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m steve

good and bad on Diamond

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Just came back from OZ/NZ cruise and felt the ship was great. Last sail was on Sun and hated it.

Took a mini suite and really liked the space. Did not like uncovered veranda as there were several windy/wet days so it was un usable even for a smoke.

Plenty of space in cabin and lots of storage.

Duty free prices were comparable to Caribbean and Dewars was cheaper. If you're staying in either area after cruise buy 3 bottles of what you drink on board as they charge over$40 for a 750 ml even in duty free shop on land. They also make a great gift if you don't take any back home.

Coffee still isn't very good. They should put 4 cup makers in rooms like a hotel does. They had 3 nights with lobster so no need to hog them on one night. Main dining room beef was mediocre except for roast beef. Lamb and veal was excellent. Fruit was not ripe except for watermelon. Shows were terrific and many people went to encore performance on next night.

Really enjoyed the Morning Zoo on in room tv with co cruise directors Dan and Frankie. Now I know all about Tim Tams and Vegimite.

The casino was shut more than on previous cruises as we were close to NZ shore towards the end of the cruise.

Tasman Sea was bumpier than I expected, the fiords were beautiful and the ports were ok. Took lots of hop on/hop off buses in the ports and got to see the cities for $2-3 rather than ships cruise bookings and able to stay where we wanted to for whatever time period we chose. Particularly in Melbourne saw the zoo, market and downtown. In most ports the ship had buses to city for $5 each way.

We ended up in Vivaldi every night w/reserved table as they didn't honor table for 2 request in main dining room.

This was the first cruise where we booke fore and wouldn't do it again. Aft was better. As for the balcony question if you wanted a mini suite they were only on the Dolphin deck without coverage on the balcony. The upper deck had standard small veranda cabins typical of Princess. This was more like Celebrity or HAL.

The biggest negative was the travel time and even flying Business it was still hard. We flew United and their seats don't compare to Air NZ.

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Finally!! SOmebody back from this cruise willing to share. Thanks for your comments. We leave next weekend. Who was the Captain, if you don't mind my asking.

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Sounds like a great ship and a good cruise. Did you think it was a good way to see some of Australia and New Zealand? Do you think a land based tour would be better.

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m steve. . . Thanks for the review. We will be on the Diamond in Aprial and have a quick question. Were you able to order a liter bottle from room service or buy at the lobby bar for consumption in your cabin while on your cruise?

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I didn't buy from a bar as we usuallly ran out while having drinks in the room and room service was easier. There is alimited selection of liquor from room service. For scotch only Johnnie black and Chivas and there's Dewars all over the ship, my preferred.

The captain was Phillip Pickford.

As far as land based tours we made our own arrangements and rented cars in Sydney to go to the Hunter Valley and drove from Auckland to Wellington. (wild roads)

By the way we took our coffee maker and on the last night we gave it to our waiter who was really appreciative and didn't charge corkage that night but we still gave him an extra tip. We usually give a 20 to both cabin steward and waiter at the start of the trip. When you are in NZ or OZ they don't expect tips and if you choose to tip make it nominal or no more than 10% for exceptional service.

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I didn't buy from a bar as we usuallly ran out while having drinks in the room and room service was easier. There is alimited selection of liquor from room service. For scotch only Johnnie black and Chivas and there's Dewars all over the ship, my preferred.

The captain was Phillip Pickford.

As far as land based tours we made our own arrangements and rented cars in Sydney to go to the Hunter Valley and drove from Auckland to Wellington. (wild roads)

By the way we took our coffee maker and on the last night we gave it to our waiter who was really appreciative and didn't charge corkage that night but we still gave him an extra tip. We usually give a 20 to both cabin steward and waiter at the start of the trip. When you are in NZ or OZ they don't expect tips and if you choose to tip make it nominal or no more than 10% for exceptional service.

 

So you were able to purchase liter bottles from room service?

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Got off the Diamond yesterday. Auckland to Sydney. Great cruise in all respects. Only negatives were the size of the show lounge. It only seats 704. You have to get there early to get a seat especially the cast shows. There were 4 of them but not all were repeated for a third time (eg 3 o'clock the next day).

Arrival in Sydney- too early and dark to be up. Those leaving from Sydney will have the advantage of sailing out of Sydney in daylight.

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We were on the DP from NZ to AUS 20 Jan - Feb 1 and the Captain was Philip Pickford. The Cruise Director was Dan Gibbons (left Feb 13 and returning 2 April). I think the current CD is John Lawrence.

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