Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dunedin (Port Chalmers)

Today we are in Port Chalmers.
We are taking the shuttle bus into Dunedin to do some shopping and have lunch.
A cold 9 degrees currently....,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wellington

Today we are in Wellington and have chosen to go ashore on our own to look at the shops etc. we got off the ship and there was a shuttle service which charged $10 per person return trip and you can use it as many times as you like throughout the day. The tickets require cash so be prepared for this. To exchange cash on the ship there is a $6.00 fee and then you need to factor in the exchange rate. We got hit with double fees because we had no AU dollars left and had to get some from the ship's ATM which dispenses AU$ but the ATM also charged a $6.00 transaction fee.
Something to watch out for....
Anyway Wellington was nice and sunny which was pretty cool....

Monday, December 14, 2015

Public areas on Golden Princess









Sabatini's Italian Restaurant




Shops


The theatre is massive 




Passenger services desk


















Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tauranga - Excursion to the Hobbiton Movie Set

Up early today to go on our excursion to Hobbiton, where many of the scenes for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.
We had been here before but are going again now that Michael has seen all the films. He is super excited!!
We met in the Princess theatre bright and early to go to our buses. 

After a 1 hour drive by coach, we arrived at Hobbiton in pouring rain. The one time I didn't bring ponchos!! Luckily they supplied umbrellas.
The movie set is an outdoor set nestled in a working farm. 
It was great to see the hobbit houses and learn about how various scenes were filmed. Michael was beside himself as he saw the actual places where his favourite scenes were filmed. 




We ended the tour at the Green Dragon pub from the movies. They served us some morning tea.









Salon and Spa services

Another great thing to do on a ship is spoil yourself with salon or spa services. They offer all the best services that you would expect. I always make time to get my hair done. 
Many ladies book early to get their hair blow dried and styled for formal nights. I go for the works, cut, colour and highlights. 
This time I chopped my long hair off and got it coloured and addrd strong highlights. Charlotte was the hair stylist and she did a great job.
Here is a photo of the hair salon....



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Crown Grill on board Golden Princess

Golden Princess has two specialty restaurants on board for a small cover charge of $25. 
Crown Grill is a seafood and steakhouse.
We went there the other night as a belated 20th anniversary dinner. Michael joined us too.
Trevor had the seafood bisque for entree and a steak for main course.
I had a lobster tail for entree and steak fir main course, Michael also had a steak. They are huge.....we couldn't eat it all!
The desserts are also very sweet!!












Auckland



Today we are in Auckland, our first stop on this cruise. We got off the ship and bought tickets for the hop on hop off bus and did a trip around the city.

Now we are at the Viaduct precinct having lunch at a lovely Italian restaurant, Portofino's. We came here a few years ago and thought we would come back.


On our way back to the ship we took some cool photos of Golden Princess docked in the heart of the city










Tomorrow Tauranga....



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Princess at Sea Smartphone Access

Many of you who have cruised before would know about the daily newsletter you get from the cruise line with the day's program on it. On Princess it's the Princess Patter, other lines have their own also.
Princess has introduced an online smartphone version that you can access for free while on the ship. You can look up the daily program on your smartphone. It uses the ship's wifi but does not charge you any internet fee.

Here is a screen shot 


Golden Princess New Zealand Cruise


Well we are on board Golden Princess! We boarded yesterday in Melbourne on a very hot day. Boarding was terrible, lines of people all the way down the road in the hot sun for over an hour just to check in suitcases. Very poorly organised.
Once onboard it was pretty easy to get some lunch in the Horizon Court cafe and then we unpacked until it was time to go to the emergency drill.

Golden Princess is a lovely Grand class ship, 109,000 gross tonnes. We have sailed on the Grand Princess before so this ship is familiar.
Michael was keen to check out the kids club and in fact spent the first night after dinner there meeting other kids.

Dinner was nice. I tried the Curtis Stone Roasted Pork belly which I had heard good things about. It was worth the try. We selected traditional dining on this voyage because I had heard terrible stories about anytime dining and didn't want that to be an issue every day. We were lucky to get our own table for four as requested and have some nice waiters.

We are in a mini suite on deck 9 this time, D310. Check out the photos.
We were greeted with a happy anniversary sign in honour of our 20th wedding anniversary. 

We have a lovely stateroom steward named Daisy. She has been very obliging and helpful already.