312 Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruise Reviews

we sailed on dec 14. first time on the PG. we have sailed on regent several times and once on celebrity. We had room 438 and 436. My husband and myself and our two daughters 19 and 24. We arranged our own air and hotel room for the day. It ... Read More
we sailed on dec 14. first time on the PG. we have sailed on regent several times and once on celebrity. We had room 438 and 436. My husband and myself and our two daughters 19 and 24. We arranged our own air and hotel room for the day. It was easy. My oldest daughter missed her connection in Denver and missed the first night of the cruise. We made arrangements to fly her into Raiatea,(when I made these arrangements at LAX air Tahiti nui desk there was a rep from the cruise ship that I tried to confirm we would be landing on time at Raiatea, but she wouldn't speak to us b/c we made our air reservations on our own) our published 1st stop, but only found out once on board, we were to land in Huahine. No one had notified us prior to our embarkation. Apparently they thought they notified our travel agent, but the message never was received. I only was made aware when I went to the excursion desk to sign up for excursions and I noticed a sign advertising Huahine. We then had to scramble to contact our daughter in LAX to change her arrangements to get connections to the new island. Flights were sold out, she did catch a flight from Papeete standby. We of course not able to confirm this until she landed the 2nd day of the cruise. Jacques, one of the officers on board was so gracious and did all that he could do to right the situation. Thank you Jacques for making sure our daughter could join us. In the future it would be great if the cruise line ensures that all passengers are notified of itinerary changes prior to leaving the country. Our rooms had a large picture window, which was perfect, even if we had a balcony, we wouldn't have used it as we preferred the main deck by the pool and bar where there was never a crowd and there were always chaise chairs for us to use. I preferred to spend the extra money on business class seats for air to arrive in comfort than to use it for a room we hardly spent time in other than to sleep. Personal choice that's all. We had excursions each day. Land trip on Huahine, nice overview of the island, guide was so nice, cut fresh mangos from the tree, saw the maraes(religious sites), pearl farm. Tahaa, drift snorkel and deep snorkel, Marie the French guide and Manu were wonderful. You could tell they love their island and reef system. We were served fresh fruit then delivered to the private motu for a great beach bar-b-que. I had a Nikon inexpensive underwater camera that took great pictures of coral and amazing fish and a manta ray. Bora Bora is the most amazing of the islands, unbelievable water colors and underwater sea life, we did the snorkel picnic combination which included swim w/ sharks, feed and swim w/ stingrays. The beach we picnicked on was amazing and we had local fish and fruit on a picnic table in the water with little fish swimming around our legs. The following day we jet skied around the entire island complex of Bora Bora, also amazing. It was with one guide and my husband,myself, one other couple, and our 2 daughters(4 jetskis). We were amazed by the neon blue hues of the water, we rode past all of the various overwater bungalos which would probably be nice for honeymooners-looked very quiet. Shopped at Tahia pearl (best quality of pearls for smaller purchase of earrings and pendants for my girls) as well as Tahitian pearl market, very pleased w/ purchases. I wanted a string of Tahitian in mixed colors for a reasonable price, Mihari Pearl in Papeete open M-Fri 9-5, Sat 9-1, They were very nice and patient, 8-12mm various grades mainly B lustre almost round, $1600. The above stores were recommended by the Gaugines on board. Moorea we rented a car from Albert's $90 drove the island road, went to more pearl stores, the juice and jam store, the juice is processed in a juicer for you and is amazing as is the fruit sorbet. We went to Belvedere point lovely. We stopped for crepes at capt cooks, delicious. Our last day we did the catamaran snorkel it was heavenly. We saw spinner dolphins right off the bow of the boat... no need for the dolphin tour. We at at the grill the first night and for lunch- all good. Lunches had different themes, the Asian buffet and Italian buffet were my favorite. Stir fry to order shrimp and scallops or chicken selections. Italian buffet included pasta to order as well as eggplant parm and veal scallopine that was superb. We ate breakfast at the main restaurant each day al fresco. Fresh omelets to order, pastries, delicious fresh fruit, sauted spinach etc, no lines, food was brought to the table after ordering, service was always quick. My only complaint was the cappuccino was not of the quality that a restaurant or a ship of this caliber should serve. It was comparable to vending machine cappuccino. Dinner was always fresh and delicious w/ many options. Service was excellent, no wait for seating no need for reservations. The restaurant that required reservations was comparable to the main restaurant so we only ate there once. What to bring, mosquito repellant-I had a solid stick which we only used when on land. Lots of sun screen-sun is so strong here. You don't need more than carry on bag of light clothing, we wore shorts to breakfast, and were in bathing suits and cover-ups for the day and wore casual capris/ sundress for night time. Every one on board, passengers and crew were so nice. Our fellow passengers were so chill. Everyone was pinching themselves that we couldn't believe we were actually in paradise. It was so BEAUTIFUL. We were lucky, everyday the weather was perfect. The ship was beautiful and sparkling clean. The seas were calm. Each island is encircled with a coral reef so that the water is like a lake. This ship is a good deal, luxury, great ports, well organized excursions, delicious food, alcohol included. The ship gives you snorkel sets for the cruise and we also utilized the stand up paddle board and kayaks off the back of the boat. I have compared this w/ Regents re introduced cruise to French Polynesia and I think this ship was a better choice and better deal for this trip for us( we prefer no sea days-we like to cruise to go to ports) The on cruise entertainment the Guagines were lovely, they brought locals in to make leis which smelled great and we had demonstrations re the pareos. We used the workout room which was small but adequate. All in all...PERFECT Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This is our third cruise on the Paul Gauguin, this time out to the Tuamotu Archipelago. The folks at PG have this cruise experience down to a science. However they work their magic, nearly every crew member recognizes you by name and ... Read More
This is our third cruise on the Paul Gauguin, this time out to the Tuamotu Archipelago. The folks at PG have this cruise experience down to a science. However they work their magic, nearly every crew member recognizes you by name and breakfast habits by the second day. Some even recalled us from previous cruises. Service seems to be the middle name of each crew member, there seemingly every time you want something, but never hovering and NEVER selling. If you have never cruised on a truly all-inclusive, smaller ship, I would recommend the Paul Gauguin as a first try. One might see the fare for the voyage and experience immediate sticker shock, but include free airfare from key cities,exquisite food in all venues, unlimited soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits and no tipping, and you might discover that your "bargain" cruise on a mega-ship just about matches the PG on cost. Not only are the Society Islands an easy cruising grounds (no sea days on the seven day and only an overnight to reach the Tuamotus), the ship plans evening entertainment and daily enrichment lectures to introduce passengers to the key spots, history, local culture and even local dance troupes. We opted for a balcony cabin, but the window staterooms are the same size, minus balcony, and all the action is on deck and on land at port. All of the Societies and Tuamotus have their own brand of magic, but to experience the ancient, now nearly sunken Tuamotus was especially breathtaking. The South Pacific produces colors of blue and pale green waters than 's indescribable. Even the best camera can rarely catch the insane range of sea color. This voyage also introduced us to beautiful Huahine, a place that we will return. Chef Paul is a CIA trained and experienced chef who prepares meals that will definitely put on the pounds simply because the food is so delectable. The dinner menu in La Veranda also features recipes prepared by Chef Paul from a famous 2-Star Michelin French chef, a new addition and taking the food preparation to a new level. On our voyage the 350 passenger ship had just north of 200 booked, not uncommon for the ten, eleven and fourteen day excurisions, so if you can swing the time and extra cost, none of these voyages will disappoint. The smaller passenger load also seemed to make new friendships easier and the whole experience one that seemed to be you and your best friends on a private yacht. I can't recommend any other cruise line, all-inclusive or mega-onboard-experience, that quite compares with the Paul Gauguin Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
...we enjoyed a seven day cruise in May 2013 of the Society Islands...all of a sudden it was over...seven days of the experience on the m/s Paul Gauguin was too short...you just cannot imagine how nice it is...so...we returned in November ... Read More
...we enjoyed a seven day cruise in May 2013 of the Society Islands...all of a sudden it was over...seven days of the experience on the m/s Paul Gauguin was too short...you just cannot imagine how nice it is...so...we returned in November 2013 for a fourteen day voyage to the Marquesas Islands and the Society Islands...incredible...the Marquesas Islands are remote and more of what you might dream of...everything on the ship is superb...crew, dinning, staterooms, environment, entertainment and sparklingly maintained ship...you just don't have to do a thing and it is perfect...keep in mind...this ship is the only luxury ship that voyages in these waters on a regular basis...it is simply spectacular...having been on Seabourn a few times the comparison is comparable...except...you are voyaging in the South Pacific...and it is more casual...try to book a starboard stateroom...in the middle section...avoid the stern cabins...they may have more room, bigger bed, larger lanai and whatnot...however, they go up and down, the view is where you were and mostly, they stink...go...you will not want to depart the ship...we are booking a trip to the Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji as soon as they depart next... Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
For 2 people the cost was $11,054 + $715 trip insurance, including r/t air from LAX. Our cruise was only about 75% filled. All older adults, almost all couples, and no children. Overall, I have no hesitation recommending this trip and the ... Read More
For 2 people the cost was $11,054 + $715 trip insurance, including r/t air from LAX. Our cruise was only about 75% filled. All older adults, almost all couples, and no children. Overall, I have no hesitation recommending this trip and the PG experience, and we plan to cruise with PG again. 1. Itinerary. Excellent with so many islands visited. 2. Value is excellent. Considering the length of trip, included airfare, outstanding pre- and post-cruise (i.e., time spent between Papeete airport and ship) service, amazing ship staff and service, great food, etc.-- the cost is quite reasonable. Trying to arrange an a-la-carte air + resort, 2 island, 11-day vacation to Tahiti would cost more, I believe. 3. Ship size and capacity is ideal and offers a better chance to meet fellow passengers. Everything on the ship seems only a few steps away. Some outstanding points are: 1. The PG staff are exceptional. Efficient and friendly. Our steward was first-rate keeping our cabin in order. The restaurant staff was amazing. Cruise Director Steve Wood was good, and a terrific singer/entertainer as well. Les Gauguines, the Polynesian hosts, were everywhere and outstanding for staffing the ship activities and providing entertainment. They added immeasurably to the trip. 2. The cuisine exceeded expectations. L'Etoile is the non-reservation main dinner restaurant and had an outstanding selection every night. Fish preparation in appetizers and main courses was perhaps the best I've ever experienced. La Veranda we used only twice for dinner, and one meal in particular might have been the best for me of all time. Desserts at lunch and dinner were 5+. Breakfast and lunch selections and quality were very high, too. Best buffet scrambled eggs ever! Coffee and wine (see below) were just average. 3. Embarkation/Disembarkation was much better than expected. With a 5:30 am flight arrival we were at the Intercontinental Hotel by 7 am in a private room, and at the pool by 8 am. Lunch was included and excellent. We didn't need to catch the shuttle to the ship until 3 pm, so it was like an "extra" day of vacation at a beautiful resort that we weren't even expecting. Likewise, at the end PG provided a free 3 hr excursion around Papeete (Hall museum, waterfall hike, Point Venus) before dropping us off at the Radisson with a private room and resort access. Very nice! 4. Entertainment was better than expected. Three times (Rarotonga, Moorea, Tahiti) PG had local dance troupes onboard for shows. O Tahiti E on the final night was absolutely terrific! Krew Kapers was an excellent show, too. The Italian magician (2 shows), show by Steve Wood, and other various acts were good, too. The band, Santa Rosa, was excellent for Steve Woods' show, but pretty average otherwise. 5. Enrichment. I liked Mark Eddowes (Polynesian migration and culture) and Michael Poole (marine life, whales). Mark's talks tended to run over time and cover too much info. In general the enrichment talks were poorly attended. 6. The anniversary event for couples (our 25th) was very nice! 7. Inclusive costs. Yes, everything is included. Drinks, too. Have as many "drinks of the day" or Tahiti draft beers as you like. Never had to pull out my cruise card to buy anything, except at the gift shop and money exchange. Gratuities are included, too. Average-to-good items with minor issues might include: 1. There was a lack of a quiet, comfortable public space (lounge) to read or relax during the day outside of the pool area or cabin. The auditorium was not too good for reading with the music always playing. 2. Wine quality and selection. The included wines at dinner were only adequate. Some of the whites, especially French, were good to excellent. The reds, often Chilean, Aussie or NZ, were somewhat weak and not up to the standard of the cuisine itself. The supplemental bottle choices (at additional $$$) appeared good, but usually we needed only a glass of red to accompany a specific course and this was not an option. 3. Rough seas. The PG is not a big ship, so the "at sea" days with 6-8' seas might be a bit rough for some people. I was OK, and my wife had her patches. When the ship was outside the lagoon in Rarotonga and Aitutaki the "jump" from the tender to ship was something to be carful about, but the crew did an expert job in keeping us safe. 4. Jean-Michael Cousteau was disappointing for me. Although a celebrity and covering the important topics of ocean conservation and education, his material was redundant and presentations rather flat. We skipped his final lecture. 