312 Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruise Reviews

This was our second sail on the PG....our first being only a 7 night cruise almost five years prior. We booked the 10 day itinerary because my husband wanted to dive Rangiiroa and Fakarava. Had friends sail with us and we were in ... Read More
This was our second sail on the PG....our first being only a 7 night cruise almost five years prior. We booked the 10 day itinerary because my husband wanted to dive Rangiiroa and Fakarava. Had friends sail with us and we were in Category B on Deck 8....staterooms 815 and 816. The service from butler, cabin steward, bartenders, marina personnel was impeccable. You only had to ask once for something and it appeared. Shernan was our butler.....we had him five years ago so was nice to see he was still there. HOWEVER......we encountered some serious mechanical mishaps on this voyage. Sailing out of Bora Bora, the Captain turned the ship around because we were having mechanical issues. We sat there for 4 days while they flew a technician in from France to work on the ship. Therefore, we missed the two islands we booked the cruise to do. Missed two islands and a day at sea. Yes, we were in Bora Bora (as the captain reminded us....it would have been much worse had we been at sea). It took the technician 2 1/2 days to get to us. We finally set sail for Taha'a on Tuesday. While we were on the motu, one of the life boats actually broke from its lines and fell off the ship damaging Deck 5. Thank God everyone was off the ship....had someone been under it when it fell they would have been killed. At this point, we had to wait to see if we could sail because of lack of life boat for everyone. Finally was granted permission.....if we went slowly to Moorea. We did and therefore missed next morning shore excursions and dives in Moorea. There was a total lack of communication from the captain....and even more disturbing a total lack of caring. We went two days in Bora Bora without even hearing him make an update announcement. We were given a 30 percent refund on what we paid for the cruise and a future cruise credit of $1000. However, this trip was to celebrate our 40th anniversary....we hand picked this itinerary so NO that is not enough to compensate for our loss. The islands we did visit were wonderful and we met some wonderful people. All the passengers were asking the same question "Why did someone have to come all the way from France to fix the issues" and "how in hades did a life boat just fall into the ocean from the upper deck" (they were attempting to tow it to Raitea but it was upside down in the water and my husband said it would never make it.....we believe they eventually let it sink.) I love the cruise ship.....I love the staff.....and it is the only luxury liner doing French Polynesia that we would consider. But, she is not scheduled for dry dock until May and that is way too far away. Would not sail her again until she is over hauled. Certainly would not have wanted to be boarding the day we got off....engine was vibrating like crazy just sitting in Papeete. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Price point for service/experience provided does not match. Destination (Polynesia) outstanding. Ship experience did not measure up, not a luxury experience. PG had better hope it does not get much competition in this location. ... Read More
Price point for service/experience provided does not match. Destination (Polynesia) outstanding. Ship experience did not measure up, not a luxury experience. PG had better hope it does not get much competition in this location. Itinerary included a trip to the Marquesas - the entire trip was focused on filming an advertising promotion. No excursions one day for the passengers, due to 'rough seas' - however excursion filming proceeded for the advertising crew and 'models.' Talk about a disconnect. No real suggestions for excursions outside the ship's arranged excursions - not a way to promote customer goodwill. Especially at a so-called luxury cruise line. We found - on our own - much better priced local excursions although would have been better for the cruise line to make simple suggestions. This means having to research locations / excursions on your own in advance of the cruise. Again, outside of destination I would not recommend PG. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had an amazing trip and the cruise was everything we wanted and more. The food was great and the service impeccable. We had a room at the back of the ship with a nice balcony. We ate room service breakfast on our balcony and just took ... Read More
We had an amazing trip and the cruise was everything we wanted and more. The food was great and the service impeccable. We had a room at the back of the ship with a nice balcony. We ate room service breakfast on our balcony and just took in the views. The excursions were all well organized and we participated in most on ship activities. We loved that a few of the restaurants on the ship had outdoor seating. The day on the private Motu was one our favorites. It included a barbecue and water activities. There wasn't a need to have separate excursions this day. We suggest you do have activities on the islands to experience the culture and enjoy the differences between each port. We stayed 2 extra nights in Tahiti in a bungalow but one night would have been enough given the red eye flight. We were there almost 3 full days and we really needed 2. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I would like to share a very negative experience I had with Paul Gauguin a few months ago in the hopes that if you are considering vacationing with them you are well informed about their booking tricks. Paul Gauguin marketed the cruise my ... Read More
I would like to share a very negative experience I had with Paul Gauguin a few months ago in the hopes that if you are considering vacationing with them you are well informed about their booking tricks. Paul Gauguin marketed the cruise my wife and I spent our 25th anniversary on as a 7 day - 7 night cruise to the Society Islands. We purchased their Air and Cruise package. This was our first mistake. If you purchase their Air with the Cruise they will make every effort to fly you in on the last available flight and you will not get on the ship until midnight or later. They mislead you into believing you will arrive by 10pm but Customs and Baggage claim at the Papeete airport are long and crowded with all the late flights arriving at the same time. You have no choice when you use their air package. Even if things go smoothly you will not arrive on the ship until after midnight so the cruise is really a 6 day – 6 night cruise. They purposely do this to minimize their cost because passengers who embark at 3pm (which is when they claim you can board but make it impossible to do so) start drinking and eating and using their services. They tactically avoid this if you buy their air package with the cruise. The only ones on the ship at 3pm are those that book their own airfare and arrive the day before. Additionally, services on Day 1 (or really Day 2) are awful. They are so busy pulling up lines and heading out to sea that you will not be able to find someone to get a beverage or snack. Also, the pool is drained. My room service phone didn’t even work so we went straight to bed very frustrated. My wife and I saved for this very expensive 25th anniversary trip and it was a huge disappointment. The service throughout the week was good at times but also lacking in customer service. Not sure how they got the Travel Awards but clearly they have a long way to go in customer service. I did reach out to Sandy Stevens, VP Sales and Guest Relations but this was after the trip and she already had our money so she was not interested in a resolution. Again, when you are paying the extremely high prices they demand and they say it is a 7 day – 7 night cruise you expect them to honor that which they don’t if you use their airfare. Sandy argued that it’s similar to a hotel if you arrive after midnight and you still count the day before. Clearly she missed the point because with a hotel you choose to arrive when you do so if you choose to arrive after midnight you pay for the room. What Sandy doesn’t understand and missed is Paul Gauguin does not let you choose when to arrive. They choose for you and their choice is to force you to stay off the ship as long as possible. If you decide to cruise with Paul Gauguin then prepare yourself for a big let-down which is how you will feel after spending a life savings to be treated poorly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I will start with this was the worst vacation i ever went on.From the time we got onto boat.First we went up to lunch,what a joke,my buffet in florida blew away 95% food served on this boat.very sad with the money we spent.Lets start with ... Read More
