My Review / Suggestions

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#61
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Yes they have nice bathroom stuff .... well it looks good but I'm a guy





Just a pretty flower

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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#62
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
At the Moorea Hilton they did have a electric pot to heat water for coffee and tea. My BH brings a French Press and her favorite brand of coffee ...

They put flowers everywhere, nice touch

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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#63
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Here are some more pictures around our OWB at the Hilton ...

Our room .... #72





Our upper deck was covered which was nice ... there is a lower deck just above water level as you can see looking at other bungalows ....











This will wrap up info/pictures about the Moorea Hilton ... next I'll add a few more of the IC Moorea.
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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#65
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by Pops150
Thanks so much or the rundown on arrivals and departures!
No problem ... some good stuff coming up on what to do around Tahiti
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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#66
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Here are a few more from the Intercontinental Moorea Resort ...

Shopping area across the street with a food market. This is where you can get 'plates' Hawaiian style fro about $15 bucks ...



Part of the inner lagoon area ... those are 'garden / lagoon front bungalows in the background ...



Here are some OWB's ...





The folige is very pretty in their extensive gardens ... a photographers dream ..





The IC is where I shoot the back cover of the current PG catalog ...
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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#67
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Lets back track to Les Tipaniers ....

Here are a few pictures a few years back ...

The beach area including the marina where you can take a boat over to the motus for a very reasonable amount.



Some banana trees around the property ...



Inside the lagoon side cafe ...



The menu ... very reasonable



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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#69
UK
692 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
This thread is a great source of info, TBK, thank you for posting it.

I hope this isn't a daft question, but when restaurants offer free pick up for dinner, do they also take you back again, or will they call a cab for you?

Secondly, will the big resort hotels do this, or is it only the smaller places?
#73
Southern Ontario, Canada
9 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Thank you! Your information has been very helpful and your photos are beautiful. We are going January 2018 and staying a few days at the IC in Moorea before the cruise.


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#74
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Sorry for the delay ... sometimes two weddings per week right now and it takes me a week to edit 600 - 800 pictures ....... so .... I'll only post something new every now and then for the next 6 weeks, then it slows down for the holidays and I'll have more time to upload.

For today I'll backtrack and add a few more pictures of the Sofitel Moorea, my second favorite major resort on Moorea. We had our honeymoon here in 1999, my first trip to Polynesia ... These pictures were taken on a return visit ...

The good news is I have thousands of pictures of the South Pacific so I won't run out anytime soon









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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#75
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
I know it's taking a lot of time getting to some good stuff to share, some may find this boring but so many get shocked by the amount of money it takes to eat off the ship or when you stay pre/post cruise for a few days. We eat on the cheap and are careful with our money. Most think of French Polynesia as a trip of a lifetime but with our modifications and doing things on the cheap it has allowed us to go every year to paradise. We would rather go cheap during the pre/post cruise time and go every year than go first class once. I know several on here don't have money restrictions but for those who only dream of going a first time or want to return but can't afford take my lead and make going to paradise a reality. Our splurge is taking the PG where we are pampered ...

Here is another on the cheap place to eat in Moorea. It is a local hangout but very pretty around the end of Cook's Bay in Paopao, actually over looks the bay. The locals make this their lunch time place to hang. If you want to meet locals, this is a great place and the price is right. Nothing fancy but for $10- $15 USD two can eat well.



Yes that is me at the counter ...



We ordered a sandwich, egg rolls and quiche ... plus a coke, came to $11 USD







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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#76
Oregon
11 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Hello!
Back again. I have a chance to nab #306 for the November 18 departure to Marquesas etc. Some posters say Porthole Staterooms not that bad. Deck #3 has some access advantages, etc. From what I can see, the PHs don't make THAT big of an impediment. Reactions?
Thanks,
Smitty



Originally posted by Tahitianbigkahuna
My review will include my knowledge of 18 trips to French Polynesia and/or the Cook Islands which includes 7 cruises, 5 being on the Paul Gauguin. Some will be inclusive of many trips and some will focus on our latest trip that being the Reunion Cruise of July 26, 2017.

