312 Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruise Reviews

How can you be unhappy in the South Pacific? It’s nearly impossible because it’s beyond stunning. The service on the ship is impeccable. Unfortunately the boat is extremely dated. The cabins look like a holiday inn room from the ... Read More
How can you be unhappy in the South Pacific? It’s nearly impossible because it’s beyond stunning. The service on the ship is impeccable. Unfortunately the boat is extremely dated. The cabins look like a holiday inn room from the 80s. And most unfortunate was the food in all of the restaurants. Completely uninspired and low quality ingredients. The meat inside the beef Wellington was gray and unidentifiable. Anything that was supposed to be beef or chicken was very suspect and had a very strange flavor and texture. I’m not sure how this ship continues to receive such great reviews on service alone. There are so many other components that should be considered when opting to pay for a cruise that was anything short of inexpensive. In fact several of the other passengers on board felt the same and mentioned these issues to the customer relations manager who essentially apologizes that we felt that way and that nobody has ever mentioned anything like that before. Just a fair warning- if you are going to spend 13k plus on a cruise you may want to consider another option. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
La Orana, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ― Gustave Flaubert I was just sharing photos with loved ones and thought that many on this forum might appreciate our reflections from ... Read More
La Orana, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ― Gustave Flaubert I was just sharing photos with loved ones and thought that many on this forum might appreciate our reflections from our recent trip to French Polynesia last month (July 2018). I want to thank everyone who had posted trip reports and tips (especially Dana’s -aka Deladane’s fabulously detailed trip report, TBK’s inspiring photos and helpful tips, and Laura’s - aka “yourSLCwoman” recent trip report as well) on the cruise critic forum and all who answered my questions this past year as we planned for this incredible adventure. My husband and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary and a special birthday at one of our “Bucket trip” destinations…French Polynesia. We spent just over two weeks in July visiting beautiful islands, gorgeous motus, and breathtaking atolls including: Fakarava, Huahine, Rangiroa, Taha’a, Moorea and Bora Bora aboard the Paul Gauguin. In short, this experience was incredible! We arrived and stayed in Tahiti a few days before boarding the cruise. We enjoyed 10 nights aboard the amazing Paul Gauguin which was awesome and afforded us the opportunity to see so much! There were only 320 guests on board, and the staff, food, and of course, the destinations were second to none. The ship and staff really live up to their stellar reputation…it was undoubtedly the best cruise we have ever been on! We then flew to Bora Bora, and extended our stay for a few days after the cruise to experience an overwater bungalow at the St. Regis…absolutely beautiful! We so loved meeting many wonderful people on board (some from this cruise critic forum), especially FlightMedic and his lovely wife, KMorg123 and her wonderful family, and Tina with her kind husband! SNORKELLING: “The best way to observe a fish, is to become a fish” - Jacques Cousteau……and we did become fish! For my fellow snorkelling friends…..life underwater in French Polynesia was magical! I had purchased the recommended Olympus TG5 camera just before our trip (thanks for the inspiration Deladane!) , and it did not disappoint! The plethora of fish, the pristine coral, and clarity of the water were mesmerizing….We snorkelled every chance we got! For the first time ever, we swam with black tip sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, spotted rays and even saw an octopus up close! It was undoubtedly some of the best snorkelling that we have ever experienced! DH and I also changed our snorkel gear from the one piece to a proper snorkel and mask after the concerns that arose with the full face masks…and we quickly adjusted and loved our new equipment! “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher” French Polynesia is indeed, also a place of which dreams are made…It is absolutely beautiful, inspirational, a feast for the senses, and life affirming. My husband and I feel so blessed to have been able to complete this journey. We hope to one day return to this spectacular part of the world! SOME TIPS THAT WERE VERY HELPFUL TO ME IN MY PLANNING AND A FEW I HAVE ADDED FROM OUR OWN EXPERIENCE: - get your snorkel equipment in the ship’s marina right after the 5 pm drill; a long line up forms very quickly - book your dinners at La Veranda and Le Grill at tea time (4 pm) the first day you board -The Olympus TG5 underwater camera is incredible! I had read reviews, several trip reports both on this forum and on Trip Advisor and of course seen the potential photos it takes….best purchase ever! Very easy to use as well. -Watch