A Journey on the beautiful m/s Paul Gauguin
Wow is all I can say. This experience as a great combination of a wonderful ship sailing in the most beautiful areas I have ever seen. To make sure they keep the water beautiful, Paul Gauguin does everything possible to eliminate the carbon footprint. I would highly recommend this cruise line for couples wanting a romantic and unbelievable experience. One of my favorite things about cruising is that you get an opportunity to visit many places without the hassle of packing and unpacking your bags each time you visit a new place. We unpacked once and saw seven different islands. My only regret is that we did not have enough time to take a longer cruise. That is my plan for next time! We flew from Los Angeles onboard Air Tahiti Nui, which was a pleasure. Each of their classes of service gives you comfort and individualized service. You feel the Polynesian hospitality the moment you board the plane. I felt like I was on vacation on the way to the islands! We boarded the ship in Papeete, Tahiti and set sail around midnight. Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia and is definitely the most populated area we visited. We had boarded earlier in the day and there was plenty of food, drinks and activities to keep us busy. When the ship sails, they do a wonderful ceremony for those that are celebrating special occasions. On our cruise, there were many honeymoon couples and the crew made them feel so special. There was even a cake to celebrate their nuptials. The first stop was in Huahine, which is in the Society Islands. The ship was there all day giving us the chance to spend many hours there. One of the more popular tourist attractions is the bridge that crosses over a stream with 3-6 foot long eels swimming in the water below. These eels are deemed sacred by the locals, by local mythology. We actually fed the eels, which was quite fun. The next stop is Taha'a and it is breathtakingly beautiful. The water is warm, crystal clear and just calls you to swim in it. The island is surrounded by a coral reef and is a beautiful place to snorkel and scuba dive. It's also the place where about 80% of French Polynesia's vanilla comes from. It is known as the "Vanilla Island" since you can smell vanilla in the air. It is also a great place to buy your Tahitian pearls, as they are of a high quality here. Next was Bora, Bora in the Society Islands. Bora Bora is well known for its abundant marine life. The manta rays swim in the waters there as they feed through the passes in the coral reef. Snorkeling here was fabulous. I could have stayed here for days. Most people that visit Tahiti, stay in Bora Bora. The resorts are beautiful and you can indulge yourself in an over water bungalow. These bungalows give you access to the ocean from your room so you can just climb down a few short stairs or jump into the crystal clear water. Some of the bungalows even have glass floors so you can see the fish swimming under your room. Wow! We next went to Moorea. This is definitely the top spot for diving in the Society Islands. The coral reefs are well preserved with abundant marine life and the visibility can be up to 130 feet. Next was back to Papeete for an overnight stay. We spent some time shopping, sightseeing and had a wonderful lunch. Then we were anxious to get back to the ship. The service onboard Paul Gauguin is one of the things that gives them their 6-star rating. Whatever you want, you get. Most times you didn't even know you wanted it and it was there for you. The staff took such good care of us. The food is absolutely amazing onboard. Guests have several choices for dining, including a 2-star Michelin restaurant. Each meal was better than the next. Dining on the deck made the food taste even better! Since all your meals, alcohol, soft drinks, coffee and water are included, you get a great value. There is also complimentary in-room dining and an in-room mini-bar that is stocked daily. The staterooms are spacious and nicely decorated. We had a lovely balcony where we sat and enjoyed breakfast a few times and afternoon cocktails. About 70% of the rooms have balconies for guests to enjoy the view. The remaining staterooms have nice large picture windows. There are two different types of suites onboard, giving guests' larger rooms, larger balconies and upgraded amenities. Paul Gauguin has recently earned many prestigious awards in the travel industry including Best for a Second Honeymoon, Top 20 Small Cruise Ships, World's Best Service on a Small Ship, Best South Pacific Itinerary and Best Cuisine on a Cruise Ship. I loved it and can't wait to go back. It's a wonderful experience and one you don't want to miss. If you are looking for a great honeymoon, destination wedding, vow renewal or second honeymoon; look no further.
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