5. Ship wi-fi is almost useless at times. Do your internet research for the trip before leaving, since web access via iPAD in the cabin is too slow. Perhaps the PG Internet cafe in the ship might work, but I didn't use it. Excursions. I contacted the non-PG excursions by e-mail about 2-3 months in advance and determined the cost and how they wanted to be paid. None of them needed any deposit. They are extensively reviewed on Trip Advisor: 1. Aitutaki. We did Teking's 5-Island lagoon cruise. Great trip, snorkeling, lunch, boat ride, and humorous narratives from Teking himself. Walking around the motus was right out of a calendar. A must trip! 2. Bora Bora. We did Patrick's combo tour (4X4, lunch, snorkel) and circled BB by both road and lagoon. Lunch on the motu was completely awesome eating at a picnic table in the shallow water and feeding fish. The earth oven-cooked pork and BBQ fish were absolutely to die for. The grilled ahi and mahi mahi were 10+, even better than on the PG itself! Do not pass up this trip. 3. The PG Taha'a motu day was excellent, but the Bora Bora PG motu only average. 4. Huahine. PG cancelled our snorkel trip, so we took the shuttle bus into Fare and had a great time with lunch, shopping, soaking up the local scene, and walking on the nearby beach. The ice cold coconut water (i.e., from the freshly machete-opened coconut itself + a straw) was A+ and a mere 100 xpf (about a $1.25). 5. Rarotonga. We rented a car for about $40, got the temporary license from the car rental place, and drove around the island. I wished that I had brought my snorkel stuff, because Titikaveka Beach/lagoon looked good for it. We had a sandwich and ika mata (Cook Islands raw fish salad) back at Avarua. 6. Moorea. We did a morning excursion with Moorea Paddleboard Adventures and a PG bus trip around the island. These were only average. Other: You can find cheaper vanilla beans and associated products at the local markets in Huahine, Bora Bora, or the big market in Papeete (about a 4 block walk from the dock).   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I traveled on the Paul Gauguin in mid-October. This was by far one of the best trips we have even taken. The ship and its crew were top notch. We booked a pre-cruise stay through Paul Gauguin at the Intercontinental Le Moana ... Read More
My husband and I traveled on the Paul Gauguin in mid-October. This was by far one of the best trips we have even taken. The ship and its crew were top notch. We booked a pre-cruise stay through Paul Gauguin at the Intercontinental Le Moana on Bora Bora. It was an excellent choice in choosing Bora Bora for the pre-cruise stay. The water is simply stunning and the island had a very relaxed vibe. Other than the Le Moana location being very windy (you can read my Trip Advisor review for more on that), the hotel was excellent. Embarkation We arrived at the ship around 5 p.m. We were asked to fill out a health form and then taken to reception. We were checked in very quickly and taken to our room by one of the room stewards. Very efficient - A+ Stateroom We chose a veranda stateroom (#615). The room was very well appointed with a king-sized bed (not two twins pushed together), a generous bathroom (for a cruise ship) with a full size tub. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary and they had a decadent piece of chocolate cake for us to share when we arrived. There was also fruit in the room every day as well as soda/water/beer in the fridge. The storage capacity in the room was never ending. We had 4 suitcases and 2 personal bags and I was able to unpack all of them and still had room to spare. All of the emptied suitcases fit nicely under the bed. The bathroom had high-end complimentary toiletries (L’Octainte). We absolutely loved having a balcony to hang out on. We used it a lot and were very glad we chose this option. The room was immaculate when we checked in and stayed that way our entire trip. Karren, our room steward, was excellent - A+ Food We thought the food on the ship was wonderful and very well presented. We ate at L’Etiole three times, La Veranda three times and Le Grill just one time. You had the choice each night to eat with other passengers or dine by yourselves. We chose to dine by ourselves every night. Breakfast - Breakfast was offered at La Veranda (air-conditioned buffet), Le Grill (open-air buffet) and La Palette (open air continental breakfast). We ate breakfast at Le Grill once and at La Veranda the other 6 days. The food was very good and offered a ton of options including ordering from the menu if you preferred at La Veranda and Le Grill. Lunch - we were off the ship most days and only had one lunch on the ship during the cruise and also lunch on the day of departure. We ate at Le Grill and La Veranda. The lunch options were excellent both days. Dinner: La Veranda - our favorite. This air-conditioned restaurant located on deck 6 requires a reservation but they were always easy to get. The menu remains the same throughout the trip with the exception of Polynesian night where all three of the restaurants serve the same menu. We never felt rushed, and we greeted by name when we arrived. The food was excellent from the appetizers to the desserts. A special shout-out to Kristol from Belguim (head-waiter at La Veranda for breakfast and L’Etoile for dinner) - A+ L’Etoile - also a favorite. This air-conditioned restaurant on deck 5 did not require reservations. The menu changed nightly and offered delicious options every night. The service was excellent and we enjoyed all of the meals we had here - A+ Le Grill - while the food was good, this was our least favorite but by no means bad. This restaurant was located on deck 8 near the pool and was open-air. It just didn’t have the same vibe as the others and we could smell fumes from the ship up there - B Bars There was numerous bars on the ship - casino bar, grand salon bar, pool bar and La Pallette bar so there is never a shortage of any drink you like. The waitstaff was very attentive at all of the bars and we never had to wait for a drink. It’s also nice that liquor is included in your fare on this ship. A very nice touch :) - A+ Staff I can’t say enough about the entire staff of the ship. They are attentive, friendly and have a great attitude. They aim to please and it shows over and over again. You will feel very pampered on this ship - A+ Entertainment Probably the only part of the trip that was somewhat lacking. While the entertainment staff tried, most activities were lackluster, started late and there was never much enthusiasm. The nightly shows were medicore at best with the exception of groups from Raiatea and Tahiti that came onboard the ship to do a show. Both of these groups were excellent. This ship is not much for entertaining you so if you really need that type of atmosphere to enjoy yourself, you may want to rethink the Paul Gauguin. The ship's musicians, Dan the piano player and the group Santa Rosa were just ok. Dan was an excellent piano player but we found this to be boring (just not our thing I guess). Santa Rosa tried very hard to make it work and sometimes they were good. Although they were all decent musicians, they lacked vocal talent and that sometimes killed it for us - C+ Ports/Excursions Raiatea - the ship stops here on Sunday and is the only port that the ships docks in - the other ports all use tender boats. My only issue with this is that the town is closed on Sunday with the exception of a small food market so if you wanted to just walk around on your own, there was nothing to do. We did the Faaroa River & Island Exploration 4x4 tour through the ship and it was very good. They take you out on a Land Rover - it seats 8 people. They take you to all different parts of the island by Land Rover and then you board a motorized outrigger canoe for a trip up the Faaroa River. Very interesting excursion and I would recommend doing this - A+ Taha’a - the ship stops here on Monday. The ship does a huge bbq on their private motu here. We were there from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and didn’t want to leave. The island has plenty of beach loungers and palm trees to lay under if you choose to stay out of the sun. The water is shallow and warm and had great snorkeling. There was a full-sized bar, a floating bar and a full sized building for the buffet lunch. There were also many vendors on the island to buy souveniers and pearls. My only suggestion would be to come to this island on Sunday since everything is closed on the islands on Sundays and go to Raiatea on Monday so you can visit the shops when they are open - A+ Bora Bora (day one) - the ship arrives here on Tuesday morning and stays through 6 p.m. Wednesday. The island and water surrounding it is stunningly beautiful. We chose to do an excursion that was not through the ship - the Reef Discovery tour. I booked this tour myself before the cruise through their website. They were very responsive - I sent them a 50% deposit beforehand and paid the balance on the day of the excursion - total of 10,000 XPF each - about $110.00 USD which was very reasonable. Manuel was our guide and he was very good. First we went out on the open ocean to see if we could see any whales - unfortunately we didn’t :( After that, we went to a spot to snorkel - the snorkeling was just o.k. there. After that, we stopped in deeper water to swim with the gigantic Manta Rays. These animals were majestic and it was amazing to snorkel above them and follow them as they swam. After that, they take you to a coral garden on the south part of the island. This was great - so many fish! They give you a piece of bread to feed the fish and they just swarm around you - it was amazing! - A+ Bora Bora (day two) - we did the Rays and Snorkeling by Jetboat excursion. First, they take you to a great spot to swim with sting rays and black-tipped reef sharks. A lot of fun - you won’t believe how close you get to actual sharks that are anywhere from 4-6 feet long! After that, they take you to a coral garden (it was the same one we were at the day before but we certainly didn’t mind given how amazing it was!). Great excursion! - A+ Moorea (day one) - the ship arrives here on Thursday morning and stays through 5 p.m. Friday. On the first day, we did the Aito Off-Road Safari. A guide takes you out on a Range Rover with 3 other couples. They take you to the interior of the island which is a crater. Pineapple plantations, Belvedere Point and more. It was a good excursion - A Moorea (day two) - we did the Waverunner and Rays excursion. They take you on a 45 minute waverunner ride - 2 people per waverunner and you all follow the guide in a line. On the way back, you stop at a pretty motu. Not really sure why they stop there, you don’t do anything. But there is a bathroom on the motu if you need it. The last stop was swimming with stingrays and black-tipped reef sharks. This part was amazing. The guide was feeding the rays so fish just flocked to us as well as the rays - great snorkeling! The fish that come also attract the sharks so there were probably about 10 of those swimming around us. They stay about 6 feet away from you but it makes for great snorkeling and pics to be swimming that close with sharks. We highly recommend this excursion - A+ You get back to Tahiti on Friday night about 8 p.m. and are docked in Tahiti for the last night. Our disembarkation time was at 12:40 p.m. Saturday. The ship provided both a full breakfast and a full lunch before you leave the ship and they didn’t rush you, which was very nice. Paul Gauguin also provided a day room for us at the Radisson Tahiti. The Radisson was about 20 minutes from the pier. It sits on a black sand beach and all of the rooms face the ocean. The rooms were well-appointed for our needs and many of the rooms also have a Jacuzzi on the balcony. The front desk at the Radisson was pretty poor but if you ask for Chris, the manager, he’ll take care of anything you need. They also have free wi-fi in the lobby. There is a restaurant just steps from the beach if you want a meal before you head for the airport. Air Tahiti will pick you up to take you back to the airport at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night although you have to have your luggage in the lobby by 6:45 p.m. so they can take it to the airport for you. This was a little weird for us but our luggage was right there waiting for us when we arrived at the airport. There is one duty-free store at the airport for any last minute purchases. The redeye flights (8-9 hours) to and from L.A. were hard but once you’re there, it’s well worth the annoyance. We flew Air Tahiti Nui and this is probably one of the best airlines we have ever flown. Air Tahiti Nui was great but a redeye in coach is a redeye in coach, - you can’t sugarcoat sleeping sitting up very much! We took a couple of Tylenol PM’s and it did help. All in all, it was a fantastic cruise and this part of the world is just amazing and beautiful. Very different culture from the U.S. - you learn so much and meet so many people from different parts of the world.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband treated me to this cruise for our 20th anniversary. We travel to Europe and the Caribbean every year. We are not cruise people. This was our first cruise. We chose to take this cruise because it was a small boat and we could see ... Read More
