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melissa@cruisecritic

Off to French Polynesia: Got Questions?

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Hi Joshua,

I really have no major complaints at all about the food. Meals in the dining room have been good, even if they haven't been exactly innovative -- if you have sailed with Princess before you know what to expect. Last night, some folks sent back their lamb as it was overdone, but it was brought back perfect (we ordered in room service, so this is word of mouth). My steaks have been brought at the temperature ordered, medium, and pasta has been perfectly al dente. The grill and pizzeria are consistent (love the hot dogs). My only complaint: Room service, at least off the limited sandwich menu, is disappointing. I ordered a tuna sandwich on rye, and was sent a vegetarian sandwich on rye. When I called back for the correction tuna came up ... on white. I ate it at that point. It would be really nice to see at least a hamburger on there. I also wish there was another casual dinner alternative besides just the pizzeria at the buffet. But I wouldn't worry about one negative review -- all in all, it's been a very positive experience!

 

I have read a very bad review of the Tahitian regarding the food on board. I am sailing on her in 4 weeks approx. Please give me your trusted lowdown on the quality.

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I haven't forgotten about you! I haven't seen any local tour operators offering an in the water picnic anywhere other than Huahine. But I haven't give up hope...I'll keep you posted,

Melissa

 

I would like to know if there are any "in the water" picnics at Raiatea. Also if any local tour companies have web sites, especially West Coast Tours.

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I definitely saw parlors on Huahine and Rarotonga. The one in Rarotonga is on the main road in town, and is called Polynesian Tattoo. The place looked clean and very authentic; it's a hut with woven floors, so you'll need to take your shoes off in cultural respect. I have not yet heard any fellow passengers say they'd gotten a tattoo.

 

There are a couple people in our group going to Tahiti who want to get a tattoo on the trip. I'd love to know about anyone you meet on your cruise who gets a tattoo -- who did it and how it worked out for them. I've gotten some names from Jan Prince's book, but personal experiences are always best.

 

Thanks.

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Princess' policy states that to drink and gamble you must be 21. On my cruise there are no passengers near that cutoff (most are older and the few kids onboard are visibly too young for liquor and slots), so it's hard to say whether staffers are strict about the rules. Though I obviously am not encouraging underage drinking, I think your daughter should be able to, say, have a sip of Champagne at the welcome aboard party, if that is something you approve of. Hope this helps!

 

P.S. The helmet dive was FANTASTIC -- probably the best excursion I have ever done. Do not hesitate to book this. I don't dive but would like to after this. It is very simple and the guides are very professional and made us feel very safe. After I stupidly let go of my underwater camera, one swam up to recover it for me! You simply walk down a ladder and the helmet is placed on your head; you have a French baguette, so the fish are literally all over the place. Crystal clear visibility and amazing, amazing views. Pictures to come should the underwater camera developing go well!

 

We are on the Tahatian Princess July 19 2007 Tahati to Hawaii. We are brining our 18 year old daughter for her graduation present. I heard in Tahati that the legal age for drinking is 18 - do you know if that is true? Does Princess let 18 year olds drink or gamble?

 

So far the only excursion we want to book is the Helmet Dive in Bora Bora. If you get any info on that it would be great - my husband is not a big water lover and is worried it might not be for him.

 

THANKS for this thread...This will really help us plan the rest of our trip.:)

 

We would also love to hear comments about any special foods and deserts you find irresistable.

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Hi there,

We visited a pearl farm on Tahaa, just off of Raiatea (you can get there by boat, ship sponsored as we did it or private -- more to come on that port shortly!). It was very informative, we actually got a first-hand look at an open oyster, and where the pearls are produced. There's a small boutique there as well for purchases; they take credit cards :)

 

Melissa, we will be taking the same cruise later in the year, I would like to know how we go about visiting some of the pearl farms especially in Raiatea. Any information would be welcome. Thank you.

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thanks melissa...i can't wait to do the aqua safari. were you able to get any info on below???

 

 

Thanks Melissa for the updates!!! I am going on March 27th for my Honeymoon (can NOT wait!!!). Can you find out 1) how much time a roundtrip tender in Bora Bora is (I have the aqua safari that ends at like 245pm and then the sunsent cruise at 415pm and ideally would like to go back to the ship for a FAST change) and 2) how to make reservations for bloody marys.

