32 Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruise Reviews

So, this cruise was highly recommended by our travel agent and so we listened and booked it. So right from the get-go after final payment we received the airline reservations for a flight out of LAX that would not arrive until 10:30PM in ... Read More
So, this cruise was highly recommended by our travel agent and so we listened and booked it. So right from the get-go after final payment we received the airline reservations for a flight out of LAX that would not arrive until 10:30PM in Papeete and then they would transfer you to the ship. I am saying why? So, we'll board at Midnight? Yes. Well there goes your boarding experience and no dinner for that evening. Meeting at the airport and transfers to the ship were great, waiting and standing in the rain to board not so much fun. Day 1 of cruise gone! Cabin was great, luggage was already there waiting. The ship is quite old, but clean. I have no real complaints about the ship. Dining experiences were awesome all credit goes to the staff. The menus at the 2 restaurants that you must make reservations for have the same menu every night (bad idea). Earliest you can eat dinner is 6:30PM Food was very good though. All entertainment starts at 9:30PM and that just does not work for us, we did manage to stay up for the Beatles from the Philippines but ended up leaving early, they tried, but sorry out of sync and out of tune. It was the only show we went to. Other activities were going on throughout the days and evenings and the ones we did go to were good. But it should be mentioned that a lot of these activities start at 6:30PM so we did not get to meet the Captain as we had dinner reservations, we did not get to make a Tahitian flower crown for the wife as we had dinner reservations. The fitness center is very small and very crowded and most time we had to wait for a machine to workout. The Public rooms, Bars we awesome and we had a good time. Service throughout the ship was excellent as well as the staff, enough cannot be said about the wonderful staff. The shore excursions we took were average and nothing to get excited about. So let's talk about the Islands...first one we go to is Huahine and I have to say why? Why the heck do they go there? Tender from the ship to the opposite side of the Island and take the shuttle to town 30 minutes away and two stores were open, gezzz what a waste of time. Second one is their private Island Taha'a and it was great and had a good time there until it rained, and everyone scrambles to get back to the ship via tender. Third stop Bora Bora for two days. Toured the Island and went shopping, second day went on the glass bottom boat, it was OK but overcrowded. Next stop Moorea for two days, day one it rained the whole time of our tour around the town and the shops we went to, OK but missed all photo opportunities due to the clouds. Second day we went shopping until it started raining again and again a battle for the tender back. I believe Moorea would have been by far the best Island, but rain prevented most of the great experiences. So finally, back to Papeete and we get there at 7:00PM and receive our Dis-Embarkation instructions, I thought embarkation was bad this was really bad. Must be out of cabin by 9:00AM and can't leave the ship until 12:30PM Breakfast does not start till 9:00AM so 3 hours of sitting or waiting, what to do? They do allow you to walk into town, which we did and went shopping and were back by 11:00AM just in time for lunch. Then we wait till 12:30PM to get off and found out the bus was going to take us on a 2.5-hour tour "to waste time" as the guide said because the Hotel they were taking us to was not ready for us. The tour was OK, and the Hotel was very nice but all you get is a room for 4 hours to kill before you have to check out and wait in the lobby for another 1.5 hours before the bus takes you to the airport for your Midnight flight back home. After loading the bus and luggage in a van we get to the airport at 9:15PM and wait another 2.5 hours before boarding. The flight back to LAX is 8 hours and I can’t sleep on a plane, never could sleep in an upright position. So, from 6:00AM in Tahiti to 1:00PM home 33 hours later is not how I would have planned it. We did get about 2-3 hours sleep in the Hotel in Tahiti and wife slept on the plane home. My advice, don’t book your travel plans through Paul Gauguin, book your own flight and get your own Hotel if you need one and get there 1 day before because the earliest flights all seem to get there after 6:30PM and boarding starts at 3:00PM. Also, the earliest flight home starts at 8:40PM so again I would get a Hotel going home (even though you may not spend the night), some place to go and relax before going to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Was for our 10th wedding anniversary ,disappointed in the ship and how old it is inside for the 1st since we have cruised we didnt take any pictures of the interior ,the only good thing is that it's going in for major changes just ... Read More
Was for our 10th wedding anniversary ,disappointed in the ship and how old it is inside for the 1st since we have cruised we didnt take any pictures of the interior ,the only good thing is that it's going in for major changes just dont change the crew they are excellent had a great room attendant and server manny in la veranda , love the stops in Bora,Janine,tahaa,moorea fakarava was nothing special unless you dive , the average age was mayb an issue but it's the ships decor that was real bad ,room service was great food was good enough just was expecting more for the money we spent but in the end although the crew were good it didnt justify the money spent free wifi and some excursions would have made it a better deal but it just the look of the interior of the ship which will remain with us just wasnt luxury at all even at the tender arrivals old carpets and nothing luxurious about waiting area other cruise lines do a better job but I'll be honest this is our opinion because people looked happy mayb just wasn't for us . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I were looking forward to this luxury cruise on Paul Gauguin. We have cruised many times in our 36 years of marriage and do not have an alliance with any cruise line. We are most interested in the itinerary. Embarkation ... Read More
My husband and I were looking forward to this luxury cruise on Paul Gauguin. We have cruised many times in our 36 years of marriage and do not have an alliance with any cruise line. We are most interested in the itinerary. Embarkation was poorly done. We were advised to arrive at or after 3PM. We arrived at 2:45pm to a line completely in the sun. Buses were backing up running their exhaust into the guest awaiting to board. No where to sit, no shade. At 3pm we were allowed to entire and check in was quickly done in the grand salon. The ship itself is very plain, nothing pretty and in much need of an update. Although everything was very clean. The pool area is very small and there are no hot tubs. The service was nothing special, the same as I've had on other ships and poor in some areas. At breakfast and lunch especially you are encouraged to go to the buffet. You were discouraged from ordering off the fixed menu. Even felt uncomfortable to ask for a soda with lunch and never asked for a refill. The food was excellent at dinner. Most breakfasts and lunch for average. Meal times were breakfast 7am to 10 am, lunch 12 pm to 2pm, tea 4 to 5pm and dinner 6:30pm to 9pm. If you were on an excursion or wanting to eat at a different time room service was available. Entertainment was weak with a few exceptions. The Guaguines a group of Tahitian young people were very entertaining. Though not professional they did their best to entertain us. Polynesian night a local group was brought on and they were great as well. Sitting at the pool there was no band or music during the day. The ports of call were all wonderful and the reason most must come on this cruise. Although when getting off the ship there isn't anyone handing out maps or answering questions. Would be nice if they handed out water bottles as well. The cruise director and assistant were not around much. Actually didn't even know there was an assistant until she was introduced and sang one night. Only 1 trivia over the 7 nights. The lectures were very good and informative. To sum it up. I was disappointed in the ship itself but loved the ports of call. I would return to this area of the world but on another ship. I have been on true luxury cruises and unfortunately this fell short in many areas. Embarkation time of 3pm when needed to checkout of the hotel at 11am is a real problem. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Background:My husband and I traveled from the East Coast to Papeete via Delta and Air France. First visit to French Polynesia and first time on Paul Gauguin (PG). Have cruised many times on other cruise lines. Hotel Information: We ... Read More
