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In your opinion what are the best islands to cruise of the Pacific Islands...

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if you have never cruise the Pacific Islands before? What cruiseline? And what time of year is the best to cruise weatherwise?

 

Thank you so much!!

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The best cruiseline Paul Gauguin cruises.

I like September but honestly have been at other times of the year and they have all been good. April -May- June can be windy.

 

My favourites are the societies and tuamotus but the cooks are pretty good too.

 

For a first timer I would suggest the PG 10 day itinerary as it gives you a nice mix of islands.

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The best cruiseline Paul Gauguin cruises.

I like September but honestly have been at other times of the year and they have all been good. April -May- June can be windy.

 

My favourites are the societies and tuamotus but the cooks are pretty good too.

 

For a first timer I would suggest the PG 10 day itinerary as it gives you a nice mix of islands.

 

 

Thanks for the information but are there any cruises from the U.S. that would be a good mix of the islands?

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Thanks for the information but are there any cruises from the U.S. that would be a good mix of the islands?

 

You could try Princess Cruises. They have a smaller ship that regularly cruises from Tahiti to Honolulu or Honolulu to Sydney Aust.

HAL , RCI & Celebrity also do some South Pacific Island from Australia.

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We have been fortunate to sail on the Paul Gauguin twice, once out of Tahiti round trip including the Cook Islands and recently from Australia to Tahiti stopping in New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the French Polynesian islands. We also did a 6 night cruise on the Blue Laggon ship (50 passenger) which was based in Fiji.

 

IMHO any cruise which begins in the States (California or Hawaii) by necessity has a lot of sea days just to get to the South Pacific. I think this is really a waste of time as you would be better to have more time on the islands. If you have time to take off from your personal life than I would combine a cruise which begins in French Polynesia with a land based vacation.

 

While Paul Gauguin is the only cruise ship based in Tahiti, Oceania and Princess do visit these islands and I believe you can embark on a cruise, depending upon their itenerary, from Tahiti.

 

Most of the South Pacific Islands are pretty small and the Princess and Oceania ships may inundate an island due to the number of passengers on board. The Paul Gauguin, at 330 passengers, seems to me to be the "right size" for the region. The PG is also considered a higher end ship and is all inclusive.

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For all South Pacific islands the key thing is this: choose the smallest ship you are happy with. The big 2000+ passenger ships are not well-suited to these tiny islands. The Paul Gauguin seems to be liked by almost everyone and I think probably French Polynesia is a good starting point for most people and the islands are probably the most scenic in the entire region. They are quite touristy, though, and politically part of Europe, so there is little or no Polynesian culture of tradition surviving. For that reason the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and parts of Tonga are more rewarding on a cultural level.

 

One final thing: if you take a ship from the USA you will spend most of your time at sea and see nothing for days on end. So fly out to Tahiti.

Edited by Fletcher

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For all South Pacific islands the key thing is this: choose the smallest ship you are happy with. The big 2000+ passenger ships are not well-suited to these tiny islands. The Paul Gauguin seems to be liked by almost everyone and I think probably French Polynesia is a good starting point for most people and the islands are probably the most scenic in the entire region. They are quite touristy, though, and politically part of Europe, so there is little or no Polynesian culture of tradition surviving. For that reason the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and parts of Tonga are more rewarding on a cultural level.

 

One final thing: if you take a ship from the USA you will spend most of your time at sea and see nothing for days on end. So fly out to Tahiti.

 

I think Princess uses the Sea Princess for the cruise from Hawaii to Tahiti.

It is one of there smaller ships .

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I think Princess uses the Sea Princess for the cruise from Hawaii to Tahiti.

It is one of there smaller ships .

 

The Sea Princess can have as many as 1950 passengers! That's enormous, far far too big for these islands, in my view. Just imagine that many people getting off a ship like that on a tiny island like Bora Bora. A nightmare. The Paul Gauguin has about 350 passengers which is about right. My trips in the South Pacific have been on the Orion and the Clipper Odyssey, both about 50 cabins and 100 passengers. They are very expensive, far more expensive than the big ships, but perfectly suited to these waters.