 

Have a great rest of the trip and thanks again for doing this!!!

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Melissa,

Did your visit to the pearl farm include snorkeling over the oysters? If not, did you hear of anyone who took that trip? Was there any feedback? Thanks.

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Poor old Josua 1. Guess he was hoping the British Broadcasting Corperation had a station in F/P. Now to the lady who want's a tattoo . They say you can't swim after you had had one .so plan on close to the last day for it!Also Re that bad food review of the T/P.He said all the other passengers he spoke too complained yet I haven't seen any others!He did have an interesting comment though I thought. That was scrub the Raratonga visit & stay longer in the other Islands as it's a very iffy chance of Disembarking there.

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I have a question, what is Bloody Mary's at Bora Bora? I heard it mentioned, but I don't know what it is- so an inquiring mind wants to kow. Thanks! Gabrielle

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Hi winnyd; Joshua1 here, I didnt think that but I bet they have something there. Loads of people around the world listen to the BBC World News (radio) and the shipping forecast. I am glad you read the review re the TP, and your right about the other passengers, I wondered that too. If it had been that bad there surely would have been more complaints/reviews. Have you seen my comment re the toilet paper yet?:eek: See you soon!

 

Poor old Josua 1. Guess he was hoping the British Broadcasting Corperation had a station in F/P. Now to the lady who want's a tattoo . They say you can't swim after you had had one .so plan on close to the last day for it!Also Re that bad food review of the T/P.He said all the other passengers he spoke too complained yet I haven't seen any others!He did have an interesting comment though I thought. That was scrub the Raratonga visit & stay longer in the other Islands as it's a very iffy chance of Disembarking there.

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Hi Greecruisers,

You can purchase the coffee card (it is $24 or $25) though iced drinks are not technically included (one of our baristas go ahead and punched our cards for them, another refused -- that's how we ultimately learned that fact). Aside from mochas and cappucinos, there were not any cleverly named concoctions like Milky Way, but the syrups and sauces are there so I'm sure they can make you whatever you want. They had skim and whole milk on hand; I use skim. Hope this helps!

 

Is the coffee card you can buy available on the Tahitian, as in, does it even have a specialty coffee shop? Also is the specialty coffee available things such as Milky Ways, and Caramel and stuff like that? (Milky way equals chocolate and caramel in the coffee...) Is it nonfat or whole or...

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Hi,

As AZbeachboy posted, Bloody Mary's is a bar and restaurant -- and it is a famous institution on Bora Bora. In fact, when you pull up (you'll need to take a taxi, not within walking distance -- it is $5 U.S.) there are two huge wooden boards with the names of celebrities who've been there. Dinner is very expensive (approximatley $65 for lobster for example), but lunch is a little bit more casual with burgers and sandwiches on the menu. It's a fun place with a sand floor; you can check your shoes at the front door if you want to feel it between your toes! Even if you aren't a bloody mary person, order one -- I enjoyed mine! When in Bora Bora, right? :)

 

I have a question, what is Bloody Mary's at Bora Bora? I heard it mentioned, but I don't know what it is- so an inquiring mind wants to kow. Thanks! Gabrielle

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Hi there,

To follow up on diving, my friend (who did six dives on the trip) recommends going through the ship's shore excursions department. Not only are the vendors trusted, but the timing of the dive will jive with your ship's tendering or docking schedule. You can dive with local shops -- but because the ports are so laid back hours can vary, and some of the dive boats leave before the cruise ships arrive with passengers. She did two night dives and highly recommends those!

 

I've met a new friend onboard who is an avid diver, and I know she's booked several tours through the excursions desk. She is diving today in Rarotonga and definitely in Bor Bora, not sure where else. I will ask her for her advice, and relay it ...

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Hi Vette,

I was told Bloody Mary's doesn't accept reservations for lunch, but that did not seem to be a problem the day we went -- it's a big place! (They do take reservations for dinner and recommend calling two to three days in advance.) If you have a large group for lunch, I'd say contact them in advance anyway; who knows, maybe they will make an exception. (689) 67.72.86 is the number.

