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sweetp12

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About sweetp12

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New Zealand
  • Interests
    Motorcycling, Motorhoming
  1. sweetp12

    Planning My First Cruise

    I love packing cubes - bought them cheap off ebay. I have tried a couple of packing routes - one cube for each day (undies, socks, top, jewellery etc for hubby / me) or all shirts, all socks etc. What works for us is most of the clothes sorted by type but then travel days having a pack. This is particularly helpful for disembarkation when you need everything out the night before except the stuff for the next day. I am a bit OCD on my packing cubes and find labelling them helps - and then have the labels facing out so i can tell in the suitcase what is in each pack. For me I love packing cubes as things fit better in the suitcase, keeps things neat and tidy and easy to find something. I also pop them straight in the draw when I get to the room so it makes unpacking a breeze. I get the see throughness of zip lock bags but in my mind they are slippery and may not "stack" as well as packing cells. In my suitcase everything (except the toilet bag) is in packing cells - including shoes so i am packing squares and rectangles into a suitcase. This creates an ability to maximise space and minimise spills.... My two other hints of things we must take are a motion sensor battery light for the bathroom (so you don't turn on the bright light when you go during the night) and a magnetic hook to hang your lanyards on. We put this close to the door and also use it to hold notices etc. Again both cheaply bought from ebay..... Don't overpack but medication is good, don't fret about the food - there is always tonnes of it and they are used to dealing with groups. Relax and have a good trip.
  2. As a frequent cruiser out of Auckland we pre-book at http://www.supershuttles.co.nz - it is about $35NZ for the two of us to the airport. We book with them as they have staff on the wharf coordinating the shuttles on disembarkation day and pump the people through. They normally have 3-4 shuttles at a time and just keep them coming. The reason to pre-book (and pay) is so you skip the queue and go straight to the front of the line! The website doesn't have a cruise specific location but put in Queens Wharf (there is a couple of options but just pick any - it doesn't matter) and a semi logical time. As it is a cruise the time / location doesn't matter as it is not like they are coming just for you. The other advantages are free wifi and that they take the bus lanes - so a quicker trip to the airport.
  3. sweetp12

    Help! With party food

    If you are doing meat pies there are two traditional sides - pie, pea, pud (pie, green peas and mashed potato) which is quite english but the true down under side is french fries - pull the lid off the pie and dip the frys into the filling. The traditional side for sausage rolls is tomato sauce (ketchup) and they are more of a snack so no real traditional sides. However when I give them to the kids i tend to cut up some fresh tomatoes as it adds a nice balance to cut through the fattiness. I hope you enjoy your creating - the link to the edmonds cookbook is great, it is the best selling book in NZ and traditionally given as a gift to your children when they leave home. Pretty much every house has a copy of it!
  4. sweetp12

    Auckland Port to Auckland Airport

    prebook a supershuttle at supershuttle.co.nz - they have coordinators at the port and just keep pumping through the people. By prebooking you just skip the queue and go to the front of the line (the website doesn't allow for a cruise pickup option- we just randomly pick one of the queens wharf options at approx time but this is not held to). They are much faster than even getting a taxi as they run a very slick process. They are well priced, have free wifi and use the bus lanes. I print off the booking so that i can just hand it across to the driver as it is prepaid.
  5. sweetp12

    Auckland Hotel and Car Rental

    None of the car companies offer a shuttle drop off but all the main ones have a city depot so about a $10 taxi to the port. What kind of price are you looking at? We love skycity which is also about $10 taxi ride to the port. They are very well priced and offer an amazing service, large rooms and a wide variety of restaurants. Expect to pay $200ish NZ per night. You won't really pay less in Auckland if you want a decent quality place - there is some lower cost places but it does come down to what you are looking for. However staying in Auckland City is going to cost you to park overnight - anywhere between $25-$40 depending if you want a single in and out or a multi pass. Auckland has uber so depending on what you want to do maybe return the car the night before and then just get a ride to the port?
  6. Here is the menu with prices Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  7. We finished a cruise two weeks ago and the reduced menu was not a hit with us either. Dessert was really only two choices as one option remained the same throughout. While we didn't have restrictions with ordering like what you seemed to experience our issue was finding things we wanted to eat. Most times we said it was ok but nothing exciting. Gone was the previous experience of spending the day mulling over the choice for dinner - it was instead spent trying to drum up some excitement. Many nights I ordered off the kids menu and we both tended to ask for a garden salad as a starter and then try to make the best of the mains. The other disappointment was that the dishes were very casserole heavy - which even in winter didn't hit the mark for a pacific island cruise. It just came off as cost savings - if they want to reduce wastage they should stop the wait staff from bringing "extras" - we go a dish of vegetables, chips and ice cream every night that we just didn't touch (most nights we didn't even finish the food we requested) and even when we said don't bring them they still did.... We left very negative feedback on the menu both on the ship and in the after feedback - so hopefully enough people will complain and they will make yet more changes..... I have always defended P&O to say you don't need to spend money to get a good value for money cruise and they are always upfront with when things cost. But i feel a bit let down by this change. On saying that we found the lunch options in the pantry much better than last year, although the daily lunch roast changed to sausage rolls etc. However the shell and bones area had a different theme each day and the food was always interesting.
  8. sweetp12

