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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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I liked the effect of the sun made when looking down into the water

37313032046_afc958b221_z.jpg0576 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313032046_afc958b221_z.jpg

 

At around 10:30am, we needed a break from the sun so we went back to our hut for some Hinanos…hey, it’s 5:00pm somewhere!

37313030896_9b888bee25_z.jpg0579 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313030896_9b888bee25_z.jpg

 

Then, at 11:30, the guide rounded everyone up and said it was time for the first feeding. We grabbed our snorkels and masks and jumped back in the water.

37313030616_9d23dd4c93_z.jpg0580 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313030616_9d23dd4c93_z.jpg

 

The guide brought out a big tub of baguettes and fish for the feedings. Within seconds, hundreds of fish emerged along with a few sting rays and reef sharks.

 

36690260603_f7895b450a_z.jpg0582 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690260603_f7895b450a_z.jpg

 

37313029726_37d4127f81_z.jpg0583 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313029726_37d4127f81_z.jpg

 

36690259673_b2690b056f_z.jpg0584 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690259673_b2690b056f_z.jpg

 

 

Notice all of that coral down there? I was kind of annoyed that the guide lead us to believe that there was nothing to see in the water before the feeding because I would have happily gone out to explore the coral in the 2 and a half hours we spent essentially killing time. We paid for admission to be here and wanted to make the most of our time, but I felt like this guide did not really know what he was doing. Maybe the owner just told him to spend his day shuttling people back and forth from the motu on their boat, and throwing fish and bread in the water at feeding time, but did not tell him anything else?? We did enjoy our time here during the feeding, but would have appreciated if the guide gave us correct information about being able to snorkel with just the coral (and any fish who may live in that coral) earlier in the day.

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36690257963_7693eca0b8_z.jpg0588 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690257963_7693eca0b8_z.jpg

 

It was a breezy day, and the current tends to be rough over on this side of the island, so there are ropes set up in the water to give us something to hold on to so we don’t have to fight the current and can relax in the water.

 

37313025936_98231ea31e_z.jpg0594 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313025936_98231ea31e_z.jpg

 

Like Rai did yesterday, the guide used one of the sting rays to tow him around the water. This time around, he did not encourage us to participate, just to watch him do it. That was fine by me since I did not want to try it again anyway!

23508582158_9f72d107e6_z.jpg0597 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508582158_9f72d107e6_z.jpg

 

23508581438_3aabd4562c_z.jpg0599 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508581438_3aabd4562c_z.jpg

37103937180_2f821ec1d6_z.jpg0600 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103937180_2f821ec1d6_z.jpg

 

 

23508580568_217301543c_z.jpg0601 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508580568_217301543c_z.jpg

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Thanks for your review. When we were there in July we were able to snorkel as soon as we arrived. Unfortunately all of the huts were taken and it was very uncomfortable trying to find a place to sit in the shade. Feeding of the fish and getting a "ride" on the stingray is a questionable practice. While I enjoy seeing all the fish I'm not sure that this is the best practice.

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I'm with FlightMedic re questionable practice of riding rays... also the stingers are broken off, done to avoid injury but leaves them defenseless.

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Thanks for your review. When we were there in July we were able to snorkel as soon as we arrived. Unfortunately all of the huts were taken and it was very uncomfortable trying to find a place to sit in the shade. Feeding of the fish and getting a "ride" on the stingray is a questionable practice. While I enjoy seeing all the fish I'm not sure that this is the best practice.

 

We figured out that we could have just jumped in the water and moved around the ropes to see the coral on our own. It was just so weird that the guide specifically said there was no snorkeling until the feedings. And yes, I totally understand that feeding the fish and riding the rays is questionable as it's not the greatest way to treat those fish, but it sure does make for a fun snorkeling experience!

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37103936660_a14796151b_z.jpg0602 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103936660_a14796151b_z.jpg

 

My snorkel came with a GoPro attachment on the end of the mouthpiece, and I thought the Lagoonarium was the perfect use case for this! I knew the current was supposed to be strong and I did not know if I could be able to take one hand off the rope to take photos, so I attached my GoPro to the mouthpiece, set it to take one photo every 5 seconds, and hoped for the best! As it turned out, I was able to hang on with one hand while I took photos with the other hand, so the GoPro was not needed, but it was fun to have the option!