My husband treated me to this cruise for our 20th anniversary. We travel to Europe and the Caribbean every year. We are not cruise people. This was our first cruise. We chose to take this cruise because it was a small boat and we could see many of the islands without having to take small planes from one island to another. Also we had no idea what to see or do in Tahiti. we read the reviews and decided to give it a try. Hard to not sound over the top but it was magnificent from the moment we stepped onto the ship. Even though we travel a lot we were anxious as we do not ever cruise and had some negative feelings about cruises. We were on the 8th floor in a large room with a lovely balcony which was so worth the money. Sitting on your own private balcony and watching the beautiful ocean and scenery while enjoying a cocktail and snack just cant be beat! Our room was lovely.....very well appointed. Big bed,bath and plenty of storage space. We brought so much stuff but there was no problem storing any of it. We had 6 suitcases...all fit under the bed. There were so many cubbies and places to put things. We own a boat and were amazed at the storage. We had a butler! And what a wonderful human being he was. When we talk about the cruise (which we do daily) we always say what we miss most is Abner!!! He made the cruise for us. He was so informative, cheerful and kind. He really deserves some sort of award for his treatment of guests. if you think having a butler is a wasteful indulgence, you just have never had one. He had our clothes pressed and back in our closet before dinner on the very first night. Abner advised us on everything including what excursions he thought we might enjoy. Having him appear every morning with our breakfast and saying "good morning!"...how are you today? What will you be doing today? was the perfect beginning to everyday. The excursions were wonderful and we did a lot of them. My husband scuba dived three times and we took many snorkeling trips and a whale watch tour. We rented a car in Moorea. Thank you Abner! We went to Bloody Marys in Bora Bora. We did a lot but it was all so effortless. The Gauguin makes these excursions so very easy and stress free. You get a schedule the day before of all the wonderful things you can do the next day and you just pick what you want. What could be easier? The food was so very good. We eat in NYC a lot and we know good food! Excellent selections and preparations. The Grill was our least favorite but perhaps we caught them on a bad night. All the waiters and restaurant managers were outstanding. We ate every breakfast in our room on our balcony. Ok....one more time.....Thank You Abner! Great selections and presentations. We often were not on the boat for lunch......no problem. Room service whenever....what ever you want. The entertainment was just right. A lot of the local culture was provided with beautiful costumes and wonderful music. We didn't go on a cruise to Tahiti to see plays we see on Broadway! Lets face it, after dinner we were pretty wiped out. An hour show was just right. A nightcap and off to bed. A big Broadway production would have been too much. Almost everyone we met was very active during the day. A special thanks to Steve the cruise director. We had the pleasure of dining with him one night and it was a great evening. He also was responsible for the shows every night. The ship is immaculate. Housekeeping the best we ever had. Our room was constantly being picked up as soon as we left it. Really unbelievable service. When we booked our trip our consultant wisely suggested we a night or two on and stay at one of the bungalows at the Hotel Intercontinental. We stayed two nights in a bungalow out in the ocean. Best suggestion ever. We were actually pretty tired after all of our wonderful adventures. It was so wonderful to just relax in our own little bungalow and go swimming right off our deck. Again, everything first class and wonderful. . We would highly suggest doing this. We were really totally rested when we began our journey home. Everyone complains about the flight from LAX to Tahiti. Not us! We each took an Ambien and slept on both legs of the journey. No big deal. And yes Tahiti Airlines was very nice. All in all.............the trip of a lifetime. Although we are already saving up to do it again! This will spoil you for all other vacations ever..........promise!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I have taken probably 10 cruises or so on everything from the old SeaGoddess to the big Royal Caribbean ships, but this one definitely tops it all! I would compare it to having your own private yacht only way better. Our ship was about ... Read More
I have taken probably 10 cruises or so on everything from the old SeaGoddess to the big Royal Caribbean ships, but this one definitely tops it all! I would compare it to having your own private yacht only way better. Our ship was about two thirds full (246 passengers) on our 7 day voyage. The ship isn't on the sea much as the islands are fairly close. Really, only about 2 8 hour passages and everything else is less than 3 hours. The crew is absolutely the finest I have had. Everyone made a determined effort to know your name and called you by it. Some of the crew I didn't even meet like, at reception, called me by name. The sommelier at dinner, Elmo, knew what kind of wine we liked and made sure it was available every night (at no charge!) My room was absolutely spotless, with the refrigerator fully stocked every day. We were going to eat in the "reservation" dining rooms (also no charge), but the main dining room had a better and more varied menu everyday and was absolutely delightful. We were a group of 5 and were seated within 1 minute for every meal. The breakfasts and lunches were superb with both menu and buffet service. On the way to one of the islands, my partner and I were sitting on the back of the ship having a G and T at one of the 20 or so tables and we were the only ones there at sunset. We both commented about why buy a yacht when you have the Paul Gauguin? No hassles, great food choices and beverages. The only problem is that it stays pretty much in the Tahiti area. We chose to go exploring on all the islands by ourselves and found great excursions for much less money. We spent an extra 3 days on Moorea and that was the best of the islands we visited. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Having been on 4 cruises with Seadream including the epic Amazon trip and never feeling disappointed with all the boat had to offer .....we were recommended the Paul Gauguin as a real alternative comparison to see a part of the world that ... Read More
Having been on 4 cruises with Seadream including the epic Amazon trip and never feeling disappointed with all the boat had to offer .....we were recommended the Paul Gauguin as a real alternative comparison to see a part of the world that Seadream doesn't sail in. We took up the specially promoted Whale watching tour in the South Pacific which included a detour away from the society islands down to Rurutu in the Australs (some 350 miles south) to witness a great whale watching experience with the Humpback Whale population. The tour included Jean Michel Cousteau & other expert whale academics. During the first part of our tour we were not disappointed with our experiences on TaHa'a , Huehine & Bora Bora , seeing both sharks and whales close up in the lagoon surrounding Bora Bora. The islands are spectacular and the people very welcoming. The on-board Polynesian team delivered great high quality entertainment along with their duties as hosts along the way. After the Society islands we journeyed for a whole day at sea down to Rurutu to see the whales. I was slightly surprised at outset to receive a booking for a 1hour tender whale watching slot ! ( after that journey). However , when we got there the whales decided to vacate and we caught long distance glimpses. We spent a little time on the sparsely populated island and then proceeded on a further 1 day at sea back to the Society Islands (Moorea) where the Whales were in abundance. We had a trip out with Dr Michael Poole and had close up sightings of Spinner dolphins and the Humpback whales. The need for our expensive diversion to the south seemed like an extravagance too far and not necessary ( particularly as the whales are commonly sighted in the society islands at this time) In short , the islands were great , the people fantastic ....but the boat fell short of its billing. The food was good but not exceptional , the service was all about getting you through your meals in record time. You had to be in the know to realise that booking all your restaurants the moment you get on Board will save you the embarassment of having to wait 5days for next available slot! ( on a boat that was well short of capacity) . The lectures were informative & the accommodation was very good. However all this comes at a high price and the overall experience (whilst good ) was not equivalent to the quality we received on our previous cruises. The extra 3 day diversion was a real let down as there was little content at all ( i know that whales cannot be ordered to stay around but they are commonly found further north so the need to go there appeared weak and felt like a filler to make the cruise its full length.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Originally we were only booked on the September 21 Rurutu "Whale Watching" cruise (that review coming soon) but with a $2000 credit in hand due to problems with our last PG cruise (see my review last year) I decided what could be ... Read More
Originally we were only booked on the September 21 Rurutu "Whale Watching" cruise (that review coming soon) but with a $2000 credit in hand due to problems with our last PG cruise (see my review last year) I decided what could be better than a pre-cruise cruise! Heck, two cruises in French Polynesia back to back; can't beat that. Luckily the cruise before was a 7 day so it all worked out exceedingly well. I spent a couple of nights in LA and a couple of nights at the Intercontinental Tahiti before the cruise so I was ready to go day one of the cruise unlike 100 people who flew in the night the cruise started. The FIFA beach soccer world cup was going on so anyone who did not book early could not get a room anywhere on the island to do a pre-cruise stay. I booked my own air which gave us a nice credit from PG. Had Air Tahiti Nui miles. Their program stinks compared to years ago by the way. Service and quality has gone downhill since I first started flying with them in 2006 but that is a story for another day and forum. Embarkation as usual (this was my 3rd PG cruise) but be forewarned - you will not be allowed to get on the ship until after 3pm. Check in efficient and I was shown my cabin by one of the housekeepers and along the way many who remembered us made us feel very welcome with welcome back shouts. Even people who I did not recognize. The people who work on the ship will do everything they can for you. It is also like seeing family after a long absence. I cannot say enough about the crew. First night dinner was very good then off the Creperie du Port at the Roulettes for my usual crepe dessert. Many people never get off the ship to try the Roulettes - big mistake, it is a great experience. I had also stopped into Le Marche earlier to get some awesome flowers for the room. Day one was Raiatea and being a Sunday the town was shut down. Unless you are on an excursion there is nothing to do so I just relaxed on a near empty ship. The children of Raiatea show was really good - they only do this on Sunday. Motu Monday was a blast as always. 2 days on Bora Bora up next and the motu that PG has is very nice. I just wish they had a few chairs and bathroom facilities. However the location and water more than make up for this. I did not do any ship's excursions this cruise but people who I talked to that had used the ship for excursions had zero complaints. I did have dinner off the ship at Bora Bora - La Villa Mahana - 2nd time there and as usual it was incredible. I know everyone has to go to Bloody Mary's at least once but this is the place that will knock your socks off (read my two Tripadvisor reviews - same handle). 2 days in Moorea next, rented a car for the day. I find this the best way to see everything at my own pace. I did some shopping, went to an incredible beach and had a great lunch. A much better use of $$$ than a ship's tour. Food on the ship was a big improvement over my previous cruises. The chef - Daniel from Holland - also a very nice guy - definitely knows his stuff and I had no complaints. The soups are all great and it was nice to see lobster back on the menu after a long absence due to local regulations. I cannot speak to desserts as I only indulged once as I had lost a lot of weight before this trip and wanted to be careful. Speaking of which, every morning in La Pallette I had a juice breakfast. This was a nice surprise and a recent addition. My new diet consists of juicing quite a bit. I did have breakfast once in the dining room and as usual the lamb chops were outstanding. The lunch buffet each day was very good, especially Italian day. Much of the food here was better than you will get at most restaurants. Dinner each not in the main dining room was outstanding. There are many choices so it is night hard to find something appealing. Room service was very good and quick also. You can have what they serve in the dining room during dinner hours. The passengers consisted of 50% Americans but there were many local residents on board to give the ship a different "flavor" than what I had experienced before and that was a good thing. It was fun to mingle and get a different perspective from these folks. I wish one couple did not bring their bored to death small kids on board..... Internet was spotty - better to use your own device than the ship's computers. Wi Fi can be easily found in port - that's the way I went. Bottom line is that service and food were outstanding, my cabin attendant was superb, the weather was perfect every day, the staff - cruise director Steve, international hostess Irina, hotel director Jean Paul, F & B manager Paul and the Captain (Toni) were all excellent, personable and a lot of fun to be around. I was skeptical when I had heard the Les Gauguines had changed from all girls to also include guys but it turns out that it was a great idea and those guys were great. Their shows were good. Lectures by Mark Eddowes are always informative also. The shows from local troupes also excellent. I have to be really picky to find something to complain about. Other than creme brulee only available in the alternative restaurants I had zero complaints this trip. It was nice not having to get off the ship and debarkation day. On to cruise #2. To Be Continued..................Wow - the passengers are MUCH different for this one! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
As previously mentioned I had a great 7 day cruise and this was my second leg of the back to back. I will not rehash service, food, entertainment etc as it was all equally as great as the week before. This cruise was billed as a whale ... Read More
As previously mentioned I had a great 7 day cruise and this was my second leg of the back to back. I will not rehash service, food, entertainment etc as it was all equally as great as the week before. This cruise was billed as a whale watching cruise as we were heading to the Austral island of Rurutu. A very nice perk of being on the back to back is that we never had to get off the ship in the morning and wait until 3 to get back on. This made for a great day of relaxation and exploration of downtown Papeete. As people started to embark onto the ship it was quickly evident that the passenger makeup was going to be much different than cruise number 1. More about this later. Not much was different this trip. We had a new F & B manager, Stephane, who was an incredibly nice guy and also Mattia Favaro and Marzia, the Italian magicians who turned out to be really great people and put on a couple of good shows. Our first stop was Huahine and for the third time we used Marc at Huahine Nautique and as usual had a great picnic and shark feeding. Most on board were from Cruise Critic but the 3 locals they also picked up were very strange. Virtually every roll call to this island sets a trip up with Marc so check it out. We had the usual great time at Motu Mahana simply because this time we chose not to leave the ship. It was very nice to have the ship virtually to ourselves. it was a very different experience to be sure. At Bora Bora we also decided to spend a night at the Intercontinental Thalasso and Spa using one of my free night perks for having the IHG Visa card. I get a free night every year so why not use it at a $1000 a night hotel. The hotel was incredible and everyone should stay here once in their lifetime! We never left the room. Our stop in Raiatea was on a weekday this time so everything was open, still not my favorite stop but we did stock up on soaps and other souvenirs. They have a good drugstore there also. Onward to the Australs, I always enjoy new islands and Rurutu did not disappoint. The people were the friendliest I have ever encountered and pretty much the entire island came together for our visit. The only other time the ship went there it was not able to disembark any passengers due to high seas. Outfits were made for all the locals in honor of our visit and everyone could not have been more welcoming. The food they laid out of us was outstanding and the women who came on board had great handmade souvenirs to sell. I was able to interact with a few people and they were really great people. This all more than made up for the fact the whales decided to stay away and we saw ONE the entire day. So much for the whale watching! This made some passengers angry but hey - you know what happens! Some passengers wanted refunds, apologies etc etc but really folks how can a cruise ship control whales! Now that I have mentioned passengers I want to say that while the first leg of our trek we met no one who was a bit off, this cruise had some "colorful" people. The drunks who were unruly at lunch, the people who incessantly were telling people how much money they made and had. The people who tell everyone how many cruises they have been on as a start of a conversation etc etc etc. There was even the person who would "steal" puzzle pieces from the spot near La Veranda so only he/she could finish the puzzle when it got close! Very different indeed. Enough of that. Moorea was great as usual by the way. We anchored in Cooks Bay as there was a large Royal Caribbean ship using the usual bay and I really enjoyed the different scenery and atmosphere. We also did the ship's whale/dolphin watching excursion with Dr. Poole and lo and behold in the bay we had 3 humpback whales! It was a great trip and the whales came to within a few feet of us and although they did not "perform" as I have seen in the past it was nevertheless spectacular. No one cared that we did not see dolphins - saw a nice sea turtle though. So that's it - two cruises in a row and both great. We are returning for the 2014 "Repeaters Cruise" and can't wait. The Pacific Beachcomber company has done a wonderful job in the 4 years they have owned this ship. The food and service have improved greatly. The local entertainment is not to be missed and the Gauguines shows are always great. Once again EVERYONE on board could not have been nicer. I would thank everyone personally but there would not be enough room here. I also met Richard Bailey, the chairman who could not have been more gracious. This leg also had John Hay and Helen Henry as guest lecturers who turned out to be the loveliest people you can imagine and became good friends. If you are on a cruise with them make sure you attend the lectures.