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Papeete and Moorea

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I totally understand about these trans-Pacific cruises on big ships. The problem is that these cruise lines, such as P&O, encourage cruisers to believe they can get a sort of intimate look at a South Seas paradise when in fact it usually turns out to be nothing of the sort. I honestly believe people mostly go on these ships for the facilities and entertainments the ships offer.

 

By the way, the next time I will be in French Polynesia is this trip:

 

http://www.noble-caledonia.co.uk/tour/tour.asp?tourname=south+seas+odyssey&sec=2&tour=1988

 

This is a small ship and all meals, drinks, excursions, gratuities and airfares are included. About 100 passengers.

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Oh believe me, I get all of your points.....

 

As far as I know, There aren't any large ships(1000+ pax) that exclusively sail the Society islands(RT from Papeete)....Correct me if I'm wrong?

 

It's safe to presume that the Society Islands(and the Cooks, Tuamotus/Marquesas etc.) are included in much bigger itineraries for these larger cruise ships.....Often Trans-Pacific, No?

 

No need to name names here, but repeatedly hi-jacking threads that are asking for port information on this board is unproductive.

 

As for your personal concerns? I'm sure you'd like to keep the Society Islands all to yourself. Hey I completely get that;), no need to be selfish though.

 

I'm sure a person taking Patrick's, or Bruno's, or Marc's, or Jean Pierre's etc. etc. etc. tour(s) will have just as good of a time, regardless of how big the ship is that they sailed in on is.

 

As for impacting the island? That's a whole lot of important tourist dollars coming off of those large boats. If the island didn't want them there....They wouldn't allow them there.

 

Oh sure it isn't like say.....Hawaii, but true "paradise"(at least speaking about Bora Bora) got spoiled once the first OW bungalows were built there, polluting the natural beauty of the lagoon.

 

Hey, there's always Maupiti.

 

Your theory doesn't make any sense. If I was selfish and wanted to keep paradise to myself, why then would I be one of the biggest contributors on FP travel forums? ;)

 

The issue of the people wanting them there doesn't hold water. It's sort of like the drug dealer and drugs. As more westernization of the younger folk happened they needed to get more 'fixes'. The people have changes, especially the younger locals. They want their 'fix' (money to buy western things) but many of them despise the tourist now. This wasn't true lets say 30 years ago. The locals were very shy but at the same time very giving, this has changed to some extend because of over tourism ........ but they got to have their 'fix' .............. very sad.

 

You bring up Maupiti ........... PG will go there in 2014 ....... why? Because some are tired of the over tourism of some of the islands and want more of the untouched Polynesia. I remember the first time I went to Aitutaki. Kids ran around half naked with chickens under their arms ................. now they wear designer clothes and have PDA's plus they now are distant when compared to yester year.

 

Let me say one last thing about the PG. Small ship, less negative impact on fragile islands. The PG is owned by Beachcomber which owns some very 'green' hotels in FP. Their flag ship resort on Bora Bora is very 'green' and their new boutique luxury resort on Brando's paradise is exceptionally 'green' ...........

 

Enough said

Edited by Tikiintahiti

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Hi Annie,

Thanks for posing this. I am very concerned now as William has said we would be on the larger bus but I hadn't realised it would be an old school bus. Was it comfortable with seat belts?

 

Was it air conditioned?

 

I am tempted to cancel and take our chance of picking up a tour at the port.

 

My husband has a bad back and I need to ensure that whatever transport we use is comfortable which is why I didn't want to book Patricks tour as it is in a 4 wheel drive open vehicle.

 

Sue

 

 

Sue,

 

We are just back from our cruise and we did the 1/2 day island tour with William. I wish I could recommend him, but he failed to deliver what he promised in a number of ways. He had a great reputation and that is why I booked with him but...

 

 

We were all very disappointed that instead of the two buses for eight passengers each that I had booked with William we were loaded into a large school bus. This is not what had been negotiated.

 

What had been organised by email:

 

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 this 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 MT they could not promise me that it would not happen to us. William was happy to promise the 2 small buses so I gladly went with him. There had never been a mention on TA that his company included small pre-booked groups on a larger tourist bus.

 

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.

 

I have written to William since our return and expressed all these sentiments by email and explained to him that I would be warning other potential pax what had happened to us.

 

I hope tour works for you. We enjoyed what we did .... but it wasn't what I had negotiated at all and in that respect, very disappointing.