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I dont think that the PG is too touristy. In fact I think that it is the one ship that brings the culture onboard in the form of the Gauginnes - Tahaitian hostesses who sing dance and tell of the ancient traditions. They also bring local troupes on board as well .

 

The pG also has an archeologist/anthropologist on board who is extremely interesting and sometimes an art historian who talks about the region and its influence on impressionism etc.

Finally if you are more interested in under the sea then the PG has cruises where Jean Michel Cousteau comes on board to lead the diving and also lectures.

 

Its easier for the pG to go into the Lagoons- for example in rangiroa larger ships dock outside the Lagoon.

 

Another plus for the PG is Motu Mahana a beach day with snorkelling, barbecue, kayaks and other activities.

 

I guess you can tell by this that I am a PG fan - after 6 trips completed with 2 booked and and a third in the works it does show!

 

If you havent booked then Flightmedic or myself can refer you to give you an OBC!

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I think they meant that the area of French Polynesia is touristy because it has ties to Europe. It could be further from the truth. This ship knows the islands and the culture and brings it too you with a wealth of information and the right ports for a small ship.

I have done the 7 day Society Islands and now am doing the 11 day Fiji, Cook, Tonga and Society.

It is an experience you will never forget, next to the Galapagos Islands I have not enjoyed something that I could not wait to repeat.

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I love Vanuatu, particularly Mystery Island which is uninhabited but they will come in and set up markets from the neighbouring islands.

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If you're doing the Pacific Islands I'd recommend a departure from Sydney. Most of the ones departing from the states are from Hawaii and you don't get to see as many islands.

 

I've been once with RCI and loved it! We went in February and it was just wonderful. Really beautiful, a bit rainy but honestly, who cares? Sometimes it was beautifully sunny and other times rainy but the weather was always lovely and warm.

 

I personally loved Lifou. We had some really incredible experiences there and the reef was amazing.

 

Vila is good in terms of the depth and breadth of excursions that are on offer, but it is rather overpriced.

 

Fiji was great for shopping but you have to be careful with which ports you choose to go shopping in. Fiji is not an unspoiled tropical paradise. Parts of it are, but they're usually 30-40 mins by boat or drive away from the port. I'd recommend Jack's for all your Pacific souvenir shopping. Much better than Vila. Much more interesting items. I have an amazing pearl from there and boyfriend and I had an absolute blast in the store itself.

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I've cruised French Polynesia several times and on different ships. IMHO the Paul Gauguin is on the very top. Many of the reasons have already been mentioned so no need to say it again, just wanted you to hear it from someone that has experienced it from different ships.

 

Best time to go is probably September or May. June - August is the busiest time, November - April is the most hot and humid.

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We have cruised to Hawaii and then to French Polynesia on the Rhapsody. Wonderful cruise, but we enjoy lots of sea days with fabulous islands to visit.

 

If you don't want to make the long flight to Tahiti or Sydney first (assuming from the US), then I suggest you look at Princess. They have Los Angeles roundtrip to Hawaii, American Samoa, and French Polynesia.

 

We are going back again, and Moorea and Bora Bora are my favorites. I truly enjoyed wandering around in the markets. I saw fruits and veggies I've never seen before in my life! We also loved our motu snorkeling tour, but next time we are going on our own a little bit more.

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The first time my husband and I were there, we were on the Tahitian Princess (only 600 passengers), and it was great. The Tahitian Princess is no longer. We did the Marquesas (I had done the Cook prior with my Mother). Both are fabulous.

 

We loved it so much, we are going back this February on Oceana's Marina (1200) passengers. Of course, we LOVE Oceania. We sail from Papeete again to Raiatea, Bora Bora, Apia, Pago Pago, Lautoka, Suva, Luganville, Noumea, Isle of Pines, Bay of Islands (New Zealand), Tauranga and into Auckland. What a fabulous itinerary.

 

The PG comes with high recommendations as well from a number of our friends.

