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Gabrielle R.

What to do in Raiatea?

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I will be on the Tahitain Princess in June. We will be doing the Hawaii to Tahiti trip- can't wait. I have come up with frustration when trying to find private execursions for many of the islands we are visiting- maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places? I figured I'd ask any of you who have been to Raiatea, what you would recommend. I like to snorkel, my husband likes beaches, hanging out, even tours.... So whatever advice you can give would love to hear. I've heard about Bruno- but have no clue as to where his web site is.. Thanks for any help! Gabrielle

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I think Princess also does a drift snorkel but it's not as long as Bruno's. The good thing about Raiatea is there are several excursions that you can book right on the dock. If you want it a little more laid back, there's a very inexpensive tour that gives you an option of going to a motu to sit and sun and snorkel. For a few bucks more, they will also take you to a pearl farm and for a few buck more than that they will take you to a vanilla plantation. If you go to the motu, there are boats that come along about once an hour that will take you back to the dock. There are bathrooms on the motu and a little stand that sells drinks. The snorkeling was good, not fantastic but worth the effort.

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Two Words: drift snorkel!

 

Also, the TP has a wonderful show on the ship that afternoon put on by local children -- it's a not miss event.

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Thank You for the information! Now to try to decide what to do! I heard the kids show is great! We are there from 11pm to 11 pm, so I know I have time. So more advice is always welcomed! Gabrielle

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A big THUMBS UP and second for Bruno. You will have the best snorkeling of the cruise. He will take some pretty good photos to which you cam buy for 2500 CPF

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Stranger1, now that you are within 120 days of your trip can you see the specific excursions for your cruise? We want to do Bruno's tour during the day and then the Princess Raiatea Sunset Lagoon Cruise (Tour ID RFP-M) in the evening but don't know what time the excurstion starts. We know what time Bruno gets back and assume it will be tight. We just want to know how tight.

 

If your excursions opened up for your cruise (ours is still too far away), could you check that for me?

 

Thanks!

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Sox Fan, I just checked again and our excursions are not open yet. I thought they would be, but as soon as they are I'll check for you.

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Sox Fan,

 

We're on the May 26th sailing so our excursions are up and I checked it out for you. The Sunset Lagoon Cruise, RFPM, departs at 4:30pm. I hope this helps :)

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I booked Bruno's in Raitea for our July cruise. He quoted me 8000 CPF for the 150 picture CD of us. I thought that this sounded like a lot of money. Has anyone purchased the CD? It is worth that much?

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Hey Sunny Beaches, thanks for that.

 

Unfortunately Bruno's doesn't get back until 4:30 - 4:45 so I think the lagoon cruise will have left without us. :(

 

Now I'll have to decide whether to do Bruno's or the Drift Snorkel and Sunset Cruise.

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Sox Fan,

If you really want to go on the sunset cruise, then take the drift snorkel offered by Princess, it goes basically to the same place to drift snorkel as Bruno, just without the pearl farm and vanilla plantation. The drift snorkel either by Bruno or Princess is not to be missed. Its absolutely the best snorkel we've ever done and we've been to alot of places, the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, Belize, Cozumel. We bought the CD pictures from Brunos and they had such great clarity, so much better than our camera. :)

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I know I want to do the drift snorkel. I'm trying to decide between going on Bruno's, which includes the snorkel, or booking the drift snorkel only thru Princess (or someone else?).

 

It sounds like the Drift snorkel is great. What about the rest of Bruno's tour? Is it a fun, unique tour, or is it more like a visit to popular tourist spots with the usual gift shops?

 

Any opinions?

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I have a question about the drift snorkel...either through Princess or Bruno. How would a novice snorkeler do on these excursions? I've heard differing reports and now I'm confused. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Bruno does take you to the pearl farm and vanilla planation, which we found very interesting but others might find it touristy. We had some novice snorkelers on our snorkel one of the drift snorkel spot is deeper and would be no problem for beginners but the other where the corals reefs are VERY shallow they got cuts and scrapes on. If you just glide through the water without kicking (we didn't wear fins for this snorkel) and wear gloves to push off of the coral then your fine but sometimes a beginner could have some trouble doing that.

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One nice thing about the Princess drift snorkel was that our guide gave us the option of going through twice (which the Bruno's people were jealous of!).