 

37103936320_eb27b0738c_z.jpg0604 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103936320_eb27b0738c_z.jpg

 

The feeding lasted about 1 hour and there were a maximum of 20 people there with us so it wasn’t too crowded. Unfortunately, there was one lady who was very pushy and she literally pushed DH out of her way when he was trying to grab hold of the rope at one point. This sent him down into some coral where he scraped up the top of his foot (we were wearing water shoes but this was just above that point on his ankle). I had no idea this happened, but when I got back to our hut after the feeding, I saw DH sitting in his chair with blood all over his foot. I didn’t see any coral left behind in his skin, so I grabbed a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom and used that to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. Luckily the cut wasn’t very deep and I did not think he needed stitches, but I still worried about him getting an infection. I found the guide and explained what happened, and asked if they had a first aid kit or bandaids or anything to help. I wasn’t sure he understood me with the language barrier as he spoke minimal English, but he met me back at our hut with some berries in his hands. Umm, what’s that for?! He squeezed the juice from the berries onto DH’s wound and explained that there was a natural antiseptic in the berry. We weren’t sure we believed him, but hoped it wouldn’t cause any damage and continued to apply toilet paper to keep the wound covered up. It was not even 1pm and we knew DH shouldn’t get back in the water so he could let the cut close up. We thought about just heading back to the car now, but decided to hangout a little longer since we paid to be here all day, and DH didn’t want to deal with the wet landing to get off the boat back onto Moorea.

 

We opened up a few more Hinanos and ate our sandwiches in our hut, then spent some time reading and journaling. Apparently we left a few crumbs behind from our baguettes because a bunch of birds found their way to our hut.

23508578828_1dba622d94_z.jpg0605 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508578828_1dba622d94_z.jpg

 

I loved how beautiful the water was here, with so many shades of blues and aquas. This photo shows the waves breaking over the reef- we were surprised that we didn’t see any surfers out there! You can also see the horrible sunburn on my right leg. That was another souvenir from the jet ski tour yesterday, since I was never dry enough to reapply sunscreen. I am actually fairly certain I ended up with sun poisoning because this burn went on to blister and ooze and do all sorts of gross things as the week went on. It is now over a month after we took that jet ski tour and I still have a large patch of dry skin where that sunburn was! I wish I had thought to wear a rashguard pants/leggings in addition to my shirt! That was actually the only day I got a sunburn on the entire 17 day vacation, but boy did it leave a lasting mark on my legs!! If you look very closely, you can also see the fresh wounds on DH’s right ankle. This trip was really beating us up, but we were so grateful that we thought to pack the bottle of liquid bandaid!!!

37103935190_256251a8b2_z.jpg0610 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103935190_256251a8b2_z.jpg

 

You can also see Tahiti in the background!

 

37103936020_dd05150f0a_z.jpg0606 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103936020_dd05150f0a_z.jpg

 

And then, as if someone flipped a switch, the weather pattern completely changed at about 1:45pm. We were sitting in our hut and I was debating if I should hop back in the water for the 2pm feeding (DH knew he had to sit that one out). All of a sudden, the skies got very dark, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped by at least 10 degrees, and it started to rain. I was so bummed because I really wanted to go snorkeling again, but you could tell the current was much stronger now, and I was still quite tired from the snorkeling before lunch, so I didn’t feel safe going out there again. Meanwhile, DH took advantage of the shelter in our little hut to hide from the rain and stay warm in the cooler temperatures. That hut really came in handy!

 

37313019476_bb05283f0e_z.jpg0614 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313019476_bb05283f0e_z.jpg

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Looks like I’m not the only person who wants to watch the feeding from the shore!

37103934470_dbaf756512_z.jpg0615 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103934470_dbaf756512_z.jpg

 

This photo really tells the story of a day at Lagoonarium…The guide is standing in the water throwing out pieces of bread and fish to bring in the black tip reef sharks and sting rays. The snorkelers are holding onto the rope so they don’t get swept up in the current and end up back in Moorea without taking the outrigger canoe! There were a bunch of birds flying overhead, hoping to get their share of the bread. All with a view of Moorea in the background.

37313018796_362b49fb0d_z.jpg0616 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313018796_362b49fb0d_z.jpg

Despite the cloudy sky and rain, the water was still clearenough that we could see the sharks, sting rays, and fish swimming below.

37103934130_49093e8d21_z.jpg0617 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103934130_49093e8d21_z.jpg

 

37313018086_a9d62e1fa9_z.jpg0618 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313018086_a9d62e1fa9_z.jpg

 

Check out those waves crashing over the reef!

