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deladane

Detailed Photo Review of Paul Gauguin 10-Night Cruise 9/6/17 Plus Moorea Pre-Cruise

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Once we got back to the office and returned our helmets and got washed up a bit, MAC provided free drinks of juice with rum (or without if you preferred). We relaxed on the couches at their office for a little while, enjoying the luxury of not being in a rush. It was fun getting to chat with the other couples on our tour since we were all on our honeymoon. Here is everyone from our tour (minus the couple who left after the first 2 hours), and our guide Olivier is on the right.

 

37021109760_c89629af2d_z.jpg0265 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37021109760_c89629af2d_z.jpg

 

After we had our fill of free cocktails, we headed back to the hotel to eat sandwiches for lunch on our porch with the baguettes, turkey,and cheese we purchased from Super-U. We had about 3 hours until our evening activity so we lounged around on the porch drinking Hinanos and gazing out at the beach.

 

Tonight’s activity was a sunset catamaran sail that we pre-booked online about a year ago with Voil’a Moorea. The boat holds a maximum of 8 people, and the 2 hour tour was scheduled to take us along the North coast of Moorea, first going east towards Cook’s Bay, and then turning back to go west as the sun sets. The group tour cost 5500xpf per person, and included roundtrip transportation from/to our hotel. We were told to meet our driver in the lobby of Moorea Fare Miti at 4pm, and about 2 minutes later, a lady drove up in a 4x4 truck. We drove 15 minutes to a dock (which turned out to be where PG boards their tenders!) just as our catamaran arrived.

 

37277013481_236f5d095d_z.jpg0266 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37277013481_236f5d095d_z.jpg

 

37021109490_ae27c73eb4_z.jpg0267 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37021109490_ae27c73eb4_z.jpg

 

Our guide’s name was Jerome, and he explained that while we paid for a tour with up to 6 passengers, we were the only 2 who signed up so we would have a private tour! After some introductions, we took off our shoes and stepped on board. Jerome encouraged us to sit anywhere we felt comfortable on the boat, so we settled in on the padded cushions up front and Jerome brought us a “mai tai” (I say that with quotation marks because we were pretty sure it was just Tahiti Drink with grenadine haha)

 

37230166616_75b5ae91a2_z.jpg0273 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37230166616_75b5ae91a2_z.jpg

 

We motored East towards Cooks Bay and enjoyed the views of the mountains and hotels along the North coast. Every so often, Jerome popped up next to us to tell us about what we were passing (a rock formation in the mountains or which hotel it was or whatever), but otherwise he left us to enjoy a romantic evening.

 

36607447453_2e12df78bc_z.jpg0276 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36607447453_2e12df78bc_z.jpg

 

 

36607444963_029f0ece0e_z.jpg0280 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36607444963_029f0ece0e_z.jpg

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36607446243_3a8cf685e2_z.jpg0278 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36607446243_3a8cf685e2_z.jpg

 

 

36607444243_31cd7b821d_z.jpg0282 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36607444243_31cd7b821d_z.jpg

 

 

37277007631_544e4843f7_z.jpg0283 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37277007631_544e4843f7_z.jpg

 

 

36607437883_9129954564_z.jpg0296 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36607437883_9129954564_z.jpg

 

 

Overwater bungalows at the Hilton

36567211854_1585d94872_z.jpg0302 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36567211854_1585d94872_z.jpg

 

 

After a while, we moved up to sit on the net way out infront. With all of the boat tours I have taken, I have never been on a catamaran so sitting on the net was new for me.

37419316115_d2df055b6a_z.jpg0306 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37419316115_d2df055b6a_z.jpg

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Love reading your reviews! Makes it hard to wait for our 1st PG cruise in July 2018. Any chance you got a copy of the daily activity sheets or 1or 2 food menus? Thanks!

 

 

Looks like next July 2018 will be a popular time on PG! My husband and I just booked the 10 night cruise leaving on July 18, 2018. This, too, is our first time on this ship and to French Polynesia; we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary and a milestone birthday. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us Dana, it is getting me very excited about this special trip next summer!

