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pacheco18

Bruno's L'excursion bleu

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...some commentary regarding Bruno's tour. The link:

 

http://dreamcruise.kweenkaren.com/126-Day%2018%20Raiatea.pdf

 

BTW, the pdf format will take sometime to download due to the amount of pictures she's loaded for various port days which includes Raiatea. You'll also need Acrobat reader (a freebie from the Adobe site) if you don't already have installed.

 

If you have dial-up connection speed I probably would not try to download it unless you have some time.

 

Bon Voyage & Good Health!

Bob:)

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Thanks so much for the post. Looks like nothing has really changed on his tour since we took it two years ago. We sure did enjoy it. Beautiful pics as well.

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We'll be with Bruno this Friday--looking forward to it--we do have the PG anchored just by us--don't know what their next stop is--hope we're alone without another ship so that there will be fewer people--Oh well, find out in a couple of days

 

Nancy:D

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Also waiting for Seal to check in after her excursion with Bruno. Really interested in if we just experienced a 'bad day for Bruno', and what Seal thought of the excursion now, compared to previously. :confused:

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We are curious about Seal's feedback as well since we are looking at doing this tour during our visit next year. :D

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I was going to post after returning home--but...........I have time now--we are anchored in Moorea--rather a gray day--but nicely warm.

 

Went with Bruno yesterday--the order of the trip was slightly different than in the past--we started at the Pearl Farm--we were the only ones there--next was the Coral Gardens--we saw a couple of folks walking by--propbably going to the beginning of the gardens--assume that they were from the hotel since no boat was in view---at the beginning the current was strong but just fine--everyone went ashore with Bruno since he was opening coconuts for all then the walk--before the walk back was always in the water--a few scrapes--John stepped on a sea urchin with his reef shoes and the quills or whatever they are came through the shoe and got him in the big toe--Looks like he'll live--when everyone was getting back into the boat--2 boats were ahchoring to the side of us next to the land--the pax seemed to be playing the waters edge--probably would have gone down to the gardens in time--we left and took the long ride to lunch--this is the spot where I've always been with Bruno--no one else there--we ate our lunch and then Bruno got into the water with the sharks etc--the same as always--after that we went to a vanilla farm that was different from where we had gone before--again--no other visitors were there--well--we weren't there long before it started raining buckets--over in a short time--some made purchases from the store--then we spent some time out by the reef--then back to the ship. This day was about 8-1/2 hours long--IT WAS A GREAT DAY--I would still recommend it highly--as I always have !!

 

Any questions--I'll answer if it's a easy question

 

Nancy:D:D

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John met Bruno at the fence last night about 10 pm to get the DVD's for those who ordered them--they're for sale for $35 USD--There were 4 couples that purchased them.

 

Nancy:D:D

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Thanks for the feedback Nancy. I'm wondering if maybe he changed up the order of things to avoid the crowds after the negative feedback a few weeks ago?

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Thanks for checking in Nancy. Sounds like Bruno has now switched things around a bit. Could be because of what we ran into last month (only guessing).

Since you had lunch at the same place as you did a couple of years ago and were satisfied, that sounds like it didn't change. We were expecting the nice little lunch on a private Motu as we had the first excursion (some years ago), which doesn't seem to exist anymore.

 

Glad to hear you didn't run into the other groups from the ship at the stops as we did, and let's hope Bruno finds a way in the future to also get around running into them at each stop. It makes it a lot nicer of a day when you aren't running into the ships excursions at each stop with crowds of other passengers.

 

Sorry to hear you had rain, but happy to hear you enjoyed the adventure.

For us, on our next visit, we will find other options. As I still feel that compared to other excursions, this did not meet anywhere close to some we took this past trip, or the ones prior.

 

Enjoy your last few days in Tahiti!

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Nancy,

Thanks so much for your report....does sound like Bruno changed up the order from what we did several years ago, but as long as you didn't have the crowds, to me that is better. Doesn't matter to me what order he does things in, as long as we have a wonderful time with less people. We can't wait to get back there.

