312 Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruise Reviews

On a scale of 1-10, my wife and I would rate our December 2-13 (2017) Paul Gauguin cruise to French Polynesia a 9.9. Our central goal was to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in style, and we set high expectations for our trip. This ... Read More
On a scale of 1-10, my wife and I would rate our December 2-13 (2017) Paul Gauguin cruise to French Polynesia a 9.9. Our central goal was to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in style, and we set high expectations for our trip. This cruise exceeded our expectations in nearly every respect. The few issues we encountered we’re minor but we’re more than happy to share our general impressions and recommendations with you. Because we wanted this trip to be “extra special,” and as worry-free as we could make it, we chose to make all of our travel arrangements through Paul Gauguin, including roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to and from Papeete, arrangements for our vow renewal ceremony, and a two-night stay in an overwater bungalow at the end of the cruise in Tahiti. Trip arrangements and transfers were flawless. We’re glad we made this decision. But this brings us to a couple of recommendations to consider. The flight on Tahiti Nui to Papeete is scheduled to get you in quite late (10:55 p.m. in our case.) Our particular flight was delayed in LA and as smooth as the transfers were, we didn’t board the ship until nearly 1:00 a.m. The ship actually began to pull out of the dock before we had our cabin keys in hand. It made for a very short first night on board the MS Paul Gauguin. We would highly recommend that you arrange to arrive one day before you embark. This will also give you the advantage of boarding early, unpacking, having a nice “first dinner” on the PG, making your dinner reservations at La Veranda and Le Grill, and getting a good first night sleep. Also, consider saving the over-the-water bungalow experience for Bora Bora or Moorea. We do recommend that you conclude your trip with an additional night or two back in Tahiti. This was our second cruise but our first “small ship” experience—and our first trip on the MS Paul Gauguin. What a difference! This is a ship that strikes a perfect balance between informal and formal. PG describes it as “country club casual.” By day, just about anything goes and you’ll see shorts and sandals. Think Tommy Bahama at night… slacks or khakis and tropical shirts for the men and sun dresses for the ladies. Don’t pack the jeans and dinner jackets for this voyage. (And probably leave the kids home for this one.) We were assigned Stateroom 615 (Category D) with a balcony that made our living space feel brighter and more spacious. The layout of our cabin was generally well thought out and there is ample storage room. We used the balcony to store our snorkel gear and reef shoes. Now for the bad news: There are two standard electrical plugs in the cabin (one by the vanity at bedside and one underneath the television). None in the bathroom. We’d suggest you pack one or two “multi-plugs” or powerstrips. And internet service is hit and miss and numbingly slow. That’s it! We would be hard pressed to identify another complaint or concern about life onboard the Paul Gauguin. It’s that good. The over-all ship layout is terrific. Everything is quickly accessible but think “downsize” in comparison to larger cruise ships. The smallish swimming pool, Le Grill, and the La Palette Lounge are on Deck 8… La Veranda, the spa, a decent sized fitness center, boutique, a small library, a jigsaw puzzle table are on Deck 6… the small casino (one blackjack table and 13 slot machines), comfortable piano bar, the internet café, photo shop, and the multi-functional Le Grand Salon where you’ll enjoy evening performances in a comfortable, casual, and close-up setting… the reception desk, dive desk, and concierge are on Deck 4… and an innovative watersports “marina” is on Deck 3. We didn’t choose to scuba dive on our trip but fellow passengers who did so, raved about it. On the downside, there’s no hot tub, sauna, or jogging course on board. Service is impeccable… really. Almost over-the-top at times. (Did I really need someone to carry my breakfast plate back to the table for me?) You’ll be on a first name basis with wait staff in a short period of time and you’ll probably have one or two favorites who seem to keep an eye out for you. My wife has wheat and dairy intolerances and we couldn’t believe how well she was taken care of during this trip. Dining options are great as well. All three restaurants offer the same fare at breakfast and lunch. I’d personally rate the breakfast and lunch buffets as very good but not great… maybe B+. If time is pressing (e.g. you have a morning excursion scheduled), the buffet is the perfect answer. If you have the time, you might have a slightly better experience ordering off of the menu. For dinner, L’Etoile on Deck 5 is the ship’s principal restaurant and reservations are not required. Reservations ARE required on the two smaller more specialized restaurants (La Veranda on Deck 6 featuring French cuisine and Le Grill on Deck 8 with more of a Polynesian flare). All were terrific. Consider making your dinner reservations on your first day for the two smaller restaurants. The rule of thumb is that you are limited to a total four reservations—two at each. Near the end of the cruise PG schedules a Polynesian Night and the menus are the same in all three restaurants. You might want to verify when this is scheduled and avoid using a reservation for this particular event. On those days when you don’t have an onboard dining reservation, consider trying one of the island restaurants. We had a great dinner with two other couples at the St. James Restaurant in Bora Bora and experienced a great dinner and the best sunset viewing of our trip. You’ll receive a daily La Orana newsletter that will detail shipboard activities. Typically there are port talks and guest lectures in the Grand Salon… a range of onboard Polynesian activities led by Les Gauguines & Gauguins… and good (but not great) evening entertainment in the Grand Salon that typically run from 9:30 to about 10:15. We would highly recommend that you book your “must do” excursions in advance of your cruise. Some fill up pretty quickly. Excursions are pretty subjective things. Our favorite experiences were the Lagoon Cruise with Beach Break on Aitutaki (our favorite stopover)… the Pa tour on Rarotonga… the Sharks and Stingrays Encounter on Bora Bora… and the Sunset Sail on Moorea. We’d also suggest that you make a point of getting down to the ship marina the first day at sea to check out your snorkeling gear. With a maximum of 332 guests, you will get to know a good many fairly quickly. There is a feeling of community that you won’t find on larger ships. On this particular sail, most of the passengers were about our age… in their 50’s and 60’s. A significant number (maybe a third) were French-speaking. Other than a fun block party on one of the first few days where the ship organizes cocktail parties in hallways for passengers to meet their “cabin neighbors,” PG doesn’t need to work at getting people together. It just happens. By the end of the cruise, you’ll be on at least a face-recognition basis with nearly everyone, and you’ll likely make some good new friends along the way. Our Paul Gauguin experience was a wonderful one. It will not be the cheapest traveling you’ll ever do but it will be among your best. And we can’t think of a better way to celebrate a special occasion… like a 50th wedding anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We wanted to try small ship cruising as our one experience on a large ship convinced us that large ships weren't for us. We also wanted to cruise in warm waters with lots of opportunity to snorkel and swim. Every part of our Paul ... Read More
We wanted to try small ship cruising as our one experience on a large ship convinced us that large ships weren't for us. We also wanted to cruise in warm waters with lots of opportunity to snorkel and swim. Every part of our Paul Gauguin cruise exceeded our expectations. Our cabin was spacious and beautifully appointed. Category C #767 is a large suite with a double sized balcony and a wonderful bathroom. There is a large walk-in shower with no tub which is perfect for us. The tiles are gorgeous designer glass. (Other C-level bathrooms seem to be consistently white.) Our cabin "stewardess", Reahlyn was excellent. We chose all water-based shore excursions, and all were excellent, though rather expensive. Our favourite of one was at Bora Bora where we got to swim with the lemon sharks, stingrays and tropic fish. Our favourite day was the free shore day on the private motu. There were plenty of chairs, a wonderful buffet provided by our ship's crew, and cocktails served in coconut shells. Even the snorkelling immediately off the beach was quite good. What more can one ask for?? There are three restaurants onboard. All are excellent and all have different menus. Our favourite was the main dining room "L'Etoile" because the menu changed everyday, no reservations were needed, and we had the choice of a table for two or joining a larger table to meet new people. We often chose the latter. On the last day, we had a day room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Papeete as we waited for our flight. The hotel is related to PGC and we highly recommend taking this option. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The deck 8-veranda stateroom was perfect, wait staff and food exceptional as promised. I swam with sharks and stingrays, viewed the beauty of the coral and incredible life in the clear warm waters. I met and dined with charming people ... Read More
