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Boarding time question in auckland for nz cruise on solstice.

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Hi fellow cruisers.

Just received our cruise documents for our upcoming solstice cruise, nz to sydney leaving from auckland. 

The ship leaves at 8pm and our documents display 4pm boarding time  

Is this time strictly adhered to or can you normally board at usual time around noon.???.

Cheers Bob. 

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Normally you can check in, but if the lines are long, you may be turned away. I would drop the bags and go exploring for several hours, lots to see and do in Auckland.

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Looking for hotel stay pre cruise Feb of ‘20

seeing some nice apartment air B and B as there are 8 of us. 

Ship sails Monday the 17th and I want to stay at the Hilton on the Wharf for that night prior to boarding. Looks like a lovely hotel and great experience but it is expensive. Looking for opinions from others. Husband has HH diamond status with tons of points but others in group do not.  

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