2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Although we're avid sailors, for years we've avoided taking a cruise because of our negative impressions of large cruising ships docking in Caribbean ports and disgorging thousands of people. However... We have just returned from an 11 ... Read More
Although we're avid sailors, for years we've avoided taking a cruise because of our negative impressions of large cruising ships docking in Caribbean ports and disgorging thousands of people. However... We have just returned from an 11 day cruise on MS Paul Gauguin to the Cook and Society islands of French Polynesia. We highly recommend this cruise! The ship is attractive, well- maintained, and well-managed . It holds 320 passengers and is spacious enough so that you never feel crowded. It has an incredibly well trained, cohesive staff who take pride in their service. Anything that you need is not just available- but anticipated. Our cabin was lovely and sitting on the balcony looking at the amazing blue colors of the water and the surrounding islands was wonderful. The meals in both the main restaurant, L’Etoile, and the two smaller venues (Le Grill and La Verandah) were gourmet- beautifully presented and delicious. We enjoyed all our excursions and felt very welcome on whichever island we were visiting. We extend our thanks to everyone aboard the Gauguin- and especially to Rowena, Marlon, Marvin, Rowell, Flo, and Mike . Special thanks to David Walsh of Avoya Travel who offered wonderful suggestions, selected the perfect cabin, and followed through whenever it was needed. We'll obviously be taking more small ship cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was such a luxurious ship. We wanted to see as many is as many islands as economically as we could. We have cruised only once with Royal Caribbean and found it too big and regimented. We were dubious about the all inclusive but we ... Read More
This was such a luxurious ship. We wanted to see as many is as many islands as economically as we could. We have cruised only once with Royal Caribbean and found it too big and regimented. We were dubious about the all inclusive but we loved it so much that we are looking at booking again but it would have to be Paul Gauguin. The staff, cleanliness, food was outstanding. We had a balcony and a bath. The food was excellent and there was a choice of 3 restaurants. The bars were all comfortable and there were plenty of seats wherever you went. The entertainment was 1st class and the staff were all so friendly. Every member of staff was hard working, cheerful and nothing was too much trouble. The receptionist was very knowledgeable regarding the trips and the islands. The views were stunning and the water was truly turquoise. Our lovely cabin lady Marion really worked hard, was very informative and was a pleasure to see twice a day. Truly magical scenery. Can't wait to return. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We went as part of Sea Courses so 4 days were dedicated to lectures - Always when we were at sea. This was our first cruise and I think we hit the jackpot. We have nothing but good things to say about this experience. We stayed in a ... Read More
We went as part of Sea Courses so 4 days were dedicated to lectures - Always when we were at sea. This was our first cruise and I think we hit the jackpot. We have nothing but good things to say about this experience. We stayed in a window cabin on deck 4 so not the top of the line, by any means. However, we were extremely happy with our cabin. We didn't need anything more. Our cabin had tons of space for storage. It was comfortable and cleaned diligently by our friendly housekeeper, Sharonette. The bar was well stocked and fruit replenished daily. Dining was superb. By the second day, Angelo, our waiter, knew what we liked to drink. The waiters were all friendly, funny and they took such good care of us. It was great having the daily activities printed and presented to us every evening for the following day. Reception staff was so pleasant and helpful. The ports of call were lovely. We chose not to go ashore every time we docked but were never bored. There's always something to do. Loved Les Gaugines and Les Gaugins. Delightful and beautiful. We took a few excursions and enjoyed them - outrigger excursion was my favourite. Most were booked by the time we were on board. Our flight to Tahiti was very late arriving so we didn't explore Papeete but went on a tour on the last day. Very informative. The one negative comment would be that the meal times could have been a bit longer. It was a marvellous experience. The ship experience and the destinations visited were just great but the journey to get there and back was brutal. I don't think I could do that again. A very long time to get there from Toronto, not helped by the tardiness of Air Tahiti Nui. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was, hands down, the best cruise we have ever done. The smaller number of passengers and the attention to customer satisfaction was simply exceptional. The wine selections with meals were outstanding, and the staff were just so ... Read More
This was, hands down, the best cruise we have ever done. The smaller number of passengers and the attention to customer satisfaction was simply exceptional. The wine selections with meals were outstanding, and the staff were just so phenomenal. We would recommend to anyone. Best value for money. Mary Grace and Harry ( our room steward and butler) were amazing! The shore excursions were easy to book on line prior to our trip, and the entertainment on board was great! The staff in the lounges and restaurants were superb. Scenery in this part of the world is unsurpassed for breathtaking beauty. The drift snorkel and swimming with rays and sharks was exciting and one-of-a-kind experiences! Ricardo and Manny in the breakfast Veranda Buffet were aways a smiling way to start each exciting day! Even had a brief visit to the on board nurse and physician and cannot find fault! It will be a pleasure to come back and repeat this week-long stay in paradise.... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