37103933670_a912a8efbe_z.jpg0619 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103933670_a912a8efbe_z.jpg

 

The 2pm feeding also lasted one hour. Since the guide can’t drive the boat while he is running the feeding, there is no way to head back to Moorea until he is finished. The next boat back was leaving at 3:15pm and every seat was filled, so I guess we weren’t the only ones who were ready to leave!

 

37103933370_7143242152_z.jpg0621 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103933370_7143242152_z.jpg

 

 

Overall, I would say that the snorkeling at the Lagoonariumis great during feeding time with the sheer volume of fish that are swimming around you, so that makes it worth the cost of admission. However, going back and reading some of the reviews on Trip Advisor when Wilfred was working does make me feel as if we missed out by going the day we went. I was not very impressed with the guide we had, and I suspect we would have gotten more out of the experience if we went on a different day. If you are going to go, make sure to arrive early so you can get a private hut as I think that was a nice feature but it is not guaranteed to everyone.

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I loved how beautiful the water was here, with so many shades of blues and aquas. This photo shows the waves breaking over the reef- we were surprised that we didn’t see any surfers out there! You can also see the horrible sunburn on my right leg. That was another souvenir from the jet ski tour yesterday, since I was never dry enough to reapply sunscreen. I am actually fairly certain I ended up with sun poisoning because this burn went on to blister and ooze and do all sorts of gross things as the week went on. It is now over a month after we took that jet ski tour and I still have a large patch of dry skin where that sunburn was! I wish I had thought to wear a rashguard pants/leggings in addition to my shirt! That was actually the only day I got a sunburn on the entire 17 day vacation, but boy did it leave a lasting mark on my legs!! If you look very closely, you can also see the fresh wounds on DH’s right ankle. This trip was really beating us up, but we were so grateful that we thought to pack the bottle of liquid bandaid!!!

37103935190_256251a8b2_z.jpg

 

Loving the pictures, especially those that highlight the intricate coloring of the ocean.

 

You did not mention aloe vera to treat the sunburn, so I wondered if you knew of it. When I travel with sunscreen I always take along a bottle of aloe vera gel/lotion. When applied to sunburns it does a marvelous job of reducing pain and helping skin heal.

 

You might try vitamin E moisturizing oil on the dry patch. Usually available in the beauty/skin care department of a pharmacy. The oil aids in skin healing.

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Loving the pictures, especially those that highlight the intricate coloring of the ocean.

 

You did not mention aloe vera to treat the sunburn, so I wondered if you knew of it. When I travel with sunscreen I always take along a bottle of aloe vera gel/lotion. When applied to sunburns it does a marvelous job of reducing pain and helping skin heal.

 

You might try vitamin E moisturizing oil on the dry patch. Usually available in the beauty/skin care department of a pharmacy. The oil aids in skin healing.

 

Oh yes, I definitely travel with aloe vera gel! I used it, and I do think it helped to some extent as it kept the skin hydrated. This burn was like nothing I have ever experienced... it didn't hurt like a normal sunburn hurts, and I didn't feel much heat when I touched my skin. It was sore and ached more than anything, and it was very sensitive if anything touched it. The blisters running the entire length of my thigh was the craziest part! I have used vitamin E capsules to prevent scars from forming after a deep cut and they work well for that. Maybe I'll add some to my emergency kit for our next cruise! Thanks :)

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We got back to the hotel by 4pm, and got showered and ready for dinner. I forgot to mention this earlier, but when we checked in on Friday, Faby explained that they do not clean our bungalow daily, but instead, they come in every 3 days to change the sheets and towels. We had been doing our own dishes and making our bed all weekend, and we hung our towels up and put them back on the towel bar each time we used them…oh, the hardship! Hehe Elvis was due to come in today to change our sheets and towels, but we were surprised to see that he also did our dishes and reset the bungalow to how it looked when we checked in. It was a pleasant surprise to come home from a long day in the sun and to see our bed looking like this:

37313016746_ee856372e4_z.jpg0622 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313016746_ee856372e4_z.jpg

 

Our plan was to go to the Intercontinental to see the show tonight, but since it had been raining all afternoon, we had a hunch that our evening would not go as planned. DH went down to the office to exchange our beach towels for clean ones (we had them with us at the Lagoonarium so Elvis didn’t replace them yet). While he was there, he mentioned our plans to Faby and she offered to call the Intercontinental for us to confirm if the show would be inside or outside tonight. Sure enough, the rain forced them to move the show inside tonight, so we could not go see it. We could have paid the $100 per person to have dinner there, and then we could have seen the show, but the one part we really wanted to see was the fire dancers, and that would not happen tonight. We knew they had similar shows in the evenings on PG so we did not want to pay to see the show here in Moorea when it would be free for us to see a few days later. The one difference was that there would not be fire dancing on the PG (we all know a fire is the worst thing that can happen on a cruise ship!), so we were sad that we missed out on our only opportunity to see fire dancing on this vacation.