:) Lisa

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Looks like next July 2018 will be a popular time on PG! My husband and I just booked the 10 night cruise leaving on July 18, 2018. This, too, is our first time on this ship and to French Polynesia; we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary and a milestone birthday. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us Dana, it is getting me very excited about this special trip next summer!

:) Lisa

 

Hi Lisa,

So glad you are enjoying my review! I hope it is helpful towards planning your FP vacation :cool:

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Make the grey clouds go away!!

37021094620_310ccc0feb_z.jpg0307 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37021094620_310ccc0feb_z.jpg

 

We spent a few minutes floating around in Cook’s Bay, and then Jerome decided to put up the sail.

 

37021094020_2c0740fd37_z.jpg0309 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37021094020_2c0740fd37_z.jpg

 

37419315655_6ea9431d16_z.jpg0310 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37419315655_6ea9431d16_z.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the weather just was not cooperating, and a few minutes later it got very windy and started to rain. Jerome had to roll the sail back in and we headed back towards the dock near Opunohu Bay. While I am sure there was a beautiful sunset somewhere in the world, we did not get to see it tonight. It was so cold, wet, and windy that we spent most of the ride back hiding under the shelter you can see behind us in the photo above (which is probably used to provide shade from the sun most of the time!). It’s amazing that even in bad weather, the water is still an incredible color!

 

37419395585_0068896307_z.jpg0314 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37419395585_0068896307_z.jpg

 

We returned back to the dock at 6:15pm, very happy to see our driver was waiting for us so we could hop into her car to get dry and warm. Obviously Voil’a Moorea can not predict the weather, and we were actually worried that they may cancel our tour because it had been raining on and off most of the afternoon, so we were happy with the tour they provided. Sure, it would have been better if the weather cooperated, but Voil’a Moorea does provided a solid tour at a great price. Similar sunset catamaran sailings in Bora Bora cost three times the price!

 

When we got back to Moorea Fare Miti, we got in our rental car and drove back towards Le Petit Village to find somewhere to eat dinner. A bunch of the restaurants have outdoor seating areas, but we wanted to stay dry with all the rainy weather, so we decided to go to La Plantation. They have a large indoor dining room as well as an outdoor patio if you’d prefer to dine al fresco.

 

37230237236_4a6bd5277f_z.jpg0321 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37230237236_4a6bd5277f_z.jpg

 

We were the only people eating at the restaurant. We took a look at the menu and both ordered the large Poisson Cru (which included rice and a side salad, as opposed to the small which just had the fish). Poisson Cru is the most popular dish served in French Polynesia and consists of raw tuna with fresh coconut milk and lime juice. It is similar to ceviche, and we knew we wanted to try it after learning about it when I was researching for the trip.

 

 

37230239736_b5fc0ec83f_z.jpg0315 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37230239736_b5fc0ec83f_z.jpg

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37419394975_d4094a0d1a_z.jpg0316 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37419394975_d4094a0d1a_z.jpg

 

The service at this restaurant was incredibly slow. Like I said, we were the ONLY people dining here, but it took a really long time for our waitress to take our order, and even longer for the food to come out. When it finally did arrive, the food was delicious!

 

37419394235_12306d02b7_z.jpg0318 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37419394235_12306d02b7_z.jpg

36567265004_f3a4fa8708_z.jpg0319 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36567265004_f3a4fa8708_z.jpg

 

 

We really enjoyed the Poisson Cru and hoped to have it again during our 2 weeks in FP. When we finished eating, it again took a really long time to flag down our waitress for our check because she was busy doing the dishes. Maybe she just wanted to give us some space and let us enjoy our dinner at leisure, but we just wanted to get back to the hotel after a long day. Once we returned to the hotel, we relaxed with a few drinks on the porch until bedtime.

