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caneable

10 days in October - very long review coming up

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You're definitely not alone Caneable! Many folks are reading your chronicles. Nicely done.

 

Quick question about your excursion on Huahine. Was this a ship tour or private? I've read fabulous things about Paul Atallah but can't find an e-mail or website. Any contact info that you can share? Thanks again for your great reports.

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Loved reading your reviews of all the reports, some of those we've been to and others we'd now like to visit! Thank you so much for taking the time and writing the detaisl of your wonderful cruise. Enjoy and travel home safely.

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On the same cruise as Bridgemates will be and I will be writing as well. I'm glad you said that about how nice it is to know that someone is reading. I will feel the same way too after taking the time to share! Thank you for writing!

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Caneable, I just read your CC published review & learned that your Huahine trip was with Princess. Bummer! Oh well, I'd still appreciate any contact info you may have. Cheers.

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An early start this morning to enable us to get over to port and secure our snorkelling trip with Arriette and Natur. It proved to be a great choice. We began by sailing out to the edge of the reef where we lay anchor. Natur climbed into the water with a bucket of fish food and proceeded to spread it on the water. Initially only smaller fry were attracted but they were soon followed by stingrays and reef shark. Natur then played out a rope line from the boat and invited us down into the water.

We all donned snorkelling gear and enjoyed the yellows, blacks, blues and greys of the fish shimmering in the immediate area. Then we moved over to the line and took a place on it. The stingrays began to glide back and forth beneath us! Next the reef sharks darted from side to side ahead of us! It was brilliant! We had various small fish up to a foot in length, 3 to 4 foot long rays and 5 foot long reef sharks swimming around us enjoying the snacks that Natur had laid out for them, all the while trusting that we weren’t on the menu!

Next it was Arriette’s turn to beckon us to follow her as she lead the way across a coral garden. Once again this was another great sight with yellows, browns, lilacs and pinks among the corals. Within them dark clams were embedded with their wavy blue and green flashes. The coral plants took on all manner of shapes and features as we passed above them, all the time surrounded by a wondrous array of small fish in vivid colours. Some were quite unnerved and almost quizzical while others darted from the safety of the shadows or lurked in lower corners. We probably swam around 100 metres across the reef before turning and enjoying the reprise on the return swim to the boat.

Here Natur was still having great fun with the rays and in no time at all, all hell was let loose. He got the stingrays in a most playful mood as they slopped and slid over and around us. I left the water and grabbed the camera so that I could take some shots of Joan playing with the rays and then she did the same for me. She then got the video camera to shoot a bit of footage before I swapped places again.

The rays were everywhere. It was like having a slimy, slippery table cloth set before you. They would just clamber straight over one another and over us if we happened to be peering down at the smaller fish in the water. At one point Joan got quite overwhelmed with attention, beat a retreat to the stepladder and was nipped on the bum as she climbed up!

After quite some time at this site we climbed back into the boat and made our way across the bay to a deep water snorkel site nearer to the main island. We weren’t sure whether to venture in at first but inquisitiveness got the better of us and we took a look. Another good decision! There were several different species of fish here with white, yellow and bronze colours evident. Among the rocks, corals and clams, sea urchins lurked in gaps and cracks with fierce foot long spikes protruding. Again, it all made for a fascinating seascape and I made a mental note to look into the idea of a waterproof video camera for future use.

From here we took off on a boat trip around Bora Bora, and Arriette and Natur provided us with drinks and food. The twin mountain peaks of Pahia and Otemanu dominate the view wherever you are and we took many pictures of the different angle scenes. The reefs are also interesting with their overwater bungalows and resort hotels. We saw a variety of local settlements, a World War 2 gun emplacement and the Bora Bora airport. Some of this we had seen the day before on our land trip, but it was interesting to get another perspective. We landed at a private motu towards the end of our trip and spent time wandering around the water’s edge spying shells, fish and other marine features.

A sharp blast on a conch shell told us that Arriette and Natur were ready to move on so reluctantly we boarded one more time for the final leg of our excursion.

