28 Melbourne First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

After a disappointing start with a later embarkation due to extra sanitation onboard and all the negative reports through the media in regards to Norovirus, we ended up having a really good time on the Golden Princess. We have not cruised ... Read More
After a disappointing start with a later embarkation due to extra sanitation onboard and all the negative reports through the media in regards to Norovirus, we ended up having a really good time on the Golden Princess. We have not cruised before so have no idea how this ship compares to others. Service around the ship was consistently attentive other than the rude boffins in the internet lounge. Points to note: * Hats off the staff for the incredible job they do making getting on and off at ports so well organised. and Hats off for putting up with the constant stupid questions and whining from the small minded minority. * Unsure why we are chrged gratuity surcharge on purchases including drinks when ship runs in AUD. Surely we can choose if we wish to pay gratuities?? * Unimpressed with the shops onboard - but I wasnt there to buy things so it didnt bother me. * Room steward was attentive * I have no idea why so many people choose to eat in the buffet as the restaurants were easy to get into and far better service and food quality. We were impressed with the selections. * we were cruising to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary so we did find it hard to socialise on board as most patrons were a lot older. * we found the shows cheesy and aimed at older patrons. We were happy sitting in a bar listening to the houseband or joining in trivia etc * we enjoyed the art auctions and found them informative. All in all we would cruise again with Princess and recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Having just returned from an 11 night cruise on the Pacific Eden we are happy now to be home . The cruise started out well with priority embarkation witch was great . As the queue to board the ship was quit long . But we were put ... Read More
Having just returned from an 11 night cruise on the Pacific Eden we are happy now to be home . The cruise started out well with priority embarkation witch was great . As the queue to board the ship was quit long . But we were put straight thro . We went straight up to our room Suite 10031 on deck 10 .. First impression was a nice large room although it was dated . We knew this was not a new ship just a refreshed one , but a few more modern furnishings would of been nicer ... Still the large balcony was great with amazing views and fresh air . I don't know how people can have interior room with just stall air for the whole time . The room can with the option of having breakfast or afternoon tea at no extra cost ... Our room stewards Clive and Eddie did a fantastic job at keeping the room clean and tidy , and my wife loved the towel animals that were made for us .. We were supposed to cruise for 4 nyts then arrive at Normea , but we caught the end of Cyclone Wilson ( supposedly ) . and had to stay at sea for an extra nyt and miss out on going to Normea . This really annoyed 98% of the passengers . As it seemed that we had already gone thro the worst of the weather ... Isle of pines was great , and the fact that we were finally off the ship , and could have a swim .. We booked the tour on the boat . Of course it coasted more , but we had an English speaking guide who told us all about the island and the culture .. Worth the $$$ Lifou was good too . Once again we booked the tour on the boat .. This tour was a drive to a local beach again with an English speaking guide . This tour did not stop at sights just talked about them as we passed . Two very silly people on the tour complained continually bout not stopping at the sights . They should of read what sort of tour it was .. The beach was really nice and quite . Mare was so so . Only really went to get off the boat . Nice beach , but $20 return just to go for 30 min swim was a bit rich We really enjoyed most of the shows on the boat , except for the female comedian who got more and more vulgar as her act went on .. Everyone likes to laugh but it was disgusting what she was saying . Only funny if you don't have a brain . The Pantry was ok at the start , then got worse and worse as the cruise went on . I disgusting smell lingered near the entrance as people started calling the trough.. Food was warm at the most never really hot . Waterfront was much better . Just like an RSL or local pub . Did not have a bad meal . Dragon lady was also nice , but very slow service . Salt Grill was amazing . $39 for lunch with 3 courses , Have paid 6 times as much in the city . And the food on the boat was better . The Grill by the pool was also very good .. Pizza for $9.50 good but a lot of people were not happy that they had to pay extra . We got the drinks package for the two of us at $79 a Day .. Touch and go if it was worth it. Disembarkation was a shamble .. with people just doing what ever they pleased and not sticking to the schedule. Once off the boat tho , no real checking of bags or customs . Could of bought anything back , or heaps off booze or smokes . Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We had a fabulous time on the Pacific Eden. Honestly, it was our best holiday ever. We loved our balcony cabin, lots of room, fridge, lounge area, plenty of storage. The stewards, waiters and entertainment crew were always friendly, ... Read More
We had a fabulous time on the Pacific Eden. Honestly, it was our best holiday ever. We loved our balcony cabin, lots of room, fridge, lounge area, plenty of storage. The stewards, waiters and entertainment crew were always friendly, professional and obviously well trained. Love the renovated areas, the Pantry was okay for breakfast, but we preferred going to the Waterfront for lunch and Angelos or Dragon Lady for dinner. We enjoyed going to trivia and bingo - so many laughs. The shows each night were terrific. I haven't laughed so much in years. Cyclone Winstone stopped us from visiting Noumea and caused a few rough days, but fortunately we were not sea sick. Can't wait to holiday again on this fabulous ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Just back from our first cruise with my wife. I have a cafe, 28 staff and have high standards so I understand hospitality. Good service we very much enjoyed the short trip from Melbourne to Sydney and had a ball. I can not understand ... Read More
Just back from our first cruise with my wife. I have a cafe, 28 staff and have high standards so I understand hospitality. Good service we very much enjoyed the short trip from Melbourne to Sydney and had a ball. I can not understand the negative reviews and think they would moan as they are just moaners on a ship or on land…. Staff: Were very friendly and very helpful on the whole trip. Waterfront: Very clean, heaps of options on the menu and the food was great, white table cloths and very enjoyable service. Pantry: Very clean, heaps and heaps of options, Asian, Fish & Chips, Mexican, Indian, Roasts, Salads, Sandwiches and rolls etc etc, and of course desserts. Food was hot and very good for served buffet style food, also a tea and coffee station, orange and apple juice plus chilled water. opens as soon as you board the ship if you are hungry The Grill: Very clean, If you are hungry after out side of dining hours you can buy, Burgers - Hotdogs - Nachos -Chips for $ 3.00, Bucket of prawns $ 15.00 or fantastic large pizzas for $ 9.50) Beverage Packages: We chose $ 7.00 per day for soft drink as we are not big drinkers or $ 69.00 per day for the alcohol package, you can use all over the ship or pay as you go. Entertainment: Heaps to choose from on different decks day or night Cabin Mini Suite 11146: Excellent, larger than we had thought, clean, very comfortable bed, balcony to just looking out to sea or the views as we went along the coast and brilliant views of Sydney. The cabin is cleaned every day and turned down at night. Arriving and Departure of ship: Very well organised I’m taking my son on a second cruise on the Eden next month and can not wait to experience another P&O ship. Please do not listen to the moaners, P&O give a great cruise at a very affordable price, I felt sorry for the staff at times. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Didn't know what to expect from this cruise as i was a first timer & afterwards would probably not go on this ship again. Not that it was aweful but having to tell staff how to do their job when your trying to relax on vacation; i ... Read More