I will start with this was the worst vacation i ever went on.From the time we got onto boat.First we went up to lunch,what a joke,my buffet in florida blew away 95% food served on this boat.very sad with the money we spent.Lets start with a outdated ship,the food rating from 1-10 was 3.For the money we spent,the most ever spent and was to be a trip of a live time.Not even close.upper deck chairs were the worst.Entertainment was a joke.They dont tell you about the Marquesas that their are NO swimmable beaches in the Marquesas islands.Front desk said we should of known that when booking trip.That is total BS.Over 14,000.00 spent and you charge for wifi.How can you have 4-8 drinks and not even get a buzz,we drank so called kettle one.10 days on boat before we got back to Bora Bora to go swimming.on 13 day of cruise we went to a hotel in Moorea and had best lunch/food in 13 days.We should have that on ship breakfest/lunch/dinner.I spoke with VP Sandy Stevens she did not care about our complaints and said that she will do nothing for us and social media does not matter do what you have to.So i will.She needs to go onto the viking star and see how a ship needs to be run,and what real food looks like.We will never cruise Paul Gauguin.I hope this save some people from making the same 14,000.00 mistake we did. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Fabulous experience. Took a one week cruise from Tahiti to Tahiti through the Society Islands and loved every minute of it. Love that the cost is all inclusive so drinks, either alcoholic or soft drinks are included. Great crew. Wait staff ... Read More
Fabulous experience. Took a one week cruise from Tahiti to Tahiti through the Society Islands and loved every minute of it. Love that the cost is all inclusive so drinks, either alcoholic or soft drinks are included. Great crew. Wait staff is primarily from the Philippines and the captain, first mate, etc from Croatia. Could not have better service. Excellent cuisine. We particularly enjoyed the main dining room but also enjoyed the restaurant on the lido deck. My daughter fell ill one day and the medical staff were equally terrific. The cabins are about what you expect. Nicely appointed, small, nice amenities. The lectures were excellent. We didn't partake of the evening entertainment which is typical "cruise ship" fare. Instead, after dinner we headed to the back deck for cocktails, conversation and dancing. This is a perfect cruise for honeymooners or babymooners btw. As to our stops, we loved them all but Bora Bora and Moorea were over the top wonderful. Don't miss the mutu on Bora Bora. We ventured out there the first morning of our 2 day stay and, hardly any other passengers were there. We felt as if we were on our own private island. I don't know if it is because we spend the day on the motu at Tahaha the day before or the fact that there were no facilities on Bora Bora but, we considered ourselves blessed. Also included in your fare is unlimited use of the water toys - kayaks, paddle boards and snorkel gear. We're not much for taking organized excursions so we rented our own car on Bora Bora and explored the island. They have an electric car that's quite cool. It's one seat wide with the other seat behind it and half the price of a regular vehicle. Friends of ours rented that which we didn't discover until we returned our "regular" car. If I had known, I would have gone for the electric. Do take time to spend pre or post cruise in Tahiti. We spent our last night in an over the water bungaloo at Le Meridian and it was just fantastic. Overall: I have always wanted to go to French Polynesia/Tahiti and all I can say is that it is even better than you think it might be. It's only 3 hours further than Hawaii and is way less crowded, the people are wonderful and the French influence is everywhere but primarily in great cuisine. Next time you're thinking of headed to Hawaii, think about Tahiti. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We picked this cruise line and itinerary because we needed to go during the summer, and wanted to go to the south pacific (only 2 cruise lines do this in the summer). Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Also, we brought along our ... Read More
We picked this cruise line and itinerary because we needed to go during the summer, and wanted to go to the south pacific (only 2 cruise lines do this in the summer). Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Also, we brought along our 13-yr old daughter for an adventure of a lifetime. Flight Is included from Los Angeles to Tahiti in cruise fare. Air Tahiti Nui, 2x5x2 configuration. Comfortable, with modern in-seat entertainment system, better than major domestic carriers (UA, AA). Food was excellent or terrible… hit and miss. Free drinks including mini-champagne bottles. Tahiti airport is tiny! One baggage claim, etc. Hotel We elected to spend a couple nights before cruise in Tahiti at the Intercontinental, did the package deal. Transfer from airport to hotel was uneventful, agent waiting for us to take us to the bus (air conditioned). Check in uneventful, but recommendation: ask about your view! It was 10pm local time when we checked in for a lagoon-view room, so we could not see our view. We were disappointed in the morning to see that our primary view was of the buildings and parking, not really the lagoon. I felt like we got a “left over” room... :( (I attached photo). I could have complained then, but we only had that day to spend at the hotel, so it was not worth my time to go complain. Any of the pool/lagoon view rooms would be fine. Nice pool, makes you feel like you are really on vacation. Lagoonarium wowed us until we went snorkeling around the islands. Sat am we had to check out at 11am, but couldn’t go to ship until 3pm…so dead time, I guess we could have swam, or taken a taxi to the market and back in time for lunch (which is included)… but would have been nice if they coordinated timing and offered “market with lunch” shuttles, etc that we figured out AFTER 1pm. Hotel staff did not volunteer this info to us, we learned from other guests. Overall, nice, but expensive way to adjust to the local time zone. Cruise Embarkation - Bus picked us up from hotel just in time to check in at ship. They have this coordinated very well! Waited in AC bus til the tent line diminished, and then breezed through to ship, to elevator, to theater lounge, where we were checked in, photographed, and given id cards in less than 10 minutes. Total time from hotel to our ship room, about 45 minutes! We were escorted to our room immediately, shown around. Our luggage was waiting in our room. Nice so that we can unpack immediately. Then went to make dinner reservations, and were checking out the ship by 4pm. Disembarkation – we have to put our luggage out the night before (like most cruises), and leave our carryons with us. We did have time after we got off the ship to id our luggage, and put some toiletries into our bags before they were taken to the airport for us. Very smooth process. Bus was waiting for us for the airport. We realized that the majority of people on the flight from LA to Papeete were doing the same exact itinerary as us, so you will get to know those folks! And we were able to say our good byes on the 8 hour flight returning from Tahiti to LAX. Meals/drinks Drinks are included in the cruise price. Drinks of the day, daily, yum! The staff started remembering our favorites by day 2 – wow! I couldn’t even remember their names! Breakfast – room service (early to ontime every time), restaurants – mixed buffet/service. Nice variety. Eggs benedict to toast and jam. Lunch (after our morning snorkel excursions) – we ate in the French (but not French food at lunch) and Tahitian restaurants (but not Tahitian food at lunch). Buffet/service combo. Salads, to fresh pasta, to burgers/pizza, to local specialties like tuna cru. Dinner – 3 dining choices, 2 of which need reservations. Main dining room