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  #1  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 09:30 PM
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Default Celebrity Solstice's 17 night cruise from Sydney to Honolulu - Tahitian Treasures.

Hi everyone,

Next year we are going on Celebrity Solstice's 17 night cruise from Sydney to Honolulu. (
Sydney, Bay of Islands, Auckland, Papeete, Moorea, Bora Bora, Honolulu).

Can anyone reccommend any good tours for Bay of Islands, Auckland, Papeete, Moorea & Bora. We are in our mid thirties and enjoy moderately to high paced tours rather than relaxing on the beach.


Can anyone advise if there is any white water rafting day trips we could organise in Auckland?

Also, for night 17 we overnight in Honolulu, I have a day trip to the North Shore lined up on day 17 in Honolulu but as the tour doesnt finish until 6:30 PM that night I didnt want to commit until I knew what time we were due to be back on the ship that night. I contacted Cabins Club to enquire about embarksion time however they advised they are unable to provide this information and we will have to wait and ask whilst on-board. Can anyone advise if there is a curfew to what time we must be back on board recognising we are docked there overnight?

Any advice you can provide is highly reccommended.

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  #2  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 09:48 PM
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We have booked with this tour company in Bora Bora, swimming with the sharks and then lunch in the water. MANY excellent recommendations on here and he has sold out a couple of boats for my stop over.

http://www.maohinui.net/en/

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUs...y_Islands.html

Check out the Ports of Call Pacfic Islands section on here, there is a couple of really good 'cheat sheets' with recommendations of tours, places to visit, shops, food etc. by a member called TikinTahiti (I hope I got that right).
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  #3  
Old October 24th, 2013, 01:37 AM
MMDown Under MMDown Under is offline
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When your ship stays in port overnight, you can usually stay out as long as you like, which is the big attraction of overnight stays.
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  #4  
Old October 24th, 2013, 04:47 AM
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There have been some tours, and ideas from them as well, in our roll call thread:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...617436&page=94

I don't think there are any openings now, but you might want to check the last few pages.

Agreed that the expectation is there is no 'curfew' to get back on board the first night.
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  #5  
Old October 25th, 2013, 07:54 AM
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I've just got back from doing this cruise in reverse, and this is what we did.

Honolulu: we were here 3 days before cruise and spent most at the resort, but did do a day trip driving ourselves around the island. It was fantastic and the east coast is amazing. We also went to the Polynesian cultural centre which I found a bit touristy, but still fun.

lahaina: We did the ships tour to the Io Valley and tropical plantation. The io valley was amazing and the drive there very picturesque. The plantation was ok, pretty much a trolley ride through the different fruit trees they grow there. Pretty though. After the tour we spent a couple of hours walking around the town.

Papeete: we didn't book anything here, just intending to walk around the city. It's a dive, don't bother. People we talked to did some tours out of the city to some beaches and waterfalls and things and said it was really pretty. There were heaps of tour operators and taxis just sitting at the dock waiting to take people on tours, some for only $30, $40. You could just pick one up from the pier.

Bora bora: soe on our roll call organizer the circle tour with Maohinui which someone posted a link to above. It was amazing, an absolute highlight of our trip. Definitely reccomend. There were no tour operators waiting at the tender point that I saw, so organise before your trip.

Moorea: we did the ships 4x4 tour and it was great. We went to the top of one of the mountains to a little lookout over the bays, drove through pineapple plantations and beautiful valleys, up to another lookout and to an orchard to try some fruit preserves. If it wasn't a Sunday we would have gone to the agriculture school too. There were a few tour operators at the tender drop off that you could pick up and also a market was put on by the locals.

Auckland: we just bought tickets for the hop on hop of bus ($40 each) and did our own thing. We went to Kelly Tarltons aquarium (really good), Auckland museum (also good) and would have gone to the sky tower also but hubby wasn't feeling well.

