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Trip Report PG Cruise October - 7 Day


Luckyladyh
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First of all let me say that this was a fantastic cruise. The staff were as nice as they could be - and the food was the best we have ever had on a cruise ship. The room was spacious - nothing too large - but enough for two people. Nice furnishings, small balcony, small TV. Our favorite bar was at the back of the ship.

 

We loved the smaller ship - our second time - the other on a Windstar - and I don't know if I can ever go back to the larger ships. Probably the thing we liked the best was meeting other passengers - so much easier on a smaller ship.

 

Some things I wish I had known to make my trip better - although these are only small items - nothing to ruin a trip over - just things I wish I had known:

 

The flight was brutal - wish I had packed some back pain reliever patches. It was so hot on the plane. No air flow. Dress lightly. We flew Air Tahiti Nui.

 

Easy taxi to the Intercontinental. $22.00 So glad we paid the extra money to have a room ready when we arrived at 7AM. We were leaving the plane and arriving at the hotel within 40 minutes. So fast.

 

Can't believe all those sitting in the lobby complaining as if it were the hotel's fault that they were sold out the night before and had no rooms at 7AM. You spent all that money to get there - why didn't you book a room for the night before so you could have a room to go to when you arrived. Craziness to save a few dollars. Or if there are several of you at least share one room. Would save you from sitting in the lobby.

 

On the day to board the ship - the hotel concierge said don't go before 3PM. Sorry - we didn't we were some of the last on board - easy check in - we sat in the hotel for about two hours too long. Could have been on the ship having cocktails. I would board at 1:00 to 2PM next time.

 

Wished I had known that the Intercontinental had free washers/dryers. I would have brought less I think - and would have brought detergent sheets or something easy. We did overpack a bit - and we pack light. Some were bringing three and four suitcases - ridiculous. We had some dry cleaning sent out when we boarded - very reasonably priced and they did a good job.

 

My favorite day on the ship was their private island. I could have done that five straight days. The other islands were OK - about the same - beautiful water all around, no beaches to speak of, and beautiful lush tropical greenery. We stayed on the ship on the second day of each repeat day. We did one island tour on Huahine I believe - it was OK - wouldn't do again - hot and buggy. Do not forget your water shoes! The coral will cut your feet up - what little bit of sand these islands have is not soft - it is crushed coral. Wished we had passed the land tour and done a tour with water/boating.

 

It was so easy to go into town, and then come back for a late lunch. In Bora Bora the ship had a small patch of private beach, no chairs, no bathrooms, but it was beautiful also. We also walked around the small town at the boat launch - only takes about an hour.

 

Took a cab to a beach in Moorea. A waste - the beach was so small it had about 10 chairs. I couldn't get it through my mind that they don't have sand beaches there - mostly volcanic rock.

 

At the end of the cruise - wish I had known we didn't have to get off until 10AM. After reading the boards, I saw posts about renting a car and seeing the island. Definitely wish we had not done this. There really isn't much to see - you drive 38 miles around - all begins to look the same after 15 minutes. Alot of town driving - meaning you weren't seeing amazing views constantly. A four hour drive was too much - and then - what to do for until the 11PM flight? Wow - what a mistake. Would have much rather gone to the Intercontinental for the day and used the pools. Plus - you just got off a cruise - the views aren't that different. We ended up back at the Intercontinental and just sat around the pool and ate dinner. Nice people at that hotel.

 

Couldn't wait to get to the downtown market - a waste - nothing much there. Very hot. And the shops all pretty much have the same junk. A waste of time.

 

Wish I hadn't chased the elusive black pearl. There are no deals. Black pearls are expensive - and unless you plan on spending $500 to $1000 - don't waste your time going into the good shops. The "black pearls" in the markets are dyed white pearls - or man made dyed plastic we were told. Just buy something and get over it - and spend your time in the water. You can shop at home at much nicer stores.

 

Almost everyone took American money - although we did bring about what equates to $500 in local money.