Background:My husband and I traveled from the East Coast to Papeete via Delta and Air France. First visit to French Polynesia and first time on Paul Gauguin (PG). Have cruised many times on other cruise lines. Hotel Information: We arrived in Papeete early a.m., and had a private transfer from the airport to the pier to take the ferry to Moorea for our independently booked three night stay at the Intercontinental (IC) Hotel Moorea in overwater bungalow. Easy and quick transfer to Moorea and IC Hotel. Very pleasant stay--all meals were very good and beautiful, peaceful location. Ship Information: Efficient embarkation--there is no cruise "terminal"...passengers form a line to have passport checked and board ship. After passport check, the boarding process moves quickly--it may have taken 15 minutes from start to finish to be escorted to our cabin. The cabin was clean but showing signs of age, rust around window, large stains on carpet/dust ruffle and broken tub hardware. There was plenty of storage and closet space. The air conditioner worked very well. Leaving Bora Bora, the ship was "bouncy", we did not have bad weather or rough seas, however, there was a lot of ship movement. Mechanical/Technical Issues: One evening the ship experienced significant vibration especially in the back of the ship in the main dining room. The Captain announced the next morning we would be delayed arriving at Rangiroa due to a "technical problem". On another day, there was a water problem causing flooding on deck five in the main dining room and loss of hot water--the hot water was restored and the dining room opened after a slight delay. The food in the main dining room, L'Etoile, was very good and the wait staff, excellent. We dined in the specialty restaurants, however, our dining experience was much better in L'Etoile. Breakfast was the same buffet offering every day, however, there is a limited menu that does not change during the cruise that passengers may order from. Entertainment/Activities/Guest Speakers: The entertainment was satisfactory..but not especially good. The most interesting speaker on our cruise was the former Captain of the Queen Mary 2. Service: This is where the PG excels and earns a 5 star rating--the staff are wonderful! Ports and Shore Excursions: The Society Islands and Tuamotus are beautiful and Taha'a was especially pretty. We booked several shore excursions with PG, however, our favorite "excursion" was was our independent hike up Magic Mountain in Moorea that they crew told us about. We did not use the ship wifi--we used Tahiti wi-fi, which worked well in port except for Rangiroa and Fakarava. Disembarkation: Disembarked around 10 a.m. and traveled to IC-Papeete. Pretty property, however, check in took a long, long time. I'm thankful we had the opportunity to visit this beautiful part of the world, however, once was enough. I would not go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed on a 14 day cruise on the Paul Gauguin 26th January 2019. Paul Gauguin booked us on Tahiti Nui airlines from LAX to Papeete, an airline that I don't recommend taking. However, The transfer from the airport to the ship was ... Read More
We sailed on a 14 day cruise on the Paul Gauguin 26th January 2019. Paul Gauguin booked us on Tahiti Nui airlines from LAX to Papeete, an airline that I don't recommend taking. However, The transfer from the airport to the ship was not too stressful. I found the ship dated (démodé), the cabin not that comfortable, the bathroom was not up to scratch with a tiny shower and a bath that was scratched and stained. As for the shampoo, conditioner soap etc-I definitely feel they need to change the brand as they all had an unpleasant smell. The one good thing was the room attendant Anna, who was absolutely great cleaning and tidying the cabin twice a day. They have three restaurants on the ship, the food I found was mediocre- however the staff and service (always with a smile) in all of the restaurants and decks was by far the best thing on the cruise. I was very disappointed with the guest speakers on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
It was an excellent service aboard the PG. No matter if maid or waiter, all super nice and very friendly. The cabin had a normal size, fine wood furniture. We had a porthole cabin and it was adequate, since you are not very much in the ... Read More
It was an excellent service aboard the PG. No matter if maid or waiter, all super nice and very friendly. The cabin had a normal size, fine wood furniture. We had a porthole cabin and it was adequate, since you are not very much in the cabin anyway. The food was very good. If you wanted, you could eat all day! There was always a restaurant open somewhere! In the evening we ate at the main restaurant. The food was very good and the service there was excellent. The show program was not so good. Since we are used to much better from our previous trips on other ships. The offered excursions were well organized and you had the choice. But you could also do something on your own. The ship itself is getting old, which one unfortunately sees at one point or another. That would not have to be. You can work on it! Otherwise it was by and large a very nice trip, but we would not book it again! Sorry! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I had heard it was luxurious and a once in a lifetime experience. Wrong. The ship is 20 years old and showing every day of it. For the price we paid and the fact that it was an exclusive French ship, I expected the best French food. ... Read More
I had heard it was luxurious and a once in a lifetime experience. Wrong. The ship is 20 years old and showing every day of it. For the price we paid and the fact that it was an exclusive French ship, I expected the best French food. Even perhaps a small French creperie on board. No such luck. The food was average, and not particularly French. I have been on may cruises and most ships have excellent entertainment. Not on this one. There wasn't actually any entertainment to speak of, apart from a Tahitian group who were amateurish at best. The lead singer if you could call her that was often off key. The best thing about this cruise was that the staff were amazing. Highly trained and couldn't help enough. There was also the fact that you could drink as much as you like and didn't get charged for it. There were also a large amount of free in cabin movies. Most of the shore excursions were very expensive, and a bit disappointing except for the Dolphin experience. That was amazing. Being able to get into the water with the Dolphins and get a photo kissing one was worth the trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
How can you be unhappy in the South Pacific? It’s nearly impossible because it’s beyond stunning. The service on the ship is impeccable. Unfortunately the boat is extremely dated. The cabins look like a holiday inn room from the ... Read More
How can you be unhappy in the South Pacific? It’s nearly impossible because it’s beyond stunning. The service on the ship is impeccable. Unfortunately the boat is extremely dated. The cabins look like a holiday inn room from the 80s. And most unfortunate was the food in all of the restaurants. Completely uninspired and low quality ingredients. The meat inside the beef Wellington was gray and unidentifiable. Anything that was supposed to be beef or chicken was very suspect and had a very strange flavor and texture. I’m not sure how this ship continues to receive such great reviews on service alone. There are so many other components that should be considered when opting to pay for a cruise that was anything short of inexpensive. In fact several of the other passengers on board felt the same and mentioned these issues to the customer relations manager who essentially apologizes that we felt that way and that nobody has ever mentioned anything like that before. Just a fair warning- if you are going to spend 13k plus on a cruise you may want to consider another option. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We went to see the different islands. If we had known in advance there are no ports with docks we would not have chosen this cruise as I have back issues. One must tender in to all the islands. I had signed up for excursions in advance of ... Read More