for the PG’s Valentine’s Day special, even after you have booked. Thanks to this tip from Dana, I called PG and added the complimentary promotion of $200 OBC, a box of Godiva chocolates and a bottle of bubbly to our account. -We enjoyed so many of our meals…loved the first menu at La Veranda. Also loved having our breakfast and lunches there as well…such a great view both inside and outside during the day. Also really liked the “themed lunches”…the Greek lunch was amazing (this coming from someone of Greek descent ) - Best excursions: Marc’s Lagoon Tour (good introduction to Huahine and tried delicious Poisson Cru for the first time), Ato Lissant’s tour in Fakarava (incredible time spent snorkelling and at the Blue Lagoon), Pure Snorkelling in Bora Bora (great snorkelling), and Raanui Tours in Bora Bora (amazing up close encounters with sharks, rays and wonderful snorkel stops)…loved the smaller group sizes...booked many privately. - Enjoyed seeing the pearl farm in Huahine on Marc’s Lagoon tour…bring $$, some great pearls to buy…I ended up buying pearls on Motu Mahana, the dock at Moorea, and at Robert Wan in Bora Bora. - Loved Motu Mahana....what a blissful and idyllic experience…and there are good merchants there to buy vanilla (bean/paste/extract) and pearls...and bring your snorkelling gear. - Try to get to the market in Papeete before/after the cruise…best pricing on souvenirs/gifts. I ended up buying a few pareos, Manoi oil, and some Tiare French milled soap. There are also of course pearls for sale, but did not initially find anything that spoke to me there. I hope that my reflections help. For those who are planning a trip on the Paul Gauguin…..enjoy, it is an incredible experience! For others (like us) who have just come back: “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” ―Pat Conroy ….we are definitely playing this incredible voyage in “the quietest chambers…of our minds” and loving reliving the memories! Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our 2nd cruise on the Paul Gauguin but this time we travelled with three generations- us, the grandparents, our daughter and her spouse, and our grandchildren, ages 10 and 11! It was so much fun with every day bringing new ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on the Paul Gauguin but this time we travelled with three generations- us, the grandparents, our daughter and her spouse, and our grandchildren, ages 10 and 11! It was so much fun with every day bringing new discoveries under the water and in the dining rooms! As always on this cruise line, the customer service was fantastic and all the ship's amenities were outstanding - the food, the spa, the excursions, the entertainment, the cabins, and especially the children's program that was offered on this particular cruise. The two leaders of the group were extremely knowledgeable, approachable, enthusiastic, and fun- our kids had experiences that could have only happened on this boat and with these two young women - swimming with sharks and rays, being in a small boat with a college professor surrounded by 50+ dolphins, going on drift snorkels twice, getting off a boat into a real-life aquarium with beautiful coral, amazing fish and other sea animals, and having study lessons and sessions that were informative and interesting- they did not want to miss a minute! Really an extraordinary experience for all of us! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise ship because we were on it 2 years ago, and LOVED it! There are no words to describe the service on this ship. It is absolutely THE BEST service you will ever receive anywhere in the world! EVERYONE, and this goes ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because we were on it 2 years ago, and LOVED it! There are no words to describe the service on this ship. It is absolutely THE BEST service you will ever receive anywhere in the world! EVERYONE, and this goes for every person that is on that ship, is amazing! I cannot say enough about the waiter staff, or the housekeeping staff! Kudos Paul Gauguin for hiring people that care about their jobs! The outings were good too, most of the time. The only negative I would give is that they have apparently switched their shampoos and lotions to another brand that is really terrible. Last time we were there it was so wonderful, as far as shampoos and conditioners and lotions go, that I didn’t bring any this time hoping to save some weight in my luggage. BIG mistake! So take your own, if you go! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
A friend told us about (actually raved about) Paul Gauguin cruises almost 10 years ago, and we finally had the opportunity to give it a try. Having cruised many times in the past 30 years, including onboard some of the smaller luxury ... Read More