 

As for a novice snorkler, I think it is fine as long as you are a decent swimmer and are adventurous. A couple people were a bit bothersome to us on our first go through the reef (luckily they decided to pass on the second!) because they keep acting all panicky and thrashing their arms and legs in a way that was scaring all the fish away. On that note, try to go first (after the guide) through the drift snorkel our make sure you are surrounding by the right people to avoid this problem. Our second trip through the reef was MUCH better and we saw much more.

 

As for the sunset cruise, we did one through Tara Vana in Bora Bora, and it was absolutely incredible. That might be an option for you if you decide to do Bruno's.

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We had some novice snorkelers on our snorkel one of the drift snorkel spot is deeper and would be no problem for beginners but the other where the corals reefs are VERY shallow they got cuts and scrapes on. If you just glide through the water without kicking (we didn't wear fins for this snorkel) and wear gloves to push off of the coral then your fine but sometimes a beginner could have some trouble doing that.

 

Do they(Bruno or Princess) give any kind of instruction or guidance for beginners? Or is the above advise the best I'm gonna get? ;) I have snorkeled a few times, but I really have no concept of what a "drift snorkel" is.....

 

What kind of gloves? I assume it is something that I would need to go to a dive shop to get?

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A "drift snorkel" pretty much just means that the current carries you.. you just have to steer yourself. My DH and I did not wear gloves and were fine -- just use common sense, watch where you are going, and don't touch coral!

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Contact Coral Perry at:

 

949.650.7175

Island Sport Charters Bora Bora

 

cperry@solace1.com

 

She works with the captain of the boat in Bora Bora (they are old friends) and organizes everything on this end. The captain of the boat (American ex-pat) was great, and so was his son. We sailed all around Bora Bora and got to see so much before the amazing sunset. The cruise also included unlimited beer and wine. (And the captain informed us that lots of celebrities--Nicole Kidmann and Keith Urban on their honeymoon, Danny DeVito-- charter with him on this boat, which was kind of neat!)

 

I think it is $95 p/p with a minimum of 10 people... when we went, someone from our Roll Call organized it, and we had a great time with our CC people.

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Hi Lyndsey and Jim :) Yes, we LOVED the TaraVana Sunset cruise too, it was one of the highlights....absolutely beautiful, it brings back such great memories :D Hope all is well with you two lovebirds ;) We sure enjoyed getting to know you on the TP cruise. Are you planning another cruise somewhere? Next summer Paul and I are off on a safari in South Africa, can't wait.

Nadine

 

Okay, to answer the snorkel question, we like taking gloves (just do a google search for dive or snorkel gloves) because of the sea urchins that you might encounter on the corals. Its not a pleasant feeling if you happened to get poked by one, my husband has before so hence we now snorkel with gloves. :cool:

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Hi Nadine!! It was so nice getting to know you guys too! The first year of marriage is flying by; we're beginning to get frightened that all of life will continue to go at this pace! Jim has the bar exam this summer, so we are planning to so something after that in August but aren't sure what yet. We are leaning toward driving the California coast from LA to wine country. We're going to plan something big for Aug. 2008... we were thinking about the Galapagos, but we're also tempted by a return trip to the South Pacific -- it was just so amazing!! A safari will be SO unbelieveable... we'd love to see your pictures when you return. It's also on our list of "dream vacations." In the short term, though, we're headed to Cabo San Lucas with friends tomorrow, so we are excited for some fun and sun!

 

And to tie this back to the thread -- take a Tara Vana cruise, and you can meets lots of nice people with whom you want to stay in touch! :-)

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Have fun in Cabo...and drink a couple of cervezas for us :D And maybe next year you'll be having some Hinanos in Tahiti :cool:

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Hi Lyndsey, Jim, Paul and Nadine,

 

Susan and I are talking about going back possibly next year. We may try Regent. For now Susan is going on an Alaska cruise in May with her Mother out of Seattle. We have planned a two week Carribean repositioning cruise in October out of NYC.

 

Nadine, Susan would love to go on an African safari someday. My short list consists ot Macchu Picchu and Easter Island.

 

We also loved the drift snorkel and I am not a particularly good swimmer. We also loved the Tara Vana.

Jay

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Hi Jay!

It sounds like you guys will be busy traveling too. We're hoping to get to Macchu Picchu and the Amazon in 2008. We have to have so many shots for our safari that we want to take advantage of the vaccinations fees and travel again to somewhere that requires them. If you and Susan do decide to go back to Tahiti and take the Regency cruise, (is that the Paul Gaugan?) I'm really interested in the comparison of the two FP cruises. Keep in touch :)

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