decisions decisions ... advise please

Apr 4th, 2014, 11:09 PM
  #21  
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We have been procrastinating and still have not book anything yet. We found out that if we change our plan and cruise New Zealand instead of the south Pacific, there are "sales" and bargains to be had.

Any thoughts about New Zealand instead of the South Pacific in November and December?
Eschew is offline  
Apr 5th, 2014, 03:50 AM
  #22  
 
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Hmmm. Better weather maybe.

http://www.tourism.net.nz/new-zealan...r-weather.html
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Apr 5th, 2014, 04:26 PM
  #23  
 
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Eschew

New Zealand will be pleasant late autumn weather, or cooler, depending on the ports. It's also easy to organise self tours. If you post on the Australia / Pacific forum, there's some helpful NZ experts who can advise on shore time.

Enjoy.
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Apr 5th, 2014, 05:13 PM
  #24  
 
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Hi Eschew

We cruised from Australia and circumnavigated NZ in early December one year. It was lovely in the North (Bay of Islands and Tauranga) The south island was quite cool but beautiful. We spent a week in the Auckland area and it rained every day. (Thought I was back in BC!!) If you are looking for warm weather I don't recommend it but it was certainly scenic and interesting.
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Apr 5th, 2014, 08:15 PM
  #25  
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Sartoric: would New Zealand be preferred over South Pacific at that time of year?

T69: should I pick New Zealand over South Pacific?
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Apr 5th, 2014, 09:39 PM
  #26  
 
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Depends how you tolerate heat. December is the start of summer, Pacific Islands will be warmer than NZ which is further south. It's also cyclone season in the South Pacific, more common in the islands to the north, cyclones rarely go as far south as NZ. I wouldn't let that put you off, you'd be very unlikely to experience one. They're more common later in summer.

I have been to NZ and can vouch for beautiful scenery, friendly locals and an enticing foodie culture.

Fiji is still on the drawing board with Vanuatu and New Caladonia. I do think a cruise would be an excellent way to visit the South Pacific.

Hard choice you have, lucky you.
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Apr 5th, 2014, 10:00 PM
  #27  
 
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Eschew - I would pick South Pacific. We did enjoy the NZ cruise but you can't really compare the two. I think it depends on what kind of weather you are looking for as well. I would compare the NZ cruise weather to an Alaskan cruise in June except for the ports in the north. Do you start in Australia? The crossing was very very rough. Disembarking the pilot was the most entertainment we have ever had - they had to make several tries at it. The Tasman sea is famous for that. But I must say that when we did the Antarctic cruise the famous Drake passage was smooth sailing!
Whatever you choose you can't go wrong - you're cruising!!!
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Apr 15th, 2014, 03:06 PM
  #28  
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After much procrastination, we are finally booked: In November on Celebrity for an Australian/New Zealand cruise, departing from Sydney, ending the cruise in Auckland. We are going to stay a few extra days both pre and post cruise.

We will have to leave cruising Tahiti and the South Pacific for another day.

We ended up picking this over the south Pacific for a number of reasons: the number of sea days, the on board entertainment, the shore activities, flight schedule, all played a part on the final decision. The Australian / New Zealand cruise ended up being a better fit.

I think we got a decent price as we are booked into an Aqua class cabin on the Penthouse deck (deck 11). The upgrade price from the Concierge class, was an extra $3.33 per person per day, which works out to less than $50 per person for the entire cruise.

For that extra little bit of money, we have exclusive access to Blu for dining (No need to go to MDR), complimentary access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room, priority check-in,
express luggage delivery, fresh flower, canape, bottled water and tea delivery to cabin daily, welcome bottle of sparkling wine and a whole bunch of other stuff, so I think we get good value for the extra $100.

Now, I will need advise on hotels for Sydney and Auckland, plus shore excursion recommendation. Help, anyone?
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Apr 15th, 2014, 04:05 PM
  #29  
 
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Sounds like a great deal. What are the ports of call ?
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Apr 15th, 2014, 04:16 PM
  #30  
 
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You did well E with this decision. Having never been to Oz I can't help with hotels but I must say the Aussies and Kiwis we've met have been friendly and fun so I think you will have a good time.

Which ship are you taking?

I
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Apr 15th, 2014, 10:21 PM
  #31  
 
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Eschew - Sounds wonderful! I will put my thinking cap on and remember the highlights of that cruise. I highly recommend the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney. We joined their (I think its called Ambassador) club beforehand which gives you an automatic upgrade. I booked the room one below the "club" level so we were upgraded to a suite. It was lovely with a view of the harbour and the Opera House. They have a delightful room on the club floor where they have a "cocktail" hour before dinner and a very nice continental breakfast. We rented a car and spent a couple of days away from the city. We spent a night in Terrigal http://www.centralcoastaustralia.com...owns/terrigal/
which we really enjoyed and from there we drove to the Hunter Valley to see their wine country. My husband played a round of golf at the Hunter Valley Golf Club. (he took his clubs for this cruise and was able to play in several of the New Zealand ports) I will try to remember each port (we did that cruise quite a few years ago). I'll check out your itinerary see if the ports are the same but certainly several of them will be.
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Apr 15th, 2014, 10:43 PM
  #32  
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Satoric: The ports of calls are: Sydney, Melbourne, Milford Sound/Doubtful Sound/Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga, and Auckland. What are the "must" see?

We have friends who moved to Cambridge recently. Cambridge is an hour away from Tauranga and 2 hours away form Auckland so I won't know if we have a chance to meet up or they want to be our "guide"

I also have a high school classmate who lives in Sydney now so maybe a reunion is in order if we can arrange it. We have a few days in Sydney anyway so I think we have time.

DW wants to see the LOTR set and scenery and the closest port would be Dunedin.
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Apr 15th, 2014, 11:21 PM
  #33  
 
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Try your best to hook up with those two locals, it's nearly always a superior travel experience to get amongst the usual habitants.

There's heaps to do in both Sydney and Melbourne. What sort of stuff interests you ? That will help us to make recommendations.

In Auckland the restaurant atop Sky tower had fantastic food and the view was superb. We went for lunch, very reasonable price- maybe $60 for two, and that included the lift fee. The restaurant revolves 360 degrees to give a view of all of Auckland, and is about 300 meters high, so very picturesque.
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Apr 16th, 2014, 01:11 PM
  #34  
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Thank you sartoric, we are into almost everything, depending on destination. We like to experience "local" if it makes sense to you: cultural, historical, nature, anything unique to the local area.

We haven't make a list yet but I think we still have the summer to research.

It's been a busy year for travel so far and doesn't look like it will get any better. Between business meetings, family wedding etc., my suit case is still in the bedroom partially unpack.

Looking forward to hear from you on your suggested excursions.
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