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Sun Princess Cruise to New Zealand

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It is now just six days since Brian and I arrived home from our 13 day New Zealand cruise aboard the Sun Princess, but already it seems like a dream. This is the first in a series of blogs I intend to write in order to share our experience with you all.

Day one was a bit of a nightmare, we flew to Sydney expecting to go straight to the ship, however on the previous cruise there had been an influenza outbreak which meant the entire ship had to be fumigated, which in turn meant we would be boarding much later than planned. We were shuffled off to the Novotel like cattle and left to spend the day wondering if our holiday would ever begin. I must say this day was handled very badly by the staff of the cruise line.

Late in the afternoon we were allowed to board so were shuttled dockside, once we arrived things went fairly smoothly and before we knew it we were in our cabin unpacking. The cabin was a reasonable size and quite comfortable, although we did not have a balcony we had a very large window so we got plenty of natural light. There were a lot of very large people on the boat and one cannot help but wonder just how they negotiated the very small toilet and shower, I suspect they would have to reverse in as they would never be able to turn around. Oops, was that out loud!

The first night I slept like a baby but the next two nights were a bit rough, and although neither Brian nor I had any seasickness the constant turbulence was not conducive to a good night’s sleep, I was starting to get grumpy and I was very bored.

By the time we landed at our first port in New Zealand I was grateful for something solid underfoot, those first few days on board were not a joy and I was ready to go home until I saw New Zealand, but more on that in my next blog.

By the time we were on our way home I knew my way around the boat and I was much more comfortable with the whole cruise experience, I spent many pleasant hours reading on deck. Brian and I have decided to do another so we will see how I feel after that.

On board we met some lovely people, in particular the gang in the Regency Dining Room, Table 123, in the limited time we had together we became quite good friends and I hope we can all stay in touch. I also finally got to see The Jersey Boys at the theatre, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I also saw Noah with Russell Crowe, and Grace with Nicole Kidman, I will be forever thankful I did not have to pay to see those, four hours of my life I can never get back.

The staff on board were wonderful, over 100 different nationalities, and although the accents were a little difficult at times we soon got used to our favourite staff. Allan was our Head Waiter at dinner, nothing was too much trouble, a lovely young man to whom I would give a job any time, he was assisted by Ade our Junior Waiter. William was our Cabin Steward, he did an adequate job but did not really go the extra mile. Ronaldo, our favourite Drinks Waiter, was another young man who gave us excellent service. We actually became quite fond of Allan and Ronaldo and will miss them.

The food on board was simply amazing, I tried lots of things I would not normally eat, souffle, eel, pheasant, wasabi ice-cream, sorbet, but I still could not bring myself to try escargot. I also drank more than I have in years, a different cocktail every night with dinner, but I remained tidy.

We were quite sad on the last night as we said goodbye to our new friends and the staff, and we look forward to seeing them in the future. As for New Zealand itself, well you will just have to read the next installment, suffice to say, we love New Zealand.

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