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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We had to cancel a previous cruise to New Zealand, with this cruise being our first of NZ and on Diamond Princess. We selected this cruise as it was when the weather should be the best and after the school holidays, there we 500 children ... Read More
We had to cancel a previous cruise to New Zealand, with this cruise being our first of NZ and on Diamond Princess. We selected this cruise as it was when the weather should be the best and after the school holidays, there we 500 children on the previous Diamond cruise to Fiji. It also coincided with our 42rd wedding anniversary. Having cruised on the Golden and Emerald previously, it didn't take long to familiarise myself with the ships layout. We selected anytime dining and after enduring waits of up to 20 minutes at the Santa Fe dining room, we changed to the Pacific Moon and had no problems getting a table, thanks Mario. Our cabin, C507, was spacious and located close to stairs and lifts in the middle of the ship. The on demand TV system was riddled with problems. Various different error messages were displayed onscreen. After 3 service calls I gave up contacting them. Others I spoke to around the ship also experienced problems with their TV. I was surprised to find current release movies such as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I viewed this movie in the Princess Theatre and it was not modified. We went to Sabatini's and Sterling Steakhouse and enjoyed the extra attention you get compared to the dining rooms. Auckland was our first port of call and we arrived at midday and our visit coincided with a public holiday celebrating their Anniversary. There were street performers, pop up food outlets and RNZ Navy ships open for inspection right were we docked. We took a 90 minute cruise around the harbour and followed it up with a ferry trip over to Devonport. The weather was fine and warm. At Tauranga we had a private tour with Hinterland Tours to Rotorua. This tour was excellent with a visit to Whakarewarewa which is Rotorua's only Living Maori Village, and included a cultural show. We were also fortunate to be able to view the geyser's doing their thing. Napier was another midday arrival and another private tour. We went with Hawkes Bay scenic tours in a 14 seat mini van. Highlights included Te Mata Peak, the Art Deco Cities of Napier and Hastings and rural drive. In Wellington we used the Hop On Hop Off bus. The "bus" used is a mini 14 seater. The route gives a great introduction to Wellington. Most people got off at various stops, we stayed on to complete the circuit and joined the bus later in the day to get to the cable car. Due to the aftermath of cyclone Fehi and the 6 metre seas and 50 knot winds, we were unable to visit Akaroa. The Diamond Princess handled the conditions very well with little noticeable movement. This was commented on by many on the ship. Port Chalmers was our final port of call and we shared the port with the Golden Princess. We had booked the Taieri Gorge By Train trip with Princess as they had the monopoly on the train. My previous booking direct with the Dunedin Railways was cancelled citing the excuse: "due to a glitch in our system" ! The Princess booking was $400 extra. Finally, we arrived at Fiordland with overcast sky's quickly clearing for a perfect day to visit Dusky, Doubtful and the highlight, Milford sound. The dis-embarkation went to time and like the embarkation very smoothly. We will be cruising again to NZ with Princess next year. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my first cruise. I was not planning a cruise but my good friend invited me to go with his family. I was reticent about cruising but felt that I could survive for only 12 days. Having visited New Zealand twice before, I knew what ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I was not planning a cruise but my good friend invited me to go with his family. I was reticent about cruising but felt that I could survive for only 12 days. Having visited New Zealand twice before, I knew what to expect when we arrived in that country. I was pleasantly surprised and found the trip very relaxing and quite enjoyable as we had great company and met lots of interesting people. Being from an agricultural background, I equated the experience with that of cattle in a feedlot. There is a surfeit of highly attractive food and drink available and one is in a confined area, so the inclination is to lie or sit around most of the time, often talking, moving only to revisit the food areas or refill the glasses. The food was excellent, as were the beverages, and my expanded waistline bears testimony to this. The service provided by the staff was second to none, particularly that of the waiting staff who served us in the International Dining Room. Ronaldo and Natalia were superb in dealing with all of our needs, often producing things before we even asked for them. They are to be highly commended for the way they performed their roles. We did not undertake any shore excursions as we considered they were over-priced and would cover much of what we had seen on previous visits. However, we enjoyed our self-guided tours in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Port Chalmers. In Napier we enjoyed a great scenic drive with family members (from Gisborne) to Te Mata Peak, Silenci Vineyard etc. and sampled some good local wines. The night entertainment in the Princess Theatre was of a high standard and was very enjoyable. Fiordland was very impressive and Milford Sound was its usual brilliant best. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I just returned from 13 days on the Diamond Princess to New Zealand. Well..firstly the entertainment was completely NON-EXISTENT!! Each day that would hold events like "Guess the Price of the Painting"...some crappy piece of ... Read More