All in all we had been out for about 5 hours and had an exciting and fascinating time. It was a super experience and we were very well looked after. Natur always made sure that we were safely in bounds, whilst Arriette was very attentive to the less confident or less comfortable swimmers in the group. They had plenty of snorkelling gear on board for the whole party and the fruit and bottled water never ran out. There wasn’t a great deal of commentary, but that mattered little to us as we’d gained a lot of information on the land tour the day before and it was fun trying to pick out landmarks and other elements of that trip. You don’t need to do both trips to enjoy Bora Bora, but if you are minded to do so I would suggest that our order was, fortuitously for us, the best way to go.

Back at Royal Princess we spent an hour on the sun deck (as if we hadn’t had enough!) and then got ourselves ready to go to the second formal evening meal. Tonight’s choices were a vegetable pate and a mango and apricot smoothie to set me rolling, while Joan ordered prawn, crab and shrimp salad and chicken and vegetable broth. We both chose lobster and king prawn as our main and then I finished off with a warm papaya soufflé with vanilla sauce, while Joan had Tiramisu ice cream.

After dinner we joined the Captain’s Circle reception and this lead into the evening show. This was a performance of Motown hits by the ship’s singers and dancers. Once again the energy and enthusiasm of the troupe was much in evidence and Luke Sabatino’s vocal abilities again came to the fore.

For some reason, after we left the show, we decided to have a game of table tennis (sun stroke?) on the way to the buffet. Crazy if only because we were still decked out in our formal night finery. Amazingly, we weren’t alone! Bora Boring it was not.

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Hi all, Am back in the land of the living and will resume my report from here. Glad you found your answer MQ even though it wasn't that much help. I have got a contact with somebody who was on the Huahuine Maera Maeva trip with us and will see if he can shed more light. Will post some kind of response later in the week.

Steve

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Caneable, it was interesting to read your CC member review of the ship, especially in contrast to your comments here on the ports. I'm glad the magic of FP trumped everything else. I'll be watching & waiting for further reports! Thanks again.

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Our final day coincided with our 35th wedding anniversary and had been planned as part of our celebrations. Sadly part of those plans had been scuppered early in the cruise and it was no real surprise when this day’s excursion turned out to be a turkey!

There was no mad rush to start the day as we didn’t need to meet our tour until 8:45, so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. Any thought we might have had about an idyllic motu picnic was soon dashed when we realised that there were going to be well over 50 people on the excursion. The trip was scheduled to last 5 hrs but well over two were spent getting the 5 miles to and from the island as the guide took the opportunity to introduce us to elements of Moorea along the way. That in itself wasn’t a problem; we love to soak that stuff up. However, because they had no loudspeakers on board they had to cut the engines every time he had something to say.

On arriving at the island a stingray feeding demo was arranged but we decided to skip it, along with many others, and made our way out into the water. We probably had an hour to snorkel and saw many different fish with parrotfish among the newer species. We were snorkelling in a channel about 100 yards wide between two islands. There was a noticeable current passing through and it took us a while to sort out adjustments so that we could swim just where we wanted. Consequently it was some time before we got into the deep water, but it was most rewarding given the variety, size and colours of fish out there.

Lunch was a rather unappealing barbecue and certainly couldn’t be construed as a picnic, more of a canteen as we lined up either side of a serving area. This was followed by a demonstration of how to open a coconut. Some people just went back into the water though we preferred to let our meals settle by which time it was time to return on a slow chug.

It was a very disappointing excursion following so many good experiences. One wonders why Princess are prepared to put their name to such an overpriced, ill-prepared and poorly presented activity. But then again, it was the last day.

Before the final meal of the cruise we went along to the Royal Lounge for our last gathering of Cruise Critic Roll Call. It’s been great fun meeting up with a lovely bunch of people and sharing time with them and we must thank them for their camaraderie.

The final meal was no great finale. The staff tried to make a big deal of serving Baked Alaska and the clientele seemed to follow suit. But, come on folks, it’s only ice cream. And frankly this one was a pretty unappetising slab of gunk when it arrived at my place.

