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10 days out of Sydney to NZ


jacketwatch
"Very nice ship and destination"

Overall Rating: Very Good

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:12/07/2017
Destination:Other
Departed From:Sydney
# of Nights: 9-10 Nights
Cabin Type: Balcony
Sailed As: Couple

RATINGS

Food:Very Good
Itinerary:Very Good
Cabin:Good
Entertainment:Good
Overall Value:Excellent
Spa/Fitness: Good
Embarkation: Excellent
Debarkation: Excellent
Staff/Service: Very Good
Overall Rating: Very Good

COMPLETE REVIEW

We chose this cruise for both the destination as we have never been to Oz or NZ and we have family in OZ and to see the ship itself. 

Embarkation was easy. Royal uses iPads now to check in so no paper work has to be done, no filling out forms about any health issues, etc. That makes it faster. 

The ship itself is massive making it hard to believe there are ships bigger like the Oasis class which is about 40 feet longer and quite a bit heavier. However despite the size and its nearly full capacity it didn't seem crowded except when people were lining up for the junk jewelry sale to begin in the promenade. Then it was rather crazy to get $10.00 items. Sometimes the lines in guest services were long too. 

The ship was very well maintained and our overall service was excellent from our cabin attendant to the wait staff. They treated us very well. 

I had a few problems on a previous cruise and with another issue in getting an air refund for a cruise that Royal cancelled so we received $150.00 OBC, 4 bottles of wine, 4 plates of chocolate covered strawberries and a fruit basket. Thank you very Royal! That is being pound wise and penny foolish and i do appreciate it. 

Food is always a subjective issue. I don't expect fine dining as this is basically banquet food. What we had was generally very good and the staff went out of their way to make special Indian food for my wife above and beyond the Indian items on the daily menu including special breads, mango lassis and deserts. Again bravo! Well done! we chose not to use any of the speciality e.g. extra fee restaurants. 

The shows were quite good too, that is the two done by the Royal troupe. There were other headliners too, some good, some so so. I would have liked to have seen more shows from the Royal Troupe, a very talented bunch. And don't miss Pixels! We saw it twice. Outstanding! We really liked 270 where this was performed and went to a few other shows there too. The group Rock the Boat was very good as well. 

We did two Royal excursions, one private and one HOHO in Dunedin. By far the best tour was the train to the Peter Jackson owned museum of WW I aircraft in Picton. The ride was quaint and the museum was amazing. 

We purchased a Royal tour for Wellington and went to a museum but decided to go on our own vs. following the appointed guide who seemed to be trying to hard to be funny and he was rather tiring actually. 

We bought a private tour in Napier and that was quite nice. we stopped at a vineyard and I was able to get a NZ Cabernet Sauvignon which is hard to find here (Chicago) area and my local liquor store people said NZ doesn't have much of this type due to its cooler climate. However the whites there are excellent. 

Disembarkation was a breeze too. One bag was not where it was supposed to be so I asked a worker ad she knew immediately where it was and somehow the tag came off so those are kept in a special location.

I did have one issue as we were being charged for two towels which they said were not returned. Your card is scanned upon getting them and returning them and at all times for the returns the attendants acknowledged me by name after scanning my card so I know they were returned and properly scanned back. I told this to guest services and mentioned they could even search my room if they wanted to. No problems, they emailed the pool office to not charge us for the towels. 

One note is that we were late embarking as the previous cruise had the dreaded noro outbreak so more time was needed to sanitize the ship. We were fine and I did not hear of anyone becoming ill. I have been on a ship that had noro and word spreads fast. That doesn't mean no one got sick but it seems we were ok.

We did miss cruising thru NZ sounds as the Capt. said we had to avoid them to miss a storm. We ended up going into Dunedin a day early and staying two days so when we left we were back on schedule. Of note when we heard this announcement we were in the Windjammer and by the time we got back to our stateroom as promised the Capt. was on Royal tv explaining his decision, showing the alternative route and showing the storm path. We barely felt a ripple on our new course to Dunedin. 

Overall this was a great time away, the ship is a marvel and I hope someday to cruise her again.



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NZ is simply beautiful.  We ported at Dunedin, Picton, Wellington and Napier and for the most part it was green and lush. People are friendly and the pace of life is relaxed. 

 

We were supposed to go thru several NZ sounds but the captain had to divert to miss a storm. Too bad as this was beautiful scenic cruising we missed.  Well better than the alternative of ploughing thru a storm of course. 

 

 

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Great review, Larry - thanks for sharing! New Zealand and Australia are near the top of my bucket list. 🙂 I, too, love the iPad idea, and I have heard great things about the check in process. I believe it’s also available now on Anthem, Ovation and Harmony.😁

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I imagine the iPad thing would go fleet wide if it isn’t already as it works so well. 

 

Oz and NZ are great destinations. We stayed in Sydney for two days before our cruise then flew to Brisbane for two days to see our niece and nephew and their daughter. Then back to Sydney for a day before embarkation. We stayed at the Holiday Inn old Sydney and the location to the port can’t be beat. You literally walk to the ship and it’s a gentle down slope so shlepping luggage is easy. 

I did find that Sydney hotel prices are pretty high ala Singapore but Brisbane is more reasonable. 

Aussies seem as a whole content with their lives and living circumstances so that makes it a positive place to be in. I rather liked that vibe. 

BTW if you want coffee with a shot of espresso ask for a “long black”. I call it a turbo and they looked at me like I was from Mars. 🤣

 

 

Edited by jacketwatch

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Larry our daughter used to live on the north island in Whangarei before moving to Nelson on the south island.  I must say New Zealand was very green, lush and pretty but in the 3 weeks we stayed there with our daughter and doing the daily things, grocery store, meeting locals etc we unfortunately did not find the people very friendly.  Never once did anyone talk to us at the checkout at the grocery store.  Also we did not like the weather, it rained most of the 3 weeks and everything smelled moldy.  Then we flew to Oz  ..... we have many family in Australia (Sydney, Perth and Brisbane) and the people were fantastic ..... we loved our stay there.  We also stayed at a Boutique hotel in The Rocks, Sydney - right across from the cruise terminal, an easy couple fo minutes walk with our luggage to our 26 day cruise.  I would go back to Australia in a heartbeat .......

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I'm sorry you were treated that way.  You were there much longer than us. We came into contact mostly with people in the tourist industry so maybe they are more geared to CS however we met quite a few locals too like in shops, a book store, restaurants and so on and felt welcomed. I've always thought Kiwis are more reserved and Ossies but that is not to excuse how you were treated. The nicest person we met was a guide in the Peter Jackson WW I aviation museum and guess what he was from NYC. Go figure 😂

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