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First time to Tahiti

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We are looking at PG for Tahiti in October 2017. Am interested in your comment about not booking balcony or suite...how are the port hole and/or picture window rooms?

 

We also lived in Key West, Pensacola Beach, and Hawaii (husband) with several vacations in Caribbean and Hawaii. What makes Tahiti special or so different to spend $10-12K on a 7 day trip?

 

Wondering if Australia/NZ or Panama Canal would be better option - history, sightseeing, things to do. Besides FP culture, would like something more than just beaches and snorkeling.

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

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We are looking at PG for Tahiti in October 2017. Am interested in your comment about not booking balcony or suite...how are the port hole and/or picture window rooms?

 

Porthole or window cabins are fine and offer a much better value IMHO. The ship is small enough that you're never far from a weather deck and don't ever fell like you're in a huge hotel. The PG does have a very different feel to it and while we love it there are posters on CC who do not care for the PG at all.

 

We also lived in Key West, Pensacola Beach, and Hawaii (husband) with several vacations in Caribbean and Hawaii. What makes Tahiti special or so different to spend $10-12K on a 7 day trip?

 

We've lived in similar places as yo and IMHO the best beaches in the world are in the FL panhandle. IMHO, Fiji has the best snorkeling I've ever seen (but I'm a soft coral fan:o). FP on any ship is a great combination of stunning scenery, fantastic water activities, and exposure to a wonderful culture. Add in the PG and you add one of the most unique shipboard experiences we've ever had. We also had an aversion to the cost (and travel time) for a 7 day cruise so our first PG cruise was a B2B. Turned out to be less expensive to do 7 more days on PG than a 4 day pre or post cruise land stay. Another time we took the 14 day Papeete to Fiji trip on PG. this also breaks the per diem down some and makes the long flights a bit more tolerable. If you can book a cruise where Dr. Mark Eddowes (cultural anthropologist) is a guest lecturer, you're in for a real treat.

 

Wondering if Australia/NZ or Panama Canal would be better option - history, sightseeing, things to do. Besides FP culture, would like something more than just beaches and snorkeling.

 

We've also done the Canal and NZ and they were fantastic trips. Actually, I'd recommend the South Island by car rather than cruising NZ:o. If you want more than different culture, killer views, great snorkeling/diving, and a one of a kind shipboard experience, you may be disappointed. FP has some shopping, but not much. I think only vanilla and black pearls offer possibilities for good value. There are a couple of WWII gun positions on Bora Bora, several archeological sites, and working pineapple and vanilla farms to visit. Bora Bora also has the original Bloody Mary's:D. I do believe the emphasis is on scenery and water activities, though.

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

 

Hope these help.

 

Greg

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I've made 35 trips around the world and have seen many incredible destinations, I may add about 4 trips to the Caribbean, once on a small ship with only 62 passengers.

 

I'm heading to FP for trip number 19 this summer. In all my travels around the world the most stunning is FP. Why did many write about Bora Bora being the most beautiful of any place on earth.

 

On can go to Hawaii or the Caribbean but once you take in FP nothing compares. Pictures are nice but until you see it in person you have not experienced it.

 

BTW, there are often specials and I've seen inclusive from LAX for under $3500 per person. Remember that the expense of getting to FP from the east coast is half the cost, the cruise line has no say over that. Air has always been expensive to FP compared to places equally as far. Hawaii receives more visitors in a week than FP does in a year, that is what makes it special, it isn't overrun by a ton of people. You go on a cruise in the Caribbean and the ship you're on with 4000 other people ties off next to several other ships of similar size. No compare that to a maximum of 320. The special thing about the PG beyond it's incredible crew is that captain has the discretion of moving the itinerary around to make sure the PG is the only one on the island whenever possible.

 

The port hole and window rooms are just like the balcony room minus the balcony. Many repeaters on the PG only book the window rooms, they are the 'deal'.

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Thanks Greg! Very helpful, thank you.

I might ask you and TahitianBigKahuna a few more questions.

I have asked for a quote for 11 day cruise but now will ask about B2B too.

Sidenote- I see you also live in AZ and are a naval academy grad. Husband is retired E8

(26 yrs). He prefers this type of cruise over his rack and boat food! LOL

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Thanks Greg! Very helpful, thank you.

I might ask you and TahitianBigKahuna a few more questions.

I have asked for a quote for 11 day cruise but now will ask about B2B too.

Sidenote- I see you also live in AZ and are a naval academy grad. Husband is retired E8

(26 yrs). He prefers this type of cruise over his rack and boat food! LOL

 

Feel free to ask as many questions as you wish, be more than happy to answer any and all.