was just as good as the others. Food was presented very attractively, very French style. Very attentive service from staff. I mentioned casually of my lactose intolerance the first night at dinner. Next thing I know, specially assigned staff provided me the next night’s menu (regardless of where I planned to dine, they KNEW somehow!), and I would select menu items that the chef would ensure were prepared without dairy for me. That’s service! Without reservations, we never had to wait for a table, we typically went between 6:30-7:30pm to dinner. Summer dresses, nice slacks/tops, would be fine for all 3 venues. Bring a pareo/scarf/etc for multitasking in chilly rooms/lounges. Men – my hubby wore “Hawaiian” shirts (any buttoned shirt) and slacks (dockers) every day, and was fine. Entertainment We attended the evening show after dinner most evenings. Note they start late: 9:30pm, and we were up and out of our room most mornings by 7:30am to do snorkeling, so long days! Some activities throughout the day, most without huge turnouts, sometimes just a couple of people. Minimal activities, if any between 4:30 and 6pm. Happy hour? Again, drinks free, and freeflowing. Kids/Cousteau program – no activities geared just for kids outside of the Cousteau program. We originally were thinking of having our 13-yr-old daughter do this, but when we went to register on day2, we saw that the average age/gender of kids was 10 and boys, even though target was 9-17. Most of the activities overlapped with excursions, so we skipped the program. Excursions We did not reserve any before the start of the cruise. Most times we were fine signing up 2 days in advance. Day before had limited choices as excursions for the next day were filling up. We did get lucky and reserve (in the am) a same-day (afternoon) excursion once. Most days we went snorkeling. Tahaa, private motu had plenty of self-guided snorkeling, so just did that. Stingray/shark encounter was fabulous and even doable for non-swimmers in 3-4 feet of water. Dolphin/whale watching was amazing, even saw tiger sharks, sea turtles, and advanced surfers. Service Excellent – friendly, willing to help. Wow! I could get used to this lifestyle! By the way, we did the laundry package for $60 pp. Package said that it would be next day service, but if we submitted by 9am, we always got back same day by about 4pm. If I had known this, I would have brought only 3 dresses, and 2 swimsuits (I brought 5 dresses and 3 swimsuits for 12 days). Ship I had read some reviews that claimed the ship was in poor shape, I did not experience this. I have been on Princess and Celebrity ships that were just 2 years old, and in the same shape as this ship. This ship looked like it was well maintained. Our room was very well maintained. My understanding is that the ship is scheduled for dry dock remodel next year – please check. Cabin We had room 738, middle of the ship, category C. Not more than 1 min walk to either elevator. And just below “deck chairs?” – 6am most mornings…but next door neighbor did not hear them. Room itself was very nice, rich wood interior, LOTS of storage space. Our suitcases fit under the bed. We each had a small closet, plenty of drawers, shelving to put everything in its place for 3 of us. Bathroom also had plenty of storage, I was pleasantly surprised. Only one outlet in the bathroom though, for shavers only. We had queen bed set up, with the armchair converted into a pullout single bed. Cozy, but doable for 3 of us. Overall Was it worth the PG price? Yyyyeeeessss, for a once in a lifetime adventure to be treated luxuriously, spoiled, and snorkel daily. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Worst trip ever.Let me start with the staff was 100%.We saved for two years14,0000.00 plus travel, and expected the best food and beaches every day.They dont tell you that their are no swimable beaches in Marquesas islands.We left with ... Read More
Worst trip ever.Let me start with the staff was 100%.We saved for two years14,0000.00 plus travel, and expected the best food and beaches every day.They dont tell you that their are no swimable beaches in Marquesas islands.We left with 40-50 mph winds.People were sick for days,they should have stayed in Bora Bora area,we got to Marquesas and canceled all trips.We did not go swimming on beach until the 10 day of trip.The back of ship opened 2 times.The ship is out dated,food was disgusting,fly all over food on upper deck,drinks are watered down,tenders were very unsafe getting on and off.We went on the 13 day to intercontental hotel in Moorea and had the best food of the whole trip,very disapointing .We will never cruise Paul Gauguin again.Spoke with VP Sandy Stevens and she offered nothing to us and told us social media does not matter.I will posting pictures of our trip on youtube and outher pictures.GOOD VP Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I have always wanted to visit the Marquesas, and as I was in Papeete for a book signing of the French edition of "Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator," it seemed an ideal time to fulfill that ambition ... and Paul ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit the Marquesas, and as I was in Papeete for a book signing of the French edition of "Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator," it seemed an ideal time to fulfill that ambition ... and Paul Gauguin was offering a good deal. The ship is small. I believe it holds something over 300 passengers, and was not full during this cruise. Everything is immaculate, from the brilliant white paint outside, to the meticulously cleaned public spaces. The crew is disproportionately large, so there are times when two or even three waiters vied to carry my tray or top up my glass of red wine. As is so common with cruise ships these days, the wait staff and cabin stewards are Filipino. Absolutely charming people, so friendly, efficient, and eager to please. I was surprised that there were so few Tahitians in the crew. Two beautiful girls on the travel desk, charming and helpful girls at reception, and a small entertainment troupe. The other surprise was a separation of the sexes -- the cabin stewards were all female, and the wait and bar staff were all men. This was a discovery cruise, and so the star was the shipboard archaeologist, Mark Eddowes. Fluent in French, Marquesan and Tahitian as well as his native English, he was a superb communicator. Well attended lectures on Polynesian culture and history were followed by tours on shore. Thus we plowed our way through stunning scenery along bush tracks and up rubbled slopes to find dramatic ruins of marae, dance platforms, and temples, all eloquently explained. This was not a trip for anyone who has trouble getting around, unless one is happy to stay on board and contemplate the stunning landforms from the sea. The islands are "steep-to," meaning that the cliffs plunge straight into the ocean, and surf and swells have to be negotiated to get on shore. The tender crews were outstanding, but getting on and off a plunging lighter was a literal leap of faith. It was tremendous fun, but those who get along with a cane have to be prepared for adventure. An amazing adventure, I might add. Paul Gauguin are to be congratulated on the quality of their crews, and the service they provide. Dining under the tropical stars at Le Grill is particularly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I sailed on the Paul Gauguin for 14 magical days in June/July of this year. This was our third Paul Gauguin cruise, but definitely will not be our last. We have traveled all over the world, and this was by far the best ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Paul Gauguin for 14 magical days in June/July of this year. This was our third Paul Gauguin cruise, but definitely will not be our last. We have traveled all over the world, and this was by far the best vacation experience ever. Our balcony cabin was luxurious, clean and comfortable. It is so nice to sleep with the balcony door open at night and hear the sound of the ocean. The food and the wait staff were simply amazing. Shout out to our head waiter Ryan and his assistant Ivan! Their impeccable service was enough to make us want to cruise again with Paul Gauguin. The shore excursions were well orchestrated, and even though it was tricky getting on and off the tender in the Marquesas, there were always 4-6 strong men always there to help each passenger on and off. Every shore excursion in the South Pacific is amazing. We particularly enjoyed the hikes with Polynesian Anthropolist Mark Eddowes. The accomodations and service on the Paul Gauguin are incomparable. From the time we boarded the ship to the time we departed our every need was anticipated and met. The onboard lecturers provided wonderful information about the places we visited, which made the experience even more meaningful. A Paul Gauguin cruise may seem pricey to most people, but if you travel to this area of the world and stay in a hotel, I can almost guarantee the cost of your hotel, transfers, car rentals, alcohol, shore excursions, etc., will be more than the cost of a Paul Gauguin cruise, and not nearly as enjoyable. I urge everyone to check it out, it is worth every penny! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Tahiti had always been on our bucket list. I have a good friend who is a travel agent and she gave me the tour book. Within 2 hours we had booked for my husband's birthday, bucket list, and father's day all rolled into one ... Read More
