we chose this cruise as we wanted to try a new ship in the princess line, and to experience NYE with family in New Zealand and catchup with my daughter in Melbourne. We overall enjoyed the cruise and thought the design of the ship beautiful but missed the sky walker bar, and other lounge areas that are on the older ships like Regal Princess, the marketplace was too small and food choices ordinary, staff were unfriendly had no joy, there was a definite lack of service on this ship in the dining rooms and buffet. If you wanted a drink with dinner or lunch you had to look for a waiter yourself in the buffet. The piazza opens out over a number of levels and is the main hub for entertainment so no quiet areas to sit and have a coffee with friends, the walking track is split in half so you have to go through the basketball courts to get to the other side, unlike older ships this is a design fault. The gym is well equipped and the adult hollywood pool bar is a great innovation with only two hot tubs though it can get a bit crowded on at sea days. The menu needs updating in all dining rooms everyday same things on offer, and when special seafood days are planned in the marketplace buffet, staff should serve passengers portions or control number of plates taken by passengers. Also only two washbowls at the buffet are not enough and staff should be there to monitor hand washing to stop infection, we watched big groups of people walk in and not wash their hands.
cabin was smaller than Regal, Diamond and Sapphire, bed uncomfortable and balcony small, the designers have reduced the size of rooms and bathrooms to fit in more passengers. Our room steward Ren was lovely kept our room beautifully clean and was always friendly.
overall the ports of call were great we did our own thing except for Tauranga we went on the hobbiton tour which was excellent great guide looked after us.
Embarkation was smooth and disembarkation easy to do off this ship as we are frequent travellers, bit confusing for new passengers no staff to assist them at exit points of ship.
We embarked in Auckland had one night prior to cruise had dinner at a restaurant on the pier with family
we did our own thing went to the information centre and bought a ticket on the red bus tour of dunedin, walked through the botanical gardens then lunch at the irish pub near the octagon.
We walked off the ship, to Salamanca Markets another ship was in port very crowded but nice day wandering around the many stalls, my sister did a free walking tour offered by the tourist centre and we caught the red hop in and off bus tickets can be bought from the tourist centre.
My daughter was our tour guide she took us to Hosier Street to see the amazing graffiti art worth a visit and walked through many small laneways and sampled great cakes and coffee, walked through The Block arcade and The Hopetoun Tea Rooms are worth a visit, Fitzroy Gardens are beautiful.