This is undoubtedly a beautiful ship. We have cruised many times and this was our first cruise with Princess. We found the passenger base on the older traveller side. We took our 17 year old with us on a XMAS cruise and there was very little for her to do and very little company her own age. The ship targets catering very well for the Chinese and American passenger base which was very high on this cruise. Given it was an Australian and NZ cruise, we though there would be a little more focus on this. We had a mini-suite and it was great. The food choices and quality were fantastic though you should note room service menu (all without cost) does not offer healthy choices. On this menu it is about hotdogs, cheeseburgers and fries. The only omission for restaurant and Marketplace food was fish and chips. I thought that fish and chips would be an option at some point but it wasn't. Le Mer was fabulous as was the Noodle Bar and the Italian Restaurant. The XMAS day food was above fantastic. Fresh seafood galore in the buffet for lunch and dinner in the restaurant had beautiful XMAS choices including ham, turkey, lamb etc. Our daughter is vegetarian and she had a lot of choice throughout the cruise. Our only disappointment was the teenager program. 13-17 year old are clumped together as one group. They put on a disco at 10.30pm clearly targeting the older teenager group but did this on the second last night.
The mini-suite was lovely and gave us that bit of extra room with a teenager. There is 2 large screen TV's in the cabin and you can pull curtains across to separate the lounge/bed area to the bed area. The balcony was average size and adequate. Plenty of wardrobe space and clothes hangers. The bed was comfortable with great pillows. The TV shows and movie options are plenty.
We did our own thing in Melbourne and the shopping is always excellent. It is a tad chaotic trying to get in to town and back. You cannot get a taxi or Uber easily. You need to buy a public transport card and use the buses that shuttled between the terminal and the city. The trams in the inner city are free.
we did the Mount Wellington and Botanical Gardens. Both were great options.
We did our own thing at Dunedin. They have a great value shuttle bus to town and there is a lot you can do on your own time. We found a lovely Thai Restaurant for lunch. Shopping in Dunedin is great.
This is a beautiful location. We did our own thing as we had friends living in Akaroa. There is much to see around Akaroa and an organised excursion is worthwhile. The village of Akaroa itself is lovely with great gift shops, coffee shops and dining options. At times, there can be two cruise ships at Akaroa at the same time and this would make it very busy and public toilets etc. challenging.