The deck 8-veranda stateroom was perfect, wait staff and food exceptional as promised. I swam with sharks and stingrays, viewed the beauty of the coral and incredible life in the clear warm waters. I met and dined with charming people from various countries but never experienced or ever again want to encounter an American Cruise ship prioritizing a size-able French cluster traveling with the expectation that everything would be done in French (apparently an agent told this group that would be the case). Early into this voyage a boisterous fellow stood up during the evening show and started ranting they were obligated to communicate in French… a bit alarming in this day and age for those not cognizant of what he was bellowing about. This lead to numerous lectures as well as day trips -- one sentence was English, next sentence was French back and forth it would go kind of like a Ping-Pong match leading to the length of the presentation and for me a headache. Everything took extra long, and even more irksome to me was overhearing various performers and staff members copiously apologizing for not being able to speak French. I am not anti-French but I also am not going to feel apologetic nor step aside because French citizens expect to take precedence. The perfect example I shared on my mid-cruise evaluation and reiterated this to the company upon my return home was the inept cruise director’s (Arthur) publicized lunch for solo travelers' found on the daily program. Most did not know other solo travellers so we were directed by the staff to a few tables where a specific special seat had been set aside by the restaurant for the expected cruise director. Cruise director 20 minutes late entered the dining room carrying a full plate of food, strolled past our allocated table, totally ignored 2 solos sitting at different tables and was called back then shown the seat set aside for him. Arthur proclaims “oh no I’m going to sit with them” indicating a table out on the balcony. There he was dining with the ship's Brazilian entertainer and 4 French solo ladies. He never even came back into the room, let alone approached the group for a quick how’s it going pitch or making an attempt to make us feel welcomed. The written response I eventually received from the cruise line said they publish the daily program and menus in English as well as French since they were sailing in French Polynesia – making no statement on how lectures were presented. They explained that they could not be held responsible for any rudeness or behavior of fellow passengers. The cruise line also would look into the Solo Gathering incident. If this is the focus that The Paul Gauguin Co. wants to pursue I respect that right but do count me out. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My husband and I booked the November 11th sailing for our honeymoon. We booked in March 2016, so we definitely had a long wait. I read the cruise critic boards like an addict prior to departure, and some of what I read concerned me. I ... Read More
My husband and I booked the November 11th sailing for our honeymoon. We booked in March 2016, so we definitely had a long wait. I read the cruise critic boards like an addict prior to departure, and some of what I read concerned me. I began to question our decision. However, I am glad to report we had had a fantastic time and wouldn't hesitate to go back. My husband and I drove 4 hours to the Saskatoon airport (We live in Northern Canada). We then boarded a flight to LAX and stayed overnight. We arranged for a car service to pick us up at the airport. We used MGCLS, they were great, they texted me when I arrived and arranged pickup at a door outside the baggage pickup. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Santa Monica. It was a newer hotel, used points to get it and it was right next to the pier which was great. We also used the same car service the next day to go back to LAX. We arrived at the airport and their was a PG rep (Lois) waiting for us. What a great start! Security line was long, but that is to be expected. Boarded the flight, have to say I was pleasantly suprised with the food on Air Tahiti Nui.. the reviews were not good, but it wasn't bad at all. The complimentary wine was also good. 8 hour flight went by pretty fast, we landed in Tahiti around 10:40 PM. We did not book our Pre-Stay through the PG. I acutally booked a catarman through AIrbnb and it was fantastic. Eric, the owner picked us up at the airport and drove us to the marina. We stayed on his CAT for 3 nights, eating, sun bathing and snorkelling. (Highly recommedn, it was a fraction of the cost of the IC) Embarkation day came, we had to be out of the CAT at 11am, so Eric's wife ALic dropped us off at the PG. We couldn't board yet, so we walked across the street sat at a bar. I enjoyed some Mai Tai's while my husband enjoyed beer and soccer. At 2:40 we walked across the street, and we were on board at 3:00 sharp. Having cruised larger ships, this was by far the easiest embarkation ever. Glass of champagne, swipe you AMEX and then our cabin steward Rona escorted us to out cabin. Cabin was great, were in 606 a D class balcony. Bathroom was bigger than previous cruises which was great. Bed was comfy and mini bar was stocked well. Dinner every night was fantastic! I had fresh fish every night (Get the Wahoo & the Red Snapper) and the wine service was fantastic. we elected to sit at large tables to meet new people. We had a 7 course meal every night, I miss that already. Lunch was just as good, everyday was a themed buffet, I elected t visit Sammy the chef for the make your own pasta station. Always enjoyable. Can't really comment on breakfast, we never made it. We ordered croissants and fruit from room service every morning. It was prompt and good. Don't miss going to Tea every afternoon, it was a hidden gem. I had three massages at the spa and they were all fantastic. I also had my hair curled there and I was also satisfied. (Note: The spa is a little overpriced though) The dive team was great, very patient as I am a new diver. In Bora Bora we did an excursion through Pure Snorkeling and it was excellent. A must do. We saw a hammerhead shark from our balcony in Moorea. Highlight for us. The ship was well layed out. Easy to find everything and never a line. We would absolutely return! The guest speakers were great. I only wish there were more lectures. A dead whale washed up on the reef when we were at Motu Mahana, so they advised us to stay out of the water. I would highly recommend this cruise, the food was great, staff were great! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our first cruise aboard the Paul Gauguin and to the French Polynesia. We want to start by saying that the whole crew, from housekeeping, excursions, waiters, deckhands to entertainment staff were simply amazing. Impeccable service ... Read More
This was our first cruise aboard the Paul Gauguin and to the French Polynesia. We want to start by saying that the whole crew, from housekeeping, excursions, waiters, deckhands to entertainment staff were simply amazing. Impeccable service and all of them greeted us warmly throughout the day and night. We found the food on board very good, but not excellent. Breakfast lacked variety as it did not change from day to day. For dinners, we were surprised at the lack of shellfish except for Thursday night when lobsters and crab legs were served at all restaurants. Meat was served most other nights. That said, the lamb chops,lamb rack and beef tenderloin were excellent. For dessert, our favorite were the different flavors of sorbets and the mint chocolate chip ice cream - among the best sorbets and ice cream we had tasted. We were told they were all made on-board. We were disappointed that the mint chocolate chip ice cream was only on the menu one night. Luckily, when we asked for it the following night, our waiter cheerfully checked in the kitchen and was able to satisfy our request. That's service. We found the ship a little dated in terms of decor and some amenities. For example, there was only 1 electrical outlet in our cabin which was by the dresser. Luckily, we brought along a multi-USB charger so we could charge more than one device at once. If you need to plug in a laptop, you would need to remove the charger. AC and USB outlets by the bedside tables would have been convenient. The air condition in our cabin barely kept us cool. The ship only had a small pool and no whirlpool on deck. We never saw anyone using the pool aside from it being used for scuba checkout dives. We took a few land excursions, namely bus tours around Moorea and Bora Bora. They were well scheduled and planned. We also went on 1 shark dive. The 2 dive masters we had were excellent and very patient with our group given we had not scuba for many years. Docking at Bora Bora for the 2 days, we took advantage of the launch to the free motu. Note that they only serve drinks at this motu, but we really enjoyed the lack of crowds on the beach and lagoon where we spent time snorkeling. Our friends opted for the $138/person Intercontinental beach excursion one day instead as it included lunch at the hotel and use of the beach. We are glad we did not participate. Now that we ticked off another bucket-list, not sure whether we would return. Perhaps when Paul Gauguin launches a new ship, we may return. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was my second sailing with PG. In fact my first ever cruise was on the PG 12 years ago. This time was as wonderful as the first. So impressed with the overall qualities of the ship and staff. I did have some maintenance issues ... Read More