Right at the end of the meal our waiter brought out a chocolate cake for us to share with our table mates and they sang “Happy Anniversary” to us which was very nice

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All things must pass and so today we returned to Papeete. Actually, we came back last night, but amidst the excitement I forgot to record it! Most passengers had a fair wait ahead of them for flights or check in at a local hotel and Princess allowed us to stay on board. It did mean that things got a bit crowded at lunch but it was a very much appreciated gesture by Princess and clearly better than hanging around on the dockside for hours in the roasting sun and the sudden downpour!

It gave us another chance to run into Papeete and change some more cash and to check out where we would have to collect our car for the next day. We also popped into a local supermarket and were able to confirm that, if all else failed, we would be able to afford to survive on bread and water for the next few days!

Back at Royal Princess we made our way to the sun deck to catch a few more rays, get lunch at the buffet and say a few last fond farewells. With that it was down to disembarkation, along the dock, into a taxi and onto another chapter of life! In this case it was to check in at the Radisson Plaza in Arue, our base for the next four days. We didn’t really expect our room to be ready and it wasn’t but the manager came out and offered us a later check-out time by way of apology! We were staggered as we hadn’t offered a word of complaint. It was a very nice gesture on the part of Radisson. While we waited we caught up on e-mail before going up to our room. Once again we were very pleased with the room set up, so we unpacked, changed and went down to the pool for a late afternoon dip. We’d loaded up on food at lunch so didn’t feel the need for a meal in the evening, but spent our time planning the following days’ circle island tours of Tahiti and Moorea. We then settled back to consider our cruise experience over the past ten days.

As I've already shared my thoughts on the review section, I won't repeat them now, only to say that three or four weeks reflecting whilst compiling this report hasn't altered my mind greatly. I do think I should have rated the entertainment a little higher than I did as Princess deserve credit for the Tahitian shows arranged on board and I didn't really consider that in my original comments. I do also wonder whether my comments also reflect the impact of crossing two ponds to get to Tahiti et al. It's a $10K+ trip from the UK and for that outlay you don't expect to have many grumbles. On the other hand I can see that there's an element of chalk and cheese in the big v small ship argument. To repeat myself again, it's the destination that counts, not the vehicle, and I trust that these pages show that we thoroughly enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience. Anyway, it wasn't over yet as we had a couple of days car hire to go, so I'll include those even though technically they weren't part of the cruise.

Steve

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caneable-Thanks for the review, it was very interesting, especially since we have done this sailing on one of the small ships several times now.

 

I have to admit, the small ships aren't for everyone. We adore them, and everything about them. No lines, personalized service, smaller venues onboard, nice alternate restaurants, very good menu choices, nice cabin layouts, very friendly crew (I could go on and on). But I have heard some onboard that were very unhappy when they saw what these smaller ships had to offer.

So, happy you enjoyed the itinerary, and it is nice there is a choice for those who don't like the smaller ship cruises. There are many mega monster ships out there now that seem to be more to the liking of some passengers. Although we don't like them at all. As said, it is nice there are choices in itineary as well as the size of ship to cruise on.;)

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We had arranged to hire a car for today so at 8’ o’clock we boarded the hotel shuttle and made our way down town to collect it at the Vaima Centre on the waterfront. The office was open and the car was ready so in no time at all we were on the road. We had noticed a Carrefour supermarket on our way into town and so that was our first port of call for picnic provisions for the next three days. The bill for bread, butter, ham, salad, beer and water plus a few other bits and bobs came to just over 5000FXP (or just around £40). It’s not cheap here!

We returned to the hotel, deposited our goodies, had some breakfast, prepared the days picnic and set off.

After a false start when we discovered that it’s not possible to stop atop One Tree Hill and take in Tahiti’s north coast, we made our way to Pointe Venus. The area has a charming little park around a river entering the sea and there are several monuments giving testament to Tahiti’s history in western eyes. One monument lists the ship’s company of the Bounty on her original landing here. Another plots the arrival of Europeans across the South Pacific. In the middle of the park stands a tall, square lighthouse designed by Robert Louis Stevenson’s father. While we were there a school party were visiting and the teacher explained to me the importance of the children understanding their local history – a view I applaud entirely. The park has restrooms, a craft market and refreshments and is against a reasonably broad black sand beach with views to Papeete and Moorea.