A friend told us about (actually raved about) Paul Gauguin cruises almost 10 years ago, and we finally had the opportunity to give it a try. Having cruised many times in the past 30 years, including onboard some of the smaller luxury ships in the WindStar fleet, we were excited for this particular trip. Our experience on Paul Gauguin met, and actually exceeded, every expectation we had of our cruise around the Tahitian Islands. From the friendly and welcoming cruise staff, to our well-appointed stateroom and the amazing food and beverage service on board, to the stunning ports of call from Tahiti, Bora Bora, and a few smaller islands, EVERYTHING was simply done exceptionally well. Every little detail was managed expertly by the PG cruise staff...and always with a smile. At every port, we were greeted with local music and dance, plenty of shore excursion opportunities, and always armed with sufficient information to navigate the new island. The islands we visited were spectacularly beautiful, and we were very thankful for our cabin's balcony. I think we spent more time on our balcony on this cruise than we ever have in the past...we didn't want to miss a moment. The PG staff, too, were incredibly hard-working, dedicated professionals who took the art of customer service to a new level. We would not change a thing about our PG experience, except perhaps to make the cruise longer! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
After 3 days in a beautiful resort on Tahiti, I didn't think our trip could get any better. I was wrong. Sailing on the Paul Gauguin was the best cruise experience we have ever had. Not only were we pleased with how smooth the ... Read More
After 3 days in a beautiful resort on Tahiti, I didn't think our trip could get any better. I was wrong. Sailing on the Paul Gauguin was the best cruise experience we have ever had. Not only were we pleased with how smooth the embarkation process was, we felt welcome from the moment we reached the dock.Our cabin was well designed and comfortable.It had fresh fruit, a flower arrangement, and a well stocked, complementary mini bar waiting for us upon arrival. The crew was always friendly and ready to help. The food was great, with 3 dining options each night. The entertainment on board was fun. We cruised the Society Islands. Each island was unique and offered incredible sights and activities. On one of them, the cruise provided a barbecue on a private motu with all sorts of delicious dishes and complementary water activities. I would definitely cruise with Paul Gauguin again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Incredible 5* service, lovely people, beautiful destination, ship perfect in every way... this cruise will ruin you for all other cruises!! We will return!! It was the best week ever. Everything from Check in to check out was seamless, ... Read More
Incredible 5* service, lovely people, beautiful destination, ship perfect in every way... this cruise will ruin you for all other cruises!! We will return!! It was the best week ever. Everything from Check in to check out was seamless, very well organised and with such a small ship, no waiting for anything!! We made some great friends onboard, especially the attentive staff, Flo, Hermie, Darwin, Anthony, Allan and the divine Jobert who we wanted to take home with us! The food was delicious, nothing was too much trouble, we just had to ask! L’Etoile was our favourite restaurant, La Palette our favourite bar. Book your degustation at La Verandah as soon as you can - maybe for the 2nd and last night as it fills up and book an outsider table in Bora Bora at La Grille. Otherwise, we loved L’Etoile, so much variety. We were up late and stayed up late due to time zone change from Australia, so we often had the “Santa Rosa Band” to ourselves in La Palette bar as most people were from the US. The musicians were top class, get a daily schedule from reception each day so you can follow them around :) The shows were amazing, especially the Magician, Nicolas and the crew show is not to be missed - hilarious!! The included day trips to the PG private island in Taha’a and the private beach in Bora Bora are all you need to do, we did a couple of extra day trips but I was happy to be onboard with the friendly staff by the pool (who automatically brought our favourite drinks/snacks after the first day) We got involved in most of the activities onboard but it is so relaxing to do nothing at all! Travelled with 2 young boys 6&9, they had a ball, were very comfortable and well catered for, but they are well travelled and like talking to adults, they didn’t have any other kids to play with, but they were happy to read by the pool or swim/kayak/play jenga. The built in Marina is amazing, we kayaked every day, get your snorkels as soon as the emergency muster is done on the first day! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Let's start saying that this is a very small ship. It doesn't have 10 restaurants or bars or 6,000 sq.ft. of fitness room. We are talking about luxury ship, where every passenger has the ability to know each other on board , and ... Read More
