We had a delayed departure in Sydney due to extra sanitisation of the ship due to norovirus. This was communicated via email to us the day before but also advised of further delay on the day of embarkation. It was hot in Sydney that day so it seemed to cause a bit of restlessness for alot of passengers waiting to board.
We dropped out bags reasonably early and completed our check-in, got our sea pass cards and came back later in the day closer to our allocated embarkation time. I think the bag drop and early check-in needs to better communicated as we saw alot of people sitting around Circular Quay in the heat with their bags waiting for their boarding times.
We spent the day around Circular Quay and because we'd done the bag drop and check-in earlier in the day, we were able to proceed straight to the security line-up. This took so long; I think all up we were there for about 1 1/2 hours. This was a long time to stand for the older crowd.
This balcony cabin was on the port side of the ship which I worked out would be the best for this itinerary. The cabin was similar to other balcony cabins we have been in but we did enjoy the bed being next to the sliding door to the balcony rather than the main door. We liked the sliding door to the balcony which made the room on the balcony seem larger without a door swinging out onto it. The bed was really comfortable and there was plenty of room underneath the bed for our two large suitcases. We also had a rather large sofa in our room as well. The bathroom had a shower which we found better than having to step into a bath to have our shower.
The only negative about this room was it appeared that on one side in particular, the insulation/sound proofing seemed to be lacking. The next cabin seemed to spend most of the time in their cabin with the TV on and we could hear it quite clearly which affected our enjoyment of any quiet time in the cabin to read, nap, etc. We could also easily hear their conversation. Have never struck this in any other cabin before.
Ship pulls up near the main street. There are a nice range of shops & cafes. We walked to the Mount Hot Pools and then did a walk around Mount Maunganui. The volunteers did a wonderful job.
Shuttle bus drops you in the centre of the city. There is lots to look at in Wellington. We walked to the Great War Exhibition, back to Te Papa Museum, and then to the cable car. There are some lovely cafes in Wellington.
We got our tender tickets early and were on one of the first boats to Akaroa. Think it took about 20 minutes. Akaroa is very easy to walk around.
The ship docks at Port Chalmers for Dunedin. After a lengthy time to disembark, we walked around Port Chalmers. There isn't alot to do there but we walked along the shore to the Carey's Bay Historic Hotel as my husband wanted some seafood chowder.
Melbourne is easy to see on your own. We caught the 109 tram into the city and got off in Collins Street. We walked to the National Gallery of Victoria for the House of Dior Exhibition which was excellent. Before returning to the ship, we got off the tram a stop before the port and walked to the shopping strip of Port Melbourne. There is a supermarket to stock up on supplies and a number of cafes.
Used our time before boarding the ship to catch a ferry to Darling Harbor and then to Mosman Bay.