JOANNE AND DAVE - JULY 2018 - WINDSTAR CRUISES - DREAMS OF TAHITI
Dave and I would like to thank you very much for helping us organise the most amazing trip we have had to date.
Windstar - Dreams of Tahiti Cruise - was just what we needed and we were treated like a king and queen - the accomodation, service, food, entertainment and amenities aboard the Windspirit were 10 out of 10 - we both gained 2 kilos!! so we have some work to do!!
The excursions are very costly - for what you actually get - so do recommend others to do some prior googling and work out what they really want to do and what they really want to see - the cruise excursion $69US bus trip around Bora Bora was the best value for money we got.
We did meet another NZ couple who had organised excursions on line with local companies and although they were a bit cheaper they did pretty much the same as the tours we did.
The BBQ dinner on the deck was a gastronomic feast! And the whole day spent on the Windstar island with the BBQ lunch was just awesome - and the last evening on Huahine island night with dinner also a feast and the entertainment from the fire dancers etc was very very good even though the wind was rather challenging for them!
We were very lucky with the weather although it was a bit cloudy some mornings it cleared by lunch - and we did have a couple of rough sea nights - so do tell others if they think they might get sea sick to take precautions - although the ship does provide medical care for those who need it! lucky it didnt effect us. all ages catered for - the oldest couple we met were 91 and 87 and had only been married 3 years!
We met several people and have made friends with half a dozen kiwi couples who were also on the cruise and also new friends from the USA
The transfers to and from our hotel were faultless and we were made very welcome. The accomodation at the Manava Resort was excellent / but very very expensive to eat at - breakfast worked out to be almost $100NZ! so...we would suggest you to recommend to other couples going on this cruise or another cruise of this sort around the islands - to consider this if they are only having 1 or 2 days in Papeete before or after doing their cruise then they would be much better off staying at the Tahiti Nui Hotel right in the heart of Papaeete - as any of the other hotels - Intercontinental or Manava for example are out of town(but swimming in the lagoon is not recommended as it can be dirty) and if they are keen to cruise the markets, and shops of Papaeete(which is a must as I have never been into so many Pearl Shops!!)
(we met a lady who was travelling on her own and she was staying at this hotel and she said it was perfect for locallity one could almost walk to the cruise ship from here!)
The bus to and from the city or shuttle to and from the hotels is very costly and the traffic in Papeete makes the journey a pain! Yes Papaeete traffic is about as bad as the southern motorway!! believe it or not! - the local bus driver told us that its always like this as there is only one main road around the town!
But again thank you and we are planning out next cruise with Windstar in a year or two and possibly the Greek islands or thereabouts!!
Hope you have a great day
Joanne and Dave
NATALIE - JULY 2018 - P&O CRUISES - TONGAN DISCOVERY
We had an awesome time thanks. Exactly what we were after and having been on the jewel before there were no surprises. Kids loved Big Bula water park in Denarau. But the highlight had to be the Swallows Cave snorkel in Vava'u Tonga. My hubby's done heaps of diving/snorkelling but he was still blown away by this. I was just totally freaked out. The 2 teenagers found girls so we hardly saw them! And the 11 year old made heaps of friends.
Over way too quickly.....
KATHY SCHRODER - APRIL 2018 - MURRAY PRINCESS - MURRAY RIVER, AUSTRALIA
Thank you for arranging our holiday to Adelaide and the Murray Princess, we had a really super holiday.
The Murray Princess was all we hoped for. The crew meals and itinerery was excellent. One thing I would note was some of the access. Lots of steep stairs to climb especially from the lower deck cabins. Not so bad for the upper decks as there was a small lift to access the dinning and bar area. However even the upper deck cabins had two quite high steps to get into them. making it a little tricky for anyone with mobility issues.
The Murray river is a very beautiful area, very different to anything we have here in NZ with the bird life and the high cliffs and swamp areas. Travelling through a Lock was a great experience, and riding in a wagon at night with a spotlight to look for wild life was also a highlight. We both loved it all, and met some lovely people. We also enjoyed our days in Adelaide riding on the trams and exploring the local areas. The Grosvenor Hotel was very comfortable and situated in a good locality. The breakfast buffet each day was excellent and set us up for the day. Happy hour was pretty good too.
