Food was also above average in both Windows and Discoveries. I was unsure that Aqualina/Prime C was worth the extra money. We did splurge on the Valentine's Dinner in Aqualina, and that was incredible. I loved our waiters (Philbert and Yolana) in Discoveries.
Entertainment was fun. Loved Jessie on the saxophone but sad to hear she was a one sailing fill in. Azamara Evening with the Wellington Symphony and a local indigenous chorus was neat. Added to that is that we all got to sing along with the cruise director Danny in the cavernous cathedral while we waited for the return buses to load.
Drinks on the basic plan for me were OK. Mostly gin drinks (they seemed to alternate between Beefeaters and Gordons depending on the bar. The wines in the basic were really inexpensive, but some weren't too bad. The sparkling and rose they had throughout the cruise were solid. Some of the others I could do without out, but some were good. We were in a wine group, so we had plenty of other wine to drink as well.
Our stateroom stewards (Carlos and Russel) bent over backward to do everything for us.
I did the "Insider's Tour," and that was well worth the $89 or whatever. We got to see the kitchens, environmental, storerooms, laundry, engine control room, and the bridge (where we were served sparkling wine and a snack and allowed to stay as long as we cared to.
Captain Johannes was always gracious and even had a get together for other (airplane) pilots one afternoon. Amusingly we ran into him ashore in McLaren Vale about a week after the cruise.
Weather and high seas caused us to lose our trip to Milford Sound and Tasmania. But the three additional ports added were neat as well and got to see a few things we wouldn't have seen otherwise like the Giant's House in Akaroa or the opportunity to eat Kuora in Kai Kuora. We also got small refund on our accounts that had something to do with the port changes.
Weather also forced the White Night to move into the cabaret. I was less than impressed with the buffet offered for that.use Expedia organized a wine group on it.
The stateroom was typical, perhaps even better than average. There was a decent amount of room of the Veranda. A good sized table and room to get around it without having to squeeze. We were in 7078 on the Journey (roughly across from the guest laundry which was more of a convenience than a problem). I actually had a SMALLER hotel room at the Sydney airport when I went to get a connection.
The downside is that the internet NEVER really worked throughout the cruise. Several of us with networking backgrounds tried to explain the issues to the "IT Specialist" but he seemed limited to do anything than to explain how to configure the wifi on your device. They did give me (without asking) a partial refund.
The refrigerator in the rooms were absolutely useless. They wouldn't even hold 20C. Fortunately, our cabin stewards kept the ice bucket full for us (even offering up a larger one).
Aukland itself did nothing for me. It's just a city. We did go over to Waiheke Island which was nice.
Excellent! Our guides picked us up in a pair of 1929 Packard cars and took us around to see the various buildings.View All 16 Napier Art Deco Tour Reviews
Nice little scenic place.
This was the free "Azamazing Evening" event where we heard the Symphony Wellington and a local indigenous choir. Transfer of the near entire ship load of people went smoothly.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Could have been a bit more organized. Doesn't seem like the driver had checked in advance as to whether we could be accommodated or not.View All 18 Taste of Marlborough Reviews