As the other reviews will tell you, this is a top-class ship, not too large, with excellent cabins, good choice of included wines and cocktails, and luxurious amenities. The head waiter was especially helpful in sorting out my wife's Vegan ... Read More
As the other reviews will tell you, this is a top-class ship, not too large, with excellent cabins, good choice of included wines and cocktails, and luxurious amenities. The head waiter was especially helpful in sorting out my wife's Vegan diet each day and giving her a special choice of meals. BUT there are some 'buts'! 1) Ship reception was often shambolic. Second muster drill (on the first morning, for late arrivals) was totally confused; wrong messages were sent to room; mini-lectures on the next port were poor, poorly attended and told us much less than the guides on the trips; wrong film was played in the theatre one day and they didn't understand how to read the DVD menu to play the second part (following this, they showed the film they MEANT to show on a continuous loop or days on end on the ship's TV channel!!!) 2) Restaurant staff were generally very efficient (though the wine waiter sometimes seemed to disappear when our glasses were empty) - but we would have liked just a bit more courtesy ./ formality and not for them to be so over-friendly (we didn't want to be their buddies) 3) One afternoon there was supposed to be a wine lecture. This was taken by the owner of an Oregon vineyard who was using the ship as leader of an affinity group for the vineyard. We were expecting a tasting but got a lecture from someone who knew his own wine very well but had eccentric views based upon limited knowledge of wines from the rest of the world but was quite certain his opinions were spot-on. Furthermore we had no coaching in the wines, were not guided as to how and when to taste them, and the tasting glasses were so huge that it was impossible to judge the wines anyway. He served two wines of the same provenance from different vintages and expected us to be impressed by how different they tasted (one was three times as old as the other, for Goodness' sake; it would have been better if he had explained to us how he expected the younger one to age, but I expect he didn't actually have any idea) 4) It seems that, whenever six or more Americans get together (whether it's around the poll, in the bar or - worst - in the restaurant) they find it necessary to shout at each other. Most annoying, uncouth, intrusive and bad manners 5) Somehow most of our fellow passengers seemed to like the on-board singers / dancers "Les Gaugines". We beg to differ: they were out of step more often than not and were frequently out of tune. The karaoke was better. 6) At the end of the cruise we were told to leave our suitcases outside our rooms the night before, so that they could be loaded onto the dockside overnight. My wife watched as one of the handlers retrieved suitcases from the ramps, opened out their extending handles, then used these extending handles to swing the cases around and throw them through the air. It was only after we collected our suitcases the next day that we realised that they had bent and broken the handles on one of the cases (surprising they hadn't broken all three actually!). The worst part is that Paul Gauguin initially refused to pay any compensation, and it was only after three exchanges of emails and my having to point out they they were responsible for clear negligence and wilful misconduct that they paid for a new suitcase. Airlines would do this without hesitation, but Paul Gauguin tried to rely on their contract small print . Shame on you, Paul Gauguin. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because it went to a destination on our bucket list, and the itinerary and ports of call were terrific and because we had a good price. This was our first small cruise experience and it was absolutely FANTASTIC! The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to a destination on our bucket list, and the itinerary and ports of call were terrific and because we had a good price. This was our first small cruise experience and it was absolutely FANTASTIC! The cruise price is all-inclusive, and while I don't drink, it was nice that you didn't have to pay extra for soda. Also, the tips were included. The dining options were terrific - especially the French Restaurant. They have a marina on board - which was really fun especially if you are a diver you can start your dive trip right on the boat. The marina also provides snorkel equipment for the week so you don't need to pack your own. The cabin was very comfortable - and the bathroom included a tub - first ship I've had a full size tub. The entertainment was mostly low-key and local - but still fun. The ship itself had all the amenities of a larger ship - swimming pool, exercise room, spa, library, casino, shop, bars, theater - just smaller. The staff generally spoke English well and were quite attentive. They offered a wide variety of shore excursions and pre-post packages but we didn't use them. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife and I recently completed an 11-day cruise on Paul Gauguin, visiting French Polynesia and the Cook islands. It was one of our most enjoyable cruise experiences ever. Prior to the cruise, I unsuccessfully tried to find answers to a ... Read More
