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77 Paul Gauguin Cruises Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise aboard the Paul Gauguin and to the French Polynesia. We want to start by saying that the whole crew, from housekeeping, excursions, waiters, deckhands to entertainment staff were simply amazing. Impeccable service ... Read More
This was our first cruise aboard the Paul Gauguin and to the French Polynesia. We want to start by saying that the whole crew, from housekeeping, excursions, waiters, deckhands to entertainment staff were simply amazing. Impeccable service and all of them greeted us warmly throughout the day and night. We found the food on board very good, but not excellent. Breakfast lacked variety as it did not change from day to day. For dinners, we were surprised at the lack of shellfish except for Thursday night when lobsters and crab legs were served at all restaurants. Meat was served most other nights. That said, the lamb chops,lamb rack and beef tenderloin were excellent. For dessert, our favorite were the different flavors of sorbets and the mint chocolate chip ice cream - among the best sorbets and ice cream we had tasted. We were told they were all made on-board. We were disappointed that the mint chocolate chip ice cream was only on the menu one night. Luckily, when we asked for it the following night, our waiter cheerfully checked in the kitchen and was able to satisfy our request. That's service. We found the ship a little dated in terms of decor and some amenities. For example, there was only 1 electrical outlet in our cabin which was by the dresser. Luckily, we brought along a multi-USB charger so we could charge more than one device at once. If you need to plug in a laptop, you would need to remove the charger. AC and USB outlets by the bedside tables would have been convenient. The air condition in our cabin barely kept us cool. The ship only had a small pool and no whirlpool on deck. We never saw anyone using the pool aside from it being used for scuba checkout dives. We took a few land excursions, namely bus tours around Moorea and Bora Bora. They were well scheduled and planned. We also went on 1 shark dive. The 2 dive masters we had were excellent and very patient with our group given we had not scuba for many years. Docking at Bora Bora for the 2 days, we took advantage of the launch to the free motu. Note that they only serve drinks at this motu, but we really enjoyed the lack of crowds on the beach and lagoon where we spent time snorkeling. Our friends opted for the $138/person Intercontinental beach excursion one day instead as it included lunch at the hotel and use of the beach. We are glad we did not participate. Now that we ticked off another bucket-list, not sure whether we would return. Perhaps when Paul Gauguin launches a new ship, we may return. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Have been on PG three times. Last one, this year after a 9 year hiatus. The ship just arrived back from drydock so was all refurbished. BUT- we were highly disappointed with the quality of the food. In the past, food was gourmet quality. ... Read More
Have been on PG three times. Last one, this year after a 9 year hiatus. The ship just arrived back from drydock so was all refurbished. BUT- we were highly disappointed with the quality of the food. In the past, food was gourmet quality. This time was really low quality. We both felt the same way. Even the presentation was not very appetizing. 3 months prior, we were on a Celebrity ship at one third of the price and the food was better... Entertainment was good with the exception of two so called sopranos who made chalkboards sound better... laundry service-great. Cruise director- great at low visibility, disappointment, after previous exposure to Jim Cannon and Michael Shapiro. We now feel that this ship is a waste of money. There are other ways to see magnificent FP. Another disappointment was FP. Things have gone downhill in the past nine years. Weather change has affected the reefs, thus, lot less sea life. The economy has worsened thus, no more flower crowns on most heads, and most of the ones you see are artificial flowers...you cannot go back home... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise line because we wanted to see as many of the islands as possible in the short amount of time we were able to leave home. We planned to choose our favorites and return another time when we can really go more into depth. ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because we wanted to see as many of the islands as possible in the short amount of time we were able to leave home. We planned to choose our favorites and return another time when we can really go more into depth. This cruise was perfect. We used their services for all our travel arrangements and were glad we did. The flight from LAX to Papeete was delayed over an hour, and we only had a two hour window from plane to ship anyway. We would have been really worried about making it had we made our own arrangements. Turned out a good 50 cruisers were on that plane! Embarkation was seamless. Clear signage and lei welcome at the airport, a comfortable bus to the ship (maybe 10-15 min ride), easy passport/docs review and right away our butler appeared to escort us to our suite (816). Shernan was incredible, start to finish, and we are so glad to have had his help. He asked us how much of his involvement we would like and gently recommended we allow him to handle things for us. He asked us a few questions about our dining habits, meal preferences, times, activity level, previous Polynesian visits, etc and we told him to take over! He handled our excursion selections, made dinner reservations, delivered our coffee every morning, hors d'oeuvres in the evening and everything in between. He really knew his business. Loved the fitness room and the spa. All the equipment was very new and thoughtfully organized. Yoga mats, yoga ball, foam rollers there too, and the space was kept spotlessly clean. The spa was great! Knowledgeable staff and be sure to check out the free hammam. You don't need to purchase a treatment to use the hammam and it's open same hours as the spa. A hidden gem! I used it several times and never once saw another person. It's huge and could easily seat 15+. Dining was impeccable. I have no idea what these folks with the negative reviews are talking about! The food was always hot, always delicious, the displays were beautifully arranged and without fail, the best staff we've encountered. They were always smiling and genuinely seemed happy to be there, any time of day or evening. Same with all the staff throughout the ship. Every staff interaction resulted in a positive experience, and most often they exceeded our expectations! Walk to the bar for a drink expecting to wait, but no, they'll happily bring it over! Missed lunch? They'll recreate your request and deliver it to you poolside, or to your suite.. the list goes on and