 

Could you find out how we make reservations for Bloody Mary's in Bora Bora?

 

Vette

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That's a great tip I didn't think of re: getting the tattoo!

 

The Cook Islands' Rarotonga does involve two sea days -- on to get down there and another to get back -- and the water can be choppy! If you tend to get seasick, you should pack some meds. However, the shore excursions manager told me that since he's started in October, they've only missed two calls there due to rough seas and that passengers really like the call there because a) food and goods are significantly cheaper in the Cook Islands than in French Polynesia (New Zealand is close for importing) and b) it's simply a change of pace; everyone speaks English (with great accents!) and the island is more developed than, say, Raiatea or Moorea.

 

 

Poor old Josua 1. Guess he was hoping the British Broadcasting Corperation had a station in F/P. Now to the lady who want's a tattoo . They say you can't swim after you had had one .so plan on close to the last day for it!Also Re that bad food review of the T/P.He said all the other passengers he spoke too complained yet I haven't seen any others!He did have an interesting comment though I thought. That was scrub the Raratonga visit & stay longer in the other Islands as it's a very iffy chance of Disembarking there.

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Hi there,

To follow up on diving, my friend (who did six dives on the trip) recommends going through the ship's shore excursions department. Not only are the vendors trusted, but the timing of the dive will jive with your ship's tendering or docking schedule. You can dive with local shops -- but because the ports are so laid back hours can vary, and some of the dive boats leave before the cruise ships arrive with passengers. She did two night dives and highly recommends those!

 

 

Thanks Melissa,

 

I'm not really into night diving. What I really want to see are Mantas! I've been to Kona, Hawaii, Tobago, and Costa Rica, and missed them all three times. Hope the fourth one is a charm!! Let me know if anyone saw mantas in Bora Bora.

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Melissa,

Thanks for all your great input. Where are the best opportunities to go snorkeling with the rays? Do you know if there were any opportunities to go night snorkeling?

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Thanks Mellissa for the misses figures for Raratonga Not that bad actualy I thought there was far more after reading the posts such as( don't book anything for Raratonga as theres a good likelyhood of not landing etc)your facts show otherwise. Glad I bought some NZ dollars

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Thanks, Melissa, for your answer about Bloody Mary's. Hopefully, we will make it there.

 

Donna

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Hi,

 

Can you please let us know how "formal" are the formal nights?

 

Hi Melissa,

Sounds like you are haveing a great time, we can't wait till July. I know it will be hot hot hot, can you please let us know how formal everyone is on the formal nights.

 

Also, how is the drinking water on the islands? Does the boat have bottled water to purchase before you get off?

 

Finally, I have heard it is better to purchase pearls on the boat, what has your experience been. Are they all very expensive?

 

Thanks again!

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Oh gosh, yeah it is hot. I was surprised by how many people packed sparkly gowns and tuxes, but plenty went a little more casual. I made a nice sundress (floral, but black so somewhat "formal") and high heeled shoes work one evening. I know some folks didn't even bother packing formal wear and spent those nights at the pizzeria or buffet instead. It's really your choice.

 

Princess advises against drinking water on the islands, but I had some soft drinks with ice in them and was perfectly fine. To be safe, buy bottled (yes, it is sold onboard as you disembark for the day).

 

I didn't buy any pearls, but I certainly window shopped! :) Just didn't see "the one" that made me want to loosen the purse strings. The prices onboard are reasonable, and you can be confident that you are getting the real deal. If you buy ashore, make sure you get a certificate. There's a seminar onboard about how to purchase pearls, and I heard rave reviews about that. It is really like buying a diamond; there are so many different levels of quality. You may want to go!

 

Hi Melissa,

Sounds like you are haveing a great time, we can't wait till July. I know it will be hot hot hot, can you please let us know how formal everyone is on the formal nights.

 

Also, how is the drinking water on the islands? Does the boat have bottled water to purchase before you get off?

 

Finally, I have heard it is better to purchase pearls on the boat, what has your experience been. Are they all very expensive?

 

Thanks again!

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