Cruise Ship
Offer ID: 1275809

10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus Cruise

from $4,395
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Overall Rating

Based on 22 reviews.

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  1. First Timer

    April 2019 French Polynesia

    PROS: Great Staff and great service..

    RECOMMENDED: Yes

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  2. Amazing Trip

    February 2019 Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha, Huahine

    PROS: Staff, Views, Islands, Amenities, Food

    CONS: Excursions

    RECOMMENDED: Yes

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  3. Tahiti 7 Night Society Islands

    July 2018 Society Islands French Polynesia

    PROS: The staff is outstanding. The itinerary should be on everyone's bucket list.

    CONS: The necessity for tendering at each port is a small inconvenience. The ship is showing its age in a few areas like some of the public bathrooms have just a sink with exposed pipes instead of a vanity with some counterspace.

    RECOMMENDED: Yes

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    m/s Paul Gauguin is a wonderful ship for water enthusiasts. Snorkeling, Diving, and non-motorized water activities are the main interest of most passengers on board.

    You haven't seen turquoise blue water until you have been to French Polynesia. The opportunities for water related activities are boundless. The m/s Paul Gauguin is an intimate ship with a very attentive and friendly staff who are warm and welcoming. Since the itinerary is so port intensive, with no sea days, most people are off on the varied shore excursions. There is a lot of emphasis on the Tahitian culture with programs on dancing, singing, and craft programs such as lei making or making shell bracelets. Food on board is very good. Do not miss the Molten Lava Cake with vanilla ice cream. The nighttime entertainment is mostly Tahitian singing and dancing.
    I enjoyed the tours to the Vanilla Farm and also to the Black Pearl Farm. Both were very interesting. Our highlight was the boat tour to see the Spinner dolphins with the naturalist who was both funny and very informative. We were fortunate enough to also see a few humpback whales which actually breached a few times!  It was a wonderful vacation.

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  4. A floating paradise in the South Pacific

    November 2018 11-day Cook and Society Islands

    PROS: amazing staff! great food. good entertainment.

    CONS: not enough pool chairs

    RECOMMENDED: Yes

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    A wonderful cruise experience for everyone! Being on the ship is like staying in a traveling overwater bungalow. The views are amazing, the staff is absolutely delightful and there are lots of different activities to choose from.

