A mix of good and bad. The service was generally excellent. The onboard lecturers were very good. The Palm Court is a lovely room with excellent staff and quickly became our room of choice on board. The food, in particular the main courses in the MDR, were mostly very disappointing. Every meal seemed to emphasis Salmon or Shrimp and the meats were dry, bland or overcooked. Considering this was supposedly a Food & Wine cruise it was not good. The entertainment was variable, sometimes quite good and sometimes very ordinary, and catered for more for a 70+ market rather than the 50+ market my wife and our friends belong to. The 'streamlined onboard checkin' was one of the slowest checkins I've experienced and definitely not what you would expect with a smaller luxury ship.And despite being an upmarket ship, we copped the second string berth at many ports, with the prime spots going to other vessels. I enjoyed the cruise but my wife and I both agree it wasn't worth the higher cost, even with its all-inclusive nature, and I think we'd rather go back to a balcony or suite on Princess or HAL over another oceanview on Crystal.
Quite small cabin but I was aware that Crystal is behind the competition in this respect. It was Obstructed but the obstruction was minor and we were very happy with the view. Wardrobe and drawer space was adequate for a two week sailing. The TV offerings were very limited if you aren't American as its mostly US-based news channels, in our case showing 24/7 news about Mr Trump. The bathroom was good, with an excellent shower, but I don't think the exhaust fan had worked for a very long time and so it became very hot and steamy quickly. Also the air conditioning overall in the cabin was poor and struggled to keep the room to a reasonable temp despite being set on the coldest setting the entire time. I thing these are signs of a ship that is elderly by modern standards but something that Crystal could fix.
Not a lot to see at Stewart Island and we had been there befoe but the girl host did a good job to make the tour as interesting as possible, and she thoroughly knew all the information and was able to answer virtually any question.
Always enjoy Napier, our favourite NZ port. Rented a car and rove to Hastings and Havelock North.
Always enjoy the cable car and botanic gardens in Wellington and this time we also took the trolley bus to Kingston, which is right up in the heights of Wellington and offers some magnificent views.
You can call it Christchurch but that city is a long way off and most people who've done the trek from Akaroa to Christchu7rch won't do it a second time. Akaroa is a nice village for strolling around but the sooner the kiwis fix up Lyttleton, which is far closer to Christchurch, the better
Melbourne is a great cit but Station Pier is not a very good place to embark from.
Got off to buy my annual supply of possum socks.
Having the ship arrive at 8pm and expecting visitors to get from White Bay into town, have a look around even though everything bar the pubs and clubs have closed, and then be back on board by midnight was not only poor but rather bizarre.