Golden Princess Cruise Review by PrincessDiana
My friend suggested this cruise purely because it left from Melbourne and was convenient for us. We booked through a travel agent who was enthusiastic about our travel choice. The only things we could complain about, unjustly I suspect, were 1.The lines at embarkation. There were of course 901 passengers,so considering that the lines though massive, did move relatively quickly, I really wouldn't complain. And 2. The waiting period for tenders at the first tender port took much longer than expected, at over an hour. |However, apart from these two minor compaints, the entire cruise and ship excursions aside from this were absolutely fantastic. The food was delicious in both the buffet and fine dining. I tried room service twice and it was delicious too. And prompt. The waiters were a delight and so obviously loved their jobs. My cabin attendant was lovely and efficient and helpful when I had the odd question. The cruise director and his staff were absolutely brilliant and virtually a reason to travel again, on their own. They kept us informed and SO entertained with a variety of events and fun activities throughout the cruise. From Trivia games and lip sync battles to Samba lessons. It was all so much fun.The ship itself is beautifully decorated and my friend and I, plus my 14 year old daughter loved the four shore excursions we did too. They ran smoothly and delivered value for money. We did our own thing at Akaroa and Auckland and encountered no difficulty doing this either. My daughter quickly befriended other teenagers through the Kids Club and they subsequently entertained themselves on board very well, very much enjoying both 'the piano man' and the karaoke. I also took the time to have a facial, manicure, pedicure, stone therapy and a haircut. I went all out! I never felt so good though, after all that and the staff were all excellent. Professsional and friendly, as you would hope. I am definitely going to cruise with them again. Can't wait in fact!.
PrincessDiana’s Full Rating Summary
We booked late and so the travel agent suggested a middle of the ship cabin with an obstructed view- that is, a lifeboat was partially in the way. The middle of the ship being smoother (less rocky). Plus, we were also were on the side of the National Park (Milford Sound etc). This was great to see when I woke up in the morning as we came so close to the extraordinary scenery, as we passed. I barely noticed any movement at all, even when we were at sea and had no trouble sleeping on their incredibly comfortable mattress and pillows. I wish mine were that good! The attendant was lovely, friendly, efficient and helpful. The room was clean and compact, but big enough. I saved a considerable amount of money because of the obstructed view, so I was very pleased and pleased also that I could still see a reasonable amount through our window. I'd happily take this option again.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Akaroa is a very pretty little seaside town with just over 600 residents. Filled with cafes/restaurants and tourist shops, we enjoyed both. We walked alongside the beach to the memorial. This I found very pleasant. I enjoyed learning a little of Akaroa's French history by reading plaques, and enjoyed it further upon seeing the French flag flying high and noticing the streets with French names. Others on our cruise told us we should have walked a bit further to see a particular sight of interest, but i don't remember their decription well enough to descrbe now. But it's there! And worth a look apparently....Anyhow, we enjoyed ourwselves.
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We decided to make our own way around Auckland. This was quite pleasant and not too difficult. The locals were friendly and helpful as we looked lost a couple of times and they offered assistance right away, before we even had to ask. We saw the Shrine, the Botanical Gardens and just strolled around. It was very enjoyable nontheless.
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It was lovely. There was a fantastic view from the top of the tower. It was an interesting experience to climb the small winding stairs to the top. The Scottish bagpiper welcoming us as we arrived on the bus, was just superb.
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We did the foodie tour. i really enjoyed the tour and the food. The tour guide was lovely and very knowledgeable. The scenery was lovely. I really reccommend this tour. It was the first foodie tour I have ever done, but i enjoyed it far more than I expected to!
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Went on the bus to an old all timber Gothic Church which was quite interesting. Then to a beautiful rose garden where we had morning tea. We passed other notable places of interest and stopped to take photos. All the while, we were lucky enough to have the ONLY Maori bus driver of the 20 that serve the cruise line in Wellington. He was a wealth of knowledge on the history of NZ and of Maori culture. Simultaneously, he was SO FUNNY and had such a beautiful and jovial personality, that he made the tour even better! He sang to us both the English and Maori anthems, and we sang King of the Road together on the way back to the ship. I enjoyed the tour, and for me, the rose garden was the best stop.
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