 

Side note: The Intercontinental also has shows on Wednesday nights and Saturday nights. We missed those 2 shows because we were not staying in Moorea on Wednesday night (that was the day we would board the PG), and we already had our sunset catamaran scheduled for Saturday night. As we already saw, it rained on Saturday night so even if we didn’t have our scheduling conflict, I am sure they would have cancelled the outside show then too.

 

Moving on to Plan B, we waited until the rain stopped, then took a walk to Le Petit Village. We were hoping to go to one of the restaurants near where we ate dinner last night, and then go to one of the bars there after dinner, and we didn’t want to deal with driving. The walk only took about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, our bad luck continued tonight because all of the restaurants were closed! I thought things were supposed to be closed on Sundays, not Mondays?!? It was completely silent, dark, and deserted, so we turned around and walked back to the hotel. Apparently we would need to take out the car after all, so we wished we had just driven in the first place. We ran into Faby in the office on our way back to our bungalow and she said that a lot of the restaurants are closed on Mondays. She said there might be one place opened if we went just a little further up the road from where we turned around, but I wasn’t so sure considering how quiet and dark it had been.

 

We got in the car and started driving back towards Le Petit Village, and sure enough, a minute or two after we passed the place where we turned around, we found ONE restaurant that was opened. Le Motu was a small, casual restaurant with a lengthy and inexpensive menu. We ordered 2 of the pizzas to go, and waited about 15 minutes for them to bake them fresh for us.

 

37313016016_e176489da4_z.jpg0624 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313016016_e176489da4_z.jpg

 

37103933210_9f99b16245_z.jpg0623 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37103933210_9f99b16245_z.jpg

 

We brought the pizzas back to our hotel and enjoyed them on the porch with the bottle of sparking wine we had bought at Super-U on Friday morning.

36651053514_e37332d84e_z.jpg0625 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36651053514_e37332d84e_z.jpg

 

 

As much as I loved being on the porch in the early morning hours, I didn’t love the porch at night because of the mosquitoes. When we turned on the light on our porch, it felt like every mosquito and insect in Moorea joined us. The bungalow did have mosquito coils that we could burn to help control the bugs, but I don’t think it helped much and the smell wasn’t very pleasant. I did end up with quite a few mosquito bites over my time in Moorea, but then again, I tend to attract bug bites wherever I go so why would FP be any different? I just wished there was a screen surrounding the porch to protect us. Despite that, we spent the rest of the night out on the porch until it was time for bed.

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37156072126_ff28b3f4ea_z.jpg05 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37156072126_ff28b3f4ea_z.jpg

 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 ~ Exploring Moorea by Car

 

Yet another morning when I woke up at 6am… why do I even bother setting my alarm clock when I always wake up before it goes off anyway?! Meanwhile, DH has managed to sleep until at least 7am every morning! I snuck out of the bedroom and took my usual spot on the porch to jot down a few notes in my trip journal. I could already tell the weather today would be the best we had seen in Moorea… the sky was bright blue and the air was crisp and not humid at all.

 

The water looks so eerie this early in the morning when the low tide allows the coral to rise above the surface.

37360323471_c9e2fe235f_z.jpg0626 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360323471_c9e2fe235f_z.jpg

 

Just as the sun rises above the mountain, the tide starts to rise, and that’s when we see the beautiful blue water show its true colors!

37360322761_4f2eae8ab9_z.jpg0628 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360322761_4f2eae8ab9_z.jpg

 

37104399390_2a038ea57e_z.jpg0629 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104399390_2a038ea57e_z.jpg

 

37104398910_529b887125_z.jpg0631 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104398910_529b887125_z.jpg

 

Promptly at 7:15am, I went down to the lobby to pick up our order of coconut bread, and brought it back to the bungalow to enjoy on the porch with some brie cheese and pineapple jam. I have never eaten as much brie as I did over the 17 days of this vacation! It has always been my favorite cheese, but I have never been able to eat it every single day (…sometimes multiple times per day!) It’s the little things in life!