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I am going on a 10 day FP cruise in May staying in Papette for two days before and 1 day after. Can you tell me what currency is needed? I am seeing some tours quoted in USD, others in Euros, others in Pacific Francs. Do I need all three to pay for taxis, meals, tours, etc.--I am hoping not! I have never been to FP either.

 

Thank you,

Connie

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I am going on a 10 day FP cruise in May staying in Papette for two days before and 1 day after. Can you tell me what currency is needed? I am seeing some tours quoted in USD, others in Euros, others in Pacific Francs. Do I need all three to pay for taxis, meals, tours, etc.--I am hoping not! I have never been to FP either.

 

Thank you,

Connie

 

Your best deals will be made with local currency as typically when you pay with Euros or USD the exchange rate they give is not good. So you really want to use CFP, some refer to it as XPF.

 

When you arrive in PPT go to a local bank and exchange. So not exchange at an international airport on your way as this is typically the worst exchange rate.

 

We typically exchange enough to pay for the local vendors and local excursions who wish to be paid the day of the excursion. Most larger purchases/stores accept CC and we use a Capital One Venture card as they do not charge a fee for foreign purchases, I assume there are other CC who do not as well but many do. Typically the exchange rate when paying by CC is what you would get from a local bank.

 

Vendors, cabs and eateries will accept Euros and USD but as I said usually not the best exchange rate.

 

An Example: Today the international exchange rate for CFP to the USD is 111.51. That is a great rate and one you need to take advantage of. Typically the local banks will be slightly under that rate. Most local vendors and excursions will give an exchange of 100 to 1. Doesn't matter if the bank rate was 90 to 1 the locals for some reason stay at the 100 to 1 rate no matter what. So ............ you exchange when you get there at the higher rate and then pay in local currency ......... saves you about 5% - 10% ;)

Edited by Tahitianbigkahuna

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Feel free to ask as many questions as you wish, be more than happy to answer any and all.

 

Okay now we are getting excited about Tahiti...now looking at the 10 and 11 day cruises. Would you choose one over the other for your first time? And why?

 

10 day including Tuamotus so Rangiroa and Fakarava islands or the 11 day which includes the Cook Islands of Aitutaki and Rarotonga

 

As you know PG offers the extended stays but would you really choose an over water bungalow in Tahiti compared to Bora Bora? Probably not going to extend our stay if we do the 10 or 11 day but want to ask just in case.

 

Do many passengers use the gym? I am pretty active and accustomed to running around the deck on the bigger ships. I am assuming with the smaller ship I wouldn't be able to do so and have to utilize the gym.

 

Have you cruised in the month of October before? Since it is on the fringe of rainy season was wondering if I need to re-think my months (previously it was November for my birthday/our anniversary until I saw it was rainy season).

 

Are there certain tours/excursions you think are must-dos? If so which ones.

 

Thanks again for your help!

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Okay now we are getting excited about Tahiti...now looking at the 10 and 11 day cruises. Would you choose one over the other for your first time? And why?

 

10 day including Tuamotus so Rangiroa and Fakarava islands or the 11 day which includes the Cook Islands of Aitutaki and Rarotonga

 

Depends on the time of year. The Cooks are further south so during the months of December - February the Cooks will have less humidity and rain than the Atolls of French Polynesia. If the weather is rough the ship can not use tenders on Rarotonga or Aitutaki but Rangiroa and Fakarava the ship enters the lagoon where the waves are less.

 

As you know PG offers the extended stays but would you really choose an over water bungalow in Tahiti compared to Bora Bora? Probably not going to extend our stay if we do the 10 or 11 day but want to ask just in case.

 

If you're thinking a day or 2 forget Bora Bora, to expensive to fly out there and back to take in an OWB. Stay at the IC Tahiti which is the best resort on the island, has a great dinner floor show, close to a shopping cnter for snaks and close to the bus to go into PPT. If it's 3 or more days I would tell you to get off Tahiti and enjoy either Bora Bora or Moorea. Moorea is beautiful and has nice OWB rooms plus you can take the ferry, much less money.

 

Do many passengers use the gym? I am pretty active and accustomed to running around the deck on the bigger ships. I am assuming with the smaller ship I wouldn't be able to do so and have to utilize the gym.

 

The gym gets reasonable use, not a big gym but everything you need is there.

 

Have you cruised in the month of October before? Since it is on the fringe of rainy season was wondering if I need to re-think my months (previously it was November for my birthday/our anniversary until I saw it was rainy season).

 

Best fringe time is September to early October.

 

Are there certain tours/excursions you think are must-dos? If so which ones.

