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Going to New Zealand and Australia was a big "bucket list" thing. The Princess cruise/land tour was awesome. We booked an inside cabin since we had mostly port days and spent the day at the Sanctuary during the Fiordland cruising. It more than met our expectations. We used Princess excursions because we have found that they have already screened their vendors for the most reliable and knowledgable guides. We once used a van off the pier on a stop on a Panama cruise and the tour guide did not provide any admittance to venues and after fact checking some of the information I found he made things up as he went along. My time is to precious for me to waste so I won't short change myself again and waste my precious time to save a few dollars. The excursions from the ship are now memories I cherish. The land tour in Australia, The Ultimate Outback, had us being cared for as VIPs. We came home knowing we had the best experience possible for the time we had there. The representative/tour guide managed everything for us at every stop. Our rooms were high quality and the meals that were included were wonderful. I came home knowing so much about the Ausie and Aborigine cultures. It was also fun staying at The Four Seasons in Sydney, because I never book five stars. We were able to get extra time through Princess at their rate. Since it is a lot of effort to get from the USA to that part of the world this cruise is a way to make the most of your time and experience the unique part of the world down under. If you have time for the land tour it will be icing on the cake.

New Zealand with Australian outback land tour

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by sepam

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Trip Details
Going to New Zealand and Australia was a big "bucket list" thing. The Princess cruise/land tour was awesome. We booked an inside cabin since we had mostly port days and spent the day at the Sanctuary during the Fiordland cruising. It more than met our expectations. We used Princess excursions because we have found that they have already screened their vendors for the most reliable and knowledgable guides. We once used a van off the pier on a stop on a Panama cruise and the tour guide did not provide any admittance to venues and after fact checking some of the information I found he made things up as he went along. My time is to precious for me to waste so I won't short change myself again and waste my precious time to save a few dollars. The excursions from the ship are now memories I cherish. The land tour in Australia, The Ultimate Outback, had us being cared for as VIPs. We came home knowing we had the best experience possible for the time we had there. The representative/tour guide managed everything for us at every stop. Our rooms were high quality and the meals that were included were wonderful. I came home knowing so much about the Ausie and Aborigine cultures. It was also fun staying at The Four Seasons in Sydney, because I never book five stars. We were able to get extra time through Princess at their rate. Since it is a lot of effort to get from the USA to that part of the world this cruise is a way to make the most of your time and experience the unique part of the world down under. If you have time for the land tour it will be icing on the cake.
sepam’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IB B 248
It was very comfortable. Since sailing on the Emerald five months earlier out of Southampton they had put in new beds and bedding. It was luxurious. There was plenty of closet space and there was room under the bed to store our suitcases. Our room steward was awesome. We had two issues with the toilet not flushing but the maintenance people resolved that within a short time. This is definitely great value.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Akaroa
    It was a 9 hour tour where we enjoyed scenic views of the landscapes while on the way to Mt. Sunday where the area was transformed into Edoras in the Lord of the Rings. Video clips were shown during the bus ride and literature passed around with pictures that brought the process of what Peter Jackson did to life for us. The guide knew the history of the film making and what went on to create the magic we see in the movie. Viewing the Southern Alps with snow still on the peaks was amazing.
    View All 13,277 Akaroa Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Larnach Castle
    We arrived at what they promote as a castle. We were told that they normally split a bus load into two groups, but because of two cruise ships being there we were crammed into the rooms with one guide. We were also only escorted in the bottom of the "castle" because of over crowding. This seems to be a scheme the current owner has to generate revenue to maintain the property. Having been to real castles, and even Hearst Castle in California, this is no castle.
    View All 28 Larnach Castle Reviews
  • Taieri Gorge Railway
    Our package put the Taleri Gorge Railway with the Lamach Castle together. The train ride was a beautiful way to see some of New Zealand beautiful and wild terrain. The food and service on the train was first class. This was definitely the way to go. I would pass on the castle, as it was a disappointing experience.
    View All 54 Taieri Gorge Railway Reviews
  • Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
    It was fun to be up close to some of Australias native animals. For those who wanted to feed and interact it was a great opportunity. It was everything I expected it to be.
    View All 22 Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Reviews
  • Curringa Farm
    The family running this farm were fantastic hosts. We watched a sheep shearing presentation. Then we were fed a great tasting steak lunch with wine. After lunch we watched dogs move the sheep, then were give a tour of the rest of the property. A family member explained the way they rotate crops and produce seeds for some of the worlds largest seed distributers as well as opium for pharmaceutical companies.
    View All 1 Curringa Farm Reviews
  • Mt. Field National Park
    Wanting to see as much of the country of New Zealand while there being able to experience one of their national parks was great. One thing, they have huge spiders. It was beautiful.
    View All 3 Mt. Field National Park Reviews
  • Tauranga
    We had a great time learning about the Maori culture, the geothermal springs and other aspects of New Zealand life.
    View All 267 Tauranga Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Wellington
    Though it was a short tour we got a great overview and introduction to the area. We had the evolution of the neighborhoods and community explained to us and also were shown some of the impacts of the recent earthquakes.
    View All 369 Wellington Cruise Port Reviews
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