Sydney to Auckland, Feb18. First impressions were excellent, the online check in made things an absolute breeze, we were onboard the ship by 1pm, which gave us plenty of time to become familiar with her.
The Journey is a lovely well maintained ship, very clean. Our cabin on Deck 4 was located midship starboard side around 5 cabins down from the Starboard Gangway but was extremely quiet the whole time we were onboard even with the gangway being utilised.
Our cabin was extremely clean, the en suite was on the small side and if you're a big guy then you have to turn sideways on to the shower to fit your shoulders in. The plastic shower curtain is USELESS would be so much better if they just had a glass door.
Our cruise was 14 days, we had plenty of storage space and for the first time on 5 different cruise lines I was able to put my Extra Large Samsonite Hardcase under the bed (big plus).
Our Cabin Attendants Louis and Reynaldo met us, fantastic guys, who delivered excellent service with a smile or joke every time we met them. They kept the cabin absolutely immacuate.
As for the food, well the Main Dining Room was good, good choices and well cooked etc etc as you'd expect.
The Buffet up at Windows Cafe, even though it had a number of speciality nights, we saw time after time, the same deserts, the same pasteries, the same sushi served up lunch and dinner.
The Chefs Top Table was a STUNNER brilliant, great food, great wine and great company. Prime C Steakhouse the food was average but it was brilliant in Aqualina, as was the service.
Coffee was out and out DISASTER and NOT WORTH DRINKING. Getting served UHT Milk for coffee whilst the ship was visiting two of the BEST Dairy Nations in the world is simply not on. As for the Coffee, the beans must have been roasted badly because the coffee was full of acid, no balance and very little favour.
Onboard Entertainment to these Aussies was POOR. 54 may have been great for the Americans onboard but to anyone else it was so so. No Presentations on the history of New Zealand etc etc other than the Shore Excursions was pretty poor. That said we had the only Presenter Dr Michael Fopp do outstanding presentations on the Battle of Britain, Early Female Flyers etc etc.
The Public Rooms were all excellent and very very comfortable. The ship only has 690 passengers maximum onboard so it was always possible to get a seat except at 6pm for Dinner at the Discoveries Bar or the Sunset Bar on the stern if the ship was sailing.
The Itinerary was wonderful with plenty of time in the various ports we visited. Gave us plenty of time to wander around or take up shore excursions. Picton is just gorgeous whilst Napier with its Art Deco buildings was also a highlight. Milford Sound we arrived with grey skies but the sun rose and the sky cleared to show Milford in all its glory.
We met a number of the Officers and Crew, all of whom were very nice and would take the time to have a chat with you.
Finally the Onboard TV Entertainment was woeful. Documentaries were over 20 years old in some cases, whilst the movie selection was limited and repeated after a couple of days. The first cruise line to introduce a system like the In Flight Entertainment one finds available onboard a flight with Emirates, Singapore or Qantas Airlines will make a killing. No excuse in this day and age of technology for ships not to have such an entertainment system available to its passengers given ships have more space to carry such systems than aircraft. If the airlines can do it, the cruise industry should be doing it as well.
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise because of the itinerary and the ships crews. The things listed above if improved would see the Journey really at the top of its game.
Great cabin, very comfortable and extremely clean. Located mid ships Deck 4 Starboard Side. Around 5 cabins forward of the Starboard Gangway (when in use) which was never a problem, very quiet location.
Good storage, the bed was very comfortable. En Suite average, if you're a big guy with shoulders you need to turn sideways on to the shower. Mini bar well stocked, ice bucket filled all times.
Great cabin to have when the weather gets a little narky. We didn't encounter any real rough stuff whatsoever, 3 metre seas and gale force wind at one stage but we didn't feel it at all. Those who suffer from sea sickness this cabin would be a good choice because of its low centre of gravity position on the ship.