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JIMinNC

PG Shore Excursions with Gimpy Hip

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We are booked for Paul Gauguin June 8-15, but my wife's arthritic right hip has been acting up a bit lately and she's going to need a hip replacement at some point in the not-too-distant future. We're trying to decide whether to delay the surgery until after the cruise in June or cancel/delay the cruise and go ahead and have the hip done sooner rather than later. We haven't paid in full for the cruise yet, but have already paid $4400 for two Premium Economy tickets on ATN. There is a cruise in late August we might be able to shift to that might allow her to go ahead and get the surgery done this spring and provide adequate recovery time, but air fares for those dates are quite a bit higher and we would have some change fees to deal with. We also slightly prefer our June Tahiti and Society Islands itinerary to the Tahiti Iti iteniraray in late August.

 

So, what we're trying to assess is how big of a limitation her hip will be in enjoying the June cruise fully? She can walk fine without aid, but longer walks or hills increase her pain. Many of the PG shore excursions caution against people with "mobility issues" taking them, but I have no idea what they mean by "mobility issues." Are they just referring to people who need help walking or do many of the shore excursions involve a lot of extensive, long, uphill walks that might be an issue for someone with a gimpy hip. Even with a perfectly good hip, she was never going to be a big water sports participant and would probably just stay on the snorkel boat or sit on the beach while I snorkel, unless there was a very shallow area where she would be comfortable. But if she couldn't enjoy the land-based tours due to the amount or type of walking required, we would have to reassess our June trip.

 

Can those of you with more experience with the on-shore activities offer any more detail on how strenuous the PG excursions are, and how much walking is required?

 

 

Edited by JIMinNC

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I have bad knees, and fell backwards very badly 4 days before we left for our trip. I landed on my right side and bruised my hand and knee badly.  It is now 2  weeks out and I am using a cane. I didn’t get off the ship except in Moorea to pick up some trinkets. We had been before so I didn’t feel like a missed much. However there are 12 steps down to the tender.  There was a man in a wheelchair who my husband saw and he was helped on the tender. Frankly I don’t know what they can do as all ports are tendered. Additionally the humidity makes the arthritis worse. I know my answer wasn’t any help, but wanted to give you some feedback. 

 

I do not think I would want to be recovering from surgery and go on a vacation. Maybe check with the surgeon. 

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45 minutes ago, alwaysonaship said:

I have bad knees, and fell backwards very badly 4 days before we left for our trip. I landed on my right side and bruised my hand and knee badly.  It is now 2  weeks out and I am using a cane. I didn’t get off the ship except in Moorea to pick up some trinkets. We had been before so I didn’t feel like a missed much. However there are 12 steps down to the tender.  There was a man in a wheelchair who my husband saw and he was helped on the tender. Frankly I don’t know what they can do as all ports are tendered. Additionally the humidity makes the arthritis worse. I know my answer wasn’t any help, but wanted to give you some feedback. 

 

I do not think I would want to be recovering from surgery and go on a vacation. Maybe check with the surgeon. 

 

The issue really isn't whether she would need to be recovering from surgery during the cruise, since if we keep our current plans in place, any surgery would not happen until after the cruise. If we have to cancel/delay, we would not travel until four or five months post surgery, and she should be fully healed by then.

 

Our key question is whether the PG land tour excursions require extensive or strenuous walking that might cause her discomfort pre-surgery? We just returned from a week in Los Cabos, Mexico and she had no issues getting into and out of a couple small boats, and a very rough, bumpy, fast ride in a small boat for a whale watch was not an issue for her either. Her only issues were with a couple longer walks and some of the hills at the resort, hence my questions about the content of the PG land tours. Steps would probably only be an issue if there were frequent, repeated needs to go up-and-down lots of steps many times a day. We have plenty of steps in our two-story home.

Edited by JIMinNC

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I would think the hardest thing to do would be getting on and off the tender since you won't be at a dock once you leave Tahiti. How hard that is to do depends on the weather. The Paul Gauguin has a long outside stairway down (and back up) to the tender. If the weather isn't ideal, these steps, as well as the  tender platform,  will be moving. Taking a long time to make it up and down this staircase will inconvenience others so there could be comments from other guests. Getting on and off  the tender can be challenging, but the PG crew does it better than any other cruise line we've been on.