Didn't know what to expect from this cruise as i was a first timer & afterwards would probably not go on this ship again. Not that it was aweful but having to tell staff how to do their job when your trying to relax on vacation; i would try another ship if i ever do again. I purchased a drink package & wasn't fully expalined what it entailed( a pamphlet would be a good idea) & then being told by a hospitality supervisor i could't have milkshakes when other staff were serving them to me no worries. I nearly had more than one argument with different staff because they were either unaware or too stupid to realise what my drink package sticker meant. The cabin cleaners i must say did a fantastic job & were very polite & professional. The deck attendants also can't fault them along with the Captain & his crew & the directors staff. Didn't even know who this guy was that approached me at the gym but by the way he was acting anyone would have thought he built the ship haha trying to tell me how to use equipment that i already knew how to use & stressing cos i brought my kid along, nvr went back in there after that thanks fella. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We departed on the 11th of January 2016 for a relaxing cruise. The first thing we noticed was the ease of getting on the boat, unlike an airport there was staff everywhere to help with luggage, fill out forms and give you advice. A great ... Read More
We departed on the 11th of January 2016 for a relaxing cruise. The first thing we noticed was the ease of getting on the boat, unlike an airport there was staff everywhere to help with luggage, fill out forms and give you advice. A great start. Once on board we received exceptional service from all staff who appeared to actually enjoy their jobs. Our cabin was fine 5th deck interior ( a result of booking very late) Our cabin steward Floraliza was pleasant and hard working keeping ours and I suspect 19 other cabins spotless. The food was first class the entertainment very good with plenty of activities to keep you occupied if you need it. The thing that surprised me most was the price of things. Drinks were pretty much on par with restaurants, coffee $3.50 for a cappuccino, cocktails $12 - $18. The shops selling every day items (bandaids, sunscreen first aid etc. were resonable. I expected everything to be hugely marked up. Duty free alcohol was on par with Port Vila prices maybe a couple of dollars more. Overall we had a great trip and will cruise again. Suggestion: Names on tags of staff and guests could be more prominent - makes it easier to say hello for those of us with bad memories for names. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Finally after waiting 12 months for this holiday we were on board, first time cruisers. Golden Princes from Melbourne to NZ Jan 2016.Balcony room in Caribe Deck 10 was spacious. Forget the shoe bag over the door idea. There is plenty of ... Read More
Finally after waiting 12 months for this holiday we were on board, first time cruisers. Golden Princes from Melbourne to NZ Jan 2016.Balcony room in Caribe Deck 10 was spacious. Forget the shoe bag over the door idea. There is plenty of shelving hanging space and shelf under basin in bathroom. Clip magnets a good idea, we hung our landyards and important papers on the wall. Bed made morning and during dinner. Nice to come back to a cleanly made room. Room service free including tea and coffee. International cafe is open 24 hrs but coffee and tea you have to pay for. We partook of the food offerings late took them back to our room and ordered room service for the tea and coffee! Entertainment was good. Magician and comedians esp the one from NZ was very funny and had tears running down throughout his performance. Nathan from Hi5 era was excellent. The crew review was funny but get there early as it was standing room only in the Princess Theatre. Not having another ship to compare to it was great though others did say it looked tired. Service was spectacular, waiters get to know you and your preferences fairly early. Could not fault the service. Food was amazing, far too much if anything!! Go on a diet before you cruise otherwise its so easy to put on the kilos, so take the stairs not the elevator, walk the deck on level 7. We have a 15 yr daughter and 17 yr old son. Daughter loved the remix area for teens and have kept in touch with them via social media. 17yr old was not interested. The tender ports are a pain, esp the waiting to return back to boat. Not pleasant if its boiling hot or raining as you wait outside in all types of weather. Excursions we did were Wellington Weta Movie tour. Hubby and daughter loved it. Son and I checked out Wellington. Hobbiton and Rotoroa the Luge. We rented a car from Rite Price rentals in Tauranaga, they collected us from the boat, short trip to their shop and we were quickly on our way to Hobbiton. Organised this on line. Highly recommend them. They then shuttled bus us back to ship. Great day though weather abysmal in Rotoroa. The luge fun though not so much because of the appalling weather. Nice hot chocolate in their shop though! Dunedin is a far way from Port Chalmers, where we docked. I pre organised a 4 hour tour from PC to Dunedin and back via back roads, picturesque scenery. Again booked not through the ship. Most of the time though just happy to walk around the towns. Gisborne a beautiful town. Kids did the Skydeck walk in Auckland, not for the faint hearted. The wharf there is well worth a walk around. But its mostly about the ship. If you want to see a lot of NZ then a cruise isnt they way to see it. Overall we as a family had a fantastic time. It takes a bit to readjust to beds not swaying! We would do it again in a heartbeat. Smooth waters all the way. We also bought the unlimited drinks package for son well worth it as he drank like a fish! Specialty coffee card also good value. Forget Lotus Spa far far too expensive even for a special treat I couldnt justify their prices. But each to their own. Getting a taxi back to the suburbs in Melbourne was a farce. Where are all the taxis when you need them. It took us an 1 and 30 mins to get a stationwagon to get us home. Hats off to Barry who rung the taxi companies tirelessly to try and get more taxis to come to the wharf. Maxi cabs were even more rare. Not the best way to end our time away. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I went on this cruise with my husband, children (12, 15), my parents and my sister. We were in consecutive cabins with interconnecting balconies on the port side, so had a fabulous view as we travelled anti clockwise around NZ. The scenery ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, children (12, 15), my parents and my sister. We were in consecutive cabins with interconnecting balconies on the port side, so had a fabulous view as we travelled anti clockwise around NZ. The scenery was spectacular as you'd expect from NZ. Arriving in a new port was a cause for great excitement. But what made this cruise special were the staff, who were so cheerful and friendly. The cruise director and his assistant were hilarious and set an irreverent tone that delighted the Aussies on board. They were very hardworking too, providing daily updates of all cruise activities on the in-house TV station, as well as hosting many of the shows. The entertainment was often cheesy, but you expect that on a cruise ship and you have to go along with it. There was some great laughs with NZ's best comedian, and the stage show on the final night was hilarious, with various members of staff performing acts. Our kids loved the karaoke and the bingo (they won $90 each!). The food was about 8/10. Lots of variety at the different restaurants on board so you couldn't get bored with the menu. Who could complain about all you can eat and never having to do the dishes! There were only a few moments of boredom for the kids, which they filled with watching favourite movies on the in-room TV. Most of the time on board we spent going from restaurants and bars, to shows, to the gym, and back to the room to sit around and read and rest. What's not to like! If I had to complain I would say the décor is dated - think 90s salmon pink and brass. But it's all very clean and well-maintained. And perhaps the pools could be a bit bigger, but talk about first world problems! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My Husband & I were excited but a little anxious about heading on a planned P&O trip due to the regular negative feedback people had left on P&O Facebook page! We decided it will be what we make of it! Sorry about the essay ... Read More