 

The tiki sculptures at the base of the palm trees around our hotel always made me smile

 

37360320911_458428e44c_z.jpg0632 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360320911_458428e44c_z.jpg

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We didn’t really have anything specific planned for today. We knew we wanted to return to Belvedere because the weather was much better than when we went on Saturday. The PG was anchored in Opunohu Bay, so we hoped to sneak a peak if it was clear enough from the overlook point, and maybe we’d also see it as we were driving around the island. We also wanted to check out some of the other shopping areas on the island, and basically do everything we had not yet done since this was our last full day in Moorea.

 

As we were getting ready to leave for the day, we ran into Elvis. He asked if we had tasted a fresh coconut yet. We said no, so he used one of his tools to pick a coconut fresh from the tree in the middle of the hotel. He whipped out a machete (where was he hiding that thing?!) and quickly sliced open the coconut and handed us a straw so we could drink the milk.

 

37360319661_906faf6d8a_z.jpg0634 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360319661_906faf6d8a_z.jpg

 

37104397960_417b21d9c4_z.jpg0635 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104397960_417b21d9c4_z.jpg

 

37104397270_47c1b16988_z.jpg0637 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104397270_47c1b16988_z.jpg

 

When we were done, Elvis sliced the coconut into quarters so we could eat the fruit from the middle. What a great start to our day!

 

Here is our car parked in front of the lobby of Moorea Fare Miti. Notice the cute tiki sculptures in the lawn!

37104396650_cda4d33f9c_z.jpg0639 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104396650_cda4d33f9c_z.jpg

 

Our first stop of the day was to go straight to Belvedere while the skies were still clear. We didn’t want to miss our chance at seeing the view without clouds! The drive was very easy and there were plenty of signs along the way. There is a turn off towards the mountain side of the road at the south end of Opunohu Bay, and the road was paved for our whole drive up to the lookout point.

 

37360315311_1d8338968f_z.jpg0640 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360315311_1d8338968f_z.jpg

 

 

37104396090_a4aae929d4_z.jpg0641 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104396090_a4aae929d4_z.jpg

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It wasn’t a big surprise that Belvedere was much more crowded today versus when we were here on Saturday. I think at least one third of the 330 PG passengers were taking cruise ship excursions that brought them up here to enjoy the views with us. That made it a little tricky to get a photo with no other people in it, but that’s okay, at least we could see the top of the mountain peak in front of us!!

 

Notice the PG peeking out from the lower left side of the middle peak in Opunohu Bay (the bay on the left)

37104395680_74e922cf60_z.jpg0643 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104395680_74e922cf60_z.jpg

 

This is one of my favorite photos of the entire honeymoon:

37360312501_4b72224528_z.jpg0646 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360312501_4b72224528_z.jpg

 

23509000518_8c1eca09d9_z.jpg0648 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23509000518_8c1eca09d9_z.jpg

 

23508999568_d8d441edb8_z.jpg0651 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23508999568_d8d441edb8_z.jpg

 

37360308741_f3f9fdafab_z.jpg0653 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360308741_f3f9fdafab_z.jpg

 

There are several hiking trails that pass through this overlook point (I posted the map already when we were here on Saturday). We were wearing flip flops, so we couldn’t really take advantage of the hikes, but we did try walking just a short distance on the trails to see what it was like.

 

 

23509000248_422300fcc2_z.jpg0650 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]23509000248_422300fcc2_z.jpg

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I just want to comment on what an amazing review this is. I want to surprise my wife for our 25th in 2019 and do a trip to FP. We have been to Hawaii for our honeymoon. But this will be a one time bucket list trip for us. Coming from the east coast will make it quite a long trip. But I think we might spend a day or two in LA before hand. I think I will do something very similar to this except do the cruise first then maybe a few days in Bora Bora. This review is going to help me A LOT. Thanks for taking the time to do it!

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I just want to comment on what an amazing review this is. I want to surprise my wife for our 25th in 2019 and do a trip to FP. We have been to Hawaii for our honeymoon. But this will be a one time bucket list trip for us. Coming from the east coast will make it quite a long trip. But I think we might spend a day or two in LA before hand. I think I will do something very similar to this except do the cruise first then maybe a few days in Bora Bora. This review is going to help me A LOT. Thanks for taking the time to do it!

 

Oh wow, your wife is very lucky that you would plan such a wonderful surprise for her!! I do hope you will spill the beans prior to leaving for the airport so she can share in the excitement and pre-vacation planning :D Feel free to ask questions if you think of anything as we go along!