You should be able to find excursions that are not challenging. The descriptions are pretty accurate. If it's a "bus" ride that stops at a number of sites, it might not be a real bus, but it will not require a long walk. Staying on the bus would be an option, but a long walk isn't normally involved. If there's a long walk to an overlook, it will normally say that in the description, and if it's an overlook, it's going to be uphill (and down). I can't think of any long staircases, so the uphill and downhill walks would be on a path or road, and the description should say that.

If you have any questions about a particular excursion, I may be able to answer it. We're headed off for our 4th trip to Tahiti in September,  taking the Tahiti to Fiji cruise.

 

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I would also look at some of the small, independent tours.  Email them and find out if they can accomidate your wife. I have been on some that were very good with the less mobile people.

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3 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

Taking a long time to make it up and down this staircase will inconvenience others so there could be comments from other guests.

 

If you have any questions about a particular excursion, I may be able to answer it. We're headed off for our 4th trip to Tahiti in September,  taking the Tahiti to Fiji cruise.

 

 

1 hour ago, justmeindustland said:

I would also look at some of the small, independent tours.  Email them and find out if they can accomidate your wife. I have been on some that were very good with the less mobile people.

 

Thanks for the info. I don't want to give the impression my wife is significantly mobility restricted...sorry if I gave that impression.

 

We are both in our early 60s and she travels on business almost every week, schlepping a carry-on bag and a small backpack through airports, even up-and-down aircraft steps at smaller terminals without jet bridges. So, "less mobile" is not really an accurate description. She can do what she needs to do, and other than an occasional limp/gimp, she can keep up just fine. Certain things just cause her more pain/discomfort than others. She wouldn't really need a special accommodation sort of thing. We're just wanting to avoid situations where to see the most interesting sights, she might be forced into longer or more difficult walks/hikes that would become uncomfortable for her after a while.

 

As I said, we just got back from a week in Los Cabos that included a couple small boat trips, and we're leaving in late February for three weeks in Hawaii, where we'll likely do the same. So, we're just wanting to understand the tour options for our June PG cruise a little better to make sure there are options to see the sights on the islands that don't involve overly difficult walks that might exacerbate her hip pain and lead to a less-than-satisfactory trip.

 

Some of the tours (both PG and non-PG) I was looking at include:

 

Huahine - Marc's Combo Tour or Marc's Motu Picnic

Taha'a - PG Motu Mahana

Bora Bora - PG Bora Bora Island Tour by Le Truck, Lagoon Excursion with Maohi Nui, PG Catamaran Sunset Sail

Moorea - PG Capture Moorea Photo Adventure or PG Island Drive and Belvedere

 

Thanks for any additional input on these specific types of activities.

 

Edited by JIMinNC

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Go, be cautious, know your limits, let the great pg staff help..and enjoy ! 

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15 hours ago, justmeindustland said:

I would also look at some of the small, independent tours.  Email them and find out if they can accomidate your wife. I have been on some that were very good with the less mobile people.

 

Be aware though, that many of the small operators in FP are not particularly aware of accommodations for disabilities.

 

If your wife believes she can walk up and down the stairs to the tender, you should be fine.  Water activities should be fine, and probably will be good for her, although I would ask before booking any of these that involves climbing in and out of a small boat--sometimes they can involve ladders, or otherwise climbing into the boat.  We witnessed a man slip on one of these ladders and break his collarbone once.

 

In general I suspect the whole holiday will feel wonderful to her, although it would also be a great way to celebrate her recovery from the surgery--I went in 2014 just 10 weeks after trip bypass surgery and it was wonderfully tonic to my recovery.  

 

But then again, June is a great time to be on the PG, so either way you will enjoy yourselves.

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21 hours ago, JIMinNC said:

Some of the tours (both PG and non-PG) I was looking at include:

 

Huahine - Marc's Combo Tour or Marc's Motu Picnic

Taha'a - PG Motu Mahana

Bora Bora - PG Bora Bora Island Tour by Le Truck, Lagoon Excursion with Maohi Nui, PG Catamaran Sunset Sail

Moorea - PG Capture Moorea Photo Adventure or PG Island Drive and Belvedere

 

Thanks for any additional input on these specific types of activities.

