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Home > Member Reviews > C2Dan's Port Reviews of Tahiti (Papeete), Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Moorea

C2Dan's Port Reviews of Tahiti (Papeete), Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Moorea
Paul Gauguin cruise in January 2011
Member Name: C2Dan
Cruise Date: January 2011
Embarkation: Papeete
Destination: South Pacific
Member Review: C2Dan's Paul Gauguin Review
Tahiti (Papeete)
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
This is mostly an embarkation and disembarkation port. If you need a place to stay overnight, the InterContinental Resort has beautiful grounds and pools as well as a great view of Moorea.



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Huahine
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We booked the "Lagoon Cruise and Snorkeling" excursion on the ship. This involved a trip on a large, motorized outrigger canoe that was filled almost to capacity. While the canoe was cramped, the snorkeling was quite good.

Huahine itself is beautiful, and we found a nice beach near the pier, where we watched local schoolchildren receive a swimming lesson.


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Raiatea
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
The ship actually anchors near Motu Mahana, the cruise line's private island in the vicinity of Taha'a, which in turn is the sister island of Raiatea.

We booked the "Coral Garden Drift Snorkel" excursion on the ship. For experienced snorkelers, this is a great experience. A couple of boats picked up the group directly from the ship. We were dropped off at a small island and walked for a few minutes to the head of a pass through the reef. The guide collected our reef shoes, and we drifted single-file through the narrow pass over the corral. Those who wanted had the opportunity to repeat the process, and there was also time fo additional snorkeling at the end. The corral and the fish were exceptionally colorful and diverse. However, the current is quite strong in places, and the water gets very shallow if you miss a turn and are pushed outside the curvy passage. In this case, the cruise line really means it when it discourages novices from signing up.

We ate lunch on the Motu, where the cruise line serves a nice buffet. Bar service, a massage tent and the ship's kayaks are also available.



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Bora Bora
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We did not sign up for a shore excursion from the ship, since we planned to return to Bora Bora for several days after the cruise. However, I would highly recommend booking a snorkeling expedition with Christophe Poch at Reef Discovery. (Note that you can save some money by contacting Reef Discovery directly or through your travel agent, rather than through the ship.) He picked us up at our resort’s dock in a boat that was relatively small, sturdy, and fast. Over a period of about 3-1/2 hours, we stopped at four separate locations to see a huge variety of fish and corral. At each stop, Christophe explained briefly what we should look for and then let us enjoy the water on our own. With only five guests in our group, we never got in each other’s way. The emphasis was on the fish and the reef, not the refreshments. After snorkeling in the Caribbean, Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, the Fiji Islands, Tonga, the Great Barrier Reef and a number of locations in French Polynesia, we consider our morning in Bora Bora among the best experiences.



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Moorea
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We booked the "Aito Off-Road Safari" through the ship. This excursion includes a trip in a four-wheel-drive pickup on a rugged and steep private road that leads almost to the top of "Magic Mountain," which affords fantastic views. The excursion also includes a stop at Belvedere, where the view over Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay is also spectacular.



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