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New to Regent..tell me about PG!


pboedeker

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My husband and I are in our late 40's and early 50's. We've cruised most of the mainstream cruise lines and are interested in moving up to Regent and cruising the South Pacific. Those of you who are familiar with Regent..can you guide us on our decision?

 

Thanks

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I guess it depends on what you're looking for. If it's the romance of the south pacific, the Paul Gauguin definitely delivers. The backdrop for the cruise is fantastic. I recommend, for first timers, the 7-day itinerary, since it's very port-intensive. But I've heard the 10-11 day itins are excellent too.

 

The ship is very intimate, the staff very friendly, the ambiance tropical casual. I love it--we're booked on the 14-day Marquesas itinerary this December after 4 7-day trips, one of them a back-to-back (highly recommended as well.)

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Cruised on the Regent Paul Gauguin 02/15/2003 with a group of ten

On a scale of 1 to 10 it was at least a 12 for us.

Booked the "F" cabins 1. so we could have more $$ availible for excursions,

and 2. Decided that since there were ten of us we probably would not be in our cabins that much. The plan worked perfect.

Cruised on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner in December and while anchored in Bora Bora were allowed to go visit the Paul Gauguin. Was really neat to be able to do that and walk around it again. By the way the PG was in excellent condition.

Do you have any specific questions you would like to know about Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line?

At the top right of the page is a search area. Type in Paul Gauguin and I am sure you will get just about every post made about the ship.

Have a "packing list" which I will gladly send you if interested. Just send me your email to bastian20@hotmail.com Put "packing List" on on it so I know it is you.

If anyone else is interested please do the same.

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1. Night life? What is available after dinner?

2. Overall atmosphere? Festive, subdued?

3. Dining? Are meals 2-3 hours long or shorter?

4. Shore excursions? Any must do or must not do?

5. Pre-cruise hotel or not?

6. Cabin category preferences onboard?

7. Which ship would you suggest and why?

 

Thanks

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My wife and I are in the same age bracket and cruised the PG last summer with our two children. You can search under my name and find my review if you like.

 

In short, it was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. There was a wonderful balance between romance and sport...and it can be done with as much emphasis as you want on either.

 

While the PG will be a significant upgrade from most mainstream cruise experiences (something the size of the ship lends itself to in and of itself) it is not a full blown luxury experience...again balancing being in the South Pacific versus a more formal locale.

 

Ask away with any specific questions!

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The Paul Gauguin

1. Night Life: Things get pretty quiet on board in the evenings. They do have some entertainment mostly local Tahitian performers. If Siglo is the band you are in for a real treat. They are fantastic. There always is a piano bar too.

2. I would say very festive. At least during the day. Port intense cruise.

3. Yea meals in the evening usually run about 2 hours. Longer if you are enjoying your company and want to have a couple of rounds before you order dinner.

4. Personal choice happens here. I always say don't miss the 4x4 excursion on Bora Bora. Of course you do not want to miss the FREE beach day at Tahaa (Motu Mahana)

5. Because of time limits our group had to fly into Papeete arriving around 8 pm for a 10:30 pm cruiise It was rushed. We also had to fly right out. If you can I think just about everyone would recommend trying to stay a few days BEFORE your cruise. (Everything will be a let down after the cruise).

6. Once again personal preference. All the cabins are very nice aboard the Paul Gauguin, but since it is a smaller ship the cabins are less Sq. Ft than the Mariner or Voyager. We were very happy with our "F" cabins as I stated before.

7. Well the Paul Gauguin is the only Regent ship that cruises The Society Islands of French Polynesia on a regular bases. Yes the Voyager and Mariner may stop there, but only while passing through. So the answer to this question would have to be The Paul Gauguin if you want to cruise in Tahiti.

 

Now if you just want to try Regent Seven Seas Cruises and are not locked into Tahiti then I would recommend looking at either the Regent Seven Seas Voyager, or Regent Seven Seas Mariner. Pick a cruise that looks good to you and go! These two ships are wonderful. You can choose a "H"cabin and be pleasantly surprised with all the room you will have and a balcony too!

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Additional answers:

1: nightlife--we were just to tired in the evening to do much after dinner. Too much activity during the day. And we are in your same age group. But we got up fairly early in the mornings.