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Having heard and read a number of wonderful reviews of the Paul Gauguin we chose to sail in August to celebrate my birthday. We booked "independently" through a local travel agent and the communication from PG cruises was ... Read More
Having heard and read a number of wonderful reviews of the Paul Gauguin we chose to sail in August to celebrate my birthday. We booked "independently" through a local travel agent and the communication from PG cruises was difficult at times - unlike previous cruises this was not a seamless experience. PG cruises is clearly focussed on the American market and as NZers we had to pay in American dollars into an Australian bank account which was a difficult process involving additional bank fees. (Hint to PG, the NZ and Aus dollar is strong at the moment and we are close to Tahiti - you are missing an opportunity to fill your boat!) We selected the majority of our shore excursions prior to travelling but there were problems with time clashes in our initial selection. The PG website would do well to include departure times and lengths for all its shore excursions to allow better planning. Frustratingly the website would not work for us to book online and our travel agent had to do this manually. But finally we did get to board, not a moment before 3pm as previously mentioned by other reviewers. The boarding process was very efficient and friendly and we were shown to our cabin by our butler and sipping champagne within minutes of boarding. We indulged ourselves with a Grand Suite - it is indeed grand. Starting with the balconies, the side balcony is a reasonable size with two chairs and a table, the forward balcony is accessed via a door and has a further two chairs plus table and then two loungers and still plenty of room plus you get to have a forward view as you sail into ports whilst the top deck is still closed. It is only very slightly visible from the top deck but if someone cheekily uses the emergency exit beside the cabin they can tuck their head around the corner and see most of your forward deck - not that I saw anybody do so the entire time I sunned myself out there. The mini bar is supplemented with additional full size bottles of spirits - gin and whisky, along with a bottle of Bollinger on boarding. We had a nespresso machine but you had to request milk to be delivered. There was plenty of room with a couch large enough for three, two lounge chairs and a very comfortable vanity chair. Suffice to say we had room to entertain others which we enjoyed doing so. I will do a separate thread in the PG forum about the food - I have a dairy allergy and did have some issues. Briefly though the food was excellent and the service very attentive, staff were quick to learn our preferences though a bit slow in topping up our wines. We did enjoy our dinner with the Cruise Director Michael Shapiro on the second night - all at his table were excellent company. We did not see much of each evenings entertainments having exhausted ourselves on excursions and just needing the rest anyway we were often asleep early but the reports from our fellow travellers were glowing. Day one in Raiatea we chose to go kayaking. The ship does not dock until mid morning so the excursions are basically afternoon excursions. The local guide was enthusiastic and informative and we drove ourselves silly by choosing to paddle in different directions at the same time no doubt amusing our fellow paddlers. Day two we lazed on the private motu at Taha'a and enjoyed the BBQ lunch. The snorkelling here and indeed throughout most of the trip was a little disappointing to me - I saw much more in Fiji (but the boats that service Fiji are definitely down market in comparison to the Paul Gauguin). Day three we arrived in Bora Bora and I can see why this is described as the most beautiful atoll in the pacific. We enjoyed a morning snorkelling with the sharks and rays and then the coral garden. This excursion was the highlight of the trip, I never imagined myself swimming with sharks and it was awesome. We had a quiet afternoon on the boat before having a private sunset cruise - our guide for this was indulgent to our whims and provided charming entertainment in the background as we sipped champagne and watched the sun slide into the ocean from a picturesque location. Day four was also in Bora Bora and we had an afternoon Land & Sea excursion. The off-road section of this is VERY bumpy - do not go on this excursion if you are timid or worry about the vehicle tipping violently about for it does. The guide even plays this aspect up. But you do get to see some amazing views. We finished by snorkelling at a different coral garden to the one used by the previous days tour so got to see some different sights. The evening cruise to Moorea was a little rocky and my partner did struggle. Fortuitously we had chosen to dine at Le Grill that night which is located in the centre of the boat - the best place to be when the ship is in motion. Our excursion the next afternoon was cancelled due to a lack of numbers, but we were informed in time for us to book the morning on the catamaran tour - though whale watching is not an advertised feature of this excursion we did indeed get to spend some time watching a mother and calf as they cruised along the coast line just outside the reef. The following day we went whale and dolphin watching, this is mostly done outside the reed and my partner was definitely not coping so they dropped him back to shore and he walked back to the boat. The excursion operators offered alternatives but he was happy back on dry land! Again we got to see more whales, but few dolphins on this trip. It was also rewarding knowing that this excursion supplements the research funds of a local American university lecturer. By that evening the boat was back in Papeete and it was a sudden reminder of how quiet it had been in all the other locations we had anchored at. Disembarkation was smooth and trouble free. Though we did discover several others going to the same hotel as ourselves at the same time and we would have been happy to share transport but as PG had already arranged individual transfers it was too late to do this. Those who have booked travel etc via PG get and island tour - this sadly is not offered to the independents though I think it should be. Overall, this was an excellent cruise on a well appointed and maintained boat with wonderfully attentive staff. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We recently returned from a 10 day land cruise tour offered by Paul Gauguin, and can honestly say it was the most enjoyable trip we have taken to date. The hardest part was the long (8 1/2 hour) flight from LAX to Tahiti. Coach class is ... Read More
We recently returned from a 10 day land cruise tour offered by Paul Gauguin, and can honestly say it was the most enjoyable trip we have taken to date. The hardest part was the long (8 1/2 hour) flight from LAX to Tahiti. Coach class is not fun, and unfortunately Air Tahiti (the cruise line choice) does not offer any mid class (i.e. coach plus or business) seating. Service on the plane was as expected for coach. Having survived the flight, we elected to stay at the Omni Intercontinental for the land part of our tour. We also chose to stay in overwater bungalow which was simply enchanting, and I would highly recommend. The room was spacious and well laid out, and sitting out overlooking the water was an experience of delight. The package included breakfast (full buffet) and the wait staff were ever so polite. We ate dinner one night in their overwater restaurant watching the fish swim beneath us and enjoying delicious seafood. After our land stay, we boarded the cruise ship. We chose a veranda room mid ship (cabin 743) to minimize any motion issues (and had none). This was our first small ship cruise (300 or so passengers.) It was absolutely delightful for these (among other reasons). We never felt crowded in any way. The ship is spacious enough so often we felt we were the only ones on it. There was no waiting for meals and reservations (if needed) were easy to get. The food was outstanding. (We live in Scottsdale AZ with plenty of high end restaurants) and the meals we had easily were as good as any we've hd. The wait staff were ultra friendly, quickly learning our names, habits (like needing an extra napkin or our seating preferences). They could not have been more polite or helpful. The same can be said of our cabin steward, and basically everyone else we encountered. The islands we visited were all lovely to behold. Because of health issues, we opted for island tours at each stop. We found these to be quite interesting with informative guides who could speak of history and traditions of the islands. Of, course, the sceneary was beyond compare so a fully loaded camera or video is a must. Two extra bonuses on the trip. A stop at a privite outland with a fabulous lunch buffet set out. And the day of departure, an extra island tour and our own private day room to rest prior to the overnight flight back to the states (greatly appreciated). We would highly recommend the cruise tour for any interested in see this part of the world. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This cruise was a major disappointment.To start it was a 40th anniversary so a very special time for us. So many things went wrong I do not know where to start. Our cabin steward at first was excellent as the trip progressed her service ... Read More
This cruise was a major disappointment.To start it was a 40th anniversary so a very special time for us. So many things went wrong I do not know where to start. Our cabin steward at first was excellent as the trip progressed her service became poor Reg.Towels &Beach towels were not replaced.Had to ask for soap ,.Not a deal breaker but annoying. On 2 or 3 separate occasions we asked the travel desk about beaches we could go to on our own.We did not want to take a local bus preferred to just walk to one.Each time we were told no .3 times we found beaches on our own just a few minute walk from where the tender docked. If you need shade this is not the ship for you.Fighting for a chair became a daily chore.The large chairs in the shade were taken up for sleeping. Food was sub par and wine was in our opinion horrible.I am not a wine snob by any means so an average wine would do.These did not.Food was again in our opinion tasteless.When asked the answer was we canter to an older crowd so we cook to them.I found this insulting. Did except much for entertainment and was not disappointed.The Crew put on a Fantastic show one night.They were the highlight of the trip.Staff in general were all great. The hotels they use definitely need improvement.I know this is FP not the States so again I did not expect much.The IC could have been nice.Breakfast buffetts were delicious dinner were not. Our room was musty and in major need of repair.Remind you this was an over the water bungalow which we paid extra for.They did try to help. The Radisson on the other hand was a no star hotel.PG should be ashamed to put anyone in this hotel.It was dirty broken chairs around the pool and a mangy cat on our balcony.This was a day room.I was afraid to touch anything. When we returned we talked to our travel agent.She asked us to write a letter to explain what the trip was like.We got a basic form letter from the President Diane.This said sorry we did not live up to your expectations.We were not asking for a trip credit but she just did not care.They have a monopoly on this destination.If they don't care about their guests that is a red flag in my book.Be cautious.Cannot recommend.Not worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Embarcation : fast , easy, staff was very nice with us an it is the better ship if you want a fluid embarcation. The cruise boat is small so not too much things to do on when it is rainning an you dont have excursion. If you like to do a ... Read More
