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rubyclk

Need Advice from Paul Gauguin Cruisers

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My husband and I have begun serious planning (rather than serious dreaming) for a May 2005 PG cruise. We want to do a pre-cruise stay and are looking for recommendations or "do not do" suggestions. We're considering going to the Huahine Te Tiare Beach Resort. Any thoughts?

 

Also we're considering doing PG back to backs. There are lots of pros (would like to hear them) to this expensive idea but are there any cons?

 

Thanks for help and information!!

 

Cathy K.

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Lastlook stayed there, I believe, and has posted a review on this board. May be in the archives or, if lost, maybe Gail will repost. Anyway, they really loved the place.

Greg

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Cathy - we'll be doing a back to back on the PG next month. It will be our first time on the PG so I can only report from all the reading I have done on the boards. I never came across any cons to doing a back to back. You do realize that you will be doing the exact same cruise the second week, but if you are like us and would like to experience many different excursions without rushing through any of them this provides an excellent chance to do just that. Also, sometimes shore excursions are cancelled due to weather conditions. With the second week you get another chance for them. Snorkeling is our primary interest so we will be focusing on that the first week. Then for the second week we'll repeat the snorkeling that we felt was the best and catch the other activities where the snorkeling wasn't the greatest.

 

Also, get the rates for the back to back. You do get a little price break on the second week.

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We've been on the PG twice, and the second time was back to back. This is definitely the way to go IF Radisson is offering a great deal on the second week as they were with us.

 

Generally, we are very unimpressed by the land resorts in French Polynesia, and especially those on the island of Tahiti. Prices are astronomical for everything all over FP. We have found quality and service there to be not great. Cost aside, however, many have reported good pre or post cruise stays on Moorea, which is close to Tahiti from which the PG departs and returns, and where the airport is located.

 

Hope this helps,

Richard

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Cathy K,

 

 

We're booked on the PG for B2B next March, reasons:

 

a. Spending almost twenty hours in the air (from Atlanta) means staying

two weeks give us more time to relax, unwind, enjoy the cruise, the people & tahiti.

b. As Kathy Z, mentioned you will get twice the opportunity to get the excursions of your choice, or even repeat those you treasured.

c. Although I've read a con is once you get to know your cruise mates,

seven days later most of them leave and you have to start over--we consider

this a plus.

d. The Marquesas islands are (see RSSC 19 Nov 05) another option but

I've read this islands are not as scenic and as water friendly as the 7 Day

Cruise islands.

e. We considered a pre/post cruise stay but decided the cost, packing and

unpacking (versus staying in same room for 14 days) makes the B2B the best option.

f. As almost every other PG CC posters have written, once you

finsih your PG Cruise, you can't wait to do another to see those fabulous

islands again; by booking a B2B...you will.

 

Whatever option you choose, you will have a blast!

 

Colonel

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Cathy K.,

 

We too are booked on a B2B next May, although we may change our minds at some point. We may also manage to do a pre-cruise, and if we do, Huanine Te Tiare is my top choice. I have read some great reviews of this resort lately.

 

But, if we do go, and can't afford more than the B2B (!), we will at least do an overnight in Los Angeles, and an overnight in Papeete before the cruise. Coming from the east, the L.A. stop-over helps, although it depends on whether you are flying from there to Papeete at night or during the day--if you come back overnight, make sure you have booked a hotel which will allow you early check-in.

 

I think the B2B is the way to go, for sure. We also would love to do the Marquesas, and would not mind the lack of water sports for a few days, in return for the scenery and the new islands, but November is not a month we can do at this point in our lives.

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What has been the experiences of those that have gone out to Tahiti even one day before. I assume you can get on the ship at 12 or so. Are there very many who get on early? I'm assuming you also can get total choice of shore excursions (since you can't book in advance through the ship), massages booked, etc.

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I've read that most of the people who stay in Papeete overnight prior to boarding the PG on Saturday are allowed to board about 3pm rather than noon. This is still plenty of time to get settled down in your cabin, sign up for shore excursions, plan and reserve special dining options and have a relaxing dinner in the dining room all before the passengers that have flown in on Saturday have boarded.

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Kathy Z,

 

That is exactly why we booked a one day precruise on our Mar 05

B2B, to board early and get the excursions of our choice..btw, hopefully

the new radisson will be ready too..

 

Colonel Wes

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We have always booked the PG during "free air" times. In those cases, Radisson throws in a night at the LAX Hilton on the way over, as it is impossible to fly us from Oklahoma and get us to LAX on time to go through all of the "mess" required to board ATN. Then, the 8 hour open bar ATN flight with good food (for an airline) does not seem too bad. Radisson has recently been extending the "free air" dates from the traditional December to April dates to include dates throughout our summer months (FP's winter). This is a great time to go, as it is a bit cooler in FP, and the chances for rain are less. Next time we go (and there will be a next time) we will go during the US summer (which is the FP winter).

 

Thanks,

Richard

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I boarded the PG on 30 May. I arrived at 12:00 and was told I could leave my baggage but could not board until 3pm. Came back at 2:45 and they reluctantly let me board.

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We stayed overnight in Papeete at the Royal Tahitien. We weren't in a hurry to get to the ship--we had a nice lunch and a stroll on the beach at our hotel, and arrived by cab shortly before 3.

