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This is only the sixth cruise of my lifetime (on five different lines) and it was easily the best of the lot - to say nothing of the tremendous value it represented versus Regent et al. Even if all six cruises had identical prices, this cruise would have earned first place by a wide margin. The ship, itself, is so new and well-maintained that it spoiled us with its finishes and amenities. Embarkation was truly efficient and we never felt there were 3500 guests and another 1500 staff. It always was so spacious - a genuine achievement. The staff was a tremendous blend from around the world - Antonio from Portugal did a yeoman's job as our cabin steward and Monika in guest services lounge was priceless to us in terms of helping secure meal reservations for our difficult party of 7. Room service in the mornings was unbelievably precise and prompt - the best we've ever experienced. Great amenities for the kids and teens (of which there were many on this Christmas Cruise). Our captains (one from NZ and one from Italy) did a tremendous job with the seas and we had the smoothest sailing I can remember. Our day in the Fjords and Milford Sound was one of the most rewarding, sunniest and relaxing days I will ever live. Harmony Restaurant (and expecially Caesar) won our hearts for the extraordinary menu, service and ambience. Crown Grill was the best team on the ship - Dennis at the front and Jaron from Serbia - best waiter anywhere on the ship. The Concerto and Symphony dining experiences were average in terms of both food quality and inattentive service (mostly from inexperienced, young Eastern European servers). La Mer was a standout experience until that music starts to play in La Piazza below and any opportunity for a civilized experience goes out the window. The music on the ship was uniformly bad (the open La Piazza is a genuine problem for programming) and the 'program staff' was an odd group with an over-inflated sense of self-importance, but they could not detract from this extraordinary experience and the truly flawless itinerary. One significant disappointment was that tidal levels significantly shortened our visits at every port and as my family was strictly doing independent shore excursions, we were under outrageous pressure throughout the cruise to return under the shortened time frames. There was always a tour that arrived after the ship was already to have departed (according to the posted 'All Aboard' time) during this particular sailing. Leaving from Auckland, sailing Milford Sound, visiting Tasmania and Melbourne and arriving in Sydney (at Circular Quay, no less) is a simply flawless itinarary. Christchurch, Dunedin and Rotarua are all brillint spots to visit and pre- and post- tours in Auckland and Syndey are not to be missed. This itinerary is a 5 out of 5 and being onboard with mostly Kiwis and Aussies made the trip especially pleasant for us, as Americans who are not accustomed to such polite colleagues.

Smooth sailing on the Majestic

Majestic Princess Cruise Review by slcdann

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Trip Details
This is only the sixth cruise of my lifetime (on five different lines) and it was easily the best of the lot - to say nothing of the tremendous value it represented versus Regent et al. Even if all six cruises had identical prices, this cruise would have earned first place by a wide margin.

The ship, itself, is so new and well-maintained that it spoiled us with its finishes and amenities. Embarkation was truly efficient and we never felt there were 3500 guests and another 1500 staff. It always was so spacious - a genuine achievement. The staff was a tremendous blend from around the world - Antonio from Portugal did a yeoman's job as our cabin steward and Monika in guest services lounge was priceless to us in terms of helping secure meal reservations for our difficult party of 7. Room service in the mornings was unbelievably precise and prompt - the best we've ever experienced. Great amenities for the kids and teens (of which there were many on this Christmas Cruise).

Our captains (one from NZ and one from Italy) did a tremendous job with the seas and we had the smoothest sailing I can remember. Our day in the Fjords and Milford Sound was one of the most rewarding, sunniest and relaxing days I will ever live.

Harmony Restaurant (and expecially Caesar) won our hearts for the extraordinary menu, service and ambience. Crown Grill was the best team on the ship - Dennis at the front and Jaron from Serbia - best waiter anywhere on the ship. The Concerto and Symphony dining experiences were average in terms of both food quality and inattentive service (mostly from inexperienced, young Eastern European servers). La Mer was a standout experience until that music starts to play in La Piazza below and any opportunity for a civilized experience goes out the window.

