I got to the pier by Public transport , left early to get there early and to cover any possible delay the public transport could have thrown at me , none, I had lunch at a cafe near there and looked at her and how huge she was. at about ... Read More
I got to the pier by Public transport , left early to get there early and to cover any possible delay the public transport could have thrown at me , none, I had lunch at a cafe near there and looked at her and how huge she was. at about 12.50 I decided to line up , my check in was meant to be 1.30 but as i felt that by the time i got to the front it would be that time I didn't see any wrong in lining up at the time i did.
it moved nicely , i got to where the truck was for bag pick up and a few of us got told if you don't mind and can do so walk to the next pick up point you are most welcome to do so , so a few of us did just that .
Got to the bag pick up point [where people get dropped off in taxi's etc ] and handed my bags over and up i went .
I was directed to fill out some forms which I did then lined up in the next Que .
that didn't take long and the next thing had my card for my room.
next stop was customs and claiming my GST of my purchases . that all went smoothly and then through the photo stops etc i took some pictures as well of the ship and got another photo for my cruise card done then onto the ship i went and up to my room .
I met my Steward Ariel , a lovely guy polite and always willing to help , very hard working as well.
I then went off and explored .
Such a huge ship inside and out , all the staff i met had a smile all said hello they all got to know me and that day i had my cowboy hat on and got called cowgirl/boy by a few all with a smile .
Time the ship left port watched and took lots of photos of that happening, then it was dinner time.
I had chosen first sitting for my dinning experience as I find i don't always sleep well after late dinners though mind you I probably should not have worried about that with lots to do and see you don't always get to bed early anyway , met my waiters Daniel from Serbia and Phinyo from Thailand , they are Gems , such lovely guys with wonderful smiles and always ready for a chat and a laugh , willing to suggest what meal might be nice and if you could not make your mind up they would give you both choices , happened to me many a time with the entrees , they got to know the drink of choice and you were set for a lovely dinner , my table companions were great always had a chat with them .
movies shows what ever you wanted to do fantastic . used the skywalkers disco area a couple of times to read a book though did fall asleep doing that too to wake up in the middle of fog .
found the gym and used it a couple of times , walked around the boat when I could .
Never ended up at a speciality restaurant as I was enjoying the company at my table .
Found a couple of people that did not know the manners of letting people out of lifts before going on and politely let them know about it . other then those couple i didn't encounter many people like that they were all great and looked to be enjoying themselves and most treated the staff great from what i saw as well which is great as well .
The Photographers were great , had my favourite who took a great photo of me and he was and is a great guy always polite with a great sense of humor .
We got into all ports, we had the wind pick up as the last tender left Akaroa which made it slightly harder to get to the ship but the ship and the crew on the tender did a great job and all got on Golden safely , a poor kayaker got caught by the wind and fell out , a passenger saw this and alerted the crew , they sent a tender to help as well as alerting the authorities, he was wet but ok and was walking on the beach and no longer needed the ships help the authorities were at hand for him if needed .
We only missed Dusky sound , the shore tours I did were awesome as and the shuttle buses services where you needed them to get into town were great too .
I did the ultimate ship tour and loved it , due to a technical problem that caused Golden to lose power for a little while we missed the bridge at the end of the tour , but they got us to the bridge the next day which was awesome as , warning to those that like sun bathing etc in the nude etc , do remember this the bridge has cameras on either side and are on the bridge like side mirrors , if you are on your balcony with nothing on they will see you and have already seen some um interesting scenes .
When the Ship lost power and we stopped in the middle of the cruise back to Melbourne the Captain kept us all informed at all times the weather was good and at the time sea was quite calm which was probably a good thing . when we started off it was at half speed then an hr or so later full speed
My Cabin was clean the bed was comfy as the balcony was awesome as .
Tim the cruise director was awesome as was his side kick Corry they did a show that was a one off and it was funny as and the tribute shows we had were great I saw the queen one and the beatles one they were fantastic the sand man that did pictures with sand was awesome as the show by the crew at the end of the cruise is worth seeing too.
If you see a movie outside you can get more than one blanket as well but do wear worm clothes , missed the star gazing due to clouds sadly.
2 and a half laps around deck 7 is 1 mile long they do have childrens club of some sort I did see a room and a youth teenage room or two as well .
I had a massage though was not going to as they aren't cheap but decided to as my back was aching , I got a hot stone massage and it worked the aches away , they do a little push at the end to buy a product but you can say no , I thought she was going to give me a free sachet for the bath but thought best to ask how much , and it was from a box of them for sale so I politely said no .
There is a pizza and burger place on deck 14 as well as free ice cream and Horizons the buffet .
The unlimited drinks card is awesome , loved the mocktails I got it as well as hot chocolate and lemonade drinks etc , the coffee card was good too, I had no need for an alcohol card which would have covered all that as I don't drink that much to warrant that cost .
They had a shooter glass that had different coloured bases that you can collect , in the dining area's they cost $3 outside them they were $7.50 each , they have blue , green ,red, orange , yellow and clear glasses .
I did Piha Bush & Beach Eco Tour,
Tamaki Maori Village,
Gisborne Craft Beer Brewery & Lunch,
Zealandia Eco Reserve & Otari Wilton Bush,
Wildlife Cruise 1 Booked ,
Scenic Akaroa By Double Decker Bus ,
Olveston House & Larnach Castle
loved them all , they were all great and i would do them again .
The service everywhere I went be it a bar or the front desk or the restaurant or bistro or my room attendant or the guys when you go ashore or the photographers was fantastic can not fault any of them .
Disembarking from the ship was good though I stressed on the card on what I had to declare etc so if I was unsure i clicked yes , safer that way , if I didn't need to won't matter , I was off the ship I reckon in around 10 minutes if that , was easy as and very smooth running .
I caught a tram to the city as I was staying at the Pensione hotel, [Highly Recommend if you want clean cheap accommodation have had no problems with them in the times i have stayed there ], due to seeing a concert that night from ACDC which as awesome and just got home after lunch with all but bags I think I will be sleeping in tomorrow .
Had an awesome time , I will cruise again when I save enough money to do so again and if lucky will be on Golden again, she is one lovely ship and the crew are awesome . Read Less