M/S Paul Gauguin Cruise - Tahiti Cruise Review
Below you will find several tips and suggestions.
This cruise was a real treat, the islands are beautiful and the ship is a one of a kind cruising experience! My wife and I enjoyed every minute.
Check out more photos, see my digital Tahiti cruise
I suggest getting a cabin on the Paul Gauguin that has a balcony. Cabins on decks 3, 4 and 5 have portals or windows, the balcony rooms on decks the upper decks give specatcular views of the islands. But portal rooms have an advantage, see note below.
You will discover that the ship sometimes feels empty, that is because a large number of the passengers are in their cabins because the balconys provide such a private and relaxing experience. NOTE: This is a positive for those in window/portal rooms, often the public areas of the ship are empty. At times I felt as if the Paul Gauguin was our own private mega-yacht!!
On your first night onboard, eat early then go down to the activities/excursions desk and book your excursions. The line will begin to form before the desk open, but if you want one of the popular trips, get in line. It is worth the time. You will also have a chance to meet some of the other passengers as we did.
Swimming with the sting rays was fun. TIP: Take a few of those small pocket sized, thin, light weight plastic panchos with you. You can get them at sporting goods stores for a buck or two. These are great when your on one of the small excursion boats and it rains, or your wet after swiming. The water isn't cold, but add the breez and it can get freezing!!
Sharks!!! Yes they are sharks but they won't attack you. The local guides bring them in with fish. It is scarry at first, but by the end I was feeding them myself!! TIP: Get one of those waterprood disposable cameras, that is what I used for this picture.
As we were leaving on an excursion a whale entered the bay were the Gauguin was anchored. It was very close to our small boat. It continued into the bay and circled the ship several times. Gave those remaining onboard that day a real show. That reminds me of another thing. On-board announcements are kept to a minimum. Maybe one a day, this adds a great sense of calm to the ship. The in-cabin TV shows a schedule of events. The day the whales circled the ship was one of the rare times they made an unscheduled PA announcement.
My wife showing off our lovely window cabin. Lots of wood and brass. The room was great, with a large bath. Staff was excellent. Gift shop purchases I made to give my wife when we returned home were delivered to my room and stashed deep in my suitcase. It was a big hit, on our first night home she found Paul Gauguin bathrobes laid out on the bed, just like on the ship!
One of the many island tours and excursions you can select.
Meals on board are excellent. Dress is country club casual. Your first night onboard make reservations for the La Veranda dining room for fine dining and have dinner one evening at sunset on the top deck in at Le Grill. The main dining room is open seating with no specific seating times or tables. Very nice.
This was a great trip. NOTE: This is a luxury ship, expect fares starting at aroung $2,500us per person for a lower deck cabin, $4,000us per person for a balcony cabin.
I suggest arriving in Tahiti a few days early. If you don't the first few days of your cruise will be spent catching up on your time zones.... We stayed on the island of Tahiti for several days before we left on the cruise and would suggest that to everyone else.