 

Whatever you do, enjoy the beautiful waters, sea life, and don't forget to take advantage of the cost for black pearls. My jeweler was so so impressed with my purchase. I brought them back and had a drop & earrings made. Of course, we had to go back so I could get more for a bracelet (not sure my husband is buying that excuse). :rolleyes:

Edited by spindrift

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I think Princess uses the Sea Princess for the cruise from Hawaii to Tahiti.

It is one of there smaller ships .

 

Not sure I would put Sea Princess in the small ship catagory at around 1900 passengers. Ocean Princess is only 600+ passengers and I believe the smallest catagory ship they operate. I know it does Tahiti at certain times of the year so you might check that out.

 

PG (300+ passengers) seems to be the overwhelming winner on these boards in terms of number one pick to sail the south pacific. But...it may be out of many people's budget so the smaller ships from larger carriers may be a more feasible option. Even though they are bigger than PG, they aren't the ginanormous mega ships that many of the large operators are using.

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Though it is nice to have a balcony my BH and I agree that a window room on the PG is far better than a balcony room on one of the smaller Princess ships. The PG offers so much more plus a more Tahitian experience than any other ship that not having a balony is not a deal breaker. If you are flexible on the cruise date and wait for the specials that do come up from time to time a window room on the PG cost about the same as a balcony room on a Princess smaller ship.

 

Bottom line: IMO the PG is the best cruise ship that sails in FP.

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I agree if you cost it out with gratuities and booze and flight included from LA the value for what you get is there. Yes we wanted the balcony which we take on other cruises with Celebrity but it is worth it to give that up on a small ship.

We took a window room several years ago and found that on such a small vessel you were steps away from outdoors so we booked a window room again and the extra money goes to special tours.

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I agree if you cost it out with gratuities and booze and flight included from LA the value for what you get is there. Yes we wanted the balcony which we take on other cruises with Celebrity but it is worth it to give that up on a small ship.

We took a window room several years ago and found that on such a small vessel you were steps away from outdoors so we booked a window room again and the extra money goes to special tours.

 

It includes your flight from LA? I like smaller ships and the prices weren't too bad.

Thanks, Karen

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It includes flight from LA it includes a lot of other things you up charge for on the large lines.

Tours are not included.

The attention you get on a small ship of this quality is unmatched in this region and it is their specialty to do this area of the world

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What is usually included on the Paul Gauguin. This may very if you choose to book your own flights. When you add all the goodies at no charge it is very close to the prices other cruise lines charge ......... but ........ you get it on a small ship that focuses soley on the South Pacific.

 

1. R/T Airfare from LAX

2. Transfer from airport to a day room at the IC Tahiti

3. Breakfast at the IC Tahiti

4. Transfer from the IC Tahiti to the ship

5. Bar tab excluding expensive alcohol

6. All gratuities

7. Day excursion on the ships Bora Bora Motu

8. Day excursion on the ships Tahaa Motu (Motu Mahana)

9. Ships shows

10. All food

11. Transfer from ship to day room on departure day

12. Optional tour of Tahiti on departure day

13. Transfer from day room to airport

Edited by Tikiintahiti

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We are looking again as well.

I would like to find a small ship based in FP or at least a small

ship making a round trip in FP. We are done with the open ended

one way flights.

We have in the past done the Hawaii to Tahiti cruise and really

enjoyed the sea days it provided but truth we would have like more time in FP.

I would say take the jump and originate your trip in FP, bypass Hawaii, you can

fly there from here. Hawaii deserves more time than a one or two day Cruise

stop will provide if you also intend to tag on FP. In short Hawaii needs its own Cruise

or land vacation the same as FP unless you have the time, money, and enjoy the extra sea

days.

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Frediver,

I am sure you may have heard this before but you should really consider the PG.

Familygoboston currently has a long review with tons of pictures so that will give you a good feel for the ship.

If you dont mind a window cabin ( PG is also so small that the ship can be your balcony) then the pricing isnt too bad.

 

Further if you need a referral to get a credit either myself or Tiki or a number of people on the PG board can provide you with one.

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Thanks, I am giving PG serious consideration. Whats the story about credit, never heard of the program?

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