We drove on down the eastern coast taking time to drive up the Papenoo Valley. We had intended driving up as far as the hotel deep in the valley, but the presence of heavy earthmoving equipment to carry out work and the muddy surface left after overnight rain deterred us and we opted to view the valley and river from safer terrain. Just beyond this point we were intrigued to see a group of Douane (customs) officers stood on a promontory looking out to sea – at least they missed my stash!

Another few miles on we reached the Arehoho Blowholes at a headland where the road skirts the very base of the cliffs. Here waves pound into the headland and the neighbouring bay. Over time the sea has bored fissures into the rock and the air is forced through them by the onrushing waves to cause an expulsion of compressed air with the force of a small steam engine out of holes beside the road. It’s quite intriguing when the sound emits from holes on the landside of the road!

Just past the blowholes we took another road inland to make our way towards the Faarumai waterfalls. It’s an interesting road as it takes you through a rustic village up to a car park where a notice board relates the Tahitian legend surrounding the formation of the falls. The lowest Vaimahuta Fall is the easiest to reach and we made our way there. The early morning rain had clearly helped the waterfall’s flow and several rivulets of water cascaded down the rock face to the pool below before spilling into the valley stream. It’s a very pretty sight marred only by the local mozzies, at least one of which succeeded in penetrating the back of my shirt.

From here we continued our coast drive through various small settlements. The road had now become much quieter and frequent photo / video stops were much easier to negotiate. An especially attractive view from a bridge near a river's mouth to the seatook in the Faatautia Valley beneath its peaks and cascades . The houses have more space down here and several have most attractive gardens. We sensed that there was a little more money in this part of the island.

We’d thoroughly enjoyed the morning drive but hunger pangs were beginning to set in with no buffet in sight! It was getting past 1pm and decision time loomed – Tahiti Iti or noti? Sadly, time constraints won out so we never got to the Belvedere Point to view both sides of Tahiti Nui. That said a huge cloud had descended and rain was threatening so we reasoned that there was prudent sense in our decision. Consequently, we shot across the isthmus and parked up at the side of Phaiton Bay to eat our picnic lunch.

Once back on the road we headed around the southern end of Tahiti Nui where there is a wide coastal tract of flat land which is heavily cultivated. Just about every house seems to have its own little kiosk selling home-grown produce, reminiscent of the British Cotswolds. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be about and as there was no honesty box, or sign of prices, we decided now was not the time for scrumping (that’s English colloquial for taking fruit!)

After a little confusion ( I overshot the runway!) we found the Paul Gauguin museum further along the road. As the museum is undergoing current renovations they offered reduced admission, but frankly they shouldn’t charge at all! It is a valuable learning post for local students and a lot of work is going into the place but frankly there’s little you couldn’t find from any reasonable paperback about the artist. A number of panels reflect different periods of his life but the only one I found to be of interest covers his late teens as a sailor. There are some interesting sketch book displays which get you in contact with the power of the artist but all of the paintings are either block prints or copies, although some of these are very good. However, my overriding view was that this is a place just cashing in and took my leave.

Down the road a very small piece we came across the Jardin Vaipehi, which proved a massive contrast. You park, walk through the gate and enjoy. You don’t pay a penny! And it’s beautiful! OK it’s a bit ramshackle because they probably haven’t got the finance to keep on top of it. SO CHARGE US! There’s a lovely collection of tropical plants of varying hues and textures and, once again, a pretty waterfall provides a backdrop to the whole site. An interpretive board suggests that there are three paths of varying difficulty through the estate, but we could only get onto the simple one, which suited us – no comments thank you!

Next stop was the Maraa Grotto and again repair work meant that only the smaller of the two grottoes was visible. I tried to scramble up slopes for a sneak peak but to no avail.

Soon after this the heavens opened. It had threatened for most of the day and boy did it deliver! Suddenly everybody was on the road moving slowly and we sensed our journey coming to an abrupt end. We decided to cut our losses and head into Papeete to return the car safe and sound. Incidentally, we’d hired a Renault Twingo for the day. It always looks a tiny thing in adverts but it coped well with my 6ft 2 frame and was very comfortable to drive even on the wrong side of the road with a stick shift!

