Always wanted to see New Zealand and we thought that a cruise would provide the best opportunity to visit the various regions. We took the New Zealand 15 day cruise with Princess and were booked on the Sea Princess. While we enjoyed all of the Ports of Call and tours there were some negative aspects to our cruise.
We had never sailed on the Sun Princess but were aware it was smaller than the Royal Class ships we were used to sailing on. It also was not equipped with the Princess "Medallion" system. Big negative was that the Sea Princess (22 years old) is not very well maintained with copious amounts of rust, aging facilities and decor along with average food. Cabin was small and again was showing its age. As experienced cruisers with Princess we anticipated top tier dining and unfortunately were disappointed with the overall quality of what was offered. The Sun Princess crew that we came in contact with were all very helpful and courteous in every respect. Without exception they all worked hard to make everyone feel comfortable during the time we were aboard. On the entertainment side, we enjoyed the evening shows which were professionally produced and interestingly enough had a large contingent of Americans all of whom were outstanding. New Zealand was fabulous even though we missed part of our itinerary due to weather and a couple of port calls were shortened. Great people, great and very scenic country with excellent port calls, some too short, and very good well organized shore excursions. We will have many fond memories of our Tasmania & New Zealand Cruises for many years to come.
In summation the value for what we paid was below average primarily due to the ship's condition and food.
Cabin was smaller than what we are used to and somewhat dated. Paint spatter and chips covered the balcony furniture and even though we reported it, issue was not taken care of. Cabin drapes were not fitted correctly and let copious amounts of light into the room. Ship is 22 years old and the information and channels on the TV reminded us when we started cruising 15 years earlier with no real weather and activity information available. Our room steward kept the room clean and tidy and the bed was comfortable.
Spent some time, 2 days, in Brisbane pre and post cruise. Clean vibrant metropolis with lots to offer. Would have like to stay longer.
Excellent tour. Train picked us up at the dock and the ride was very pleasant where we had the opportunity to view the region around Dunedin. We rode in an older coach which restricted our viewing somewhat. Train crew was very helpful and courteous. Would highly recommend.View All 68 Taieri Gorge Railway Reviews
Spent far too much time going to and returning from Christchurch, 5 hours vs 4 hours to tour Christchurch. Didn't understand why Princess chose this port vs Lyttlelton Harbor which is much closer. What we saw of Christchurch was very good and we had an opportunity to see the botanical gardens and take the City tram but couldn't do anything else because of the 4 hour time window.View All 44 Christchurch City Tour Reviews
Interesting ride to the bluff overlooking Wellington. Not quite like the San Francisco cable cars, much shorter ride up a steep incline, it was nevertheless was quite enjoyable. Great views at the top along with a very nice Cable Car museum gift shop.View All 31 Cable car Reviews
Wellington is a great place to visit. Toured the Te Papa Museum and took the Cable Car both of which were excellent. We had a unique opportunity to visit the weekend City open air market which was chock full of great New Zealand products and food. Walked along the harbor and enjoyed a quick lunch at one of the many restaurants located there.View All 33 City Tour Reviews
Very comprehensive and well laid out museum depicting the history of New Zealand from before the settlers and subsequent. Lots of native history including many artifacts. Very nice museum shops holding a wide variety of items.View All 28 Te Papa Museum Reviews
Tour was a 1-2 hour ride around the City which was interesting but not spectacular. Had some time to walk through the Napier City shopping area to view the striking art deco buildings and visit some of the excellent shops. We also had time to enjoy lunch in a very good restaurant.View All 9 City Tour Reviews
The geothermal springs while interesting are not on a par with Yellow Stone Park. To view the whole park is physically demanding and you need to be prepared to climb a lot of stairs.View All 40 Geothermal Springs Reviews
We took the Lake Rotorua boat and lunch tour along with the Geothermal Springs. Additionally, on the way back we took an ad-hoc side trip to visit a Kiwi Fruit farm which was really enjoyable. The lake cruise with a meal and native dancing was very good as was the Geothermal springs. The Kiwi farm was fabulous. Had some Kiwi ice cream and learned about the history of farming this fruit in New Zealand along with viewing the actual growing areas.View All 63 Rotorua Reviews
Great walking tour of Auckland given the limited amount of time we had. Port call was shortened by the Ship. Pleasant walk with the opportunity to sample various cuisines ranging from high-end chocolates, street food, and fast food plus cheeses and wine. Also gave us some time to explore on our own.View All 1 Culinary Tour Reviews