2: atmosphere is whatever you make it--could go either way with this question

3: dinner was usually about 2 hrs for us, could be longer if we were really into visiting a lot, and was shorter when we ate at the restaurant on deck because it was really windy

4: shore excursions depend on what you like. My husband and son scuba dived a lot. We enjoyed the motus. The 4 x 4 drive on Bora Bora was nice, but I wouldn't do it a second time (definitely good if you have never been there before though).

5: We flew in 1 day before just to get rested a little. I think flying in the same day would stress me out, if nothing else, due to worries about being on time. But I always fly in the day before the cruise. Also remember this is a really long flight.

6: We don't feel the need for a balcony (I know lots disagree with me on this), so went for deck 4. It was perfect for us as it was very close to everything, quiet, not much motion even in open water compared to higher in the ship.

7: Agree the PG is not nearly as luxurious as the other Regent vessel. But it is the only one with a full Polynesian cruise (all my previous answers apply to the PG).

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Our posts crossed, so I didn't see your specific queries:

 

1. Night life? What is available after dinner? - Nightlife is not as you would have it on a large cruise ship, but there is activity in the lounge and some shows (usually larger shows are of local flavor or song and dance, but not of the large ship variety). There is usually a trio or so in a lounge or karaoke. We enjoyed having some wine on the aft deck and listening to music.

 

2. Overall atmosphere? Festive, subdued? I would not call the PG festive or subdued, but rather a little of both. Festive is not large activities by the pool, but Polynesian style shows or events.

 

3. Dining? Are meals 2-3 hours long or shorter? Dinners do run about 2 hours, but obviously you can lengthen or shorten them just by asking your waiter in any of the three venues.

 

4. Shore excursions? Any must do or must not do? There are whole threads on this. Diving, snorkeling, sailing, exploration of the islands, etc. It really depends.

 

5. Pre-cruise hotel or not? Absolutely do a pre-cruise. You can enjoy just being while recuperating. We did a 5 day pre-cruise, which was heaven, but at an absolute minimum do one night...so you don't waste a day recovering and rushing on board.

 

6. Cabin category preferences onboard? A balcony is wonderful and gives you extra space since the cabins are not huge (bigger than some mainstream cabins, though). Breakfast or drinks on the balcony is special. If that is too expensive, then a window cabin is fine. I would recommend against a porthole cabin as they are dark and you really miss some great views.

 

7. Which ship would you suggest and why? In French Polynesia the PG is, at present, the only way to go. No other ship has as much in the way of amenities, inclusiveness and service. There are other ships that do stop in FP, but none that cruise the area.

 

Hope this helps.

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Another question or two:

 

1. Is it wiser to book air/hotel through Regent or should I book these portions separately?

 

2. I believe there is a small casino onboard? Anyone familiar with what tables/slots it offers?

 

3. Suggestions for pre-cruise hotel?

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1. Is it wiser to book air/hotel through Regent or should I book these portions separately? - You will almost always be able to book your hotel cheaper than doing it directly with Regent. You need to check about airfare as it really is dependent on the time of year. If you want to use miles for free tickets or upgrades doing it yourself is most probably the way to go.

 

2. I believe there is a small casino onboard? Anyone familiar with what tables/slots it offers? - There are low dollar slots (last summer the higher value ones were out of order...and had been for a very long time). Payouts were good (at least to me!) There is also some video poker. There are two tables for blackjack and poker. That's about it.

 

3. Suggestions for pre-cruise hotel? I stayed at the Intercontinental and have had others do so as well. If you want the luxury, an over the water bungalow is the way to go. If you want a place to sleep, any room would be OK. It has excellent facilities (discussed in a number of threads here). If you are looking at only a night or two, travel to Moorea or Bora Bora doesn't IMO make much sense as you will spent too much time dealing with logistics and travel rather than enjoying Tahiti. (BTW, I wouldn't worry too much about touring Tahiti as there are only one or two places worth visiting.)

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We used FF miles for our air portion, so didn't even consider booking through Regent. If you want to use FF miles, you need to book 330 days in advance.

My husband played blackjack and poker a couple of times. We don't play slot machines (mindless activity in my opinion) so can't comment on those. We were really so busy with other activities that the casino was low on the priority list.

We stayed at the Sheraton pre-cruise. It was fine--actually our room was great. It had just been redone, and we had a wonderful bed and great bathroom which is just what we wanted. Some have given the Sheraton a bad rap, which is undeserved if what you want is a good bed and bath. It is not a great beach resort however. One thing we liked was that it was within easy walking distance of downtown and the price was definitely right.