So we returned home to our hotel via the shuttle with fond memories of our day. As ever the Polynesia landscape mesmerises but the sight of flowers, fruit and vegetables on roadside stalks will be a constant memory together with the friendliness of the many locals encountered along the way.

Being either very good or very tight we opted for an enjoyable chicken salad washed down by beer or wine before retiring to consider plans for tomorrow’s drive on Moorea.

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Caneable

Again thank you for your wonderful description that brings the beauty of Tahiti to life for us.

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Woke up to another dull day and soon found it to be raining forcefully. Just after 7 it cleared up and we made our preparations for visiting Moorea. First stop the hotel’s free shuttle into town and then down to the ferry terminal and our first disappointment. The ferry service is less frequent as we’re into winter timetable and we have to use Aremiti Ferries. This means that we have to return at 2:30pm (too early) or 4:45pm (too late). Then it turns out that the fare on the net is locals only and we have to stump up an extra 1500XFP not budgeted for.

When we arrive at Moorea there’s another sting waiting when we learn that its company policy to charge 500XFP on the same car, same website and same day booked as the car we used the day before. Another go figure moment. But we’re in the car and on our way if not a little uncertain as clouds are low and there’s a consistency about the sky which can only be described as grey. An uphill drive takes us to an overlook with a good view of the Sofitel below, although Tahiti is no more than a distant blur. As promised by the guide books the north coast to Cook’s Bay is a hive of shopping activity. We stop at one point and come across a little boutique called Carol’s which, for my money, has probably the most original arts, crafts and textile works we’ve seen in Polynesia.

As we approach Cook’s Bay I’m anticipating tranquillity, but no, Paul Gauguin cruises are in and the tents and tour organisers seem to be doing good trade. Sad to say for the passengers that those amazing views of the surrounding mountains enjoyed by ourselves earlier in the week are obscured by cloud with just a hint here and there of what they’re missing. We head on round the bay stopping to take in the views until we come to the Fruit Juices Factory.

The local cops don’t hang out in donut stores on Moorea, they hang out in the Juice Factory, and they ain’t drinking coffee. Still that’s no comfort to me as I’ve already downed three free samples of punch and now I find they’ve parked their van right next to mine. Really officer, I swear I honestly didn’t know those fruit punches had some rum in them, but they are yummy aren’t they? Hey, you should know you’ve had more than me! No, I never got to try that line out, but neither did I get my - kicked either!

We followed the road out of Cook’s Bay and round into Opunohu Bay where we headed towards the branch road up to the Belvedere Lookout. The view was there but without the sun it just didn’t look right. Back down the hill we stopped for more photographs across the bay. That’s when we saw the storm from Hades roaring across the bay straight at us! We dived back into the car and waited and waited and waited and waited for it to pass. Now everywhere was thoroughly soaked with huge puddles across the road. It was hard to concentrate on our position on the island and before I knew it we had overshot our ill fated motu and Tiki Village.

By now we were into the south west corner and well aware that this was an area of some prosperity, lovely bays and beaches and, probably, a landscape to die for except that you couldn’t see it! instead we turned our attention to the amazing pipeline waves out on the reef. We found a parking spot on the road just above a little garden facing out to sea. A good enough place for a picnic even if there was no chance of sitting out of the car.

Once again we were facing decision time; hot foot it back to the ferry or retrace our steps in the hope of the weather improving, but one look at the sky made our minds up. That’ll be the 2:30 ferry then.

We still had time for more photos along the way back but got in in plenty of time, did the returning car business and clambered aboard the ferry. It hadn’t quite been the day that we’d hoped for but what can you do when the weather turns that nasty? C’est la vie. It’s given us a chance to get a flavour of Moorea and what all the fuss is about. At least now we know why it is better to head there instead of Papeete.

