New Zealand with Princess Cruises

I know you all probably think that I’ve spent the last four months travelling – you’d be correct in that assumption and what a few months it has been! This last stint of mine was not an intended trip as this was a holiday that the family had planned (sans me), however daddy dearest was unable to make it and of course – my savior complex quickly kicked in and I graciously offered to take his place (ha). I know, I can feel the good karma already coming my way. I spent 9 days onboard the Dawn Princess ship as we made our way down to New Zealand traveling from the south island to the north. I was a little unsure what to expect, as I had never spent so long at sea or travelled on cruise ships for that matter. Unlike the matriarchs of my family – who are Princess veterans, I was a cruise virgin and a little nervous of being out at sea.

Bali Body, Dawn Princess Pool

Dawn Princess Dawn Princess, Princess Cruises Dawn PrincessPrincess Cruises, Dawn Princess

Call me a drama queen but scenes from the Titanic started to montage inside my inventive head and I don’t mean the raunchy hands sliding down the misty window scenes. Thankfully the lovely team from Princess Cruises was incredibly accommodating and I received a warm welcome with priority boarding as I checked in with my family. The cabins onboard the Dawn Princess were definitely spacious compared to the box I had the Christmas before on our catamaran during the Yacht Week. My only complaint was the carpet was a little old and needed a clean but the crew quickly fixed this as they changed it faster than I could inhale my lunch. 

After getting over my sea legs and the initial onset of nausea, it was quite easy to settle into a daily routine of heading to the gym followed by a spa and steam room session. Safe to say my New Year’s Resolution of keeping fit is off to a smashing start!

Dawn Princess

We spent the first two days at sea and experiencing endless horizons of ocean and eating exorbitant amounts of food. I think the one thing you can count on when signing up for a cruise is that you’ll never go hungry. The ship had the most attentive team of wait staff who deserve a special mention because they hands down made the experience that much more enjoyable. Vidal and Ivan were our main waiters who were so attentive that my waistline grew at least an inch during my trip – the jury is still out about whether that’s a good thing or not. Silvio and Dimitar ensured that we went back to our rooms with sizeable food babies each evening and if you should know anything about me is that I LOVE food. My man will vouch that I am not a happy camper (a grumpy sook as he calls it) when I don’t get fed and these guys kept me fed and then some and for that my tummy and I are eternally grateful. 

Wellington, Seals Red Rocks

To all those thinking of booking their next adventure with Princess Cruises should do their research of all the port days to figure out what highlights in each city is a priority. The onshore excursions offered can be quite pricey and for those travelling in large groups (like we did), this may not be feasible in terms of budget. We opted for renting vehicles at each location and getting around on our own, as I’ve never been a fan of travelling in tour groups and preferred the free exploration option. New Zealand is quite easy to navigate and people are generally quite helpful when you’re a tourist.

Wellington, Seal Safari

Polynesian Spa Rotorua, Princess CruisesSailing from the south island of New Zealand to the North was quite the experience as we went through the Fiordlands including Milford Sound – ominous and scenic are words that come to mind. True to form New Zealand weather was rather brisk so we enjoyed the views from inside. Our stop in Wellington saw me playing tour guide for our party of eight as I navigated our way to the Red Rocks to find male seal colonies. My David Attenborough moment came as I proved to my family that our 2-hour hike was not for naught as we saw three seals perched at the Devil’s Gate basking in the glorious sunshine.

Rotorua was another highlight of mine as we saw amazing geysers whilst choking on sulfur fumes and bathed in amazing geothermal pools overlooking Rotorua lake at the Polynesian Spa. Relaxing in the Priest Pool and thermal bathing in acidic water from the Radium hot spring – known for its therapeutic properties was the perfect way to wind down and great if you head to Rotorua during winter! My trip was capped off with an amazing spa experience and meal at the Sterling Steakhouse. For the meat lovers out there, this is not to be missed because the steaks that were served were mouth watering. If only I had a bottomless pit and could finish an entire steak! I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than enjoying a glass of wine whilst having a full three course meal and watching the sun set over the horizon with my family. 