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36949496390_3dbd5159d5_z.jpg03 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36949496390_3dbd5159d5_z.jpg

 

Sunday, September 3, 2017 ~ Jet Ski Tour in Moorea

 

Today was just like yesterday. After a solid night of sleep, I woke up at 5am and couldn’t fall back to sleep so I went out to the porch to spend a few hours checking emails and social media. At 7:15am, I went down to the office to pick up our order of coconut bread, and brought it back to the bungalow so we could enjoy it with some brie and pineapple jam.

 

We left the hotel at 8am and stopped at a supermarket to pick up a baguette for lunch but they were sold out! At 8am?!? Wow!! Most restaurants are closed on Sundays and the supermarkets would be closed before we finished our jet ski tour, so we wanted to get a fresh baguette now to make sandwiches for lunch. Apparently we missed our chance, but at least we had some left over baguette from yesterday. It was a little stale, but it would have to do!

 

We continued on our way to the MAC office as we needed to arrive by 8:30am for our jet ski tour. When we arrived, Benjamin greeted us with another big hug and introduced us to our guide Rai. They split us into 2 groups- one with a French-speaking guide and our group with Rai who spoke English. We had a total of 3 jet skis in our group, each with 2 people on it, so there were 6 of us all together.

 

The jet skis are all ready to go!

23508387848_d6849e1651_z.jpg0325 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508387848_d6849e1651_z.jpg

 

This was the MAC office, with a little seating area on the deck for people who wanted to eat lunch here between morning and afternoon tours. You can also see the couches where we hung out yesterday after our tour.

23508388208_9857c4b4c3_z.jpg0324 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508388208_9857c4b4c3_z.jpg

 

The weather was much better this morning than it had been yesterday, so we were looking forward to a beautiful day out on the water!

 

23508360658_21076accd4_z.jpg0444 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508360658_21076accd4_z.jpg

 

Rai gave a briefing about the day’s itinerary, then showed us how to work the jet skis. They are seemingly brand new Sea-Doos, and they can move forward and backward, they have brakes, and they have 2 dry storage compartments where we could stash our belongings. I wouldn’t recommendbringing anything that can’t get wet though. We were wet for the entire 3 hour tour, so if we needed something from our compartment, we were reaching our wet arms in there to dig through our bags, so everything got at least a little wet by the end of the tour. Luckily we didn’t need to bring much with us since we could leave things in our car.

 

We did bring a bottle of sunscreen with us to reapply, but since we were never dry, there was no opportunity to put on new sunscreen! You can see that we are wearing long sleeve rash guards, and these were a great idea. They helped protect us from the sun, so while we did have sunscreen on our arms, it wasn’t a big deal that we couldn’t reapply it as the morning went on. The rash guards helped make it more comfortable to wear the life vests and protect against chaffing. They also helped keep us warm! Despite the warm sun, it was quite cold when we were all wet and going upwards of 50mph on the jet skis. I would have been freezing without my shirt, and I actually ended up taking it off while I was in the water so it could sit out in the sun and dry off, and then I could put it back on when we sped off on the jet skis to the next stop.

 

Once the men felt comfortable with how to operate the machines (since none of the women had any interest in driving haha), we launched the jet skis into the water and set off out of Opunohu Bay, turning left to go west along the North coast.

 

I want to intermix the photos that Rai took in with the text of the review, but I also want to give him credit for taking them. As a disclaimer, if there is a photo taken of DH and I together that is not obviously a selfie, then it was taken by Rai. Some of the photos have the MAC logo on the bottom corner, but sometimes I had to crop it out because the photos were taken at a distance and I wanted to zoom in to see us better.

 

36650759544_bfb162ef0d_z.jpg0414 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36650759544_bfb162ef0d_z.jpg

 

 

23508385428_9e74febe01_z.jpg0332 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508385428_9e74febe01_z.jpg

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Sorry about the blurry spots… sometimes I had water on the lens! Oops!