Tahiti had always been on our bucket list. I have a good friend who is a travel agent and she gave me the tour book. Within 2 hours we had booked for my husband's birthday, bucket list, and father's day all rolled into one cruise. Knew it was right. Except for the 25 hours of travel to get there and home the entire pre-hotel and cruise was amazing. We flew in the night before and stayed at the Intercontinental in a room on stilts and in the morning had a wonderful breakfast outside overlooking the pool and the ocean. I could go back and stay a week there. We lounged around poolside until the Paul Gauguin rep came and got us to take us to the ship around 2pm. There organizational skills were amazing - we wanted for nothing our entire cruise. We were lucky enough to be offered a discounted upgrade to a Grande Suite and it was worth every cent. Our butler, Shernan who made our dinner reservations, brought us delicious treats every afternoon, made sure we had ice, water, soda, and alcohol to our domestic goddess who thoroughly cleaned our room spotless every day, twice. Butler service is offered with many of the rooms and is included in the cruise. Everything, including air fare from LAX was included except any excursions off the ship. It seemed costly at first, but once you add up how the other cruise lines nickel and dime you to death, the price is very reasonable and the quality of service surpassed every cruise line I have ever been on. I was truly spoiled rotten. Every staff member smiled, knew our names, and acted truly happy to be working for Paul Gauguin and serving us. They have our utmost respect and thanks for making this trip a dream come true. In closing, there were plenty of activities, food was amazing, shows were great, islands were beautiful, and I had the most relaxing time in a very long time. Thank you Paul Gauguin. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Check in was speedy and EXCELLENT Cabin was very clean and perfect EXCELLENT Ship was EXCELLENT Staff was EXCELLENT Food was EXCELLENT Dinning was the highlight every day. 15 staff in dining room each meal including ... Read More
Check in was speedy and EXCELLENT Cabin was very clean and perfect EXCELLENT Ship was EXCELLENT Staff was EXCELLENT Food was EXCELLENT Dinning was the highlight every day. 15 staff in dining room each meal including trained sommelier with excellent wine suggestions. Cruise is all inclusive with no tipping of staff, wine and drinks included (some special liquors have a charge), mini-bar in cabin included. Absolutely the best trip we have ever done. If I had to find something less than perfect it would be that two singers sang off key :-) Tours of the bridge, galley and engine room are not advertised but ask at reception desk on first day.. Small ship, 330 pax and 550 feet long. Excursions were EXCELLENT Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
French Polynesia has been on our list for a while. We wanted to see a range of islands so we chose a few nights at an over water bungalow at Le Taha'a and then boarded the Paul Gauguin for a cruise through the Society and Tuamotus ... Read More
French Polynesia has been on our list for a while. We wanted to see a range of islands so we chose a few nights at an over water bungalow at Le Taha'a and then boarded the Paul Gauguin for a cruise through the Society and Tuamotus Islands. It was a fantastic experience from start to finish. The service was excellent, everyone is there to make sure you are having a wonderful time from our room stewardess, to the dining room staff, to the bartenders. We loved the food on board, in particular the daily fresh fish and the themed lunch-time buffets. We enjoy food and are avid cooks, so we really appreciated the diversity, quality and creativity of the food on board this ship. The all inclusive drinks were great from the local beer, to our nightly cocktails, to the daily wines. I was a kid in Hawaii for 2 years in the early 60's and French Polynesia brought back so many memories since it is still relatively untouristic and lets the scenery both above the water and below it speak for itself. The natives were very friendly and we had some very enjoyable tours. We did a mix of independent tours and ship tours, which we found through Cruise Critic, and they were all sensational. Nothing beats snorkeling a sea life rich reef, having your guide catch some local fish, and then serving you that fish grilled along with local fruits and vegetables. Sitting outside in the glorious weather, watching the sunset, with a drink in hand, as you cruise to another island is sheer bliss. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We are from British Columbia, Canada, My list of world travels was Tahiti area and West Polynesia. I am a avid Tripadvisor reader and learned from reviews that this vessel was" All Inclusive" and visited 8 islands and had ... Read More
We are from British Columbia, Canada, My list of world travels was Tahiti area and West Polynesia. I am a avid Tripadvisor reader and learned from reviews that this vessel was" All Inclusive" and visited 8 islands and had excellent service. We flew to LA then to Papeete Airport (8)hrs. The Papeete Airport is not fun and took us over 1 hr to get through customs as only two agents and very crowded and hot standing then waiting for luggage. We flew with Tahiti Air and very good service, got breakfast snack. But enough leg room and made us comfortable with their flying kit, blanket ect. Gauguin people got us on a bus and took us to the Intercontinental Resort. This was a nice perk, as little sleep on the plane. Got a adequate room, sleep, meal, and transportation to the ship. Thanks and wish the meal was included also at the LeMeridien Resort. The Gauguin Vessel had 318 passengers and can get on 332. I think it was 277 deck workers. Christopher pool deck ask our name and he had his name tag on and looked nice in white uniform. Christopher knew our names every day all the 11 days! He knew our drinks also! Was attentive and the best service we had on the pool deck. When Christopher was not working we felt the service was much slower for drinks ect. He was not pushy, quiet, calm, smiling, concerned how we felt in choppy, windy weather and very friendly in nature. I think one of the best deck employees we have had and been on a few other cruises. Another bar and waiter was very nice man, my wife felt him sincere, friendly and very help full was Franciso. Worked at the piano bar, decks, also restaurants. Knew our drinks, and name every day, thanks guys, great work, and the best! We did like every day the piano bar and listening to Marius Baetica piano tunes. Nice guy, great melodies of old and new and movie tunes. Thanks for nice music and atmosphere. Must mention Phillip at the Le Veranda Restaurant always wanted his section, his dry humour was good, best service and recommendations. The breakfast and lunch areas are smaller but adequate. The dinner restaurants are 5* and meals excellent quality. Now for our maid Eleanor who was so friendly, knew our names every day, smiled, greeted us all the time, very excellent room maintenance, very clean state room we liked the decor, all things very clean, bathroom items appreciated, fruit, fridge full all days, turn down every day, with chocolates so nice! She works very hard, effeciate timing of cleaning rooms