Saturday dawned a seriously stunning, blue sky marvel. We docked, disembarked and were on a bus to marine Parade in Napier by 8.30am!
I was once again blown away by the how streamlined and easy all of these processes are. There were buses lined up on the wharf ready to shuttle cruise passengers to the incredible Tremains Art Deco Festival which was about to kick off with a Champagne Breakfast on the beach.
In terms of New Zealand’s heritage, architecture and culture this festival is a must-do. In terms of a holiday destination with the most beautiful beachfront I’ve ever seen in New Zealand – Napier is it. What a stunning spectacle!
We were treated to a beautifully staged breakfast with bubbles on the beach, entertained by a jazz band and caught our first glimpses of just how invested Napier is in the Art Deco Festival. The streets were lined with smiling people in elaborate period costumes, accessorised by vintage bicycles, motorcycles, cars and perambulators – classic prams! Men, women, retirees. young hipsters and tiny babies were all in on the Art Deco action and dressed to the nines!
Our pre-arranged shore tour began with a walking exploration of the Art Deco district in the CBD. Our guide was an amazing volunteer who has been showing tourists the sights for over 20 years, and her love and pride in beautiful Napier was a sentiment echoed throughout the day by all whom we encountered. This little city loves to party so we headed up to the top of the beachfront Dome Apartments to watch the classic car parade and an incredible airshow over the water. This was another beautifully catered event. I highly recommend checking out some of the ticketed events if you’re visiting the festival next year, the two we attended were such a value-add to an already perfect day in Napier.
Heading back to the ship was another exercise in ‘How easy can a holiday be?’ The buses were running constantly and were ready and waiting. Just as soon as we arrived at the pick-up location we were whisked back to the wharf and had embarked, changed into our togs and were poolside with a cocktail within 30 minutes of leaving the festival. LOVE THIS!
Between dips in the pool and ice cream, E had fun on the mechanical bull and I enjoyed some downtime before we headed to dinner and the White Party later on in the evening.
We ate at Luna and both Ethan and I agree it was our favourite meal of the cruise. The modern Japanese menu is ridiculously good, everything on it is brilliant and unexpected. The Sashimi of Ahi Tuna and Salmon tacos with chilled tomato salsa was as genius as the rice-free sushi of Blue Crab meat, avocado, salmon caviar and brandy sauce. My mouth is watering reliving this menu and those were only two of the starters lol!
Our perfect meal was followed by the super fun Bianco Party. We all dressed in white and danced the night away under the stars on the top deck as the Pearl pulled away from Napier and we began our trip north to Auckland.
Ethan loved the dance party, it was classic! I had to tear him away as I was exhausted and my party boy was showing no signs of slowing down. This was a great event, the ship’s dancers showed the crowd how to get down and both the DJ and the band played perfect sets that kept the energy up and the dance floor packed.
Holy smokes, 3 late nights in a row! Who am I???