a Club class mini suite, very big, plenty of room to sit, or eat a meal, very good and big balcony with table chairs and sun lounges. Embarkation and disembarkation was very good, very well organised. The entertainment was good with the imported artist, but the Princess entertainment was the same as any other ship. If you been on a few Princess cruises no need to go and see them. The crew where mainly very good, but there was a lot of Chinese crew that did not seem to want to serve anyone except Chinese passengers. I asked to use the Karaoke room and was told it was only for the Asian cruise, by one Chinese crew member, then told to go and see, the Internet cafe person, then told to see Customer services, who are the ones I saw first so I didn’t bother. I would not go on the Majestic Princess if there was an alternative ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Would not recommend this ship.The mother in laws first cruise and as her complaints were not dealt with made for a very unhappy and grumpy family as we had to put up with the lack of sleep causing being to tired for certain family members ... Read More
Would not recommend this ship.The mother in laws first cruise and as her complaints were not dealt with made for a very unhappy and grumpy family as we had to put up with the lack of sleep causing being to tired for certain family members of family unable to take part in ship activities.The constant harassment of the photographers is very frustrating and annoying.I feel the princess line has to look at trying to change things.Most multiple cruise passengers are not interested in the continuous art sales.Having to wait 15 to 20 minutes to be served is not acceptable to wait for drink.This I feel was due to staff shortages.The restaurant staff in the set dining were fantastic,the only complaint was that as my wife doesn't eat seafood was very restricted on choices.The staff were most helpfull in the area.I am not sure wether these issues were due to the cruise being a repositioning cruise.The shore excursions seem to be expensive as when ashore you can get way better deals.Was amazed at Hong Kong to find princess charging 20 dollars per head for a free curtesy bus.In Taiwan bused to a shopping centre at 9 am to find out nothing opened till 11 am.The whole experience needs to be ,in my opinion,revamped and not feel like buttlins at sea.It seems to be the same ol same ol. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my 10th or 11th cruise and the first time I’ve encountered the typical cruise stereotype. I would say 90% of the guests were 70+, this itinerary definitely draws an older crowd. We travelled with our children so they kept us ... Read More
This was my 10th or 11th cruise and the first time I’ve encountered the typical cruise stereotype. I would say 90% of the guests were 70+, this itinerary definitely draws an older crowd. We travelled with our children so they kept us occupied, but had it just been my husband and I, we would have been so bored and had it been my first cruise I’d likely not take another one. The activities was targeted to the ship demographic: bridge, mahjong, knitting (!!), bean bag toss, puzzles, putting contest; to name a few. I’ve never seen anything like it. Entertainment was similar for the most part, so I only saw 2 production shows in the theatre that appealed to me and they were both very good. I also saw a comedian who I found boring, but again I don’t think I was his demographic. We dined at both specialty restaurants, the Crown Grill was good and Sabatinis was ok. We ate all other dinners in the Bernini dining room and the food was hit or miss. Some nights good and others, bland. The staff in there were absolutely fantastic. We ate breakfast in the buffet which was good and had good variety. I noticed most nights the buffet and dining rooms served the same food. The grill by the pool served good burgers for lunch, but I found the pizza like cardboard and bland. Kids LOVED the ice cream parlour! We ordered room service for lunch several times and it was really good. The coffee is horrible, we bought a coffee card so we could get cappuccinos, they were much better but still not fabulous. The kids club is fantastic, my daughter loved going there. The pools didn’t appear to be heated, the indoor one seemed a bit warmer but still cold. The hot tubs were busy as a result of this. There was a kids outdoor play area and splash pool up too which was nice to have. I took advantage of a spa special one sea day and had a fantastic massage and facial. We had a mini suite which suited us perfectly. Our room did leak, along with others neighbouring us, so we had wet carpet in several areas. Our steward took care of it, who was fabulous. The itinerary was good, we did prefer the north island ports. We unfortunately missed the Fiordlands due to poor visibility, sea and weather conditions. We did not book any excursions as they are wayyyyy overpriced with Princess. Dunedin was a $20 roundtrip shuttle from Port Chalmers. It’s a small city with not a lot to do/see. We took the public bus to St Kilda beach and then just walked down the train station and grabbed a beer at a venue on the octagon. It rained a lot. Akaroa was a tender port, beautiful harbour and surrounding hills. It is a small town. We went to the beach and walked around the town. Had fish and chips as we wanted to try the blue cod. Wellington was next which was a fantastic day. A free shuttle was provided with 2 drop off points. We