We wanted to visit friends in New Zealand and see a bit of the country. We boarded in Aukland at the end of a Sydney-to-Sydney run. It would be better to embark and disembark at the true beginning and end of this kind lf cruise. The folks who used the Auckland embarkation kind of got lost in the shuffle. We received our welcomes five days later in Sydney, and our tours were a bit disorganized. This had a lot to do with the rather lackadaisical excursions staff, but that doesn't really matter now that the Dawn Princess has moved to P&O lines.
The food was good, the buffet was lovely. It was aimed at the Australian crowd, so a bit more salt and fried than we are used to, but lots of variety. Both our servers were great; the head waiter was wonderful, and our room steward was perfect. There was a bit of a problem with leaky pipes and our room flooded once, but he got right on it and the plumbers fixed it promptly.
We took one tour, the day-long bus ride across NZ to see where LotR was filmed. Scenery was amazing, and the guide/driver was absolutely the best. We had a tea break in the morning at a cafe, and a lunch later catered by the Ladies' Aid in a small WWI memorial building.
Nice cabin, large enough for us with a balcony that we used in all ports.
We walked everywhere all day, went to the Skytower, ambled along the waterfront, people watched.
Walked around, went to the museum.
Visited friends, had dim sum, walked all over. A great city!
Visited friends, walked everywhere. A lovely city, with a fantastic museum.
Walked all around the volcano, and highly recommend this. It is only five minutes from the cruise dock.