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Nancy - thank you for the the post. It sounds like Bruno made some adjustments to avoid the crowds. :D

 

Glad to hear you enjoyed your experience. We plan to keep this tour on our list.

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Thanks Nancy;

 

Happy to hear you had a great excursion with Bruno.

 

Wish we were there too! :(

 

Dan

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Thanks, Nancy, for you explanation of Bruno's tour. It sounds like a great day (except for the rain) and I am so looking forward to it in just a weeks time. Can't wait!

 

Vette

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For those of you who have been on Bruno's tour - if you want to purchase vanilla from the vanilla farm or pearls, is it cash only? Do they take credit cards? If it is cash only is it USD or XFP or Euro's?

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

YaYa

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For those of you who have been on Bruno's tour - if you want to purchase vanilla from the vanilla farm or pearls, is it cash only? Do they take credit cards? If it is cash only is it USD or XFP or Euro's?

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

YaYa

 

Well---for sure the Pearl lady takes credit cards as of a few days ago--my guess would be cash of any form for the vanilla farm--I really don't know since I've never purchased from them--probably credit cards also

 

Nancy:D:D

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For those of you who have been on Bruno's tour - if you want to purchase vanilla from the vanilla farm or pearls, is it cash only? Do they take credit cards? If it is cash only is it USD or XFP or Euro's?

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

YaYa

 

While we were at the Vanilla farm, one in our group didn't bring enough XPF's to make their purchase, so I loaned them a couple of hundred to go with what they had. I am sure they had USD with them as they paid in USD for the tour. For some reason they needed to borrow the XPF's to have enough to make their purchase is all I know for sure. ;) I didn't look to see if there was a credit card machine, but I would doubt they had one at the Vanilla Farm.

We didn't make any purchases at the Vanilla farm as we had bought the exact same things they offered a few days prior at Le March (for less I might add). ;)

 

I agree with Seal, the Pearl farm takes just about any type of cash and for the prices I saw, they about have to take credit cards. Nobody carrys that much cash with them on a tour. :)

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For those of you who have been on Bruno's tour - if you want to purchase vanilla from the vanilla farm or pearls, is it cash only? Do they take credit cards? If it is cash only is it USD or XFP or Euro's?

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

YaYa

 

Just returned from Bruno last week. The coral gardens were fabulous but definitely drift snorkeling. I am a beginner and survived. I did buy a bunch of vanilla extract and beans from the farm and was able to use my credit card.

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Just did my second tour with Bruno. Went with Vette, Pennie and DeWayne a little over 2 years ago. He did change the order around somewhat from the previous outing.

 

This time we did the Coral Gardens first. Bruno explained we were going there first to avoid the ship tours. Last time the current was gentle and we bobbed along like corks. This time, the tide was coming in. Made it tough if you are not a strong swimmer (like me). I renamed it the "Turbo Flush" since I was rocketing along without much control. My cabin mate and I laughed ourselve silly that evening comparing it to the ships' plumbing and ourselves to what goes through it! :D No matter what - it is beautiful!

 

We initially stopped at a different pearl farm than the previous tour. We took Bruno aside and asked if we would be going to Champon Pearls. He said yes and we did as our last stop of the day. He likes the "seeding" demonstration at the new pearl farm. I would agree with him (having seen several demos).

 

Yes, different vanilla farm, but no ship tours while we were there. Personally, I liked the fact that they did have an assortment of vanilla related products for sale. And yes, they do take credit cards. The owner was very interesting to talk to. She had lived in U.S. and worked as a nurse. If you talk with her you will notice she speaks American English, not ESL English. Nice lady!

 

The lagoonarium was only different this time in how they served lunch. Last time it was family style on the table. Now it is buffet style on an adjacent table.