Let's start saying that this is a very small ship. It doesn't have 10 restaurants or bars or 6,000 sq.ft. of fitness room. We are talking about luxury ship, where every passenger has the ability to know each other on board , and where all crew members know you and remember your name, your favorite drink or dish. This is where you are treated like a king and every your wish becomes reality. Food is exceptional, served in three restaurants. Drinks are all included, along with crew tips. Obviously you can still extra tip for those services you think they exceeded your expectation. Room services 24/7. Cabins are very nice and elegant, and bathroom very roomy with a tub. All cabins are ocean view, from portholes to picture windows to balconies. The ship has a Marina that opens up when the ship anchors, and offers lots of water sports activities, and provides snorkel gears to passengers that want to use them on their land excursions. French Polynesia is the place to go, at least twice in a lifetime. Expensive but worth it. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date June 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 ... 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
Sail Date May 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
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
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 ... 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
Sail Date April 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
Sail Date March 2018
We wanted to experience the French Polynesian and nervously chose the Paul Gaugin cruise line. Make no mistake about it, my wife and I are not cruise line people. The best way I can describe this cruise is to write and say it was the best ... Read More
We wanted to experience the French Polynesian and nervously chose the Paul Gaugin cruise line. Make no mistake about it, my wife and I are not cruise line people. The best way I can describe this cruise is to write and say it was the best experience my wife and I could have ever hoped and prayed for. Only 328 people are on-board the ship and the crew made us feel like we were the only couple on board. Most of the sailing is done in the evening and each morning we woke up in another Island Paradise. The only suggestion I can offer is to research and plan your excursions well before your cruise; don’t miss snorkeling in Bora Bora and Morea. Be prepared for a long trip from the (East) states to Tahiti. You want to seriously consider renting an over the water bungalow, or any room, the first night at the Interconntinental Resort so that you can rest after the long trip from the States to Tahiti before boarding for the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I had a fantastic time on this cruise. The itinerary was perfect! It was definitely by far one of the best cruises I have ever been on and I have traveled a lot. The smaller number of passengers and the attention to customer ... Read More
I had a fantastic time on this cruise. The itinerary was perfect! It was definitely by far one of the best cruises I have ever been on and I have traveled a lot. The smaller number of passengers and the attention to customer satisfaction was simply exceptional. The wine selections with meals were outstanding. The staff were also super helpful and nice. I would recommend to anyone and everyone. It was also a great value for money. Embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient and took no time at all. Loved all the activities and had a lot of fun with my daughter. She also very much enjoyed this trip. The service generally was fantastic. There was always somebody there to attend to every request. There were three restaurants to choose from for dining. All food was of a high quality French cuisine and the service was, again, excellent. The staff were all friendly, very attentive and efficient and made us feel welcome Read Less
Sail Date March 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
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
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 , ... 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
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
Sail Date February 2018
I feel that the ship was terrific in all ways except Communication between the Activities/Excursions office and the passengers. Since they no longer print out the daily opportunities, many people stated that they had missed some as they ... Read More
I feel that the ship was terrific in all ways except Communication between the Activities/Excursions office and the passengers. Since they no longer print out the daily opportunities, many people stated that they had missed some as they didn't know they were occurring. Yes you can pull it up on the t.v. or get a printout after 6 p.m. from the Desk, but there's so much more convenience in having a piece of paper to mark on and carry about during the day (Old school I know, but still it works better we feel). Thank you! The dining room managers were awesome and the servers always cheery and attentive. They remembered our names and our special requests from the day before - they are so well trained! Thank you to all! Our cabin was comfortable and had well-designed storage. The outside deck was comfortable and spacious for two. The linens were very nice, and the bed very comfortable. Having room service for breakfast was great as the food arrived in a timely manner allowing us to prepare for the early excursions. We enjoyed every minute! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose 11 nights to really make it worthwhile (Tahiti is a long way from Canada). We were so pleased to be able to visit the Cook Islands as well as the Society Islands. The magical pristine beauty of the islands, the wonderfully ... Read More
