Paul Gauguin Cruises
Bill and I jumped at the chance to cruise the beautiful islands of the South Pacific with Paul Gauguin cruises. It’s something that had been on our “bucket list” for quite some time. We chose the 10-night Papeete to Papeete, Tahiti/Society Islands cruise with stops in Huahine, Taha’a, Bora Bora, Moorea and Motu Mahana.
The islands are so beautiful, Paul Gauguin Cruises doesn’t really have to do too much to make the experience a great one… but they do. They are all-inclusive, which basically covers everything. You can buy a package with air, transfers, a day room upon arrival to Papeete (most flights arrive very early in the morning), your cruise including alcohol and a day room at the end of your cruise (most flights leave late in the evening). When you step off the plane, a greeter from PG is there to greet you and take you to the shuttle which takes you to your hotel for the day. After a short check-in process, you can enjoy breakfast (included in your package), the pool and beach or simply take a nap in your room. It’s a great way to sleep off a bit of jetlag and get used to the time change.
It seems most people don’t know too much about Tahiti and her islands. Located in the South Pacific, there are many, many small and beautiful islands. Some are inhabited and some are not. From Los Angeles, it’s only and 8 hour flight. Papeete has a lot of activity going on, but the other islands are very quiet and pristine. They are magical and you definitely feel it once you step off the airplane. The pace is more relaxed than on the mainland and the people are too. The air is warm, the air is clean. In short, it’s paradise.
The ship is beautiful, clean and well taken care. These are my pet peeves, so I was happy to see everything onboard with in top-top shape. Your hostess escorts you through the check-in process, and then shows you to your room. We came to the ship in our bathing suits and cover ups (it’s pretty much what you wear the entire cruise), so we were ready for the pool. Drinks were being served, music was being played, the sun was shining and everyone was happy. This is the perfect way to start your cruise experience.
The mood continues throughout the entire cruise. Between onboard activities, the lovely Le Gauguines and Les Gauguins (the Gauguin’s own troupe of Polynesian performers) and the beautiful setting, you simply feel relaxed and joyful. I know we did!
The food is spectacular onboard. This coming from a very picky eater like me does mean a lot. There are plenty of choices at all meals. For me, I like to keep breakfast simple… just a bowl of cereal and banana or hot oatmeal with scrambled egg whites. I was able to either find these items in the buffet or order them from the menu. Lunch is plentiful, with choices such as sandwich fixings, a variety of salads and hot entrée items. For lunch they serve a menu as well as a buffet. Dinner was spectacular each night. The choices were the main dining room or one of 2 specialty restaurants. All of these choices are included in your cruise package. All you have to do is make a reservation if you wish to dine at the specialty restaurants. The food is fresh and very tasty. The choices were very nice and there was always something for everyone… including vegetarian options. The wait staff is superb. They want to please, yet are not intrusive. They allow you to enjoy your dining experience without rushing you or standing over you. They are intuitive, if you need something, it appears.
As for the alcohol onboard, we did try a few things. I like to have wine with dinner. There was always a nice choice of red and white wines to choose from. As for cocktails, they have the fun tropical drinks sometimes served in a coconut or with a cute little umbrella. They have after dinner drinks and pretty much whatever you desire. There are several lounges onboard, so it’s never a problem to get a drink.
The staterooms are spacious and decorated nicely. You don’t want for anything in these rooms. The shower is amble sized and includes a small bathtub. A vanity mirror in the room makes it easy to do your hair or make up while your partner is in the shower. We had a balcony cabin… I highly recommend this. Most of the cabins onboard do have balconies.
Did I mention make up? Well, that is if you chose to wear it… and then only a little. Things are super casual onboard and I sure didn’t feel like I needed to wear make-up, even to dinner. I don’t believe there is a dress code, but there are no jeans or shorts allowed at night.
Let me not forget about the onboard sports marina. All the non-motorized water sports you can think of can be found here. This is so much fun! What a way to experience the tranquil seas and explore the ocean.
The ports are simply fantastic. I had heard a lot about Taha’a and was anxious to experience it for myself. It’s beautiful, very remote and a perfect tropical island experience. It was here that I took a “selfie” of my feet! I had to do this to show just how clear the water is. The water is always warm and inviting. Bora Bora was beautiful as well, and offers many options for activities. We decided to swim with the stingrays and sharks. I’ll admit, I was a bit afraid… I seemed to be the only one out of 10 of us that was! Once I got over my fear, I really enjoyed myself. It’s actually really cool being in their environment with them. They are totally domesticated and expect the cruise guests pretty much daily. Some of the islands we visited, there was nothing to do other than lie on the beach and dip in the water. I’d have to say there is not one thing wrong with that. PG Cruises has their own private island where they host a big beach bbq. You spend the day on this island eating yummy food, snorkeling and taking in the exquisite beauty of your surroundings.
I really do not have one negative thing to say about PG Cruises. We had the best time and I would absolutely recommend it to my friends and clients. It’s a very romantic setting, so I’d say it’s best for couples. If you are celebrating a wedding anniversary, birthday or just want a wonderful vacation, it’s a great option. You can bring children, but there are not many onboard. We loved it and would go again in a second!
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