Embarcation : fast , easy, staff was very nice with us an it is the better ship if you want a fluid embarcation. The cruise boat is small so not too much things to do on when it is rainning an you dont have excursion. If you like to do a lot of things on a boat you are on the wrong boat. If you like to relax an have luxury boat it is for you. The reataurants are nice, it is good like the other compagny I went on but not realy more then the other. The prsentation of the meal is the best for sure ! The breakfeast no much choice an I give a 2/5 . If you want to eat after 2 pm an before 4pm forget it ! nothing everythings is close. Maybe you can order I dont know. For the price of this cruise I think it is expensive, you have luxury an personnal service that all . For me Oasis of the seas or Allure of the seas was better why : entertaimnents , activities on the ship an many things to do. The price is aft of this one an you have both of the two wold. FABULOUS VIEW !!! FOR THE POLYNESIEN ISLES WOAW!!! EXCURSIONS : Papeete: We where there for 4 days before the cruise an we where very please to look around because If you just arrive before youre cruise you want be able to visit a lots but you will have the day you will arrive till 11h00 pm . Raiatea: I dont know why but the ship go on this day ( sunday) an every shops are close so what do you thinks to go on a motu on sunday an go to raiatea on another day wno everythings will be open. It is the town with probably most store on the port an it's close... We went to Faaaroa river an Island exploration by 4x4 it was fun an e lean a lot of things about population, fruits etc... a nice tour to take. Taha'a: wat a nice place small but realy nice. We went on snorkel an black pearl farm an this is the place to learn about how to do pearl en everythings about that an the snorkel as nice too this was a nice tour to go an enought time to swim with many fish woaw! If you want to buy vanilla it is the place. People on the ship who leave on Papeete said Vanilla = Taha'a no where else. The name of this island is vanilla island so this it it !! The motu Mahana woaw! everythings on beauty an it is the better place Bora bora: take the lagoon cruise en polynesian feast ( with Nono tour) woaw! you do everythings, see an snorkel with the fish,rays an sharks yes sharks it is the bettre activities I did. The where the best place to swim with fish for sure many an many kinds !!! after that you will swim on coral reef an at the end the buffet ooooooo woaw! the best place to eat polynesian feast for sure. We try coco fish at many place an it was the better taste on this tour! On the ship you can eat that it is good but it is not good as this tour for sure. We went on Tapuna safari!! with Joshua best guide , tour best view , best excursion on the road you cant beet it !!! we went to a shop on the mountains an there you can buy the best pareo at the better price, do by hands( attention many place sale pareo but it produce in Indonesia...) not there an it is 38$ euro dollars.If you like to have a tattoo Marama tattoo is the better artist to do one he won the better artist of the year many year before an in the lonely planet book an on other book it said it is the better place to go. Clean an professionnal ! go for it! Bora Bora is the most expensive Island so for sometings who is the same on other Island choose to buy on another Island. On Moorea days: They cancelled my excursion because not enough people so we decided to rent a car an do the Island tour. Nice view ! On Papeete, we rent a car too an we went to the roulotte for dinner it is on the port try it it is fun an good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We embarked around 3.30pm on Sat. and after security checks and a glass of champagne were quickly shown to our cabin. After a quick explore we headed back off the ship to the local market in the port for a crepe . Our room was cosy but ... Read More
We embarked around 3.30pm on Sat. and after security checks and a glass of champagne were quickly shown to our cabin. After a quick explore we headed back off the ship to the local market in the port for a crepe . Our room was cosy but there were a good number of drawers and cabinets to put your things away. We thought it interesting that our friends had upgraded rooms with windows and balconies yet the rooms were exactly the same internally. L'occatne tolitries, hairdryer, robes, minibar. Electrical French/US plugs and 230v in bathroom. Comfortable Queen size bed with suitcase storage underneath. Every night you get mail at your door with details about everything that is happening the following day (very handy). There are also afternoon lectures prior to arriving at a new destination detailing what is offered at each location. One slightly disappointing note is that some activities and excursions were booked out before we even heard about them :( I guess the repeat customers know which excursions to pre-book. Sunday - Raiatea after overnight cruise form Papeete. Rough trip through the night with engine/ballast noise ? (room 310) Strange that this is the first stop because everything is closed on a Sunday. Monday- Taha'a You can spend your day at Motu Mahana, private beach with sand, sun, snorkeling and a lagoon bar ! BBQ buffet for lunch and plenty of beach chairs. We thought this was the best beach day by far. Tuesday - Bora, Bora (2 days) Fresh juice at La Pallete (aft bar). Took the early tender to Viatape (local township), 12 pearl shops and little else. Went back to the ship and then on to the 'private beach' - 60m long with no facilities and no trespassing signs either side :( Slightly disappointing after the previous days magic experience at Motu Mahana. Bora, Bora- Day 2 After discovering the previous day that many excursions were cancelled or full we managed to book a 'Lagoonarium' tour. $105 USD pp, picked up at Viatape and then 20min boat ride across beautiful lagoon. Swimming with Stingrays, Sharks and reef fish - magic experience. Return trip continued on around the island. Thursday - Moorea Traveled overnight again with choppy seas and room noise. Arrived Opunohu Bay early AM, watching sunrise with fresh juice. By this point the barman had them ready and waiting for us. Lazy day by the pool and the sun deck, Bridge tour was interesting. We wanted to paddle board off the back of the ship but it was cancelled due to wind. Evening entertainment included a Polynesian themed night where most guests dressed island style. Day 2 - Moorea Managed to go paddle boarding in the afternoon (bucket list thing) and hired a car in the morning to look round the island. The interior is quite beautiful and worth a look. Moorea has public beaches but the ship does not have access to these. There are excursions for a 'day at the beach' at the Inter Continential for $115 USD but they were sold out before we even heard about them. In the late afternoon we made the short trip back to Papeete and docked for the evening. We disembarked at 5am on the Sat morning to catch our flight home. Food and Service Almost without exception of the highest quality. The service was attentive from the reception to the servers to the room attendants. La Grill and La Veranda restaurants require bookings for dinner and these can be booked out very quickly. La Etoile became our destination of choice to eat with our new group of friends. Save room for dessert/ cheese board and a Tawny Port. There was a wide range of ages on board, from young families to honey mooners and empty nesters. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and cost wise was very competitive compared to staying at a resort on Moorea while getting to see many different places and experiences.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This is our second cruise with Paul Gauguin Cruises. We love Tahiti so much that we've been there for the third time. Our first cruise with Paul Gauguin Cruises was in July, 1998. During that time the stateroom was with all stainless ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Paul Gauguin Cruises. We love Tahiti so much that we've been there for the third time. Our first cruise with Paul Gauguin Cruises was in July, 1998. During that time the stateroom was with all stainless steel fixtures and the dinning rooms were very nice. This time when we returned on the ship and found out that this ship has changed ownership and they have cut corners on the cruise. The dinning rooms were lacked of elegance and sophistication of a luxuary cruise ship. The food was so so, appetizers came in a small portion and the soup was always very salty ( which is not healthy for seniors ).The ship entertainment was downgraded from our previous sailing. We found that the whole staffs were very friendly and nice to the guests and the dinning room staffs have excellent service.  we were also very happy with the stateroom stewardess for taking care of our stateroom. The fitness center is too small and the exercise machines are so close to each other. The ship photographers does not take good photos and their sit down portraits have limited poses for the passengers, it would be better if the photographers can have some new and creative ideas of helping the passengers to pose for the photos. The safe deposit box in the statement is so small which doesn't hold too much valuables in it. The dinning room and the public areas can have more colorful decorations instead of the black & white prints hanging on the walls. There have limited restroom on the ship, wish that they can have more restrooms on Deck 4 & 6. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
An altogether pleasant vacation experience. This ship is small, that is why we selected her. Her ports of call (except St.Kitts) were devoid of any large cruise ships. On all, but one day we anchored, and tendered into shore to small ... Read More
An altogether pleasant vacation experience. This ship is small, that is why we selected her. Her ports of call (except St.Kitts) were devoid of any large cruise ships. On all, but one day we anchored, and tendered into shore to small port towns. Our company in the bays, were yachts of all kinds, from all over the world. There were sufficient cruise sponsored shore excursions, if you did not want to just strike out on your own. They were on a par price wise with other cruise ships for duration, and activities. Service was uniformly excellent, and responsive. Menus were never posted for meals. Breakfast was the same each day, with the usual selections that you would expect, lunches were themed, with the menu items offered based on the theme (asian, mexican, italian, beach BBQ, etc.) and extremely varied and tasty. Dinner was served (as the other meals were buffet style), and everything on the menus (which varied each night) was superb. There was no "lobster night" for reasons (sustainability) which were explained. All sea food was fresh, and local, and the meat dishes were of the highest quality. Liquor was available at your whim, at no additional cost, and included wines were good, but not of wine snob quality. The "PianoMan" was the the entertainment on the ship, and he was versatile, and talented, and had us singing songs with the teen passengers till late in the night. The ship is the former Le Levant, built in 1999. She shows wear appropriate for her age, but has been maintained well, and completely refurbished inside. She has a shallow draft, and even with four stabilizers will roll a bit in seas--like any yacht. If you are prone to motion sickness stick with the floating hotels, but you will never see these islands! Improvements that could be made 1) A few more staff to service cabins, 2) Hamburgers, and hot dogs available everyday, and on the room service menu, 3) upgrading(moving)the embarkation/disembarkationport, 4) sorting out the boarding process. It was not well organized, and if you got to the port area they would not let you in before the appointed 3:00. I did have the opportunity to visit the Doctor for treatment of a pre-cruise broken toe. Dr. Vasili was a pleasant, competent man who showed me the proper way to splint my broken digit, which reduced the pain, and gave me much more mobility. This is a good cruise to take a group on, as you will have a built in circle of friends, and can add more if you find other passengers who are compatible. All in all a different and enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Without a doubt, our sailing on the Paul Gauguin was our best cruise experience after 18 cruises. I am not sure we will be happy with a "regular" cruise ever again. So many aspects of this cruise will make it hard to not want ... Read More
Without a doubt, our sailing on the Paul Gauguin was our best cruise experience after 18 cruises. I am not sure we will be happy with a "regular" cruise ever again. So many aspects of this cruise will make it hard to not want them as part of future cruise experiences. I had a little concern about the Paul Gauguin sailing due to what I thought was a high fare for the 11 day sailing and due to the smaller size of the ship. Would it be a rough ride and would we get seasick? Would we get stir crazy and feel closed in or notice a serious lack of space resulting in a lack of enjoyment for ourselves? Nothing could be further from the truth. When you take everything into consideration, the PG cruise epxerience is a great value! This will be long review but important informaiton for a potential Paul Gauguin passenger. Here goes. Overall, this is the best cruise ship and cruise line we have ever sailed - by far! The ship is a wonderfully smaller vessel with ample space for the 330 passengers (if at full capacity). The ship is clean, beautifully appointed, nicely laid out, and has everything any passenger would need at sea. The staterooms (we had a window stateroom - but often perfer a balcony room) are very beutiful, well designed, with TONS of storage space. In fact, we have never in 17 pervious sailings had so much room for our clothing and other personal items. We had entire areas empty in our room after putting everything away. The bathrooms have a tub/shower combination and are very large with lots of space to store items as well. The bed was marvelously comfortable. No twin beds pushed together with the split down the middle. The linens, towels, toiletries, and other items were of the highest quality. Our room was appointed with fresh fruit and flowers as well and stocked with beverages that were restocked daily. We didn't miss having a balcony on this ship during the entire 11 days. The food was everything one would expect. It was high quality, very artistically presented, well prepared and alwasys in good supply. No less than 6 entree choices for each dinner meal. Breakfast and lunch were served both buffet style and by order from the table. We often ate from both. The buffet and the menu choices will satisfy any pallet. The specialty restaurants are by reservation but at no charge. We ate twice at La Veranda and it felt a little more upscale and the service was slightly more attentive if that is possible. If you don't like the food on PG you are a food snob. While the restaurants serve only specific hours and for 2 hours in duration, the limited meal service didn't have any impact on our experience and there were never any lines or rude passengers in any of the dining venues or elsewhere for that matter. The beverages were high quality and always served cheerfully. We had champange with breakfast along with coffee and diet Coke. Had champange or wine at lunch, drinks by the pool and around the ship from 9:00am til bedtime. Same with dinner; whatever you wanted they found a way to get it to you. If you wanted a chardonnay rather than a viognier they happily brought it to you. The best part is you didn't have to ask for beverages. The wine glasses were always topped off often without noticing this action. The wait staff constantly asked if they could bring us another of our beverage of choice or something else. "Mr. Scott, may I bring you another skinny pirate?" I heard that more than a few times. The staff was the best on any ship at sea. They learned your name within a day or so and then began to address you by Mr. or Mrs. (first or last name here). The entire staff smiled nonstop and left us with the impresion they loved their jobs and making our cruise the best ever. Whiled there may be a few wonderfully attentive servers on other cruise lines and ships, the entire PG staff was on their game and happy to provide you whatever your heart desired. Too many people to mention by name - they were all that good. Entertainment was good to great given the size of the ship and that these same folks also do many other things each day of the cruise. The staff entertainers were very good. Dan the piano man was one cool dude. Steve the cruise director a nice and friendly man who also loved to sing. The locals who performed did so with passion and enthusiasm. Only one bad entertainment experience to mention - Lord Nobody! This poor soul was to be an illusionist of sorts but was very bad at his craft. His show was so bad many (I mean lots) of people left in the middle of his act; it WAS that bad. He had a second show from what I was told and only 20 