My wife and I recently completed an 11-day cruise on Paul Gauguin, visiting French Polynesia and the Cook islands. It was one of our most enjoyable cruise experiences ever. Prior to the cruise, I unsuccessfully tried to find answers to a number of questions relating to this adventure. Now that I know the answers to these questions, I thought that it might be useful to share what I have learned with those who may be seeking the same information. Pre-cruise Travel Getting to Tahiti from North America can best be described as a wearisome journey. Most of the direct flights leave from LAX. The trip is about 8 hours and most of the flights arrive in Papeete at around 10:00 PM. There are a few that arrive in the early evening as well. If you are on one of the 10:00 flights, you will have to make arrangements for a place to stay that night along with arranging a ride to that place from the airport as well as transportation to the ship in time for its departure. The ship typically departs sometime in the evening. Guests can start coming on board around 3:00 PM. Passengers who arrive on the earlier flights can avoid the cost of lodging in Papeete but will have to make sure that they have transportation to the ship arranged in advance as the ship departs very soon after the evening flights have landed. Guests whom I spoke with who had arrived on early evening flights said that they were too tired after their flight to enjoy much of the first night’s experience on board. The cruise line offers pre and post-cruise packages that include transportation and lodging but they are a little pricey. We found a simple but adequate studio in Papeete through AirBnB. The owner picked us up at the airport when our flight arrived, greeted us with flower leis and provided a quick driving tour of the Papeete before taking us to the apartment. Very convenient. Papeete is not a place that you need to spend much time visiting. A day in town is plenty. We had two and were very happy to board the ship when the time came. One thing that is worth doing while in Tahiti is to take a tour of the island by car. There are many ways to get this done but I recommend that, unless you welcome the prospect of getting hopelessly lost, you consider using a local guide rather than renting a car. In our case, the owner of the apartment we rented had a family member who did island tours. We decided to take this tour at the end of the cruise when we had about 16 hours to kill before boarding the plane for home. After the 6 hour island tour, we were allowed to go back to the apartment to rest up until our host again came to pick us up and drive to the airport for our midnight flight. The $150 charge for the island tour, day-use of the apartment and transportation to the airport was a welcome bargain. Onboard the M/S Paul Gauguin This cruise line offers a number of stateroom and service options that can greatly affect your cruise experience. Many, but certainly not all things are included on Paul Gauguin cruises. Among the most notable inclusions are food and drink. There are three dining venues which are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Room service is also available for no additional charge. Two of the eating venues offer buffet-style meals during breakfast and lunch and then morph into reservation-only specialty restaurants for dinner. The main dining room is primarily a sit-down dinner venue with no reservations required. You should try all the options as they each offer a different enjoyable dining experience. Stateroom Selection Paul Gauguin cruises are not for the low budget traveler. My wife and I normally opt for a stateroom with a balcony when traveling to warm weather locations. On this ship, rooms with balconies can cost up to $3000 more than the same room with a window instead of the balcony. We gambled and chose a window stateroom on deck 4. It was a good decision. The Paul Gauguin is a small ship with about 300 passengers. There are many places on the ship where guests can be outdoors enjoying the view. We took advantage of this and never missed the absence of a balcony. Travelers with mobility issues or those who like to take advantage of room-service dining will probably want to go with the balcony upgrade but for us, the cost savings provided funds to purchase a few very useful ship services such as Internet, laundry and excursions. Internet Service Internet service on cruise ships has come a long way over the past few years. For travelers like me, who must remain in contact with a business at home, having Internet access while traveling is a requirement, not just a luxury. P G Cruises offers reasonably-fast wireless Internet service throughout the ship. They also have a computer room where guests can use the provided work stations. The Internet manager is friendly, helpful and very competent. Internet service on cruise ships is usually expensive. The Paul Gauguin is no exception. Services packages can be purchased based on blocks of time, (not amounts of data), ranging from a few minutes to unlimited service throughout the cruise. Choosing from the various offered service packages can be a bit of a crap shoot. Should you purchase the unlimited package and never worry about running out of minutes or go with one or more smaller packages? The unlimited time package can be purchased any time for $29 a day but once purchased you will be billed at this rate for every remaining day of the cruise. Service for an 11 day cruise will cost $319. You can also pay as you go for 55 cents a minute or buy time packages that reduce the cost per minute to as low as 20 cents. If you run out of minutes, you can buy another package. My wife and I each bought the 400 minute, large package for $80 apiece. 