Did I mention that it rained today? I only ask because on return to Papeete I was reminded of an old Paul McCartney song “Mamunia” from “Band on the Run” which has the line “you’ve never felt the rain my friend till you’ve felt it running down your back.” Well we got what we British refer to technically as thoroughly p*** wet through! Boy did it rain as we walked through those Papeete streets. And those streets didn’t have arcades. We trudged along with our hotel towels draped over head and shoulders. I kept edging 5 yards ahead of Joan and we must have looked like a couple of terrorists! Thank goodness the local cops were still in the juice factory! The rain soaked the colour out of a carrier bag Joan was carrying and in no time the back of her calves had turned blue! I suppose I got off quite lightly but I found out what Macca meant.

We were relieved to be back at the hotel but less so when we realised that we needed to pack as we would leave tomorrow.

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Almost time to leave. We jumped aboard the shuttle one more time for a last look at Papeete. It really is an unattractive place behind that waterfront facade. It’s a heaving mass of shops, offices, bars and restaurants few of which demand detailed inspection. We did find one outstanding pareo shop in the Vaima centre next to the jewellers that doubles as the local Europcar hire office. All of the pareos are individually painted and come with an appropriate price tag. Starting at 2500XFP they soon leap over the 5000 mark once you look at the better quality fabrics. That said, they are very attractive and you will look unique.

One last look round the market, the only true attraction in town, where a group of local crafts people were making palm baskets, hats and fans, shell jewellery and wood carvings. In addition the flowers were looking fantastic as ever. Halloween was very much in evidence with all manner of orange and black on display.

Back to the Radisson to pack and make ourselves ready for the start of the long trek. Of itself we didn’t find the hotel at all bad. Both in the public areas and rooms it’s spacious and attractively furnished. The gardens are very well planted and maintained and the swimming pool is large enough to allow paddlers, loungers and light recreational swimming. The morning and afternoon free shuttle, while only running twice a day, is helpful and drops off at an easily distinguishable point in Papeete which is central for most purposes.

The staff are very polite, informed and helpful and go out of their way to assist where they can. For example, we were concerned about our luggage weight for the return journey and asked if they had bathroom scales available for us to check it. When we returned to our room later in the day, the scales were there. On our original arrival at the hotel our room wasn’t ready so by way of an apology the manager extended our checkout from 11am to 4pm.

The only drawbacks are the cost of the restaurants, a consistent theme throughout Polynesia it seems, and the hotel’s distance from town.. While you can eat cheaper in town, it entails a 2000XFP taxi fare or an extremely long walk at night. That fare would certainly negate the savings eating at a roulotte or any other cheaper alternative. For us the pounding of the waves on the shore created a much too early wake up call, but there’s not much the hotel can do about that, and it’s a lot cheaper than an overwater bungalow!

For people looking for an overnight stay before or after a cruise it’s a good bet. You can manage easily for a few nights either side too, but longer may cause the downsides to become more significant if you don’t have your own transport.

Come 6 it’s time to say goodbye to Tahiti. We make our way to the airport and then it’s 8 less than comfortable hours to LA with unimpressive food and entertainment. I got some sleep but Joan didn’t.

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And finally.

It's now over a month since the cruise came to its end, but it still seems like yesterday. I think that's something to do with having put this review together, whilst battling through 1000s of photgraphs and hours of video tape, but it does mean that I can have one last detached look at our experience. So what are my abiding memories?

Blue, tons of it, in rippling bands across the lagoons and out on the bays. The water is so beautiful and we only went into the populated part!

Fish, the radiant twinkle of so many species of fish dancing before our eyesdrawing our attention and ensuring that our snorkel gear will be packed for our next trip!

Skylines, the sheer drama of the central summits of Bora Bora and the hilltops around Cook's Bay are stunning and, for me, set the French Polynesian apart from other island groups visited and will ensure that I never forget this special landscape.

Flowers, so important in Polynesian life and so welcome in ours. Wherever we went there seemed to be a constant backdrop of vivid colour and the floral element was often to the fore.

Friendliness, I really have to work hard at trying to remember anyone who was rude or disrespectful in any part of our journey. To be honest it's hard to remember anyone who was disinterested. To this I've got to add our acquaintances from the Cruise Critic Roll Call, so many of whom we got the chance to chat with around ship, on tours or just around port. If you are reading this stuff and have never joined a roll call, I earnestly encourage you to do so.