 

23508387308_cc69d7fe02_z.jpg0327 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508387308_cc69d7fe02_z.jpg

 

Notice how our sunglasses have water splashed on them? Definitely wear an old pair of sunglasses as they act as goggles to keep the salt water out of your eyes!!

23508386268_5351fa413b_z.jpg0330 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508386268_5351fa413b_z.jpg

 

37329771592_8f3934c9f3_z.jpg0415 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329771592_8f3934c9f3_z.jpg

 

37329771442_d6bd2cc148_z.jpg0417 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329771442_d6bd2cc148_z.jpg

 

37329771412_58b741d2a1_z.jpg0419 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329771412_58b741d2a1_z.jpg

 

 

36650758514_61cbaa7bf9_z.jpg0424 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36650758514_61cbaa7bf9_z.jpg

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We rode the jet skis for at least 45 minutes along the North coast, then turning south when we reached the 2 motus at the northwest corner of Moorea (we would return here later), and we went all the way down the west coast to reach our first stop. We actually did stop briefly 2 or 3 times along the way to let everyone catch up and so Rai could make sure we were all doing okay, but our first real stop was the coral garden. He said we could take off our life vests, put on our snorkels, and hop into the water to spend about 20 minutes exploring.

 

37103774340_c02e62b958_z.jpg0343 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103774340_c02e62b958_z.jpg

 

37329770382_197e11ec1e_z.jpg0425 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329770382_197e11ec1e_z.jpg

 

37359589101_b86d399832_z.jpg0336 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37359589101_b86d399832_z.jpg

 

37103774820_edce168199_z.jpg0341 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103774820_edce168199_z.jpg

 

36690044233_c83fcfaa3e_z.jpg0354 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690044233_c83fcfaa3e_z.jpg

 

 

36690043853_e2b3b07d40_z.jpg0355 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690043853_e2b3b07d40_z.jpg

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We continued a little further down the west coast to a point where Rai said they had the best surfing on the island. We could also see Tahiti out in the distance, so I know we must have been down near the southern tip of Moorea, but I didn’t get any photos down here. Unlike the ATVs which felt stable and moved relatively slowly, I did not feel comfortable letting go of my grip with one hand to take a photo while the jet ski was moving. In fact, I was gripping around DH’s waist so tight that I had bruises on my fingers after the tour! Haha

 

Eventually, Rai said it was time to turn around and head back up to those 2 motus we had passed an hour earlier. These are visible from the beach at Les Tipaniers hotel and many tours come here for the coral garden and to see the sting rays. Rai took us to a beautiful clear blue canal between the 2 motus, with water that is shallow and sandy enough to stand in.

 

36690043243_56df93b3e8_z.jpg0358 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690043243_56df93b3e8_z.jpg

 

He hooked all our jet skis together, and said we could jump in and spend a while here observing all the beautiful fish and coral. While there were a few other tours here at the same time, it never felt crowded because there is just so much to see and we were all spread out. I never enjoy snorkeling in over-crowded areas because I am more concerned with getting kicked in the head than with looking at the fish, but that was not a problem here and I was able to slowly float around and enjoy the moment.

 

They're coming right for me!

37103766620_cf3bf62a54_z.jpg0373 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103766620_cf3bf62a54_z.jpg

 

37359579771_4ce609ef65_z.jpg0364 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37359579771_4ce609ef65_z.jpg

 

I think this coral looks like cauliflower!

37359579441_afe7161573_z.jpg0366 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37359579441_afe7161573_z.jpg

 

I really liked this little guy…

37103766940_5357166324_z.jpg0371 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103766940_5357166324_z.jpg

 

 

37359576121_ec563b5d56_z.jpg0374 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37359576121_ec563b5d56_z.jpg

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wow those fish photos are incredible

 

Thank you! My trick is that I always try to keep the sun behind me when I take photos underwater. It's not always possible, but I rarely like the photos when I am shooting into the sun. As with on land, the colors look brighter and the water looks clearer when you shoot away from the sun :cool:

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A few of us took a little break from snorkeling and were standing on a sandy spot and chatting when we felt something slide up along our legs! What was that?! We all jumped and looked down to see 2 stingrays swimming around us! Rai had some fish to help attract them, and he captured some fantastic photos of us playing with the rays.