 

Champon Pearls was our last stop of the day. I really appreciate how Monique brings out her pearls, explains shapes and grades, then allows you to handle them and try on finished jewelry. (Unlike another tour I took which kept the pearls behind glass, did not allow you to handle anything and required a minimum purchase amount!) She never pushes you to buy. You feel as if you are a guest in her home. Really excellent quality and exceptional to deal with. I have no hesitation buying from the Champons. (yes, they take credit cards)

 

Personally, I really like Bruno. He was telling us he takes as many as 12 tours out a month. Let's face it, we can all zone out when we repeatedly do the same thing over and over. I feel that he genuinely tries to give you the best experience that he can. At the beginning of the day he made a point to ask if we needed to be back to the ship by a particular time. No one indicated they needed to get back, so he allowed us to take our time at each stop.

 

Enroute to the gardens Bruno spotted a large pod of dolphins and made several circles around them (never crowded them!) for us to get a good look. A small group of French tourists arrived at the lagoonarium while we were there. Several of us noticed how roughly their guide handled the fish in the pens when he brought them up for display. Bruno is always respectful of the fish when he shows them and makes every effort not to stress them.

 

Yes, I was disappointed that the current was so strong in the Coral Gardens this year, but overall it was a great day. When things don't go quite as expected I tell myself "It's just part of the adventure!" and what an adventure we had!

 

Cacky

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we did our 3rd tour with Bruno about a month ago--always enjoy the day--we stopped at the same Pearl farm as the first 2 times--he showed the planting of the oysters--sometimes there have been people working there--we went to visit in the house once again--I bought a very casual grouping of pearls--different shades on a cord that can be made shorter/longer--anyway there was a card inside and their email for looking at a catalog--if I had that information before I don't remember it--

 

There were a couple of other boats pulling up to the side of us against the shore when we were ready to leave the coral gardens--aside for that we were alone

 

Glad you enjoyed the trip!!

 

Nancy:D

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We are just back from the 2009 Grand Australia, NZ, and So. Pacific voyage on AMSTERDAM. We joined a privately arranged tour of CC'rs with Bruno on 13 October....(same tour Kween Karen was on and that she documented in her blog).

 

Of our entire 67 day voyage, this day with Bruno was one of the top three days we spent in any of the exotic ports we visited. We did the Pearl farm (with Monique), then the coral garden (OUTSTANDING!!!!), then lunch (buffet by the lagoonarium), then the vanilla farm (with Bryan).

 

No other tour groups were in sight, there were about six extra (local?) people at the lunch site, the current was manageable...we are good swimmers but rather neophyte snorkelers...it rained a bit on the way back to the ship (no big deal), we bought vanilla beans, etc. (credit cards accepted), we saw the pearl seeding process (fascinating). The coral garden was outstanding; we never ever expected we would ever be doing anything like that and seeing the wondrous marine cratures that were there. There is WOW factor at work here.

 

My recommendation...book with Bruno as soon as you know you are going; he only has capacity for about 12 people. I got my money's worth and it exceeded my expectations. I'd do it again for that coral garden alone.

 

I hope this helps,

Bob

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How much do the Pearls cost?

Depends totally on the pearl--go with Bruno and you'll get a great education on pearls

 

Nancy:D:D

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BTW,

Last week, we retrieved our two months plus worth of mail and in there was the DVD we purchased from Bruno of our day's adventure. It was a slide show with fades and zooms, etc. Bruno had a great camera and the photos bear this out. Great underwater shots at the coral garden and a lot of pictures of the DW and myself mixed in with some of our fellow tour companions. I can't be sure but I think the photos were selected with us specifically in mind in that there were many shots of us alone and not so many of the other folks. Until I check for some feedback from some of the other tourmates, I can't be sure it was a customized disk. If it was, that's fabulous and it made the trip all that much more memorable in retrospect.

Bob

 

Oh, and the pearls were not inexpensive...you get what you pay for...some of these were spectacular and looked to be well worth the asking prices. Don't kid yourself, there is NOTHING inexpensive in French Polynesia...this is not a third world colony.

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