This was my second sailing with PG. In fact my first ever cruise was on the PG 12 years ago. This time was as wonderful as the first. So impressed with the overall qualities of the ship and staff. I did have some maintenance issues with my room but that was overshadowed by the service and dining. I was traveling alone and, at times, seating one person in a dining locale, seemed difficult for them but they always found a way to find a reasonable table for me. The ports were interesting and had good options for desired activities. The integration of the Gauguins and Gauguines was really nice--they were part of the service that makes the PG so great. I have to say that both embarkation and disembarkation was smoother than any other cruise I have sailed. I would love to cruise again on the PG and tour other sites in the South Pacific. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I am writing after returning from the 11 night Society and Cook Islands cruise on October 7-18. My husband Eric Demanche and I went on the cruise to celebrate our honeymoon and this cruise was anything but an enjoyable experience. I’ve ... Read More
I am writing after returning from the 11 night Society and Cook Islands cruise on October 7-18. My husband Eric Demanche and I went on the cruise to celebrate our honeymoon and this cruise was anything but an enjoyable experience. I’ve outlined below some of the issues we had as there were too many to note on the ship’s survey. These are just a small sampling of the issues we had on this cruise that was supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience. I expect some compensation for this horrible experience that we can never get back as a once in a lifetime celebration of our honeymoon. • Travel Desk o One of the girls who worked there was so awful. She couldn’t answer any questions. On Roratonga for instance, she said all there is to do is shop. So I asked what kind of shopping was available, and she said “groceries”. o We waited until the tender was about to leave on the day of our excursion, in the meeting room where we were told to meet. I finally went down to just get on the tender instead, and stopped at the travel desk and a guy and girl were both there. I asked why no one was at the meeting room and he said they forgot. How do you forget when that is your job? We almost all missed our excursion that day. They had to hold the tender for all the people in the meeting room. o We did the under-sea walk on Moorea and ordered photos and videos which they said they would leave a the travel desk that day. We went back 3 times over two days, and they said they didn’t have them and they would send to our room or call when they received them. Instead, we checked as be disembarked the ship and they were there. Good thing, we kept checking. o We were told we would be added to an excursion and the tickets sent to our room. When we didn’t get them, I checked with the travel team and she stated that she thought there was room, but was wrong, so now there is no space on the excursion. At that point, the other excursions for the day were booked, so we had no options. • Honeymoon Package o Massage: We received a spa credit as part of our honeymoon package, which was $50 off the couple’s package. However, when we went to use it, we were told we couldn’t use it on any days at sea. Since we were “at sea” for most of the nights, and many more days than expected, we were never able to use the credit, and instead paid for 3 massages at regular prices. o Photo: We received a free picture from the Photo Shop on the ship as part of our honeymoon package. When we went to use it, we also ordered 5 other pictures as part of the 5 picture package. Because we got that package, we were told we couldn’t use the free picture coupon, so she took it from us, and we never got a free picture. o We had an invite to a captains party for celebrating our honeymoon. First off, the captain wasn’t even there. Secondly, we had an excursion through PG that day and didn’t get back to the boat until 5pm (scheduled excursion). The excursion was scheduled on a different day but was changed due to the captains change in schedule. So, because of PG cruises, we were 30mins late, couldn’t dress up for the event, and got a bad picture taken which is the one we were hoping to buy at the end of the cruise. We missed being called, we missed the entire event and came at the end. • Room o Loud Carpet: The carpet in our room made so much noise that neither my husband or I could get up at night to use the restroom, without waking the other. There is something under the carpet that sounds like and feels like there is bunched up plastic under the carpet across the entire room. o We missed out on an excursion because of incorrect information: The room steward told us we could book an excursion over the television, so we didn’t go to the travel desk during the time they were open (which was limited). When we tried to book, that option wasn’t on the tv and the travel desk was closed. We asked the room steward to come in and help us and she tried and called the receptionist for help as well and no one could find where to book it. So we set our alarms early the next morning to go down and book with the travel desk. But then were informed it was full. o The drawers didn’t pull out well. I had to jam them out and in for me to get into them. o Needed more storage. The shelf/drawers space was not enough for two people for 12 days. So we had suitcases out on the floor and had trouble maneuvering our room every day because of it. • Boat issues o The windows across the whole boat, especially the restaurants, were so filthy and mucky from the outside, that we couldn’t even see correctly out of them. The very first night they were like this. I’ve been on other large cruise ships and they always washed the windows. • Communications Issues o Important informative messages weren’t played in our room such as one stating we wouldn’t be docking that day in Aitutaki and we would spend the next two days instead at sea due to bad weather. They only played in the hallway. So we never knew what was going on. The only one that played in our room was about a toilet issue on the boat asking us not to use the toilets because they were backed up. o There was a message about the toilets being backed up and we were asked not use toilets. They never came back to tell us it was fixed, so we held bowels the entire night, over 12 hours without going to the restroom. • Food o We tried the various buffets at breakfast and found that the fruit was never replenished in a timely manner. Every single day I had to go ask the person who sat me down if they could replenish things like strawberries and kiwi and pineapple. They were always out. And the last several days didn’t even have strawberries anymore, just ran out. • PG travel plans o Why would PG schedule us on a flight that got us on the boat just before midnight when we had to get up early for traveling the island the very next day? We also had no introduction to the boat or amenities because we got in so late. We attended the mandatory session the next day which took us away from more important things, and gave us no additional information about the boat or amenities. And they actually said during this initiation meeting that we were late and missed the one yesterday,…we didn’t have a choice, YOU booked us to get in ‘late’. We were so tired and couldn’t fully enjoy the cruise because we started off being so tired from a full day of travel and immediate ship departure and late night. o The Captain changed the ship itinerary so we had more days at sea and actually went directly into the storms instead of avoiding them. We spoke with many people who said that the captain actually drove us into worse weather at each port than had we just stayed with the original itinerary. I was sick and throwing up for almost 4 days because of this. • Activities: o There were not enough activities on the boat for the number of days we were at sea. Most passengers were griping about this. They redid many activities like making fans and bookmarks several days, but wouldn’t do activities we continued to ask about like shell jewelry. o Many of the activities/crafts were ridiculous, the quality was awful. The Tahitian souvenir one that claims this is how Tahitians make it, on the last day for instance was a non-square cute piece of yellow paper, randomly cut pieces of the daily cruise document that was left in our room each day, and glue. It looks like a kindergartener made it. And doesn’t show any places or people we went to or were on our boat. o The braid a headband one, they didn’t have strands long enough to even make headbands, so we had to wear them around our upper arms instead. • Day Room o We had a day room because our flight was scheduled so late after disembarkation. However, we didn’t even get a food voucher. We had to pay full price at the hotel for dinner, even though it was PG’s fault that they didn’t have a flight for us. o The day room looked like someone had slept in the room. There was only one bathrobe, the tub had hair in it, and the travel sized toiletries had the seal broken and were partially full. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Tahiti has been on our bucket list for some time. This particular itinerary included the Cook Islands which we saw as a bonus. We have been on 14 past cruises and clearly the Paul Gauguin provided amongst the best quality cuisine but ... Read More