 

They were pretty big sting rays… this guy fills nearly the whole bottom of this photo!

37329770162_7245c93e53_z.jpg0427 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329770162_7245c93e53_z.jpg

 

Rai encouraged us to touch the sting rays, and they were all so friendly and kept jumping up on us that we couldn’t avoid touching them even if we wanted to!

36650758004_5b75a36af8_z.jpg0428 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36650758004_5b75a36af8_z.jpg

 

37329769802_2ebb1002b0_z.jpg0429 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329769802_2ebb1002b0_z.jpg

 

37103765410_225ff185bd_z.jpg0379 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103765410_225ff185bd_z.jpg

 

Rai showed us how we could hold the fish on our palm and hook our fingers under so when we fed it to the sting rays, they would tow us around under water. Unfortunately for me, they seemed to want to eat my finger more than the fish and the sting ray clamped down on my finger and bit me! I immediately relaxed my hand to release the fish, hoping he would release my finger, but that didn’t work. I eventually was able to pull my finger free, but not without that ray leaving a mark. It’s hard to see because my fingers are still wet and pruney, but you can see the bite marks on my middle and ring finger.

 

23508393408_2cc5a650cc_z.jpg0382 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508393408_2cc5a650cc_z.jpg

 

It actually started bleeding a little bit after I took this photo, which worried me most knowing that we would be swimming with sharks atour next stop! Rai said not to worry and that the sharks don’t know what human blood smells or tastes like, and that they wouldn’t bother me. Luckily, we packed a jar of liquid bandaid, so I was able to tend to my wounds and it didn’t become infected. That sting ray left me with a scar on my middle finger, so now I have a permanent souvenir from our jet ski tour in Moorea!

 

Anyway, back to the fun photos… DH mastered the fish trick and got the sting ray to tow him for quite a while!

 

 

36650757734_9bbdb87415_z.jpg0430 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36650757734_9bbdb87415_z.jpg

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Rai showed off so we could see how it’s really done…

36690037893_617c7f816b_z.jpg0376 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690037893_617c7f816b_z.jpg

After all that excitement, we got back on our jet skis to head off for our last stop.

 

37329769642_7f949aa9fa_z.jpg0431 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329769642_7f949aa9fa_z.jpg

 

We rode for less than 5 minutes to a spot out on the north coast a little closer to the Intercontinental hotel. For whatever reason, it was extremely windy at this spot. All 6 of us had been eager to jump in the water at every stop, but we all looked at each other and hesitated when we got here because the wind made the water very rough and choppy. Rai kept waving at us to get in the water and come join him, so eventually we all obliged. We made our way over to where Rai was standing as he tossed fish into the water. Within seconds, at least 10 black tip reef sharks swam over and were going crazy to get their lunch! These sharks had zero interest in us humans! It was such a surreal feeling to be in the water with sharks and not need to panic and get away from them.

 

36650757524_9c10f5847e_z.jpg0432 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36650757524_9c10f5847e_z.jpg

23508370038_e6f5d9e05a_z.jpg0389 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508370038_e6f5d9e05a_z.jpg

 

Note that I did not use the zoom on my camera for these photos… the sharks were within touching distance (although we were warned not to try to touch them as you never know if that will upset them!)

23508368208_9453df6966_z.jpg0394 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508368208_9453df6966_z.jpg

 

Touching the sting rays was still fair game though!

 

37329775892_e46ef499e9_z.jpg0397 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329775892_e46ef499e9_z.jpg

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Thank you! My trick is that I always try to keep the sun behind me when I take photos underwater. It's not always possible, but I rarely like the photos when I am shooting into the sun. As with on land, the colors look brighter and the water looks clearer when you shoot away from the sun :cool:

 

 

Hi,

 

I was wondering what camera do you use for underwater shots? I am in the market for a new one and yours takes great pictures.

