We arrived in Auckland 4 days early to enjoy the sights and sounds. Nice small city- easy to walk around. Jump on-off bus service available daily to see the sights and boat trips available round the bay. Lovely clean and fresh feel to the air and warm enough in March!
Because I owned up to having a sore throat had to wait 20 minutes for the nurse to reappear. Thought we were not going to be allowed on the cruise liner. People were being processed rapidly but not us. Nurse was miffed when a staff member pointed out that we had been waiting for her to reappear after her departure. Surprise, surprise once on board my sore throat did not seem to be a problem to anyone. (It developed into a full blown cold but I bought medication and treated myself for the next two weeks. We also made sure that we kept to ourselves to contain the germs.)
Thought we could enjoy a leisurely cruise round New Zealand and part of Australia seeing plenty of scenery. This was our first cruise and it was a special anniversary!
Most of sailing done at night so little to see and too far off shore anyway. What we did see we generally enjoyed. Napier gave the cruise ship arrival a very good welcome followed by a great jazz band send off.
For us the boat was too crowded. Breakfast and lunch you had to search to find clear/clean tables. It looked as though the dining facilities had been increased at some time with extra chairs and tables put along the walkways into the dining facilities. Staff tried to cope but everyone trying to eat at once made it a trial. The odd member of staff looked out of place walking round displaying cans of coke etc could have been better utilised.
Will say that dining staff morning, noon and night were good and did their best for passengers!
Disappointed in the Gala Night. In 4/5 star hotels it is a completely different experience! Evening meal generally were good and fair selection of courses. Felt charging guests 15% extra on top of cost of wine bit excessive.
Attended a wine tasting session (paid extra) it was said to be a fun session but it ended rather quickly (one hour) and felt that it was a good way to get rid of wines that were not selling very well. (oh synical me!)
Cabin was roomy enough and staff attentative.
There was one evening we attended a show and there was a very good ventriloquist - had everyone in tucks laughing. Saw him again a few nights later - different program - very good.
Plenty of excursions and it depended on how much you wanted to do. We generally chose to do our own thing visiting museums, botanical gardens. Being elderly did not want to over tax ourselves.
One point - we had requested a cabin in a quiet location. It was great until the last few days when it sounded as though there was a child running and jumping overhead. We ignored it initially but the next evening (usually between 5.00 pm and 8.00 pm the noise started again. I phoned the 'Front Desk' to ask could someone have a word. Nothing appeared to happen. Next night - again the noise started up only more so. Rang 'Front Desk' again. A representative came to the cabin to talk to us - by this time it had gone a bit quiet. Whilst we were talking there was some noise but not as much. The representative said that they had tried calling the cabin but had not received an answer so they had not been able to do anything. (Don't think it occurred to the lady that perhaps the child had been left in the cabin whilst the grown ups were elsewhere.) She did suggest that perhaps we should use earplugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall we would not have missed visiting New Zealand and Australia but would never ever go on a cruise that had so many passengers (1500). That is if we ever go again.
On disembarking at Sydney, stayed four days seeing the sights. Went then mainly via Greyhound up to Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour (staying one night each). Then to Lennox Head via Ballina for four days. The Northern Rivers area is lovely. Great long beaches and very good weather. Finally we traveled to Brisbane for a couple of nights - again a great compact city with good public transport facilities. See the botanical gardens and the beach on the river where there are numerous eateries. Love to visit again. Greyhound service great!
Bed extremely comfortable and plenty of storage wardrobes, drawers etc. Coffee table and chairs with TV.
Appreciated the use of the toweling robes whilst aboard and particularly liked the Elemis body cream. Even my husband used it.
The room was kept very well by cabin staff as was the bath room (which had bath, separate shower and two hand wash basis).