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Dunner

Suggestions for things to do for someone with a bad back? (P.G. cruise)

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Posted (edited)

This is my friends first time on the Paul Gauguin and the first time to the French Polynesia islands. We will be doing the 11 night Society and Cook islands. I have been raving about this area for 5 years so want his experience to be as special as ours was!!!

 

 Our stops with be:

Tahiti-

Huahine-

Aitutaki-

Rarotonga-

Bora, Bora- probably a half day at the private motu other half a day?

Bora , Bora

Taha- already have plans at the private motu

Moorea-maybe rent a car and ride around--but is that really bumpy??

Moorea-

Some of the tours I did the last time I was there I am not sure he could handle because we had to take a very bumpy speed boat or a very bumpy truck.

I know we can pick and poke through shore excursions but was wondering if someone had any suggestions? His wife really wants to go but we have to find things he can do.

 

 

 
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Edited by Dunner

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Presuming he is OK to snorkel the PG arranged snorkel excursions on Aitutaki, Moorea and Bora Bira are on larger boats that should,have minimal movement.  The PG motu on Taha’a is spectacular but the land excursion on Taha’a is on a bus and mellow.

 

On Moorea consider renting a car. Another option is any land tour on Moorea, except for the ATV tour, as all are mellow as well. 

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I think if you avoid 4x4 trips, and ATV's, he should be fine.  Unless a water excursion says that it's a speedboat or something, he should be fine, although getting in and out of the water via ladders will depend on how bad his back really is.

 

No, driving a car around Moorea is not particuarly bumpy.

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Our first cruise ever was on the Paul Gauguin, Society Islands and Marquesas.  My husband changed out 4 large truck size batteries from our boat, which we sold a few months before our cruise. He was experiencing some hip pain shortly before the cruise, but nothing was found on, and his doctor perscribed  5 days of steroids. It didn't help, so he was given some Advil with codeine to take with him, and scheduled an MRI for his back after our cruise.

After flying to LAX from ORD, and staying overnight after arriving 3 hours late at midnight, we made our way to the airport. The TSA line at LAX was huge, and while standing in line, my husband's back suddenly gave out, and he had to sit on the floor. A helpful TSA agent took him through the line as a disabled person, and we made our flight to Papeete without a problem.

We boarded the PG, and did a day at sea to Fakarava. We did a snorkel excursion there without a problem (other than me being scared to death by the large sharks swimming with us). We then had another day at sea going to Nuku Hiva (a change in the itinerary to avoid a large cruise ship that was scheduled to arrive when we did). The excursion we took was not supposed to be hard at all. If was a drive to a number of locations by a group of taxis, along paved roads. However, the taxis were small pickup trucks, and the paved roads ended before the parking lots at the locations where we stopped. By the time we parked at the first location, my husband was experiencing discomfort. By the time we parked at the last location, he was unable to get our of the vehicle. After visiting the on board doctor the next morning, who could do nothing other than recommend bed rest, I was on my own for the next 3 days in the Marquesas. We were loaned a wheel chair to get to the pool bar, and the restaurant on deck 8 from our cabin on deck 8.

By the time we got back to the Society Islands, we were able to go the boat to PG's beach on Bora Bora, the Ta'ha'a beach picnic, and the Motu picnic on Moorea, without a problem.

After returning to the US, an MRI showed that a ruptured disk had nearly healed itself, and a physical therapy session led to a complete recovery.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I guess it depends on your back problem. Snorkeling didn't bother his ruptured disk. A drive that was supposed to be the easiest one in the Marquesas was much worse than expected. There were no bumpy rides by boat on the rest of our cruise.

Tendering can be risky for a bad back. 2 of the tender rides I did without my husband in the Marquesas had large swells, but they were no where near as rough as on our subsequent cruise to the Cook Islands. The tender to Aitutaki was an extremely rough ride. On the way back to the ship, waves broke over us. Luckily neither of us had any back problems on that trip.

 

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Oh gee, yes, I hadn't thought of tenders!  Our tender in and out of Rarotonga was also extremely rough, and we couldn't tender at all into Aitutaki.

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Dunner, wish you were with us on the 2021 Reunion!

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Thanks everyone for all the info!

 

Emdee--when is the reunion cruise again?  I remember reading about it, but I didn't commit the date to memory.

Swflaok and Wendy--you were mentioning that the water was so rough----just curious---- which month did you go?

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Our first cruise to the Marquesas was in February. The water was very rough in the Marquesas for 3 days, but that was the only 3 rough days of our 14 day cruise. Our second cruise was the Society islands and Cook Islands in December. The Cook Islands were very rough. The tender crew and the person at the helm of the Paul Gauguin did a wonderful job of getting us on and off the ship. We had large swells on both times, rather than large wind blown waves. In the Cook Islands we had some wind chop, but it would have been pretty easy to handle without the swells.

We are headed to the Cook Islands again in September on our way from the Society Islands to Fiji, so we'll see how Aitutaki is at a different time of year.

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Emdee---oops---Jan. reunion cruise

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SWFLAOK---interested in hearing what your weather is like in-- the Cook Islands on your Sept trip. Our one and only time to F.P. was in Sept. 2014 to The Society and Tuamotus islands and the seas were calm. We are booked to go to the Cook and Society islands in the beginning of Oct.2020, so hoping for the same experience as last time.

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We were on an 11 night Cooks and Society cruise this past September. The weather in the Cooks was wonderful, with relatively calm seas. Certainly no guaranty it will be that way in 2020, but Sept/Oct are historically good months in the South Pacific weather wise. Keep in mind that in the Cooks, the ship is not in a sheltered lagoon and able to anchor. It sits off shore in deeper water, so tendering can be a challenge. Amazingly, our rockiest night on board was our last night, traveling from Moorea to Papeete.

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On 6/19/2019 at 9:19 PM, Dunner said:

SWFLAOK---interested in hearing what your weather is like in-- the Cook Islands on your Sept trip. Our one and only time to F.P. was in Sept. 2014 to The Society and Tuamotus islands and the seas were calm. We are booked to go to the Cook and Society islands in the beginning of Oct.2020, so hoping for the same experience as last time.

I'll definitely post back on our Papeete to Fiji cruise this September. I'm hoping for calm seas, and whale sightings.

 

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On 6/19/2019 at 7:09 PM, Dunner said:

Thanks everyone for all the info!

 

Emdee--when is the reunion cruise again?  I remember reading about it, but I didn't commit the date to memory.

Swflaok and Wendy--you were mentioning that the water was so rough----just curious---- which month did you go?

 

It was the 2017 Reunion Cruise, in October.  Sorry I took so long to answer, didn't notice the question.

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