 

We loved the Paul Gauguin and enjoyed our days on board probably the most. Sitting by the pool, cocktails - viewing the beautiful water and islands - was for us better than going onto the islands (other than the private motu). Of course, I feel like I have to run ragged seeing everything - and after the second day - I changed my mind - and found staying on the boat alot was very nice. And premium cocktails included - can't go wrong. BTW - I love wine - and the wines they served at every meal were very good. I even found some new ones that I really liked. They weren't serving junk. I was very pleased.

 

Enjoy your time on board this nice ship. It may be older - but you won't see any better staff on any ship out there. I have most of the daily newsletters if anyone wants them. Have fun!

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Thank you for the review. I was surprised at your lack of enthusiasm for most of the islands that you visited. On a 2011 trip to FP and the Cook Islands, we spent several days on each of Tahiti, Moorea and Rarotonga, as well as having 1- or 2-day stops at various other islands, and we greatly enjoyed all of the islands. That included Tahiti, which often is dismissed as relatively uninteresting but which we found to be well worth a few days. For us, Moorea was wonderful. Different responses from different people... We look forward to returning to FP, on the Paul Gaugin, in late 2015.

 

John

Edited by J-D
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Thanks for your review ...I am glad you had a great time. It's great when a third party validates what we feel about the PG. We are so often scoffed as cheerleaders by some.

 

I guess you didn't go to Temae beach in Moorea. It's a gorgeous sand beach. We tend to go to the Sofitel for the day which has creature comforts plus a lovely beach.

 

The helicopter trip on BB is also wonderful if you like viewing all that lovely blue water. Next time!

 

Sorry also you missed that the IC has washers and dryers. It's a real convenience. This year we were fortunate to have an OWB (ambassador upgrade) which had a washer and dryer across from us so it was super convenient.

 

Like David I feel that it is so long since I have been on the PG though we too are back for less than two months. The flu is real bad and for me there isn't a chance of a reprieve until 2017!

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So, you liked the ship, but don't really seemed to have enjoyed the islands much?

 

Hot and buggy, crummy beaches, pearls too expensive, market a waste of time, much nicer stores at home?

 

If you had to do it again, would you say it was worth the money? Or, would you prefer, for example, a Caribbean cruise?

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The ship will not let you board until 3 pm.

 

 

Although the islands are beautiful, it is the Paul Gauguin that calls us back for our 8th cruise in October of 2015!!!!

 

Usually it's 3 pm.

This year we boarded at 2.30

Last year at 2.45

 

My aim is always to beat the buses!

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Hi. Some people said they boarded at 1:30 - we were some of the last to board at 3PM. The reason I know that what the other guests said is true is as I was checking in - I said - wow - we must be the first to arrive (as there was no one in line) and they said - no actually towards the end of those boarding. But an hour here or there - seemed to be no big deal.

 

What a breeze to board - don't know if I could ever go back to standing in line again with 3000 other people. It is just so civilized on small ships. Love the service.

 

To 6rugrats - you made it sound like I had a horrible time - I did not - I had a great time - I was merely stating some things that I observed that I wished I would have known. I read CC to maximize my precious time on vacation - and I enjoy reading other people's opinions.

 

Would I go back - at that expense, probably not, as I have many other things on my bucket list. I am a person who likes to try different things. We cruise about 3-4 times a year - and I travel for a living, so I guess I just like to experience something new when I am on my personal vacation.

 

I am glad I went, I had a great time - and if money were no object - yes I would go again. But as I said, I have other things next on my list.

 

As I indicated, I liked the ship an awful lot - probably more than I liked the islands. I feel the same way about the Caribbean and Hawaii, other than when I can actually get in the water.

 

Good luck, have fun whatever you choose to do. The PG was a fantastic ship with great service and the best food ever. I do intend to try their smaller ship in the Caribbean next year. I am sold on PG.

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We took the 10 day cruise nearly 3 years ago and are still talking about it! This area has the Caribbean beat by a long shot. The people are friendly and not pushy if they are selling. We took a Disney cruise with daughter's family in April-while very nice we found ourselves comparing to PG. Guess we have talked it up so much daughter and hubby will be going next year for 20th anniv. Caribbean is OK but S.P. is SPECTACULAR! Go..you will not be sorry. We are planning a P.G. Cook Island cruise in very near future!!!

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