    The ship is beautifully appointed, with just 332 passengers spread out over 8 decks. There is ample public space, I never felt crowded. There is a nice outdoor salt water pool, a piano bar and a lounge, a big theater, gift shop, spa and a water sports marina. The cabins are very nicely laid out. I would highly recommend to book into a balcony or veranda cabin (the veranda cabins on deck 8 come with butler service and offer the most privacy). We were located on deck 8, category B in cabin #806. The marina is located on deck 4, aft of the ship and opens in various ports of call when able to. Paddle board and kayaks are available during those times free of charge. The dive center on board is doing a fabulous job with keeping the dives in small groups and instructors are skilled and make divers feel at ease. We were fortunate enough to dive with a huge hawks-bill turtle, some black tip reef sharks and tons of colorful fish. There are 3 restaurants on board: The Grill, La Veranda and L’Etoile The Grill and La Veranda are buffet options for breakfast and lunch but turn into fine dining venues for dinner (reservations are recommended). L’Etoile is the main dining room, open for dinner only. While the Grill will offer Polynesian Inspired Cuisine, La Veranda offers a traditional French Menu. L’Etoile offers a mix as well as standard options. The line is doing an amazing job at facilitating passengers with food allergies and dietary restrictions. The head waiter met us for each meal to go over the dinner menu’s and make sure to review items with the chef. We had the most amazing meals on board! Also room service is available all day long free of charge! Make sure to order breakfast in bed during a sea day! Entertainment on board is very diverse: The line employs Gauguins and Gauguaines to teach traditional arts and crafts classes, talk about their local culture, pareo tying, ukulele classes and much more. We had various lectures on board about some of the local islands history, the story of Captain Bligh and enjoyed port talks and even pearl classes. The evening shows were well done and ranged from Polynesian Dance performances, to crew shows to musicians and dance parties. On Polynesian Night locals came on board to make us flower crowns and leis. The ship is truly like a floating over the water bungalow, taking you from island to island. It was amazing! Now for the itinerary: We cruised the Society and Cook Islands: Tahiti -> Huanine -> Day at Sea -> Aitutaki -> Rarotonga -> Day at Sea -> Bora Bora for 2 days -> Taha’a -> Moorea for 2 days -> Tahiti overnight. All ports, except Tahiti, are tender ports. The private beach in Bora Bora was the only wet landing on this trip. At the end of the cruise, we spend the day at the Pearl Beach Resort with an included day room. We loved the unique black sand beach here and were happy to enjoy a nice leisurely afternoon. The Society Islands are very lush, with thick forests covering the heart of the islands and mountains. Most of the islands only have one road, lending itself to easy exploration. While there is not a lot of wildlife on land, the waterways are full of colorful fish, rays, turtles, eels and small sharks. A snorkelers and divers paradise! Most snorkel adventures have to be done by boat, as the reefs are too shallow to explore from the beaches. In most places you can walk out into the ocean for 20-30 minutes and never get below knee-deep water. The Cook Islands are part of New Zealand and are very remote from everything. The islands are not quite as lush but the beaches and water-quality are jaw-droppingly beautiful. The photos really don’t do it justice… Tour options on all islands varied widely, but included ATV/4X4 Tours, Snorkeling, Pearl Farms, Vanilla Plantations, Drift Snorkeling, Diving, E-Bike Tours, Wave runners, Helicopter/Light Plane Tours and much more… Paul Gauguin also has access to a private beach on Bora Bora (wet landing via tender) as well as a private island in Taha’a. Most excursions run between $100-$180 per person, the flight tours are more of course. However, for the water based tours especially it's worth it to book with the cruise line to safe time and ensure a good experience. The private island was amazing! We enjoyed a Polynesian BBQ, huge coconut drinks, lots of snorkeling, a swim up bar, paddle boarding, kayaking and had the most amazing day exploring the small island. If you are interested in doing some shopping on this trip, here are a few tips: 1. No need to exchange money into local currency. US Dollars are accepted on all islands and are calculated 1:1 for hassle free shopping 2. Buy your vanilla in Taha’a! You must be booked on an island tour to get to the main island and do your shopping. The ships tender only runs to the private island, but vendors are on site to satisfy your shopping needs 3. For pearls, make sure they are certified! Pearls are qualified in categories A-D, with A being the best. Even street vendors can certify their pearls, but you have to ask. Most vendors (even jewelry stores) are willing to barter with you. Make a reasonable offer and most of them will be very wiling to accept it. For cheap pearls ($5-$30 range for gifts) buy them in Bora Bora. They look nice and come in many styles, but they are generally quality C and D. For nice pearls, category B and A, I would recommend to purchase them in Moorea. From what I saw, this is where we got the best prices on quality pearls. 4. You cannot bring fruits or flowers back to the US. 5. Pareos should cost you about $10 each, not more, and are a lovely gift to bring back home. 6. Pack plenty of sunscreen – a tube on board and in port costs about $35! And don’t forget your bug spray! ??

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  5. Tuamotus, Marquesas and Society Islands

    October 2018 French Polynesia

    PROS: Excellent staff, facilities & destinations

    CONS: need to book excursions early for the outer islands as space is limited

    RECOMMENDED: Yes

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    Sailing the m/s Paul Gauguin is an amazing experience

    The attention to detail was superb. Coordinating flights, transfers, hotels & cruise was all handled seamlessly. The staff onboard knew our names after the first introduction and greeted us by name throughout the cruise.

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Offer ID

1275809

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