and maintenance. We missed seeing her face and greetings, all the best in life Eleanor!! The information desk lady's Tahitian ALL great, friendly, speak English, beautiful, pleasant. This ships itinerary, route, islands and time at islands,in Polynesia is the best way to see the area. Enough time is given also to take tours, relax onboard. The Tahiti entertainment group is much appreciated and worthwhile for the atmosphere and pictures. The gift shop supplies seemed to be short in mens clothes as wanted a Paul Gauguin shirt, T-shirt but not in a Large seize. Told by manager all purchased previous trip. I suggest more souvenirs, postcards, picture books be available. Shirts of Polynesia in my seize also not available. Why not replenish every trip? I always have purchased a shirt for a memory. We happened to get the first big storm, lots of wind, waves but the ship did well and so did the captain. Spent another extra day at Bora Bora. The Jean Cousteau lectures and helpers were great to hear and appreciated the pictures. We talked to people on board who had been on 14 trips and still booking more! Check out the ship islands and own Moto To's(islands) and you might be interested. The rooms are a good seize with port holes or windows, we had deck 3, queen size bed and good location to get tenders a shore. Quiet and no vibration on this ship as some we have taken had. Yes we would take this vessel to the Cook Islands next time because of the ships crew service and the seize. Most were adults (40-70), only (12-14) children on this trip. Great Experience and a dream come true! Softsand-13. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Tahiti and the PG have been a bucket list trip since we got married 18 years ago. Finally decided to go and brought the kids (15 and 13 yo) as the Ambassador of the Environment program was being offered and Jean Michel Cousteau was ... Read More
Tahiti and the PG have been a bucket list trip since we got married 18 years ago. Finally decided to go and brought the kids (15 and 13 yo) as the Ambassador of the Environment program was being offered and Jean Michel Cousteau was onboard. PG and Air Tahiti Nui went above and beyond to get our delayed luggage from...wait for it...shocker, American Airlines. Had they not gone out of their way it would have been a sad cruise for the family! Check in was non eventful and fast! Have read several reviews that said embarkation and disembarkation was a nightmare. Absolutely incorrect! Speedy, organized, and very helpful staff. Cabins were terrific. Stayed on deck 7 with a balcony and a cabin on deck 4 with a large window. If u can splurge for the balcony...do it! So wonderful to wake up and look out as you arrive at a new island everyday whilst having room service breakfast! Beds were very comfortable, American and European plugs available. We brought a small, compact power strip and didn't even use it. Amenities in the bathrooms were great (L'Occitane products) and were replaced as needed. Hair dryers available too. Food was amazing! Le Grill for lunch had a different buffet theme everyday or you could order from their menu. We only did L'Etoile for dinner as no reservations were required and we enjoyed the fact that their menu changed daily. Never a problem to get a table for four...or you could dine with other travelers if u wished. Drinks, wine, sodas galore! Pool bar offered a daily drink that was lovely. Service was extremely attentive and personalized. The staff knew your name by day 2. For example, Anthony at La Palette (bar on deck 8) would great me everyday with my Pinot Grigio as my husband and I sat to watch us sail away to our next island. Excursions were amazing. Don't miss out and book through the ship. Tender service from the ship to shore was organized and prompt. Jet ski around Bora Bora...incredible. On Fakarava, rent bikes and go for a ride to a secluded beach. On Rangiroa go visit the pearl farm. And don't miss the day on Tahaa'a! If you have kids please sign them up for the ambassador program! They learned so much from the 2 naturalists on board and went on many excursions with them. Parents were allowed to go with so we took advantage of this and met lovely families. Kids have other activities planned for them on the ship but are not obligated to go. Well worth the $ we spent to sign them up! Evening entertainment was terrific. Magician, singer, Polynesian dancers, show put on by some of the crew...hilarious! We only skipped one night as we were too exhausted to stay awake! We cannot say enough good things about the PG. A once in a lifetime trip! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We spent three nights prior to the cruise in Moorea and took the 3 PM Arameti ferry to Papeete along with several other cruisers. It was a short walk (800 feet maybe) from where we reclaimed our baggage to the end of the PG dock. Two ... Read More
We spent three nights prior to the cruise in Moorea and took the 3 PM Arameti ferry to Papeete along with several other cruisers. It was a short walk (800 feet maybe) from where we reclaimed our baggage to the end of the PG dock. Two porters quickly joined us to take our luggage. We had changed cabins (upsell) after our luggage tags were mailed, but updated tags were quickly provided. We walked to the ship and were welcomed and guided to checkin in the lounge on deck 5. Quick and easy - passport, credit card swipe, and photo - no lines. We were then escorted to our cabin on deck 7 and arrived just after our luggage. The cruise itself was exceptional. Although we are experienced cruisers having taken 14, mostly with Celebrity, this was our first (very) small ship cruise. The staff was exceptional with many remembering your name after the first meeting. Our cabin on deck seven was delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed having a balcony. The cabin attendant kept the room sparkling and our refrigerator stocked with our favorites. Dining staff was quite attentive and quickly learned our preferences. We had no trouble obtaining a table for two (or more if wanted) and although not assigned a table were generally seated in the same area. The waiters quickly learned our preferences and had it at the table as we arrived. As others have reported the Gauguines, although small in number, are everywhere serving as hosts, at the tender landing to assist in boarding, etc. The assistant cruise director was an upbeat fun person from France who mingled with all the passengers. The CD generally introduced the shows and little else. Age range was all over (10-80) with several newlyweds and many older couples doing vow renewals. Since this was a cruise with Jean-Michel Cousteau onboard there were extensive activities and two "guides" for the kids who really seemed to enjoy the interaction often preferring to go with "their" group instead of mom and dad. Costeau's presentations along with one from Mark Eddowes were excellent. There are, however, several differences from a larger ship. The biggest being it moves a lot more. Thus the port order may change if there is bad weather forecast. On our cruise a low developed over Moorea and we spent an extra day in Bora Bora after Taha'a since that harbor was more protected. Please note that you tender to every island except Tahiti and the landing on the private motu may be a very "wet" one - above the knees high and unexpected by some vertically challenged guests. On board entertainment venues are very limited and there is one show at 9:30 or 10:00. You get to know your fellow passengers quite well. Not sure that I would want to spend several sea days onboard, although the library looked interesting. There are three choices for dining - main dining room in Etoile (no reservations), French dining in La Veranda (reservation required) and a grill, Le Grille (reservations required). There was never a wait for dining in the main dining room at 6:30 - 7:00. Reservations were generally available with a day or two advanced notice. The food was very good. I personally preferred the main dining room as the menu changed nightly and had a great variety. Breakfast and lunch were available in La Veranda and Le Grille. Buffet style and order off the menu in both locations. Lamb chops were available for breakfast. We were particularly impressed by the staff and their attention to detail. Our prebooked tour tickets were in our room on arrival with two exceptions. We had a note from the travel desk to check