We had been researching this Cruise for over twelve months with regular dialogue with all the great people on the Cruise critic Site. My wife and I were cruising with her sister and brother in law. It was our second cruise together having been on the almost last cruise of Pacific Sky up in Asia.
We chose to arrive in Sydney the night before and stayed in a little hotel in the Rocks. Great location as long as you don't mind dragging enough luggage for 21 days, up a narrow stair way. No Lifts you see. The location meant we could go down to the terminal early to get a feel for the ship. The baggage handlers were quite willing to accept our bags well before the advertised embarkation times so we took advantage of that. We were able to go through the embarkation process relatively smoothly being toward the front of the line, but I think those arriving later would have had a longer wait. Access to our cabins was not available till after lunch so we had our first experience with the Windjammer. As most passengers on board were new things didn't flow quite as smoothly as they did latter on, had the occasional lunch here and less frequent breakfast - found the more organised dinning room less effort. Who want's to get their own food when someone will do it for you.
Cabin was aft on Deck 3. Bit of a walk to the dinning room but saved us from having to do extra laps to compensate for the meals. The service from our cabin attendant was excellent; she couldn't do enough for us. Only problems with the cabin - toilet system backed up morning of day 3 - 1st call to maintenance resulted in the toilet being cleaned but still didn't flush. 2nd call latter in the day, again toilet cleaned promptly but still didn't flush. 3rd call at 11pm finally got everything resolved. While it would have been better to have the whole problem rectified after the first call, we didn't have any further problems with it the entire cruise nor did it unduly inconvenience us. We did hear the occasional bang or crash from the kitchen on deck 4 above us, but not enough to interrupt a good night's sleep.
Average Oceanview Cabin - occasional noise from kitchen above. Because of aft location on the boat relatively smooth in choppier seas.
Sunday is not a great day to arrive in Papeete most things closed
Pictures don't do it Justice. Idyllic location (but expensive) Patrick's tour one not to be missed (if you can book it)
Very Beautiful too. ATV tour was great fun - easy to do with good instruction and safety briefing. Suitable for a complete novice to do.
Should have worked harder for a tour. Change of schedule meant a lack of time at the port which meant a previously organised private tour to a private island had to be cancelled. (That would have been a 5+ too)
Not enough time here - Haelakala by car. Could have spent more time at the port too - lots of fun