My Husband & I were excited but a little anxious about heading on a planned P&O trip due to the regular negative feedback people had left on P&O Facebook page! We decided it will be what we make of it! Sorry about the essay but our trip was 98% positive keep reading! Here is our review: We have just returned from comedy 'taster cruise' off Melbourne on the Pacific Jewel. We were in a level 5 'budget' cabin after purchasing a deal from scoupon. Our cabin was fabulous, easy to get to, clean, comfortable bed, tidy, good view & had everything we needed. Even the cloth shower curtain didn't get stuck to you (as they do.) Our room stewardess Liza was most attentive & made sure our every need was met! Her towel art- very cute & clever! Note: Tip your steward in person! In fact, all of the staff couldn't do enough for you, most of them loved their jobs! The entertainment/shows/bands were all great & there was a huge variety of things to do included in your ticket price!! Yes you had to pay if you wanted to do bingo, casino, some craft, & adventure activities (if you didn't everyone's ticket price would be higher!) There was so much to do at times there wasn't time to stop without 'missing something!' Now for the food..... I am a chef & we found the food to be good. The Pantry is a novel idea for a buffet, it allows for a variety of food without a single queue everyone lined up in. Indian, Asian, fish/chips/pizza Mexican, Roast, salads/soup/ sandwiches & of course dessert!! In 3 days I wasn't able to try everything, however the food we had was hot, tasty & better than the 'buffet slop' some places dish up. We were quite annoyed at the constant whinging & comments about the food onboard!! Folks you need to remember the chefs are feeding 2000 people every meal sitting for a DAILY budget of at a guess $15-$20pp at most!!! What do you expect?? One thing I will say is I hope they change variety of dishes more often on a longer cruise. However, like I said above, because we were there only 3 days we didn't have to eat the same thing twice (unless we wanted to!) The Waterfront restaurant was available unlimited (you could eat here every meal if you wanted) for a 3 course meal breakfast/lunch/ dinner for no addition cost. I would describe this as 'formal dining' with budget A La Carte food. You needed to book a table in this restaurant which had staggered times (the booking process was a little clunky & could use a little work)- more complaints heard (again how many meals do you think chefs can prepare at once!) The service was fabulous and staff were almost too attentive, the meal's we had were served quickly, were nice & presented well. The steak was cooked med/rare but was chewy, however it wasn't eye fillet or scotch so difficult to make tender!! The other courses spot on! Overall we had a positive experience & really enjoyed ourselves. We have picked up lots of tips for a longer cruise next time! As for all the 'negative Nancy's' out there you're never going to be happy as you clearly want champagne on a beer budget!!! Remember you get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was my first cruise so I dont really have a benchmark. However, I set out not expecting much as I was told that P&O is at the lower end of cruise lines. We totally enjoyed our cruise and the faults I will mention were really quite ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I dont really have a benchmark. However, I set out not expecting much as I was told that P&O is at the lower end of cruise lines. We totally enjoyed our cruise and the faults I will mention were really quite minor. Cabin Balcony cabin was quite roomy and very clean. Balcony is small but functional. Bathroom was clean and everthing worked. Better than I expected. Bars All good and the prices for drinks were reasonable. Some bars charged more than others and I didnt quite get that. Entertainment Theatre is smallish but didnt see anyone having to stand. Seats a bit uncomfortable. Shows were good - Bev Killock was awesome. A few more movies would have been nice. Pool area Probably the bogan and kid hangout of the boat. Not a major problem but turned us off using the pool a bit. Food Pantry was OK if you got the food when it first came out. Bit of a zoo at breakfast. Waterfront restaurant food was average and didnt bother again after the first night. Room service was cheap but food was cold. Salt, the Luke Mangan, was over rated and not worth the surcharge ($49pp). The high tea, however, is a must at $20pp. Luna was an unexpected jewel. The food was awesome and rivalled the best city restaurants. At $29pp I wouldve gone again if we had time. Overall You get cheap rooms but pay for a lot of extras. Ship is not too bad for its age and I didnt notice much roll with the waves. Odd tip! Im very tall and except for the corridors had few problems with ceilings. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We booked a 4 berth cabin all paying the special price of $355 each, friends a couple of weeks before the cruise got a twin share for $190 each with an added a $25 upgrade to a room with a balcony. One member of our group injured ... Read More
We booked a 4 berth cabin all paying the special price of $355 each, friends a couple of weeks before the cruise got a twin share for $190 each with an added a $25 upgrade to a room with a balcony. One member of our group injured themselves after booking and ended up wearing a boot and needing assistance (wheel chair). I rang and spoke to staff about maybe needing a more suitable room. I was told check when you board. When boarding, Was told check at reception. Reception placed us 2nd inline for a room upgrade come back after 7pm. We had boarded at 11.30. So couldn't really settle in room. I checked after 7pm to be told that we could be upgraded to twin share rooms for an extra $350 per person. Of course we didn't take them up of their ridiculously priced offer. It seemed they were all very helpful getting the wheelchair person on and off the boat but didn't care once she was on it. Food in the waterfront restaurant was awful. Prawn salad entree consisted of about 4 shrimp, a bit of lettuce, mayo and 2 finger sized sticks of toast. Pork belly was a very dry marinated pork fillet. The pantry was no betterr. We were told by a staff member that reception is open all night. NO it's closed 12- 6am. The staff are very friendly and only passing on decisions re room made by supervisors an above, so you cant blame them. The comedians were very funny and highlight of the cruise. Huge lack of communication regarding boarding passes and departing passes. Whats with being asked to leave your bags out the night before you depart??? Unfortunately the 1st night was cancelled due to engine trouble, we had bad weather the first night, it was very rough and many were sick, a little better the second and of course the day you get off at 8am its 31 degree's and beautiful. Don't think I'd do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I got to the pier by Public transport , left early to get there early and to cover any possible delay the public transport could have thrown at me , none, I had lunch at a cafe near there and looked at her and how huge she was. at about ... Read More