Post cruise, we had an over water bungalow at the Intercontinental. Fine for a one time splurge. The room was amazing. But I probably wouldn't do again.

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The PG was our very first cruise and we loved the quality and the casual atmosphere on board. Three months later we sailed the Regent's Mariner and had a completely different experience. The Mariner was larger, less personal and people dressed more formal. However,the Mariner is newer and has lots of amenities that the PG does not. But for our dollar, the PG gave us the best cruise experience. (We will not discuss our experience on the Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas). We took our 35 year old daughter on our 2nd PG cruise and she loved it!!! She waterskied,kayaked, hiked and star gazed with the crew. She will shortly start scuba lessons so that she can scuba with the marina crew when we go again on the PG in December to the Marquesas.

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Will there be beaches like we are accustomed to in the Caribbean? Are they white sand? Do we need watershoes? What is the snorkeling like? Does it compare to Belize? Are there any excursions that offer Waverunner tours? When is the rainy season? Are hurricanes ever an issue?

 

Geez....I keep thinking of more and more questions!!!!

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The beachs are coral and not "soft" to sit upon so it's important to know if there will be beach chairs where you are going. PG has 2 beach locations: one is wonderful and not to be missed since it includes lunch and drinks,snorkling and some shoppping and very comfortable beach chairs. Their other beach in Bora Bora does not have chairs and is not very comfortable. We chose not to go on our 2nd trip to this beach.

 

It's a good idea to take beach shoes so that you are not cut up by the coral.

 

NO matter what, you will have a good time. We have found the guests aboard the ship to be very interesting and good conversationalists.

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My husband and I are in our late 40's and early 50's. We've cruised most of the mainstream cruise lines and are interested in moving up to Regent and cruising the South Pacific. Those of you who are familiar with Regent..can you guide us on our decision?

Thanks

 

We will be on our third PG cruise on July 16th. Want to join us? :)

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Will there be beaches like we are accustomed to in the Caribbean? Are they white sand? Do we need watershoes? What is the snorkeling like? Does it compare to Belize? Are there any excursions that offer Waverunner tours? When is the rainy season? Are hurricanes ever an issue?

 

Geez....I keep thinking of more and more questions!!!!

 

Oh boy, so many questions! That's good, we don't mind, love the ship!

 

No, the sand generally is not really great, tends to be lots of coral There are exceptions, but hard to find. If you did a pre-cruise at the Radisson on Tahiti, for example, there is a fine black sand beach that runs for several miles out that way. Yes, reef shoes are mandatory on the cruise itself--lots of broken coral and worse.

 

Snorkeling is excellent, again depending on where you go. Rainy season is our winter-early spring, say December to April. But it's not that bad, at least wasn't when I did a trip in April.

 

Unless you do a deal in air points, it's better to book air/hotels thru Regent--I've always priced what it would cost independently, and it's never been advantageous. That includes pre- and post-cruise hotel packages. And yes, I would suggest you do one, at least one night to alleviate jetlag, and more if you can manage it. If you have 4 days, you should try to do a pre-cruise on Moorea or some other island than Tahiti.

 

The Paul Gauguin is relaxed and I guess festive's not a bad word. Happy. I love the ship. Yes, it's kind of a plain-jane compared to the other Regent ships, but it's smaller and you get individual attention, great service, very intimate.

 

Dining can take forever with a large group, but for two, it can be made to go faster, especially if you mention that to the waiter.

 

Night-life is what you make it, plus it depends on the group on board. Coming from the east coast, we tend to be very early risers in FP, up with the sunrise, so don't get to do the disco thing in La Palette. But at times it's pretty lively, I've heard.

 

There are lots of great excursions. What itinerary are you thinking about? For a first-timer, I recommend the 7-day, plus a pre-cruise, preferably 3-4 days. We've done a pre-cruise on Manihi (amazing, snorkeling the best), the Radisson hotel, and a smaller hotel in Papeete. What I'd love to do is a pre-cruise on Moorea, but haven't managed it yet.