We chose 11 nights to really make it worthwhile (Tahiti is a long way from Canada). We were so pleased to be able to visit the Cook Islands as well as the Society Islands. The magical pristine beauty of the islands, the wonderfully welcoming and interesting Polynesian people, and the joys of a small, superpbly-appointed cruise ship, all contributed to our best cruise yet. We loved that the ship went right into lovely lagoons. Access to the destination islands by tender boat was easy and convenient. Our stateroom was perfect in every way. Much more is included than on other cruises - such as tipping, all restaurants, and alcoholic beverages. The staff were so thoughtful and friendly. The cuisine was top-notch! Make sure to book "La Grill" for an outdoor dinner by the pool, for the nights you are anchored in Moorea and Bora Bora. Magical! The cruise line-owned beaches at both Taha'a and Bora Bora, are wonderful days with everything you could want. If you are a morning person, head to the stern to La Palette to watch the sunrise with a morning snack and coffee, while waiting for breakfast service to begin at The Grill or La Veranda. Please don't be one of "those" people who puts their towel on a lounge chair to reserve it for the whole day, and then only use it for one or two hours. If everyone just uses a chair when they need it, then there is no shortage of spots. We do wish that there was more shade available on the pool deck for at sea days. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Visiting the South Pacific has always been a dream of mine. As my wife was approaching her 60th birthday we decided to make this dream a reality and chose Paul Gauguin cruises. First, we are ardent cruisers having done more than 30 to ... Read More
Visiting the South Pacific has always been a dream of mine. As my wife was approaching her 60th birthday we decided to make this dream a reality and chose Paul Gauguin cruises. First, we are ardent cruisers having done more than 30 to date. We are not brand loyal and choose our cruises based upon their itineraries. Prior to Paul Gauguin, our smallest ship had been the Oceania Nautica at 682 passengers. There was quite a bit to like about this cruise: staterooms were much larger than expected given the size of the ship and number of passengers. There was a lot of shelving space available, more than enough for all of our clothing and other assorted goods. Embarkation was a breeeze. We were told in advance that boarding would begin at 3:00 pm. At 2:55 we were given the OK and were in our stateroom within minutes. Our bags were promptly delivered within a half hour. The food and service were the best we've experienced on any of our cruises. Whether in the main dining room or either specialty restaurant, service quality was high and the food was excellent, though I would give La Verandah a slight edge in ambience and menu. I would really like to highlight amazing service offered by Raffy, one of the head waiters. My wife has a gluten allergy which we reported prior to sailing. Raffy was in charge of 36 people with dietary issues. Each night, he would find us and present us with the menu for the next day, whether it be in the main dining room or one of the specialty restaurant. One night, we went to the wrong restaurant and he still tracked us down. Unlike other ships, my wife could order anything on the menu and it would be prepared gluten free. Incredible service!!! On another occasion, I had slipped on an excursion and skinned my knee quite badly. William, one of the deck stewards, we had gotten to know quite well, noticed my injured knee and promptly brought a first aid kit and attended my injury. He cleansed the would with alcohol, sterilized it with iodine and then gave me some bandages to help protect it. Once again, great service above the call of duty. Our cruise director, Artur, was a quirky fellow... in a good way. He had a very impish personality and always seemed to have a glint in his eye. He was also a very good magician and hosted a few sessions with interesting sleight of hand. I also have to give kudos to the crew who supported the tender transfers. At Rarotonga, sea swells had to be at least 8 feet, yet they still managed to get people ashore and back. Four able bodied seamen had the routine down pat to time the swell and help passengers move to/from the ship and tender. I've been on other cruises with much calmer seas where tenders had been cancelled. On the other hand, there were a couple of concerns about this cruise that I would like to express. This ship was designed with a shallow hull to facilitate transit in lagoons. This design element was also a deficiency in the deep seas. This was without question, the rockiest ship I have ever been on. Even in relatively mild seas, this ship yawed and rolled quite a bit. The ship is also showing its age. It could use a refurb to bring it up to current cruise standards. There is some wear and tear and it