So, after having enjoyed a lovely cruise on Rhapsody in October 2008, we decided to rebook and set sail for Hawaii via Tahiti, sailing out of Sydney on 12 April 2010.
Check in was busy but smooth, cabin was on deck 2. We spent quite some time studying deck layout to find a cabin which would offer us quietness and be close to amenities. Cabin 2587 had only one next door neighbour and was adjacent to the glass elevators - perfect we thought. Unpacked, met our cabin steward then set off to wave goodbye to Sydney as we set off on our 16 night wonderful cruise. WRONG Into cabin 2587 at around 8pm to change for dinner... 'what is that clanging noise?' we wondered...Back to cabin at 11pm after meeting our new dining companions... then from that time to 2.30am on the morning of Day 4 we wondered 'what is that clanging noise?' every 8 minutes or so!
Yes, every 8 to 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, there was a lound series of clanging, metal banging on metal sounds which lasted up to 10 times... this made sleep impossible, both during the night and during the day... We were turning into sleep deprived zombies.
Great location, shocking noise 24/7 - avoid at all costs
Terrible location directly underneath band/speaker area of deck 4. LOUD music till 12 midnight each night. Scuff marks on walls, broken light switch above one bed, broken hinge on cabinet door, right next to cascading fountain so it sounds at times like a gushing river is going to come right through the wall.
Four ports visited in the Tahiti area. 1 Papeete. Unfortunately all shops were closed as we had to dock on a Sunday. If a port of call is to be Papeete, ensure you are not there on a Sunday. Grubby and down at heel, rather like a large version of Noumea, New Caledonia.
2 Moorea. Stunning volcanic peaks, lush rainforest. Locals rent out bus trips to the beach (in front of The Intercontinental) for $5.00 each way. Limited shops, many carrying the same lines - shell necklaces etc, black pearls, t-shirts galore. Rubbish quite visible along the streets and in the canals, lots of dogs hanging about.
3 Bora Bora. Not as stunning as Moorea. Again, you can take a bus/car ride with a local for usually $5.00 each way to the beach (at The Intercontinental again!)Rubbish in streets again, more mangy dogs hanging around.
4 Raiatea. Delightful. no rubbish in the streets or small canals, saw no dogs! Pick of the four ports.
Lahaina. As this was our entry onto USA soil, long long process of customs/immigration saw the first tenders going ashore at approximately midday (earlier for those who had booked shore excursions). A quaint place; much cleaner in the streets than Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora. Some great places of historical interest within walking distance of the port, great restaurants, shopping.