got off by the parliament and walked to the cable car. Had a fantastic coffee on the walk. The cable car was only $20 roundtrip for the 4 of us. The views at the top are amazing. We walked through the Botanical Gardens to the children’s play area which was great and then took the cable car back down. Walked over to the waterfront which is beautiful. Checked out another playground there, stopped for a beer and then walked the waterfront to Oriental Bay beach and playground. Caught the shuttle back at the 2nd drop off by the museum. Gisborne was next, we rented a car at RaD for $80 which was right by the port. Drove up Kaiti Hill for the beautiful views and then to Wainui beach. From there we drove through town and out to Bushmere Estates Winery. The staff were FANTASTIC, I highly recommend visiting this winery. They prepared a table outside for us to do a tasting and were so knowledgeable about their wines. Even provided colouring, bubbles and cookies for the kids. We ended the day at the beach in town. Mount Maunganui was next, we choose to stay in town and walked along pilot bay, up Mount Drury for great views, hung out on the main beach and explored adjacent Morturiki island. Walked through the town as well along Maunganui road which was full of shops and restaurants, etc. Last stop was Auckland and it was absolutely pouring which resulted us in going to the aquarium to escape the rain. There was a free shuttle there and back in the cbd called the shark bus. It was still raining when we returned to the cbd so we just grabbed a NZ souvenir and some ice cream and that was it for Auckland. Embarkation was busy but efficient. We were in the last time slot to board so a majority of passengers were already on the ship. Embarkation was excellent, we chose to walk off with our luggage and there was no waiting. This was a great way to see New Zealand. We had a good time but got tired of the food and crowd. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Golden princess Off to bad start Princess couldn’t find our boarding passes, had to wait half an hour while they made up new ones. Club class dinning steak like leather . This has happened twice so far, I guess they are getting ... Read More
Golden princess Off to bad start Princess couldn’t find our boarding passes, had to wait half an hour while they made up new ones. Club class dinning steak like leather . This has happened twice so far, I guess they are getting ready for P&O hand over. Room got flooded out now we have mildew smell, they have shampooed twice now, smell is going along the corridor and people can smell it out side our room. Asked for another room were told nothing available! Ordered steak Diane again tough steak again, the only steak that’s ok is the minion. We both were quarantined to our cabin after my wife got A& B influenza. Meals were brought to our cabin - cold and soggy. The carpet was black with mildew so they tried to clean it with no luck Large blower was brought in to try and dry it, I think this made it worse. We are elite customers and this was the worse princess cruise we have ever had, ship is in need of full upgrade we noticed hand rails that had fallen down the stair case, I believe that this ship is going to P&O good luck with that! We missed out on Fiordland National Park due to bad weather which was unfortunate Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a return visit on the same journey. Decided to upgrade from an ocean view cabin, to a mini-suite with balcony. On arrival our toilet was blocked and flooded our bathroom and wardrobe area. This blockage took some hours to ... Read More
This was a return visit on the same journey. Decided to upgrade from an ocean view cabin, to a mini-suite with balcony. On arrival our toilet was blocked and flooded our bathroom and wardrobe area. This blockage took some hours to resolve. Bathroom was mopped and cleaned however, the unpleasant feeling of having had the toilet overflow and spill onto the floor never left my mind. Room was flooded again, early in the trip, by an outside source. Remained damp and smelly for many days, even after being reported a number of times. The passage outside of our room was also flooded and smelled atrocious throughout the cruise. Was grateful to get off the ship, when we finally made landfall after 4 days. Spent all day everyday off the ship, when in port, as I had concerns for my overall well-being. Trip was so unpleasant and depressed my holiday mood, that I was unable to participate in any of the onboard activities. Loved New Zealand and all of the tours that I participated in. Ship life was abhorrent. Next time I will fly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is not a luxury five star ship whatever the travel agents claim, not now. It was back in 2008 when it was launched, but its been worked hard since then. Its evident when you embark through its nice white hull and enter its interior ... Read More