Bay of Islands: also did our own thing. The tenders drop you off at a little pier just out of the town of Paihia and local busses shuttle you into town. The town itself is ok to wander around, but we got a ferry ($12 return each) over to Russell and spend some time wandering around. It's a quaint little fishing village type feel with pretty shops right on the waterfront, great restaurants and a little museum. The ferry ride across the bay was great too and we saw sailing ships, dolphins and the pretty scenery of all the little islands in the bay. Great relaxing way to spend the day.

My biggest advice for French Polynesia is use Papeete for shopping, Bora Bora do something water based and Moorea something land based.
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  #6  
Old October 28th, 2013, 03:42 AM
annenic annenic is offline
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Hi Jacs - it was a great cruise, wasn't it? I had hoped to meet up with you at one of the parties.....but we just never crossed paths.

TravelBugs77 here's what we did in the ports:

Papeete/Tahiti: I had organised 2 small buses to accommodate 8 people each to do a Circle Island Tour. Company was Adventure Eagle Tours. I wish I could recommend them, but not so. Following is a copy of my letter to the owner with whom I negotiated our tour.

"Hello William,

Our group of 16 did your Circle Island Tour with Adventure Eagles Tours on 11 October as planned. However, we were all very disappointed that instead of the two buses for eight passengers each we were loaded into a large school bus. This is not what had been negotiated - see emails below.

What we expected:

2 small air-conditioned buses for our group waiting for us on the dock
Tour to begin at 1.30pm (4 hour tour)
To be able to easily hear tour guide/driver
To see the Venus Point lighthouse during the tour

What we got:

One large school bus with other passengers included.
Tour began at 2pm and concluded at 6.30pm (5 and 1/2 hour tour)(some of our group had made plans on board the ship for 6pm and not only were they late, they had no time to change and shower etc).
There was no microphone for the guide to use on the large bus - this made it very difficult for both passengers and the tour guide.
We did not have time to visit the Venus Point lighthouse.

I chose your company over Maramar Tours as I had read on Trip Advisor that this exact same thing had happened to people booking Maramar tours and when I contacted that company they could not promise me that it would not happen to us. You were happy to promise the 2 small buses so I gladly went with you. There had never been a mention that your company included small pre-booked groups on the larger tourist bus - you had great reviews on Trip Advisor. Sadly for you I will be posting on both Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic what happened to us - I wish others to be prepared for what could happen.

Our driver was fantastic - good, safe driver and very helpful. Our guide was good I'm sure - just too difficult to hear what she had to share - and too difficult for her to keep shouting all day.

Sincerely,"


Many of the cruise people simply teamed up and got taxis on the dock. This worked for some and not for others. The happy ones either got a driver who could speak English or luckily they had someone in their cab who could speak French and translate. The unhappy ones got to see the island - but complained they had no idea what they were viewing.

One very happy couple who had someone who could speak French in their cab were delighted with their tour. Said their 85 year old female driver took them everywhere and gave them an excellent tour, took them to places where they could sample the local food and presented them all with small gifts.

Bora Bora: We did Patricks Tour http://www.maohinui.net/en/ and it was excellent. $200US/p and definitely worth it. We did the combo tour so in the morning we were in 4-wheel drive vehicles exploring the interior of the island and all the great viewing points. Fabulous.

We were then taken out to the Motu where we had lunch. BBQ and lovu. Lobster, mahi mahi, pork, chicken with spinach in coconut milk (yum!), cervice, breadfruit, taro, tapioca, pink plantain bananas and poi. Yum. Plus fruits.

Then it was our turn to go snorkelling - beautiful fish galore, swimming with the manta rays (which sucked on our legs and we could pat - very velvety). Next was swimming with the lemon sharks. Fabulous day and awesome experience.

Moorea: We chose to book another island tour - didn't want to spend two days in a row in the sun all day. This time bus was good, as was our driver/guide. Company was Alberts Tours. $40US/p from 9.30-12.30.
On completion of the bus tour we went to Le Tipaniers hotel by cab - $5/p where we spent the afternoon on their beautiful beach. Cruise pax were welcome as long as they left deck chairs free for hotel guests. We could use all other facilities. It was lovely and relaxing and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

The Intercontinental Hotel does not welcome cruise pax.