We went to see the different islands. If we had known in advance there are no ports with docks we would not have chosen this cruise as I have back issues. One must tender in to all the islands. I had signed up for excursions in advance of the cruise but had to cancel all. Such a disappointment. This is not the trip for older adults. I did not see any information offered by the ship in regards to tendering. From our cabin all the islands looked beautiful. Our in room service by our butler was excellent. The food was very good and we did enjoy Le Veranda for dining. The dining crew were exceptionally good. They could not do enough for everyone. We did wish there had been onboard lectures about the islands. There were experts on board but we could not find where they might lecture if they did so. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The deck 8-veranda stateroom was perfect, wait staff and food exceptional as promised. I swam with sharks and stingrays, viewed the beauty of the coral and incredible life in the clear warm waters. I met and dined with charming people ... Read More
The deck 8-veranda stateroom was perfect, wait staff and food exceptional as promised. I swam with sharks and stingrays, viewed the beauty of the coral and incredible life in the clear warm waters. I met and dined with charming people from various countries but never experienced or ever again want to encounter an American Cruise ship prioritizing a size-able French cluster traveling with the expectation that everything would be done in French (apparently an agent told this group that would be the case). Early into this voyage a boisterous fellow stood up during the evening show and started ranting they were obligated to communicate in French… a bit alarming in this day and age for those not cognizant of what he was bellowing about. This lead to numerous lectures as well as day trips -- one sentence was English, next sentence was French back and forth it would go kind of like a Ping-Pong match leading to the length of the presentation and for me a headache. Everything took extra long, and even more irksome to me was overhearing various performers and staff members copiously apologizing for not being able to speak French. I am not anti-French but I also am not going to feel apologetic nor step aside because French citizens expect to take precedence. The perfect example I shared on my mid-cruise evaluation and reiterated this to the company upon my return home was the inept cruise director’s (Arthur) publicized lunch for solo travelers' found on the daily program. Most did not know other solo travellers so we were directed by the staff to a few tables where a specific special seat had been set aside by the restaurant for the expected cruise director. Cruise director 20 minutes late entered the dining room carrying a full plate of food, strolled past our allocated table, totally ignored 2 solos sitting at different tables and was called back then shown the seat set aside for him. Arthur proclaims “oh no I’m going to sit with them” indicating a table out on the balcony. There he was dining with the ship's Brazilian entertainer and 4 French solo ladies. He never even came back into the room, let alone approached the group for a quick how’s it going pitch or making an attempt to make us feel welcomed. The written response I eventually received from the cruise line said they publish the daily program and menus in English as well as French since they were sailing in French Polynesia – making no statement on how lectures were presented. They explained that they could not be held responsible for any rudeness or behavior of fellow passengers. The cruise line also would look into the Solo Gathering incident. If this is the focus that The Paul Gauguin Co. wants to pursue I respect that right but do count me out. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Well the weather was not in our favour ☹ We did not disembark in Aitutaki ☹ high winds and strong current, it was cloudy in the Cook islands, we did visit Raratonga, it took us one sea day to get to the cooks and one night to get ... Read More
Well the weather was not in our favour ☹ We did not disembark in Aitutaki ☹ high winds and strong current, it was cloudy in the Cook islands, we did visit Raratonga, it took us one sea day to get to the cooks and one night to get to Aitutaki but in the morning the captain announced that we are heading back and instead of one sea day, it took two full sea days to get back and arrive in Moorea ☹ so we had an extra sea day and very big waves, the boat was swinging two days and three nights. One night I though the boat is going to flip over, I have never encountered something like that, I though we were heading through some storm in the middle of the night. All this noise in the cabin 324, and evertime they would fill up the pool on top deck it made this constant noise in our cabin of running water, terrible! Must have been this filter constantly running water through. When we embarked the itinerary was already revised, we were suppose to head to Cook Islands first right after Huahine but instead we did the Huahine and Bora Bora first because of the weather and somehow it still did not work out for Aitutaki. When we arrived in Aiutatki our excursion was already cancelled the night before but we were all packed ready to head out and as we were eating breakfast that’s when they did the announcement that we are not staying and the boat turned around and was heading back and that's when we found out that not only are we going to miss Aitutaki but we are now going to be at sea for two full days, no explanations given why we are going to take that long to return to the society islands, everyone was confused, they can play the weather card anytime they want. We spoke to some other repeat guests on PG that told us that somehow Aitutaki gets missed quite often. Because of our revised itinerary we were in Bora Bora during the same time as Celebrity cruise which cancelled most of PG excursions, instead of two excursions we only had one, we had to wait for second day to go and spend time in a very beautiful resort but it was a cloudy day. First day in Bora Bora was great but since most of excursions have been cancelled we were unable to enjoy this nice weather were we wanted. Most of our trip was cloudy and had strong winds and we heard from locals that it is not very typical for October, for some reason November weather came early. Anyway Polynesia is a very beautiful place ! It must really look amazing on a very sunny day :) The service on PG was great and the cabins have a lot of storage, everything else was very nice. We think PG should have stayed longer in the society islands instead of heading to the Cook Islands when the weather was bad, they knew from the start that bad weather came there and was staying, all this sea days for nothing, for one island with bad weather, they hardly managed the tenders in Raratonga, staying longer in Bora Bora or their private island Taaha would have been much better. Can’t predicts the weather but it was better in the Society islands than the cooks! I don't think PG boat is design to sail all the way to the Cook's, but during our 11 nights on PG we can see now that they just don't care if you are happy or not, everyone is told to do their job and that's it. Captain couldn't care less, he sounded so cold during his announcement, let's not forget a very important thing he would say at the end, that a copy of his announcement can be found at reception. While in Raratonga they cancelled our snorkeling excursion in Aitutaki, they knew the weather was bad so why arrive it Aitutaki in the morning and not stay there, why even go there, they knew the night before they were going to do this but they had to kill some time right? They should have head out to Moorea from Raratonga and not waist the night and arrive in Aitutaki. Should have not even sail to the Cook's. We will never go back on PG again, 11 nights was enough to see how they operate, especially when you talk to previous repeat guests. It is a good value when it comes to money but quality not so much. Value keeps those repeat guests coming back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Have been on PG three times. Last one, this year after a 9 year hiatus. The ship just arrived back from drydock so was all refurbished. BUT- we were highly disappointed with the quality of the food. In the past, food was gourmet quality. ... Read More
