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.