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Oh wow, your wife is very lucky that you would plan such a wonderful surprise for her!! I do hope you will spill the beans prior to leaving for the airport so she can share in the excitement and pre-vacation planning :D Feel free to ask questions if you think of anything as we go along!

 

Ha! I think I will surprise her and tell her about the trip during our 24th Anniversary. I can get bonus points for a year if I do! We are actually leaving on a cruise tomorrow on the NCL Escape for a week. I will start the real planning once we get back. Again excellent review so far!

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On the drive back down the mountain, we stopped at one of the archaeological sites (called marae in Tahitian) along the road. The sign explained that they used to play archery here, with the aim of shooting further than 240 meters through a cleared area in the forest.

 

37360307241_faab20c85f_z.jpg0657 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360307241_faab20c85f_z.jpg

 

37313501856_90e8fc3e77_z.jpg0656 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313501856_90e8fc3e77_z.jpg

 

37360308051_c2c3b4057b_z.jpg0655 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360308051_c2c3b4057b_z.jpg

 

We spent a few minutes reading the signs, then continued on our way down the mountain and back out to the main road.

37313501106_9ef27af647_z.jpg0658 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313501106_9ef27af647_z.jpg

 

We turned right onto the main road and drove along the east side of Opunohu Bay until we reached the public beach called Ta’ahiamanu Beach. This gave us spectacular views of the PG anchored in the bay, with the mountains of Moorea in the background. We were so excited to get an up-close look at the ship we would be boarding tomorrow!!

 

 

37360306711_66dbd48d83_z.jpg0659 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360306711_66dbd48d83_z.jpg

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37313500446_f2ce0bae80_z.jpg0661 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313500446_f2ce0bae80_z.jpg

 

37360305821_df4e832027_z.jpg0662 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360305821_df4e832027_z.jpg

 

While we were taking photos, another couple drove up. We saw that they were also taking photos of the ship so we stopped to talk to them. It turns out that they were on the current sailing on the PG and were exploring the island on their port day. They told us that we were very fortunate to be cruising the week after them, as they had had horrible weather for their entire cruise. The seas were very rough and it was cloudy and raining every day, and many people (passengers and crew alike) were seasick. They said we were lucky because the bad weather system had finally finished and we were expected to see beautiful weather for the duration of our cruise. We asked them a few questions about their time on the ship, and then they continued on their tour of the island.

 

37360303941_c48decc959_z.jpg0668 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360303941_c48decc959_z.jpg

 

37313498186_8c8758bd66_z.jpg0671 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313498186_8c8758bd66_z.jpg

 

37104385910_f3cdde71d7_z.jpg0673 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104385910_f3cdde71d7_z.jpg

 

 

37104385070_4fa72868eb_z.jpg0675 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37104385070_4fa72868eb_z.jpg

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37313496726_c96ef9e8df_z.jpg0676 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313496726_c96ef9e8df_z.jpg

 

37313494536_40d0c80369_z.jpg0683 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313494536_40d0c80369_z.jpg

 

Side note about driving in Moorea: As I already mentioned, there is basically just one main road that goes around the perimeter of the island. There are some roads through the inland section but except for going up to Belvedere, you are not likely to drive through there. The man road is approximately 60 kilomters (36 miles) long, and I had read that it is marked with a PK sign at every kilometer. The distances are measured between the intersection of the airport road with the main round-island coastal road, and the village of Haapiti on the west side. In other words, the distances written on the PK signs increase from the airport in each direction (going both north and going south), and reaching 30km near Haapiti. The problem was, we could never seem to find any of these rumored PK signs! I was on directions duty as DH was the driver, and all of my notes told me PK numbers for all the restaurants and tourist spots we wanted to visit, but I could not find a PK sign anywhere and I often relied on the map I had created to find places based on their general location between other landmarks. Fast forward to today, the 5th day we were on the island, and I FINALLY spotted one of these PK signs!! It was sitting opposite the public beach and I saw it as we were walking back to our car. I figured out why I never saw them when we were driving… these signs face out towards the road instead of being positioned perpendicular to the road, and they are only about 18 inches tall, so it is very hard to see it when you are driving by at 40 or 60km/hr (those are the 2 speed limits depending on if you are in a town center or between towns). So for your reference, in case you opt to rent a car in Moorea, this is what the PK signs look like!

