This is our third cruise on the Paul Gauguin, this time out to the Tuamotu Archipelago. The folks at PG have this cruise experience down to a science. However they work their magic, nearly every crew member recognizes you by name and breakfast habits by the second day. Some even recalled us from previous cruises. Service seems to be the middle name of each crew member, there seemingly every time you want something, but never hovering and NEVER selling.
If you have never cruised on a truly all-inclusive, smaller ship, I would recommend the Paul Gauguin as a first try. One might see the fare for the voyage and experience immediate sticker shock, but include free airfare from key cities,exquisite food in all venues, unlimited soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits and no tipping, and you might discover that your "bargain" cruise on a mega-ship just about matches the PG on cost.
Not only are the Society Islands an easy cruising grounds (no sea days on the seven day and only an overnight to reach the Tuamotus), the ship plans evening entertainment and daily enrichment lectures to introduce passengers to the key spots, history, local culture and even local dance troupes.
We opted for a balcony cabin, but the window staterooms are the same size, minus balcony, and all the action is on deck and on land at port.
All of the Societies and Tuamotus have their own brand of magic, but to experience the ancient, now nearly sunken Tuamotus was especially breathtaking. The South Pacific produces colors of blue and pale green waters than 's indescribable. Even the best camera can rarely catch the insane range of sea color. This voyage also introduced us to beautiful Huahine, a place that we will return.
Chef Paul is a CIA trained and experienced chef who prepares meals that will definitely put on the pounds simply because the food is so delectable. The dinner menu in La Veranda also features recipes prepared by Chef Paul from a famous 2-Star Michelin French chef, a new addition and taking the food preparation to a new level.
On our voyage the 350 passenger ship had just north of 200 booked, not uncommon for the ten, eleven and fourteen day excurisions, so if you can swing the time and extra cost, none of these voyages will disappoint. The smaller passenger load also seemed to make new friendships easier and the whole experience one that seemed to be you and your best friends on a private yacht. I can't recommend any other cruise line, all-inclusive or mega-onboard-experience, that quite compares with the Paul Gauguin