I got to the pier by Public transport , left early to get there early and to cover any possible delay the public transport could have thrown at me , none, I had lunch at a cafe near there and looked at her and how huge she was. at about 12.50 I decided to line up , my check in was meant to be 1.30 but as i felt that by the time i got to the front it would be that time I didn't see any wrong in lining up at the time i did. it moved nicely , i got to where the truck was for bag pick up and a few of us got told if you don't mind and can do so walk to the next pick up point you are most welcome to do so , so a few of us did just that . Got to the bag pick up point [where people get dropped off in taxi's etc ] and handed my bags over and up i went . I was directed to fill out some forms which I did then lined up in the next Que . that didn't take long and the next thing had my card for my room. next stop was customs and claiming my GST of my purchases . that all went smoothly and then through the photo stops etc i took some pictures as well of the ship and got another photo for my cruise card done then onto the ship i went and up to my room . I met my Steward Ariel , a lovely guy polite and always willing to help , very hard working as well. I then went off and explored . Such a huge ship inside and out , all the staff i met had a smile all said hello they all got to know me and that day i had my cowboy hat on and got called cowgirl/boy by a few all with a smile . Time the ship left port watched and took lots of photos of that happening, then it was dinner time. I had chosen first sitting for my dinning experience as I find i don't always sleep well after late dinners though mind you I probably should not have worried about that with lots to do and see you don't always get to bed early anyway , met my waiters Daniel from Serbia and Phinyo from Thailand , they are Gems , such lovely guys with wonderful smiles and always ready for a chat and a laugh , willing to suggest what meal might be nice and if you could not make your mind up they would give you both choices , happened to me many a time with the entrees , they got to know the drink of choice and you were set for a lovely dinner , my table companions were great always had a chat with them . movies shows what ever you wanted to do fantastic . used the skywalkers disco area a couple of times to read a book though did fall asleep doing that too to wake up in the middle of fog . found the gym and used it a couple of times , walked around the boat when I could . Never ended up at a speciality restaurant as I was enjoying the company at my table . Found a couple of people that did not know the manners of letting people out of lifts before going on and politely let them know about it . other then those couple i didn't encounter many people like that they were all great and looked to be enjoying themselves and most treated the staff great from what i saw as well which is great as well . The Photographers were great , had my favourite who took a great photo of me and he was and is a great guy always polite with a great sense of humor . We got into all ports, we had the wind pick up as the last tender left Akaroa which made it slightly harder to get to the ship but the ship and the crew on the tender did a great job and all got on Golden safely , a poor kayaker got caught by the wind and fell out , a passenger saw this and alerted the crew , they sent a tender to help as well as alerting the authorities, he was wet but ok and was walking on the beach and no longer needed the ships help the authorities were at hand for him if needed . We only missed Dusky sound , the shore tours I did were awesome as and the shuttle buses services where you needed them to get into town were great too . I did the ultimate ship tour and loved it , due to a technical problem that caused Golden to lose power for a little while we missed the bridge at the end of the tour , but they got us to the bridge the next day which was awesome as , warning to those that like sun bathing etc in the nude etc , do remember this the bridge has cameras on either side and are on the bridge like side mirrors , if you are on your balcony with nothing on they will see you and have already seen some um interesting scenes . When the Ship lost power and we stopped in the middle of the cruise back to Melbourne the Captain kept us all informed at all times the weather was good and at the time sea was quite calm which was probably a good thing . when we started off it was at half speed then an hr or so later full speed My Cabin was clean the bed was comfy as the balcony was awesome as . Tim the cruise director was awesome as was his side kick Corry they did a show that was a one off and it was funny as and the tribute shows we had were great I saw the queen one and the beatles one they were fantastic the sand man that did pictures with sand was awesome as the show by the crew at the end of the cruise is worth seeing too. If you see a movie outside you can get more than one blanket as well but do wear worm clothes , missed the star gazing due to clouds sadly. 2 and a half laps around deck 7 is 1 mile long they do have childrens club of some sort I did see a room and a youth teenage room or two as well . I had a massage though was not going to as they aren't cheap but decided to as my back was aching , I got a hot stone massage and it worked the aches away , they do a little push at the end to buy a product but you can say no , I thought she was going to give me a free sachet for the bath but thought best to ask how much , and it was from a box of them for sale so I politely said no . There is a pizza and burger place on deck 14 as well as free ice cream and Horizons the buffet . The unlimited drinks card is awesome , loved the mocktails I got it as well as hot chocolate and lemonade drinks etc , the coffee card was good too, I had no need for an alcohol card which would have covered all that as I don't drink that much to warrant that cost . They had a shooter glass that had different coloured bases that you can collect , in the dining area's they cost $3 outside them they were $7.50 each , they have blue , green ,red, orange , yellow and clear glasses . I did Piha Bush & Beach Eco Tour, Tamaki Maori Village, Gisborne Craft Beer Brewery & Lunch, Zealandia Eco Reserve & Otari Wilton Bush, Wildlife Cruise 1 Booked , Scenic Akaroa By Double Decker Bus , Olveston House & Larnach Castle loved them all , they were all great and i would do them again . The service everywhere I went be it a bar or the front desk or the restaurant or bistro or my room attendant or the guys when you go ashore or the photographers was fantastic can not fault any of them . Disembarking from the ship was good though I stressed on the card on what I had to declare etc so if I was unsure i clicked yes , safer that way , if I didn't need to won't matter , I was off the ship I reckon in around 10 minutes if that , was easy as and very smooth running . I caught a tram to the city as I was staying at the Pensione hotel, [Highly Recommend if you want clean cheap accommodation have had no problems with them in the times i have stayed there ], due to seeing a concert that night from ACDC which as awesome and just got home after lunch with all but bags I think I will be sleeping in tomorrow . Had an awesome time , I will cruise again when I save enough money to do so again and if lucky will be on Golden again, she is one lovely ship and the crew are awesome . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Embarkation and disembarkation were handled very efficiently. We had a mini-suite and were extremely happy with our stateroom. Beds were extremely comfortable. We ate most nights at Traditional dining....great food, the part of ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were handled very efficiently. We had a mini-suite and were extremely happy with our stateroom. Beds were extremely comfortable. We ate most nights at Traditional dining....great food, the part of the menu that was changed daily was not repeated on any night. Horizon Food Court had so much choice, all fresh....Didn't like their toast, it was under-cooked and dry. Everything else was fab. Due to weather conditions the last port @ Dunedin was cancelled and also the scenic cruising through the Fiordland National Park was cancelled, much to our disappointment. We had also missed out porting at Gisborne. That meant we had a total of 8 sea days with only 4 port days. I found the sea days extremely boring. The day activities were really directed towards our age group. Couldn't wait to get off the ship by the end. Night entertainment was fantastic, whether it was a show or a band. The bar staff were also great in any of the bars. I selected "average" for "Value for money" as we didn't had so many sea days, and you didn't get offered a refund in any way. We were offered discounts (and good ones) for any future cruises we want to book! However, if you don't want to go on another cruise, because no matter when or where you go, you cannot control the weather!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Travelled from Melbourne on Feb 11th 2015 with my daughter. The cruise was a gift for her 18th birthday/completing high school. My parents, who have sailed on this ship multiple times, decided to tag along so we had adjoining balcony ... Read More
