We chose this cruise because of the Ship as we have always wanted to sail out of beautiful Sydney Harbour and back in again. The destination wasn't as important as the Ship but we did enjoy New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent - enough port days and enough seas days over the 12 nights.
Embarkation was extremely well done - 30 minutes from stepping out of our car with our bags and sitting on Deck 14 sipping a cocktails Disembarking was equally well executed - we left after our nominated time of 8am by 30 minutes and we were off the ship with our bags through Customs in 10 minutes. The best I have ever experienced!
We chose the Ultimate Dining Package and it was well worth every cent. We dined frequently for lunch and dinner at all the specialty restaurants except for Amber and Gold. Our favourite was Jamie's Kitchen for dinner and Izume for lunch - however Wonderland was a fabulous experience and Chops Grille always maintained a high standard.
Loved our extended balcony on Deck 7 - definitely one of the largest balcony Stateroom's I have ever been in (this was our 10th cruise). Plenty of space to store our clothes' and travel items. Loved the kettle and opportunity to make our own tea (no coffee satchets provided). We brought our own dettol handwash for the bathroom and shampoo + conditioner. Body wash provided in the shower but recommend bringing your own.
Lovely fresh Egyptian cotton towels provided daily and soft white sheets for the bed.
Unfortunately I found Wellington a very boring city and surprised that it was their Capital. I thought Canberra was dull but Wellington was worse. Apart from an excellent coffee at Mojo's and lunch at David Jones this City didn't really excite me at all.
We walked around the Mt Maunganui and found it a delightful spot and well worth getting off the boat for - including their coffee.
Enjoyed Auckland and did their $1 bus ride around the town and then walked around the America's Cup foreshore area.
We live in Sydney so did not take an excursion. Sydney Harbour is always so beautiful and it was wonderful to spend the first afternoon onboard Ovations soaking up the magnificent view. Definitely the best harbour in the world.!