All in all a most enjoyable time.
Many thanks for your time in organising this for us
DOROTHY - MARCH 2018 - CELEBRITY CRUISES - AUSTRALIA
Thanks for your email. Sorry I haven't replied earlier. Yes really enjoyed our recent holiday and cruise. It was very good staying at the Travelodge Wynyard, thanks for suggesting that to us, it was close and handy to the ship, walked there with our suitcases, could even stay there if visiting Sydney. Travelodge hotel in Sydney was good also, the only thing was we had to ask to have room serviced on two different days, they should of had our room number on their list, other than that everything was good. Breakfasts every day were very good. Celebrity Solstice is a lovely ship, nicest we have been on so far, crew were all so friendly, nothing was any trouble to them. Everything was kept clean and tidy. Biggest stateroom we have had so far. Food, I have never seen so much food, we ate in the buffet all the time, there was so much variety each day, the desserts, just so many at lunch and dinner time, way too hard to resist. All the food was labelled, e.g. vegan, sugar free, gluten free etc, makes it easier that you don't have to ask if need to. They decorated the buffet lovely for Easter Sunday, balloons, easter eggs, had a chocolate fountain (could put marshmallows under the chocolate), they had this two times during the cruise.
The nightly shows were great, different one each night. The only hiccup was we couldn't dock at Airlie Beach (because of cyclone Iris), the harbour was closed so the captain headed on to our next destination - Cairns, he took us away from the bad weather, didn't notice the seas rough, so that was good.
All in all, holiday experience was great and also the service we received from you.
Hope you can be of assistance to us in the future. Thanks again for everything.
NAME WITHHELD - DECEMBER 2017 - SEABOURN - ANTARCTICA
Thanks Sheree, all went well.
Notes in no particular order include:
Miravida Soho hotel Buenos Aries - character filled small (seven rooms) hotel in trendy and safe Palermo neighbourhood
Private cars two bookings, both cases drivers adequately bilingual and nice courteous people
Seabourn Cruise was spectacular. This was a third Seabourn Cruise and the service and overall experience keeps getting better. Seabourn have luxury down to a very slick artform. Fantastically positive and well-trained staff and in all a great show. Other cruise companies enter the Antarctic's zone, but do not have permission to land. Seabourn, subject to weather, offers five day's of activities out and about, on ice fields, land and kayaking. Safety is not compromised.
Renaissance Santiago. A surprisingly pleasant stay for an American chain hotel.
Latam Air. Not as good as Air New Zealand.
Your service. I can't fault it. Everything ran to plan.
Of a boat load of 400 odd paying passengers, there were no other Kiwis. A scattering of Aussies.
ANNE AND RON - JULY 2017 - HOLLAND AMERICA LINE - THE BALTICS
Thanks for the email. We had an amazing time on the Holland America trip. The ship was the one we had sailed in when we did the Inside Passage 5 years ago. It was lovely going back. I agree the Alaska cruise is amazing - we only went as far as Glacier Bay, but loved it all and the land tour.
The Baltic offered so much, with the beautiful scenery and wonderful old cities with their cobbled streets and so much history. We walked for miles, toured in buses and avoided the hundreds of bicycles in Copenhagen. I think we have seen all the major sights we could and especially enjoyed visiting the Vasa Museum in Stockholm and the beautiful Palaces in St Petersburg. I loved Kiel with its quaint cobbled streets and of course we visited the Kiel Canal.
The St Petri Hotel in Copenhagen was central and extremely comfortable.
The flights with Singapore Airlines were also very comfortable and we did not suffer from swollen ankles at all. We spent the time in the terminal quite easily - window shopping and walking around on the way over and on our return decided to take a lounge for 5 hours where we could shower and they provided light snacks and drinks. It broke the monotony and we decided not to travel into the city. We were both fairly tired and slept comfortably on the journey home.
