It’s 2018 and another program of fantastic IOE trips and holidays is now underway, so we thought we would share our recent adventure to New Zealand with you.

We set foot on the Golden Princess on 29th of January and our first impression was how HUGE the ship was! Immediately we started exploring, finding out where the best places to chill out, eat and party were. The weather for the first couple  of days was pretty undesirable,  so we spent our time indoors watching various ‘across the ditch’ movies, playing cards, reading books, socializing and even making our way up to the night club for a dance!

Our first dock at Dunedin, gave us an opportunity to stop by the Cadburys factory for an amazingly flavored hot chocolate – forget the scenery, give us the chocolate! Then it was up to Akaroa, a really cool little town in the mountains. Once we regained our land legs we set off on foot to explore the town and do some touristy shopping.  The coastal city of Wellington, our next stop, was by far the biggest city of our trip! In Wellington we visited two museums and walking through the Wellington version of Melbourne’s Docklands we were all reminded of home. The markets in the old bunger and the stairway in the middle of the pier used to jump into the water, were unique features of this city. It was a great way to end our visit to the south island!

That night, sailing to Gisborne, we sat on the deck and watched a movie under the stars while sipping on hot chocolates.  Next morning we woke to a view of the scenic town from our ship rooms! Situated right on the port, Gisborne presented us with green landscapes, huge palm trees and neat little stalls at one of their local markets. After a wander around Gisborne, we stopped by the pub enroute to the dock, to avoid the crowd waiting for the tender to take passengers out to the ship. Our last stop of the trip was in Tauranga where we stopped by the natural hot pools before renting a jetski! We spent an hour hooning around the port in marvelous weather.

We were sad to say goodbye to NZ but the Princess’s kitchens were calling our name. The food was amazing every night of the week. Our waiters Bob, Nathaniel and Bruno catered to our every need and provided the best recommendations. We all really loved being able to dress up for dinners and sleep in on the sea days. The cruise also gave us opportunities to see some hilarious comedians and even sit through an art auction, which was pretty cool. On the final night our bags were collected and sent down stairs to be ready and waiting for us when we got off of the boat – a final bit of luxury.

The Princess cruise to New Zealand was an awesome way to kick start 2018!

by NZ crew 2018