We embarked around 3.30pm on Sat. and after security checks and a glass of champagne were quickly shown to our cabin. After a quick explore we headed back off the ship to the local market in the port for a crepe .
Our room was cosy but there were a good number of drawers and cabinets to put your things away. We thought it interesting that our friends had upgraded rooms with windows and balconies yet the rooms were exactly the same internally. L'occatne tolitries, hairdryer, robes, minibar. Electrical French/US plugs and 230v in bathroom. Comfortable Queen size bed with suitcase storage underneath.
Every night you get mail at your door with details about everything that is happening the following day (very handy). There are also afternoon lectures prior to arriving at a new destination detailing what is offered at each location. One slightly disappointing note is that some activities and excursions were booked out before we even heard about them :( I guess the repeat customers know which excursions to pre-book.
Sunday - Raiatea after overnight cruise form Papeete. Rough trip through the night with engine/ballast noise ? (room 310)
Strange that this is the first stop because everything is closed on a Sunday.
You can spend your day at Motu Mahana, private beach with sand, sun, snorkeling and a lagoon bar ! BBQ buffet for lunch and plenty of beach chairs. We thought this was the best beach day by far.
Tuesday - Bora, Bora (2 days) Fresh juice at La Pallete (aft bar). Took the early tender to Viatape (local township), 12 pearl shops and little else. Went back to the ship and then on to the 'private beach' - 60m long with no facilities and no trespassing signs either side :( Slightly disappointing after the previous days magic experience at Motu Mahana.
Bora, Bora- Day 2
After discovering the previous day that many excursions were cancelled or full we managed to book a 'Lagoonarium' tour. $105 USD pp, picked up at Viatape and then 20min boat ride across beautiful lagoon. Swimming with Stingrays, Sharks and reef fish - magic experience. Return trip continued on around the island.
Thursday - Moorea
Traveled overnight again with choppy seas and room noise. Arrived Opunohu Bay early AM, watching sunrise with fresh juice. By this point the barman had them ready and waiting for us. Lazy day by the pool and the sun deck, Bridge tour was interesting. We wanted to paddle board off the back of the ship but it was cancelled due to wind. Evening entertainment included a Polynesian themed night where most guests dressed island style.
Day 2 - Moorea
Managed to go paddle boarding in the afternoon (bucket list thing) and hired a car in the morning to look round the island. The interior is quite beautiful and worth a look. Moorea has public beaches but the ship does not have access to these. There are excursions for a 'day at the beach' at the Inter Continential for $115 USD but they were sold out before we even heard about them.
In the late afternoon we made the short trip back to Papeete and docked for the evening. We disembarked at 5am on the Sat morning to catch our flight home.
Food and Service
Almost without exception of the highest quality. The service was attentive from the reception to the servers to the room attendants. La Grill and La Veranda restaurants require bookings for dinner and these can be booked out very quickly. La Etoile became our destination of choice to eat with our new group of friends. Save room for dessert/ cheese board and a Tawny Port.
There was a wide range of ages on board, from young families to honey mooners and empty nesters. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and cost wise was very competitive compared to staying at a resort on Moorea while getting to see many different places and experiences.