Excellent Service/Tired Ship

Paul Gauguin Cruise Review to South Pacific - Tahiti

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 48

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Verified Review
Paul Gauguin

7 Night Tahiti & The Society Islands (Papeete Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 22, 2018

Ship: Paul Gauguin

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 723

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

PS: This review site has problems with using Google Chrome so I use Microsoft Edge instead. Word to tech support.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
They sheppherd you through the process

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
FOOD was high quality and tasty but after 7 days, 2 1/2 restaurants (1/2 for the casual grill) gets visually old. I think this measures up to one wrung below luxury ship (i.e. Crystal) standards. At the opposite end of presumed luxury is the exclusion of being able to wear shorts to any of the restaurants for dinner! That includes not being able to wear to dinner a nice polo with sharp shorts to that casual restaurant on the 8th floor! C'mon its 2018! Many of us wear slacks to work and we're on a Polynesian cruise! Open seating with rolling reservations is nice; we chose to go to the L'etoile most nights and requested the same wait STAFF each of those nights. They were excellent knowing our names and each our particulars & preferences by day 2! The dining rooms seemed to lack any women and most staff were from the same country. On most cruises I've taken there is such a diversity genders and of countries represented that its fun to learn about nations via these emissaries. Room service w/in 10 min! Whatever you want and nearly whenever you wanted it! FAB-U-LOUS!

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5
The cruise director was very nice and enthusiastic; I felt like she was doing the best with the hand she was dealt. The SHIP is immaculately clean and well maintained but the layout seems 'old' with much unused deck area commensurate from when the ship was built in 1997. There's no sports court, for instance. A bit of innovation could convert deck 9 to so many things. The pool was tiny. Wish they would have a outdoor Jacuzzi/Hot Tub!

Entertainment

2 out of 5
To borrow from another review, "Evening ENTERTAINMENT below par; dated and often amateurish." Didn't feel like there was much to do on board. The native singers were great (extra star for them) but in 2018 that's not near enough!

Children's Programs

1 out of 5
They had things to do for Christmas which was nice but I'm not sure what they do on other cruises

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Best part of the cruise is that you can see the staff working to show that service is job 1! The dining rooms seemed to lack any women and most staff were from the same country. On most cruises I've taken there is such a diversity genders and of countries represented that its fun to learn about nations via these emissaries.

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
Very well maintained and clean but the design is dated. Also, For some reason, although we were in mild to medium seas, the ship seemed to have more MOTION than we have experienced on other ships of similar size in heavier seas. This was mostly felt in the back dining rooms and not in the cabins. Obnoxious announcements on PA system in your room! C'mon, do I need to know about where the captain's photo op is going to be? Announce it on the ship but not in the room! Those room announcements should be reserved for safety announcements only! When people are on vacation they may be napping in their cabins during the day!

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The sound insulation from room to room was less than I had hoped for; I could hear muffled conversations and telephone rings on both sides as well as people walking on the floor above. Our housekeeper was excellent and huge amount of closet space and cabinets in the bathroom for STORAGE (we were in a 'C' category cabin on the 7th floor).

Ship tip

I wanted to point out that all my pre-cruise went through my AMAZING travel agent, Mayra Silveira (cruises dot com). She was so attentive! We had a great time!

Ports of call

Papeete, Tahiti

5 out of 5
We did not do an excursion here. We stayed at the Hotel Intercontinental on the way in & out. The over the water bungalows are soooooo worth it! Just do it! Another tip is to go where the locals hang out for dinner; the food trucks from 5 pm on. Its about a 2 minute walk from where you embark/disembark. Safe and fun! PS: All taxis are fixed-price without meters. Some taxi drivers are less scrupulous than others so pay attention to the sign at the taxi stands. They usually take US dollars but do NOT take credit cards.

Huahine, French Polynesia

5 out of 5
We did snorkel and safari truck tour! The snorkel guy brings you to his personal island where he lives. He's got great dogs that will swim in the water with you. Its so relaxing. Offered him a tip and he said that my enjoyment was his tip! Then we went to the pearl farm; meh but okay. Then we went on a truck to tour the island. Bring your mosquito repellant (or get Vit. B12 shots before you go on vacation). Also a lot of fun! Easy for everyone from teens to active seniors!

Taha'A, Society Islands

5 out of 5
Private Island? Yes please! Great BBQ on the beach spread!

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

3 out of 5
Mixed Review on the AquaSafari: 5-star excursion-must do! BUT their up-sell on the photos they take and then sell you on the boat when you surface left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Its about $75 for a group of 4 and $150 for 5-8 people. For that price you should just buy your own waterproof camera but okay, we didn't plan so we bought the package, no complaints. You should have seen the massive two-handed beautiful underwater camera the guy had! Like Jacques Cousteau! They give you a link and if you pay them on the boat you'll also get a USB stick. Pictures were very nice! So, besides the price, why am I complaining? 250 KB? Your smartphone takes 12 MegaPixel resolution pictures and the resolution on these was about 1/4 MP per picture! That's worse than a screenshot resolution and nothing commensurate with what you'd expect with that amazing camera you'd think you're going. We wanted to blow these pix up and put them on the wall at home but can't now. We contacted the owner via email and he was downright inhospitable! He said that the photos had to be compressed to get them on the USB (which is BS in 2018) but how about online? Now we're left with a bad taste in our mouth. Buyer beware!

Moorea, French Polynesia

5 out of 5
We did an eBike tour that was photographically breath taking; again, bring your mosquito repellant (or get Vit. B12 shots before you go on vacation). These islands remind me of how Hawaii must have been 50 years ago with them being mostly uncommercialized and true Polynesian hospitality.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
Very organized BUT not cool that they charge $15 for the privilege of requesting a taxi for you. Don't believe them, there are available taxis at the dock and all taxis have access to the dock. That being said, talk to the taxi driver that drops you off at the port about picking you up. PS: All taxis are fixed-price without meters. Some taxi drivers are less scrupulous than others so pay attention to the sign at the taxi stands. They usually take US dollars but do NOT take credit cards.

Traveler Photos

AquaSafari Food Trucks eBike Santa Claus in Tahiti Taxi rates He took us to his island to snorkel
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