This is not a luxury five star ship whatever the travel agents claim, not now. It was back in 2008 when it was launched, but its been worked hard since then. Its evident when you embark through its nice white hull and enter its interior that its tired and overdue for a refit. We did venture up to the buffet on the first day and were surprised it was a serve yourself affair (a known novivirus risk) and the carpet was badly food stained and furniture chipped and stained. We never went up again. The food in the main dining room was good though, and our table staff were excellent, but the stained drapes and furnishings were similarly in need of attention.We went to most of the shows which were pretty average Broadway type shows, although we did have a good comedian one evening. We had pre-dinner drinks most evenings at the ice bar where the bar staff (and some of the guests) were always entertaining. The other bars offer a more relaxed experience with faster service though. We got off the ship at every stop and found them interesting and worth a visit, especially if the weathers good. Overall we had the impression they are only attending to basic maintenance and cleaning on the Solstice leading up to its refit next year. Avoid this ship until after its refit, or in the meantime there are other better alternatives like Princess or Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Wanted to see New Zealand. Cruise tours were limited. No real wine tours if that is what you are interested in. Loved the Fjords. Cities were interesting . Missed a port due to fog-Port Chalmers. NZ is a beautiful if hilly country. Weather ... Read More
Wanted to see New Zealand. Cruise tours were limited. No real wine tours if that is what you are interested in. Loved the Fjords. Cities were interesting . Missed a port due to fog-Port Chalmers. NZ is a beautiful if hilly country. Weather was exceptionally good except for one day of fog. Tasmania was a pleasant surprise with a visit to a animal rescue sanctuary. Able to get up close and personal with many kangaroos. For a new ship the cabin looked a little worn and the food quality has definitely declined. It used to be so good now the quality is suffering. The beef options were in the main tough unless you ordered from the Steakhouse menu. Vegetables were wet or mushy. We used anytime dining and did go to the Noodle bar, the cafe, and the pizza restaurant which were all good. I always enjoy the music in the atrium. Good selection of artists and easy to get drinks and food nearby. Did not go to any shows but enjoyed the art auctions and did purchase some art Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I sailed with my husband and 4 year old child. The crew are lovely, ports are charming and the ship is clean. The nightly shows were delightful but I do recommend you get to the theatres at least half an hour early to nab yourself a ... Read More
I sailed with my husband and 4 year old child. The crew are lovely, ports are charming and the ship is clean. The nightly shows were delightful but I do recommend you get to the theatres at least half an hour early to nab yourself a seat. Having worked with luxury brands and customer service I do have an eye for things people may miss and I did find the ship had many lightbulbs missing, cracks in windows and a few very visible tears in fabric and dents in important areas such as staterooms, walkways, the piazza and the princess theatre. The afternoon tea is divine with a wide range of cookies, cakes and little tasty rolls on offer. The staff are lovely and very accommodating to passengers needs. The kids club staff and activities were wonderful and having a pager with us was very reassuring when our child was at an activity. My husband was not feeling well and stayed in our stateroom for the first couple of days. During this time, our room steward did not ask my husband how he was feeling or if he needed anything. While I do not expect him to ask these questions, he did his required job. It also goes to show that there was nothing exceptional provided. Embarkations/disembarking and tenders were swift and well managed. Most activities onboard were clearly designed more to drive sales than to entertain passengers. The art talks and auctions, the Effy events, beauty, fashion events and all the seminars gave a big push towards sales. I would like to see more of a variety of activities on offer and more interesting craft activities than just folding half a box in a 10 minute time slot. The International Cafe is a wonderful place with friendly staff, for coffee and snacks open 24 hours. Towards the later stage of the cruise in the dining room, my daughter ordered the fish strips and chips from the children's menu. I sliced the fish for her and was surprised to find quite a large worm inside it. The waiter agreed it was a worm and took the plate away to show the chef immediately. We never saw or heard any apologies from the chef or anyone at Princess Cruises. I immediately lost confidence in the cuisine. My daughter says she loved the cruise and wants to go again. We enjoyed swimming in the spas. The icecream and the pizzas are delicious. The ports of call are beautiful. Note: Bring your own books as the library is very small and has a very poor selection. It was an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My mum and I chose this cruise as she wanted to go to New Zealand and I wanted to go on a cruise so we thought why not combine both. We had the most amazing time, we have both cruised once before on P&O and everyone we spoke to ... Read More
