Always wanted to see New Zealand and we thought that a cruise would provide the best opportunity to visit the various regions. We took the New Zealand 15 day cruise with Princess and were booked on the Sea Princess. While we enjoyed all of the Ports of Call and tours there were some negative aspects to our cruise.
We had never sailed on the Sun Princess but were aware it was smaller than the Royal Class ships we were used to sailing on. It also was not equipped with the Princess "Medallion" system. Big negative was that the Sea Princess (22 years old) is not very well maintained with copious amounts of rust, aging facilities and decor along with average food. Cabin was small and again was showing its age. As experienced cruisers with Princess we anticipated top tier dining and unfortunately were disappointed with the overall quality of what was offered. The Sun Princess crew that we came in contact with were all very helpful and courteous in every respect. Without exception they all worked hard to make everyone feel comfortable during the time we were aboard. On the entertainment side, we enjoyed the evening shows which were professionally produced and interestingly enough had a large contingent of Americans all of whom were outstanding. New Zealand was fabulous even though we missed part of our itinerary due to weather and a couple of port calls were shortened. Great people, great and very scenic country with excellent port calls, some too short, and very good well organized shore excursions. We will have many fond memories of our Tasmania & New Zealand Cruises for many years to come.
In summation the value for what we paid was below average primarily due to the ship's condition and food.
Cabin was smaller than what we are used to and somewhat dated. Paint spatter and chips covered the balcony furniture and even though we reported it, issue was not taken care of. Cabin drapes were not fitted correctly and let copious amounts of light into the room. Ship is 22 years old and the information and channels on the TV reminded us when we started cruising 15 years earlier with no real weather and activity information available. Our room steward kept the room clean and tidy and the bed was comfortable.
Spent some time, 2 days, in Brisbane pre and post cruise. Clean vibrant metropolis with lots to offer. Would have like to stay longer.