Started by flying red-eye on Air France. Should have done the Air Tahiti Nui package. Flight was overbooked to start. Terribly crowded. They did feed us all the time. Night when we left and breakfast when we landed. Finding the flight to Moorea was not fun. Got in 2 1/2 hours early. Plenty of time we thought. The immigration line (or was it customs) had 4 people working. They took all the EU people in 3 lines then opened all 4 when they were all done with the EU people. Nice arrival. Group playing Tahitian music. The people at the airport told us to just go right and we would see the line for Air Tahiti. Stood for almost 2 hours. When we get to the front, they tell us that our flight was never paid for (huh?). Can't argue with them at that point. The guy leaves the counter, tells my DH to stay put with the luggage. He takes me to a small office and pulls a number 10 for me and leaves. After 15 minutes, they called number 2. I left knowing we would miss our flight. SH tells me that they checked in our luggage and gave us boarding passes. They still told us to go pay (can you believe they issued a boarding pass and took our luggage!) We had to be rude Americans and butt in in line and say the plane was about to take off with our luggage. Ticket paid for and we ran to the plane.
We decided to try a pension (B&B type thing) in Moorea for 3 days prior to going on the PG. So glad we stayed ahead of time. Wrong decision about the B&B. The big resorts filter their water and spray for bugs. We had to boil water for dishes and got bitten by mosquitoes (they don't bother DH).
If I had it to do over, I would go ahead of time on Air Tahiti Nui and use the package through the ship. We did rent a car which was a good thing for us to do. You can see the island in an hour and a half.
Check in: 3 pm sharp.
Cabin 625: Glad we had a balcony. We went out often to see where we were leaving from or arriving to. Had breakfast there one morning. That cabin was nice for us but you need to know that the tenders and ramp are stored next to the cabin so if you want to sleep late, it will be noisy while they lower the gear. Didn't bother us we were up early anyway. Plenty of space. I took a shoe container for extra room that I didn't need. Plenty of outlets. We didn't see the extra one next to the refrigerator until our last day and didn't need it.
Ship is clean but slightly worn carpet. (heard it is getting a new refurbishing in Australia soon). Not the ship you want if you are looking for rock climbing walls or fancy pools. Great for what we wanted. Every need is thought of. We didn't see anyone get belligerently drunk even though alcohol is part of the package.
Entertainment: Enjoyed the groups that sang and danced that came aboard as well as the ones who were part of the crew. Loved the anthropology talks from Mark Endowes!! The other entertainment was not worth staying up for.
Food: Fantastic. If you make a reservation at one of the other restaurants, check the menu for La Veranda and see if you want to change your mind that night. Le Grill was where we ate almost all of our breakfasts and lunches but was not that great for dinner.
Fakarava was our port #2: Divers liked it we heard. Heard the snorkelers who signed up for PG tours liked it. Nothing to this island. One really nice shop owner who wanted to talk to us was the only thing good about this island but it was nice to see it.
Tahaa: Glad we stayed on board a little bit to hear the local kids sing and dance. This day is wonderful! Loved every minute of it. Don't want to spoil any surprises by giving away too much.
We used the fitness center and there was a wait for the machines. Room small and an active, physical bunch.
I needed mosquito repellent, my husband didn't. We went through 2 complete tubes of sunscreen.
I think the thing that surprised us the most was that Tahiti is like Hawaii a long time ago. It was really nice. That said, it was the only way to go staying and eating on the ship.