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4 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Auckland

4 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Auckland

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Golden Princess
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Auckland
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Melbourne

Golden Princess

Golden Princess - Princess Cruises

Pros

Lots of options for dining, drinking and swimming, and a high ratio of balcony cabins

Cons

Some of the decor is not as modern as other ships in the region

Bottom Line

A great all-rounder for passengers of all ages


Cruise Reviews

1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose NZ for our first cruise because we wanted to see more of the South Island. The round trip from Melbourne worked out well with same day flights from and back to Perth. Golden Princess is an older ship but very clean and well ... Read More
We chose NZ for our first cruise because we wanted to see more of the South Island. The round trip from Melbourne worked out well with same day flights from and back to Perth. Golden Princess is an older ship but very clean and well maintained with lots of character. The drop-off process for taxis and Uber was quite slow at the Port, we were glad we didn't have a meter running. Embarkation was good and we could go straight to our cabin. The bags were delivered a short time later so all very easy. We had a balcony cabin mid-ships on Aloha deck and it was excellent. I've read previous reviews about it being noisy near the lifts but the sound-proofing must have been very good because we couldn't hear a thing except if we were on the balcony. Our cabin steward Raquel was amazing and always around if we needed anything. She would clean and make the bed each morning and then freshen it up again later in the day, leaving ice in the fridge and chocolates on the pillow. The shower was very small but everything worked well. Power points are US with 2 flat pins so Australians need an adapter. If you're bringing appliances like a hair dryer or straightener they need to work on 110 volts. There are a few bars and drinks are not cheap, around $11-$14 for a glass of wine. You can bring one bottle per person on board for no charge to be consumed in your stateroom, and more but subject to a $15 corkage charge per bottle. A bottle of wine at the bar or dining rooms started at around $41. The drinks package is a ridiculous price at $89 per person! We had (paid) Wifi in our cabin which was convenient but it was so slow that it was almost unusable. So anything more than checking the occasional email is best done when on shore. The Horizon Court buffet was pretty good. We had a couple of delicious curries and often came for dessert or cheese and crackers if we'd eaten at the dining room. The menus at the dining rooms were good but we found the food a little bland, maybe catering to the large number of older people on the cruise (many in their 70s and 80s). Service was very good and we had Any Time Dining and never had to wait for a table. Sometime we shared a larger table and sometimes we chose a table for 2. We did eat at both specialty restaurants, The Crown Grill (steak house) and Sabatini's Italian. Again the service was very good but the food wasn't all that special. We are coffee lovers so gave the free (syrup) coffee at the buffet a miss. A coffee card costs $36 for 15 specialty coffees so that was good value. This can be used at the International Cafe or at the bar near the Horizon Court buffet. Our sea days were nice and relaxing and mostly the weather was kind. On the way back to Melbourne we dodged the tail of a cyclone and another system coming up from the south of NZ so there was a bit more movement for one day and one night. They drained the swimming pools which had been making great waves in the swell. We didn't find it too rough but a few people were feeling a bit unwell. The ports we stopped at in NZ were all great. Dunedin and Tauranga were the stand-outs but we did interesting things at all our stops. The tender service for Akaroa and Gisborne worked well and we never really had to wait long to get off or back on the ship. Entertainment on the ship was a good mix but we didn't make it to any of the shows. The one we thought we'd go to was already full about 20 minutes before the start time! We liked the Wheelhouse bar and there was often a good guitarist playing. Every morning and afternoon there is a 20 question trivia session which was fun if we were on board. Our only gripe was having to dodge the photographers everywhere, they need to accept that some people don't want their photo taken every 5 minutes and don't intend to buy them. They were a bit pushy at times. The Princess Patter (schedule and info for the next day) was delivered to the slot outside our cabin (or sometimes inside if Raquel had been) every evening, usually while we were at dinner. They also have a Princess wifi (this one is free) for information which includes the schedule as well. Overall we found the Golden Princess to be very well run with excellent crew and good facilities. We loved the ship and our first cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to continue to add to our cruise days with Princess to improve our level status. We had 3 wonderful servers at our dining table for 2. Diana, Joel and Plamen made our experience most enjoyable. The destinations on this cruise ... Read More
We wanted to continue to add to our cruise days with Princess to improve our level status. We had 3 wonderful servers at our dining table for 2. Diana, Joel and Plamen made our experience most enjoyable. The destinations on this cruise were wonderful. 1. Although Princess offers dining tables for 2-8, it always requires a meeting with the Maitre'D on the day of embarkation to confirm one. When having that meeting, the MD always makes you feel that the request is an imposition and if they had their way they would stick to larger tables because it is easier for them. We have had bad experiences with the larger tables due to language issues with sharing a table so prefer a table for 2. If you are going to offer a table 2 then support it and don't require people to beg for it. 2. Although we were promised in a phone call prior to sailing that both non-alcoholic beer and wine would be available on board. My wife is a recovering alcoholic and I can't drink alcohol due to a medication I take and it is important to both of us to have both beverages available. That proved not to be the case. There was no NA wine on the ship. There was an extremely limited number of bottles of NA beer and they were scattered all over the ship. We were actually told to go and find which bars had any. No one that we spoke to including Hospitality knew where any bottles were actually stored. Obviously these beverages either are not in enough of a demand or are not a big enough money maker. 3. The room gratuity is stated in all the literature and and on line to be $13.50 US per person per room for a balcony. This cruise was based on Australian dollars. However, Princess, without letting anyone know as far as I am aware, pro rated the gratuity cost to US dollars and in fact were charging $18.77 in Australian dollars instead of $13.50. I believe the costs of drinks were also increased on this cruise to be of equal value to those charged on other ships in US dollars. We made sure that we reduced the rate of gratuity charged to our room and made sure that we tipped the people that served us well were individually tipped as appropriate. Most cruisers are unaware of the fact that they can have the automatic room gratuity reduced or eliminated merely by visiting the on board main desk. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Primary complaint was the quality and menu of main course items in Horizons Buffet. Many Mexican and Indian style dishes that were not appealing to the eye or palet. Also, most hot dishes were only warm - not good enough. Only has ... Read More
Primary complaint was the quality and menu of main course items in Horizons Buffet. Many Mexican and Indian style dishes that were not appealing to the eye or palet. Also, most hot dishes were only warm - not good enough. Only has Horizon to dine at for lunch when in port as no dining room lunches available. Dining room menus good. Only issue is the evening Princess Favourites where previously there was always a steak option - No longer available. Seems that Princess is cutting back on offerings. Crown Grill and Sabatinis very good but query if justifies all of the additional charge. Drinks are expensive compared with on shore restaurant prices for beers and wines. Spirits pricing reasonable. Tried to buy a bucket of beer but no buckets. This happened more than once and to other passengers as well. Itinerary good but not enough time in Auckland - only 0800 to 1500. Embarkation and disembarkation excellent with short delays only each time. Internet expensive given the speed as you pay for minutes used not usage. Some of the public area seating very tired as is some of the public area decoration. Overall a good cruise but the above issues did take the gloss off the trip. As this is the only Princess ship operating out of Melbourne there are no options to travel on another Princess ship. Read Less
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