The International Naval Review is under way in Auckland's harbour but the fly-past by the Air Force is cancelled because of cloudy weather.
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy was welcomed on to the HMNZS Otago on Saturday morning and received a royal salute from a 100-person guard of honour on arrival.
She will officially review the assembled ships from 1pm on Saturday.
Defense attaches are waiting for HMNZS Otago to begin the review, US ambassador Mark Gilbert tweeted.
The review is expected to be one of the most spectacular sights ever on the Waitemata Harbour though some of the international vessels in New Zealand for it have headed to Kaikoura to help with disaster relief.
The review is part of the Royal New Zealand Navy's 75th anniversary celebrations.