Have been on PG three times. Last one, this year after a 9 year hiatus. The ship just arrived back from drydock so was all refurbished. BUT- we were highly disappointed with the quality of the food. In the past, food was gourmet quality. This time was really low quality. We both felt the same way. Even the presentation was not very appetizing. 3 months prior, we were on a Celebrity ship at one third of the price and the food was better... Entertainment was good with the exception of two so called sopranos who made chalkboards sound better... laundry service-great. Cruise director- great at low visibility, disappointment, after previous exposure to Jim Cannon and Michael Shapiro. We now feel that this ship is a waste of money. There are other ways to see magnificent FP. Another disappointment was FP. Things have gone downhill in the past nine years. Weather change has affected the reefs, thus, lot less sea life. The economy has worsened thus, no more flower crowns on most heads, and most of the ones you see are artificial flowers...you cannot go back home... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
From the moment we checked in for the cruise, on floor 5, I was terribly disappointed. The entire ship smelled musty and moldy. The bathroom not he 5th floor, right were everyone must congregate for room assignments, was the smelliest on ... Read More
From the moment we checked in for the cruise, on floor 5, I was terribly disappointed. The entire ship smelled musty and moldy. The bathroom not he 5th floor, right were everyone must congregate for room assignments, was the smelliest on board. Wouldn't you think the cruise line would keep that spotless? It only got worse from there. The ship was certainly nothing special and not new. I was bored after only a cople of days. We have been on numerous high end cruises. On the Seabourne an Tauck cruises, never did we have rude staff. It appeared that staff were much nicer/friendlier/more animated with their own language-speaking travelers than Americans. The first two stops were disgusting in terms of food. We did not even eat because there were flies all over every piece of food at both buffets. i complained and a staff member said "so that's Tahiti"'. They need training. The food in all restaurants was not what we expected. The cruise line touts their "fabulous French food". it was more like diner food. I had pumpkin soup with so much gelatin that u could scoop it off the top. There's a restaurant for which you need reservations called "Le Griille". We were seated by a disinterested waiter and handed a dinner menu without even asking if we wanted drinks..and the waiter disappeared. Regarding the day trips. the only excursion i would recommend is the wave runners. That was so fun and outside contractor ran it, not the ship. There were 5 of us going around the island (think it was Bora Bora), . loads of zig zags and beautiful screnery. The lead guy stopped at one point and in shallow water made coconut slices and fresh pineapple. Another excursion we paid for was the bbq on the beach. It was awful. They took us by boat to what i would describe as a picnic grove in central NJ. i intended to snorkel but the guide warned us to be very careful of the strong currents, which ruined it for me. Out of 15 people i saw 2 in the water and they were not snorkeling. So once we got to this picnic table grove at 11 am, the bar didn't open for 1 1/2 hours (people were ticked off) while the locals prepared an awful lunch. lettuce, a few tomatos sliced, cervice, rice and indistuingidhable meat. . could not wait to leave. We also did the glass bottom boat tour which i thought would b corny but turned out to be interesting. The driver (also not associated with the Gauguin line) went under the boat and fed the fish so we could see them. beautiful colors. There was some cheesy entertainment, except for the last night when they had a group called "O Tahiti". They were very good. And our Gauguin "girl" Hei Hei (real name Urahei), couldnt have been nicer. A very sweet,smart young lady. I know the "girls" are assigned to guests and must sit and talk with them, but she was really fun and we enjoyed our conversations with her. urahei. hei hei As you see, I was disappointed. Expected better for the price and description. Wish we had returned to Seabourne Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Wanted to give a heads up warning to anyone considering cruising on the Paul Gauguin that you will be paying Regent prices without receiving the quality experience you may expect. There are many friendly individuals aboard who work hard ... Read More
Wanted to give a heads up warning to anyone considering cruising on the Paul Gauguin that you will be paying Regent prices without receiving the quality experience you may expect. There are many friendly individuals aboard who work hard to give passengers great service, but there are too many negatives to overcome. It's a long way to travel and a lot of money to spend to sail on a Paul Gauguin cruise. French Polynesia is a wonderful location for a vacation. I would suggest researching alternatives if you decide to visit. We didn't let our disappointment ruin our trip. When it became apparent that drink service on deck 8 aft was terrible, we moved to the piano bar and met Nelson, who was an outstanding crew member. He memorized every traveler's name on the ship. Don't like flies on your lunch buffet food in La Grill? La Veranda had the same food daily served inside. Drinks watered down? Order doubles. Dining for our party of four was very hit or miss. Some items were nice while others were poorly prepared. Our best meal by far was the "specialty" restaurant's evening meal in La Veranda. All lunches were buffets. A phone call to reception complaining about the air conditioning and lack of hot water in our cabin resulted in both repairmen showing up in 5 minutes. Impressive indeed. The plumber replaced the shower temperature unit and all was right. The AC fellow's probe measured the room at 21.8C (71.24F). Tolerance was 21 to 23 (69.8-74.3 fahrenheit). Tough luck for us getting our room any cooler. Fortunately our travel agent had put together a pre/post cruise hotel package that included less expensive and better Air France flights than the cruise line's included arrangements with Air Tahiti Nui. Moorea's Sofitel had world class snorkeling which was the highlight of our entire trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We were in a Deluxe Stateroom. I think there are only 4 of them. The one with a Butler. The stateroom was one of the best layouts we have experienced. However the food aboard this ship is not cruise ship fine dining. The Main dining room ... Read More
We were in a Deluxe Stateroom. I think there are only 4 of them. The one with a Butler. The stateroom was one of the best layouts we have experienced. However the food aboard this ship is not cruise ship fine dining. The Main dining room L'etoile is open seating, crowded, noisy & hot. The La Veranda is their fine dining. Just passes because its just the breakfast room with table cloths! The Breakfast is the worst we have experienced for hot food. Its luke warm, pallid & poor choice. We had our Butler bring breakfast thinking it would be better - no its cold too. Our Stateroom had a complete power failure at 10pm one night. In complete darkness for 2 hours when they gave us lights but no TV, Fridge or Sound system. The wiring I saw was appalling but they fixed it the next day & gave us a shipboard credit, Vey nice. We had heard so much about how luxurious this ship was is was such a disappointment to find it old & tired. Built in 1997 but have no idea if they have upgraded it. If they have it didn't work. French Polynesia is a 'difficult' destination unless water sports, beach & swimming is your thing so shore excursions are expensive but for snorkeling & all things water its perfect. BTW Papeete airport is an experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Destination was the key. The islands were beautiful, the water warm & clear, the weather was somewhat hot & muggy, but no rain.. 5 stars for the crew! The service was outstanding. The butler was average and could have done ... Read More