I just returned from 13 days on the Diamond Princess to New Zealand. Well..firstly the entertainment was completely NON-EXISTENT!! Each day that would hold events like "Guess the Price of the Painting"...some crappy piece of colour that was suppost to be attractive. Come to Efys..You could win an original piece of jewelry. Once again crappy costume jewelry. We played a game one day throw a ring around a Champagne Bottle. You line up for hours and whoever get the ring around wins the Champagne..this is today's entertainment. The Theatre hold about 200 people with a ship carrying 2000. Half of the entertainers are staff trying their best. My friends sheets had not been changed in 14 days! The food in Buffet for breakfast if you dared get up after 7.00am this was the only place open was Stone Cold!! The Bacon, Eggs, Toast. One day I saw a stack of about 50 piklets come out I waiting to they were set down...surprise surprise every one of them were Stone Cold! Most passengers were over 70 with their sticks and walking frames. They told us they were happy to sit in their cabin and read a book for Entertainment! The staff said they were treated really badly..one half day off in 3 weeks and stuff all for wages. The ports were great we booked the same excursions on land for about $70.00 that Princess Cruises were charging $250.00 for. Neither I nor my friend will ever ever travel with Princess Cruises again. So if you want a "fun/relaxing holiday with some activities GO TO ANOTHER LINE...this one should be known as The Crusing Nursing Home. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Overall this Cruise was great. Unfortunately we missed one port due to a small Cyclone off the East Coast of New Zealand but passenger safety comes first. My first time on Princess ... I was quite impressed by the friendliness of staff ... Read More
Overall this Cruise was great. Unfortunately we missed one port due to a small Cyclone off the East Coast of New Zealand but passenger safety comes first. My first time on Princess ... I was quite impressed by the friendliness of staff and in particular our room steward (Sanny) who did a wonderful job. The Pub Lunch in the Savoy was disappointing as the service was very poor(we ordered but were not served our meal ... after a hour we got up and left the restaurant). People who were seated on the table next to us and who ordered after us were served before us and when we met them later on the cruise they told us our waiter didn’t come back for another 30 minutes. However that being said we did received excellent service in all the other venues we ate. Entertainment was good but we had to be in the theatre 30-45 minutes before each performance to get a seat. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Great range of dining venues even with the anytime dining. Didn't have to wait for a table when happy to share with others. Good reason to meet others on the cruise. Enjoyed the range of food options and catered for customers with dietary ... Read More
Great range of dining venues even with the anytime dining. Didn't have to wait for a table when happy to share with others. Good reason to meet others on the cruise. Enjoyed the range of food options and catered for customers with dietary requirements. Good entertainment with the shows but need to get to the show 30 minutes prior for a seat so the theater maybe a bit small. Only negative we found was the bed in the cabin was very firm. Enjoyed the shows in the evenings as was extremely popular and needed to be there 30 minutes prior as theater fills fast. Missed on port due to storm but felt fully informed by the captain. Had a great commentary when we traveled through the Sounds and we really enjoyed the experience.Found the service from staff as allways helpful and go out of the way to ensure you have a wonderful experience. Have travel with Princess and would travel again if they upgraded their mattresses on the Diamond. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We absolutely love cruising to New Zealand and as we have our own business we are limited in the length of time we can be away from it. Therefore between 7-14 days is the maximum, which makes New Zealand a perfect destination, it's so ... Read More
We absolutely love cruising to New Zealand and as we have our own business we are limited in the length of time we can be away from it. Therefore between 7-14 days is the maximum, which makes New Zealand a perfect destination, it's so beautiful and each port of call is so varied....The amazing scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Cruises are the perfect getaway with everything catered for, especially on Princess Cruises with lots of time to just chill-out and relax, meet new friends, have fun and spend quality time together, which was our main focus for this holiday Our cabin steward was fabulous and kept our room stopless, as for all the rest of the crew & staff, they were all amazing and friendly. The shops were good and I have to admit that I did visit :"Essence" several times to stock up on a couple of perfumes. The only thing I missed was the lack of the "Internalial Cafe" that Princess Cruises have on several of their ships...Hopefully this is something that they will introduce on Diamond in the near future. We have cruised with many different cruise lines over the years, but our first preference is Princess as they've kept to the traditional cruising experience with promenade decks, traditional afternoon tea, stunning restaurants and lovely deck areas. Also with a varied age group of passengers. All the staff and crew are friendly, helpful and nothing is to much trouble for them... I can't wait until we sail again and we always make sure we organize a prepaid deposit for our next booking before our cruise ends...which is excellent value at only $100 PP plus you can either book when ready with either Princess or your choice of travel agent, plus receive onboard credit... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
It is a long flight from Kentucky to Sydney so we got in one day early to acclimate. That went well. We stayed at the Russell Hotel right in The Rocks and it was just a short walk to the ship in the morning. It was so convenient also that ... Read More