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I just got caught up with your review, from the beginning as I finally have some time. I actually felt the excitement build getting to the airports and then the long flights, then DESTINATION! I do remember how excited we were getting to the airport the morning we left for Hawaii and anticipating that long flight. And the jet lag...I can relate. Hawaii was 6 hours behind our time in Virginia, so we got there early afternoon and by 5 - 6PM, we were really tired. Others who had been to Hawaii told us "do NOT go to sleep early in the evening" and recommended staying up as late as possible. We managed to stay up till about 10:30PM that first night. But for most of the trip, I started feeling tired in the late afternoon. With the flight home, we left Hawaii at 4PM and got into Dulles at 6:30PM, but stayed up till 10:30 that night and did not have any issues once back. None. I couldn't believe it but no complaints.

 

And your pictures ...wow, wow, and WOW!!! Would love to do this someday or just go and stay for a week. After Hawaii, I think we're happy with a week or 8 days (if flying in for a cruise a day early).

 

Thank you about our loss, definitely a tough one. I did finally manage to start going through the pictures. I'm going to have to edit the ones I took with the DSLR (Canon Rebel t1i). The color was right on with the phone's camera, but same pictures on the DSLR are rather "bleh". The quality is there, just the color is kind of drab. I know there is a function in the settings of the camera to adjust the saturation and I had adjusted, but not enough. You pictures are so vivid and colorful though.

 

San Jose...we could also walk to Branham! OK, I'll just spill it...we lived on Joseph Lane, on the end near 85 (Norman Y. Mineta Hwy.), which was not there when we moved. It was a larger field/former orchard. There were a few stables where people kept horses. We'd ride bikes in a drainage ditch at the edge of that field. I got on Google "Street View" about a year ago, just for kicks. SOOO much has changed. But it's so cool that you now call my former "home", "home", although I do know you miss the east coast. I was only 10 when we moved and mainly grew up in Western PA (Pittsburgh) area, so that is "home" to me.

 

But can't wait to see more. No pressure since I know how much work goes into these things.

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Hi,

 

I was wondering what camera do you use for underwater shots? I am in the market for a new one and yours takes great pictures.

 

I bought a new underwater camera for this vacation and used it to take all of my photos both underwater and above, and all of my videos. It is the Olympus TG-5. This is a brand new generation of the Olympus TG cameras, and it consistently ranks as the top underwater camera through all of it's generations. The camera has the ability to add an attachment, and these are also waterproof. I bought the fisheye lens attachment and I think it made a huge difference. I really loved how much I could capture in my landscape shots, and it also made it easier to take a selfie without a selfie stick (ie: just holding out the camera facing back towards me). The whole package was a bit pricey but I think it was worth it :)

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I just got caught up with your review, from the beginning as I finally have some time. I actually felt the excitement build getting to the airports and then the long flights, then DESTINATION! I do remember how excited we were getting to the airport the morning we left for Hawaii and anticipating that long flight. And the jet lag...I can relate. Hawaii was 6 hours behind our time in Virginia, so we got there early afternoon and by 5 - 6PM, we were really tired. Others who had been to Hawaii told us "do NOT go to sleep early in the evening" and recommended staying up as late as possible. We managed to stay up till about 10:30PM that first night. But for most of the trip, I started feeling tired in the late afternoon. With the flight home, we left Hawaii at 4PM and got into Dulles at 6:30PM, but stayed up till 10:30 that night and did not have any issues once back. None. I couldn't believe it but no complaints.

 

And your pictures ...wow, wow, and WOW!!! Would love to do this someday or just go and stay for a week. After Hawaii, I think we're happy with a week or 8 days (if flying in for a cruise a day early).

