Arriving Auckland, New Zealand 2023

This morning we flew Honolulu to Auckland on Air New Zealand Business. The three across configuration is nice because nobody must climb over anybody else. Everything was top notch except for the food. In fact, the food was disgusting. Great service though. 😊

Immigration was as slick as I have ever seen. There was no wait whatsoever. You slide your passport in to be read. Then it asks about five or six simple questions like “Have you been to Indonesia in the last seven days” and that is that. Customs was similarly easy.

This afternoon we checked into the Auckland Hilton. It is gorgeous in a maritime, rustic, sense as it is right at the end of the pier where our cruise ship will pick us up in a few days.


Besides being lovely our room sits right at the end with water view on both sides.

Since we were beat, we decided just to get a drink and a bite at their Bellini Bar. Upon check-in the nice front desk lady says she is so sorry, but the Diamond Member Lounge is closed. However as valued Dimond Members they are giving us each a drink coupon for each night of our stay. It specifically says it is good for Bellini Bar.


So, we go to the Bellini Bar and order two martinis and laugh at how small they are. He sees we have our drink coupons. When they bill comes, they charge us for four and the bar tender arrogantly says that is not a mistake, but on purpose as per their policy in New Zealand.

We are not happy but give him four coupons and decide to speak to the front desk just because.


Well, then he says that he won’t even take the four coupons because they are not for anything other than house wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. What! We are “valued” Diamond Members at their designated bar.


Did I mention that we showed him the coupons up front before ordering anything?


Yes, the hotel manager ultimately picked up the tab; after the damage was caused.


No doubt as soon as we check out we will get the standard Hilton letter asking about how great everything was and isn’t it great to be a Diamond Member.

7 Responses so far.

  1. Wendy Wolff says:

    “Not as promised”… With all your travels, I’m sure you’re not surprised, just annoyed! It’s the principle of the thing… They owe you something for their lapses in customer service! Grrrr! Well, enjoy the beautiful room and have a fabulous voyage! Wendy Wolff ❤️

  2. Nancy Weinberger says:

    How annoying! As Hilton Diamond members ourselves I would expect better customer service from their bar employee. I’m sure he will be told to honor the coupon in future. Enjoy your trip! Sounds lovely!!

  3. donaraesubmitting says:

    Apparently 4beers=2 tini martinis> must be the metric system lol. Safe travels.

  4. Jeffrey C Perkins says:

    I have stayed at the Hilton Waterfront several times before embarking on a cruise.
    It is very convenient and very easy to transport your bags onto the ship. (The pier is literally part of the hotel )

  5. Stephen Gordon says:

    Well, we had a similar experience in Maui (Lahaina) earlier this year. There appears to be a growing number of intrinsically unhappy food & bar service industry employees these days. Arrogant, impersonal, and very little demonstration of gratitude about anything.
    Carry on! I enjoy vicariously traveling with you via the newsletter! Happy new year, be blessed!
    Stephen & Lori Gordon

  6. Adrienne says:

    what happened to your private Jet – we were treated in the same manner with the free excursions on Regent. It was not pleasant. Can’t wait for Crystal’s comeback.
    Adrienne and Richard Kaufman

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