Travelled from Melbourne on Feb 11th 2015 with my daughter. The cruise was a gift for her 18th birthday/completing high school. My parents, who have sailed on this ship multiple times, decided to tag along so we had adjoining balcony rooms. B303 and B301 The only time i have been on the ocean was on the Ferry to Tasmania several years back. My daughter and i were both seasick, with me suffering quite badly. I stocked up on Anti Emetic medication (2 different types) as well as the Sea Bands you wear around your wrists. I didn't even care if they were only a placebo so worried i was about being seasick. So why on earth would i choose a cruising holiday you ask? Well, i figured we should give it another chance as maybe Bass Straight was just misbehaving when we sailed on it. Luckily for us, the worst swell was around the 2 mt mark and that was only for 1 day. 2 other days were reported as 1.5mt (These reports came though constantly on the in-cabin TV on a channel devoted to ship info), and the rest of the time we could have skated on the ocean it was so flat. Lucky?..... you bet. So now to my review...... The ship. Obviously getting on in years and certainly needing a freshen up by way of new carpet, decor etc. I believe that a refurbishment may actually be commencing in May or thereabouts Rust is obvious on the ships exterior, and the exterior door handle to our balcony has corroded to a pint where it is about to pull off the door. Seeing the Dawn Princess berthed in front of her newer stable mate Diamond Princess made a comparison easy. Dawn is an older ship and it shows. That said, it was kept spotlessly clean and tidy. Exterior maintenance was carried out each time the ship berthed, including constant repainting, which could sometimes surprise you as the motorized platform would glide past our balcony each port day. Keep that in mind on Port days, in case the maintenance guys come past your room while you are in a state of undress. Ship features. Princess Theatre. At the very front on deck 7 was fairly large and comfortable, with small tables that unfolded from the armrest of your seat, much like some aircraft. Sound quality was good enough, and there was a big projection screen that movies would sometimes be displayed. The stage was big enough for an impressive show from the entertainment team. Not easy to get in and out if you were in a hurry because of the high percentage of older travellers with mobility issues. The highest (furthest from the stage) 4 rows or so were reserved for these passengers but it was clear that many people didn't bother to adhere to that instruction as they could leave much faster from the back rows after a show . Not the ships fault of course, but it is an issue. Comfy seats, but even with the lights on it seemed really dark which, given the percentage of older travellers, was surprising. Vista lounge. At the very back of the ship on deck 7 was much better than i expected. I had seen many photos of this lounge from my parents previous cruises, and wasn't that excited to see it in person. Obviously the photos didn't do it justice as i thought this was one of the better areas on the ship. Not as big as the main theatre, and it runs almost east-west across the ship which made the stage appear smaller, but the slight floor decline from back to front meant that the viewing was good from practically anywhere. A bar at the back of the lounge had comfy stools, and the staff were always around to offer to get you a drink. A couple of times a popular show in the Main Theatre was "simulcast" on the screen in the Vista theatre. Quality wasn't great, but better than missing out entirely. One of my favorite places on the ship for the way it felt. Casino. Only walked in here twice as i am not a gambler. Cant give much of a description, but it had a couple of games tables, and many "pokies" (Slot machines). Sold Instant Win scratch tickets as well as the usual gambling fare. Probably had more features than i describe here, but i didn't take the time to discover any. Dining room. My family had an early sitting for dinner (5.45 pm) in the Florentine room on deck 5. Didn't see the other dining room (Venetian) on deck 6, but am told is essentially a copy of ours. Big, but still managed to feel intimate. Chairs were upmarket enough to make me feel a bit special (We rarely eat out in Australia so it doesn't take much to feel special). As with the main theatre, the lighting was on the dim side, but i guess this adds to the ambiance. Service was as perfectly timed as i can imagine it to be considering the next sitting was 7.45pm, and the staff needed time to prepare for the next lot of diners. Somehow they never made us feel rushed, and with 2 waiters taking care of 3 tables (which were never completely full) they were never far away if you needed something. My daughter and Mother had both purchased a non alcoholic drink card, and the waiters would automatically provide them with a different "Mocktail" each night. I will talk about the food later. Horizon Court Bistro The bistro was at the very front of the ship on deck 14. They promote that there are 270 degree views, but that would require you to sit on the port and starboard side at the same time. Regardless you get a nice view from any (steeply angled glass) window seat. Casual, sit anywhere seating arrangement is the flavor here. I loved this room because of that feature. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and a long time after),this was my favorite place to eat. Tables and chairs were the bamboo,outdoor style variety which suited the bistro to a tee. Plenty of staff on had to provide drinks like juice, coffee, tea, iced water etc. On some nights,the Port side (you could usually enter from either side of the ship) was closed off and dressed up with a curtain, and called the "Stirling Steakhouse". A couple of times the meat for this specialty restaurant was on display outside the Bistro to encourage people to pay the $25 over charge. Gotta say that the meat looked VERY impressive,although i declined to pay extra when there was already so much great food on offer.If the steaks on display were an accurate example of what you would receive, the cover charge may well be worth it. Shopping on board. Deck 6. Regatta and Illuminations. This was probably the most pleasant surprise for me as the items from most stores on board was very reasonably priced. As we were a captive audience so to speak, i expected the usual offering of ridiculously overpriced junk masquerading as souvenirs. I was very happy to see the range of what i would call affordable (everyone has a different definition of affordable of course) trinkets like the usual fridge magnets, snow globes, caps, shirts, pens, sunglasses etc, but the range was more than i expected. From Shot-Glasses to ladies dresses, handbags, budget-to-pricey jewellery and the obligatory watches (all 4 members of my family are now proud watch owners). The only items i thought overpriced were fragrances, which did not surprise one bit. The one thing that did begin to grate was the constant presence of the ships photographers. Prints on board were essentially $20 AUS for an 8x10, with the digital negative file an extra $15. Formal night images cost $30 each. All images were overly photoshopped using preset filters, but we still purchased quite a few prints so the photographers must have done a decent job. Jammers Nightclub. Deck 7 Midship. Gee i feel sorry for the staff who work here. Talk about drawing the short straw. Due to the age profile of passengers, this nightclub is essentially empty every time you walk in. The tunes are geared to an older crowd. Think mainly 80's disco music. if full, it could very well be a great place to go as the room itself feels like a real nightclub. Sadly, not enough younger people travel on this cruise to ever come close to filling it, even if all turned up on the same night. LaScala Pizzeria Deck 8. Great pizza and desserts available here. If this pizza place was in my home town i would eat there often. Actually, make that VERY often. Not an Australian style of pizza with heaps and heaps of topping, more an American style. During this cruise there was a different 50th anniversary pizza available each night. They were fantastic. I wish i ate here more often, but we seemed to go to the dining room most nights. Do yourself a favour and try it at least once or twice. Patisserie Deck 5. My daughter and i went here every day for a coffee (Me) and Hot Chocolate (Emily). Being on deck 5, you sat at large portholes and were quite close to sea level. Lighting was good, and you could watch the daily passenger activities that were held each at-sea day on deck 5. You could order tea (free i think, i didn't try any), coffee (extra cost or on a coffee card for which you pay), Hot chocolate (a part of the non alcoholic card that cost approx $8 per day), wine by the glass which was reasonably priced, or sprits/beer. I admit im a bit reluctant to part with extra money on a trip like this, so if i say something is reasonably priced, i mean it. Wines approx $8-10 AUD per glass. Not a wine buff and dont know too much about it, but what i tried i really enjoyed. My daughter said the hot chockies were excellent. There was also a large tray with either savoury or sweet treats on it for free. You couldn't serve yourself for health reasons, but they were yours for the asking. Special mention to the staff (Particularly Gina) who worked here, as their friendly disposition was much appreciated. 