    Dining on Pacific Jewel

    Sorry forgot to say you can book the table for the whole cruise. While they say you can do this at anytime, the reality is we make it our first stop once we get onboard. We drop off the bags then head to the waterfront for lunch and make the booking then.
  9. sweetp12

    Dining on Pacific Jewel

    Hi, we came off the Pacific Jewel a week ago yesterday. My husband has diabetes + FODMAP so we needed special diet considerations. The first night was the only problem - and that was because we didn't preorder the food. We should have done this when we booked our table upon boarding. There is also a letter with the chefs details in your cabin so you could call if you have any concerns. My advice is to talk to them - the waterfront is open for lunch on boarding day so you can let your wait staff know and they will get the supervisor. Everynight the supervisor bought the next days menu at dessert time and then came back to take our order for the three meals (if needed - we could pretty much do breakfast & lunch off the menu). By day three of the cruise they knew our details and we didn't even have to say what wasn't needed. When you eat casually - e.g. breakfast / lunch just tell them you have a special diet request in and they will get it processed. There is a seperate galley area who do the special meals. Don't feel like you just have to remove elements - we ended up just ordering the protein of choice then specifying the sides - e.g. the beef with chips and a salad. We would also order off menu items that we knew were always in the kitchen e.g. sorbet We did have a few timing issues e.g. I would get mine before his or vice versa but again by night 3 this was sorted. Also they forgot to ask how he would like things cooked e.g. the flank steak so it came out well done. Next time we will specify "pink" as they only asked "pink or brown". The earliest you can arrive is 5.15 and you can be easily out by 6.30 (we would arrive 5.30 / 5.40 and could meet this time ok). As an aside we liked the supervisor on the odd numbered side of the dining room better than the even. You can't eat at the waterfront on port days at lunch time - they can make arrangements for you to have food served at the Pantry that meet your needs. We don't know how this worked as we could make do with the standard fare. I hope you have a great cruise. I will get around to posting a review shortly and add the menus so you can start to preplan!
  10. We are looking to do a back to back next year - first being a 3 night domestic cruise followed by a 12 night pacific cruise. I assume that we will have to immigration morning of the second cruise, but are looking for any information from people about how P&O handle B2B. For example is there a waiting area? Is immigration done onboard or ashore? Do they zero out the ship - meaning you have a wait ashore before you can reboard? Has anyone had a discount or perks from doing a B2B? Any info would be greatly received :)
  11. That is great to know thank you. We are on the jewel in less than a weeks tim (yay!) and our last cruise was supposed to go to Apia but couldn't because of the wharf. It is one of the only places in the pacific we are yet to visit so thrilled that it is available once again.
  12. There are no formal nights as such - the dress code is definitely casual although the staff love it when you dress up (the hubby always gets lots of attention in his kilt!) P&O want to be family friendly so they removed dress recommendations. On any given night you will see people wearing anything from jeans to a suit. Just go with what you are comfortable with and you will fit in just fine :).
  13. sweetp12

    New Zealand sweet treats

    They stopped making snifters a few years ago - movies have never been the same! I highly rate whittakers chocolate and if he is a fan of white chocolate I would suggest he try the L&P flavour. L&P is a local soft drink which stands for lemon and Paeroa (the town it was made in). Pineapple lumps are sooo good. Buzz bars are also a favorite (and they do have a caramel layer) but they need to be frozen to be fully appreciated.
  14. sweetp12

    Pacific Jewel obstructed view cabins

    There has been a fridge the last two times I sailed on the jewel. Also in the email I received from P&O yesterday it lists the in room features and it outlines that there is a fridge.
  15. sweetp12

    Formal night

    No formal nights anymore but you could dress up any night and not be out of place. People did dress up vs theme if they didn't have a costume. My husband wore his kilt most nights and I dressed to match and the waitstaff really appreciated the effort - but nor did they even blink when the people at the next table are in shorts and a shirt.
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