Destination was the key. The islands were beautiful, the water warm & clear, the weather was somewhat hot & muggy, but no rain.. 5 stars for the crew! The service was outstanding. The butler was average and could have done without. The food was below average. Trying to save money? Cabins were clean but small and need some refreshing. The shower was a joke! The excursions were typically tourist without anything really exceptional. We went ashore on Bora Bora and Moorea and arranged our own excursions which were more fun and a lot less expensive. Two days were spent on their private Motu (one was enough). Two islands were basically a waste of time since the port was just a few shacks and a church. The hotel for the day before returning was a disaster. Again trying to save money Overall, the pre-impression we had was that this was a 5 star cruise similar to Seabourn. NO WAY! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My wife and I, ages 77 and 84 and experienced travelers, had cruised on the Paul Gauguin previously (2012). Now, 4 years later, the service on the ship was still outstanding--particularly in the dining areas. The maître d' of the ... Read More
My wife and I, ages 77 and 84 and experienced travelers, had cruised on the Paul Gauguin previously (2012). Now, 4 years later, the service on the ship was still outstanding--particularly in the dining areas. The maître d' of the "La Veranda" restaurant was exceptional. The food, however--although well-prepared, well-presented, of good quality and varied--was only average in taste. The pastries, while very attractive, were not particularly good. My wife (who is a French-speaking European), was particularly disappointed in the croissants and pain au chocolat. They did not compare with the pastries on the previous 2012 cruise. The ship is showing age. Our cabin needed furniture, toilet and air-conditioning repair .On one night the AC went out. I spent the entire following afternoon in the cabin on a hot day, observing the workmen trying to fix the AC. At 2 PM a technician came and attempted repairs. When this wasn't successful, he called his supervisor, who also attempted repairs. When this didn't work, the chief supervisor was called; he finally resolved the problem. At one time, there were 4 staff members in our cabin, including the guest relations manager. It took the reminder of the day before the cabin cooled down. The guest relations manager was able to find the one vacant cabin on the ship for me to use until the temperature in my original cabin returned to normal. It was a lost day for me, and an unpleasant one. One of the principal "enrichment" speakers had an extremely heavy New Zealand accent, which made him largely incomprehensible to my wife and I. We stopped attending his lectures. All in all, the cruise experience was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our second sail on the PG....our first being only a 7 night cruise almost five years prior. We booked the 10 day itinerary because my husband wanted to dive Rangiiroa and Fakarava. Had friends sail with us and we were in ... Read More
This was our second sail on the PG....our first being only a 7 night cruise almost five years prior. We booked the 10 day itinerary because my husband wanted to dive Rangiiroa and Fakarava. Had friends sail with us and we were in Category B on Deck 8....staterooms 815 and 816. The service from butler, cabin steward, bartenders, marina personnel was impeccable. You only had to ask once for something and it appeared. Shernan was our butler.....we had him five years ago so was nice to see he was still there. HOWEVER......we encountered some serious mechanical mishaps on this voyage. Sailing out of Bora Bora, the Captain turned the ship around because we were having mechanical issues. We sat there for 4 days while they flew a technician in from France to work on the ship. Therefore, we missed the two islands we booked the cruise to do. Missed two islands and a day at sea. Yes, we were in Bora Bora (as the captain reminded us....it would have been much worse had we been at sea). It took the technician 2 1/2 days to get to us. We finally set sail for Taha'a on Tuesday. While we were on the motu, one of the life boats actually broke from its lines and fell off the ship damaging Deck 5. Thank God everyone was off the ship....had someone been under it when it fell they would have been killed. At this point, we had to wait to see if we could sail because of lack of life boat for everyone. Finally was granted permission.....if we went slowly to Moorea. We did and therefore missed next morning shore excursions and dives in Moorea. There was a total lack of communication from the captain....and even more disturbing a total lack of caring. We went two days in Bora Bora without even hearing him make an update announcement. We were given a 30 percent refund on what we paid for the cruise and a future cruise credit of $1000. However, this trip was to celebrate our 40th anniversary....we hand picked this itinerary so NO that is not enough to compensate for our loss. The islands we did visit were wonderful and we met some wonderful people. All the passengers were asking the same question "Why did someone have to come all the way from France to fix the issues" and "how in hades did a life boat just fall into the ocean from the upper deck" (they were attempting to tow it to Raitea but it was upside down in the water and my husband said it would never make it.....we believe they eventually let it sink.) I love the cruise ship.....I love the staff.....and it is the only luxury liner doing French Polynesia that we would consider. But, she is not scheduled for dry dock until May and that is way too far away. Would not sail her again until she is over hauled. Certainly would not have wanted to be boarding the day we got off....engine was vibrating like crazy just sitting in Papeete. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Price point for service/experience provided does not match. Destination (Polynesia) outstanding. Ship experience did not measure up, not a luxury experience. PG had better hope it does not get much competition in this location. ... Read More
Price point for service/experience provided does not match. Destination (Polynesia) outstanding. Ship experience did not measure up, not a luxury experience. PG had better hope it does not get much competition in this location. Itinerary included a trip to the Marquesas - the entire trip was focused on filming an advertising promotion. No excursions one day for the passengers, due to 'rough seas' - however excursion filming proceeded for the advertising crew and 'models.' Talk about a disconnect. No real suggestions for excursions outside the ship's arranged excursions - not a way to promote customer goodwill. Especially at a so-called luxury cruise line. We found - on our own - much better priced local excursions although would have been better for the cruise line to make simple suggestions. This means having to research locations / excursions on your own in advance of the cruise. Again, outside of destination I would not recommend PG. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Our 7-day cruise on the M/S Paul Gauguin had many positives. The ship, crew, and entertainment were outstanding. The menus and meals were excellent. Leftover food is thrown away or pulverized for the sea life. Prices might be lower with ... Read More
Our 7-day cruise on the M/S Paul Gauguin had many positives. The ship, crew, and entertainment were outstanding. The menus and meals were excellent. Leftover food is thrown away or pulverized for the sea life. Prices might be lower with less waste. My husband and I figured out that we like being active. Sitting poolside, playing bridge, or working a jigsaw puzzle doesn't cut the mustard. Small exercise room. Yoga mats, but no yoga. We like dry heat. Bottom line for us – we could visit the Florida Keys or the Bahamas for a tropical experience. Shore excursions were expensive. We had a fun day snorkeling at four sites, however, the coral is dead and dying. The Society Islands were hot, humid, sunny, with rundown little towns and black pearl shops everywhere. Pretty scenery, lagoons, atolls, lemon sharks, tropical fish - yawn. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The Gauguin has a reputation for ultra-luxury, on which it is clearly riding, at this point. The ship shows its age, outdated décor, faded carpeting, carpet coming up at the seams in main dining room; wooden frame around the pool is ... Read More