 

Many fine excursions on all islands both private and ship. On Rangiroa thin water. Fakarava think water, Moorea think land, Huahine is a toss up, Tahaa is Motu Mahana whis is like a free excursion, just enjoy the day. Bora Bora think water/lagoon cruise. Aitutaki think water, Rarotonga think land.

Things to see and do on Huahine.pdf

Moorea must do.pdf

Best tours & things to do on Bora Bora.pdf

Edited by Tahitianbigkahuna

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Thank you so much TahitianBigKahuna for all of this information and attachments. VERY helpful. I have printed out the responses AND the attachments.

 

Your photos are beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing the link. I will have to start an Instagram account just to follow you. :)

 

Another question for a first timer. I am not sure our budget can allow an over water bungalow stay if we do a 10-11 day cruise. Would it be better to do a 7 day with a 2 night bungalow stay or do a 10-11 day cruise and see more islands? I am thinking the latter but wanted your opinion. Thanks!

Edited by 80/80 Girl

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Thank you so much TahitianBigKahuna for all of this information and attachments. VERY helpful. I have printed out the responses AND the attachments.

 

Your photos are beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing the link. I will have to start an Instagram account just to follow you. :)

 

Another question for a first timer. I am not sure our budget can allow an over water bungalow stay if we do a 10-11 day cruise. Would it be better to do a 7 day with a 2 night bungalow stay or do a 10-11 day cruise and see more islands? I am thinking the latter but wanted your opinion. Thanks!

 

Personally I would do the 10 day and maybe a day room at the IC including the transfers. This is true if you take the red eye ....

 

10 day cruise is better than 2 nights OWB and a 7 night cruise, IMO

 

Thanks for the kudos on the pictures

Edited by Tahitianbigkahuna

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Feel free to ask as many questions as you wish, be more than happy to answer any and all.

 

What is considered premium liquor by PG standards?

 

For laundry services, PG says to request prior to cruise but do they offer specials when onboard?

 

Regarding dining, my husband is a Hawaiian shirt/shorts/flip flops kinda guy. Not excited when I told him he has to wear dockers for dinner in a tropical climate. Can we order room service if we don't want to dress up?

 

Haven't started to look but since you are into photography any suggestions for point and shoot underwater cameras?

 

By the way, called today for pricing on the other October cruises for Cat F. All sold out until December sailings. :( I started to panic BUT we have a hold on 10day sailing Cat E which included 2 night IC hotel stay pre-cruise (incl a few meals) plus post cruise day room and shipboard credit. Getting excited and trying to get my parents to join us!

 

Thanks for all your help!

Lynn

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What is considered premium liquor by PG standards?We had Macallen's 10 single malt, Maker's Mark bourbon, Jack Daniels and Tanquerey Gin while we were on board. But that was some years ago.

 

For laundry services, PG says to request prior to cruise but do they offer specials when onboard?

 

Regarding dining, my husband is a Hawaiian shirt/shorts/flip flops kinda guy. Not excited when I told him he has to wear dockers for dinner in a tropical climate. Can we order room service if we don't want to dress up?The dining room is air conditioned so the "climate" shouldn't be an issue there. There was an outside dining venue (reservations required) but I don't know if that still exists.

 

Haven't started to look but since you are into photography any suggestions for point and shoot underwater cameras?I bought a Panasonic XP for about $120 at Costco a year ago and it takes great photos. It's only good to 10 M though. It's point and shoot (and that took me a while to get the hang of aiming) but it's settings include an underwater setting that puts a bit of the red back in.

 

By the way, called today for pricing on the other October cruises for Cat F. All sold out until December sailings. :( I started to panic BUT we have a hold on 10day sailing Cat E which included 2 night IC hotel stay pre-cruise (incl a few meals) plus post cruise day room and shipboard credit. Getting excited and trying to get my parents to join us!

 

Thanks for all your help!

Lynn

 

Hope the above helps.

Greg

 

PS we leave for FP on Saturday; we'll be on Sirena...10 of us in the family going.:)

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What is considered premium liquor by PG standards? That is a wide open question. I drink beer and an occasional mixed drink so I'm not a good one to ask. I do know Grey Goose is served and that would probably be a good example.

 

For laundry services, PG says to request prior to cruise but do they offer specials when onboard? Never have used the service so I'm not a good one to ask.

 

Regarding dining, my husband is a Hawaiian shirt/shorts/flip flops kinda guy. Not excited when I told him he has to wear dockers for dinner in a tropical climate. Can we order room service if we don't want to dress up? The point stressed is no levi denim jeans. I've worn other Levi's that were a bit more dressy and not denim, no problems. I wear a new/clean pair of tennis shoes at dinner. Hope that helps.

