The occasion was our 20th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to have a luxurious cabin on a great ship with no hassles. We are older and can't be bothered. We did a lot of research, planned and saved for a couple years so we could do everything first class, and this cruise, and this ship, really hit the mark.
Pre-cruise Papeete 3 days/4 nights
Because our cruise would take us only to 3 other Tahitian ports, we wanted to spend our first few days on vacation in Tahiti in an overwater bungalow. We booked the Intercontinental Tahiti online at Expedia, which was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than booking direct with the hotel but very pricey. The overwater bungalow was fabulous, and the Intercontinental property was beautiful with an amazing lagoon swim-up bar ... We did a renewal of our vows on a little island in the lagoon that the wedding coordinator at the hotel arranged, and it was wonderful. Drawbacks of the hotel: Food and drinks are very expensive, and the snorkeling is not great. Although the ocean is warm and the water is clear, not many fish and no coral reef to speak of. I did a scuba dive with TopDive at the hotel and did see a LOT of sharks, so that was fun. If we did this again, though, I would take the ferry to Moorea to spend a few days. It looks like a quieter, prettier island than Papeete, although our room, and our view from the balcony across the water to Moorea, and our time at the Intercontinental were all delightful.
I cannot say enough good things about this cabin! The space you have is incredible; the closet seemed bigger than some cruise ship cabins we've had! (Just kidding, but it is a big closet!) You have a bedroom with a master bath that has double vanities and a separate shower and whirlpool tub, plus a media room, a living room/dining room and a guest bathroom. If there'd been a stove and oven, I could have lived here very happily. It's fabulous. The balcony has a champagne bubble bath tub with a TV over it for Pete's sake.
not a lot of fish, but a lot of sharks! clear, warm water. It was great to be diving!
Snorkeling was fun in the warm, clear water -- and we also got to visit a pearl farm and vanilla plantation, plus lunch on the beach. It was great.
open air bus ride around the island with stops at a pareo factory and Bloody Mary's Beach Bar. Also great commentary on history and daily life. Enjoyed it
Fabulous scenery, warm clear water, snorkeling with sharks and stingrays! Plus entertainment and lunch on the beach. Quite nice.