We chose this cruise because it was in the school holidays and we had not been to New Zealand before. Whilst this cruise was perfectly fine and we enjoyed it, it was not up to the standards we have come to expect from cruising. For example, the service in the dining room was poor compared to all our other cruises. On a number of occasions we had to wait a long time before we even got our menus and then there were also considerable waits for our food to arrive. We had set dining which is our favourite as you get to know your wait staff and they get to know you. On past cruises, by the second night, the wait staff have your drinks ready and waiting by the time you arrive for your meal. This happened once. We had to order our drinks every night (the exact same drinks). Also my mum liked to have a glass of ice each night and she had to always prompt the wait staff for it.
The other issue I had was with the menu. There was an over abundance of fish and seafood choices which is great if you like that but not being a fish or seafood eater I found it a poor menu for me. There was never much in the way of a choice for chicken or vegetarian. A number of nights I ended up not eating in the dining room while my family ate and then went up to the buffet (Horizon court) to find something. The buffet was excellent. I do like the set out of it. You have to sanitise your hands before you enter the buffet area. I liked that it was separate from those looking for tables. We often found it hard to find a table to sit at though. Not the fault of anyone, just an observation. I did really like who the Horizon court was set out. The food was really good for the most part with lots of choice. Room service was fabulous and it always arrived really quickly and hot. I could not fault this at all.
The cabin was great. We had ice in our room every day/night. We only had one cabin steward on this ship and usually we have two. It wasn't unusual for us to go out in the morning for breakfast and trivia and come back and find our room had not been cleaned yet. Not a problem for us but not the same as other cruises. The balcony was huge but a little old looking and rusty. We didn't end up using it too much because the weather was rainy and it was quite cold out there. I did often open the door and just lie on the bed at night listening to the waves which was lovely at night.
The cabin was very good. Balcony was a little rusty and old looking but it was fine. Shower was small and I hate those small showers with the curtain. The curtain wasn't long enough so the water just leaked out into the bathroom itself. The toilet stopped working on one day but it was fixed within the day. Apparently it was an issue on the whole deck we were on. Lucky we had family on another deck so we just used their toilet until ours was fixed.
Didn't spend much time here as we have previously. Plenty to do though
Pretty little town but very small. It was nice just to stroll through the town and look at the markets and the shops. Very busy though with the cruise ship in and some of the shops were too full of tourists to actually get in and look.