Awesome Australia/New Zealand: Sun Princess Cruise Review by Fabian52

Sun Princess 5
Member Since 2008
483 Forum Posts

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Awesome Australia/New Zealand

Sail Date: November 2009
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Other
We boarded our long flight from Florida with two connections and then after a 7 hr. layover in LAX we boarded our Qantas flight for Sydney. I had wanted to fly Qantas because had heard of such great reviews from reading cruise critic. We were treated very well by Qantas with two full meals, snack bags, water, snacks in the middle of the next. Free entertainment throughout the long flight and the A380 Airbus was magnificent. With the camera perched on the tail you could look at the takeoff and landing and the entire flight the entire 14 1/2 flight. Such a smooth aircraft and no turbulence. We then arrived in Sydney on time and had managed to get some sleep on the plain so after collecting our luggage and going through Customs off to get a taxi and off to Four Points Sheraton in Darling Harbor for our two day stay to see the city before we set out on our 13 day r/t cruise to New Zealand. We were very happy with our room and were upgraded to a harbor view and were able to check in More early, left our luggage and then set off to see Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World and get our picture taken with the Koala Bear which was one of the goals I had set out to accomplish on our first day. After struggling to stay awake for about six hours we went to bed around 5:00 PM that day and then got up early the next day to see the Taronga Zoo, ride the Harbor Ferries, go to the Opera House and then walk to Botanical Gardens.

The morning of our cruise we checked out of the hotel at 10:30 am got our taxi and arrived at the Terminal in Darling Harbor to get aboard the ship. There were already about 100 people waiting but I have to say that it was the easiest and quickest and earliest we were ever able to board the ship. We were all checked in and aboard by 11:30 am. When we first saw our inside room we were a little concerned but once we had the beds separated by our room steward there was more than ample space in the cabin. In fact we had more drawer space and closet space left over. As soon as we started to leave Sydney Harbor the Captain came over the speaker system and told us that because of 25 ft waves and bad weather in the China Sea we were going to have to alter our course and go through the Cook Straights between the North and South Island of New Zealand to get to our first port. We were a little disappointed but realized that safety must always come first. Leaving part the Opera House and going under the Sydney Harbor bridge was magical and I must say is one of my favorite harbors to leave from. Two days at sea we then arrived at our first port of Dunedin.

Christchurch was our second port and we walked around the city, went to their museum, the botanical gardens and did the Punting Boats on the Avon River which was alot of fun. It is truly a beautiful city. We again lucked out and had great weather for this port.

Napier was our next port and I have to say this was our least favorite out of all of them. We did a private tour there and felt very rushed in our 6 hr. tour. We booked with Bay Tours and went to a couple of wineries which was nice but felt they tried to rush you too much. It should be cut down to enjoy more time at fewer stops and other people on the tour felt the same. We did have great weather for the port.

Taraunga was our next port and we had decided that we wanted to stay close to town so we decided to climb the mountain in the harbor and walk around the shops. We didn't have the energy to climb to the top so walked around the bottom and got some great pictures and saw a seal on the rocks and swimming around. As we were leaving the port that night alot of people were still either climbing the mountain or walking around it and stopped to wave at us as we left. We felt very special. We had great weather for this stop. Less

Published 12/05/09

Cabin review: InsC708

Our cabin was an inside near the elevator but we did not hear alot of noise at all. We were on deck 9 near the back of the ship and thought it was a pretty good location. Closets were more than ample, drawer space was good enough and if you split the two beds apart there is alot more room to walk around. We were very satisfied with our room.

Port and Shore Excursions

This was our second favorite port and we again lucked out with great weather and great temperatures. We had booked a private tour with another couple and were whisked away with Kauri Tours for a great daylong adventure to see the Volcanoes, rain forest the Kauri trees and the black beaches on the other side of the peninsula. This was and awesome tour and I would highly recommend this tour company and he went way out of his way to give us an interesting and enjoyable day. Our last port was Bay of Island and this was a tendered port. I don't especially like tendered ports and on this one we booked with the Princess cruise tour for the Kauri Forest and the Glowworms. They were both very interesting but we felt the bus ride was a little long. In all I would say tht this was one of our best cruises and we would definitely cruise with Princess again.
Read 262 Auckland Reviews

We had arranged a private tour with D-Tours in Dunedin and this has to be one of our best tours ever. He was there waiting for us with a sign as we got off the ship and we only had to wait for another couple and were whisked away for an awesome tour of the Northern Coast of Dunedin and the Moracki Boulders Tour. It was very interesting and we got some great pictures of the harbor, coastline, the boulders and ended up going to the city to see the highlights like the train station and the steepest street, Baldwin Street, the Botanical Gardens. It truly was one of the best ports of our cruise. The coastline was pretty cool that day especially with high winds but we had great clear skies for some great pictures. I would highly recommend this tour company as he went beyond the call of duty and took us many places the ships tours would never go.
Read 207 Dunedin Reviews

Our next port was Wellington which is the Capital of New Zealand. We walked around the city, did some shopping, took the cable car to the top of the city and then walked down through the botanical gardens and visited Norris Rose Gardens. They had the most beautiful roses there I had ever seen. We then walked to the other side of the city and went to the De Pui Museum which was very interesting. You would probably need about an entire week to see everything in the museum but after a couple of hours and walking probably about 8 miles that day were very tired. We did get to see the world's largest squid which was quite amazing. We had great weather for this stop and temperatures were starting to warm up as we headed to our northern destinations.

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