400 minutes was more than enough for me to handle my work communications and just barely enough for my wife to feed her Facebook addiction while keeping in touch with the kids. Your mileage may vary. Users must remember to log off after every session or the usage clock will keep on ticking. Laundry Service As stated previously, the Paul Gauguin is a small ship. This is a good thing in many ways but it also means that some of the guest services that are common on the larger ships are not available. This includes washing machines that guests can use. I spoke to several guests who planned to try to make it through the entire cruise without using the ship’s laundry service. This is not something that would have worked for us. Polynesia is a hot and humid place. You will sweat and your clothes will seldom be usable for more than a day or so before they will need washing. We elected to purchase the ship’s laundry package for $199. It was money well spent. Every morning we sent a bag of clothes to the ship’s laundry. In the afternoon, the clothes were returned cleaned and pressed. My wife was in heaven. Ship Services The Paul Gauguin is unique in the sense that it provides some services that are not available on most cruise ships. At the top of this list is the Marina. The Marina is an area at the stern of the ship which caters to water sports. When anchored, large doors open up on the stern creating an outdoor deck with access to the water. On the first day of our voyage, most of the guests visited the Marina and checked out snorkeling equipment, which is provided for free. I brought my own but to my surprise, the ship’s gear was high quality, comparable with mine. The Marina also stocks a collection of kayaks, wind surfers and stand-up paddle boards, all available for guests to use for free while at anchor in most of the ports. They also offer scuba equipment and scuba classes, (for a fee). I was excited about the kayaks but the reality was that guests could only check them out for 30 minutes at a time and were limited to where they could go with these toys. Still it was fun to climb off the Marina deck onto a kayak and paddle around for a while. Another of included ship services are the very interesting lectures given by onboard experts. On our trip we had a guy who shared his oceanographic expertise on subjects ranging from coral, to whales and even tsunamis. These lectures became a must-see event every afternoon. Excursions Like most cruise ships the Paul Gauguin offers a selection of excursions at each of the ports of call. We considered a couple of the in-house excursions but quickly learned that we could find more appealing options on our own. Some of the ports offer much more in the way of excursions than others. A few of the places we visited did not offer much at all. In those locations, we simply walked around or took the local bus somewhere. While we did not take advantage of this, renting a bike or motor scooter looked like it would be fun on some of the smaller islands. By far, the most enjoyable excursions that we experienced were on Bora Bora and Moorea. On Bora Bora we joined a Wave Runner, (Jet Ski), group which took us all the way around the island, sometimes at speeds of up to 45 mph. The water and scenery was absolutely beautiful and the ride was exhilarating to say the least. We booked this through the cruise but found out later that the ship’s mark-up was close to 75%. Similar Wave Runner tours can be found on Moorea but at the recommendation of a shipmate, we chose a 3 hour ATV tour of the interior of the island. This was a fantastic experience which I highly recommend. We booked this tour online from the ship, prior to arriving in Moorea. Check out http://www.mooreaactivitiescenter.com/atv Combine the Jet Ski and ATV tours for the best deal. You will not be disappointed. While we did not partake of any of the scuba excursions, those who did gave them rave reviews. Scuba and snorkeling excursions can be booked on your own but from what I can tell, the ones that the ship offers are probably the best options. One thing to keep in mind when booking an excursion that is not from the ship is that you are on your own. If your tour boat or bus breaks down and you cannot make it back onboard before the ship sails to the next port you, will probably be left behind. It has happened. If something goes wrong with an excursion booked through the ship, the crew will use every resource to bring you back before sailing away. What to Bring? There probably no absolute correct answer to this question. Since we had daily laundry service, we probably could have brought fewer clothes. There no need to bring anything fancy. Resort casual is appropriate for all ship locations after 6:00. The rest of the time guests are usually in shorts or swimsuits. Among the other items that came in very handy for us was an electrical outlet converter (French to USA) and a 220v to 110v international power converter with US plugs and USB charging ports. We always pack a Bestek MRJ201GU converter when traveling internationally. Adding an extension cord or two might be helpful if you have a lot of stuff to plug in. The ship provides 220 v hair dryers so you can leave yours at home. If you plug a 110 volt device into a 220 power source, it will probably go up in smoke within seconds. Most computer power supplies can handle both voltages but as my wife can confirm, curling irons will not. Of course, you should bring a camera or two. A waterproof camera will help you better describe to your friends, all those strange and beautiful things that you saw when you went snorkeling. Binoculars are great to have, especially if whales are in the