My husband and I travelled on a 37 day repositioning cruise which began in Auckland on March 30 and ended in Seattle on May 5, 2013. Overall, I would give good marks for the cruise. We prefer to take long cruises (rather than a lot of short ones) because we get more for our money on repositioning cruises, which have a lot of sea days and tend to visit places that are not the usual cruise destinations. This was our third such cruise. Visiting many destinations in a short period of time was the reason we took the cruise rather than a land tour, and it worked very nicely--we visited 13 ports (Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa/Christchurch, Dundedin, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney, then on to Noumea (New Caledonia), Suva and Dravuni Island (Fiji), Samoa and American Samoa, Kauai, Honolulu, and Vancouver).
The characteristics of the passengers tended to match the type of cruise. Those on the lengthy itinerary tended to be retired, and there were few childen on board. The educational lectures were given almost daily on the Sydney to Vancouver leg, and they were uniformly informative and excellent. On the shorter 14 day itinerary (Auckland to Sydney), the passengers were livelier and louder, and it was difficult to find tables in the Lido for breakfast. On the one day cruise from Vancouver to Seattle, the crowd was boistrous, young, noisy and boozed up. The Vista Dining Room, which was a fairly sedate and quiet place to dine on the longer cruise, was one loud and raucous buzz during dinner time on that final night.
The food was fine, but on some days, we had trouble identifying anything that appealed. Fortunately, they do have available alternatives, such as a strip steak or salmon, and my husband must have had the French onion soup at least 20 times. We ate dinner in the Lido on one occasion, and I would never go back. We also had dinner once in the Pinnacle Grill, which was excellent. It would easily cost $200 ashore, but we paid $37.50 (as 3 star Mariners). The 3-flavored creme brulee was to die for. Breakfast in the Vista Dining Room is very nice (compared to the mob scene in the Lido), but the menu is quite limited and there can be a long wait for the food.