My mum and I chose this cruise as she wanted to go to New Zealand and I wanted to go on a cruise so we thought why not combine both. We had the most amazing time, we have both cruised once before on P&O and everyone we spoke to said we would love princess even more and they weren’t wrong. I had read a lot of reviews on here, some good, some not so good and all I can say is some people really mustn’t have anything better in there lives but to complain because I could not fault one thing for the whole cruise. The food was amazing weather we ate in horizon court, the restaurant or just a burger and chips. All the crew were friendly and extremely helpful. The room was always cleaned twice a day by our steward. The entertainment was amazing, from the performances weather they were in in princess theatre, vista lounge or the explorers lounge. As for the cruise director PJ and his staff, well they had me in hysterics every night, especially Alex, he is one amazing guy. Embarkation and disembarkation was very quick and stress free. The only downer on our trip and it has absolutely nothing to do with princess, it was just bad timing was being court up in Christchurch in the terror attack, was rather scary for a while but we made it out safe and sound. Loved this trip so much that we are looking at booking another princess cruise to Fiji next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Overall our cruise was very good but we had a very noise cabin which meant we come home from our holiday needing another holiday due to being very sleep deprived due to the amount of continuos noise from the above kitchen at night. This ... Read More
Overall our cruise was very good but we had a very noise cabin which meant we come home from our holiday needing another holiday due to being very sleep deprived due to the amount of continuos noise from the above kitchen at night. This noise was horrendous starting around 12:00am for a few hours and the again around 5:00am. So we were lucky to get 2 hours sleep a night due to this racket. The entertainment was good, plenty to do for everone. Food was good with lots of variety and the service was amazing. We enjoyed the amount of stops around New Zealand and boojed shore excursions through the ship each stop. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and easy. Our oldest son loved the teen group but our 12 nearly 13 year old was not allowed in teen group so did not enjoy kids club with the small kids. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My friend suggested this cruise purely because it left from Melbourne and was convenient for us. We booked through a travel agent who was enthusiastic about our travel choice. The only things we could complain about, unjustly I suspect, ... Read More
My friend suggested this cruise purely because it left from Melbourne and was convenient for us. We booked through a travel agent who was enthusiastic about our travel choice. The only things we could complain about, unjustly I suspect, were 1.The lines at embarkation. There were of course 901 passengers,so considering that the lines though massive, did move relatively quickly, I really wouldn't complain. And 2. The waiting period for tenders at the first tender port took much longer than expected, at over an hour. |However, apart from these two minor compaints, the entire cruise and ship excursions aside from this were absolutely fantastic. The food was delicious in both the buffet and fine dining. I tried room service twice and it was delicious too. And prompt. The waiters were a delight and so obviously loved their jobs. My cabin attendant was lovely and efficient and helpful when I had the odd question. The cruise director and his staff were absolutely brilliant and virtually a reason to travel again, on their own. They kept us informed and SO entertained with a variety of events and fun activities throughout the cruise. From Trivia games and lip sync battles to Samba lessons. It was all so much fun.The ship itself is beautifully decorated and my friend and I, plus my 14 year old daughter loved the four shore excursions we did too. They ran smoothly and delivered value for money. We did our own thing at Akaroa and Auckland and encountered no difficulty doing this either. My daughter quickly befriended other teenagers through the Kids Club and they subsequently entertained themselves on board very well, very much enjoying both 'the piano man' and the karaoke. I also took the time to have a facial, manicure, pedicure, stone therapy and a haircut. I went all out! I never felt so good though, after all that and the staff were all excellent. Professsional and friendly, as you would hope. I am definitely going to cruise with them again. Can't wait in fact!. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We didn’t choose this cruise,our original one with P&O was canceled so we thought we would try this one. We were a bit disappointed. The crowd was to old. I felt like it was a nursing home cruise. Entertainment was lacking, movies on ... Read More
We didn’t choose this cruise,our original one with P&O was canceled so we thought we would try this one. We were a bit disappointed. The crowd was to old. I felt like it was a nursing home cruise. Entertainment was lacking, movies on the big screen was average. They had a great piano player in a very small bar which had people in the walk way blocking people who wanted to just walk passed. Plenty of other bigger venues for him. Staff were awesome, food was lovely, ports were great. There were lots of water leaks coming from the ceiling in some area, broken toilet doors, broken seats in the theatre. We did have a nice relaxing time. We enjoyed just sitting around having a quiet drink on the small very small prominarde area. Our cabin was average the shower was far to small. I wouldn’t recommend it to the young at heart. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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