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You've gotten great answers. I just want to add my 2 cents on a couple of things. We've spent 24 days on the PG. It is a great cruise, and French Polynesia is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I agree with Wendy that FP is one of the few places where I would advise booking air and even hotel through Regent unless you have hundreds of thousands of FF points to spare. Regent has had good promotions for air--I think one expired yesterday. They also have attractive pre- and post-cruise hotel promotions. If you are cost conscious, the Radisson in Tahiti is really quite nice. Mind you, the first time we went, we did a B2B and spent no time on land and used the first few days on the ship to recuperate, knowing we had the next week to catch anything we missed the first. Personally, from what I've experienced and read, I don't think any land-based accomodations on the islands match the experience (service and food) of the PG. Some really have their heart set on staying in an OWB, and they are lovely (but costly). By the way, we're in the group that wouldn't go unless we could get a balcony cabin. It's great to sit and read and look at the scenery (and even have breakfast). Furthermore, there is not an abundance of shade in the pool area, though mostly I think you'll be on the beach, snorkeling, or on a boat excursion. By the way, I think for the most part it is not worth it to arrange your own excursions. Regent does an excellent job, especially if you like to go on sailing excursions or interesting nature-related excursions (and Regent's excursions tend to be reasonably priced).

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Will there be beaches like we are accustomed to in the Caribbean? Are they white sand? Do we need watershoes? What is the snorkeling like? Does it compare to Belize? Are there any excursions that offer Waverunner tours? When is the rainy season? Are hurricanes ever an issue?

 

Geez....I keep thinking of more and more questions!!!!

 

The only really soft sand beach I encountered in my two weeks was at the Intercontinental Tahiti...and that was artificial, but wonderful. It has an infinity-edged pool looking out to Moorea with a white powdery sand beach that continues as the pool's bottom...with a swim-up bar (palm trees included).

 

Watershoes are a must.

 

The snorkeling/diving is different from Belize (if that is what you are asking). The Caribbean has a greater diversity of corals and fish, but it is still pretty spectacular. The scenery in FP is far superior...as each island (both from a distance and its interior) are different with huge peaks, coral shallows, etc.

 

Yes, there are waverunner excursions in a few locations.

 

There really isn't a specific rainy season (as compared to the Caribbean) and hurricanes are not an issue. BUT we are talking mother nature, so nothing is guaranteed.

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Okay,

 

So far I've decided that the PG would be a perfect itinerary for our South Pacific inaugural cruise! I've also decided that a balcony cabin is a must, since we are sailing in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. :D Not being able to sit on the balcony and watch that scenery would be a crime! I've also decided that I'll book my air/hotel (pre-cruise) through Regent, because I don't have a huge pile of frequent flyer points lying around! :( I'll travel sometime between June 2008 - November 2008 to avoid the rainy season. I'll be sure to pack the watershoes! I'll book my excursion through PG.

 

Now what should I budget for this spectacular trip - if I'm flying from Houston? Cruise, taxes, air, hotel, transfers, shore excursions at each port, additional tips, etc.?

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It really depends on the itinerary and when you are going. Your window has high and low season and a 7, 10 or 14 day cruise obviously makes a difference as well. So does the hotel choice. (If you are doing it all through Regent, transfers are included.)

 

As far as excursion costs, there are huge differences in costs, but if you figure $150 per person per day you will almost definitely be safe...keeping in mind that I highly doubt you will do an excursion every day (such as the first and last days and the private motu day).

 

BTW, I think you will find that you will have better pricing and better info on which cabin to choose, etc. using a knowledgeable travel agent. There are a few that are used by people on this board, so check around. Also, keep in mind that you are getting information from only a few people (knowledgeable as they may be) and our own personal opinions may not be exactly what you, personally, desire. Remember it is your vacation; not anyone else's on this board (though we will live it vicariously!;) ).

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Also, you may be able to find a date with free air included in your cruise fare......check out the Regent website to see which dates are including the air and hopefully there will be one that suits your time frame.

Pat

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Oh right, there's a free air promo on for this spring I think. May/June has so far been our favourite time there. And as Boatman says, the rainy season's not much--it can rain any time, but in our winter it's just hotter and more humid really.

 

If you do Regent Air, with or without a pre-cruise, air transfers are included, as is a dayroom at the Radisson after the cruise, if you have a late flight out that day. The two-night pre-cruise at the Radisson right now is $295 pp. Which sounds a lot, but when I did a comparison with a more modest hotel done on our own, what with transfers etc., it came out about the same, since if you roll your own, you pay the $100 pp deviation fee.

 

No additional tips, really.

 

I think Boatman's right, $150 per day is about right.

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You want to play the "free air" off the cost of the airfare. For example, if you take the "free air" credit you may get a $1,000 reduction in cruise fare and the air to Tahiti may be $750 (off season),so you can pocket $500 for a couple by doing air independently. "Free" with any cruise line is not necessarily free!

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