2 days in and we were already being asked, "the usual".. lol Other Bars etc. There were other areas on the ship where you could sit and chat while enjoying a refreshment or 3, but we simply didn't get to them all. That may sound stupid when we were on board for 13 night, but its just the way it was. I remember my parents telling me that they did not see everything on the ship on either of their past 2 trip ( both 13 night) and i rolled my eyes thinking they were just lazy. Well i have apologized to them as i now know that it IS actually possible to be on board for almost 2 weeks and not sample everything on the ship. You see these places of course, but only while walking to somewhere else. Fitness centre Deck 14 Aft. Sadly i didnt do anything more than take a couple of photos here. I am an avid bike rider and regularly punish myself with riding to keep fit. I don't know if i was just lazy, or too busy doing other stuff, but i did no work here at all. Lots of equipment to use by way of static bikes, steppers, free weights etc, so if you are a fanatic it should be enough to keep you from feeling guilty. Room service. Prompt and professional. Ordered late night room service 3 times ($3 room charge but the food was free) and it was always delivered very quickly. Set menu of items available, listed in the folder in your room. Good quality food, although my judgement may have been clouded by the fact that i was fairly well "happy on drinks" by the time i ordered. You must get something delivered at least once, just to say you got room service. Food. Seriously, anyone who complains about either the quality or quantity of food available on this ship needs stringing up. I was on board for 2 weeks and put on 1kg in weight. Quite simply, the range of food available is superb. Regardless of where you eat, you should come away satisfied. Shore excursions. Didnt go on any as they were overpriced. Not by a lot, but overpriced all the same. Staff. Starting on a sour note, i did have one unpleasant experience with a staff member in the jewellery store. I was taking a photo of the shop, and she rushed over and spoke to me like i was some sort of criminal. On reflection, i shouldn't have used my camera around their jewellery, but she definitely needs retraining in how to deal with that sort of situation. On a much happier note, Princess Cruises have every right to be proud of the other staff they employ. Our cabin steward Sonny was a model of unobtrusive efficiency, somehow managing to tidy up our twin balcony suite when we were gone for less than 5 mins. He got the biggest tip (not actually required on Australian Cruises) of all staff we had dealings with. Our waitress (Irina) and waiter (Harold) were so friendly we wanted to take them home. Gina in The Patisserie was simply fantastic, and i cant compliment her enough. Even the cabin crew who were not looking after our room were polite and friendly. Every single staff member from The Philippines (and there were lots) are a credit to Princess Cruises. Summary. If you are unsure of whether or not this cruise is for you, i say STOP DITHERING AND BOOK. One of the best holidays i have ever had, and i have traveled fairly extensively. Unless you sail though a Cyclone, you will have the time of your lives.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
HI, have just arrived home from our first Cruise experience, left and returned to Melbourne after a round trip to New Zealand, and if any one else on that cruise had any complaints, I don't think you would enjoy yourself any where in ... Read More
HI, have just arrived home from our first Cruise experience, left and returned to Melbourne after a round trip to New Zealand, and if any one else on that cruise had any complaints, I don't think you would enjoy yourself any where in life. The Staff, the entertainment, the food, room service, everything you need, someone is there to do it for you, Ladies the only decision you have to make is what cloths to put on your body, and what food to put on your plate, we had a balcony state room on deck eleven, cabin 401,and was certainly worth the extra money, the weather was perfect, and the highlight of the' Sounds' WAS JUST THE ICING ON THE CAKE Top class entertainment was available every night or you could just laze around, read, drink, and enjoy good company that you meet as you strolled around the ship Thank you Dawn Princess staff for giving us such an enjoyable holiday, Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My husband treated us to our first ever cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday. From the time we boarded in Melbourne at lunchtime on 20/10/2014 until we disembarked on November 2nd, I thought I was in another world. Walking into the Atrium, ... Read More
My husband treated us to our first ever cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday. From the time we boarded in Melbourne at lunchtime on 20/10/2014 until we disembarked on November 2nd, I thought I was in another world. Walking into the Atrium, even having googled all the pictures and videos, it was amazing, and being welcomed everywhere you went by the amazing caring staff was a dream. Our stateroom although being a reasonably confined space was comfortable and always kept immaculately cleaned and well stocked with everything needed. We chose an interior room knowing we would only be sleeping there and opted to spend the difference of what we could have spent on a balcony suite on onshore excursions and the luxury of booking up a bottle of wine, champagne or anything from the sales continually promoted onboard. We opted for the later dining option in Florentine, had fantastic company with two terrific ladies from Melbourne, were in raptures at the five star dining every evening ( a four course five star meal), served by Con and Danka, who couldnt do enough for us. We did dine at Horizon for breakfast a few times and found the selection of food extensive, the omelettes for breakfast were great but always lots to choose from, as was lunch if one felt the need to top up. We also had the luxury of room service for breakfast a couple of times when we had early departure times for onshore excursions, fresh fruit, danish, muffins and coffee delivered on time by courteous staff. Loved the whole overall experience, couldn't recommend it more highly. Loved the entertainment we had too, especially Alana Conway and Patrick Roberts, also Tom Jones (impersonator) and Maggie Scott was hilarious. Even played Bingo which have never done before, who could resist the huge final day jackpot. Also enjoyed a magnificent head to toe massage and facial compliments of family gift, and loved the cooking class with the head chef and maitre d...informative and great fun. Overall, an unforgettable wonderful memorable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary aboard the Dawn Princess.We had saved for this trip for quite a while.From arriving at station pier and boarding via the atrium.We were in wonderland.Yes there were elderly aboard but ... Read More
My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary aboard the Dawn Princess.We had saved for this trip for quite a while.From arriving at station pier and boarding via the atrium.We were in wonderland.Yes there were elderly aboard but for first timers like us the staff were fantastic.No question was to hard.We cclebrated birthdays and anniversaries on board these special occasions were acknowledged. Our needs were met whatever time of day or night.The only disappointment was the lotus spa which I felt overcharged and overated.The tours were well organised and ran like clockwork.There was entertainment laid on and no show was disappointing.Ports of call were interesting and the ships newsletter very informative. Our cabin maid was fantastic and had everything sorted daily.Disembarkation was a bit slow but that was one of the only hiccups.Overall rating was 9.5 out of 10.We enjoyed our trip so much we are booked for a future cruise even looking at the mediterranian next. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My maiden voyage cruise began in melbourne. Out into port philip bay passing the lighthouses and out into the rough bass straight. Next day arrived in burnie. Took the shuttle bus and walk around a bit and headed back to enjoy the cruise ... Read More