The Gauguin has a reputation for ultra-luxury, on which it is clearly riding, at this point. The ship shows its age, outdated décor, faded carpeting, carpet coming up at the seams in main dining room; wooden frame around the pool is not well maintained. One engine went out, necessitating missing one island (there was compensation of $200 ship credit per person). Food is uneven. Staff, as typical for cruises, are lovely. The excursion schedule was not reliable: one excursion was cancelled claiming insufficient participation without offering an alternative time, another because the only available local to lead the hiking cruise was 'sick' in BoraBora. Excursions that did happen were fine. Cruise is way overpriced. There should be a rating between 'average' and 'poor' because I would say experience was 'below-average' given the pricepoint but maybe not poor. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Last month, I sailed on Paul Gauguin’s 14-day itinerary to the Society, Marquesas and Tuamotus Islands. I have sailed on Seabourn many times in the past 5 years, and this was our first cruise on Paul Gauguin. It’s difficult not to ... Read More
Last month, I sailed on Paul Gauguin’s 14-day itinerary to the Society, Marquesas and Tuamotus Islands. I have sailed on Seabourn many times in the past 5 years, and this was our first cruise on Paul Gauguin. It’s difficult not to enjoy oneself on this itinerary, with the breathtaking and majestic scenery, especially on the Marquesas Islands. It’s also difficult not to enjoy the hospitality and talents of Les Gauguins et Les Gauguines, Paul Gauguin’s onboard Tahitian hosts/hostesses and entertainers, who are the line’s true brand ambassadors and unique selling points. However, Paul Gauguin has no business boasting its self-proclaimed “5+ star” luxury – in fact, almost every page on its brochure contains over-the-top superlatives that over-promised but under-delivered. It is priced similarly as a true 5+ star cruise line but does not deliver in many aspects. First, the hardware: The guest room (I was in a C category balcony suite.) is small and utilitarian. While it is functional and contains lots of storage areas, the room is plain and lacking in any elegance or flair. The best thing about the room is the comfortable and firm bed. The bathroom is small and has only one wash basin and no separate shower stall – this is not a big concern, except for times when both of us wanted to sleep in late and had to rush to wash up to get ready for an early excursion. The cabin TV offers but a few uninteresting channels. There are supposedly 4 in-room movie channels, but they only offer 1 movie per channel per day, and the channels don’t even work half the time. There is a DVD player, and one can borrow DVDs from a small wall-mounted library by the reception. However, the choice of movies is limited. (On Seabourn, there is an on-demand system of movies and music with hundreds of first-run and diverse international titles, plus other up-to-date in-room features like guest account reviews.) Apart from a few Polynesian touches that are charming and appropriate for the destinations, the public areas are in sore need of major refurbishing for competitive reasons and to bring it to the new millennium. The A/V equipment in the Grand Salon is unreliable; even their brand ambassador/star guest lecturer, Jean-Michel Cousteau, has been known to ask guests to implore Corporate Office to update their equipment. Even though we had about 300 guests (out of capacity of 330) on board, the public areas always felt crowded. (By contrast, on Seabourn, even at its capacity of 450 passengers, the public areas would never feel full.) There were not enough areas to lounge around the pool, and especially there were insufficient shaded areas. This problem was exacerbated by some guests who would “reserve” a lounge chair for the day by placing a book on the chair early in the morning – this supposedly prohibited practice was not addressed by management. My main complaint, however, concerns the food and drinks, in particular the sparkling wine. While Seabourn and its competitors serve a real French Champagne, Paul Gauguin only pours a cheap vin mousseux, which, on our cruise, was terrible. My mitigating effort to switch to kir royale proved futile – they only had a headache-inducing bottom-shelf crème de cassis by Dekuyper. Even worse for me was their vegetarian food, which was very limited, not to mention bland, boring and banal. I won’t go into details here, as I’d imagine most readers are not so concerned about this. (Nonetheless, shortly prior to my journey, the ship was a full lesbian charter, with a lot of demand for vegetarian food.) I had voiced my concerns to management, and the executive chef promised to cook me something off menu, but that did not really help much. They also didn’t do Asian food well and failed miserably when they dared to venture into “Asian Fusion” concepts. I was traveling with a Thai lady who is an excellent chef, and she was aghast at some of the missteps, big and small, with wrong ingredients, as well as wrong ingredient combinations and/or proportions, e.g. hoi sin sauce with sashimi, bean sprouts with “Thai” beef salad… “Regular” meat-and-potato diners won’t have too much to fear: you won’t go hungry, for sure, as I did. In any case, I’d recommend that Paul Gauguin engage a consultant to revamp their vegetarian and Asian menu items. For all you dessert lovers, another weakness is, alas, their dessert selection. At La Veranda’s French-themed lunch buffet one day, for instance, I had first been giddy with excitement over the assortment of classic French items – macarons, île flottante, tarte tatin, etc. – until I started tasting each item. Almost everything tasted awful and had the wrong texture and mouth-feel. Their ice cream selection at the afternoon tea buffet was forgettable, with typically only 3 prosaic flavors, such as vanilla and mint chocolate chip. And don’t expect premium ice cream; what they serve is not even worth the in-take of calories and fat content. (I know many guests would have disagreed with me on this cruise; for some of them, upon entering a room, their belly would arrive a few time zones earlier than their head!) The demographics on this particular journey was quite homogeneous and apparently skewed older than usual, due to the journey’s length (14-day vs. the usual 7-day) and seasonality (non-school holiday). I’d say the median age was mid-70s, with most passengers in their 60s-80s, and not a single child. About 60% anglophone, 30% francophone; and >95% Caucasian. On board, there was a natural language-based segregation and tribal dynamics, as well. After dinner, the piano bar would evolve to be mostly patronized by French speakers, for instance. There was almost a mutiny by the francophones at a documentary screening in the Grand Salon one afternoon, when they insisted that the video was supposed to be shown in French instead of English. Some francophone guests actually complained because one of the featured singers performed mostly English songs in her shows; they had wanted more French songs from her. (And who can blame them?! However, in the singer’s defense, she is a jazz singer, and her repertoire is mostly English songs. But then again, a professional singer should know her audience and cater to their needs.) I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with some of the French guests on board, many of whom warmed up to me significantly after having found out that I speak their language. They were all charming and interesting. I also met most of the local Tahitian guests, half of whom was ethnic Chinese-Tahitians, but they speak only French. (Locals can apparently take advantage of semi-annual promotions, with over 25% discount off the cruise-only fares.) Aside from the aforementioned Les Gauguins et Les Gauguines, the entertainment was the usual mixed bag of cruise fare. This was the last cruise for Cruise Director Steve Wood - he has left Paul Gauguin and the industry to return to his home base in Sydney. While Steve is a charming and personable chap, it was obvious he’s checked out before we checked in; he seemed to have been on auto-pilot, going through the motion at times and not following through with a couple of suggested get-togethers. Trivial pursuit aficionados will be disappointed. On this 14-day itinerary, we had 4 sea days and only 1 trivial pursuit game, which consisted of a single round with 15 questions that Steve bull-dozed over. It certainly wasn’t the funny, aggravating, scandalous, uproarious, social and team-building event that I am used to. Likewise, “Liars’ Club” was a non-event and seemed to have finished before it barely started. Steve’s replacement is a young and cheerful chap, but he’s inexperienced; time will tell how he’ll fare. The best entertainment is, as noted, the hard-working, charming, and talented Les Gauguins et Les Gaugines. Not only do they provide authentic, local entertainment – they sing, dance and play musical instruments – they also meet-and-greet, conduct arts and craft workshops (making