We choose P&O because wanted to check P&O out, we boarded at Brisbane International Cruise Terminal (very sad about this Terminal). Ship was great as being an old Princess ship it has the Princess layout. Loved the centre of the ship with the different levels, the theather was nice an roomy. Dining rooms were a good size. There is nothing wrong with a budget cruise but even as a budget cruise there could be a massive improvement in onboard wifi, food and drinks. Being on the drinks package, with the cocktails on offer and in our price range (max $16) noticed much of the alcohol mixed in the cocktails was very limited. I am only a social drinker overall but on a cruise tend to have a bit more and at least a few cocktails but noticed even with drinking the cocktails fairly fast could taste a very limited amount of alcohol and some ("Toblerone") hardly any at all. The food in all included restaurants was not as versatile as it could be, at times it was very bland and I wondered if the chefs actually tasted their own food. The Pantry (Buffet style without being a Buffet) was just boring and very much the same every day. We booked Byron Beach mini suite could have done without the Byron Beach attached. It wasn't useful and could have done better e.g. by spending the money onboard. The itinery (New Zealand) was as expected but missed a port due to weather (can't be helped, it happens). Service on board was excellent without a doubt. Entertainment in the foyer was good but again much the same every few days, it would rotate and then you'd have the same entertainers with much the same repertoire. The shows were a lot of comedy shows and very little other. The very little other were fine and nice to watch. The adults only show was a paid show. All the on board specialty restaurants were good, surprised that the Pizza restaurant was considered specialty (on a previous Princess cruise that was an included restaurant). It wasn't expensive but every little dollar counts.
Mini suite on deck 9 forward, was roomy and had lots of storage, very comfortable bed, coffee machine, we didn't use and asked for a kettle which we got, unfortunately the mini suite balcony had no roof and was open to the elements, with wet weather or when fully in the sun for that matter you couldn't use it much. Room was serviced twice a day to the highest standards. The cabin stewards were top notch.
Great place to visit, buses took us to the centre almost and it is a great place to wander about very Art Deco and lovely shops and cafe's to check out.
Auckland is great, nice cafe's, shopping been there a few times now just a nice port to stretch your legs. Great Harbour, easy access to ferries etc from where our ship was moored.