 

I understand from other posters that arriving earlier is problematic, so my advice is, don't try to arrive at noon. I guess the arrival situation on Tahiti is sufficiently different than their other ships that perhaps this policy makes sense, or is logistically necessary.

 

I would not worry so much about the excursions filling up. When the desk opens, go and sign up. It will work out fine.

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My wife and I did a PG package last January that included 4 nights at the Intercontinental Beachcomber Moorea before the cruise. We enjoyed our stay there very very much and highly recommend it. It is a beautiful property.

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mbaskin -

We have booked the pre-cruise package at the Intercontinental Beachcomber on Moorea in August. I was glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I can't wait. Any advise on places to eat, things to do/see would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Chaun

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OK I will throw my oar in. Why do folks want to get on poard early? Both trips we got on the ship late in the afternoon and we were able to get all our excursions after dinner about 9PM. There is not much to do on the ship in port at Papeete. I know some folks like the back to back, but I really enjoyed the precruise on BoraBora at Le Meridien, slow service and mediocre food not withstanding. I guess to each his own. The experiences at the resorts are different from the cruise.

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Hello, My husband and I just booked our very 1st cruise on PG, departing June 4th,05, we are doing a pre at Te Tiare(Huahine). Have been really doing a lot of research on this. Cruise doesn't visit this island, so seeing something new. The resort sounds very nice(I know not 5stars like PG, but with an OWB, se'la vie(oh Well)sounds like it is like going back to the way FP was many years ago. Food is supposed to excellent. Have you cruised before? Look forward to your reply. Jeanine

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Thank you all for sharing your information and perspectives. I truly appreciate the opportunity to learn all I can from these boards.

 

Jeanine, I look forward to hearing about your pre-cruise on Huahine.

 

cathy

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In November 2000, we did a 6 night pre-cruise package on Tahiti and Huahine. We thought the mix of resort and cruise was more interesting than back-to-back cruises.

 

Our transfer from Huahine arrived at the ship in the evening after our day on the beach. We were told that country casual wasn't required that night, and it was already time for dinner. We showed up for dinner in shorts, which probably appalled the folks who had time to unpack and had over-dressed.

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I'll lend my opinion on Te Tiare............GO!!! It is wonderful and the staff is truly representative of the Tahitian hospitality that makes us return to FP whenever we can.........we made our most recent visit in February this year and would be happy to answer your questions. Email me @aol.com with CC in the subject line. I would recommend going before the cruise so you get your vacation mode in gear.

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I'd like to try to clear up some areas of confusion on this thread, if I may.

 

It confuses many that one can board other Radisson ships around noon and wait on the pool deck for about three hours until the suites are ready. Not so on the PG. On the PG, boarding time is pretty much 3:00 PM. And those who show up early and then need to kill some time will find that all the shops in Papeete close at noon on Saturday.

 

There is also some needless concern about guests wanting to board early so excursions will not sell out. On the PG, the tour staff seems to have "contingency plans" to add identical excursions should one sell out. The exception is the Dolphin Watching excursion.

 

Finally, it isn't possible to generalize about relative costs of b2b and land stays. This is because Radisson's prices and policies governing the cost of the second week seem to vary from sailing to sailing, and have reportedly been the subject of "negotiation" at times beteen the involved TA and Radisson. Some people have gotten their second week at a price about equal to two nights in an OWB plus meals and extras. Others haven't been so lucky. So in considering a b2b against the possibility of a land stay, it is first necessary to find out the cost of that second week on your particlular sailing.

 

Thanks,

Richard

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Fred and I have booked PG B2B 5/21/05. Didn't give it a second thought. We did so (1) because most of the reviews we've read claim one week isn't enough. Also, (2) many of the pre- and post-cruise options seem to be a let down after experiencing PG's standards. And (3) we want to take some time learning to scuba dive. We'll probably attempt to arrive a day early to avoid the surge of passengers being bussed to the PG after their eight hour flight to Tahiti.

 

Pat

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We are on the 8/21 sailing and then are doing a post cruise at Te Tiare for 5 nights. While not completely luxurious, Te Tiare is supposed to be very very nice, with a terrific staff, great food, and wonderful accommodations. We are looking forward to it. I really have heard nothing but good things about it. I do not think it is for the people who desire a Four Seasons type atmosphere however.

 

Will post a review upon my return.....

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We did a 5 night pre cruise at the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and loved it! We met 10 other cruise guests there. It was nice to know other cruisers before boarding. We loved the resort - had an over water bungalow. On boarding day we arrived around 6. My hubby & son also made the mistake of thinking shorts were o.k. for the 1st night and were promptly sent back to the cabin!!! We were very glad we did the pre cruise trip - great time to unwind and get on the right time schedule. On the way home we also overnighted in L.A. at the Ritz Carlton which is very close to the airport.

 

 

MamaQuack

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02/15/03 we arrived and boarded the PG at 8:45 pm.

I went directly to the tour desk and was able to get every tour we wanted.

 

Now it was a good thing that we received a rather nice meal aboard the plane as everything closes at 9:00 pm. Of course we could have gotten room service, but we were to excited to be out by the pool for the big party which begins when the ship pulls out of port at 10:00 pm

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