37313493496_833b8175c4_z.jpg0685 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313493496_833b8175c4_z.jpg

 

It was still a little early for lunch, so we went back to Moorea Fare Miti for a little while. This was one of the few times we were here at high tide and wow, what a difference that made! The water was so beautiful withthe sun shining down on it! I just couldn’t resist taking a few more photos, knowing today was the last chance we’d have to see the beach look like this since we had to check out tomorrow morning.

 

36690792313_377af92bd9_z.jpg0686 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36690792313_377af92bd9_z.jpg

 

37360293521_df042e9444_z.jpg0689 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360293521_df042e9444_z.jpg

 

 

37360292261_79dd2c46b4_z.jpg0692 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360292261_79dd2c46b4_z.jpg

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At around 12:30pm, we left the hotel for the 10-minute drive over to Snack Mahana, located just a little east of the Intercontinental. This small restaurant gets a lot of positive reviews both from the active posters on this forum on Cruise Critic as well as on Trip Advisor. The restaurant is very casual, with only outdoor seating on plastic tables and chairs, but the charm is that they are right on the water on the North coast and the tables are shaded by a single giant tree so you feel like you are eating in someone’s backyard (which, actually, I am pretty sure is exactly what you are doing since there is a little house on the property too! Haha). They are only opened for lunch on select days of the week, and they close by around 2 or 2:30pm, but if you time it right, you are in for a treat.

 

36651515594_75b4c807eb_z.jpg0695 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36651515594_75b4c807eb_z.jpg

 

The menu features both hot and cold entrees, priced around 1700-2100 XPF, plus a few burgers, drinks, and desserts.

 

37360290401_e009f06e8a_z.jpg0696 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360290401_e009f06e8a_z.jpg

 

37360290061_5096d873a3_z.jpg0697 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360290061_5096d873a3_z.jpg

 

The one thing I will warn you of is that service here is extremely slow. Based on the time stamp in my camera, it took 55 minutes between when I took the photo of the menus (which was probably about 5 minutes after we were seated since I read over the menu first before taking the photos) and when our food was delivered (I took the food photo immediately when the food was served). I understand that things move a little slower in FP than we are used to in America, but that was much slower than we expected. It didn’t help that the entire time we were there, there was a strong wind blowing. It was a nonstop, continuous wind, so much so that I had to change the side of the table I was sitting on so the wind would hit me differently because I couldn’t stand it blowing in the same spot of my head any longer! The views are definitely lovely, but you tend to stop enjoying it when it is so windy that you have goose bumps on your arms and you need to hold the silverware and tablecloth so they won’t blow away!

 

When the food did arrive, it was delicious. I ordered the tuna sashimi with rice and thought the fish was very fresh and the portion was generous.

36651514244_216cb20e9e_z.jpg0698 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36651514244_216cb20e9e_z.jpg

 

DH ordered the grilled mahi mahi with pepper sauce and fries (if you are in a French territory, do you call it French Fries, or just “fries”? hehe)

37360289451_f925537e21_z.jpg0699 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360289451_f925537e21_z.jpg

 

When all was said and done, we were at Snack Mahana for nearly 2 hours. Luckily, we didn’t really have a set schedule today so we were not in a rush, but keep this in mind if you plan to come here on a port day from the cruise ship. We were seated at a table next to a couple who was on the current sailing of the PG, so this was the last day of their cruise. Hi Jayhawk2000, if you are still reading along! It was great getting to chat with them and hear about their experience on the PG, and getting some extra behind the scenes pointers about their experience on the cruise.

 

After lunch, we continued our tour of the North side of the island. This mountain peak near Cook’s Bay looks like a woman’s face looking up to the sky. Can you see it? Her forehead is on the right, then her nose, lips, and her chin is on the left.

 

36651513414_b871cd16fd_z.jpg0700 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36651513414_b871cd16fd_z.jpg

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We got a kick out of this sign on the side of the road. Does this mean that you cannot repel along this stretch of road?? Hehe

36651513094_7eeeeb0fcb_z.jpg

 

We continued driving along the road, passed the town of Maharepa, and the signs for the golf course, until the road goes uphill to a scenic overlook. There are places to pull over and park your car along the side of the road so you can step out and check out the incredible views of Temae Beach (the larger of the 2 public beaches in Moorea), the Sofitel Hotel, and Tahiti off in the distance. This place is definitely worth a stop if you rent a car and have a way to get here because the views are so beautiful!