Princess Cruises Akaroa  Polynesian Spa Rotorua

After 10 days of relaxing by the pool returning back to a pile of work waiting for me in Sydney doesn’t seem so daunting. A big thank you to Andrea, Martyn and Tim for being so accommodating and making my first cruising experience unforgettable! Thank you to the Paul and Joshua for the invite to the bridge and showing me the complexities of what goes on up there! Thank you to Meg for all the experiences onboard the ship!


Now – where to next?


Akaroa, Princess Cruises, Dawn Princess


Helen Chik is a Sydney based fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle digital content creator and influencer sharing everything from unique style to her adventures around the world through her rainbow tinted lenses.

  • This looks like an amazing trip. New Zealand is one place that I’d really love to visit. The landscape in all the photos I’ve seen are just gorgeous. I have never done a cruise either. I really should because I travel city to city and island hop. This would save so much time and hassle booking hotels, but I hate the idea of having to leave before dinner time and go somewhere else. The food on this cruise looks amazing though. So hard to pass up local food for me right now. One of the pleasure in life is trying local cuisine and culinary flavours! lol My friend has done Princess a few times and loved it, so I’ll have to try it in the future. 🙂


  • Mariann Yip

    I am always so jealous of your travels! I feel like you are honestly living life right and you’re having so much fun. I am so glad you are sharing your experiences as I am living vicariously through you!

  • What absolutely stunning views of the ocean and landscape! Although if I plan a trip to New Zealand, I’ll probably go by plane. I get horribly sea sick and am terrified of not being able to overcome it if I go via ship. I’ll have to live vicariously through your beautiful photos on that one 🙂

    xo, Jo

  • Jennifer Quattrucci

    So unbelievably amazing! When I first saw your gorgeous photos on Instagram I was mesmerized by the scenes and your colorful outfits. It’s so wonderful you were able to experience this Princess Cruise. Thank you so much for all the beautiful details and information!

  • Wow! Your photos are breath taking as always =o) Looks like the perfect way to see New Zealand.

  • Candace

    Girl, you are always traveling somewhere new. I can tell by these photos how fun your trip was. Can’t wait to read about your next one!

  • Such beautiful moments you’ve captured! It’s been a while since I’ve been on a cruise, but all that talk of endless food and beautiful sights to see is making me want to go again. Nice that your dad dropped out so you could have this wonderful travel opportunity!

    xx Yasmin

  • Your travels are always amazing! This cruise looks amazing and your photos are always stunning! I’ve never been on a cruise so I’m gonna have to look into Princess Cruises for my first trip!!
    Jordan xx

  • I would love to go to New Zealand, though I would not have even thought about visiting on a cruise. It looks warm too. Did it make you want to visit more?
    xx Jenelle

  • jacqueline

    This looks like heaven. I’d love to go to New Zealand. I’ve actually never been on a cruise. You’re giving me all of the FOMO

  • looks like you definitely got the princess treatment 🙂 I just love your travel wardrobe in all of your posts- the tropical look really suits you <3 and thank you for the really sweet comment on my last post! 🙂

  • Next up: LA!!! Come visit me already! Haha omg. So I saw your amazing tan on Instagram and totally caved into Bali Body LOL. Ordered it the other day and it’s arriving tomorrow! I am so stoked! I am gonna build my tan in time for/during my trip to Cabo in April haha 🙂 You are goals Helen! Looks like you had yet another amazing & fun adventure. Thanks for sharing! xo, sharon

  • Your posts are always so good Helen! Seriously they should be published in a magazine. Love all the pictures and writing. I’ve never been on a cruise before either so I have a lot of apprehension about the idea of it. I’ve heard great things about the food and activities on board, but I get seasick so the idea of being stuck on a ship for so long scares me!

    xx freshfizzle

  • The Sunday Mode

    Beautiful photos, it looks like you had a really nice cruise. My sister actually just came of a NZ cruise as well funnily enough!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  • A major thank you to your Dad hehe! This is such a fun getaway! I have never been on a cruise before but I’d so love to! Love all the amazing pictures you have taken! The thing I love about cruises is that you visit different cities at once. So cool! Need to try that soon!

