Majestic Princess cruise, Australia-New Zealand: A Michelin-starred chef, luxurious spa and millions of other reasons to cruise

So little time, so much to do and enjoy. And eat. That's the story of daily life on the Majestic Princess, as it steams first south, then, a week later, north back to Sydney on a journey that includes a stunning series of onshore adventure stops across New Zealand.

As our guide explains as we pull out of Auckland, we will experience all of the ship's "flagship features".

One is "health and wellness experiences" in the Lotus spa, where I spend two blissful hours having a deep massage from Zimbabwean masseuse Thobekile Kuwana.

Fully refreshed and feeling relaxed, I am ready to sample one of several culinary experiences at the Harmony Princess restaurant.

La Mer is a "French bistro-style restaurant with a modern twist created by top chef Emmanuel Renaut. The authentic French dishes on the menu are mouth-watering.

Most mornings I breakfast at the World Fresh Marketplace, a popular self-service restaurant featuring an endless variety of favourites from round the world, and wonderful views.

Other restaurants I particularly enjoy are The Chopsticks Noodle Bar, The Crown Grill, and Harmony with its open kitchen where, as advertised, chefs prepare and cook to order top-quality cuts of meat and seafood.

It is interesting to note, according to the guide, that about 20 truckloads of supplies are loaded aboard Majestic Princess every 10 days, and that 80,000 kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables are consumed per cruise.

Other things to especially like include dramatic, over-the-ocean glass walkways, the towering "big screen" full of popular movies and a unique, dizzying choice of vibrant entertainment.


And at the end of a busy day, packed with adventures, picturesque cities and, of course, top-class live entertainment, the 3200 guests enjoy the "ultimate sleep at sea" in a Princess luxury bed, designed by a "renowned sleep doctor, Michael Breus".

But, of course, that's not all. With every "sailing" day a new day – "a new horizon" – there comes a long list of on-ship activities.

Some are energetic, some educational, some suitable for grown-ups only. Some simply enjoyable. A laser shooting range and a golf driving range. Bingo and bridge. Carpet bowls and mahjong. Tai chi and table tennis. Line dancing and foreign language lessons. Spa and shopping. New movies. Old favourites. Musical entertainment from dawn to dusk.  

Indeed, there are more than 1000 square metres of space dedicated to designer shopping around Piazza, the focal point and "24-hour, beating heart, of the ship".

As the lively Princess Patter bulletin, "your daily guide to life at sea", suggests, the cruise is an opportunity. It is an opportunity, according to the daily letter, to "discover a new skill, taste a new flavour, laugh till it hurts; to recline, to relax, to refresh … and to find a new you."

Or just make plans for the following day's exciting, educational and extraordinary onshore, Kiwi experience.




Princess Cruises has a number of round trip 13-day itineraries to New Zealand departing in the second half of 2019, from Sydney and Melbourne. Prices start from about $2900 twin share for an interior stateroom, but check the website for specials. See

John Huxley was a guest of Princess Cruises.