For you that drive into the LA basin to fly to Tahiti we’ve done this many different ways. The most affordable for us as we drive 230 miles is to park at the Fly Away next to the Van Nuys airport off Roscoe. It’s only$4 bucks per day and the R/T for the bus to LAX is around $18 bucks. So for about $90 the two of us can go for 12 days and this includes the parking and bus round trip. Fly Away drops us off right in front of the terminal. There are several Fly Away parking areas around the LA basin. If you live in the LA area you have other options such as shuttles but the price tag could be higher unless you live very close to LAX.

First let me give some detail about the air carriers. Overthe years we’ve taken 5 different carriers but I’ll focus on Air Tahiti Nui andAir France as they are the big two.

Air Tahiti Nui – Located in the Tom Bradley InternationalTerminal at LAX. If you drive, shuttle or take a bus you will be dropped off right in front of the terminal. If you’re flying into LAX and then going over to the international terminal you will proceed differently depending on the terminal you arrive at. If you arrive at terminal 1-3 you will need to go outside the terminal and take the LAX terminal bus to the international terminal. If you arrive at terminals 4 – 8 you can access the tunnel/skyway system which will allow you to stay in the secured area. This is only valuable if you’ve checked your bags straight through to Tahiti and you’ve already got your ATN boarding pass. Do an internet search for LAX / tunnel / international terminal.

ATN typically opens 4 hours prior to departure. If you get there 3 ½ hours prior to departure there will be a long line They will weigh your bags and if over by a few pounds typically no big deal but this isn’t the case on the return so be warned. If you’re going economy we prefer the side seats as the AirBus 340’s have a configuration of 2-4-2. This will change when they get their new Boeing 787’s. Most take the red-eye which is what we prefer.You will get a light meal about 45 minutes after takeoff and breakfast about 90 minutes before landing. Nothing fancy but it is edible. Soft drinks, juice,beer, wine and water are included … as much as you want. ATN has 5 planes, four have been re-furbished, and one has not. You have no way of telling which plane you will end up with, it’s a roll of the dice. We’ve been cold on the flights and hot on the flights and a few times just right, again it is a roll of the dice. Flight attendants are French Polynesian and are very nice, they change into local garb after the takeoff which adds to the charm, your heading to paradise. Downside for some is the late night return flight leaving FAAA international around midnight. Some head for the airport once the Paul Gauguin arrives back on Tahiti, usually around 7:30 pm. This makes it possible to get off board and catch the late flight.

Air France – Located in terminal 2. Air France opens 4 hours prior to departure. Currently using Boeing 777’s and on our last flight December 2015 was a 2-3-2 configuration. The 777 is a quiet plane and most are newer than the 340’s that ATN fly’s. Flight attendants are French and charming. Same as ATN in the meal department, a petite meal after takeoff followed by breakfast 90 minutes before landing. Same free drinks. IMO the food was superior on Air France. A red eye flight with an early am landing. Down side can be the return as it is early morning, about an 8:00 am flight. This means getting up at 4:00 am on the Paul Gauguin unless you’re spending a few extradays. Typically, not always, AF is a tad less money if you’re booking your ownairfare.

If you’re having Paul Gauguin book your flight as a package you may not be able to pick the carrier unless you pay for a deviation. If you’re on your first Paul Gauguin cruise I recommend purchasing all-inclusive, it takes the guess work out of it and PG is a well-oiled machine. As we’ve taken so many trips to French Polynesia we typically book some things on our own. I’ll talk about that later. Bottom line: we prefer Air France but that may change once ATN has their new aircraft … some coming as early as late summer 2018.