 

Unless a bumpy  ride bothers her hip, these all look like reasonable activities based on your info. The most difficult PG activities are the 3 coconut trail walk  and the E bikes,  as well as a long walk up the hill from the tender drop-off for a scenic view (a free activity) on Moorea. The rest of those you've mentioned should be easy to do. Good luck with your trip.

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1 hour ago, SWFLAOK said:

Unless a bumpy  ride bothers her hip, these all look like reasonable activities based on your info. The most difficult PG activities are the 3 coconut trail walk  and the E bikes,  as well as a long walk up the hill from the tender drop-off for a scenic view (a free activity) on Moorea. The rest of those you've mentioned should be easy to do. Good luck with your trip.

 

Thank you. That is very helpful.

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Definitely don't miss the all-day included picnic on Motu Mahana.  It's the highlight of each PG cruise.

 

(BTW, I've never known anyone to walk all the way up to the Belvedere lookout on Moorea, if this is indeed the "scenic view" mentioned previously.  It's several miles, uphill, very hot indeed. Best way to get up there is to book a tour--could be bus, jeep, or ATV--or rent a car for a few hours--both your Moorea suggestions qualify.

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8 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Definitely don't miss the all-day included picnic on Motu Mahana.  It's the highlight of each PG cruise.

 

(BTW, I've never known anyone to walk all the way up to the Belvedere lookout on Moorea, if this is indeed the "scenic view" mentioned previously.  It's several miles, uphill, very hot indeed. Best way to get up there is to book a tour--could be bus, jeep, or ATV--or rent a car for a few hours--both your Moorea suggestions qualify.

Motu Mahana is very easy, especially since they built a small dock to avoid the wet landing. There isn't much walking required at all, and definitely no stairs or inclines. If the weather is good, it's a highlight of the cruise.

I checked google maps, and the walk from the tender dock was to the Magic Mountain Overlook. We talked to people who did that and they said it was doable, but very hot and they wished they had brought more water. We rented a car and drove up to the Belvedere lookout. While we were there the bike riders arrived from the shore excursion. They were all very exhausted

 

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18 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

...

I checked google maps, and the walk from the tender dock was to the Magic Mountain Overlook. We talked to people who did that and they said it was doable, but very hot and they wished they had brought more water. We rented a car and drove up to the Belvedere lookout. While we were there the bike riders arrived from the shore excursion. They were all very exhausted

 

 

Ah, Magic Mountain, I see.  We did a 4x4 tour that included this once, and we had to climb the last part up to the look-out.  Spectacular view, but I sure wouldn't have wanted to walk all the way up.  The Belvedere lookout is fabulous.

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On 1/31/2019 at 12:11 PM, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Definitely don't miss the all-day included picnic on Motu Mahana.  It's the highlight of each PG cruise.

 

 

Is this BBQ in Taha'a ??

 

 

Edited by number8

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On 2/1/2019 at 4:38 PM, number8 said:

 

Is this BBQ in Taha'a ??

 

 

 

Yes. That is where PG has their private Motu.

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On 2/1/2019 at 4:38 PM, number8 said:

 

Is this BBQ in Taha'a ??

 

 

 

As Jim said, yes.  The ship is anchored off Taha'a, which is a typical high island surrounded by a reef dotted with "motus", little islands.  Motu Mahana is one of those islands.

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I agree with all the comments made.

We were on the last 14 day cruise and embarked on February 9 2019

My wife has mobility issues climbing up and down stairs, we did all the tours mostly on 4x4 and buses with no issues.

The crew are masters at getting people on and off the tenders, when it was rough they had 4 strong crew two on  the tender and two on the stairs and people were manually moved on and off.

There were two passengers who used wheelchairs around the ship and they were accommodated and did most of the tours.

Those on tours assemble in the Grand Salon on deck 5 for checkin, The tenders leave from deck 3 and the passengers queue down the stairs from  5 to 3.

You can work around this I used to checkin  on 5 while my wife went down to Deck 3 using the lifts, she waited for me and joined me when I reached Deck 3.

You will need to access what is right for you and your wife, but from our experience you will have no problems.

The moto BBQ was the easiest for my wife so don’t miss that!.

I hope this helps.

 

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