I'm sure I could go on, but that'll do there.

To you dear reader, thank you for taking the trouble to spend time on this journey with me. I know there will have been bits where you disagreed with me, but hopefully there will be many where I re-acquainted you with a special past memory or hinted at a future trip. However you go, go safely and happy cruising.

Steve

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And finally.

It's now over a month since the cruise came to its end, but it still seems like yesterday. I think that's something to do with having put this review together, whilst battling through 1000s of photographs and hours of video tape, but it does mean that I can have one last detached look at our experience. So what are my abiding memories?

Blue, tons of it, in rippling bands across the lagoons and out on the bays. The water is so beautiful and we only went into the populated part!

Fish, the radiant twinkle of so many species of fish dancing before our eyesdrawing our attention and ensuring that our snorkel gear will be packed for our next trip!

Skylines, the sheer drama of the central summits of Bora Bora and the hilltops around Cook's Bay are stunning and, for me, set the French Polynesian apart from other island groups visited and will ensure that I never forget this special landscape.

Flowers, so important in Polynesian life and so welcome in ours. Wherever we went there seemed to be a constant backdrop of vivid colour and the floral element was often to the fore.

Friendliness, I really have to work hard at trying to remember anyone who was rude or disrespectful in any part of our journey. To be honest it's hard to remember anyone who was disinterested. To this I've got to add our acquaintances from the Cruise Critic Roll Call, so many of whom we got the chance to chat with around ship, on tours or just around port. If you are reading this stuff and have never joined a roll call, I earnestly encourage you to do so.

I'm sure I could go on, but that'll do there.

To you dear reader, thank you for taking the trouble to spend time on this journey with me. I know there will have been bits where you disagreed with me, but hopefully there will be many where I re-acquainted you with a special past memory or hinted at a future trip. However you go, go safely and happy cruising.

Steve

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Steve - it has been very enjoyable reading this thread. Your wonderful writing style was a joy to read and really brought back what we experienced in vivid detail and gives future passengers a flavor for what lies ahead.

 

Thanks for taking the time to share your travel story. Kimberly

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Steve - Thank you for the detailed review. It brought back fond memories of my husband's and my land trip to French Polynesia.

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Hi Karen and MsYukon

Glad to see that I've got somebody reading along! Thank you both for your kind comments. With regards to your queries Karen, the previous two dance shows were the first night at Papeete and just before Sailaway from Huahine. Neither were really well attended, but for my money the Papeete show was the best of all that we saw.

The motu tour is a bit of a struggle. The young woman at the tour did give me an e-mail address which hasn't come to light yet, and I don't recall the names. However, I got the idea that the independent tour operators on Raiatea have individual booths in the visitors centre beside the cruise dock. If you go in through the door facing the ship and turn to the first booth on your left you should meet two ladies, one young and her grandmother, who take bookings. I hope that's enough to point you in the right direction!

 

Hi again.

Would you happen to remember approximately what time the show took place?

Thanks for all of your help!

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Hi Karen

Happy New Year!

Sorry it took me a few days to catch up, but I've only come back here a couple of times and thought things had come to an end. The two dance shows - well we were on first sitting dining so I would guess that the evening deck show at Papeete was about 9:30 but wouldn't swear to it, it could have been later. The Huahine show was RIGHT before sail away as the dancers had to get off ship and be tendered back to shore before we left so I would guess the show to have started around 5 or possibly just before.

Bleary but I hope that helps... maybe there's someone out there with a better memory?

Cheers

Steve

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Thanks Steve!

Happy New Year to you also.

We are on a B2B that starts in Hawaii. We were thinking of spending the overnight that would be the first day in Tahiti instead in an over the water bungalow in Moorea. It would be pretty expensive .Since I love the dance shows I think we'll save the $$ and just spend the day in Moorea and come back to the ship for the night.

Edited by chamima

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Very enjoyable review. Great reading ....do you have the FP flu?

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Thanks for sharing. We are considering this cruise for 2013 and your information was very helpful!

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