The first couple of days on the cruise were OK and by the time that we had reached Auckland we were feeling relaxed and reasonably happy. The shore visits that we had were excellent. The highlights were Akaroa, Dunedin and Auckland (in that order). The least enjoyable was Napier.
The formal dining was excellent and the staff in dining rooms and bars were excellent. Our room steward was excellent. I would like to make special mention of Ramil who really went out his way to ensure that we had a good time in the Wheelhouse. Thanks mate!! Loved your magic tricks (and the pics of your HOT wife).
That is where the positive comments stop.
Room was small for 2 adults and a child. Would not have like to have had 4 adults or even 3 adults in there. Balcony was really too small to be of much use for more than 2 at a time. Having said that, it was really good to be able to open up the room to get some fresh air in. Before we left, we had thought that the balcony would be good for Milford Sound, but we had to move to the front deck to properly take in the view. The balcony was better suited to entering and leaving port.
Self-directed touring. My daughter really "fell" for the Skytower Skyjump. She could be heard all over Auckland. We all absolutely loved the sail on the NZ Americas Cup yacht. We finished it off with a "cool" drink at the Icebar.
Self-directed touring. We hired a car and drove up to Rotorua. We all enjoyed the Luge, but did not get to spend enough time there. We could easily have spent all day just at that one spot. Some of us enjoyed the cultural aspects of The Maori Cultural centre Te Puia.
Everybody loved the thrill of the jet boat ride from Kawarau Jet. The combination of thrills and spins with cultural and heritage commentary was enough to keep even the young ones enthralled.
A full-day tour. We privately hired a driver who took all of us around Napier and Hastings. There was little of interest to be seen. Although the driver did his best to take us to the most interesting sites. The adults enjoyed Moanna Park winery. The children enjoyed the chocolate factory.
Self-directed touring. We took a taxi downtown to the Te Papa museum. It was fascinating and very well done. After lunch we took the cable car up to the gardens. We wandered for a couple of hours through the gardens. don't miss the roses!! We walked back to the boat, which was an easy walk and we got to see parts that we would not normally have seen.