We flew from Denver to Los Angeles a day early because of a winter storm predicted for Denver the next day - and it arrived. Got to LAX early and to wait all day for our midnight flight to Papeete. COuld not check luggage until much later in the day, so our vacation began with wearing us out. The flight from LA to Papeete was gruesome in coach - our last internation flight in coach.
We had a transfer to the port, which got us there about 5:30 AM. We could not board until near noon. It was hot and humid in Papeete. We walked around, some, and got some water, and napped on a park bench. It was wonderful to finally board the Pacific Princess and air conditioning!
We had an overnight in Papeete, so explored the ship and relaxed. The next day we walked around Papeete. Very interresting city and it was fun to see new things. We got back to the ship just before the afternoon rain and we glad that we decided to go back to the ship. Set sail and were accompanies by local in outriggers to the breakwater - neat.
Our first port was Huahine. Beautiful entry into port, with local housing along the coast. Tendered port. We elected to do an isloand tour, stopping at religous sites. We got a great view of our ship in the lagoon, from an overlook. Very cool island.
We were at sea for a day, on our way to Raiatea - one of the largest atolls in the world. Another tendered port. We did a glass bottom boat excursion and the fish were beautiful. Even saw sharks. You marvel at how an atoll can exist after Pacific storms, as it's not very high above sea level.
Another sea day on our way to Bora Bora. Check another goal off the bucket list! Tendered to shore. Saw Tahatian fabric being dyed, land crabs, Bloody Mary's, and just lots of lovely island flowers. Met new friends from Canada and ate most breakfast, lunch and dinners with them in the buffet, as we had one table guest none of us could stand. Our dolphin swim was cancelled, which we were really looking forward to doing.
The next port was Raiatea, where we could dock. Did another island excursion - the best way to get a feel for a new place for us. Got back to the ship in time to watch a show put on by local dancers. Bought my bride a flower hair round - beautiful. Bought one ofr our Canadian friend,too.
Moorea was the next port and another tender ride. Our island tour stopped for a photo shoot of "Bali Hai". Reminded us of the musical South Pacific, as it should! Stopped at a local house for a break and some local fruit served on palm leaves - delicious. Saw some beautiful countryside and flowers everwhere.
Back to Papeete and a 2 night stay in a bungalow over the lagoon. Lots of snorkling and fish. We had sea urchins under our dock, which would leave every evening to search for food and return every morning to sleep under the dock. We also had 3 eels under the dock, and it was fun watching them come and go. Lunch and breakfast on our dock was really nice, although we did have to feed the local birds to keep them quiet. The Intercontiental had a large walt water pool, filled with fish. It was fun to snorkel with them and feed them morning hard rolls. The hotel's Polynesian Show lacked. We almost missed it, as the time was misunderstood by us, and by the time we got there for dinner, there wan't much left and we had seats clear in the back.
Before we knew it, it was time to fly home. I had always dreamed of going to French Polynesia and everyhting lived up to my dreams!
Our cabin was on deck 8. It had a queen bed, desk, couch, a table and two chairs and a balcony. It was comfortable and served our purposes very well. We did like the additional room of a mini-suite.