Our time in the UK went very quickly and we had a great time with family and friends.
Thank you for your part in making this a trip to remember.
Perhaps there will be another before too long! We can but hope.
Anne and Ron.
MARGARET AND JOE - MARCH 2017 - ISLAND ESCAPE - FIORDLAND
Hi Nirmala. We had a great trip around Fiordland in absolutely perfect conditions. Day one, helicopter across the divide in blustery wind low cloud and light rain...perfect to see the waterfalls working out of the alpine lakes; an exciting experience. On board cruise, food, service and overall hospitality just great. Good travel companions...we all wanted the same experience and enjoyed it together. To see close up, the rugged peaks descending into unspoilt native bush; deep waters; marvellous. To walk into some of that bush even better.
We recommend this voyage to all those who love our different New Zealand landscapes. Thank you, Margaret and Joe.
LIZ AND JIM - FEBRUARY 2017 - HOLLAND AMERICA LINE - AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Hi Sheree and Nirmala.
Just a short email to let you know the cruise went well and being our first proved to be a real learning curve.We experienced top staff, food and entertainment and would serously consider Holland America again.
Thanks also for your help.
Liz and Jim
DONALD AND SARAH - FEBRUARY 2017 - PONANT - ANTARCTICA
Thanks for the welcome home card. We had the most fabulous time with Ponant and the ship faultless. The food, cabins and service on board was 5* and far exceeded our expectations. We were very lucky with the weather where we only had one so so day the whole trip, where as the cruise before had nothing but bad weather and saw very little.
We are normally very independent travelers and were anxious being one of the herd but all was great.
Thanks for your great service and you will have to get down there yourself!
PAU AND KANE - NOVEMBER 2016 - PONANT - ANTARCTICA
We owe you a huge 'thank you' for everything you have done for us!
Our honeymoon was certainly outstanding in all aspects, and thanks to your dealings with Ponant and the agency, we got upgraded to the Owner's Suite for the whole cruise! We were by far the youngest couple in the cruise and the only honeymooners, so Ponant went out of their way to make our trip truly unforgettable, and it was!
We were extremely lucky with the weather too and were able to do all landings, which is apparently difficult at this time of the year.
We also got credit on board which was unexpected, as well as the upgrade, including our own butler and multiple treats every day. Unbelievable!
Nothing will ever compare to this trip and we are now wrecked for life, yet so happy at the same time!
Please extend our very best and most grateful wishes and thanks to Bev as well.
Please do not hesitate to forward this to your boss, we could not be happier with your service.
GLEN AND JANE - MAY 2016 - UNCRUISE ADVENTURES - ALASKA
Firstly we need to let you know that the return through SeaTac airport all went without a hitch, an hour to transit was quite comfortable. The airport isn’t as big as it looks in the guide book and there were no customs or immigration to deal with. All customs and immigration for our entry into America actually happened at Vancouver so it is worth checking in early there if that is your departure point prior to entering America.
We really enjoyed our stay in Juneau although 4 days was probably 1 day too long – only because the State Museum still isn’t open and we had such amazing weather. We got to see Mendenhall glacier, take the tramway and walk around Mt Roberts, do a bit of shopping/window shopping, visit the city museum, do a glacier flight and walk the Perseverance Trail (about 10miles/3-4hours round trip up the valley where gold was mined so quite familiar in many ways). We feel we’ve done the place to death and all in amazing fine weather where the glacier and mountain top views were unhindered by cloud and we didn’t need to wear a raincoat once – almost a miracle according to most reports. We had some difficulty seeing everything as basically if there are no cruise big ships in the shops and tours don’t run/open (not like here), the only way around this is to pay extra locate someone to do a private charter, pay for a taxi or hire a car! This was made doubly difficult by the good weather when apparently all the locals feel a need to get out and enjoy this limited commodity. The concierge Keli, whom we met at the Baranhof but apparently works between there and the Goldbelt was just brilliant at organising opportunities for us (notably getting out to Medenhall Glacier and doing a glacier flight), she is definitely the go to person for local Juneau tours/activities and we cannot say enough good things about her customer service.