 

And....the worst part was when we found the sign with our names on it at the port, we could not see our two small buses anywhere so before we paid our money we asked (twice) "We are getting 2 buses, right?" And both times told "yes"....then we were herded around the corner onto the big bus with passengers already on! Not happy, but we either missed out on the tour or accepted the bigger bus. So just be warned.

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If I was selfish and wanted to keep paradise to myself, why then would I be one of the biggest contributors on FP travel forums? ;)

 

That was my first thought too when I wrote that;).....

 

I highly doubt that the large ships are going to be stopping sailing there anytime soon.....It's a sign of the times. It's never going to be like it was twenty years ago ever again.

 

Why shouldn't the kids there have the opportunity to enjoy nice "Western things"? You're stating that you prefer them "half naked with chickens under their arms"? Hmmmm.....

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Hi Annie,

Thanks for posing this. I am very concerned now as William has said we would be on the larger bus but I hadn't realised it would be an old school bus. Was it comfortable with seat belts?

 

Was it air conditioned?

 

I am tempted to cancel and take our chance of picking up a tour at the port.

 

My husband has a bad back and I need to ensure that whatever transport we use is comfortable which is why I didn't want to book Patricks tour as it is in a 4 wheel drive open vehicle.

 

Sue

 

Hi Sue,

 

Bus was comfortable and was air-conditioned. However it did not have seatbelts. Nor were the bucket-type seats that you would normally get on a tour bus. Bus wasn't new, but wasn't old either - wasn't an old rattler.

 

The aisle was quite narrow and some of the bigger folks or those with mobility issues didn't find getting on and off particularly easy.

 

Anne

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That was my first thought too when I wrote that;).....

 

I highly doubt that the large ships are going to be stopping sailing there anytime soon.....It's a sign of the times. It's never going to be like it was twenty years ago ever again.

 

Why shouldn't the kids there have the opportunity to enjoy nice "Western things"? You're stating that you prefer them "half naked with chickens under their arms"? Hmmmm.....

 

 

I would love to go back 46 years ago when all we had was 1 TV channel, dial phones and no internet ......... a much simpler time ;)

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Hi Annie,

Thanks for posing this. I am very concerned now as William has said we would be on the larger bus but I hadn't realised it would be an old school bus. Was it comfortable with seat belts?

 

Was it air conditioned?

 

I am tempted to cancel and take our chance of picking up a tour at the port.

 

My husband has a bad back and I need to ensure that whatever transport we use is comfortable which is why I didn't want to book Patricks tour as it is in a 4 wheel drive open vehicle.

 

Sue

 

Hi Sue,

 

One of our group has posted his review of William's tour on Trip Advisor, I suggest you take a look at what he has to say. http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g294352-d2634265-Reviews-Adventure_Eagle_Tours_with_William_Leeteg-Papeete_Tahiti_Society_Islands.html

 

He says that bus was not air conditioned, I thought it was as I remember it being relatively cool on bus....but perhaps he is right. Not sure now.

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There are also local's set up just off the ship that sell half day tours. Sort of like s Chamber of Commerce stand. For $50 we had a new air conditioned bus with guide and microphone. We were comfortable, and it was definitely a local feel to the tour. Saw the main tourist stuff.....Point Venus, blowhole, a couple waterfall short hikes, fern grotto.......went all around Tahiti and was just a nice diversion from downtown Papeete. :D

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There are also local's set up just off the ship that sell half day tours. Sort of like s Chamber of Commerce stand. For $50 we had a new air conditioned bus with guide and microphone. We were comfortable, and it was definitely a local feel to the tour. Saw the main tourist stuff.....Point Venus, blowhole, a couple waterfall short hikes, fern grotto.......went all around Tahiti and was just a nice diversion from downtown Papeete. :D

 

Does anyone know if this applies in Moorea also? Can you pick up a tour on the dock?

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There are usually a few vendors there looking for clients ...........

 

But the best tour vendors are usually booked well ahead of time ;)

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The same lady we worked with at Papeete dock was also setting up tours on Moorea. She recognized us and answered our non-tour local questions on Moorea (we had a car rental arranged).......very much like meeting an old friend since we had met her 10 days earlier.

Edited by thyme2go

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Does anyone have a good email address for Patricks Adventures in Tahiti? The link on his website doesn't work.

 

I thought I saw a post from someone with a corrected email address but I can't find it.

 

Thanks!

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