Arriving at Faaa international airport – No matter what airline you arrive on you will be taken through customs which can take 30 – 60 minutes depending on where you were sitting in the aircraft. As you arrive at customs there will be a small Tahitian greeting party play music and a dancer or two, always sets the tone for your visit to paradise … I love the ambience, gets me all excited. As you get through customs you will grab your bags and proceed through the agriculture check but I must say in my 18 trips we’ve never been stopped and checked. Once out the door you will be in the open terminal where you will either grab a taxi, have ground transportation arranged or you will rent a car. A Paul Gauguin representative will be there to great all and check your name off the list. They will assist you in getting to the right person for pre-arranged transportation or point you to the taxi area. If you’re renting a car go to your right and proceed about 100 feet where you will find the desk for all the major car rental places. Past the car rental desk is the bank ATM.

The next part will include pre-cruise suggestions and how to get the most out of your time spent on Tahiti prior to boarding. Then suggestions after you board but prior to the ship departing. I’ll add this over the next few days.
#77
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Pops ....

I've stayed in 310 ... loved it!

Easy on/off

Same stateroom as most others ...

Large cubby area under the port holes which was nice for extra stuff.

Grab it .... many returnees go deck 3/4 as the price is good plus the easy access. You mozzy up on deck for your balcony
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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#78
Oregon
11 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Just getting air sorted as they can't get me on the AF from LAX. Slightly more cumbersome Portland to PPT. All is well and thanks again!

Originally posted by Tahitianbigkahuna
Pops ....

I've stayed in 310 ... loved it!

Easy on/off

Same stateroom as most others ...

Large cubby area under the port holes which was nice for extra stuff.

Grab it .... many returnees go deck 3/4 as the price is good plus the easy access. You mozzy up on deck for your balcony
#79
1,149 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Yes I still am posting stuff about Moorea ... yup I know backtracking ...

Everyone including myself says to stop by Carmeline's when your in the main village. So here are the temptation photos ....







So what did we choose?



Followed by ....



Remember your in FRENCH Polynesia ....

And the ice cream is locally made with Tahitian vanilla
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Past Trips to the French Polynesia/South Pacific:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (2), 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Upcoming Trips to the South Pacific:
July 26, 2017 on the Paul Gauguin

Likes: Traveling to the South Pacific on the Paul Gauguin and taking beautiful pictures.
#80
australia
1,331 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
OMG, Im drooling


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Wendy and David, Australia

P&O - Pacific Islands 1996
NCL - Whitsundays and PNG 1997
Car
nival Spirit - Alaska to Anchorage 2004
Viking Pakhamov - Moscow to St Petersburg river cruise 2006
Celebrity Summit - Miami to LA via Panama Canal 2007
NCL Norwegian Jade - Western Med, Athens to Istanbul 2008
Celebrity Constellation Autumn leaves NYC to Quebec 2009
Celebrity Eclipse - Eastern Mediterranean 2010
Hurtigruten, Polarlys - Bergen to Bergen 2011
Azamara Quest - Singapore to Shanghai 2012

Celebrity Equinox - TA, Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona April 2013

Azamara Journey - Hong Kong to Singapore, Dec 2013
Arcadia - Sydney to Southampton, Feb 2014
Celebrity Solstice - Waikiki to Sydney, Oct 2014
Celebrity Solstice - Sydney to Pacific Is and Fiji March 2015
Azamara Journey - Venice to Venice, June 2015
Celebrity Eclipse - Scandinavia and Russia, July 2015
Hurtigruten Fram -Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands Feb/Mar 2016
Radiance of the Seas - Bravo Performing Arts Cruise October 2016
Emerald Princess - Sydney to New Zealand return November 2016
Upcoming cruises
Celebrity Infinity - South America and Rio Carnival, Feb 2017
Celebrity Infinity - Argentina and Chile March 2017
Celebrity Infinity - Valparaiso to Miami Mar/April 2017
Allure of the Seas Western Caribbean April 2017
AMAKristina Tulip Time, April, 2018
Azamara Quest Rome to Barcelona, May 2018