We have just finished the Paul Gauguin 7 day Society Islands cruise. It was a very disappointing experience for many reasons. Firstly, the ship is old, and although the public areas have had a tasteful refit, the cabins, and specifically the bathrooms are dreadful. Replacing a shower curtain over a bath with a static glass panel, so that you have to lean right in to turn on and adjust the water was unpleasant at best, and quite dangerous at worst. Further, supplying an old fashioned rubber suction mat for the bathtub on a 5 Star cruise is ridiculous. If a bath’s non slip surface is too worn to be safe, replace it.
Covid procedures were all but ignored by staff. Hand sanitation machines were over to the side of restaurants and bars, very few people used them, and no staff members were assigned to see that they did. Social distancing was also non existent. I caught Covid on the second last full day, despite taking all precautions. I tested myself in my cabin and immediately isolated and reported my case to guest services. The doctor came to see me and then charged me $121 for a service I didn’t ask for. She told me that she suspected many people onboard were not reporting their symptoms, not surprising, I probably wouldn’t have either if I’d known I’d be charged that much.
Other examples of their incompetence and 3 Star service: when my husband questioned why his dinnerware was incomplete, he was told they didn’t have enough. Whilst in isolation, my breakfast order arrived with only a butter knife, so I had to eat my pancakes with that, as no other knife and fork was supplied. There were no guest artists on the whole cruise apart from the professional dance troupe on the last night. No magician, comedian, or guest singer, just the house band and the cultural ambassadors onboard. I know this is not the usual case and it made for boring evenings. Lastly, guest services were rude and argumentative when you challenged them regarding mistakes on your account of which there were many.
The cabin was comfortable and spacious, but the balcony was tiny by today’s standards. The interior design was extremely dated and wooden surfaces were quite scratched and scuffed. The carpet was very dirty with a lot of stains. Bathtubs and plumbing was difficult to access and would be quite dangerous for the elderly. Bathtubs really should’ve been torn out in the refit last year.