area. Unless you pick up a local cell phone, telephone service will be difficult at best. The good news is that the ship’s WIFI has enough band width to make Skype calls possible when on board. Put the Skype app on your phone, connect to WIFI and you are in business. There will be a lot of quiet time while on board the ship. If you like to read bring a couple books. Even better, pack a Kindle. Most days you are likely to find a large percentage of the passengers sitting in a shady spot on deck with their Kindle in one hand and something from the bar in the other. Bring plenty of sun protection. This includes hats, sunscreen and a shirt or rash guard to wear while snorkeling. I did not bring the latter and paid dearly for the error. On one of the first days, I went snorkeling for a couple hours without considering that my back and shoulders would be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. The result was a second degree burn that took weeks to heal. A couple of our shipmates showed up with something that I would have never considered packing. They were from Oregon and loved to fly fish. They brought along a couple of small backpacking fly rods and some flies. When I saw them wading the shallows, casting away, I was very envious. They must have recognized my desire and let me borrow one of the rods. Who would have thought that I would have the opportunity to fly fish while on a Polynesian cruise? I even caught a few small fish. Wow! Passenger Demographics The makeup of the passengers on this cruise covered a wide spectrum. Because it was winter in North America, there were a lot of Americans and Canadians from cold weather locations. There were also a significant number of French-speaking people onboard, probably due to the fact that French is one of the official languages spoken in Polynesia. While the average age of the passengers was probably somewhere north of 60, the group was quite active and lively. There were a significant number of newlyweds, both young and old. There were no small children and only a couple of teenagers. IMO, this would not be a great cruise to bring small kids. There were a few wheelchair-bound passengers but not very many. The ship’s staff did an excellent job accommodating those with special needs. Final Thoughts This was our first cruise on Paul Gauguin and the first visit to Polynesia. Both experiences were beyond excellent. The staff on the ship went out of their way to make sure that every passenger was having a great time. The waiters in the dining rooms made a point of quickly learning everyone’s names, addressing each of us by name as we came and went. After a couple of days, they learned where we liked to sit and what we liked to eat and drink. I felt a little like Norm from Cheers whenever I walked into one of the dining rooms and was greeted with a friendly shout-out, “Welcome Sir Bob”. Among the most impressive staff members was the tireless Sommelier, Eduardo, who seemed to be everywhere. He quickly recognized that my wife and I were wine fans. Whenever we sat down for lunch or dinner Eduardo quickly found us and went out of his way to make sure that we tried the best from his sizable wine list. Very impressive. As for Polynesia, the beauty of some of the lagoons defies description. Rugged mountains, clad with tropical vegetation, contrasting dramatically with the colors of the calm water that range from crystal-clear to a Tanzanite blue and everything in between. We visited seven islands on this voyage. Bora Bora, Moorea and the private Motu, (island) near Taha’a were the most memorable. The ship stayed overnight in Bora Bora as well as Moorea which allowed us to take in more of what these islands have to offer. One of the things that helped to make this trip so great was that, unlike many of our travel adventures, nothing went wrong. Although it was the rainy season, aside from a few sprinkles, we never had any weather issues. It was hot and humid but not oppressively so. The people on the ship and on the islands were all friendly, welcoming and helpful. Polynesia and Paul Gauguin are great combination. I am hopeful that we will be able to visit again. Maybe when the rumored new ship goes into service sometime in the next couple of years. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the South Pacific and because we heard they had excellent service and food. We were not disappointed with one exception. Scuba Diving is one activity that they provide. The other departments ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the South Pacific and because we heard they had excellent service and food. We were not disappointed with one exception. Scuba Diving is one activity that they provide. The other departments provided excellent service. The Marina and Scuba Staff did not. They were staffed by young Frenchmen that did not understand the importance of introducing themselves or relating to those who they were guiding on underwater adventures. With that exception, we had a wonderful time exploring the area. The Polynesian people and the Philipino staff were so light-hearted and fun that they added to our experience. The shore excursions we almost all good to great. We were in cabin 765 which is a suite located on the stern of the ship. It has views out both sides and often was the best place to be on the ship. Overall I would recommend this cruise and would suggest to Paul Gauguin that they replace the French staff on the Marina with the great Philipino help they have throughout the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Hi folks. We were on the Feb.24, 11 day cruise with Paul Gauguin from Tahiti . the cruise itself was very nice. I have both Pro' s and cons from the cruise...... Pro's = only 320 people, ....Best ever, on and off the ship , no big ... Read More
