Paul Gauguin Cruise Review to South Pacific

Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5


Sail Date: July 29, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Cabin: 614

The Paul Gauguin is the perfect way to visit French Polynesia.  It allows you to visit many of the islands, and the size of the ship allows you to enter all of the atolls.  The ship is beautiful, decent size rooms, and delicious food in the three dining rooms.  My favorite hang out is at the Piano Bar before dinner, where Rey (my favorite bartender onboard) whips up some great cocktails. 

The Paul Gauguin has a private motu off of Taha'a and this is a really special part of the cruise.  The motu is unbelievable, the best day on the cruise!  It is a private island set up for the cruise with chaise lounges, a floating bar, fresh coconuts, and a delicious island bbq.  

Fakarava & Raingaroa were the two top dive spots, and are even great for snorkeling.  We booked all of our excursions and dives through the PG, and I highly recommend this option, there is not much to do on some of the islands without booking an excursion.  The excursions are reasonable prices and we did not have one that we did not love.

I definitely will be returning to the Paul Gauguin to cruise some of their other itineraries.

My only two complaints would be that the service is good not great on the ship, but you spend most of your time off the ship in the beautiful islands, and the embarkation and disembarkation is so poorly handled. 

Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Ship Quality
Embarkation and Disembarkation
This was truly horrible. Getting on we arrived three hours early and they only had a few chairs to wait and sit in the sun, and refused to watch our bags so we could go into town. We were early because our flight came in to Papeete early.
Getting off the ship, they lost our luggage and sent it on a tour bus, so we had to wait for two hours while it was brought back to the ship. We made the best of it by going into town, but not a good feeling to get off the ship and have your luggage missing.
Cabin / Stateroom
The cabin was a tad small, and we had a look at the 7th floor which was significantly bigger. We were happy with the smaller size as we wanted to save a little money but still have a balcony, and we never felt cramped in our room.
The room we looked at on the 7th floor was 712 which was a great size, and all the 8th floor cabins are big and have a butler.
Huahine, French Polynesia
The Motu Picnic excursion was amazing! Beautiful island, very lush.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Rangiroa, French Polynesia
Great diving and snorkeling - must do the snorkeling through the tour as it is not great snorkeling right off the beach. The beach is very rocky not a white soft sand beach. Beware of the wild dogs on the island!
Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago
If you are a diver, sign up for two dives here! Easy island to walk with good snorkeling and beautiful beaches. The coral church is worth visiting, easy walk from the dock.
Taha'A, Society Islands
You don't need an excursion here, just spend the entire day at the private Motu.
Moorea, French Polynesia
The dive was okay, you can skip this one. Snorkeling wasn't great either.
Papeete, Tahiti
Go to the day markets and the night food trucks. If you have the late night flight out, there is a restaurant just up the hill from the airport with a blue roof called Oceans that has great Chinese food with a local twist. It was delicious and a huge meal. We didn't do the hotel stay through the PG, but just checked our luggage at the airport for $9 per bag, and walked to the Intercontinental to spend the day there by the pool free of charge. The IC is pretty touristy but a pretty view of Moorea and a nicer place to spend the day than the airport.


Make sure you are on the first tender to the private motu at Taha'a to make sure you get a chaise lounge int he front row and have the full day to enjoy the island!

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