 

37360288421_aa761018c2_z.jpg

 

That shadow off at the horizon, below the clouds, is Tahiti

37313489446_42d9b9255f_z.jpg

 

37360285541_d282da83a1_z.jpg

 

This map was painted on the side of the hill across the street from the overlook. If you look closely at the right (east) side of the map, there is a white line along the northeast coast. That is where the airport is located. Just south of that is a small white dot- that’s where we were standing at the overlook point. It is hard to miss it if you are driving along the main road because you will see other cars pulled over here, and there is a large statue here too (I forgot to take a photo of it though).

37360284901_7a6a8622d9_z.jpg0713 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360284901_7a6a8622d9_z.jpg

Had we continued a little further east in the direction wehad been driving, we would have ended up back at the ferry terminal, so instead we made a U-turn and went back to check out the shopping in Maharepa Village. This is the largest shopping area in Moorea, with many stores selling jewelry, clothing, souvenirs, a grocery store, and a few restaurants. We stepped into the bakery Carameline and were amused to learn we could buy a divorce for just $4 LOL That was more than we bargained for on our honeymoon, so we skipped it.

37313486736_a4251867b1_z.jpg

 

We spent about an hour looking at the black pearls and the pareos and all the other goods. By the time we were done, it was a little after 4pm and we were getting tired. The weather was absolutely perfect today so we wanted to try having dinner at the Hilton again. We thought about driving all the way back to Moorea Fare Miti, but it didn’t really make sense since we would pass the Hilton, and it was a good 30 minute drive between our hotel and the Hilton. Luckily, we had brought along a change of clothes in the trunk of the car so we decided to just go straight to the Hilton now and relax there until the restaurant opened for dinner.

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When we arrived at the Hilton, it was 4:30pm. We checked in with the concierge and she said the restaurant doesn’t open until 6:30pm, but she was able to make a reservation for us and told us we could wait at the bar in the lobby. We used the restrooms in the lobby area to get changed into fresh clothes, and then took a seat outside at the bar, with a beautiful view of the water, the beach, and the over water bungalows. We had the most incredible view of the sunset while we waited for dinner. It was made even more spectacular when we saw a boat appear on the horizon… it was the PG heading back to Tahiti! I am sure the passengers on board were sad to be sailing by, but we wanted them to dock back in Tahiti ASAP and pack up their belongings so we could start our cruise tomorrow!! Haha

 

 

37360280361_ff7cbcd1c7_z.jpg

36651502474_1b3650edeb_z.jpg0725 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]36651502474_1b3650edeb_z.jpg

 

 

37360279551_b63939a06d_z.jpg0728 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37360279551_b63939a06d_z.jpg

 

 

37313481436_02285ec2a5_z.jpg0730 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313481436_02285ec2a5_z.jpg

 

 

37313480446_0fcfe69076_z.jpg0733 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37313480446_0fcfe69076_z.jpg

 

 

37330460112_d08ea770e8_z.jpg0742 by deladane, on Flickr"][/url]37330460112_d08ea770e8_z.jpg

 

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Beautiful pictures of the sunset at the Hilton! I'm enjoying your review and it is getting me excited for our trip in January on the PG to the Cook Islands/Society Islands. Looking forward to the cruise portion of your review!

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Beautiful pictures of the sunset at the Hilton! I'm enjoying your review and it is getting me excited for our trip in January on the PG to the Cook Islands/Society Islands. Looking forward to the cruise portion of your review!

 

Thank you!! I promise that I did eventually get on the cruise ship and I will write about it... it just takes a while to write up these posts, sort through my photos, and get it all posted online, plus work and other obligations. I promise to finish before your January cruise ;p

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The timing worked out perfectly, and just as the sun finished setting, it was time to walk over to the crepe restaurant for dinner. As I mentioned the other day,the restaurant is located out on the pier in the middle of all the over water bungalows, so it is raised above the water.

 

37330459692_abba795c1c_z.jpg

 

37330459472_09b54e6020_z.jpg

 

We arrived promptly at 6:30pm and had our pick of wherever we wanted to sit, so we opted to sit in the middle of the section to the left of the kitchen area so we would have a little shelter under the thatch roof in case the wind picked up (luckily, it didn’t) but we’d also have a great view of the water beneath us. The waitress brought us some menus and we took a few minutes to read over all the different options of crepes that they offered. The menu was quite extensive considering they only serve crepes!

 

37313476966_00b7950919_z.jpg

 

37313476046_fcfece797c_z.jpg

 

37330458832_ddb9929fdc_z.jpg

 

37330459092_807d4b5034_z.jpg

 

We were shocked to see that they had wine as inexpensive as $5 per glass, so we ordered 2 glasses of wine and 2 crepes.

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