Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Luxury Deals Luxury Ship Reviews Luxury Itineraries Luxury Features Luxury Cruise Forum

Paul Gauguin Review

Home > Cruise Ship Reviews > Paul Gauguin Cruises > Paul Gauguin Review
84% of cruisers loved it
  • Pro: Top-notch service and gourmet dining in three restaurants
  • Con: Limited onboard activities during days in port
  • Bottom line: Active cruise that highlights French Polynesian destinations

Show the Lowest Price
Departure Month
Please select at least one vendor.
Avoya Travel
LuxuryTravelTeam.com
iCruise.com
LuxuryOnly.com
Cruise.com
Priceline.com

Paul Gauguin Overview

(5.0) 5.0 out of 5+ star rating

French Polynesia has long been the center of the universe for romantics looking for the ultimate get-away-from-it-all vacation. Adventure-seekers are equally drawn to this chain of 118 islands and motus (little islands) and make the long-haul trip to dive, snorkel, hike and swim with sea turtles, black-tipped sharks and stingrays. Enter Paul Gauguin Cruises, whose flagship of the same name was purpose-built for the region. In a destination that truly is the draw, this luxury vessel provides a comfortable, all-inclusive cruise experience, where the ship, appropriately, serves as a background to the scenery.

Service onboard is among the best we've experienced on any ship, with 214 crewmembers anticipating every need. (We had to laugh when, while attempting to get a cup of tea from the self-service station, three waiters intervened, instructing us to sit down while they served us.) Crew seem genuinely happy performing their jobs; the proof is in the number of crew who have impressively long tenures with the ship, according to Paul Gauguin's hotel director.

For that reason, crewmembers know these islands intimately and pass along that expertise to you. You'll learn about the Polynesian islands from residents themselves, as well as from renowned archaeologists and marine biologists. You'll go ashore with highly rated guides and tour operators, and pre- and post-cruise partner hotels -- Pacific Beachcomber operates six mid-level and luxury resorts on the islands -- will wow you.

Dining options are excellent, with fresh-caught seafood and over-the-top French cuisine, as well as Polynesian standards that will have you eagerly anticipating your next meal. Wines, cocktails, spirits, juices and soft drinks are included in the cruise fares and available all day.

Paul Gauguin's marina, which opens to the lagoons in various ports, is a fun chance to play on the water without needing a tender to leave the ship.

Paul Gauguin is meticulously maintained, though it doesn't have the bells and whistles of newer ships. It doesn't need them. Those searching for a vacation that combines some lazy days with more active outdoor pursuits will be hard-pressed to find a better fit in French Polynesia than Paul Gauguin.

Paul Gauguin Fellow Passengers

The average passenger age is 55 to 60 years old, but you'll get a solid smattering of younger passengers. A bucket-list destination, French Polynesia -- and Paul Gauguin in particular -- also draws a number of honeymooners. Travelers come mostly from the United States and France, but it's not unusual to find you're traveling with people from Australia, the U.K., Japan and China. Passengers tend to be well traveled. They're also loyal. A good number of people return to the ship again and again; it's common that 40 to 50 passengers on each voyage are "repeaters." Passengers also are fairly active, spending time in the fitness center and snorkeling or scuba diving at the various port stops. Announcements onboard are typically made in English first, then French.

Paul Gauguin Dress Code

These tropical itineraries call for casual attire by day and country-club or elegant resortwear clothing by night. During the day, you'll need bathing suits, cover-ups, shorts, shoes that are comfortable for walking or hiking, and reef shoes, a must for the private island experiences, where rocks, broken bits of coral and sea cucumbers can make for an uncomfortable walk. Bug spray with DEET is also a necessity in the lush, tropical environment.

At night, women traditionally wear skirts or slacks or capris with blouses, and men go for trousers and short-sleeved collared shirts. (Think "Tommy Bahama," rather than golf shirts.) On Tahitian Night, which occurs once a cruise, women are encouraged to wear pareos (Tahitian wraparound skirts, which are available ashore at the various ports or in the ship's gift shop), and men don Polynesian shirts. Fill your suitcase with lightweight clothes made of natural fibers (cotton, linen and silk), and you'll have everything you need.

Paul Gauguin Gratuity

Gratuities are included in the cruise fares. If you wish to acknowledge above-and-beyond service, tip staff members directly. An 18 percent gratuity is added to spa services. The U.S. dollar is the ship's currency. While not required, tipping a dollar or two for room service is appreciated.

Print the entire ship review


Paul Gauguin Member Reviews 140 Reviews
   Great Cruise for Active Honeymooners
January 2015

We had a wonderful cruise through the Society Islands on the Paul Gauguin. To be sure, Familygoboston has written an extraordinary review on this ship, and its itinerary. Her review can be read here: ...continue


   What a great way to celebrate 25 years
December 2014

On our 10 year anniversary we took a cruise to the Caribbean via Royal Caribbean .

We enjoyed it so much we decided that for our 25th we would go to Tahiti. After some research we decided on Paul Gauguin Cruise lines. One of the best ...continue


   Absolutely THE BEST
December 2014

We sailed for 10 days out of Papeete, Tahiti to several of the Society Islands. Our journey started with a fantastic travel agent from Paul Gauguin. We flew out of LA on Tahiti Nui. At the airport everyone was friendly and the process of checking ...continue


1 - 3 of 140 Reviews


Overview   Cabins   Dining   Activities   Family   Deck Plans   More Reviews  
 

Show the Lowest Price
Departure Month
Please select at least one vendor.
Avoya Travel
iCruise.com
LuxuryTravelTeam.com
LuxuryOnly.com
Cruise.com
Priceline.com
Sponsored Listings:
red arrow
red arrow
Paul Gauguin Ratings
Member Rating
Dining
5.0
4.8
Public Rooms
4.0
4.5
Cabins
3.0
4.5
Entertainment
4.0
4.1
Spa & Fitness
3.0
3.9
Family & Children
2.0
2.6
Shore Excursions
5.0
4.7
Enrichment
5.0
NA
Service
4.0
5.0
Value-for-Money
4.0
4.3
Rates
4.0
4.2

Explore This Ship
Ship Stats
Crew: 214
Launched: 1997
Decks: 7
Tonnage: 19,200
Passengers: 332
Registry: Bahamas
CDC Score: Not yet inspected
 
Community
Join the Forums
Get answers from real cruisers on the forums

Join the Roll Call
Make friends, share tours
Paul Gauguin Cruises Ships
Paul Gauguin
Tere Moana
About UsAdvertisingEditorial DisclaimerPress
PrivacySite MapStoreSubscribe
X

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.