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Let me start with the most positive and that is the staff especially waiting, bar and housekeeping. They are truly amazing and the best I have found on a cruise ship. I'm not gonna bother going into detail about every nook and cranny on the ship, many other people have written reviews about the number of coat hooks on the back of the door et cetera. Let's start with the ship! It's old and dated and poorly maintained. Even whilst waiting to board I was surprised at the amount of rust which has been painted over, on embarkation walking up the first flight of stairs there are dents in the wall, I was hoping that this would not be a sign of things to come as it is a lower deck but unfortunately the whole ship is showing far too many signs of wear and tear for cruise line who have such a glowing reputation. The swimming pool on deck eight is reminiscent of one found on old liners such as the Titanic! Huge great big varnished wooden sides protruding above the deck, the varnish is blistered and pealing, and you have to be careful not to snag your swimming costume or indeed get a splinter from the varnish. In general the furniture in communal areas are well past their use by dates, especially in the La Palette where the seating is stained and ripped. On the outside areas if you like rust and dripping paint you will love this ship! The cabins are a great size and in good condition but hideously dated, all brown gloss varnished wood, the wall units were obviously built for old-fashioned tube style TVs with a great big plinth protruding, obviously this is not needed anymore for the small flat screen mounted at the back, it just gives some sort of indication as to the date! If you're expecting a modern glitzy state-of-the-art cruise ship you will be sorely disappointed. The overall cruise experience unfortunately did not live up to the billing! I think the itinerary is poor, granted I could and should have done far more research on the itinerary but I assumed it would be paradise. In fact cruising at sea for two days to arrive at the Marquesas Islands which pretty much all look the same, with very little to do which is not helped by the fact that there are no beaches and no access to the water; once you have done one island you have done them all. Other than the embarkation port of Tahiti every other destination you have to be tendered to the pier on the island, I imagine I have spent probably 12 hours over the two weeks waiting in line for a tender which is as the cruise ship old and antiquated, you get covered in exhaust fumes and we seem to wait an inordinate amount of time on the tender before it departs. If you wish to get an early tender, be warned that unless you have booked a cruise ship excursion through Paul Gagarin you will not be allowed on the tender as they get first priority. Information given by the travel concierge on the ship I found to be poor, badly informed and contradictory. The talks provided by the travel concierge about the upcoming islands are repetitive and very sales based. I personally find one of the travel concierge to be consistently rude. I was under the impression you are able to do what sports such as kayaking and paddle boarding off the back of the ship, this is true however on our 14 day cruise there were only two days when they offered this! The entertainment on the ship was atrocious, laughably bad but as there is nothing else to do (other than drink the lovely all-inclusive drinks) you find yourself being lulled into it only to ask yourself "what the hell am I doing here". I'm not going to name any specifics as you get to know all the entertainers as it is such a small ship they obviously spend time with you on the ship or on excursions. If you like "it ain't half hot Mum" (an old English sitcom) you might enjoy it! The food on the ship was fine, good at times but nothing to write home about, in fact the best meals we had during the three weeks we were away was in restaurants in Tahiti (definitely worth trying Le soufflé in Papeete) and Bora Bora. Still, we didn't go there for the food! Probably the best day we had was on their own private island of Motu Mahana. We did meet some really nice people and we had some good experiences, it was my girlfriends first experience of a cruise as she has never been keen on the idea, suffices to say she has no intention of ever cruising again! I understand the ship is having some sort of refit in April 2020 in Singapore, apparently it is only for two weeks so how much they will be able to modernise and renew such a small window I do not know! Personally I think they should scrap it!

Disappointing cruise and cruise ship on a very overrated cruise line!

Paul Gauguin Cruise Review by matthewbowen1966

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Let me start with the most positive and that is the staff especially waiting, bar and housekeeping. They are truly amazing and the best I have found on a cruise ship.

I'm not gonna bother going into detail about every nook and cranny on the ship, many other people have written reviews about the number of coat hooks on the back of the door et cetera.

Let's start with the ship! It's old and dated and poorly maintained. Even whilst waiting to board I was surprised at the amount of rust which has been painted over, on embarkation walking up the first flight of stairs there are dents in the wall, I was hoping that this would not be a sign of things to come as it is a lower deck but unfortunately the whole ship is showing far too many signs of wear and tear for cruise line who have such a glowing reputation. The swimming pool on deck eight is reminiscent of one found on old liners such as the Titanic! Huge great big varnished wooden sides protruding above the deck, the varnish is blistered and pealing, and you have to be careful not to snag your swimming costume or indeed get a splinter from the varnish. In general the furniture in communal areas are well past their use by dates, especially in the La Palette where the seating is stained and ripped. On the outside areas if you like rust and dripping paint you will love this ship!

The cabins are a great size and in good condition but hideously dated, all brown gloss varnished wood, the wall units were obviously built for old-fashioned tube style TVs with a great big plinth protruding, obviously this is not needed anymore for the small flat screen mounted at the back, it just gives some sort of indication as to the date! If you're expecting a modern glitzy state-of-the-art cruise ship you will be sorely disappointed.

The overall cruise experience unfortunately did not live up to the billing! I think the itinerary is poor, granted I could and should have done far more research on the itinerary but I assumed it would be paradise. In fact cruising at sea for two days to arrive at the Marquesas Islands which pretty much all look the same, with very little to do which is not helped by the fact that there are no beaches and no access to the water; once you have done one island you have done them all. Other than the embarkation port of Tahiti every other destination you have to be tendered to the pier on the island, I imagine I have spent probably 12 hours over the two weeks waiting in line for a tender which is as the cruise ship old and antiquated, you get covered in exhaust fumes and we seem to wait an inordinate amount of time on the tender before it departs. If you wish to get an early tender, be warned that unless you have booked a cruise ship excursion through Paul Gagarin you will not be allowed on the tender as they get first priority.

Information given by the travel concierge on the ship I found to be poor, badly informed and contradictory. The talks provided by the travel concierge about the upcoming islands are repetitive and very sales based. I personally find one of the travel concierge to be consistently rude.

I was under the impression you are able to do what sports such as kayaking and paddle boarding off the back of the ship, this is true however on our 14 day cruise there were only two days when they offered this!

The entertainment on the ship was atrocious, laughably bad but as there is nothing else to do (other than drink the lovely all-inclusive drinks) you find yourself being lulled into it only to ask yourself "what the hell am I doing here". I'm not going to name any specifics as you get to know all the entertainers as it is such a small ship they obviously spend time with you on the ship or on excursions. If you like "it ain't half hot Mum" (an old English sitcom) you might enjoy it!

The food on the ship was fine, good at times but nothing to write home about, in fact the best meals we had during the three weeks we were away was in restaurants in Tahiti (definitely worth trying Le soufflé in Papeete) and Bora Bora. Still, we didn't go there for the food!

Probably the best day we had was on their own private island of Motu Mahana. We did meet some really nice people and we had some good experiences, it was my girlfriends first experience of a cruise as she has never been keen on the idea, suffices to say she has no intention of ever cruising again!

I understand the ship is having some sort of refit in April 2020 in Singapore, apparently it is only for two weeks so how much they will be able to modernise and renew such a small window I do not know! Personally I think they should scrap it!
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Cabin
The cabins are a great size and in good condition but hideously dated, all brown gloss varnished wood, the wall units were obviously built for old-fashioned tube style TVs with a great big plinth protruding, obviously this is not needed anymore for the small flat screen mounted at the back, it just gives some sort of indication as to the date! If you're expecting a modern glitzy state-of-the-art cruise ship you will be sorely disappointed.
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