Tahiti has been on our bucket list for some time. This particular itinerary included the Cook Islands which we saw as a bonus. We have been on 14 past cruises and clearly the Paul Gauguin provided amongst the best quality cuisine but more importantly an exemplary level of customer service throughout the ship. It seemed as though the crew thoroughly enjoyed their job. The interaction with passengers was just great. Our favourite stop was the private motu (beach) at Taha'a. The only disappointment was the cancellation of the port visit at Aitutaki due to rough seas/weather. What was impressive was how the Captain walked around around the ship answering passengers questions as to why the port was cancelled. He was very visible and interactive. This was unlike previous experiences (elsewhere) that when a negative situation arises the senior crew disappear. In summary, we would highly recommend Paul Gauguin cruises. It is somewhat pricey however with the fare being inclusive of air, liquor and gratuities and given the destination and the superior level of service it provides excellent value for money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Well the weather was not in our favour ☹ We did not disembark in Aitutaki ☹ high winds and strong current, it was cloudy in the Cook islands, we did visit Raratonga, it took us one sea day to get to the cooks and one night to get ... Read More
Well the weather was not in our favour ☹ We did not disembark in Aitutaki ☹ high winds and strong current, it was cloudy in the Cook islands, we did visit Raratonga, it took us one sea day to get to the cooks and one night to get to Aitutaki but in the morning the captain announced that we are heading back and instead of one sea day, it took two full sea days to get back and arrive in Moorea ☹ so we had an extra sea day and very big waves, the boat was swinging two days and three nights. One night I though the boat is going to flip over, I have never encountered something like that, I though we were heading through some storm in the middle of the night. All this noise in the cabin 324, and evertime they would fill up the pool on top deck it made this constant noise in our cabin of running water, terrible! Must have been this filter constantly running water through. When we embarked the itinerary was already revised, we were suppose to head to Cook Islands first right after Huahine but instead we did the Huahine and Bora Bora first because of the weather and somehow it still did not work out for Aitutaki. When we arrived in Aiutatki our excursion was already cancelled the night before but we were all packed ready to head out and as we were eating breakfast that’s when they did the announcement that we are not staying and the boat turned around and was heading back and that's when we found out that not only are we going to miss Aitutaki but we are now going to be at sea for two full days, no explanations given why we are going to take that long to return to the society islands, everyone was confused, they can play the weather card anytime they want. We spoke to some other repeat guests on PG that told us that somehow Aitutaki gets missed quite often. Because of our revised itinerary we were in Bora Bora during the same time as Celebrity cruise which cancelled most of PG excursions, instead of two excursions we only had one, we had to wait for second day to go and spend time in a very beautiful resort but it was a cloudy day. First day in Bora Bora was great but since most of excursions have been cancelled we were unable to enjoy this nice weather were we wanted. Most of our trip was cloudy and had strong winds and we heard from locals that it is not very typical for October, for some reason November weather came early. Anyway Polynesia is a very beautiful place ! It must really look amazing on a very sunny day :) The service on PG was great and the cabins have a lot of storage, everything else was very nice. We think PG should have stayed longer in the society islands instead of heading to the Cook Islands when the weather was bad, they knew from the start that bad weather came there and was staying, all this sea days for nothing, for one island with bad weather, they hardly managed the tenders in Raratonga, staying longer in Bora Bora or their private island Taaha would have been much better. Can’t predicts the weather but it was better in the Society islands than the cooks! I don't think PG boat is design to sail all the way to the Cook's, but during our 11 nights on PG we can see now that they just don't care if you are happy or not, everyone is told to do their job and that's it. Captain couldn't care less, he sounded so cold during his announcement, let's not forget a very important thing he would say at the end, that a copy of his announcement can be found at reception. While in Raratonga they cancelled our snorkeling excursion in Aitutaki, they knew the weather was bad so why arrive it Aitutaki in the morning and not stay there, why even go there, they knew the night before they were going to do this but they had to kill some time right? They should have head out to Moorea from Raratonga and not waist the night and arrive in Aitutaki. Should have not even sail to the Cook's. We will never go back on PG again, 11 nights was enough to see how they operate, especially when you talk to previous repeat guests. It is a good value when it comes to money but quality not so much. Value keeps those repeat guests coming back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I am an Executive business traveler. We have sailed on 3 other high-end cruise lines with much international travel in my past, we decided to try PG Cruises. We were in absolute disbelief at the quality of this trip from start to finish. ... Read More
I am an Executive business traveler. We have sailed on 3 other high-end cruise lines with much international travel in my past, we decided to try PG Cruises. We were in absolute disbelief at the quality of this trip from start to finish. Even the luxury travel agents we met onboard said they would advise their contracted clients to CANCEL! Five detailed emails with photos were sent to the VP of Paul Gauguin Sales and Guest Relations via our Cruises Only travel agent documenting in great detail our experience from start to finish (which had unfortunate health repercussions for me): *tiny, uncomfortable airline seats on the cheapest possible airline to French Polynesia *room location was NOT as stated by Cruises Only/PG (we were under the noisy pool deck, above the shuttle-lowering machinery and across from the Laundry service room!) We did not sleep a wink the entire week due to 6:30-7:30am wake up calls daily. *hygiene concerns: no air conditioning during the entire week in the main restaurant, lack of ice under food and drinks served outside on the disgusting and crowded 'private island', and leftover food from the entire week served in the same hot air restaurant on the last day *the end of the Private Island day involved multiple garbage bags visible to guests and sauces dumped down crab holes (I am sure the Environmentalists would love that as well as zero recycling onboard of hundreds of plastic water bottles--they are discarded as garbage.) *public toilet sewage overflow on the same floor as the restaurant * incredibly rude, (even offensive) staff in several departments *no follow up from any of the Department heads when complaints were addressed in person *safety concerns during rough seas with water shuttles and onboard activities *feather pillows in the room when foam was requested due to severe allergies *cheap amenities (tiny, cheap plastic 'beach bag' that barely holds sunscreen/facecloth!' *very old, run down ship with the smell of moldy carpet * repetitive food menus in the cabin and restaurants, average quality, and no lobster or filet mignon except on one night, and badly cooked at that! *cheap (often the same) Chilean wines served every night with dinner regardless of what you order. No decent selections listed unless you wanted to pay extra, and the list was very expensive for average wines. *very little Concierge/Reception service (and zero follow up to requests) unless you are paying extra for an excursion...otherwise you are limited to the back of the boat area for 'water activities' wearing lifejackets to paddleboard or kayak...NO SWIMMING allowed....we were blasted by a bullhorn to stay OUT of the water!? *No recommendation to do anything unless you explored on your own (only Bora Bora and Tahiti and possibly Moorea were worthwhile.) *lame onboard entertainment (except for the last night) The arrogance in the response from this French cruise line was appalling. Everything was ignored or made to look like it was our fault, and they were sorry we were 'unhappy.' For $15,000 out of pocket (including insurance) it was the WORST trip and waste of money in my entire life. This was supposed to be a celebration trip. Not even my $180 massage to alleviate the congestion from the feather pillows mistakenly put in the room (after clear instruction of my allergy) was offered as compensation! You will be treated better at any level of Starwood/Marriott hotel anywhere in the US than on this ship, (unless you are also French) with the exception of the lovely staff in the restaurants onboard, who we tipped generously. I wish there was a way to recoup even a portion of the money wasted. Their contract is iron clad. Beware! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Even though I lived in Hawaii, the French Polynesian islands offer a different experience in understanding what Hawaii was like before tourism took over. PG ship was much smaller than other cruise ships we have enjoyed but easy to ... Read More