    Bisous, Josie

  • I’ve never been on a cruise because I always pictured it as an activity for old folks being confined on a ship doing nothing.. Hey but your post prove me wrong ~ Being surrounded by the blue ocean and grandeur of the Dawn Princess Ship makes the trip look exciting. Your dad must be real awesome to plan this trip for sure 😉

  • Thanks so much for sharing this with us Helen! I’ve never been on a cruise and had no idea what to expect. This 10-day excursion with Princess Cruises sounds like a dream, and the staff there sound so attentive and considerate. And how lucky you were you able to visit so many lovely destinations! New Zealand has always been a dream of mine, so I loved reading about your experience there. The geothermal springs at Rotorua also sound amazing, and I’ll definitely be adding that to my travel list now 🙂

    xo Soo |

  • Thomas Falkenstedt

    I’ve never been a huge fan of cruise ships, but after seeing the pictures and reading about your experience I suppose I have to re-evaluate my whole attitude towards cruises. 🙂

  • christine

    Wow, what an amazing trip you had. I have only been on Disney cruises but I am a fan of cruising! The food looks so yummy and I definitely would overeat as well if I were you (although you don’t look like you had any food babies at all!). Nine days out at sea is a long time but what a fun adventure. I would love to take a cruise with my entire family too. I definitely need to look into Princess Cruises for my next cruising adventure. xoxo, Christine

  • Lucy Hernandez

    This trip looked so picturesque! Such gorgeous scenery and natural splendor. I’ve never traveled to that part of the world but now I’m very curious to do so. And like I’ve never done a cruise, something about the whole organized group stuff turned me off but I love the idea of renting a car and exploring on our own! Didn’t realize that was and option. ????????

  • Hey Helen,
    Love Your Photos, and Would Love to Be there right now:)
    Bali Body is One my Fav, I have as Well:) You always have the Most Amazing Trips:)
    Happy Weekend
    Love Open Kloset By Karina

  • Gina Diaz

    what a great experience!!! you picture are so fabulous as always!!! i never taken a cruise before, i need soon!!! :)))

    Xx. Gina

  • All of your trips look so incredible and make me want to go somewhere new! xx, Erin –

  • Cruising is my absolute favourite way to explore new places! I’ve been on 7 cruises and the one on Princess was by far my fave! Their ships are unbelievable!

  • The cruise ship looks amazing babe!! Hope you had the best time, the photography is so stunning as well 🙂 xx

  • Kait Elizabeth

    What an amazing trip!!! You look super hot babe and all of the locations are gorgeous. Hugs, Kait

  • I’m a fan of cruises. I love going on cruises, I think they’re so much fun and they’re care free in a sense that you don’t have to worry about picking a hotel or a restaurant or transportation after you have had a night of drinking and dancing. The destinations are beautiful too. New Zealand is def on my list to visit, and Princess Cruise is one I want to cruise with too!

    -Lily from With Love Lily Rose

  • It looks like you had an amazing time on your first cruise!! I actually went on my first cruise (Norwegian Gem) last year and I was also scared LOL especially with the Titanic in mind. I actually got rather sea sick in the beginning of my stay so that was not fun but it was honestly soooo beautiful! I love how there’s so many things a cruise can offer, and the unlimited food is certainly a plus. I really want to visit New Zealand too! Hopefully one day I will, cruise or not 🙂

    XO Jenn

  • My vacation looked amazing?! This looks perfect!! I’ve been on a few cruises, they can be so much fun! These photos are great!

  • I’ve never been on a cruise, myself, and I’ve been dying to try one out for years. You have me definitely thinking I should look into Princess Cruises! This experience sounds absolutely incredible, and most of all, relaxing! Spas, pools, food, and scenery? Yes please!

    Stephanie //

  • Atsuna Matsui

    I’m totally soo jelly of all the traveling you’ve been doing the past couple months. The photographs you’ve taken have all been so inspiring! 🙂 I’ve never been on a cruise as well actually, but your photos definitely make it look soo fun and I would love to try some day.

  • You are such a colorful beauty and every single thing you wear adds more beauty to the lovely places you visit. I’ve been dying to visit New Zealand and I think a cruise like this one is the way to go! Where to next I want to know!!

    Love, Liz

  • Linh Dao

    Omg you look so good! Your tan looks amazing and as always your trips are so beautiful and fun! I wish I could find time to do all of this! You have to come to LA one day so we can meet up! Thanks for sharing!