with them. Fearing they had been cancelled, we were pleasantly surprised when they asked us to review them as they had very similar stops. Can't say enough about the dining room staff especially maitre d's Raffy and Christian and their team. We did a combination of ship and private tours: Moorea - Moorea Miti Tours - a great small group snorkeling excursion with no more than 12 people. Tour departs early so you beat the crowds and wave runners to the stingray site. The boat was so easy to reenter after snorkeling or lunch, which by the way was quite tasty eaten while sitting at a table with our feet in the water. Olivia and Romain are great hosts and operators who obviously enjoy their venture. Although we were at the Hilton before the cruise, we stopped at the tender pier for two guests from the Paul Gauguin. Huahine - Huahine Nautiqe - A land tour to see multiple sites followed by an outrigger canoe ride, drift snorkel, lunch on a motu and return to the dock. Absolutely outstanding land tour, snorkeling and lunch with lots of fun times. Bora Bora - Day 1 - Pure snorkeling. Outstanding small boat - 6 people - tour with four snorkeling stops with Fabien. Absolutely gorgeous sites. Day 2 - Maohi Nui ship tour. Good snorkeling with three stops and 10 people. Since our departure was changed from 1700 to 1200 it was nice to be on a ship sponsored excursion as we caught the last tender to the ship. Rangiroa - Gauguin Pearl Farm ship's tour. Nice tour of a pearl farm on a Sunday when most other businesses were closed. Excellent explanation of pearl farming with nice selection to buy afterwards. No pressure to purchase. Fakarava - Walked around town parallel to the coast originally planning to snorkel off the local beach, but there were numerous sharks and we weren't sure they were the friendly types used to tourists that we swam with before. We also learned of a large tidal pool with lots of interesting critters that was accessible if you walked perpendicular to the coast for about two blocks from the tender landing (the island isn't very wide). Friends raved about Ato's tour - next time. Bora Bora - Day 3 (returned due to weather). Island tour with Le Truck ship's tour. Since both earlier days in BB had been devoted to snorkeling (and it being out of the question due to weather), this was an excellent three hour tour with multiple stops including Mama Edna's and Bloody Mary's. Moorea - Since we had spent three days before the cruise on Moorea, we were not disappointed in spending the scheduled first day in Bora Bora. On the second day we visited the shops on the pier, packed and relaxed before the trip home. Tahiti – Had a great tour with Tracey (Unique Tahiti Tours) exploring the west coast of the island and part of Tahiti Iti in her spacious Mercedes van. Not only did we tour, but her commentary provided a lot of info about the island and FP in general. Overnight at the Intercontinental. Not to the same standard as the Moorea Hilton, but nice for a night. We were glad we had pre-booked with the concierge a taxi for our early morning (Air France) departure as there we none in the taxi queue. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a fabulous time on our cruise to the Society and Cook Islands in the South Pacific! We plan to book another trip in the future. The following comments are categorized by positive comments and suggestions and/or disappointments: ... Read More
We had a fabulous time on our cruise to the Society and Cook Islands in the South Pacific! We plan to book another trip in the future. The following comments are categorized by positive comments and suggestions and/or disappointments: Positive: The ship is beautiful, spotless and the decor/events align well with the region and culture.The size of the ship is perfect for intimacy (holds 332 guests). The food is fabulous, 4 course meals with large portions: lots of fish and nicely presented plates. I ended up asking for smaller portions as it was too much food. There are three dining venues: L Etoile where they typically seat you at large tables with others however you can ask to be seated at a smaller table for two or four if you want; La Veranda was our favorite because it was more intimate with mostly smaller tables; and Le Grille which was on Deck 8 by the pool. Le Grille was closed a few times when there was rain or wind. Definitely book Le Grille for night in Tahiti when you can sit outside! We loved the events scheduled by the Le Gauguines hosts and hostesses. These young Polynesian people were charming, friendly and shared stories and information that was based on their personal experiences and knowledge. They held dance demonstrations, played music, shared local legends and they taught classes. During the day, they often taught arts and craft classes, from making woven or tied bracelets and fans to making post cards and collages. They always came through the restaurants at night to sing, play music and dance. They also greeted us at events, and at the ports when we went on and off the ship. The cruise sponsored tours we took (snorkeling and beach days) were all great. We loved swimming with the sharks and sting rays, going to one foot island and visiting the motus off several islands. We also spent a day at the Lapita Resort in Huahine which was enjoyable. Taha’a is home to Paul Gauguin's Motu Mahana, which proved to be a great venue for the barbecue and beach party. We enjoyed the free tour in Papeete and the day room at the Intercontinental resort hotel prior to our flight home. Disappointments: We arrived late at night (11pm) and were greeted by PG staff. They ushered us onto a bus, but then we were asked to sit there for 45 minutes while we waited for several couples whose luggage did not arrive with the plane. Then, they were taken back to the ship by Taxi and actually arrived before us! This seemed unreasonable considering the time of night and the fact that they did not even come with us in the bus. On the PG ship, there typically is only one bar open at a time and the 5th deck bar open before dinner is fairly small and was often full, so that there was no where to sit except in the hallway. Each bar, 5th deck, lounge bar(only open during shows), the 8th deck pool bar and 8th deck Palette bar were open at specific times but usually only one at a time. We only had about 250 people on our cruise, so perhaps this is different when the ship is full at 332 guests, but I don't understand why there is not more access to the bars. It is not that we are big drinkers but the bar piano player was excellent and we always enjoy sitting in the bar before our dinners. The ship lounge, where shows are held, is not as nice as similar venues we have seen on other cruise ships and we did not care for the entertainment much (Frank Sinatra type singer and a magician), except the Polynesian shows were fabulous including talent from a couple of ports in addition to our hostess and host Polynesian dancers, who were fabulous. Two evenings the air conditioning did not work and the lounge was very hot and uncomfortable. The cruise director was not very visible during the cruise compared to what we typically have had on other ships. He seemed to only show up to introduce a show. We did see him briefly on a couple of excursions. We heard he did a show on other cruises, but not ours. Every announcement was done in English and then in French by a 2nd director (not sure this is needed, but we understand it the ship is French). It rained during our cruise for two days when we visited Bora Bora so we were disappointed, but weather cannot be controlled. Morea seemed very similar and was enjoyable. One of the ship's motors was not working correctly and could only be used at 25% power, so our itinerary was changed due to slower speed traveling between the Society and Cook Islands. This did not seem to make that much difference and the captain kept us informed. All arrangements for excursions were adjusted and the people who booked private excursions were assisted with making adjustments. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Heard about how good this line was and tried it. It was better than expected. 5 Star/Excellent rating in my book. Check in was speedy and EXCELLENT Cabin was clean and perfect EXCELLENT Ship ... Read More
