We had been looking forward to our cruise very much, especially after reading all the positive reviews. I was even a little concerned that we may have been expecting too much.
In fact, we enjoyed ourselves even more than we could have imagined.
The Paul Gauguin was really an outstanding experience. We thought the ship itself was immaculately maintained, the cabin was very comfortable, the crew did their utmost to ensure everyone enjoyed themselves and the food was delicious.
Michael Shapiro seemed to be everywhere and made sure everyone had a fabulous trip.
We usually travel first or business class internationally and have stayed in wonderful hotels. I say this not to big note ourselves but to put the Paul Gauguin experience in to perspective.
We both suffer from the same food allergy. The restaurant staff went out of their way to assist us and make sure we didn't miss out in any way.
As others have gone into detail about the three dining areas, I won't repeat that. We liked dining at L'Etoile and although we enjoyed one dinner at Le Grill, we cancelled our reservation at Le Veranda and just ate at L'Etoile.
We enjoyed the excursions we did very much. We booked one through the ship and did the other 2 ourselves on the net though I'm not sure we saved much.
Our only other cruise was on a river boat so I was a bit nervous about sea sickness. I took tablets at the beginning of the cruise but felt fine and so stopped taking them. BIG mistake. Enroute from Bora Bora to Moorea we had a really bad storm. I was ok during dinner but things changed when we got back to our cabin. My partner was laughing hard whilst I was extremely ill. He said he had seen people being ill in films and on cartoons but didn't really believe that someone could actually be that ill. Well, I proved you can be that ill and he got it in technicolour and surround sound. I ended up falling asleep and actually slept very well. My partner, on the other hand was awake all night and said it was so rough it felt like someone was kicking the bed all night.
I saw many people were wearing the behind the ear patches but they are no longer available in Australia.
This would not stop me from doing another cruise but I will make sure I take the tablets non-stop and will avoid the Atlantic and Bass Strait!
Once the storm was over I was fine.
Snorkelling gear was provided on the PG and you kept it for the duration of the cruise. It was comforting to see the dive guys thoroughly washing the gear at the end of the cruise.
You could get espresso coffee any time. It was not the best coffee I have ever had but it certainly was way above the standard of the commercial outlets in the U.S..
You know which the ones I mean.
The gym on the PG was better than I had expected, small but reasonably well equipped.
We were not interested in the entertainment. We have seen enough island dancers over the years. In any case, by the evening we were knackered!
After only a couple of days we forgot what day it was and had to check the daily guide. I think that in itself is a pretty good indication of how relaxing our holiday was.
We cannot recommend the Paul Gauguin highly enough.