Sydney-Auckland Jan 2009: Diamond Princess Cruise Review by TravelTwinkie

Diamond Princess 4
Member Since 2009
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Sydney-Auckland Jan 2009

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Other
Upon arrival at the cruise docks in Sydney, we were greeted by young men with the luggage van who whisked our bags into the system and directed us to the check in point. We were in our cabin 15 minutes later! To say the boarding process was slick would be an understatement.

Our balcony cabin on Aloha deck was exactly as expected - clean, roomy and with more storage than 2 of us needed. The Terrace Pool (adults) was just down the hall, and was ready for use even before departure. We had a great afternoon on board exploring and orienteering. This ship is huge! It provided everything for entertainment that anyone could possibly expect. Most staff were friendly and helpful, although some of the bartenders were a little slow. The staff at the Cafe Bar in the Atrium seemed to be very unhappy with their jobs - but the latte's were still great. Our dinner seating (early) in the Vivaldi Dining Room provided us with the excellent service of 2 stewards who cared for us with great More attention to detail each night we ate there. The other nights at Sabitini's' provided extra special unhurried excellent service and above-average dining offerings. Dinner at the steakhouse offered more great service, and slightly above dining room offerings. Seating from the buffet area was always limited and it was difficult to find anywhere to sit; this also affected the hamburger and pizza bars.

Our group of 6 won at everything we tried - slots tournament, Family Feud, Music Trivia, slots jackpot, etc. The Cruise Director was very responsive when we did have a need to offer constructive feedback on one of his staff - who just couldn't get her technology to work properly. The lecturer for history was unfortunately not the best presenter - he was boring, I actually fell asleep. On the other hand, when the chef and restaurant manager were presenting it was a hilarious start for the Galley Tour. The bridge tour (by special invitation) was very interesting and well delivered also. Kind of odd that the only bad presenter was the one who was not just doing his regular job? Less

Published 03/15/09

Cabin review: A715

Adjoining cabin available, short walk to Terrace Pool or Guest Laundromat. Very stable and quiet location - we could tell we were walking away from the noise and movement. Balcony set back above lower decks' balconies so easy for those with a heights issue.

Port and Shore Excursions

We were collected from the ship by another Mount Classic driver who took us on a drive through tour of the city, up to Mt. Eden, on to Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World - more penguins - which was very enjoyable and informative. We went out to a winery in the Kumeu area for a thoroughly enjoyable lunch on the patio, covered as it was raining a bit. Then on to our hotel - Westin Lighter Quay for a great wind down. Here we went on to visit the city, and had our final dinner at the SkyTower Revolving Restaurant - Orbits - great view, food better than expected.

Read 263 Auckland Reviews

4 of our group of 6 took the Taeiri Groge Train and Larnach Castle excursion offered by Princess. 2 of us stayed in the town, rode the Hop On/Off bus, visited the Railway Station, Botanical Gardens, stopped at the Cadbury Factory (way too expensive and not even running), Speight's Brewery was closed that day. We had a walkabout the downtown core and found it a typical university base city.

Read 207 Dunedin Reviews

We booked a Princess Private Van tour here and got a driver, not a guide. We had to instruct him on what we wanted to see and then argue with him to get him to take us there. Not like we were choosing odd things - we wanted to go to the Yarra Valley wineries, and then see a little of the city on the way back to the boat. In the end we did enjoy a fantastic lunch at a small winery which has since been destroyed by the fires - very sad as it was a family run business, all the wines named after the grandchildren.

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