bracelets, purses, cards, etc.), teach language and dance classes, tell stories, etc. It seems that they work night and day, always with a smile on their face and in their heart. They are truly the most important asset for Paul Gauguin. And yet, they seem to be over-worked and under-paid. First, they don’t have the best working conditions. They share a small crew cabin with 3 other performers (4 to a room) – not ideal with all their costumes in a tiny closet and having to get ready (4 girls all at once) before a show in a tiny bathroom. They are not allowed to eat in the officers’ mess, even though they are not accustomed to – nor do not necessarily enjoy – the mostly Filipino food served in the crew mess. Their contract is typically 4-month on, and 2-month off, and they receive no medical insurance during the 2 months off. They are also paid below the normal local minimum wage. Worse yet, while their contract pay is denominated in USD, they are effectively paid in local French Polynesian francs. After the company uses an unfavorable exchange rate to convert USD into euros plus another unfavorable rate to further convert into the local currency, they’d lose 20% or so in their meager pay. Perhaps Paul Gauguin doesn’t recognize that these wonderful performers are their competitive advantage and their most valuable assets. Apparently their jobs are coveted by young performers, who are more than eager to work for a song (literally so, in this case!). Nonetheless, it is never correct to exploit workers under any circumstances. And I doubt they are so easily replaceable, given their wide range of immense talents, language skills, social skills, and great personality. By the way, guests can invite them (one, or at most two, at a time) to dinner at L’Etoile – this is appreciated and gives them a nice meal with wine, a treat away from their normal meal at the crew mess. You can enquire at Reception or with the Cruise Director. Be persistent and do so in advance, as their handlers do at times put up obstacles if they cannot be excused due to their many duties. In the final analysis, I will not return to Paul Gauguin, as it simply does not provide value for money. There are competitors in the region at similar or much lower price points. My itinerary, however, wasn’t a usual one, as it offered 4 ports in the Marquesas Islands, so perhaps Paul Gauguin did have a competitive advantage with this particular journey. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We're experienced cruisers who wanted to try a smaller ship, and Paul Gauguin was touted as the top of the line experience. It very much failed to live up to that billing. The ship had apparently just come out of dry dock in ... Read More
We're experienced cruisers who wanted to try a smaller ship, and Paul Gauguin was touted as the top of the line experience. It very much failed to live up to that billing. The ship had apparently just come out of dry dock in Singapore, and this was the first sailing since. I am a PADI certified diver who had not dived recently, so I felt the South Pacific would be a dream destination to get back in the water. I did my early homework, got myself a replacement certification card, etc. before the trip. They advertise that they have a refresher dive (one in the pool and one in a lagoon) and even advised me to go immediately to the dive desk to sign up, as the refresher "takes place tomorrow". Thirty minutes into the cruise, I had my first major disappointment when Regis told me, in a very short and unapologetic tone that there would be no refresher on this cruise. He actually struck me as rude. My wife and I were also very eager to use the water sports marina on the back of the ship. It was closed the entire cruise. I know at least five people who inquired as to why....and got 5 different answers. One was even told it was illegal to use it in all the ports on this cruise. This was very typical of the poor communication on this ship. Guests were left wondering most of the time, and inquiries were met with disinterest or even deliberate deception. Eventually, I was told had been broken for months, and had not yet been checked even though the ship had just come out of dry dock in Singapore. Odd considering that the water sports marina is a selling point that these folks emphasize when selling this overpriced ship. Many on board were repeat customers, and unanimously told us that previous experiences were amazing, but that things seem to have gone far downhill. For the most part, the service from the cabin stewardess, the wait staff, the bartenders, etc was excellent. I enjoyed most of the lecturers, especially Jean Michel Cousteau and John Hay. The entertainment wasn't my cup of tea, but many on board enjoyed it. But overall, the poor organization, lack of communication, and disinterested attitude of the management were extremely disappointing for a cruise that cost two or three times what we've paid anywhere else. We will not be going back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I’ve traveled twice with the M/S Paul Gauguin, and in my experiences it has been a world apart. That’s its strength and its weakness. When it comes to Tahiti and the Society Islands, PG has a legendary reputation and nearly a cult ... Read More
I’ve traveled twice with the M/S Paul Gauguin, and in my experiences it has been a world apart. That’s its strength and its weakness. When it comes to Tahiti and the Society Islands, PG has a legendary reputation and nearly a cult following for the quality of the experience it provides. As evidence of this, more than half the travelers on my recent cruise were “repeaters.” PG’s Tahiti reputation is hard earned and well deserved on several fronts. As a floating restaurant, PG mixes quality, style, elegance, and informality into a unique brew. There is an endless variety of food, the option to order “off menu” at every meal, and choices for restaurants — all at no extra charge. No matter what dining option you choose, the wait staff is attentive, enthusiastic, and responsive to your needs. This is not to say the food service couldn’t be tweaked. For example, I don’t really need Mexican, Italian, or America-themed lunch buffets. I’m in the South Pacific for heaven’s sake. How about local-themed buffets every day? As a hotel, the service excels at every level. When calling Reception for assistance with everything from an uncooperative safe to the services of a tailor to a need for an extension cord, I never waited more than five minutes to have a person at my door. As with any hotel, there are some glitches like the lingering smell of mildew in some of the cabin corridors or the inability to get air conditioning to work consistently — or at all — in some cabins. In all of these areas the staff is more than willing to do everything they can to ensure your satisfaction. With PG you are in a world apart and they brings their full attention to every aspect of your food and lodging. Unfortunately, PG does not do a very good job of connecting with the world beyond Tahiti. When PG steps outside its geographic sphere of familiarity, it stumbles. This is true in matters both small and great. And it has been true for me twice. For example, on my recent cruise we went to Vanuatu, Guadalcanal, Papua New Guinea, and Cairns. Nonetheless, the ship’s program ran as if we were in Tahiti. The ship offered language lessons in Tahitian and French even though no locals within a thousand miles of our itinerary spoke those languages. How hard would it have been to have classes teach a few words in the dialects of the people we visited? We also had the opportunity to learn how to tie — pareos which no one in the area wears — and to buy postcards picturing Tahiti. How hard would it have been to stock some more relevant postcards in the Boutique? We were traveling through an area rich in World War II history, but were treated to lectures about Paul Gauguin. Don’t get me wrong, these lectures were great. If we had been in Tahiti, they would have been phenomenal, but we were in Papua New Guinea. Of course, there were wonderful — and on point lectures— by Cousteau, and a guest was allowed to give an impromptu lecture on Guadalcanal, but there had been no advance effort to connect the ship’s lectures to its itinerary. A further disappointment was the replacement of the promised anthropologist with some combination of a magician and a performance artist. These acts would have been better left in third-tier Vegas lounges. Though this lack of effort to intersect with a world beyond Tahiti was merely somewhat odd in most cases, in others it was a major problem. The