 

Haven't started to look but since you are into photography any suggestions for point and shoot underwater cameras? I bring (2) GoPros. Always have a backup.

 

By the way, called today for pricing on the other October cruises for Cat F. All sold out until December sailings. I started to panic BUT we have a hold on 10day sailing Cat E which included 2 night IC hotel stay pre-cruise (incl a few meals) plus post cruise day room and shipboard credit. Getting excited and trying to get my parents to join us!

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Thanks once again Tahitianbigkahuna for your responses.

I will look into the Go Pro camera.

Good info about dinner attire.

Been a busy week so my Tahiti research and questions have been in a holding pattern. :)

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Just a comment on dress on the PG.

Dress is smart casual, country club casual or really how you would dress to any restaurant for an evening out.

If you choose to wear non denim jeans you would be in the minority. You could wear khakis or dress pants if you were a man and fit in perfectly. No need for sport coat or blazer.

I disagree about the appropriateness of tennis shoes for dinner on the PG and if you do wear them you would be in a minority. Just a pair of black loafers or leather dress shoes should be fine.

 

That being said I met a gentleman in an elevator on a Crystal ship who had black socks inside black sandals for dinner. He apologized and said he had forgotten his dress shoes in his packing. I have a nightmarish fear that we will forget something on a trip!

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Premium liquor on the PG would be Patron tequila, blue label scotch and some of the higher end single malts.

Grey goose and belvedere are included as are Black Label and glen livet. The tequilas are standard Jose Cuervo.

No champagnes are including. Last month the sparkling wine was a revolting B&G. Wines are on the cheaper side but the Sommelier will work with you to find something drinkable.

 

On request the bartenders will mix you something special like a blue cheese Martini or they will follow any recipe you bring them if they have the ingredients. Efren is a particularly good mixologist and I always invite him to taste my special drinks.

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Hope the above helps.

Greg

 

PS we leave for FP on Saturday; we'll be on Sirena...10 of us in the family going.:)

 

 

I am interested in your experience on the Sirena. We are booked on an FP cruise on her in May of 2017--our first trip to FP and not sure what to expect.

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I am interested in your experience on the Sirena. We are booked on an FP cruise on her in May of 2017--our first trip to FP and not sure what to expect.

 

 

Sirena sailed French Polynesian waters several times before as an R4 ship under the names Tahitian Princess and Ocean Princess, yes a Princess ship. Current owners have done several refurbishments and I've been told the food is considerable better than when it was a Princess ship. I've cruised on this ship twice in French Polynesia when it was a Princess ship.

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Can’t believe it is almost here….and of course I have a fewlast minute questions - any feedback welcome

 

1) Sunscreen– spray vs. lotion

Does it matter? Spray can be annoying in close quarters and make boat deck slippery. Not sure if tour operators shun the sprays. I have plenty of both living in the Valley of the Sun.

2) Boat Tenders (times)

We have a private tour when we arrive on Moorea. Being told to meet them at 8:30am at the pier. Is this a feasible time considering we arrive 8:00am and others are trying to tender as well?

3) Bora Bora (night)

We’d like to go to Bloody Mary’s for a drink. Is this possible at night or late afternoon? When does the ship stop the tenders? From a previous thread said taxi $5/pp OW…still sound about right?

4) Our tour schedule…well so much for not booking much! In case, we wanted to relax a little bit more and not be so tour heavy looking at possibly not going on these 2 tours – 1) Shark and Stingray encounter and 2) drift snorkel on Tahaa. I think definitely the first one but not sure about the second one since everyone says it is amazing.

Here is our current tour schedule:

 

Papeete – pre-cruise – East/westcoast tour with Tracey Unique Tahiti

Huahine – Marc’s combo tour(snorkel, 4&4)

Bora Bora 1 – Shark and Stingray encounter

Bora Bora 2 – Lagoon excursion with Maohi Nui

Rangiroa – Aquarium snorkel

Fakarava – Ato’s Lagoon tour

Tahaa – drift snorkel

Moorea 1 – Whale encounter – MooreaOcean Adventures (since at end of whaleseason may be shark, stingray, dolphins)

Moorea 2 – ATV guided tour

 

5) Wine selection – do they have any Rieslings? If not can we bring 2 bottles on board (probably won’t just want to know if it is an option)? Otherwise, I will most likely stick to mixed drinks.

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Thinking about a PG cruise in August. Subscribing to this very informative thread.

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The only tour you may want to cancel is the Tahaa one. Enjoy the day on the PG private island. You can do a little snorkeling there or you can have a nice relaxing lazy day. Lot of good food and drink.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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