We chose 11 nights to really make it worthwhile (Tahiti is a long way from Canada). We were so pleased to be able to visit the Cook Islands as well as the Society Islands. The magical pristine beauty of the islands, the wonderfully welcoming and interesting Polynesian people, and the joys of a small, superpbly-appointed cruise ship, all contributed to our best cruise yet. We loved that the ship went right into lovely lagoons. Access to the destination islands by tender boat was easy and convenient. Our stateroom was perfect in every way. Much more is included than on other cruises - such as tipping, all restaurants, and alcoholic beverages. The staff were so thoughtful and friendly. The cuisine was top-notch! Make sure to book "La Grill" for an outdoor dinner by the pool, for the nights you are anchored in Moorea and Bora Bora. Magical! The cruise line-owned beaches at both Taha'a and Bora Bora, are wonderful days with everything you could want.
If you are a morning person, head to the stern to La Palette to watch the sunrise with a morning snack and coffee, while waiting for breakfast service to begin at The Grill or La Veranda.
Please don't be one of "those" people who puts their towel on a lounge chair to reserve it for the whole day, and then only use it for one or two hours. If everyone just uses a chair when they need it, then there is no shortage of spots.
We do wish that there was more shade available on the pool deck for at sea days.
Yes, it was on a lower deck and there was no balcony (most staterooms on this ship have balconies), but we still had two windows and the stateroom was spacious and comfortable.
We stayed for a month in Tahiti on a "house exchange" before boarding the ship. We loved the markets in Papeete, and we drove around the larger island (Tahiti Nui) and down both sides of the smaller one (Tahiti Iti). Stunning scenery & lovely beaches.
Our first stop, and it was rainy. However, the free shuttle took us to a nice beach and we explored and swam.
A group of us booked the boat with Taking, so we got to spend all day at Barefoot Island (much longer than the excursion groups). We brought our own snacks and water from the ship, and we could buy cold beer from the little stand. Great snorkelling right off the beach - giant trivially fish and giant clams.View All 3 Snorkeling Reviews
Wandering around the town of Vaitape and shopping is really fun. The island is beautiful. Many people reported enjoying the excursion to Bloody Mary's Bar. We loved the private beach on the Motu. No need to pay to go on an excursion to another.
Right from the pier when you get off the tender, you can hire a car ($5 - $10) to take you somewhere. We went to a beach at a resort (Intercontinental) on the first day, and then a small resort (Tipannier) on the second. By the way, the small stands on the pier are the best! Great prices for Tahitian Black Pearl jewellery. On a previous 1-day visit from Tahiti, we travelled around the island by car, which we highly recommend. We had a lovely lunch at the Tiki Resort on the west coast.