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Princess vs Celebrity New Zealand Itinerary


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We're looking at New Zealand cruises for March 2021 on both Celebrity and Princess, but was wondering if any experienced New Zealand cruisers would recommend one itinerary over the other. I highlighted in red the ports that are different on each cruise. Any information would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Celebrity:                                                                                     Princess:

03/24/2021

Sydney/Australia

03/25/2021

Cruising

03/26/2021

Cruising

03/27/2021

Fiordland National Park

03/28/2021

Port Chalmers, Dunedin

03/29/2021

Christchurch

03/30/2021

Picton

03/31/2021

Napier

04/01/2021

Wellington/New Zealand

04/02/2021

Cruising

04/03/2021

Cruising

04/04/2021

Sydney/Australia

03/27/2021

Sydney/Australia

03/28/2021

Cruising

03/29/2021

Cruising

03/30/2021

Fiordland National Park

03/31/2021

Port Chalmers, Dunedin

04/01/2021

Christchurch

04/02/2021

Wellington/New Zealand

04/03/2021

Cruising

04/04/2021

Tauranga

04/05/2021

Auckland

04/06/2021

Bay of Islands/New Zealand

04/07/2021

Cruising

04/08/2021

Cruising

04/09/2021

Sydney/Australia

 

 

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21 minutes ago, GUT2407 said:

Price?

 

Bay of Islands is beautiful, but I adore quaint little Picton.

Celebrity is 11 days and Princess is 13 days with Princess being $400 more for 2 more days. Price isn't a factor on either, the ships are good and the cabins are comparable so it's the itinerary that's the bottom line. 

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Auckland/Tauranga/Bay of Islands easily > Napier/Picton

 

Auckland is the largest city and worthy of its own, somewhat akin to Sydney. Tauranga and Bay of Islands have their own special, unique characteristics - just one for example is Rotorua and the thermal centre, but there are many others. 

 

Napier and Picton are scenic, but cant outweigh the above.

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The Princess itinerary definitely. It's odd that Celebrity have cut their itinerary short, omitting some of the most popular NZ ports but it is late in the season for an NZ cruise, Celebrity ships usually head back to the US in April.

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47 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

The Princess itinerary definitely. It's odd that Celebrity have cut their itinerary short, omitting some of the most popular NZ ports but it is late in the season for an NZ cruise, Celebrity ships usually head back to the US in April.

Thanks...We initially booked Princess since it is a 13 day sailing, but later noticed that Celebrity had B2B 11 day New Zealand and 11 day Australian sailings.  With Celebrity we would be able to visit both New Zealand and Australia in one trip. However, we do want to sail on the best itinerary.  

Edited by shirazcruiser
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On 4/17/2020 at 8:44 AM, shirazcruiser said:

Thanks...We initially booked Princess since it is a 13 day sailing, but later noticed that Celebrity had B2B 11 day New Zealand and 11 day Australian sailings.  With Celebrity we would be able to visit both New Zealand and Australia in one trip. However, we do want to sail on the best itinerary.  

Honestly, you'd be better doing some land travel in Australia after your Princess cruise as you end up with quite a few sea days on Australian itineraries as it's a long way between ports. Better to choose 2-3 places to visit and fly between them.  

 

Don't get me wrong, cruising around Australia is great but you need to allow more time than 11 days. Sydney to Perth is usually around 17 days and the whole circumnavigation is 28-30 days. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are booked on the same cruise! However, I am having serious doubts

that it will happen. I have read on this forum that "Down Under" may not

open their ports or allow tourists until AFTER a Covid 19 vaccination

is available.

 

Comments anyone?

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7 minutes ago, nini said:

Personally, we do not care for Celebrity and love the Regal princess!

As you said, these sailings are probably a no go. We have sailed quite a bit on both lines and each has their strengths and weaknesses; however, we do prefer the suite cabins on Princess over Celebrity. 

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Sad, but I am still hoping for the best. We enjoy meeting "fellow" cruisers on

Cruise Critic. I have not even joined the Roll Call (if there is one). New Zealand

is supposed to be so beautiful... and the wine!  😉

 

I have a few favorites from there!

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Cruising in the Australia/NZ region may have restarted by then but the main issue is whether Australia and New Zealand will allow international visitors in by then. The powers-that-be are discussing an Australia/NZ bubble allowing travel between the two countries but not from outside that bubble.