total people showed up with many of them leaving before the end of his poor second performance. His name proved to be very appopriate - Lord Nobody. Perhaps Lord No Talent would have been a better choice. Sorry dude! The ports were awesome. It is why we book the trip having spent our honeymoon in Moorea and Bora Bora years before. Nothing has changed - still the best place on earth. Of course, the locals are so welcoming and friendly; it is part of their culture. Each port was very interesting. The two Cook Islands were a bit under developed and I highly recommend booking excursions on those visits or getting a scooter to explore like we did. Many of the excursions were quite good too. Many can be booked independent of the cruise line before you go. Mark's Motu Picnic and Snorkel on Huahine is particulary wonderful. The picnic is the best part!! The poisson cru on this excursion is the benchmark for this local Tahitian dish - best ever! Reef Discovery on Bora Bora is excellent as well. I tried to book a horseback riding excursion direct on Huahine but the vendor who normally charges $69 dollars pp directly wouldn't take reservations when the PG was in port - reservations had to go through the PG at $179 dollars pp for the same experience. Didn't like that so the Mark's Motu Picnic got our business and it worked to our advantage. A Great time! On-borading and Off-boarding is well done and organized. Going aboard was easy and our luggage beat us to our room. The unlimited champange at check in was a glimpse of things to come for our cruise. Leaving the ship was even better. Most cruisers know the feeling you get from the crew on the last morning aborad - that "get off the ship" look and feeling. Not so on the PG. The full Breakfast treatment is one clear exception. However, the bar opens at 9:00am and service is as always until you actually leave the ship - one of the perks of the all-inclusive beverages. The ship also serves a full lunch before asking you to depart by 12:30. Nonoe of the "kick you off and now fend for yourself" feeling. The day rooms before and after the cruise are wonderful, nice, clean, and welcoming. The Intercontinental pools are excellent! If you have to buy a meal or drinks hold on to your wallets! I can't speak about the Radison but the Intercontinental was a nice property and we would stay a few days on either side of a future vacation at the Intercontinental for sure. The other passengers - we either drew a lucky group or the smaller ship and level of clients makes for a wonderful group of fellow passengers. We found only one family to be "over the top" - a family from Columbia who gave off the entitlement vibe. They also traveled with small children and three (3) nannies if that helps you envision what I am implying. I wouldn't really recommned this cruise for an entire family if your kids are really young. Other than this unhappy lot, other passengers were the most cordial, well-mannered, nice, friendly bunch of people.......... ever. A special shout out to the following people: David and Shirley from Dallas/Ft. Worth Sam and Lee from San Francisco Horst and Anna from Switzerland Thomas and Marianne from Switzerland Nat and Frances from Tallahassee Ted and Betty from Vancouver, BC All in all, the best vacation we have experienced since the honeymoon. I need an negroni! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We booked a cruise on the Paul Gauguin which included a three night stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in Tahiti prior to the cruise and a day room there the day of disembarkation. At the last minute, we were joined by another couple on ... Read More
We booked a cruise on the Paul Gauguin which included a three night stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in Tahiti prior to the cruise and a day room there the day of disembarkation. At the last minute, we were joined by another couple on the cruise portion of the package. First, let me say that the Intercontinental Hotel in Tahiti is a beautiful facility, with plenty of lounge chairs and towels, several pools, and a closed lagoon area for snorkeling. The rooms were clean and comfortable. We had some issues with service, but management went the extra mile to correct and make right any issues we experienced, so kudos to them. We would stay there again. On to the cruise. Our wait to board was non existent, with embarkation a simple walk on, get your ID, and then we were led to our room by one of the stewardesses. Our bags were already there. This was only a portent of the wonderful treatment to come. This cruise was absolutely, without a doubt, the A # 1, first class cruise we expected. In fact, it exceeded our expectations. The meals were exceptional dining experiences, and, we ate in the " no reservations" restaurant most nights. We made reservations in the La Veranda French restaurant one night, and the food there was also perfectly done. This restaurant was patterned after the Michelin Two Star restaurant of the same name, and it lived up to the same rating. The wine selections at dinner were very nice, and the wait staff was very accommodating to special requests. Even the breakfast and lunch dining options were special. In addition to the buffets offered, there were also menu items for those who weren't buffet fans. If you decided on the buffet, they wouldn't even let you carry your plate to the table. Once you selected your food and filled your plate, a waiter magically appeared at your elbow, asking to take your plate to the table for you. A little disconcerting at first, but a nice touch. And, if you ordered an omelet or custom pasta at lunch, they took your order, then had it delivered when it was done. There was no charge for any of the drinks that anyone in our party ordered, and we were drinking top shelf liquors, including Gran Marnier, and Dewars. Although the brochures for the cruise stated that there might be an up charge for some drinks, I can't imagine what those would be. I noticed that they freely poured other top shelf liquors such as Glenlivet and Glenfiddich. The fruity drinks that most cruises and resorts charge $15 for we're plentiful and tasty. The service throughout the ship was OUTSTANDING! From the wait staff in the dining room, to the drink service by the pool, to the bartenders or drink service at the numerous events and parties, the waiters alway had cold drinks and warm smiles. The room stewardesses, or as my wife refers to them, housekeeping fairies, did an excellent job while remaining seemingly invisible. I don't know how many times each day our young lady, Teresa, came through, but the room was always immaculate. The evenings included a turndown service and a quality chocolate on each pillow. Ahhhh! The entertainment on board was also top notch. Dan the Piano man kept us entertained, whether it was during an after dinner drink, or hosting a Name That Tune quiz / contest, his kind demeanor and light hearted banter made everyone feel at home. There was also a house band, Santa Rosa, that did a great job of providing dance music for parties and events. The nightly shows in the main theater were entertaining, informative, and amusing, sometimes all at once. The Gauguin brought in local dance troupes and cultural groups from the different islands, and they were very entertaining. In addition, and separate from the entertainment groups, they brought in expert speakers who were very engaging in their fields. The two that we attended were "Spinner Dolphins and the Whales of Tahiti" and the "True Story of the HMS Bounty" were both fascinating. Also on board, there were games and activities hosted by their hospitality team, the Les Gauguines, which included several lovely young Polynesian ladies, and one young Polynesian man. There was something for everyone. We participated, collectively, in several activities, including trivia contests, jewelry making classes, a Polynesian language class, ukelele lessons, and others I'm sure I've forgotten. The Gauguines were multi talented, intelligent, graceful and engaging. Included at no extra charge are trips to the Gauguins Private Motu off Bora Bora, where you can sun, snorkel, swim, and eat a BBQ lunch and drink your fill; and to a less appointed motu just off Moorea (only drinks available), but with great snorkeling. There was also kayaking off the Marina deck pretty much any time we were at anchor. We stopped at several islands, snorkeled, swam and shopped. We also did some excursions (extra charge) including tours, a helmet dive, and dinner at Bloody Mary's on Bora Bora. This cruise was stellar right to the end. We had to be out of our stateroom by 9:30am, but the pool bar was open early and a full lunch was served, starting at 11:00am. Our disembark time was 12:20pm, and there was a free three hour tour of Tahiti, if you wanted to go, rather than go directly to the hotel, where our day rooms wouldn't be ready until 3 pm. We thought it would be a sales type trip, but were we wrong. It was an excellent tour! Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, and told us much of the history of Tahiti. We went to a spectacular waterfall; to the house which belonged to the author of Mutiny on the Bounty; toured the coastline; and stopped at a historic lighthouse constructed in the 1867. And thanks to our longtime travel agent, Linda Herron, from Cruises Etc, out of the Cleveland area, for putting together another stellar vacation experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Would like to say this is our second Paul Gauguin cruise in 2 years and will probably be our last. I want to say on our first Paul Gauguin cruise, everything was great. Service, food, staff were all fabulous so this is why we decided to go ... Read More
Would like to say this is our second Paul Gauguin cruise in 2 years and will probably be our last. I want to say on our first Paul Gauguin cruise, everything was great. Service, food, staff were all fabulous so this is why we decided to go on the smaller Tera Moana, expecting more of the same. Well it was a very big disappointment. First off, the dining room was very hot and some nights I had to leave just to cool down. Some nights suppers took in excess of 2 hours. On one occasion, I had to go upstairs and help myself to a beverage as I waited for 20 minutes and it was not coming. I don't necessarily blame the staff as the boat was way understaffed and very poorly designed. there is no bar on the dining room floor and the servers have to go up and down stairs to get beverages for supper. It was also stated in the brochure that there are 2 dining areas which is false. Everyone was packed into the one, downstairs hence another reason it was probably so hot. In the brochure it also says 24 hour room service and this is totally not true. You could not get anything after 9:00 pm and what was on the room service menu was very poor. Out of all the cruises we have been on, the dining room food on this one was probably the worst ( that includes Carnival,Princess, Disney and Royal Caribbean). Breakfast was pretty much the same day after day. Hash browns tasted like cardboard. If you didn't put syrup on the pancakes, you couldn't cut them with a knife. Ryan and Rachit, the 2 nicest and best servers on board, were fired half way through the cruise. We drank warm beer because the 20 year old original ice makers broke down. Apparently only 1 was working. Our shower plugged up and it took 7 hours for someone to have a look at it. We were fortunate that a great couple let us use their room to shower in. The fitness room had no a/c or water in it. We are not high maintenance people by any means and the idea of only 90 guests on board is great, but when we payed that kind of money for a(supposedly) luxury cruise, we expect a little more out of it then what we got. I wrote a letter to Paul Gauguin and they couldn't give me the decency of even a reply. I know this will be our last trip on this cruise line and would not recommend it to anyone DW Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
The departure from Fiji was a little disorganized and could have been better, but once on the ship it was relax and enjoy. We had outstanding weather and the calmest seas the captain said in 6 years of sailing. Each port had it's ... Read More
The departure from Fiji was a little disorganized and could have been better, but once on the ship it was relax and enjoy. We had outstanding weather and the calmest seas the captain said in 6 years of sailing. Each port had it's up's and downs as we tried to vary what we saw. In Fiji we traveled in land to a village and a great water fall swimming hole. It was a day of contrasts and fun. In Savusavu I was disappointed the ship did not offer any tours for snorkeling so we joined a dive group and found this is not a smart thing to do as our safety was second on the list. On board we enjoyed the Grill restaurant and the beautiful outdoor views and relaxed atmosphere with amazing attention to all we wanted. We enjoyed this so much that we returned several nights but after a few found the menu did not change for 5 nights. We then tried the main dining room which was a little varied with also great attention to every detail and need. The wine list this time we traveled was a little more restricted but my husband always found something to enjoy. Days at sea had some offerings of interesting talks and craft projects but the ship does lack space for shade if you just want to lounge on deck out of the sun. The evening entertainment is limited but always something offered and the staff show was amazingly creative. The stops in Tonga and Aitutaki were wonderful with views of caves in Tonga and interesting culture and colours of water in Aitutaki that I could not believe. Under the water we saw giant clams,stingrays,fish galore,eels,starfish,sharks and many many more colours of coral and creatures than I dreamed of. Once into French Polynesia the ship stops were their comfort zone and the disembarking tenders were done in an organized manner which is a pleasure. The day at their motu picnic was wonderful and great weather helped it all. Only negative was on this 12 day trip the end days had some shortage in some areas of the ship with toilet paper. This did cause some disruption to our comfort but was dealt with. The food is still very good maybe not Regent offerings but still excellent quality and the staff all went above and beyond constantly and made you feel like family. The last day that you have they allow you to enjoy the town of Papeete.This is disembarkation day they provide a lovely buffet lunch which lets you explore the city after breakfast while you need to be out of your room but also gives you the comfort of the ship to dine and freshen up before leaving for hotels or home. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We took this trip so that we could view the Eclipse from a favorable spot in the middle of the Pacific. That part of the trip was fantastic, as were the on board Enrichment Lectures given by Rick Fienberg, Holly Gilbert and Mark Eddowes. ... Read More
