After a couple of stopovers at cities where the weather did not play ball, and at one where the propulsion system on their ship decided to shut down, arriving in the sunshine and warmth of Napier was like a stopover in paradise, several passengers aboard the giant cruise ship Ovation of the Seas reckoned.
"It's a beautiful day and a beautiful place with a really nice feel about it," Tracy from Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales said.
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"Although when the engine stopped when we going out of Wellington I was a bit worried we weren't going to get here."
Her husband Grant said the delay was only brief as engineers quickly sorted the problem and he had no concerns.
Tracy said her husband was a train driver so "was used to the occasional breakdown".
It was their first visit to Napier and had planned a city and country bus tour with some wine tasting and then finish the day just wandering around looking at the "wonderful" Art Deco buildings as well as the beachfront.
The giant 168,666 gross tonnage liner, had left Wellington on Monday evening but mechanical issues stalled it near the mouth of the harbour.
Tugs went to its aid and secured it while engineers worked on the problem which had affected its propulsion systems.
The nearly 5000 passengers had to wait about 90 minutes for the voyage to resume.
It had not rattled the passengers, those spoken to as they looked around Napier said.
"It was a bit funny there for a while but we weren't worried — the captain was really good and kept us up with what was happening," Brian from Canberra said.
"This is our first time here and it is absolutely beautiful," his wife Val said.
She said Napier, and Hawke's Bay, was top of the stopover list for them.
Brian agreed, and said they would most certainly be back.
"This is definitely the place to come to for a lovely holiday," Val said, and they relished the warm skies after rains during their more southern stopovers.
NSW Central Coast couple Laurie and Sharron, who were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with a cruise, agreed.
Val said the engine problem in Wellington was "nothing to worry about" — with her husband smiling and saying "we got here and we got here on time".
They too would be making a return visit to the Bay.
"We'll come back on a fly and drive," Laurie said.
They loved the waterfront walk and the National Aquarium, and were enjoying taking in the Art Deco sights and local shops.
Which were clearly doing well.
Pacific Souvenirs in Emerson St was crammed with visitors, and cafe seats and tables were well stocked.
David Brock-Jest of Hooters Vintage and Classic Cars said when the big liners came in things did pace up, with many deciding to take a drive on the spot.
That was on top of the many bookings for cars which went out on three to four hour tours.
"It's busy," he said.
Visitors wandering the central city were also left delighted by the Bay Harmony singers putting on a concert as well as a classic organ grinder and buskers.
One visitor, who gave his name as Alex, said if the ship had to stay one more day for another check-up he would be delighted.
"Don't really want to leave — it's terrific here."
It was Ovation of the Seas' second of four visits in a season which will see 87 cruise ships scheduled to call, up from 70 last season.
Between October and next April it is estimated around 135,000 cruise passengers will step ashore in Napier— an increase of around 20 per cent on the passenger count last season.
The 2019-2020 season promises to be a major boost for the Hawke's Bay economy, with passengers and crew expected to spend a total of $32 million, according to Statistics New Zealand.