Heard about how good this line was and tried it. It was better than expected. 5 Star/Excellent rating in my book. Check in was speedy and EXCELLENT Cabin was clean and perfect EXCELLENT Ship was EXCELLENT Staff was EXCELLENT Excursions were EXCELLENT Food was EXCELLENT Dinning was the highlight every day. 15 staff in dining room each meal including trained sommelier with excellent wine suggestions. Cruise is all inclusive with no tipping of staff, wine and drinks included (some special liquors have a charge), mini-bar in cabin included. Absolutely the best trip we have ever done. If I had to find something less than perfect it would be that two singers sang off key :-) Tours of the bridge, galley and engine room are not advertised but ask at reception desk on first day.. Small ship, 330 pax and 550 feet long. If you want a great cruise this is the one! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We love this cruise. The itinerary spends 2 nights in Bora Bora and 2 in Moorea. I much prefer being on the ship than the land as the view towards the islands is better, the food is better and I love not unpacking. The motu beach day is ... Read More
We love this cruise. The itinerary spends 2 nights in Bora Bora and 2 in Moorea. I much prefer being on the ship than the land as the view towards the islands is better, the food is better and I love not unpacking. The motu beach day is magical too. Embarkation and disembarkation is a breeze, all-inclusive food and beverages were top quality and the overall travel value and experience is the best in Polynesia. PG cruises travel agents make it is so easy for us to get here that it's irresistible. I don't see any reason for me to go to Hawaii, Mexico or the Caribbean in the future because the PG cruise venue is magnitudes better. We never feel like 'just another guest' either. And, big hint, buy Tahitian pearl jewelry in the boutique. The quality and value for a unique piece is fantastic. The jewelry is really unusual, no one will have anything like what you buy here. The clothing in the boutique is really nice and well priced too. The local feel with Polynesian entertainment was amazing. This is not a generic cruise doing a random itinerary, this is absolutely local. Snorkel all you can and rent bikes on Moorea. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our 7-day cruise on the M/S Paul Gauguin had many positives. The ship, crew, and entertainment were outstanding. The menus and meals were excellent. Leftover food is thrown away or pulverized for the sea life. Prices might be lower with ... Read More
Our 7-day cruise on the M/S Paul Gauguin had many positives. The ship, crew, and entertainment were outstanding. The menus and meals were excellent. Leftover food is thrown away or pulverized for the sea life. Prices might be lower with less waste. My husband and I figured out that we like being active. Sitting poolside, playing bridge, or working a jigsaw puzzle doesn't cut the mustard. Small exercise room. Yoga mats, but no yoga. We like dry heat. Bottom line for us – we could visit the Florida Keys or the Bahamas for a tropical experience. Shore excursions were expensive. We had a fun day snorkeling at four sites, however, the coral is dead and dying. The Society Islands were hot, humid, sunny, with rundown little towns and black pearl shops everywhere. Pretty scenery, lagoons, atolls, lemon sharks, tropical fish - yawn. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Just got back from a 10 day PG cruise around Tahiti and surrounding islands. I will try and review the entire trip from start to finish. First, lets start pre cruise: Dealing with the PG folks directly all booking went smoothly and ... Read More
Just got back from a 10 day PG cruise around Tahiti and surrounding islands. I will try and review the entire trip from start to finish. First, lets start pre cruise: Dealing with the PG folks directly all booking went smoothly and they were very helpful explaining every aspect of every inquiry we had. the flight left from LAX and flew to Papeete directly on Tahiti Nui airlines (TN) . Nice plane good legroom takes 7 hours or so. We arrived around midnight their time, (-6 hours from NY) we were tired and there was plenty of help to see you get to the intercontinental hotel. When we got there the luggage was in our room and we had a great view. I never had to drag a big bag anyplace. Everything was taken care of. We stayed there for 2 days to adjust to time zone and get familiar with Papeete. (FYI they use pacific french frank worth about 100:1 vs the $, ie $1 = 100 franks). Boarding: Simply the smoothest process I have ever witnessed. You show your passport and walk on the ship right away and sit (with cocktail) in the main theater while your docs are prepped.) Within minutes you get your keycard(s) and are met by your maid and she escorts to your room. The room was ideal. We had a balcony on the 7th floor around midships. The minifridge was stocked with beer/water/sodas and like everything on the cruise it is all inclusive. The bed was extremely comfortable, I am picky about mattresses (sleep on a tempurpiedic at home) and this conventional/hybrid pillow top mattress was excellent. Ship: we had 240 people (about 140 Americans) there was 290 staff. Service was the best I have ever had on any cruise ship ever. (been on 6 different cruises prior) It will be hard for me to go back to a big ship with thousands of passengers after this trip. The ship is not new. It is a traditional cruise ship (shaft drive via diesel electric (no pods) and it does not have stabilization. It is very clean ship but could use some up upgrades in my opinion. That said 90% of the time when you take an elevator, there is no wait and you will be in it alone. The coolest part of the ship is the "marina" the back of the ship opens up and creates a launching dock to launch boats, jetskis, kayaks, surfboards etc. The ship is about 550' long and can go to places most big ships can't get into. It anchors at every location (no docks) and you take a launch to the shore or dock. I never had to wait for a launch. Lots of boats and easy access. Ports: I chose this cruise to see the atolls and snorkel around them. PG has varied trips, pick one that appeals to you. One place they stop at often is their own private island (motu). It is a cool place to spend the day at the beach and swim, eat, drink etc. The entire island chain is incredibly beautiful with more shares of blue than can be describes. I think no matter which one you choose it will be grand. Activities: There is a full list of things to do at each location. Most trips for us involved snorkeling and a land based tour of some kind with a local guide. They were all a lot of fun and very informative and reasonably priced. The diving and snorkeling is fantastic. The best I have seen anywhere, including Hawaii, US and Caribbean islands. When you board they issue you snorkeling gear for the trip so you always have it and you can go whenever you want on your own or with a guided trip. My only negative point with the activities was I signed up for a day of offshore fishing on a charter boat in Moorea but it was canceled due to lack of interest. My complaint was there was no description of the trip and the activities person did not mention it during her public overview of activities. IMO if they showed photos of the fish and the boat they would have had more interest. BTW, you should go to the activities director presentation to hear about all the details. The desk is never crowed and you can easily schedule trips after you board. IMO must do's are the snorkel excursions, visit a pearl farm, see a vanilla farm operation, a land tour etc... and if you can stay awake do the sky watching at night on the top deck. The host uses a laser to point out many of the constellations... Like the southern cross! I am from the northern Hemisphere so the sky looks a lot different down there. (big dipper is upside down) There is way more to do then there is time to do it. Dining: In a single word: excellent. The seafood is so good it will probably be the best you ever had. I am a fisherman and eat a lot of fresh fish, let me say this is some of the best fish I have had. I saw them load the fish it is perfectly taken care of and are caught the day before the ship leaves by a local fishermen and delivers to the ship at 9:00 the next morning. Be sure and try the tuna and moonfish!! simply outstanding. The beef is very good but I have had better in major steakhouses. Don't let that deter you though. The breakfasts and lunches are more casual but you can get anything off the