We took this trip so that we could view the Eclipse from a favorable spot in the middle of the Pacific. That part of the trip was fantastic, as were the on board Enrichment Lectures given by Rick Fienberg, Holly Gilbert and Mark Eddowes. Unfortunately, the crew of the PG seemed completely unfamiliar with the western Pacific port stops (New Caledonia and Vanuatu). These were poorly organized and information was inaccurate or lacking for anyone not interested in taking one of the paid tours. We generally explore areas on our own and were told, for instance, on Mare that there would be shuttles running all day every 20 minutes to a snorkeling beach. The shuttles stopped running around 1 pm and people began to get fearful they would be stranded. The original itinerary indicated we would stop in We on Lifou and instead we ended up in Easo on the other side of the island. The cruise director said that "cars were available for rental" where we were putting in, yet there were no cars, only "guides" who would take you to the local grocery store in the village and then to a beach to swim for an hour. In Port Vila, Vanuatu, we were told by the PG staff that the ferry to Iririki Island was free but it was not. Since our primary interest was in the Eclipse, we wish the cruise had cut out some of the extra days at sea by perhaps sailing from/to Noumea, New Caledonia, making it only 7 instead 10 very expensive days. There was a single younger woman working in reception who was kind; the other two ladies we encountered could only be described as surly. The wait staff in the restaurants were excellent, as were the stewardesses. The food and wines were okay. However, the relative disorganization of the port stops and the disembarkation process this morning, coupled with the attitude of the reception staff makes it highly unlikely we will ever sail with PG again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We planned our trip on the PG 6 months prior to sailing. We had read many reviews on many websites and decided to go ahead with the booking for a 7 night cruise. Considering the price and its comparisons to other cruise lines including 6 ... Read More
We planned our trip on the PG 6 months prior to sailing. We had read many reviews on many websites and decided to go ahead with the booking for a 7 night cruise. Considering the price and its comparisons to other cruise lines including 6 star ones, we proceeded and couldn't wait for the holiday to come around. Our holiday started with a week at the Hilton Moora in a fantastic OWB and we loved every minute of the stay. From Moorea we took the ferry across to PPT to board the MS Paul Gaugain on 6th October 2012. The boarding process was simple, not a flash place to board the ship but it was fine. Registration was done in the theatre and we were quickly checked in and given keys. A glass of sparkling wine was also offered during the process. Once keys were issued we were to make own way to the cabin. Our cabin was very small, half the size of the staterooms on the Silversea ships and tiny bathroom. Unfortunately our room was below the bridge and above the theatre, which made it noisy at night. Also, when the ship drops anchor, the noise is alarming and very noisy. Mostly anchor drops at 630am so not a very good start to each day. We never saw a maid or "steward" for 2 days. Mini bar does not include alcohol. When we asked for a bottle of champagne to be put in our room we were told "no!". This was to be a common response to most the requests many other people received on the ship. They could only bring you a glass of champagne not a bottle.....that's policy....another constant response. There were times throughout the cruise you could only order room service during the day as everything seemed to close . If you arrived at a restaurant or high tea etc and they were 10 mins from closing you would not be encouraged to stay. The staff are extremely unfriendly and don't anticipate anyone's needs, except for a few of the crew such as the excellent Cesar in the main restaurant who always helped us with anything. Food very poor and unless you book a restaurant on day one you won't get in without a fight with the Maitre d. Don't expect many good quality wines to match your food..... It's pretty bad wine served with mediocre food so it's well matched. Anyway...I could go on and on about the bad restaurant service but I don't want to, let me start on reception. The women on reception (one in training) we the most UNFRIENDLY crew I've encountered and couldn't have made any request more uncomfortable. We had a A blackjack tournament we registered for on the last night which we wanted to room charge ( which you do opwhen playing at the casino) however they would do it, or payout a $100 note. It's policy apparently. So after tense words with the Financial Officer I got the $100. We paid almost $10000 for this cruise and they didn't want to give us $100 charged to our account as it was the last night. When you travel Siversea nothing is a problem. I could go on and on about the unfriendly staff at reception... But I need to add positives. The itinerary is what got us through.! The destinations were incredible and the islands of French Polynseia are spectacular. I was amazing and we loved every minute......it was the only ship that did this itinerary, if other lines were available hindsight would have been great. Bora Bora is as picturesque as the movies and photos and we loved loved it! Dinner at Bloody Mary's is a must! Raitea and tahaa were very pretty and the snorkelling was fantastic. You must do the Sting Ray swim in Bora Bora or the jet ski around the island.... Both the best tours we did in 2 weeks. We had dreamed of Tahiti for so long and loved the islands and our time there, it was the ship, staff and food that was the let down.... However focusing on where we were helped us detach from the messy cruise we were on. I know this is a quick and messy review but I had to put something on. If you are considering the PG, think seriously about your options and whether the $ you spend is very important. It would be cheaper to fly In between islands and spend time on a couple of different ones, it may end up more fabulous and cheaper than the PG. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
For those contemplating a trip to exotic French Polynesia and taking a cruise on the m/s Paul Gauguin, I hope to provide you with some useful information in my review. Be sure to check out other reviews to get a more complete picture of ... Read More
For those contemplating a trip to exotic French Polynesia and taking a cruise on the m/s Paul Gauguin, I hope to provide you with some useful information in my review. Be sure to check out other reviews to get a more complete picture of the cruise. My wife and I wanted to stay in a romantic Over the Water Bungalow (OWB) for a week in French Polynesia. However, after we started pricing the cost of such a trip, we changed our approach. We decided it would be more cost-effective to go on a cruise with Paul Gauguin Cruises (PGC) and stay in an OWB as part of a pre-trip package. PGC would handle all the inter-island flights and transfers for the OWB part of the trip, at what appears to be a good price. And we would get to travel to several islands, including Bora Bora and Moorea. Highlights of our trip: the friendly people we met, the scenic views in French Polynesia, a small ship (doesn't take long to get from one place to the next), drift snorkeling in Rangiroa, snorkeling near sharks and not panicking, and seeing dolphins and whales near the ship, Siglo (quartet) music group on the ship. Low-lights: having any low-lights, dive boat trip back from a snorkel excursion, diving restrictions, safety issue with tender boat, security screening at Tahiti Papeete airport. We decided on the 10-day Tuamotus & Society Islands cruise in mid-September. We would visit Tahiti (arrival, departure), Huahine, Bora Bora (2 days), Rangiroa (atoll in Tuamotus), Fakarava (atoll in Tuamotus), Taha'a, and Moorea (2 days). We decided to do a pre-trip stay. We had hoped at stay at Le Taha'a Resort, based upon a recommendation from our travel agent, but PGC stopped offering that place in 2012. Instead, it offers Vahine Island Private Island Resort, which we selected over places like Moorea and Bora Bora. Airfare, between Los Angeles and Papeete, Tahiti, on Air Tahiti Nui, is included in the price of the cruise package with PGC. We upgraded to business class, because my wife does not tolerate long flights (8.5 hours to Tahiti from LAX). Although the business class seats do not recline a lot, they are more comfortable and spacious than coach class seats. Service was very good. Figure $2800 per person for the business class upgrade through PGC. We purchased our own tickets from our local airport to Los Angeles; PGC was charging a lot more. We left Los Angeles at 4:30 pm and arrived in Tahiti about 10 pm. We were met at the airport by representatives of Tahiti Nui Travel. We boarded a bus and were taken to overnight lodging at the Intercontinental Resort Tahiti. I was very impressed with the hotel. The resort has a lot to offer, has scenic views, and very good food. We had an unlocked international cell phone, but it did not offer coverage in French Polynesia. We walked 15 minutes from the Intercontinental to a local supermarket and went to the Vini retail store. There, I purchased a sim card for the cell phone that worked throughout our trip. I could recharge it at post offices on several of the islands. The next morning we were picked up by Tahiti Nui Travel and taken back to the airport to begin our trip to Vahine Island. We stored two bags for 4 days at a locker storage facility at the Papeete airport (5600 CFP = $62). For our international flight between the USA and Tahiti, we were allowed 32 kg (70 lbs) of checked luggage (times two, since we flew business class), 10 kg (22 lbs) for a carry-on, and a personal item. Because we had to fly between islands to get to our OWB resort, we had to cut down on our luggage. The weight restrictions for the inter-island flight on Air Tahiti were 20 kg (44 lbs) of checked luggage, and 3 kg (6.6 lbs) for a carry-on. Because I had my dive certification card with me, I was allowed an additional 5 kg (11 lbs) in my checked bag. The airline representatives seemed more concerned about the size of the carry-on bag (is it "small"?) than how much it weighed. We left Papeete at 1:05 pm and arrived at 1:50 pm at the Raiatea airport. We were met by someone (arranged by PGC) who loaded our luggage onto a boat for a 35-minute boat trip to the Vahine Island Private Island Resort. We did have problems on the small boat; the gas fumes were a little too much for the first part of the boat trip. Vahine Island is within the lagoon surrounding Taha'a and Raiatea. We were greeted by one of the co-managers as our boat arrived at the island. I can't say enough good things about our pre-cruise stay at the Vahine Island Private Island Resort. It was like a touch of paradise. There are only 9 bungalows on the island. My wife and I stayed in one of the 3 OWBs. Everything we had hoped for in an OWB was realized in a tranquil, picturesque setting. (Ask for the Fare Iva hut.) The managers and staff were wonderful. The other co-manager is an accomplished French chef! We felt spoiled. My wife and I quickly got into "vacation mode" by relaxing at this resort which lives up to its reputation as a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. For the return trip to Tahiti on a Wednesday, the only direct flight back was late in the afternoon at 6:15 pm. We were picked up by boat and taken back to the Raiatea airport. Be aware that there are no shoes to remove, and no liquids to worry about prior to boarding the flight, because there was no security screening at the airport. You just check in and wait for your flight. We arrived back at Papeete airport at 7 pm, picked up our luggage at the storage facility, and transferred by bus to the m/s Paul Gauguin. We showed our passport at the dock and boarded the ship. We went to the Reception Office on deck 4 to get our shipboard ID cards. By the time we got to our room, our luggage had arrived. We went to eat before the restaurant stopped serving dinner. There are three restaurants on the ship: L'Etoile (back of ship, Deck 5), La Veranda (back of ship, Deck 6), and Le Grill (mid-ship, by the pool, Deck 8). Reservations are needed to eat at La Veranda and Le Grill. You can make reservations for 3 nights in advance. We found it most enjoyable to eat at Le Grill when the ship was docked in port for the night (Bora Bora, Moorea, or Tahiti [last night] for our cruise); you could enjoy the outside view without worrying about waves and lots of wind. You could eat at L'Etoile restaurant for any dinner meal. We liked open dining on the ship. We met quite a few couples on the cruise. We would have drinks at La Palette Lounge around sunset with one or more of the couples, and then go together for dinner, usually at L'Etoile Restaurant. Dining was casual. You never had to wear a jacket or sports coat. For Polynesian night, you were encouraged to wear something tropical or even a pareo. PGC did offer free wine and drinks at meals and at the bars. You could pay to get premium wine. My wife and I thought the free wine was good. Many nights, different free wines were available at the restaurants. One reason I selected this cruise was the opportunity to go diving in Rangiroa and Fakarava. That was before I ran into the "process" onboard the ship. You could not sign up for these dive trips in advance, unlike other shore excursions. You had to talk to a member of the dive team in the lobby of deck 4. You were given a questionnaire to fill in. If you answered "yes" to any of the medical questions (e.g., do you now have, or have you ever had, allergies or an operation), you had to go see the ship's doctor to get cleared to go diving--at a cost of $75. It doesn't matter if you had no recent symptoms or had been previously cleared for diving by a competent physician; you had to pay for the privilege of getting cleared again. You were also told that you couldn't dive in Rangiroa unless you had had 40 previous dives, and you couldn't dive in Fakarava unless you had had 20 previous dives. Some divers likely did not conscientiously answer the questions. I ended up having sinus congestion on the trip and couldn't go diving in any case. I talked to some who did the diving, and they said they had fewer than 20 dives, and had no problems in either Rangiroa or Fakarava. Our cabin was 733. The room was adequate in size (but smaller than the room on other ships we have been on). The suitcases did easily fit under the bed. There were plenty of drawers for storing clothes and odds and ends. The bathroom contained a combination bathtub and shower. There was a line that you could extend above the bathtub for drying out wet clothes. The outdoor deck only had two chairs and a table; there was not enough room for lounge chairs to lie down on. There were privacy panels between the adjacent outdoor decks. The crew and staff on the ship were very friendly. Make the effort to learn the name of your cabin attendant, dining room stewards, and pool bar servers. They appreciate it, will greet you before you can say hello, and give you a little extra, attentive service. We saw the Captain more often than we did on other cruise ships we have been on. At Huahine, we took the tender to the island and then "Le Truck", a local bus, to the town of Fare and walked around the small downtown area. We didn't want to do a shore excursion. We spent two days at Bora Bora. We entered the lagoon surrounding Bora Bora and docked near the town of Vaitape. The fancy resorts (e.g., Intercontinental, Le Meridien, St Regis) were on the other side of the island, along the edge of the lagoon. We learned in the Port Talk that Avis rents bikes. So my wife and I rented 2 bikes and circumnavigated the island in about 4 hours. There were only 2 hills. We stopped at a local supermarket and bought some food and drinks. We made several stops around the island. When we took the tender from shore back to the ship, we noticed that several locals in outrigger canoes were following the tender and riding in its