Hi folks. We were on the Feb.24, 11 day cruise with Paul Gauguin from Tahiti . the cruise itself was very nice. I have both Pro' s and cons from the cruise...... Pro's = only 320 people, ....Best ever, on and off the ship , no big line ups , no elbow to elbow, no frustration......service was excellent ,my wife loved being escorted to the dining table and the napkin being put on her lap, ...me, it was a little over the top, but nice.... food was good and if you didn't like what was on the menu you could order some thing else....nice that the ship could go to places the big can't......... Now the cons= Expensive wow.....very very small casino, 12 slots , 1 blackjack, 1 roulette table, not much if you like gambling......the loading of passengers to get on a tender boat was way to crowded, no room.... no where to get a bit to eat at 3or 4 or5 or 6 pm. ,dinner never started before 7 or 7 30pm,I guess we could have ordered room service...... entertainment was ok, good thing Johny Ross the rocker was on board, this entertainer from England was fantastic .....to much hula dancing...... Over all it was a good trip but at a cost. ....We had a balcony near the front 605 and every night you could hear the base sound so you might as well go to the show because it was noisy............... Now back to some more Pro's = the shore excursions were awesome ,the best being the underwater walks, we did 2 of them.....beautiful clear water ,turquoise in colour, and great friendly shore excursion people .......our room was a typical size with a bath and shower. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Based on comments from others who had been on PG we anticipated not having to lift a finger and all our needs would be anticipated or met. Or something like that. It started off badly when we paid significant funds for butler service. His ... Read More
Based on comments from others who had been on PG we anticipated not having to lift a finger and all our needs would be anticipated or met. Or something like that. It started off badly when we paid significant funds for butler service. His job included unpacking our luggage while we enjoyed the luxuries of the ship. We boarded at 3 PM and never met him until he showed up around 7. By then we had unpacked our bags. Our suite had a fully stocked bar, and a bowl of fruit that was restocked daily. Nice touch. We threw away the bowl of nuts that were clearly stale and they were never replenished. The bowl of pretzels was one and done, never to be seen again. We tend to go to breakfast late, or order room service late but don't make any sudden moves without first having tea and coffee delivered to the room. Our butler never caught on to this practice and so we had to order from room service every morning. In other concierge hotels we've visited the butler didn't need to be reminded. My wife had twisted her knee and was in some discomfort so we called the ship's doctor to look at her. He wasn't available and an appt. needed to be made, and there was a surcharge for his services. We toughed it out with some Advil and the situation improved. The one - and maybe only service our butler provided was to make dinner reservations. It would have been helpful if he had provided some knowledge about the restaurants and why it was better to go to one than another. We eventually stumbled our way to find out on our own. In fact, since we prefer to dine later, except for Le Grille, there were plenty of tables every night. We ate at the Rendevous two nights and was surprised to learn that menu doesn't change. At their "upscale" room that shouldn't happen. Unless you're only supposed to eat there once during the cruise. We seldom ate at L'Etoile except for the buffet lunch that changes its theme daily. Waiters and captains were quick to learn our names after the first couple days. Nice touch. Food was well done and plentiful. Servers were attentive and mostly well trained. If you couldn't decide which entree to order, take both. This is not a good diet strategy, but the servings are more "European" style in quantity, not the humongous, giant servings Americans are used to. The major disappointment is the wine service. Their house brands were some of the worst choices in recent memory. I could find better $10 bottles at Costco, and for a cruise of this caliber they were an embarrassment. Of course you could order premium brands for an additional surcharge. We were the unfortunate victims of Cyclone Gita who poured rain on us for several days. Many of our cruises and activities off the ship were cancelled due to rough seas. The two tours we did manage to take were fantastic and very educational. We learned a great deal about the culture of the South Pacific Islanders. The barbecue of the mota owned by PG had great potential, even with the soggy burgers. We realized too late that one of our underwater cameras needed a disk to record pictures. We went to the camera shop only to learn they are only open from 6 - 9 pm. Why? The photographer was busy on the mota taking pictures of the guests. Is there no one else on this ship who could open the store in her absence ? No underwater pictures that day. The happiest person on the voyage was Clara, our stewardess. Diligent, hardworking and forever with a smile on her face she never failed to greet us with pleasant words. She should be a staff training director. If we hadn't lost several days watching rain fall on our balcony we might have been in better spirits and willing to overlook some of the faux pas. Overall, it was a good - but not a great experience. Read Less
Paul Gauguin Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

Find a Paul Gauguin Cruise