  • maggie

    I always think of Titanic whenever I think of cruises. Haha. That event/movie has traumatized me for life. Anyway, it looks like you had a blast. Fun fact: I actually helped scenic design for one of their musical/plays on the cruise for my professor.

    Maggie S.

  • Chayani Bhardwaj

    omg!! just come across to your site and really love your post!! you look so so beautiful and colorfull. 🙂 Thanks for sharing..!! 🙂

  • Sarah Atiq

    Your whole trip looks and sounds absolutely amazing. I have never been on a cruise, but this is totally inspiring me to book myself one. I have also always wanted to visit New Zealand and I loved reading about your experience.



  • EverestSays

    That is such incredible way to sail to New Zealand and sight see along the way! I haven’t been on cruise before and u sure made me wana board one now!
    Kisses from Singapore,

  • I’ve never been on a cruise – I’m so worried I’ll have an issue with nausea.I get seasick and motion sickness quite easily. This trip sounds amazing and your photos are gorgeous. And I’m obsessed with that first sundress. So amazing!

  • Vanessa Troset

    OMG I always ADORE. your beautiful pictures babe. Everything is so magic an full of colores. I need this time in my life now. Here in Barcelona everything is so cold. You look amazing as usual! Kisses.

  • Deddeh Howard

    Wow these images are amazing and you definitely got me hooked on visiting!. You look amazing girl ????

  • Your pictures look amazing! I’ve never been on a cruise like this but judging from your pictures, it seems great! You look adorable! xx

  • Jessie Li (4evajessie)

    Geez, How many days in a year do you travel girl!!! You should really count it or download the ‘app in the air’ and they will count for you. I’m so curious to know!!!! hahaha.. Airlines should definitely invite you for their promotions!!!

    See you in Hong Kong in Feb after my ski trip! can’t wait to hit to lkf with you!

    xx, Jessie

  • Sofia N

    Seriously I wish I was the kind o person to just be able and take off from home for several months! Love living though your trips and you look so amazing as always!

  • These photos are so miracle! I’ve never been to a cruise before but it seems like such a great idea! Especially if you are on such luxurious cruise as the one you took! I love all of your outfits and how you style your hair!

  • As a Brit, I love the David Attenborough reference in there lol! Your photos are insane! This really does look like quite the Paradise! I’ve never been overly fond of the idea of a Cruise but this looks incredible!


  • Andreea Birsan

    I am so obsessed with all your travel posts!! Every shot looked like paradise! I definitely have to add New Zealand to my traveling bucket list. x


  • Looks like an amazing trip!! I want to travel like you!

    Sabrina | Gypsy Tan

  • Amanda Smith

    Wow! This all looks and sounds amazing! I’ve never been on a cruise ship before. Everyone I know tells me anything longer then 4 days is too long but this sounds so lovely and like a relaxing and enjoyable experience. I’ve really enjoyed all of your travel stories that past couple of months! Your images are always crisp and stunning!

    Manda |

  • Reading your post is making me plan a cruise tour. Sounds like you had a lot of fun and I love food too 🙂 I am grumpy as well when I am not fed well 😛
    As usual you have such gorgeous photos. Good going

  • The Blonde Diary Channel

    Wow! Looks like paradise. All of your pictures are so beautiful. I need to plan a cruise!


  • I love your travel photos! I can wait to go to that side of the world. I have never been in a cruise like you so seeing and reading this makes it an option next time I travel. I am so with you on planning it ahead of time as I believe you get to stop to alot of City ports. Must be exciting. Where are you off to next? I can’t wait to see it


  • so jealous of your travels girl. I feel like I always say that haha but Im happy to live vicariously through your diary. Love these pics

    Frank Vinyl : A California Fashion Blog

  • I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand so it was so cool to see these pics! Looks like such a fab cruise!

    Chow Down USA

  • Tandya

    You honestly have the best travel posts! I personally like cruises. You get to see a lot for a low cost. The Princess boat looks beautiful! I’ll have to go one day. Thanks for sharing!

  • Marcy Yu

    Never been into a cruise!!! How is it?? did you felt dizzy??
    Love your pictures babe


  • Katheryn

    Wow, that cruise looked incredible. Didn’t make it to the South Island, but next time 🙂

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