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  • 2 months later...

We did two cruises from Australia.  Not quite back to back-two weeks in between.  First was 14 day Fijii on Princess. Second was RCI 21 day OZ/NZ.

 

We enjoyed both.  One difference was that the onboard currency on Princess was AUD.  The onboard currency on RCI (and probably Celebrity) was USD.  Plus the drinks were more expensive on RCI.   Overall, each drink, wine etc, that we had cost us about 50 percent more on Royal Caribbean.  Same for the tips.

 

One plus was that we booked the RC cruise on short notice and we booked direct by calling RCI in Sydney.  The fare that we paid by booking with their Sydney call center was 30 pecent less that the best price that our US on line TA or the RCI North America web site could provide.

 

We got some good information, including info on our last minute RC cruise pricing from the OZ/NZ group on cruise critic below:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/564-australia-new-zealand-cruisers/

Edited by iancal
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5 hours ago, iancal said:

We did two cruises from Australia.  Not quite back to back-two weeks in between.  First was 14 day Fijii on Princess. Second was RCI 21 day OZ/NZ.

 

We enjoyed both.  One difference was that the onboard currency on Princess was AUD.  The onboard currency on RCI (and probably Celebrity) was USD.  Plus the drinks were more expensive on RCI.   Overall, each drink, wine etc, that we had cost us about 50 percent more on Royal Caribbean.  Same for the tips.

 

One plus was that we booked the RC cruise on short notice and we booked direct by calling RCI in Sydney.  The fare that we paid by booking with their Sydney call center was 30 pecent less that the best price that our US on line TA or the RCI North America web site could provide.

 

We got some good information, including info on our last minute RC cruise pricing from the OZ/NZ group on cruise critic below:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/564-australia-new-zealand-cruisers/

Thanks for responding. I think at this point, these March sailings are now sooner than we plan to cruise again.

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It is academic.  I doubt very much that Australian or NZ will be open to Americans (if anyone) by March.  Australia's very recent experience with the veracity of pre arrival information that cruise lines provide has led them to be err on the side caution.  With very good reason.

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I think I would add that I would not expect them to send a ship down late in the season for a sailing or two especially if the intermediate ports of Hawaii are still closed.  It’s a long way to send a ship if you can’t fill it along the way.  Right now most ships are sitting in the gulf.  They would have to create new long distance itineraries and fill them quickly if they decide to open in February or even March.

 

Then there is the likely capacity reduction issue so the revenue is even going to be less.
 

Finally I fully expect initial cruises to be short ones as you can’t check people for viruses they caught coming back from ports even if they cleared the embarkation.   At least with short cruises if they do get infected they won’t be infectious during the remainder of the cruise.  If you have long 14 day even 10 day sailings there is a possibility of people infecting others on the ship creating bad publicity and possible quarantining of the ship Diamond princess style.   Princess has already been dinged multiple times on this.

 

The one possibility I see is a ship dedicated to Australia year round for short sailings with locals only.  I d0nt know if that’s profitable.

Edited by zalusky
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3 hours ago, zalusky said:

The one possibility I see is a ship dedicated to Australia year round for short sailings with locals only.  I d0nt know if that’s profitable.

It's been profitable in the past. P&O Australia, Carnival, and Princess all operate year round here, although over the past couple of years Princess has had a gap of three months while Sea Princess was doing the world cruise.

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16 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

It's been profitable in the past. P&O Australia, Carnival, and Princess all operate year round here, although over the past couple of years Princess has had a gap of three months while Sea Princess was doing the world cruise.


Do you think they would fill the ship if it was locals only or be profitable if they had to limit capacity to 50%?

Which are possibilities.

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Yes, they would be profitable with locals only - the winter season cruises are mostly locals now including the very popular Round Australia and Hawaii/Tahiti cruises.

 

50% capacity could be borderline. It may depend on the ship - the older ships are less economical than the newer ones.

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Essentially the Australia/NZ cruise market was one of the fastest growing in the world up until this blasted virus came along. In the summer season we did get a fair number of overseas visitors but once the NZ cruise season tapered off the numbers of overseas visitors dropped. Most of NZ is affected by adverse weather and sea conditions over winter so only the northern ports - Bay of Islands, Auckland, and Tauranga - are possible and even then you have to be lucky although Auckland is usually OK.

 

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