 

Thank you about our loss, definitely a tough one. I did finally manage to start going through the pictures. I'm going to have to edit the ones I took with the DSLR (Canon Rebel t1i). The color was right on with the phone's camera, but same pictures on the DSLR are rather "bleh". The quality is there, just the color is kind of drab. I know there is a function in the settings of the camera to adjust the saturation and I had adjusted, but not enough. You pictures are so vivid and colorful though.

 

San Jose...we could also walk to Branham! OK, I'll just spill it...we lived on Joseph Lane, on the end near 85 (Norman Y. Mineta Hwy.), which was not there when we moved. It was a larger field/former orchard. There were a few stables where people kept horses. We'd ride bikes in a drainage ditch at the edge of that field. I got on Google "Street View" about a year ago, just for kicks. SOOO much has changed. But it's so cool that you now call my former "home", "home", although I do know you miss the east coast. I was only 10 when we moved and mainly grew up in Western PA (Pittsburgh) area, so that is "home" to me.

 

But can't wait to see more. No pressure since I know how much work goes into these things.

 

Wow, this really is a small world... I know exactly where you lived because our old house was on one of the cul-de-sacs literally around the corner from Joseph Lane! I miss that neighborhood! Some of the other people on our court had lived in their houses for decades so they probably lived there when you did... they told us about how much the area has changed over the years and how the streets used to cut all the way through before they put in the highway. BTW, everyone calls it 85, not that crazy long name lol

 

Honestly, I think if you are going to travel somewhere as far as French Polynesia (especially for you, coming from the east coast), 8 days is not long enough to make the length and cost of the flights worth it. I understand your hesitation to take a longer trip at this point, but maybe you'll change your mind as time goes on :)

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Thank you very much for your review. We went to Polynesia this summer (on the other cruise line) and your description fits exactly our impression. Keep up the good work. If someone is interested in my travel photos (from the other line) let me know.

 

We are very happy to hear that Benjamin, Rai and Olivier took good care of you at the MAC. Benjamin is a good friend of mine and enjoy every minute with him.

Edited by dandee2
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Thank you very much for your review. We went to Polynesia this summer (on the other cruise line) and your description fits exactly our impression. Keep up the good work. If someone is interested in my travel photos (from the other line) let me know.

 

We are very happy to hear that Benjamin, Rai and Olivier took good care of you at the MAC. Benjamin is a good friend of mine and enjoy every minute with him.

 

Oh how funny! Benjamin was great- always easy to coordinate with before our trip, and so much fun to hang out with between our tours :) He is very hard working and has built a great company!

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Oh how funny! Benjamin was great- always easy to coordinate with before our trip, and so much fun to hang out with between our tours :) He is very hard working and has built a great company!

 

Great to hear both of your recommendations for the MAC tours on Moorea! Yesterday I booked the "Big Combo" tour, after reading this review and the ones on TripAdvisor, for our trip next May. Great price for an ATV tour the first day and a Jet Ski tour the second day. Benjamin was very prompt in getting back with me.

 

Thanks,

 

Doug

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36650761284_5542985853_z.jpg0407 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36650761284_5542985853_z.jpg

 

37329769092_305059fd9a_z.jpg0435 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329769092_305059fd9a_z.jpg

 

Here is a video that I took when we first arrived after they started throwing fish in the water. I apologize for how shaky it is, but the water was really choppy so it was tossing me around a bit! I will try to embed the video again, so if it doesn't work, you will just see a big white space and then I will post the link below.

Yojv0YPm4yQ

 

 

Once all the sharks swam away, we had a few minutes to play in the water, and Rai was kind enough to take a few photos of us with the shoreline of Moorea in the background. I wish there weren’t so many water spots on the lens though!!

 

37329772952_215eab4b3c_z.jpg0410 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329772952_215eab4b3c_z.jpg

 

36650756914_3c9240991c_z.jpg0436 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36650756914_3c9240991c_z.jpg

 

After a thrilling but exhausting 3 hours, it was time to head back to Opunohu Bayto return our jet skis to the MAC office.