lacks what is now basic technology on other cruise ships. For example, they are going paperless with their itineraries posting them electronically on the TV set in your stateroom and in the elevators. This proved to be quite a nuisance. If they want to save paper I would recommend sharing this information electronically on free WIFI as many other cruise lines now do. Finally, and I profess that I like to be entertained, I found entertainment on this ship lacking in both variety and quality. As a luxury cruiseline, I expected a higher standard. Although "Les Gaugines" were excellent hostesses, their routines became repetitive by the end of an 1 day cruise. During the day, activities were limited as well. I am used to having options on larger cruise ships and would have appreciated a bit more variety on this one. Evening shows were adequate, with British singing duo of Mark and Abby being a standout, as was the Polynesian dance troupe from Tahiti. All in all though, this was a great cruise and is one that I would recommend. Happy to answer any questions you may have. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We went to see the different islands. If we had known in advance there are no ports with docks we would not have chosen this cruise as I have back issues. One must tender in to all the islands. I had signed up for excursions in advance of ... Read More
We went to see the different islands. If we had known in advance there are no ports with docks we would not have chosen this cruise as I have back issues. One must tender in to all the islands. I had signed up for excursions in advance of the cruise but had to cancel all. Such a disappointment. This is not the trip for older adults. I did not see any information offered by the ship in regards to tendering. From our cabin all the islands looked beautiful. Our in room service by our butler was excellent. The food was very good and we did enjoy Le Veranda for dining. The dining crew were exceptionally good. They could not do enough for everyone. We did wish there had been onboard lectures about the islands. There were experts on board but we could not find where they might lecture if they did so. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had cruised on Paul Gauguin once before, and gave a disappointed review for disorganization, among other things. We had not planned on ever going back, but we were given some incentive after the previous experience, and the South ... Read More
We had cruised on Paul Gauguin once before, and gave a disappointed review for disorganization, among other things. We had not planned on ever going back, but we were given some incentive after the previous experience, and the South Pacific is just too good to stay away. SO glad we gave it another try. First, we were treated to an uncrowded ship. There were about 230 on board, though the capacity is 332. Turned out to be a timing thing, as our sailing ended on Dec 23rd. We were told the shorter Christmas cruise was to be full. The ship was lively, but there was never a wait or any difficulty getting deck chairs, dinner seating, etc. That was nice. The service, the itinerary, and fortunately even the weather, were exemplary. Though it was the rainy season, we had showers but no all day rains. The seas were calm the whole 10 days, and dolphin sightings were frequent. My wife is vegan, and was pleasantly surprised to see that they now have vegan options on the menu. Nevertheless, head waiter Raffy was extremely helpful for her. We like lunches out on the deck at La Veranda, and Raffy would escort her through the buffet every day to discuss details of the ingredients and prep. We also had great personal service from Ricardo and Eduardo (these gentlemen have been on the Paul Gaugin for 20, 10, and 6 years, respectively). Best line of the cruise came when my wife asked about the kiwi soup, and was told “It is the fruit, not the bird, madame.” Having been out there before, we booked only one excursion on this trip because we had a pretty good idea what to do on our own on most islands. Pia and her excursion staff were still helpful. We’re doers, not shoppers, so we snorkeled, biked, hiked, and even rented a car on Moorea (the excursion desk scanned our drivers licenses and all the car rental paperwork was done on the ship the day before) The one booked excursion was to make sure we swam with sharks and stingrays. It was great—but we ended up seeing them on our own in a couple of other locations as well. We met several very nice people on the ship. You get to know people a bit because it’s a smaller ship, and you’ll see people with similar tastes a lot. ( i.e. We morning people are always up on Deck 8 at La Palette for coffee and fresh juice drinks by 6:30 am). We still have a few other bucket list destinations to see, but once those are done, we will certainly consider the South Pacific on Paul Gauguin again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Paul Gauguin Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.4
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 4.1
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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