Even though I lived in Hawaii, the French Polynesian islands offer a different experience in understanding what Hawaii was like before tourism took over. PG ship was much smaller than other cruise ships we have enjoyed but easy to navigate around the ship and more opportunity to get to know fellow passengers. Ship is not as luxurious as Regent or Crystal and rooms are a bit smaller and dated, but comfortable and clean. We had a veranda room at end of ship. While the ship was limited with dining options..in the day its either the Grill which is outdoor/indoor and had fly problems, or La Veranda, an indoor casual dining room. Both venues served the same menu during the day so we always at at the La Veranda room L'Etoile their main dining room only opens for dinner and the dinner, menu selection and service was so superb that we did not even opt to try La Veranda or the Grill for special dining. We were impressed with the luncheon buffet selection and dinner selections...excellent choices for all tastes including those with dietary specialties. Some entree portions were light but, there were enough choices in the menu to never leave the table hungry. And the desserts to die for...Entertainment with the Gauguines added much festivity to the ship atmosphere and the troop of dancers and singers work hard. Pianist Alex could use more personality which would attract more people to the piano bar. Santa Rosa band was on par with other cruise ship bands. Service is superb everywhere on the ship and the shore excursions are well organized. Best ports were Moorea and Bora Bora. Only con: is that I wish there were more interesting daily activities on the ship for those who don't participate in the water sports. A morning zumba or exercise class would be a great addition and more interesting group activities other than the Polynesian craft sessions they featured. The scenic view of these islands is a treasure and PG does its best to make the cruise memorable. One drawback to visiting this area is the limited number of airlines with limited schedules that fly into Papeete, the embarkation point for this cruise. And some of the airlines that fly to Papeete do not enjoy the best of reputation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise as a way of seeing Tahiti and the Society Islands while staying in the comfort of our lovely stateroom. The ship is not too big and carries fewer passengers than the big cruise lines and we prefer the intimacy of a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a way of seeing Tahiti and the Society Islands while staying in the comfort of our lovely stateroom. The ship is not too big and carries fewer passengers than the big cruise lines and we prefer the intimacy of a smaller ship. Another reason for choosing this cruise was that all food and drink is included in the price. The ship is an older style but maintained to a high standard. We had a stateroom on deck 7 with a balcony which was lovely. There are three restaurants to choose from for dining. All food was of a high standard in the French style and the service was excellent. The staff were all friendly, very attentive and efficient and made us feel welcome. There was a range of entertainment (the band is excellent) and activities but we chose not to utilise a lot of it as we preferred to do our own thing. The service generally was fantastic. There was always somebody there to attend to every request. They were all tender ports (except for Papeete) but the service with these was excellent. We did not encounter any delays. Again the staff were there to lend a helping hand for those were who not so sure on their feet. Excursions were all well organised and again there were plenty of people to ensure things ran smoothly. Embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient and took no time at all. We did not travel with children and would say that this cruise is not suitable for children. Overall our Paul Gauguin cruise was fabulous and we just loved it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Please understand the ship is nice and in good condition, but quite old. Our balcony was very small - like you could barely fit two chairs and a small table. The price of this cruise was triple any comparable cruise we've ever ... Read More
Please understand the ship is nice and in good condition, but quite old. Our balcony was very small - like you could barely fit two chairs and a small table. The price of this cruise was triple any comparable cruise we've ever sailed. If you book this cruise, you must take their pre-post package. We opted to stay longer so that we could use a timeshare week and were required to pay an extra $100 to NOT take their package. PG is not flexible. Also, we found that by not taking the pre-post package, we were treated like second-class citizens. We took one excursion and found the tours we booked while staying at our time share were far superior and half the price. If you're celebrating a special anniversary, let PG know ahead of time as they have a celebration on board. We celebrated our anniversary, but were not told about this event. Although the service and entertainment and activities were good, none were as outstanding as we've experienced with other cruises. The most positive aspect of the cruise was the food. It was always good. That said, I would never again go on this cruise again, nor could I recommend it to my friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Wanted to see French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Most people were sea sick going down to Cook Islands. Boat has too shallow draft and is too small for the large swells. Excursions could have been much better. PG does not take ... Read More
Wanted to see French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Most people were sea sick going down to Cook Islands. Boat has too shallow draft and is too small for the large swells. Excursions could have been much better. PG does not take care of safety enough on snorkel trips. Snorkel boat on another day engine would not run for more than a few minutes. Had to wait an hour for another boat. Person in charge of excursions did not want to know about us and another person who had difficulty with these masks. Cook Islands were 68F high and could not get weather forecast ever for the next day for planning on the cruise ship. Shows were pretty week and pool very small and could only really be used when anchored. I would research the best non PG excursions if you want the best and the best value excursions. Using larger boats in future. In room food service was very speedy but did not have several items listed on the breakfast menu. Did not do any of the onboard activities except one lecture that was very good. The Excursion office ladies were exceptionally helpful, not so for the director. Dining experiences good and quick. Very pleasant waiters. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Have been on PG three times. Last one, this year after a 9 year hiatus. The ship just arrived back from drydock so was all refurbished. BUT- we were highly disappointed with the quality of the food. In the past, food was gourmet quality. ... Read More
Have been on PG three times. Last one, this year after a 9 year hiatus. The ship just arrived back from drydock so was all refurbished. BUT- we were highly disappointed with the quality of the food. In the past, food was gourmet quality. This time was really low quality. We both felt the same way. Even the presentation was not very appetizing. 3 months prior, we were on a Celebrity ship at one third of the price and the food was better... Entertainment was good with the exception of two so called sopranos who made chalkboards sound better... laundry service-great. Cruise director- great at low visibility, disappointment, after previous exposure to Jim Cannon and Michael Shapiro. We now feel that this ship is a waste of money. There are other ways to see magnificent FP. Another disappointment was FP. Things have gone downhill in the past nine years. Weather change has affected the reefs, thus, lot less sea life. The economy has worsened thus, no more flower crowns on most heads, and most of the ones you see are artificial flowers...you cannot go back home... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Friends suggested this. I don't like cruises & shouldn't have gone. The only port PG docked was in Papeete. All other cruise involved waiting on launches & feeling like 2nd class citizen because priority is given to PG ... Read More