The music on the ship was uniformly bad (the open La Piazza is a genuine problem for programming) and the 'program staff' was an odd group with an over-inflated sense of self-importance, but they could not detract from this extraordinary experience and the truly flawless itinerary.

One significant disappointment was that tidal levels significantly shortened our visits at every port and as my family was strictly doing independent shore excursions, we were under outrageous pressure throughout the cruise to return under the shortened time frames. There was always a tour that arrived after the ship was already to have departed (according to the posted 'All Aboard' time) during this particular sailing.

Leaving from Auckland, sailing Milford Sound, visiting Tasmania and Melbourne and arriving in Sydney (at Circular Quay, no less) is a simply flawless itinarary. Christchurch, Dunedin and Rotarua are all brillint spots to visit and pre- and post- tours in Auckland and Syndey are not to be missed. This itinerary is a 5 out of 5 and being onboard with mostly Kiwis and Aussies made the trip especially pleasant for us, as Americans who are not accustomed to such polite colleagues.
slcdann’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB R611
A truly spacious layout with very comfortable bedding, awesome technology and a giant balcony. The bathroom was especially well designed with its 'pass through' feature serving both sides of the suite for genuine spaciousness. We were in love with our suite. It also was exceptionally beautiful in its appointments (fresh orchids) and had a very new feeling thanks, no doubt, to the tremendous cleaning team that made it sparkle daily during turn downs and make ups. What a rewarding visit.
Marina Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Akaroa
    Hired the brilliant Christchurch Taxi Tours - Brent and his team are magnificent. They took us into the city from the lovely port town of Akaroa and pointed us to a stunning play park for the kids as well as a cheese factory upon return. Whilst in Christchurch we enjoyed the tramway tour, the gondola and a lovely meal on New Regent Street. We would have loved more time to enjoy the French town of Akaroa, but again, the ship was on a shortened port departure schedule (though other tours ran well late of 'All Aboard' time).
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  • Auckland
    Went to Waiheke Island on the ferry and enjoyed lunch at Cable Bay Vineyards. Dinner at Viaduct and a very fun 'Escape Room' experience on the charming streets of Auckland. Sofitel was a beautiful hotel prior to cruise.
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  • Dunedin
    Rented a car and drove to the Royal Albatross Centre, Penguin Place, Glenfollach Gardens and Baldwin (steepest hill in the country) and enjoyed the railway station and the Octogon shopping district at its frenzied Christmas pace. All aboard was 2:30 PM so there was little time for else.
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  • Hobart
    Went to the stunning MONA, enjoyed Hop On Hop Off tour of the city, Brooke St Pier, Salamanca market, ate at Fish Frenzy and found a new favourite beer - Moo Cow. Though Cascade remains a stunning choice and the pinot noirs here are not to be missed. Tasmania is so fresh and satisfying - even if only staying 8 hours.
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  • Melbourne
    Rented a car and drove to Yarra Valley for the Healesville Sanctuary, Domaine Chandon tasting tour, Yering Station winery lunch and return in time for 'All Aboard' at 5:30 PM. Victoria is a remarkable state and the cafes in Melbourne are well worth the time to just hang out in, if only we had the time.
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  • Sydney (Australia)
    Went to Opera Australia's 'New Years Highlights' at the Sydney Opera House, took the Manly Fast Ferry for lunch at Hugo's, had dinner at Iceberg's (Bondi Beach) and hired a water taxi for the most spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks any of us have ever seen. Rented a beautiful apartment at conveniently located Bondi Junction (Meriton Suites) because the cruise line seemed entire unprepared to assist in any way with post-cruise accommodation.
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  • Tauranga
    Rented a car and drove to Rotarua for Agrodome sheep shearing experience, followed by Zorb and then Te Puia for extravagant brunch, a chance to view Kiwi birds and enjoy a Maori performance which was extraordinary. Also drove through Cambridge horse country and would have loved a moment at Mt Manganui but the ship departed so early it really squeezed our time here.
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