It is a long flight from Kentucky to Sydney so we got in one day early to acclimate. That went well. We stayed at the Russell Hotel right in The Rocks and it was just a short walk to the ship in the morning. It was so convenient also that Princess has an early check-in for luggage at 9am. We dropped off our bags, took a walking tour and had a great lunch. Our checkin time was 2pm, and we loved that. We hardly ever waited and were in our cabin by 2:30, unpacking our bags which were already there. So easy. We love doing trivia on ships and that need was filled well. We like it when trivia is in the same venue as happy hour, which it wasn't here. We enjoyed the port presentations, but we did get some incorrect information about a shore excursion we wanted. We worked around that. We were disappointed that we didn't get to see many shows. We don't stay up long enough for the late ones, and the early ones were always full. As always, however, there is always plenty to do. As for the ports, this is the problem. There just isn't enough time. We were in Auckland at noon and left at 5:30. We tried the Hop-on/Hop-off bus and really got a bad deal because it quits some pickups at 3:30. I think the only thing you can do there is shop. Tauranga was great, we had lots of time to see the vicinity. Napier arrival was at noon also, until 7pm. We got around but it is a charming town that would have been fun to see more. We missed Akaroa completely for weather. Then Dunedin was a true screw up by Princess. We arrived at 8, our tour was to begin at 9 so we were real near the front of the line. We didn't get off until nearly 10 due to some issue about buses taking us to the terminal. Several people missed tours. We saw the area, but Princess made it a really hecktic day. The tour through the Fiordland National Park was great, and the park ranger who joined the cruise did a great commentary. Food and drinks in NZ are expensive so knowing your room and board are covered on a cruise helps with the budget. However, you really don't get to see a lot of the country on this cruise. If you mostly like sea days, this is for you. Were I to advise someone about a NZ cruise, I would look to go from Auckland, ensure there is a lot of time at each port, maybe even overnights. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because it was the only 14 day cruise that Princess does in the South Pacific. Beware, if you are considering a trip that embarks from Australia during January, you will be traveling with many, many children and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the only 14 day cruise that Princess does in the South Pacific. Beware, if you are considering a trip that embarks from Australia during January, you will be traveling with many, many children and teenagers. As Americans, we forget that Australians are on Holiday mid-December to February 1st. There were 500+ children on board and over 200 were teenagers. Many families brought their children into the dining room for breakfast so we were surrounded by crying babies, young children standing on dining room chairs, children on the rugs and running throughout the dining room. Unfortunately, the parents did not realize that there is a more casual restaurant, Horizon Court, that would be a better fit for the family nor did they realize that the children were disturbing the other passengers. The ship is lovely and easy to learn the layout. The Cruise Director, Marcus, was new but he was the best Cruise Director ever! He spent hours with the passengers and was involved in numerous social activities which is unlike other Cruise Directors. Most spend half of their time in their office. Marcus was more sociable than the Captain. The Captain never spoke to the passengers even at the private Captain's Circle party. He never spoke to us at 12 noon while at the Sea. We would have liked to know where we were as to Longitude, Latitude, how far we have sailed, temperature outside, etc. The food was average. The dining room staff still needs training in wine and wine service. Their knowledge is poor. Sydney is a beautiful port for embarkation and disembarkation. We used the Princess pre-cruise package with 2 nights at the Four Seasons. The hotel was wonderful...our room was ready for check-in at 7:30 AM. Princess had notified them that we would be an early check-in. After flying 14 hours, it was wonderful to be able to check in immediately. We used the Ships Spa Services even though their prices are triple the price as to what you would pay in the USA. They try to sell their products so you have to be forceful and say NO many times. They tried to sell me a $262 package of products. Even though our Roll call was quiet for this trip, we met many wonderful fellow travelers and we were able to join private tours arranged by other Cruise Critic members. The information exchanged between members on the Roll Call is so valuable. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Wanted cruise to South Pacific 4-7 days before booked cruise to New Zealand Really enjoyed the people (very warm and loving) on the Islands we visited. Lifou and Noumea, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Dravuni, Suva, Savusavu, ... Read More
Wanted cruise to South Pacific 4-7 days before booked cruise to New Zealand Really enjoyed the people (very warm and loving) on the Islands we visited. Lifou and Noumea, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Dravuni, Suva, Savusavu, Lautoka Fiji We also enjoyed the cultural tours and scenic sites-5 through Princess and 2 from another travel agency. The staff were very helpful, especially at service desk. There were changes made to my tours booked in Sydney after the cruise due to a holiday and I needed to make phone calls. But making phone calls from some of the ports was not available and guest services gave me a complimentary call. The whole ship had no TV service for about half of the 2 week cruise. Also, most days there was only 1 or no washcloths available for our room and others. According to my final bill, I think everyone was given a ship board credit. Despite some issues that can be corrected, we enjoyed the cruise and would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Diamond Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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