I haven't been on a cruise since 2016 and I wanted my sister Sam to see New Zealand as she had never been there. This was my 2nd cruise to New Zealand but different company. We went up the day before the cruise so if a delay happened it wouldn't stress us out as much.
Our boarding time was between 12 and 12:30pm and we arrived around 11:30am and handed out bags in and then joined the queue to get on board. I use a walking stick and the staff wouldn't allow me to use the escalator as a passenger had fallen that morning and so I was to take the lift up. The staff were so friendly and very helpful and we were on before 12pm. We had to find out muster station and we went through the drill and had out names marked off. We were then free and so we booked the nights for our 3 specialty restaurants and booked to see Spectra. We then to our cabins to drop off out carryon bags and pick up our passes but ours wasn't there until later.
We had a virtual cabin which was great. We found that we had 1 bed and had to ask it to be made into 2 singles, we went to Windjammer and double checked out 3 night specialty restaurant booking and found it hasn't been done properly and then went to the Solarium for lunch as it wasn't crowded, later we went to Guest Services and added some money onto our account.
We caught the hop on hop off tram in Christchurch, it was $30 Nz dollars it takes 50 mins if you stay on it, it's worth doing.