Friends suggested this. I don't like cruises & shouldn't have gone. The only port PG docked was in Papeete. All other cruise involved waiting on launches & feeling like 2nd class citizen because priority is given to PG excursions (which are costly, despite the very expensive cruise). Once on the ship, and after visiting the first port, we learned that that port & Moorea (the last port) were the only ones that the marina would allow direct use of kayaks, sailboards & paddleboards. Luckily, we could use these from the private beach (only in the afternoon, tho) & the private island. We were never able to use sailboards, tho. You need wind for them, & while we had a lot of wind, it was deemed unsafe then. I didn't feel that the entertainment was varied enough, although Claudine's act was great. Not interested in watching a bunch of people get hypnotized--that should be a private experience. Too bad they no longer have Dr Poole do a presentation. Because of the high wind & seas, the pool was often closed (all the water sloshed out), eating at The Grille felt like we were in a hurricane. Apparently, those winds are normal for that time of year, but we were assured by the PG rep that August was a "great" time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
So far we only took 5 cruises with Crystal, one Silversea , one Seabourn and two Hollend America. Not a frequent cruisers, but very selective. Paul Gauguin was the recent one we came back from. Overall, disappointed. 1. Lack of ... Read More
So far we only took 5 cruises with Crystal, one Silversea , one Seabourn and two Hollend America. Not a frequent cruisers, but very selective. Paul Gauguin was the recent one we came back from. Overall, disappointed. 1. Lack of amenities: in general, you go to hotel, you will expect pen and papers in the room, at least small tubes of lotion, shampoo and conditioner. None of above exists in the cabin. Especially pen and papers, everyday, I was looking for pen and papers to write on. Unbelievable. 2. The food service was so sub-par. Everyday, every venue served same menu for breakfast and lunch for the day. After 3:45, only snack you can get either from the afternoon tea or room service. We really missed the nice snack buffet all day long in Crystal Cove in Crystal, especially coming back from excursions. The Menu of La Veranda and Le grill both met the luxury lines dining. The food quality of L'Etoile was average. Some night, the food was cold,and the general menu was uninspired and boring. 3. Indifference attitude from the crews. The French lady at reception desk in bad attitude all the time. She was not eagerly trying to help and even gave wrong information either she was ignorant or lazy. Without luckily having technician at the reception desk in one occasion, the problem would not be fixed. The service crews in restaurants, only a few of them smiles and pleasant, most of them with long faces. Also it looked like the ship was under staff. Especially in main dining room L'Etoile, the service people rushed the service and lack of detail of fine dining. For example, sometimes the waiters took food order or served dishes against the correct protocol, ladies first. The hosts at the front, many times, did not listen to the request carefully and took us to the wrong tables. For 11 days, only one newly promoted waiter we encountered eagerly asked our names and tried to remembered them, so that he could addressed us when he served or saw us again. From these details, we could see the service was not really going through straight professional training as other luxury lines. 4. Appearance of the ship is getting old. All other cruise ships we sampled, except one Holland America old ship, there were no stain in the sofa, no peeling varnish. However, in Paul Gauguin, there was stain in the sofa, peeling varnish on the railing and peeling gout line in the bathroom etc. Might be it is time for Paul Gauguin to be refurbished. In conclusion, the price we paid was for premium itinerary. We really hope other luxury lines will offer the itineraries as Paul Gauguin when we plan to use cruises for French Polynesia in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise line because we wanted to see as many of the islands as possible in the short amount of time we were able to leave home. We planned to choose our favorites and return another time when we can really go more into depth. ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because we wanted to see as many of the islands as possible in the short amount of time we were able to leave home. We planned to choose our favorites and return another time when we can really go more into depth. This cruise was perfect. We used their services for all our travel arrangements and were glad we did. The flight from LAX to Papeete was delayed over an hour, and we only had a two hour window from plane to ship anyway. We would have been really worried about making it had we made our own arrangements. Turned out a good 50 cruisers were on that plane! Embarkation was seamless. Clear signage and lei welcome at the airport, a comfortable bus to the ship (maybe 10-15 min ride), easy passport/docs review and right away our butler appeared to escort us to our suite (816). Shernan was incredible, start to finish, and we are so glad to have had his help. He asked us how much of his involvement we would like and gently recommended we allow him to handle things for us. He asked us a few questions about our dining habits, meal preferences, times, activity level, previous Polynesian visits, etc and we told him to take over! He handled our excursion selections, made dinner reservations, delivered our coffee every morning, hors d'oeuvres in the evening and everything in between. He really knew his business. Loved the fitness room and the spa. All the equipment was very new and thoughtfully organized. Yoga mats, yoga ball, foam rollers there too, and the space was kept spotlessly clean. The spa was great! Knowledgeable staff and be sure to check out the free hammam. You don't need to purchase a treatment to use the hammam and it's open same hours as the spa. A hidden gem! I used it several times and never once saw another person. It's huge and could easily seat 15+. Dining was impeccable. I have no idea what these folks with the negative reviews are talking about! The food was always hot, always delicious, the displays were beautifully arranged and without fail, the best staff we've encountered. They were always smiling and genuinely seemed happy to be there, any time of day or evening. Same with all the staff throughout the ship. Every staff interaction resulted in a positive experience, and most often they exceeded our expectations! Walk to the bar for a drink expecting to wait, but no, they'll happily bring it over! Missed lunch? They'll recreate your request and deliver it to you poolside, or to your suite.. the list goes on and on. While we missed much of the evening entertainment offerings, we did make it to the final one where they had a local Polynesian dance troupe aboard and the show was thrilling. Interactive, with various guests being asked to the stage, etc., and honestly, just hilarious. We were SO glad we made it. Apparently the staff talent show is something to see as well.. many guests were talking about it the next day. We had lots of questions for the excursions staff and all were met with smiles and thorough explanations. We booked one at nearly every port and were quite surprised to find their prices were very close to what we could find on shore ourselves! Normally we get off the ship and do our own thing, but after the first couple days we got on the excursion train and didn't regret it. Some of our ports of call were very small, and the provider was booked by the ship anyway! All of our excursions were handled professionally and we had a fantastic time. Do not miss the marina! It was so easy to walk down and spend an hour or two kayaking in the beautiful bays before or after an excursion. No, you can't swim there because it's unsafe. Makes perfect sense. The ship itself is understated, beautiful and maintained to the highest standard. Yes, it is 20+ years old, but so what? The ship was very clean and I never once smelled anything like mildew described by others, and I'm quite sensitive. Most everything was new and clean, like the comfy cushions on deck and the couch / pillows etc in our suite. The wood was lacquered and shone brilliantly, everything worked perfectly including the AC. Zero maintenance issues. Easy on / off the ship. Careful tender staff. We looked at other cruises like Regent Seven Seas and others and this price was several thousand dollars lower than their comparable offerings. If you cruise simply to see a ship, and want to be on something brand new, then maybe the sight of the old standard men's shaver connection in the bathroom isn't for you and you belong on a different line. If you want to sail on a gorgeous ship with thoughtful, caring staff to all the little islands you won't see on the other ships, then this is the place for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This is the third time we cruise with Paul Gauguin and we were so glad that we picked the right cruise to the S. Pacific islands. We cruised from Fiji to Tahiti and each island was so lush vegetation and beautiful The food was good and we ... Read More