menu if you don't find it at the buffet. The wait staff is outstanding. I could talk alot about food but trust me you will not be disappointing. Drinks: All drinks are included. The bar staff will make anything you want including top shelf booze. My favorite bar was the piano bar. My wife liked they served canopies (small aps). White glove service, tasty drinks with pleasant background music. Disembarkation... very smooth. you leave at a certain time you step on an AC'ed bus for a tour of the city and a few sites of Tahiti then they take you to a hotel until you plane departs. (you get a complementary day room) Entertainment: I only went to one evening "show" it was what I expected and was entertaining but I was so tired from all day activities, intense sun, great food and drink that when the day was over I passed out in that comfortable bed to do it again the next day. I would say that the giant cruise ships have more grand entertainment so if that is why you cruise...this might not be the best choice. That said, it is still very good. Our cruise had enrichment lectures which were great and where held by noted experts...like Jean Michel Cousteau (Jacques Cousteau's son) The presentations were all excellent. It was great to chat/snorkel/dive with them during the trip. Summary: This is a great cruise overall, one of the best I've had. It is NOT a place for children. The ship is not kid friendly, and does not have the facilities for kids. They could easily fall overboard too. This is an adult cruise. Average age on our boat was about 50. The staff was fantastic. One thing I liked..no announcing announcements on the overhead except for the safety check. It is a very quiet ship. The staff are all soft spoken. It is a very pleasant environment to relax. You can find great places to read or vedge out with the best view in the world. My favorite place was the atoll Fakarava. Nothing really there but it is so pretty and the locals so kind and nice I wanted to move there. (it is really remote) Advice: Bring fresh spf 30 or more sunscreen, you need high quality sunscreen and it is very expensive there. Also I like the spf clothing that protects as well. The sun is insanely strong. Think being under a broiler. Hats and sunglasses are not an option, they are necessity. Also bring mosquito repellent if you go on deep land trips. Weather: There is a rainy season. You don't get lush tropical forests without a lot of rain. We were at the end of it. There was a cyclone that blasted Fiji (1000 mi away) the week or so prior but it messed up the weather around Tahiti for a loooong time. The trip prior to us the poor folks has hard rain every day. We had great weather all 10 days with a light shower on the first day. BTW, when they say "rain" it can be really heavy monsoon like rainstorms. So plan accordingly. I will go again, for sure. I will pick a different island group, maybe the cook islands. I met several people on board who have been on this identical cruise several times. One couple has gone every year for the last six years. I think that says something about the quality of this trip. This is not a cheap cruise by any means but if you are looking for that special cruise with a special person...you found it. Have fun! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The Gauguin has a reputation for ultra-luxury, on which it is clearly riding, at this point. The ship shows its age, outdated décor, faded carpeting, carpet coming up at the seams in main dining room; wooden frame around the pool is ... Read More
The Gauguin has a reputation for ultra-luxury, on which it is clearly riding, at this point. The ship shows its age, outdated décor, faded carpeting, carpet coming up at the seams in main dining room; wooden frame around the pool is not well maintained. One engine went out, necessitating missing one island (there was compensation of $200 ship credit per person). Food is uneven. Staff, as typical for cruises, are lovely. The excursion schedule was not reliable: one excursion was cancelled claiming insufficient participation without offering an alternative time, another because the only available local to lead the hiking cruise was 'sick' in BoraBora. Excursions that did happen were fine. Cruise is way overpriced. There should be a rating between 'average' and 'poor' because I would say experience was 'below-average' given the pricepoint but maybe not poor. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was absolutely the most amazing trip I have ever been on. My husband and I, along with our best friends, were all celebrating our 35th anniversaries. EVERYTHING about the cruise was fabulous. We had a balcony room on deck 7. I ... Read More
This was absolutely the most amazing trip I have ever been on. My husband and I, along with our best friends, were all celebrating our 35th anniversaries. EVERYTHING about the cruise was fabulous. We had a balcony room on deck 7. I highly recommend a balcony. We had originally booked a porthole room on deck 3 because of cost, but were offered an upgrade for $600 per person. It was worth every dollar. The cabin was large with a lot of storage space. The bathroom had a full tub. Our cabin stewardess, Maravic, was marvelous. Room service was very prompt, and our refrigerator was replenished daily with soda, beer and water. The food was excellent. We ate all of our evening meals at La Etiolle. Phillip was the best waiter ever! The choices were many, and all dishes were outstanding. The breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent as well. The ports were all amazing. Words cannot describe the natural beauty of the Society Islands. A few suggestions: Bring water shoes Bring your own hair conditioner. While it was provided, I wish I had brought my own. Take advantage of shore excursions. We booked ours thru the cruise and were not disappointed. Book your travel thru the cruise line. All transportation was included and made all travel so easy, including a day room the day of our departure. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First of all, my wife and I are not big fans of cruising. We've been on a few "large" cruise ships and we just did not rate our experiences very highly. We especially disliked being amongst the large crowds and we had vowed ... Read More
First of all, my wife and I are not big fans of cruising. We've been on a few "large" cruise ships and we just did not rate our experiences very highly. We especially disliked being amongst the large crowds and we had vowed never again. Our 25th wedding anniversary was approaching and several friends recommended the Paul Gaguin French Polynesia cruise. We were familiar with the cruise line and liked the idea of a smaller ship, a more intimate environment, and of course the appeal of seeing some of the Tahitian islands. We loved our Paul Gaguin experience. We have traveled extensively and we can categorically state that the service from the professional and extremely personable staff was amongst the best we have ever experienced. By Day 2 of the cruise, we were amazed at how many of the bar and wait staff knew our names and our preferred beverage of choice. By the end of the cruise, the staff were more like close friends. At the fairwell party on the last night, we witnessed many tears shed by many of the passengers as hugs were exchanged with the staff favorites. I read some of the reviews where other travelers disparaged the "aging" of the ship, it's deteriorating public spaces and rooms, it's lack of elegance, etc. All I can say in rebutal is that my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the intimate and classy style of the ship, enjoyed our small but yet efficient cabin ( our bed was just the right firmness), we were always made to feel as valued customers, always greeted with a smile, and believed we received excellent value for the expenditure. So much so, that these two cruise-adverse travelers would eagerly plan a return voyage with PG. We highly recommend getting a cabin with a balcony - we always started each day with coffee and croissants on the balcony and ended each evening with our last nightcap on the balcony. Dining choices and quality were excellent. Also, the boarding and de boarding process was extremely efficient. And the Tahitian islands.......just magical!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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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