My maiden voyage cruise began in melbourne. Out into port philip bay passing the lighthouses and out into the rough bass straight. Next day arrived in burnie. Took the shuttle bus and walk around a bit and headed back to enjoy the cruise ship. Day 3 i woke up to wineglass bay. And the cruise gradually followed the beautiful east coast of tasmania before arriving at hobart. Day 4 walked around hobart and returned to enjoy the cruise ship. Day 5 arrived at port arthur. My first tender boat ride to shore. You get a free history lesson here. Flowers in the gardens were quite pretty went back to the cruise ship. The sky cleared up for the first time as we lefy and then came the best scenery of the cruise as we passed cape pillar. This has to be one of the great wonders of the world. Pity the boat had to go out to sea. Day 6 my first sea day with some island scenery in the morning. Unfortunately day 7 came and it was time to go. Great band with epithani. Great food. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Hi Just been on tennis cruise , great trip and great tennis. I note next year that it is longer cruise..... more time for the tennis I hope. Our tennis was cut short as we had to return to the ship and I believe some of passengers were ... Read More
Hi Just been on tennis cruise , great trip and great tennis. I note next year that it is longer cruise..... more time for the tennis I hope. Our tennis was cut short as we had to return to the ship and I believe some of passengers were caught in traffic and not able to get back at designated time...... The big screen showed live coverage but it was a bit cold and windy to be there( unpleasant). A few more bars with coverage would have been great, and in our rooms too . We discussed this with many fellow passengers and they seemed to feel the same. Any chance of facilitating better communications with internet and phone access in this day and age ? The information this was not available would have been most helpful. We had some issues with our room and the staff handled it in a professional manner. We found the shows of a great professional standard and enjoyed the performances. Over all the Cruise was great fun, I was very excited to be on a cruise and to be going to the live tennis as well. I found it took just a little time to adjust to cruise life and to orientate to the ship but once mastered felt comfortable to find my way around. Just loved going under the Harbour Bridge both ways a good patriotic feeling. !!!!! I am keen to book again and look forward to refinements and adjustment you might make now following this the maiden cruise to the tennis. I meet a lot of mad tennis fans on the ship, we need a tennis focus on this cruise news and updates all the time !!!!!!!! Thanks for listening !!!!!! Great ship Pacific Pearl Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
When you complete a Princess Cruise you are asked to fill in a survey. They ask you if you'd like a member of the Princess Cruise Company to contact you to discuss the survey. After a month we are still waiting to be contacted. My ... Read More
When you complete a Princess Cruise you are asked to fill in a survey. They ask you if you'd like a member of the Princess Cruise Company to contact you to discuss the survey. After a month we are still waiting to be contacted. My wife and I were 1st time cruisers who were so looking forward to this cruise around New Zealand. Among the features and ports the Dawn Princess were to visit Fiordland, and Dunedin. My Dad was born and lived in Dunedin from 1909 to 1925 and the main reason for taking this cruise was to spend a day in Dunedin. But, only 1 day out of Melbourne, they forecast bad weather and abandoned these ports. Instead we sailed to Picton and passed between the north and south islands of New Zealand. We were to visit Napier after Wellington, but once again they pulled the 'bad weather' card and we missed Napier. This cruise line advertised visits to Fiordland, Dunedin and Napier and didn't deliver. Friends of ours were travelling on the "Celebrity Solstice" in a clockwise direction around the South Island of New Zealand, at the same time we were to travel around the bottom of the South Island and their trip was unaffected by weather. The Princess Cruises company saved over 500 nautical miles of fuel oil and did nothing to compensate the passengers. We missed so many ports (3) they had to slow the ship down to compensate for the cruising time saved. I think the threatened bad weather was a convenient excuse to shorten the trip. Imagine ship captains, over the last 100 years, in smaller ships, telling their passenger that they can't sail to Dunedin, that they'd have to complete their trip by train from Christchurch ....? If we had struck bad weather in the Tasman Ocean, between Auckland and Melbourne, knowing we had to be in Melbourne on a scheduled "end of cruise" date, do you think we would have been diverted to Sydney? I don't think so! If you want to spend time at sea on a ship eating, watching movies, eating, line dancing, eating, in the swimming pool, eating, having your photo taken, eating, doing nothing and eating again and you don't care whether you visit ports, then cruising is for you. If you actually want to visit a port or city, I suggest you fly and stay in a hotel. The Princess Cruises company do not handle complaints. They'll tell you that your complaint is noted but do not follow up as you would expect with a good public relations department. We will never cruise with Princess Cruises again. We are actively telling our friends NOT to travel with Princess Cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was our first cruise there were some enjoyable things but overall it was disappointing. The boat itself is dated and therefore the rooms and facilities are a bit tired. Clearly the maintenance crew worked continuously to maintain the ... Read More
This was our first cruise there were some enjoyable things but overall it was disappointing. The boat itself is dated and therefore the rooms and facilities are a bit tired. Clearly the maintenance crew worked continuously to maintain the boat. The trip from Melbourne spends 3 days at sea before getting to Auckland which is a long time to do boat only activities with another 2.5 days on the return same same. Some of the entertainment was ok residual a bit weak Positives The staff were very good and worked hard to keep the passengers happy Epiphany band were very good and were a highlight Gym was reasonably well equipped but the roof was low therefore using the machines I kept hitting my head Rooms were always clean Negatives Food was plentiful but a bit bland & carb dominated not good for a diabetic, the fatties enjoyed themselves Hard to get a good coffee It appeared to be a hard sell on trips, services and the payable value adds. Had the likes of the photos and Lotus spa been more accessibly priced they would have received more patronage and sales The cabin tv was dominated with UK & US programs with test cricket on at the time we had to endure UK Soccer !! With a cruise dominated by Australians the content should be reviewed Contact with outer world restricted internet was expensive Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We will definitely consider cruising again after this experience. The Princess staff, from our room attendant to our table waiter and drinks waiters and bar staff (got to know these people very well!), we were treated like royalty. ... Read More