ship’s programs are well-honed for PG’s standard itineraries, but there didn’t seem to have been any inclination to connect to what was a new world for it to travel through. For example, when traveling in the Society Islands, the ship will exchange money for its guests. This was not done — except after vociferous complaint, and then only for a few stops — on this trip. Surely the need for local currency could have been anticipated. As a result, passengers were often in situations where their money was not accepted and where there were no ATMs or banks. The saddest thing about this was the local craftspeople who went without sales. Perhaps the worst of the failures concerned shore excursions. The port talks were abysmal. There was no more information or accuracy from the presenter — and frequently there was much less — than a person could get on the web. I can understand, I suppose, that the person in charge of shore excursions hadn’t been to the particular ports we visited. But I can’t understand not doing a better job of learning about them. For example, people would ask, “Is there good snorkeling nearby?” or, “Are US dollars accepted?” or, “What’s the shopping like?” In all cases, the answer was some variation of “I don’t know?” The shore excursions themselves were poorly researched, uneven at best, and flat out unsafe at worst. Even if the ship hadn’t been to these ports previously, surely there are experts who could have informed the planning. Excursions took guests to swimming holes at low tide when they were closed, to a museum that wasn’t open, to a promised three-hour walking tour with snack that lasted 25 minutes without a snack, and to a snorkeling experience that was an exercise in staying alive in the water. PG was responsive to most of the shortcomings and refunded all or a portion of the cost for some of the most egregious excursions, but people who are paying a premium for a cruise should not be expected to serve as guinea pigs. Finally, there was great unhappiness among many of the divers on board. For a host of reasons, many who had traveled thousands of miles just to dive were unable to sign up because all the spots were taken. This was not because people were late in trying to sign up. It was because all the spots were taken before everyone had even been processed for embarkation and allowed to sign up. Again, the staff did what it could to open more spots, but they should have known in advance that the large number of divers on board would not be compatible with the limited spots available. To be fair, I have to add that this trip included the most remarkable shore excursion I’ve ever taken. We were the first cruise ship to visit Bougainville in decades and we received a carnival celebration of a welcome. Wave after wave of dancers surrounded us and invited us into their community. We were literally immersed in an unaffected local culture. The last matter of concern for me was the itinerary. It changed at the last minute and Port Moresby was substituted for Rabaul. Port Moresby is a town that virtually no cruise ships or tourists go to because of concerns about violence and instability. Guests on the Port Moresby excursion weren’t even allowed to get off the tour buses at the main viewpoint because it was judged unsafe. In addition, we stayed in Port Moresby for far longer than any other port. We were also told not to get off the ship after dark. We were informed that this itinerary change was because of the ship’s need to refuel. Really? It wasn’t possible to figure this out before advertising a much more attractive port stop? I’d suggest that radical changes in itinerary such as this be accompanied by an option to cancel reservations at no charge. Finally, you can trust PG to provide full value for your lodging and dining dollars, but their charges for pre/post lodging and transfers were at least 30% higher than it was possible to book independently. The bottom line for me is that if I travel with PG again — and I would like to — I would only book an established itinerary that the ship has traveled multiple times over many years. When PG tries to go outside its comfort zone, passengers can become most uncomfortable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
It's been over 3 weeks since our written survey and we have not heard back from the cruise line so from prompting of the Cruise Critic community, I'm submitting this review. This Society Islands cruise was the second of three (in ... Read More
It's been over 3 weeks since our written survey and we have not heard back from the cruise line so from prompting of the Cruise Critic community, I'm submitting this review. This Society Islands cruise was the second of three (in a row) cruises. We were thrilled to experience our "home town" cruise line (headquarters in Bellevue, WA) but discovered its service to be mediocre--both Celebrity and Princess cruise staffs worked harder to please. We certainly enjoyed the islands but expected a higher standard. Undoubtedly, the all-inclusive drinks, complimentary water equipment, entertainers (Gauguins/Gauguines/Santa Rosa), ports, on ship check-in, housekeeping, and bathroom/refrigerator products were all absolutely fantastic! The food overall was also very good. While we could cite a small veranda cabin, lack of temperature control (no fan speed), and cabin noise--of greater concern is the absence of "customer first" attitude. Here are three examples: 1)We received a very nice Happy Anniversary cake in our cabin upon arrival and were scheduled to attend the vow renewal ceremony. We were very much looking forward to this event (packed special clothes) and I asked about it on the phone when booking our excursion for the same day. I had been assured that we could do both. Unfortunately, this was not true as the ceremony was inexplicably scheduled at 5:00 (first dinner seating is an hour and a half later at 6:30). We had three couples on our excursion that were supposed to attend the ceremony, one couple celebrating 57 years! The option to switch days for the excursion or go earlier were not available. 2) While dining in the main dining room L'Etoile, my wife and I only requested water to drink. After a day in the sun, I finished my water as the appetizers arrived. I tried to gain the waiters attention for a refill several times whenever he had the water bottle at other tables. Unsuccessful through the salad course and after finishing the entree, my wife walked over to the cart and brought the water bottle to fill our glasses. The waiters rushed to grab the bottle back from her. Then in a passive aggressive move, he brought dessert menus to the other 6 guests at our table, skipped me and gave my wife one in French. Which reminds me . . . all dinner vunues require pants/collared shirt (except room service)--no casual option. Two of the three restaurants require reservations. I tried on the morning of the second day to make reservations for La Veranda (French dining) and the first available seating was for the last day of the cruise. Seaborn prevents guests from reserving consecutive nights to give everyone a chance--Gauguin should consider this 3)The private motu is certainly great fun but by 2:00 pm, many guests were ready to go back to the ship. This locale requires a wet landing so guests waded out to the tenders. We planned to take the 2:30 tender along with a large number of guests. Fortunately two tenders arrived. The first filled up and left about 20 of us for the second tender. But we were then told that this tender was "crew only" as they packed up supplies and waiters to return to the ship--the motu was still open to guests until 5:00 or 5:30! They left the 20 of us to stand in thigh-high water for another 30 minutes until the next tender, about 45 minutes total. Another quirk is the billing onboard went through Ireland--I told my credit card company that we would be in NZ, Australia, and Tahiti, not Ireland; therefore, it was denied (assumed stolen). Also, while the Society Islands are very safe, no x-ray/baggage check is conducted returning from each port. In my profession, security is a top priority. Finally, this is the most unstable ship in pitch and roll considering relatively calm seas that we have experienced (of 10 ships) including similar sized vessels. The South Pacific is amazing and not to be missed. We just find it hard to justify the cost of this cruise line.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Paul Gauguin Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 4.1
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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