Auckland: No tour booked here for us. We caught ferry across to Devonport and wandered around this beautiful historic village. Caught bus up to Takapuna and back. Then back into city to Sky Tower. Lots of jumpers off the tower when we were there and a group doing the sky walk. Great views.
We had intended to check out the Maritime Museum as well, but we ran out of time.

Bay of Islands: Loved this place!! We were in a group that had pre-arranged a sailing day. Website www.yachtphantom.com/‎ - can definitely recommend this if you like to sail. $110NZ 10am - 3pm including a home baked lunch which was very delicious.
We tendered from cruise ship to Paihia, then boarded the complimentary shuttle to Waitangi and from there got the ferry to Russell where the Phantom was waiting for us. We had time to explore the historic village of Russell before we jumped on the yacht. Sailing in the Bay of Islands was simply perfect. Great day, great people, great sailing and great lunch.

Sorry this is such a long post but hope it is helpful.

Enjoy your cruise
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  #7  
Old October 28th, 2013, 05:19 PM
Jacs Jacs is offline
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Anne it was great wasn't it! I was looking for your name at the parties but never caught site of you either, the problems with large roll calls I didn't go to the last one though as I was sick, shame we didnt end up getting to play some board games
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Old October 28th, 2013, 05:58 PM
annenic annenic is offline
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Jacs - we had a group that met up every afternoon (if you wanted to - I didn't go every day) at the back of the Ocean View Cafe to play cards and board games. I got to play Settlers - loved it! Along with other games I'd never heard of - chicken feet, golf, crown. They were a really fun crowd - mainly about 8 of us. So sad that you didn't know.

I went along to the Mah Jong game once to watch - but they were much too serious for me - I like to laugh when I play games. These ladies played for money (just quarters) but there was no talking. It wasn't for me.
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Last edited by annenic; October 28th, 2013 at 06:00 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 03:33 AM
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Oh that's a shame, that would have been great! Oh we'll, hopefully next cruise there will be some board game fans as well
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Old October 29th, 2013, 10:25 PM
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Thank you so much for your advice and the tips - I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post :-)
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  #11  
Old July 13th, 2014, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelBugs77 View Post
Hi everyone,

Next year we are going on Celebrity Solstice's 17 night cruise from Sydney to Honolulu. (
Sydney, Bay of Islands, Auckland, Papeete, Moorea, Bora Bora, Honolulu).

Can anyone reccommend any good tours for Bay of Islands, Auckland, Papeete, Moorea & Bora. We are in our mid thirties and enjoy moderately to high paced tours rather than relaxing on the beach.


Can anyone advise if there is any white water rafting day trips we could organise in Auckland?

Also, for night 17 we overnight in Honolulu, I have a day trip to the North Shore lined up on day 17 in Honolulu but as the tour doesnt finish until 6:30 PM that night I didnt want to commit until I knew what time we were due to be back on the ship that night. I contacted Cabins Club to enquire about embarksion time however they advised they are unable to provide this information and we will have to wait and ask whilst on-board. Can anyone advise if there is a curfew to what time we must be back on board recognising we are docked there overnight?

Any advice you can provide is highly reccommended.

Hello,
We are doing the same cruise in April 2015 (Tahitian Treasure). We were told that we don't get an overnight stay on board. As you have done this cruise, can you please tell me whether you actually got the overnight stay in Honolulu? We are a little confused to the information we have been given
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Old July 13th, 2014, 10:41 PM
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We did for our cruise in 2014. But itineraries can change each year, so you'd be best to check whether your itinerary shows 2 days in Honolulu, or one.
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Old July 14th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funnyface1 View Post
Hello,
We are doing the same cruise in April 2015 (Tahitian Treasure). We were told that we don't get an overnight stay on board. As you have done this cruise, can you please tell me whether you actually got the overnight stay in Honolulu? We are a little confused to the information we have been given
Hi, we are on this sailing with you and can confirm that there is no overnight in Honolulu Apr 20th. We are doing a B2B continuing on to Vancouver and the overnight is on the 2nd leg.
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