This was a smaller ship, 680 passengers, mostly older, but we enjoyed this thoroughly. When we considered this I settled on Air France from LAX to PAP. However, at the end the itinerary showed return to Papete at 8pm day 9 and disembark at 7 am day 10. We wanted to make an 8:30 am flight on day 10. They do allow you to leave before ( we left at 5:30 am) but you have to carry all luggage off yourself and you have to pre-arrange a few days before disembark. There were many taxis waiting at the end of the pier so no problem getting to airport.
I really liked all of the ports except Hauhine, not much to see there. At rangiora we had to walk inland and to the left to find a beach for swimming. We cut through some yards near the end and found a great spot.
At Bora Bora we made a deal on shore for 4 hours, $80 PP and it was the highlight of the trip. Try to find Rosto, tall Polyneisian to the right of the tender docking area. Has a board with pics and a table. If you have 6 More
or more you can negotiate. Took us on small about (max about 10 or 12 - we had 8) to swim with sharks outside of reef, swim with sting rays, snorkel and then trip around whole island with stop for fruit snack (coconut, etc) on a island. Includes snorkel eqpt and bottled water.
At Raiatea at tender pier we entered building and near rear made a deal for a trip by boat to a small island. He asked when we wanted to be picked up and we stayed on the island for about 3 hours. Great swimming. Palm trees to escape sun. The boat made several trips and there were lots of people so it pretty much worked out you could go back whenever you wanted to.
If you are on a budget, buying water and soda can be expensive. On the first day in Papeete you can see a church spire from the ship. Facing out from the steps, cross the street and about 200 feet to left is a small grocery store (Foodsies). It has glass doors and you can walk right by it and miss it. 1lt water 100 Fc and 1 lltr Coke Zero 380 ( about $1.20 and $4.20 ).
Great service on ship. You get charge 11.50 PP per day for Gratuities. We went to all the shows. Very good dancers. Average entertainment. They did bring on locals for one event.