Both hotels were OK (not too flashy, not too dingy, both clean) – Baranhof had friendlier staff, slightly smaller rooms, no ‘fridge in the room and was more centrally located for other eateries. Baranhof was about a 5 minute easy walk (for us) from the bus stop that ran from the airport to town. The bus driver was very happy to give us directions and these were clear and easy to follow. Another Juneau quirk is that the cheap airport bus ($2 fare each way) only runs on weekdays during the day, otherwise transport is by taxi. Goldbelt is still being upgraded, staff were pretty unfriendly, rooms came with ‘fridges, were a bit bigger and it is closer to the laundromat, bus stop and convention centre. I would say either is entirely acceptable providing you don’t mind the short walk with your suitcase to and from the convention centre (which is almost opposite the boat landing that Uncruise use).
The cruise was really great. In the end we did our itinerary backwards to make the most of the forecast weather, this meant we got to see glaciers and do walks in the sun and look at whales in the rain. The flexibility of the cruise is a real plus so that when whales were spotted we just stopped to look and ended up with feeding humpbacks very close to the boat (those big boats just keep on going). When the weather made one anchorage look a bit rough we just went to another. I think being an open minded traveller who is prepared to take what comes helps enormously, bears, whales and weather may not cooperate with every cruise. Our crew were all friendly, intelligent, helpful, super-efficient, attentive to our needs and concerned for our safety, security and enjoyment. The food was outstanding and well beyond our expectation.
Passengers need to know that quarters are small (much smaller than a hotel room) but perfectly adequate (some might dispute this when they see the ‘showerlet’, can you see us grinning?). The engine or generator go 24/7 so there is always noise although we didn’t find it intrusive because it was consistent. We had a 200 level cabin in the middle of the boat which was a BIG PLUS – we’d certainly suggest you recommend these to other travellers. 300 level cabins cost more and suffer from noise early and late as people walk around the top deck even if they are trying to do so quietly. The cabins at the very back of the boat suffered from exhaust fumes which was a definite negative if you needed to cool your room down by opening a window (no individual air conditioning) and were close to the crew recreation room and laundry i.e. a bit more noisy. Likewise the cabins with external only access were hard to ventilate, no window and the door is either open or closed so no half measures in terms of ventilation (also could be difficult if the weather was really foul). The only hiccough we had was the transfer of our luggage from the boat to the Goldbelt hotel post cruise, this seemed to be another example of the Goldbelt being particularly unhelpful rather than anything to do with Uncruise but who knows.
We were also very lucky with our fellow cruisers aka “Wilderness Explorers” as we were all a very like-minded group with, and I quote the captain, “no whingers”. The group was probably the most intelligent we’d travelled with, the majority were 50 plus with 4 younger people travelling with parents/grandparent. There was no particular after dinner entertainment, not that we had the energy left for any partying anyway. The majority of the others were couples from America but there were 4 Aussie couples and another kiwi couple also from Howick! On three days we were offered a choice of 2 morning or 2 afternoon activities, on another day the activities were curtailed by rough weather but compensated for with whales. The wildlife sightings were amazing although sometimes a little distant (bears on the beach probably a good distance, goats on the mountains pretty tiny) so binoculars, which are supplied, are a must and small cameras are hopeless unless you only aim for scenic shots.
All in all we can’t speak highly enough of our cruise experience, we’d go cruising again with Uncruise if it wasn’t quite so pricey.
Glen and Jane
JAN AND KEITH - MARCH 2016 - P & O CRUISES - KIWI EXPLORER CRUISE - Ship "Pacific Pearl"
Thank you for your welcome home card. We had a most enjoyable cruise. The itinerary was very good & I guess the highlight of the cruise was the visit to Stewart Island. Funny to hear people down there as getting their supplies from NZ. The ship was very comfortable & Jan & I were surprised at the inside cabin. All of our previous 7 or 8 cruises had been balconies although we had travelled in an ocean view once. Size wise probably the biggest cabin we had ever sailed in.