This is the third time we cruise with Paul Gauguin and we were so glad that we picked the right cruise to the S. Pacific islands. We cruised from Fiji to Tahiti and each island was so lush vegetation and beautiful The food was good and we were so impressed by the restaurant staffs with majority of them were Filipinos from the Maîtres' D to the busboys and all of them gave us excellent service. We've been cruising a lot and we have to say that this is the best restaurant staffs we ever experienced in the past 25 yrs. of our cruises. Our cabin maid was also a Filipino and she was courteous and v. responsible too. The Excursion head was also excellent, he was from a European country which we forgot where was the place and he has a lot of patience to answer many of our questions regarding booking of the excursions. We took a v. special excursion in Bora Bora, the Aquatic Walk under 12 feet in the water to see the tropical fish, corals and sting ray. My wife and I are non-swimmers and yet we had a ball going down in the ocean to see so many terrific fish. One draw back of this cruise was they have the show kind of late at night, it starts at 9:30 p.m., with a full day visiting the islands and by the time we finished dinner was already time to go to bed. We only saw two show, the first one was performed by the Tahitian dancers on ship and they were very good..........then the second time was the last night when we arrived in Papeete, Tahiti and they invited a top professional Tahitian Dance Group to perform and they were really great. We really enjoyed visiting Aitutaki, Cook Islands, this is a small island but all the houses have a nice mowed lawn, the guide told us that it is mandatory by the gov. that each house must mow their lawn or else they will have to pay a fine. The island itself has beautiful Blue Lagoons and tons of coconut trees, mango, banana, noni fruit trees in the whole island. During the cruise they have 2 great speakers who conducted a few lecturers, first one was Jean Michel Cousteau who is a v. famous lecturer, environmentalist, educator marine & flim producer. The second lecturer was Steven Hooper, a specialist in the arts of the Pacific region and North America. He gave great lectures of the culture, history and the customs of the Polynesians. On the whole we would highly recommended this cruise to everyone who are nuts about the S. Pacific islands. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose Paul Gauguin for their longstanding presence in French Polynesia and we were not disappointed. While not a true luxury cruise experience, Paul Gauguin's warm ambiance and friendly crew were wonderufl for this itinerary. ... Read More
We chose Paul Gauguin for their longstanding presence in French Polynesia and we were not disappointed. While not a true luxury cruise experience, Paul Gauguin's warm ambiance and friendly crew were wonderufl for this itinerary. Embarkation was the fastest and most efficient of any cruise line we've been on. We had a butler verandah cabin on Deck 8, a very convenient location to the (albeit tiny) pool, grill restaurant and 2 bars. Tub/shower was old and narrow, and verandah was tiny but serviceable. Our cabin was kept very clean, and our butler was OK but we mostly didn't use his services. Food at the main restaurant L'Etoile was mostly superb, and we asked to be seated at a group table several nights to met other cruisers. Specialty restaurant Verandah (reservations needed) was superb, especially their sashimi and foie gras appetizer and rack of lamb. Entertainment was a bit amateur, but we especially loved the Tahitian dancers and crew night because they were spirited and fun. Excursions were expensive and limited, so that was somewhat of a downside. Recommend pre-booking excursions because some sold out early. Fellow cruisers ranged from honeymooners to baby boomer couples and large multi generational families, but the "obnoxious kid factor" was never an issue at all. In fact we found our fellow cruisers to be a fun loving and diverse group. We booked directly through Paul Gauguin (don't use travel agents) and found their staff to be a bit rude and distracted when it came to booking air and pre stay arrangements, but it was all OK in the end. Expect warm temperatures in the public rooms; we wore short sleeves every night for that reason. We had a great MIT oceanographer on board for enrichment lectures. All in all we loved PG and plan to go back for another itinerary over the next few years. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
After a LONG flight to Fiji (over 24 hours total), and losing a full day, we made it to Lautoka and our hotel room for the day prior to boarding. Fiji Airlines was super comfortable in economy, there was plenty of free entertainment, and ... Read More
After a LONG flight to Fiji (over 24 hours total), and losing a full day, we made it to Lautoka and our hotel room for the day prior to boarding. Fiji Airlines was super comfortable in economy, there was plenty of free entertainment, and the food was decent. The Sofitel was beautiful and relaxing after our long flight. The pool was very welcome! Since we had booked our included air through PGC, all our transfers were included. One headache we didn't have to deal with! Boarding the ship was easy as pie. With only 325 guests, there's NEVER a line. We were shown to our cabin, 432, and proceeded to settle in. Our bags made it BEFORE we did!!! Time to unpack and prepare for Muster. The Gauguin had just come out of dry dock and she looked spic and span! New flooring/deck around pool on 8, new furniture and lounge chairs too! Gorgeous! La Palette had new barrel chairs, but the head of Hotels mentioned they are too large and will be replaced. I found them to be super comfortable, but YES, they are LARGE! We were on a "once every 2 years" itinerary...Fiji to Tahiti, with crossing the international date line! I ticked that off my list! The ports were great. Only complaint? Fiji and Tahiti are very Christian and there is little to do on a Sunday. We booked a tour, so it wasn't a problem though. The weather tried to cooperate, but we had some sea days with rain and some light rain in ports. We started in Lautoka, Fiji; then Suva, Fiji; and Savusavu, Fiji. Then a sea day on our way to Vava'u, Tonga. I absolutely LOVED Tonga! The Ene'io Tongan Feast was delicious and the entertainment was beautiful. After Tonga we had 2 days at sea while we crossed the Int'l Dateline. The weather got rainy by the second day at sea and worse by the time we reached Aitutaki, Cook Islands. It was so bad, the Captain decided to cut our stay short and just head to Bora Bora so we could catch some of the Heiva Festival. We kept busy during the raining sea days building boats for a pool boat race, eating, drinking, hearing a guest pianist, watching the Gaugins/Gauguines perform, Que Bola magic shows, and hearing great talks from Mr. Cousteau and motivational speaker, Tom O'Neil. What fun! I took 3rd place in the race. There were about 20 boats :) We arrived in Bora Bora around 10 pm and were able to tender in to see the Heiva dancers and check out the festival. We would overnight here. Our shore excursion for Bora Bora was the Underwater Walk. I had done this 2 years ago and it didn't disappoint!!! After the Underwater Walk, we headed back to the ship and got our things so we could go to Gauguin's private, secluded beach in Bora Bora. We took the tender to the motu/beach and had our first wet landing. What fun!!! No chairs, no bathrooms; just beautiful stretches of white sand, sun, and snorkeling! They provided soft drinks, water, chips, peanuts, and beer. After a couple hours it was time to head back to the ship for lunch, followed by another tender into town for some shopping. The next day we were at PG's private motu; Motu Mohana. Another wet landing, but with far more amenities! Lounge chairs, bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, full bar, swim up bar, snorkeling, kayaks, great swimming, and the best bbq EVER! It was a full day of sun and fun! I found the snorkeling to be better than the tours we had paid for! I saw an eel, an octopus, sea cucumbers galore, sea urchins, tons of fish, beautiful coral, and clams. Do not miss this Motu. It's included in EVERY cruise they do. Our next stop was to Moorea. There is so much to see and do on this island. We took a catamaran tour of the bay, followed by snorkeling. It was a great time! On to Papeete for our last night. Time to pack our bags and have our last big dinner. :( Since our flight out was so late, we took the free Papeete tour before arriving at our hotel with included day room at the Tahiti Pearl. We didn't have to be out of our cabin until 9:30, which was nice. Our disembarkation was set for 12:20. Plenty to do, as all the bars, restaurants were open for us. Since all meals, drinks, etc. are included in the cruise fare, the ship still serves you until you actually leave. Not like other lines where you have to beg for a bottle of water or food. After disembarking and taking our tour, we were delivered to the Tahiti Pearl until 7pm. Our room was delightful and had a HUGE lanai with a fabulous view of the bay. It was nice to be able to swim, eat a little something, and have a shower, etc. before our LONG flight home. The bus took us to the airport around 9pm for our midnight flight on Air Tahiti Nui. About Air Tahiti Nui: I think we got the OLDEST PLANE IN THEIR FLEET! Ugh! The seats were about 16 inches wide at the MOST. The entertainment was sub par, to say the least. Movies just played...the magazine was inaccurate, so I had no idea what was playing on each channel, and if you had to get up to let someone out of the row, you couldn't pause your show. No USB for charging phones, etc. Really bare bones. The service was fine, and the food was great, but it didn't matter when we were all uncomfortable! I feel it's a disservice to this Luxury Cruise Line to put their passengers on these planes. It leaves a bad taste in one's mouth after two weeks of pampering and top notch service. Air Tahiti Nui probably has better equipment, but I wasn't on that plane. Paul Gauguin needs to reassess their airline choice if they want high marks. That being said, I would sail with them again. In fact, I sailed with them in 2015 and will sail in 2018 and 2019 with my husband. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Picked the ship up at Papapette ,which is a bit of a dump. However stayed in a really nice resort, ships recommendation, hung around there for three days which was nice and boarded the ship. Found the ship a bit old and dated and in ... Read More