We will definitely consider cruising again after this experience. The Princess staff, from our room attendant to our table waiter and drinks waiters and bar staff (got to know these people very well!), we were treated like royalty. Nothing was too much trouble. No request too difficult. We had heard from other cruise passengers of the luxury associated with cruising, but I was still surprised. Embarkation was seamless and in no time we dropped our carry ons in the room and were off to explore. The Dawn Princess, whilst not a monster ship when compared to some, was plenty large enough for the exploration to take most of the afternoon. The food was fabulous. The wine lovely. We purchased 'soda packages' for our three teenagers once on board and this was a fabulous idea. We didn't have to worry about what they were buying. The staff were so helpful, even sorting out a power board thingy so the kids could play interactive computer games on their three separate computers one rainy sea afternoon. The only downside, and certainly not the fault of Princess, occurred when we arrived back in Melbourne after disembarkation. No taxis. None! Over 2000 people want to get off Station Pier and we waited for hours. Seriously Melbourne, sort this out. It was the perfect opportunity to showcase our fabulous city. We'll be back soon Princess Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We realise that as first time cruisers we have little to compare with this experience, but are sure that there is something to be learnt from sharing what we experienced Our difficulty with the cruise was firstly the seniority of our ... Read More
We realise that as first time cruisers we have little to compare with this experience, but are sure that there is something to be learnt from sharing what we experienced Our difficulty with the cruise was firstly the seniority of our fellow passengers, which was reflected in the quality and content of both the activities offered on board and the entertainment. We had a fair idea there would be few children but no idea that so many of the passengers would be over 65 years old. Any current movies were shown in the outdoor movie area, which might be fine in warm calm seas but these are not what Bass Strait and the Tasman are known! The shows were not our sort of entertainment and we knew this prior to the cruise so had no expectations of them. Secondly, we did not enjoy the food options. The restaurant food was cleaner than that offered at Horizon Court, but there were a limited amount of vegetables served with the meal and all the food was highly salted. Again, we realise that cooking for large numbers is difficult, but we were always told that the food was great so we were very disappointed. The service was always friendly but especially in the beginning - very intrusive! We had never before encountered the "beginning cruise sales pitch" to spend even more once on board. The only food we really enjoyed were meals where we paid extra. The food then was excellent, the service polite and unobtrusive and the restaurant area quiet and peaceful. Thirdly, we felt that while there was plenty of access around the ship and in our stateroom for a person in a wheelchair, the options for shore activities were completely limited. We had already paid for our tickets by the time this information was shared with us by our travel agent and so decided to organise our own way around the ports. This makes cruising a more limiting option when travelling, and really then the focus of the whole trip is the cruise, not the ports of call. The crew were very helpful in managing the wheelchair on and off the ship and for this we are very grateful. We visited Auckland, Tauranga which was easily accessed on foot; Napier which had several wheelchair accessible shuttles and friendly drivers, Wellington, Akeroa which could only be accessed by tender and Dunedin which we did not visit as were ill at the time. The Fjord land area was seen from the ship We will not rush to book a cruise in the near future at all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Can only find one fault which is a personal choice only-pillows were way to flat for me.....that's it-10/10 for everything else I say!! I was a little worried as the demographics were 65-85 with lots of walkers & walking sticks ... Read More
Can only find one fault which is a personal choice only-pillows were way to flat for me.....that's it-10/10 for everything else I say!! I was a little worried as the demographics were 65-85 with lots of walkers & walking sticks but they were all fun full of life people that were out to live life to the fullest.I was put on a table of 9 other singles(6 x woman & 3 x men ranging from 47 to late 70's)at the 7.45pm sitting & the staff were brilliant-very welcoming & gave 5 star service every night-they got to know our names & what our likes & dislikes were in no time-Smith & Jason were excellent waiters & I could not fault them at all & they were all happy & were complementary on how I looked-great for my ego!! The shows were varied & very professional & packed out each night-then the bars were busy with great singers & then the disco had great up to date music with a fun DJ-I had a second lease of life-soooo much fun!! There was bingo-trivia-dance lessons and so many other things that if anyone complained there was nothing to do on the sea days then they would be very hard to please. The 2 x formal nights were fun dressing up for a change-one which was Chrissy night & one the 3rd night into the cruise. My service man who did my room was amazing-he seemed to know when I went out & hardly saw him but my room was always spotless-I was upgraded to a balcony room the day before I left from a lifeboat obstructed view room one deck lower-would have been nice to share with someone but that's what happens when you travel by yourself!! Food was amazing-The Horizons buffet was amazing-everything you could want for & the afternoon teas were yummy.There were 5 of us that tried The Steakhouse Restaurant that had a $20 cover charge but I would have paid $40 for the steak that I had-it was THE BEST STEAK I have ever had-melt in your mouth material!!!The gym was bigger than I expected & The Lotus Spa looked nice but a bit pricey for me. The info every night for the next day including tours were very informative-I booked all my tours before I left on line so all organized-the only one I would not do again is the walking tour in Akaroa as it is only a small village & I could have seen all I wanted to in my own time. The smooth disembarkment was crazy-out in 5 mins-loved it & would do it all again in a heart beat!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This is a very late review, I just didn't get around to it when we came back last year. Now we are set to go again next month and reading all I can on the CC board, which are so helpful, it made me feel guilty for not making the time ... Read More
This is a very late review, I just didn't get around to it when we came back last year. Now we are set to go again next month and reading all I can on the CC board, which are so helpful, it made me feel guilty for not making the time to do it earlier. Our first cruise was a Christmas cruise from Melbourne to New Zealand on Dawn Princess. From the absolutely impressive express check in (dropped at the boat 11.45pm on board by 12, unpacked and eating lunch by 1pm) we loved it. The beautiful Christmas decorations, friendliness of everyone, it was a wonderland to us. We had splurged to get a balcony as there had been a big special going when we booked where you got a balcony for an ocean view price. We were on Riviera deck and loved just walking out of our cabin along to pools and gym. We loved everything, the food, we were on first sitting, then went to a show which were outstanding to us, then we would wander on up to the buffet to see if there was "anything to eat". It was quite a joke as we had already eaten such superb meals. We enjoyed the shore days and didn't actually go on any "ship" excursions, but just took the shuttles into town and pottered round ourselves mostly. We plan to go back on the same cruise in the future as there was so much to do that we didn't get around too. Loved cruising up the Fjords. Spectacular. Another highlight was the townsfolk welcoming and sending us off, whether it was pipers in Dunedin, barbershop/jazz quartet in Napier or the Maori send off in rotorua. Just being on the cruise was highlight enough! Not having to lift a finger for 13 days was a dream holiday!!!! We had no hesitation in booking a future cruise deposit and are going to the islands from Brisbane January 2013. Really looking forward to that. Though we loved departing from Melbourne with no flights to worry about. But the only way to get to the islands is from Sydney or Brisbane. Would have loved to go from Sydney but timing didn't suit us, so Brisbane it is. Really hoping to pick up some tips on the islands now. We have a balcony again!!! We weren't planning to as we decided we would rather go on more cruises and go interior, but got such a good deal we couldn't refuse. I think we will use it more than we did on the NZ cruise as it was quite chilly some days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

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