 

37312785446_890dba6014_z.jpg0441 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37312785446_890dba6014_z.jpg

 

Overall, we loved this jet ski tour and we thought Rai was a great tour guide. He kept us informed of what was happening, where we were going next, and how long it should take to get there. At the start of the tour, he assigned us an order to be first, second, or third behind him, and then he encouraged us to change up the order after each stop. He had a waterproof camera and he took several hundred photos of us throughout the 3 hour tour. Since we all took turns being up front, he got great shots of everyone and he also always seemed to be looking over his shoulder to make sure everyone was safe and keeping up with the group. In fact, if I have one complaint, it would be that he sometimes drove a bit too fast. That might be fun for some people, but I found it very hard to hold on (especially after we made our first snorkeling stop because my bathing suit was wet and slippery!), and I felt like I might fall off the jet ski at any moment. I definitely had a fun morning on the tour, but I think I may have enjoyed it a little more if we went just a smidge slower.

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Once we got back to the MAC office, they had an outdoor shower so we could wash off the salt water. They also had a restroom for us to use. We dried off a bit and were then rewarded with some more Tahiti Drink. Since we had no other plans for the rest of the day today, we hung out on the couches and chatted with Benjamin and Rai and the other people on our tour. Every time we finished our cup of Tahiti Drink, they refilled it! Such a great way to end a fun tour! If you are ever in Moorea and looking for a thrilling, memorable, active excursion, do not hesitate to book with Moorea Activities Center! These were 2 tours we will never forget!

 

On our way home from the MAC office, we stopped by the Intercontinental to ask about their evening shows. They told us there was a show scheduled for Monday (tomorrow) night and we could either pay $100 per person for the dinner buffet, or we could sit at the pool bar and enjoy a drink and watch the show from a distance. The only exception was if the weather was rainy or too windy, then the show would be moved indoors and we could not watch from the bar.

 

The concierge said it was okay if we wanted to walk around the hotel grounds. We were still wet from the jet ski tour so we didn’t stay long, but we did walk out towards the over water bungalows to take a few quick photos.

 

23508360298_0ddf4c5856_z.jpg0446 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508360298_0ddf4c5856_z.jpg

 

37103756220_93174e41a6_z.jpg0449 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103756220_93174e41a6_z.jpg

 

When we got back to the hotel, we toasted the 2-day old baguette on our stove top, and that made it taste good again so we could make sandwiches with some turkey and cheese. We really took advantage of having that porch to eat our meals in the shade with a beautiful view!

 

DH hanging peering out from our porch:

23508359328_9b0346870e_z.jpg0453 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508359328_9b0346870e_z.jpg

 

Moorea Fare Miti looks so pretty in the afternoon light when the sun shines on all the bungalows.

 

37329765122_5cf0b841f3_z.jpg0454 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37329765122_5cf0b841f3_z.jpg

 

After lunch, we borrowed one of the kayaks from the hotel lobby so we could paddle out towards the little motu. Unfortunately for us, it was almost low tide, so all of the coral was very close to the water surface and our kayak kept getting stuck. Faby was actually sitting on the beach while we were launching our kayak, but she did not warn us. Once we got about 30 feet out from shore, she saw how much we were struggling as we got stuck on rocks and coral at every turn. She yelled out to us that there are paths cleared on either side of the motu and that is where we should have gone, instead of down the middle. Wouldn’t it have been more helpful if she told us that before we put the kayak in the water?! She was sitting right there and surely she knew that we would run into this problem! Anyway, after a little more paddling, we made it to the clearing and then it was no problem to get out to the motu. The water here is so incredibly clear that we didn’t need to get in the water to snorkel- we could just look down at it from in the kayak and see everything underneath us!

 

23508358398_5d362a33c0_z.jpg0457 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508358398_5d362a33c0_z.jpg

 

There’s our bungalow on the beach!

 

36690015493_5855ef746b_z.jpg0459 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690015493_5855ef746b_z.jpg

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