Picked the ship up at Papapette ,which is a bit of a dump. However stayed in a really nice resort, ships recommendation, hung around there for three days which was nice and boarded the ship. Found the ship a bit old and dated and in need of a full revamp. But no kids which is great. We picked this ship for the supposedly magnificent french cooking. The food was good but not brilliant. Had about three really good meals the rest was fine but not brilliant, only in the "have to book" restaurant the other restaurant was OK but not brilliant French food. Entertainment was limited to a piano player and a group of local Tahitians dancers. not much happening on sea days a couple of good shows on the show room with the guest singer and the magician . The service was fantastic they really went out of there way for you and service was 5 star. A couple of the ports like Bora Bora were good for snorkeling ,but the other island in Tonga and Fiji were not that good and should have stayed on the ship. We would not do the Paul Guigan again Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The Ship: I give a 10/10 to the ship. I have realized that small-ship cruising is the ultimate. You get know most of your travel companions in a few days and then you are just one big happy family partying 24/7. I would recommend the ... Read More
The Ship: I give a 10/10 to the ship. I have realized that small-ship cruising is the ultimate. You get know most of your travel companions in a few days and then you are just one big happy family partying 24/7. I would recommend the owners to provide some shade on one side of the pool and outside La Palette. Dining: I give a 10/10. All three restaurants served up delightful meals. Hats-off to you Executive Chef Stephane Palluaud. Each and every meal was spectacular. Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, your recipes were reproduced flawlessly. I will definitely visit Apicius on my next visit to Paris. Imagine having a 2-star Michelin meal on board a cruise ship!!! Luis Alvarez, thank you for giving us a chance to taste the various menus. Entertainment: I give a 6/10. The four acts: Steve Wood, Angie Lang, Gustavo Vierini and the Polynesian song and dance troupe were wonderful. However, I feel that there should be at least 2 more acts for a 13/14 day cruise. Service: I give a 10/10. The crew were all-smiles all the time. They all seemed to be very happy. I would like to thank Glen at Le Grill for always remembering my daily morning ice-cap!!! Ports: I give a 10/10. The itinerary was well designed and the ship docked at exotic locations. I am just a bit confused why the ship docked at Suva. It did not match the rest of the ports. Was it a technical halt? Excursions: I give a 10/10. We were very well looked after on every excursion. Most of the excursions were water-based activities like snorkelling, jet skiing etc. The waters are so clear and aquamarine. It was amazing. I advise people not to opt for the Firewalking Show at Beqa. It is a bit of a sham. There is no fire and there is no walking. Instead there is a bit of a tippy-toe over some hot stones. Believe me, I have seen the real thing. Instead, just go to the beach. There is a beautiful resort out there with a fresh spring water pool which they let you use free of charge. Another note: please be aware that safety standards are not so high in that region. Before you go on a water-based excursion, make sure that the boat's ladder is down so that you can re-enter the boat quickly, if required. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We went on this cruise because of the "sea less traveled". It was an adult only charter cruise. The staff was over the top polite and genuinely nice. The cabin, 817, was close to the pool/bar and restaurant. I would book this ... Read More
We went on this cruise because of the "sea less traveled". It was an adult only charter cruise. The staff was over the top polite and genuinely nice. The cabin, 817, was close to the pool/bar and restaurant. I would book this room again. Just be ready in the morning for the joggers to start stomping like elephants at 8:30 am above your room. After all, you do have to get up for breakfast. The shore excursions were the absolute best we have gone on. People that go on the the cruise and expect a giant mall in each port should not go. This is for adventure and seeing something new that you can check off your bucket list. We hiked to a waterfall after a rugged 4-wheel drive ride. Not for the feint of heart or handicapped. I made it with the help of our guide. We swam with lemon sharks, reef sharks and rays. We say the ship's namesake's grave and learned during lectures about his life. The on board archeologist who accompanied us on excursions gave us lectures and information we would have never known about. I would suggest doing only one excursion picnic on the beach and it would be the one in Bora Bora. Authentically cooked in the ground instead of brought in from a kitchen. That's just me. I found the on board activities fun and hard to choose from because they scheduled multiple events at the same time. I am not much of a meat eater, so I can't say much about the food. The people I ate with seemed puzzled at the weird combinations in the special restaurants. Pate on a slab of tuna tartar? Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
From the moment we checked in for the cruise, on floor 5, I was terribly disappointed. The entire ship smelled musty and moldy. The bathroom not he 5th floor, right were everyone must congregate for room assignments, was the smelliest on ... Read More
From the moment we checked in for the cruise, on floor 5, I was terribly disappointed. The entire ship smelled musty and moldy. The bathroom not he 5th floor, right were everyone must congregate for room assignments, was the smelliest on board. Wouldn't you think the cruise line would keep that spotless? It only got worse from there. The ship was certainly nothing special and not new. I was bored after only a cople of days. We have been on numerous high end cruises. On the Seabourne an Tauck cruises, never did we have rude staff. It appeared that staff were much nicer/friendlier/more animated with their own language-speaking travelers than Americans. The first two stops were disgusting in terms of food. We did not even eat because there were flies all over every piece of food at both buffets. i complained and a staff member said "so that's Tahiti"'. They need training. The food in all restaurants was not what we expected. The cruise line touts their "fabulous French food". it was more like diner food. I had pumpkin soup with so much gelatin that u could scoop it off the top. There's a restaurant for which you need reservations called "Le Griille". We were seated by a disinterested waiter and handed a dinner menu without even asking if we wanted drinks..and the waiter disappeared. Regarding the day trips. the only excursion i would recommend is the wave runners. That was so fun and outside contractor ran it, not the ship. There were 5 of us going around the island (think it was Bora Bora), . loads of zig zags and beautiful screnery. The lead guy stopped at one point and in shallow water made coconut slices and fresh pineapple. Another excursion we paid for was the bbq on the beach. It was awful. They took us by boat to what i would describe as a picnic grove in central NJ. i intended to snorkel but the guide warned us to be very careful of the strong currents, which ruined it for me. Out of 15 people i saw 2 in the water and they were not snorkeling. So once we got to this picnic table grove at 11 am, the bar didn't open for 1 1/2 hours (people were ticked off) while the locals prepared an awful lunch. lettuce, a few tomatos sliced, cervice, rice and indistuingidhable meat. . could not wait to leave. We also did the glass bottom boat tour which i thought would b corny but turned out to be interesting. The driver (also not associated with the Gauguin line) went under the boat and fed the fish so we could see them. beautiful colors. There was some cheesy entertainment, except for the last night when they had a group called "O Tahiti". They were very good. And our Gauguin "girl" Hei Hei (real name Urahei), couldnt have been nicer. A very sweet,smart young lady. I know the "girls" are assigned to guests and must sit and talk with them, but she was really fun and we enjoyed our conversations with her. urahei. hei hei As you see, I was disappointed. Expected better for the price and description. Wish we had returned to Seabourne Read Less
Sail Date March 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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