Paul Gauguin (RETIRED) Cruise Review to South Pacific - Tahiti

Deck Hand

Experience
7+ cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
10

5 out of 5

Outstanding ship; outstanding islands

Sail Date: December 01, 2007

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

The ship felt the most spacious of any we have travelled on. There were quite a number of singles travelling alone, so the ship was not quite full to capacity. Some much larger ships have more dramatic public spaces but have always felt more crowded. On one smaller, expedition ship, the interior space was cramped.

Pros: Overall experience but especially the photo tour on Moorea

Cons: Occasional unannounced departures from the published program on board

Recommends Paul Gauguin (RETIRED)? Yes!

Bora Bora, French Polynesia
We went on a snorkeling shore excursion that included swimming with sting rays (and a couple of sharks) and snorkeling near the reef, all inside the lagoon. It was a good trip but fairly routine for those with experience of the Craibbean or Fiji, for example.
Moorea, French Polynesia
This was our favourite port and that of many that we spoke with. We took an outstanding shore excursion with a local photographer who gave us a combined photography tutorial and tour of the best viewpoints, involving 4-wheel driving and walking but not too much. Not as good as a "Thru the lens" walking tour we did in Rome recently, but still excellent.
Don't Miss: Go up on deck and look at the view
Papeete, Tahiti
We just relaxed at our hotel (Sofitel) for a short time before and after the cruise, so we can't really rate this port. The cruise line did not offer any shore excursions for "cruise-only" passengers, although we could have taken one through the hotel. The town is right by the dockside, so very convenient.
Rangiroa, French Polynesia
We enjoyed exploring the small village there although nothing was open on Sunday. The huge reef without a central island was fascinating.
Don't Miss: We didn't dive, but this is the supposed to be the place to do it.
Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas
Hiva Oa is rustic. The ship provided a complimentary shuttle bus to the cemetery and the village. The bus was an open-sided school bus (and shuttle service was suspended when the children had to be collected from school). We definitely felt we had left all our modern cares behind. The cemetery has Paul Gaugin's grave and fine views of the bay.
Don't Miss: Don't miss the school bus -- although it's diesel driven, it takes you back 100 years or more.
Taha'A, Society Islands
We went to the private island (motu) where the snorkeling from the beach was excellent. There was plenty of shade, space for everyone, and a good barbeque lunch and bar.
Don't Miss: There was general agreement among those we spoke to on board that the private island was outstanding.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
We went on a snorkeling shore excursion that included swimming with sting rays (and a couple of sharks) and snorkeling near the reef, all inside the lagoon. It was a good trip but fairly routine for those with experience of the Craibbean or Fiji, for example.
Moorea, French Polynesia
This was our favourite port and that of many that we spoke with. We took an outstanding shore excursion with a local photographer who gave us a combined photography tutorial and tour of the best viewpoints, involving 4-wheel driving and walking but not too much. Not as good as a "Thru the lens" walking tour we did in Rome recently, but still excellent.
Don't Miss: Go up on deck and look at the view
Tiaohae, Nuku Hiva
Also a school bus but not quite so primitive as Hiva Oa. A beautiful walk around the bay, with the complimentary shuttle bus to pick you up when you've had enough. The museum was interesting, especially the woman who owns it, and the crafts there are of surprisingly high quality. The modern cathedral is a fascinating contrast to Western styles.
Don't Miss: Cathedral, mainly because it is recogniseable but very different architecturally
Tiaohae, Nuku Hiva
Also a school bus but not quite so primitive as Hiva Oa. A beautiful walk around the bay, with the complimentary shuttle bus to pick you up when you've had enough. The museum was interesting, especially the woman who owns it, and the crafts there are of surprisingly high quality. The modern cathedral is a fascinating contrast to Western styles.
Don't Miss: Cathedral, mainly because it is recogniseable but very different architecturally
Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas
Hiva Oa is rustic. The ship provided a complimentary shuttle bus to the cemetery and the village. The bus was an open-sided school bus (and shuttle service was suspended when the children had to be collected from school). We definitely felt we had left all our modern cares behind. The cemetery has Paul Gaugin's grave and fine views of the bay.
Don't Miss: Don't miss the school bus -- although it's diesel driven, it takes you back 100 years or more.
Papeete, Tahiti
We just relaxed at our hotel (Sofitel) for a short time before and after the cruise, so we can't really rate this port. The cruise line did not offer any shore excursions for "cruise-only" passengers, although we could have taken one through the hotel. The town is right by the dockside, so very convenient.
Taha'A, Society Islands
We went to the private island (motu) where the snorkeling from the beach was excellent. There was plenty of shade, space for everyone, and a good barbeque lunch and bar.
Don't Miss: There was general agreement among those we spoke to on board that the private island was outstanding.
Rangiroa, French Polynesia
We enjoyed exploring the small village there although nothing was open on Sunday. The huge reef without a central island was fascinating.
Don't Miss: We didn't dive, but this is the supposed to be the place to do it.


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