The ship was also a surprise. The main dining room meals were as good as any cruise we have been on but I would have to say the buffet was a bit ordinary & not helped by the meals lacking warmth. However we did not starve. The entertainment was also very good & the pianist they had on board was certainly the best pianist I have heard on a cruise ship & quite possibly the best Jazz pianist I have heard live anywhere. Most enjoyable all round and would certainly travel on Pacific Pearl again if the itinerary suited.
We would be glad to be on your mailing list for anything you may like to offer. Your service in arranging this was pretty good & made it easy for us,
Kind regards & thanks.
Jan & Keith
ROSE - JUNE 2015 – HOLLAND AMERICA LINE - MEDITERRANEAN - Ship " ms Zuiderdam"
My apologies for being so slow in replying to your ‘welcome home’ letter.
Our Mediterranean holiday you organised could not be faulted. It was a wonderful adventure. It is so difficult to choose a highlight as all the tours were most enjoyable and so well organised both on the ship and on shore.
As I have already said, every day was exciting. We did Rome by ourselves, starting with a Hop-on bus trip. We then did Holland America tours – Panoramic Naples, Cefalu: a Seaside Town, Scenic Costa Smeralda, Cinque Terre, Highlights of Monaco & Monte Carlo & Monserrat Monastery. We used the Hop-on buses to get an idea of where we wanted to go, before exploring places ourselves.
The day trip to Cinque Terre was really worthwhile. The bus broke down in the mountains on the way back so we had an hour or so to chat with the other members of the tour before the relief bus arrived.
The morning tour of the Casino was very interesting as we were able to wander through the magnificent rooms and also to take photos.
Sagrada Familia was absolutely amazing, and the trip to the monastery at Montserrat so far up in the mountains was another treat.
The Holland America m/v Zuiderdam could not be faulted. When we had a problem with a gas smell on our verandah we were upgraded to level 8 with a larger room without any trouble. I would travel with their line at any time I was able to go overseas again.
Thank you again Nirmala for all your help in organising our holiday. I hope to contact you again when I am next able to have another adventure.
WENDY AND ALLAN - JUNE 2015 - HOLLAND AMERICA LINE - MEDITERRANEAN - Ship "ms Zuiderdam"
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. We had a fabulous holiday but it seems so long ago now.
You wouldn’t believe it but we met 2 of your clients almost as soon as we arrived on the ship. We went to have lunch and they came and asked if they could share our table. They were the first 2 people we met. The cruise was really lovely, very relaxing and we met lots of lovely people. We also enjoyed our time in Italy, also very relaxing. Once again the food was lovely, people were lovely, scenery beautiful.
I have written down a few tips and suggestions for you which may help other clients.
1. The shuttle from Rome airport was a brilliant idea, we were met at the airport, driven in a lovely car and could just sit back and relax while the driver drove in very busy peak hour traffic
2. The hotel in Rome (Visconti Palace),was really lovely, well situated. Very central, walking distance to shops, restaurants and only 5 mins walk from the Vatican
3. Hotel in Barcelona(Royal Ramblas) was also lovely and centrally located on the Ramblas.
4. Hotel in Hong Kong on the way over (Novotel Citygate) was also well located. They provided a complementary shuttle from the airport. The hotel was attached to a large shopping mall, lots of shops and restaurants.
5. The Cooking demonstration in Palermo, Sicily was OK. We did enjoy it and we had a fabulous 4 course lunch. They asked for volunteers to help with the cooking, which of course I did. As for value for money, it wasn’t that great but we enjoyed the experience. It isn’t as hands on cooking demonstration as such (except for a volunteer for each dish).
6. We didn’t buy the drinks package on the cruise. It was rather expensive and we would each have to have 7 drinks per day to break even. They had happy hour in 3 consecutive bars from 4pm – 2nd drink was only $1. Most people ended up doing that option.
We had 7 lovely days in Corniglia, Cinque Terre and would recommend it.