wake. Some of the cruisers did their homework in advance. By doing research on CruiseCritic.com, they found the name of a local operator (Kristof??) who offers a private snorkeling tour in Bora Bora. The group diverted to see some whales in the area, something that would not have been possible with a PGC-arranged snorkel excursion. PGC did offer a tender to a private motu in Bora Bora. Beer, rum punch, and soft drinks were available, but there were no bathroom facilities. Kayaks were available. One of the highlights of the trip was the entrance to Rangiroa. Ships enter the atoll through one of two passes. The currents are quite strong in these areas. We entered at the Tiputa Pass and were amazed to see all the dolphins, and one shark, in the water swimming alongside the ship. We took a PGC snorkel excursion called "drift snorkeling". A boat took us outside the Lagoon of Rangiroa. We got out and drifted with the current into the lagoon while looking for fish. We repeated this three times at different positions in the pass. The next day we visited the atoll at Fakarava. We went through a pass and anchored just inside the lagoon. We watched the dolphins swimming around the ship. Our snorkel trip was changed, possibly because of the choppy waves in the lagoon. We instead took one of the ship's dive boats in the afternoon to a coral garden near the center of the lagoon. We saw a few yellow-tipped and black-tipped sharks swimming around the area, and did not panic. You see them for a few moments, and then they're gone. You wonder where they went (cue the music for the movie "Jaws"). You quickly realize you're a visitor in their world, and they're not interested in getting close to you (whew!). I would recommend a full wetsuit for snorkelers who easily get cold in the water, especially if you're tall and skinny. It would have helped on the trip back to the ship from the coral area. My wife and I were asked to move to the very back of the dive boat. That made us more exposed to the wind and waves. I got soaked on the trip back, and the water was cold. It was not a pleasant experience. The snorkel guide and boat captain did not appear to care. Again some of the cruisers did their homework in advance. By doing research on CruiseCritic.com, they found the name of a local operator (Atoo??) who offers a private snorkeling tour in Fakarava. They reported having a great time. One of the passengers told me that you could do a Cruise Critic Roll Call of people signed up for a cruise to find others who are interested in doing a private tour at one of the destinations. In this way, you can locate enough people to meet the minimum tour requirement. The next day we traveled towards Taha'a and spent the day at sea. Many passengers booked spa appointments. My wife and I did 90-minute massages on the second day at Bora Bora. She did an Oriental massage. I did the volcanic hot stone massage. The massages were above average, not superb. You can pre-book shorter duration massages before you cruise. We booked ours on the morning after we left Tahiti. We did the Exploration of Taha'a shore excursion on the morning of our arrival at Taha'a. Others went to PGC's private beach off the island of Taha'a (and a few miles from Vahine Island). We took an off-road vehicle (8 passengers each) and drove up one of the mountains on a muddy, pitted dirt road (it had just rained). We stopped at the top for a scenic view, enjoyed some local fruit and musical entertainment. Then we visited a small black pearl farm and a vanilla farm. We arrived back on the ship, changed clothes, and caught a tender to the private Motu Mahana. We arrived at the end of the BBQ lunch (sorry, no hamburgers left). There were bathroom facilities. Although the last tender from the Motu to the ship was at 5 pm, kayaks were removed starting at 3 pm. The bar started shutting down about 4 pm. The availability of drinks became limited. It was hard to chill out and enjoy the last hour at the Motu. Tip: some of the ship dining staff arrived early on the island and cut up coconut shells to serve drinks in; be sure to ask for one when you arrive (early) on the Motu. Be very careful getting on and off the tender to the private Motu. The tender has a ramp that lowers to let you off the boat in the shallow water off the beach at the Motu. There is a hand crank that lowers the ramp. As my wife passed by the crank, it apparently released and smacked the top of her arm and gave her a hematoma. Fortunately there was no bruising or contact with bone. I reported the incident later to the ship's Safety Officer. Be aware that you have to take one of the three shore excursions if you want to go the island of Taha'a. The ship did not offer any tenders to Taha'a, only to the Motu. The next stop was 2 days in Moorea. I found it one of the prettier islands on the trip, not so commercialized as Bora Bora. My wife and I booked our cruise through a Virtuoso travel agent. During the cruise, the Virtuoso travelers got to attend a special cocktail reception. And on the first day in Moorea, we got a half-day bus tour of the island. We visited Opunohu Valley, stopped for a scenic view on Mount Belvedere, visited an ancient archaeological dig, heard about community projects at the UC Berkeley Gump Research Station, had lunch at the Intercontinental Resort Moorea, and then visited the Kellum House and Gardens. At this last place, we got to meet and chat with Kellum's daughter and famous archeologist, Marimari. I learned that the m/s Paul Gauguin is the only cruise ship to visit Moorea and several of the other islands in French Polynesia on a regular basis. Cruise lines such as Princess and Celebrity have stopped coming, according to one local. My wife and I didn't know it, but we were in French Polynesia during whale season. One of the shore excursions offered by PGC in Moorea was a Dolphin Watching Expedition. We learned at a Port Talk that it was being expanded to include whale watching. We tried to sign up, but the excursion was already fully booked for the day we wanted. We got on the wait list, but to no avail. PGC brought onboard a local expert, Dr. Michael Poole, to lead the tour. At the time we were in Moorea, a momma whale and her baby had taken up temporary residence in the area, swimming back and forth between two bays. Several small boats would get up close to the whales. One of boats, probably the PGC tour, got snorkelers in the water to swim near the whales. Not getting on that tour was one of the regrets of our wonderful vacation. However my wife and I spent several hours in the morning watching the whales (we brought binoculars which were very useful). We also went kayaking off the marina platform (back of the ship, Deck 4). This is a benefit offered by Paul Gauguin Cruises. You can't swim or snorkel in this area, but you can take the kayaks out for an hour at a time. On the last night, as we sailed back to Tahiti, PGC brought a local folkloric dance troupe on board to provide the evening entertainment ("Showtime") in the Grand Salon theater. Before dinner that night on the ship, guests could make leis and other flower arrangements. Lesson learned: get one early, because they will run out before you are ready for dinner. You do have a chance to get a lei at Showtime. We docked at Tahiti by 7 pm. You were asked to put your luggage (for checking at the airport) outside your cabin by 11 pm. The next morning, breakfast was served in L'Etoile from 7-9 am. You were asked to vacate your cabin by 9:30 am. The pool bar opened at 10 am for guests who were still on board. Depending on your post-cruise arrangements, you were assigned a time to depart the ship. My wife and I had an 11:15 pm flight from Papeete to Los Angeles. We disembarked the ship around 12:30 pm. PGC graciously arranged a several-hour bus tour of the eastern part of Tahiti for us, before we could check in to our dayroom prior to our evening flight. Our luggage was loaded on buses for us. We visited a lighthouse and famous park, waterfalls, and the James Norman Hall Museum. James Hall was a co-author of the Bounty trilogy--"Mutiny on the Bounty," "Man Against the Sea" and "Pitcairn's Island" and helped make Tahiti famous. At the museum, we got to meet Hall's daughter Nancy. Then we were dropped off at our dayroom at the Sofitel Tahiti Maeva. We were originally supposed to stay at the Intercontinental, but they ran out of rooms and PGC moved us to the Sofitel. I would never recommend staying at the Sofitel. The bed was uncomfortable. My wife found a bloodstain on her pillow. The beach area, in a cove near a marina, was not very big or inviting. The tour guide on our bus tour of Tahiti mentioned that the hotel might close down within the next few months. At the airport we talked to passengers from the cruise who stayed at two other hotels for their dayroom (Intercontinental, Radisson). They spoke highly of their hotels. The same cannot be said for the Sofitel. Although we had all of our luggage at the Sofitel, we had to take our luggage (to be checked at the airport) to the lobby a couple of hours before our pick-up time. Tahiti Nui Travel picked up the luggage and took it on to the airport. We were picked up in the evening at 7:30 pm for our 11:15 pm flight back to the USA. The hotel is only about 10 minutes from the airport. We were dropped off at one end and located our luggage. Then we went to check in. If you are flying in coach class, expect to wait in a long line to check in. Then expect some overly conservative security screeners. My wife had a pair of tweezers and manicure scissors confiscated by a screener. She protested, to no avail, that even the security screeners in the USA allow these items. Another passenger had a small craft tool confiscated; she was very unhappy about that. Your travel agent should warn you about this behavior. We had purchased some pearls on one of the islands. The shop did not charge us the VAT tax, but, in return, we had to get some paperwork stamped at the duty free office at the airport and have it mailed to the store (can mail at the airport, stamp was provided by the store). There are several flights departing Papeete in the evening. The duty free office did not open until about 9 pm, because the person working in that office was also helping with the departure of one of the flights. Expect to wait in line to get your duty free stamp. It doesn't take long--show the paperwork and the item you purchased (do not put it in your checked luggage!) and then get two pieces of paper stamped--but there are lots of people in line. The Paul Gauguin Cruise allowed my wife and I to visit picturesque and exotic islands in French Polynesia. Our OWB bungalow pre-trip stay was memorable and very romantic. Overall, this was a wonderful vacation. We recommend the trip to other adventurous travelers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
While cruising on Paul Gauguin in January, 2011, we heard that an itinerary featuring whale watching, and in some cases getting in the water with humpback whales was being developed for September 2012. Humpback whales make the trip from ... Read More
While cruising on Paul Gauguin in January, 2011, we heard that an itinerary featuring whale watching, and in some cases getting in the water with humpback whales was being developed for September 2012. Humpback whales make the trip from Antarctic waters every year to mate and give birth off the islands of French Polynesia. We couldn't sign up fast enough when the voyage was published. We were away from home when our cruise documents arrived, so, by the time we called in to sign up for the whale watching excursions, they were full and we were put on the wait list. We were told Paul Gauguin was pulling out all the stops to take care of as many as possible. In the end, we were moved up and ticketed on the excursion. However, many guests on the ship were not able to get on the list. It is a little difficult to understand how or why a ship with a capacity of over 300 guests would set an itinerary where a large proportion of guests would not be able to participate. The morning that the ship arrived off the island of Rurutu, the winds were up and the ship moved to a more sheltered anchorage. Passengers were told that due to the winds, there would be no landings on the island & the whale watching would take place with large groups on the ship's tender, instead of the local fishing boats that had been booked. This was the first-ever visit of a cruise ship to Rurutu, and the local population had made great preparations. There was huge disappointment when no one could go ashore, and the locals went to great lengths to make landings possible but to no avail. In the end they came out to the ship in their own boats and put on one heck of a show. However, this became an issue in Polynesian newspapers, and the people clearly were not happy. The wind died down, the waters smoothed out, but the die was cast. It was very frustrating to watch one of the small boats that had been booked for our excursions come out with six people who got in the water next to the whales while more than 50 of us watched from a tender who could get nowhere near as close. Perhaps there was an overabundance of caution on the part of the ship's officers, perhaps not, but the majority of the passengers felt that way. It is clear, though, that they should have been there face-to-face with the guests explaining things instead of requiring others to put out brief blurbs on the PA system. There seemed to be no effort made to look at possible modifications to the program as conditions improved. Eighteen months ago, we had a conversation with the son of Dr. Michael Poole so we were aware that at this time of year there were many whales off the island of Moorea, and in many ways easier to approach in better waters. We had made sure to sign up for Dr Poole's excursions, even though they were listed as dolphin watching tours, as this time of year there was as much or more interaction with whales as dolphins. Again, because of the way the excursions were listed, many people on a cruise advertised for its proximity to whales didn't get the opportunity because they didn't know this option was available, until after the limited capacity had been filled. By the way, our experience with Dr. Poole was beyond magic! In the water so close to a huge mother and her calf in water described as "clear as gin." This trip is listed again for 2013. It is clear that Paul Gauguin needs to take some lessons learned from this trip and rethink how they can make this work. Having said all this, the ship and its staff were as outstanding as ever. It is cruising in great comfort, with great everything else, and a staff that makes sure one feels as if they are the most important people on the ship. It is clear that the most important commodity on this ship is the crew at every level. After Paul Gauguin underwent it's refurbishment earlier this year, the furniture at the pool deck bar was replaced with new stuff, including sofas arranged in a horseshoe around a table. It seemed to me that once two or three people were sitting there, others would be reluctant to sit down. I was talking about this with the guys at the bar one afternoon, and the next day the sofas had been rearranged so that smaller groups could sit down together,and still interact with the wider group. It is this culture of caring for the guest that begins as you board, and continues until you disembark, knowing that the next group boarding in just a few hours will get the same treatment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
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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