We also had 7 lovely days in Pairola, San Bartolomeo (Italian Riviera)
We also had 4 lovely nights at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia at Lake Como (across the road from the lake and looked out at Bellagio across the lake. We paid a little extra to have a room with a balcony and lakeview and it was well worth it. The views and atmosphere were amazing.
You would also be interested to know that Allan won a 7 day Caribbean cruise at Bingo. Quite exciting. We have 4 years to use it but I am sure we will go before then.
Hope the above is of some use to you.
Many thanks for all your help and for booking our trip. We will have to pop in sometime when we are in Auckland to meet you in person.
Will be in touch.
Wendy and Allan
DON AND JEANETTE - OCTOBER 2015 – HOLLAND AMERICA LINE - PANAMA CANAL - Ship " ms Veendam"
We had a great trip, the weather was brilliant, would you believe we did not even take our rain jackets out of the suitcase in six weeks.
Regarding the Holland America Line – Veendam. We were greatly impressed with our cruise. The Holland America m/v Veendam could not be faulted.
This is our third cruise with Holland America and would travel with their line again.
We were most impressed with the staff, so helpful and courteous, always had a smile. Also the Captain was always seen around the ship and kept us informed regarding distance travelled, etc. each day. Was most impressed to see him at the bottom of the gangplank when we had a rather hazardous gangplank to disembark on due to a high tide. Was quite difficult for some people. He was there with many other staff to help and see everyone was okay.
There were quite a number of people on walkers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters and the ship was well set up for these.
There were 54 Australians and 52 New Zealander on our cruise. Most impressed when they put the final of the Rugby World Cup on the big screen in the Showroom at Sea.
In the cities we visited New York, Boston and San Diego we used the Hop on Hop Off bus to get a feel of the city, then from there visited things we wanted to see under our own steam.
Perhaps the only hiccup we had was our transfer of Terminals in Los Angeles. We had a two hour stopover and had to clear immigration, customs etc and transfer Terminals. We got held up in immigration and had to run to catch the next plane. The Virgin America desk had to ring to make sure our luggage was not too late being checked through.
All in all an excellent trip, thank you very much Liz Grimshaw for your help in organising our trip.
Don and Jeanette
MARK AND YVONNE - MAY 2015 - CELEBRITY CRUISES - EUROPE - Ship "Celebrity Equinox"
Yvonne and I just wanted to thank you for your help and advice with our cruise. We had the BEST holiday of our lives. Absolutely loved the cruise and cant speak more highly of Celebrity Cruises.
We were apprehensive of going on such a big ship but that was what actually made it good. The choice of dining areas and bars were fantastic. We never felt that there were huge numbers of people as they are so spread out. Buying the 3 upgraded dining package was VERY worth while and Aqua class was also well worth it. Also the upgraded drinks package, again worth while. We met some friends by chance who were also on the same cruise and they only had the basic drinks package and no Aqua. Big mistake! The on board shows every night were amazing in the theatre. 12 days was also a really good amount of time and the days at sea were really nice to be able to just chill and enjoy the ship amenities.
Late May early June was great as it started to get quite hot and couldn't imagine doing all the walking in 30 deg plus during mid summer.
Hope this feed back will help others and we look forward to our next cruise VERY soon.
Kind Regards Mark and Yvonne
KEN AND BARBARA - MAY 2015 – OCEANIA CRUISES - ALASKA - Ship "Regatta"
Our dream holiday was to be a cruise to Alaska, we then booked with you and everything we were told did happen, plus more.
The cruise itinerary was well thought out and the time allowed in the Ports (which were fantastic) meant one could do everything wanted at a leisurely pace.
The ships officers and crew were very friendly and the Captain – what an asset he is to Oceania Cruises. Meals were very good and the cabins lovely, everything was as advertised plus more, which is unusual in this day and age.
Our special thanks to Liz Grimshaw of Our Cruise who kept us informed of everything which made our cruise so memorable. We are now saving for our next cruise with Oceania Cruises.
Ken & Barbara