on. While we missed much of the evening entertainment offerings, we did make it to the final one where they had a local Polynesian dance troupe aboard and the show was thrilling. Interactive, with various guests being asked to the stage, etc., and honestly, just hilarious. We were SO glad we made it. Apparently the staff talent show is something to see as well.. many guests were talking about it the next day. We had lots of questions for the excursions staff and all were met with smiles and thorough explanations. We booked one at nearly every port and were quite surprised to find their prices were very close to what we could find on shore ourselves! Normally we get off the ship and do our own thing, but after the first couple days we got on the excursion train and didn't regret it. Some of our ports of call were very small, and the provider was booked by the ship anyway! All of our excursions were handled professionally and we had a fantastic time. Do not miss the marina! It was so easy to walk down and spend an hour or two kayaking in the beautiful bays before or after an excursion. No, you can't swim there because it's unsafe. Makes perfect sense. The ship itself is understated, beautiful and maintained to the highest standard. Yes, it is 20+ years old, but so what? The ship was very clean and I never once smelled anything like mildew described by others, and I'm quite sensitive. Most everything was new and clean, like the comfy cushions on deck and the couch / pillows etc in our suite. The wood was lacquered and shone brilliantly, everything worked perfectly including the AC. Zero maintenance issues. Easy on / off the ship. Careful tender staff. We looked at other cruises like Regent Seven Seas and others and this price was several thousand dollars lower than their comparable offerings. If you cruise simply to see a ship, and want to be on something brand new, then maybe the sight of the old standard men's shaver connection in the bathroom isn't for you and you belong on a different line. If you want to sail on a gorgeous ship with thoughtful, caring staff to all the little islands you won't see on the other ships, then this is the place for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose Paul Gauguin for their longstanding presence in French Polynesia and we were not disappointed. While not a true luxury cruise experience, Paul Gauguin's warm ambiance and friendly crew were wonderufl for this itinerary. ... Read More
We chose Paul Gauguin for their longstanding presence in French Polynesia and we were not disappointed. While not a true luxury cruise experience, Paul Gauguin's warm ambiance and friendly crew were wonderufl for this itinerary. Embarkation was the fastest and most efficient of any cruise line we've been on. We had a butler verandah cabin on Deck 8, a very convenient location to the (albeit tiny) pool, grill restaurant and 2 bars. Tub/shower was old and narrow, and verandah was tiny but serviceable. Our cabin was kept very clean, and our butler was OK but we mostly didn't use his services. Food at the main restaurant L'Etoile was mostly superb, and we asked to be seated at a group table several nights to met other cruisers. Specialty restaurant Verandah (reservations needed) was superb, especially their sashimi and foie gras appetizer and rack of lamb. Entertainment was a bit amateur, but we especially loved the Tahitian dancers and crew night because they were spirited and fun. Excursions were expensive and limited, so that was somewhat of a downside. Recommend pre-booking excursions because some sold out early. Fellow cruisers ranged from honeymooners to baby boomer couples and large multi generational families, but the "obnoxious kid factor" was never an issue at all. In fact we found our fellow cruisers to be a fun loving and diverse group. We booked directly through Paul Gauguin (don't use travel agents) and found their staff to be a bit rude and distracted when it came to booking air and pre stay arrangements, but it was all OK in the end. Expect warm temperatures in the public rooms; we wore short sleeves every night for that reason. We had a great MIT oceanographer on board for enrichment lectures. All in all we loved PG and plan to go back for another itinerary over the next few years. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The Ship: I give a 10/10 to the ship. I have realized that small-ship cruising is the ultimate. You get know most of your travel companions in a few days and then you are just one big happy family partying 24/7. I would recommend the ... Read More
The Ship: I give a 10/10 to the ship. I have realized that small-ship cruising is the ultimate. You get know most of your travel companions in a few days and then you are just one big happy family partying 24/7. I would recommend the owners to provide some shade on one side of the pool and outside La Palette. Dining: I give a 10/10. All three restaurants served up delightful meals. Hats-off to you Executive Chef Stephane Palluaud. Each and every meal was spectacular. Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, your recipes were reproduced flawlessly. I will definitely visit Apicius on my next visit to Paris. Imagine having a 2-star Michelin meal on board a cruise ship!!! Luis Alvarez, thank you for giving us a chance to taste the various menus. Entertainment: I give a 6/10. The four acts: Steve Wood, Angie Lang, Gustavo Vierini and the Polynesian song and dance troupe were wonderful. However, I feel that there should be at least 2 more acts for a 13/14 day cruise. Service: I give a 10/10. The crew were all-smiles all the time. They all seemed to be very happy. I would like to thank Glen at Le Grill for always remembering my daily morning ice-cap!!! Ports: I give a 10/10. The itinerary was well designed and the ship docked at exotic locations. I am just a bit confused why the ship docked at Suva. It did not match the rest of the ports. Was it a technical halt? Excursions: I give a 10/10. We were very well looked after on every excursion. Most of the excursions were water-based activities like snorkelling, jet skiing etc. The waters are so clear and aquamarine. It was amazing. I advise people not to opt for the Firewalking Show at Beqa. It is a bit of a sham. There is no fire and there is no walking. Instead there is a bit of a tippy-toe over some hot stones. Believe me, I have seen the real thing. Instead, just go to the beach. There is a beautiful resort out there with a fresh spring water pool which they let you use free of charge. Another note: please be aware that safety standards are not so high in that region. Before you go on a water-based excursion, make sure that the boat's ladder is down so that you can re-enter the boat quickly, if required. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We went on this cruise because of the "sea less traveled". It was an adult only charter cruise. The staff was over the top polite and genuinely nice. The cabin, 817, was close to the pool/bar and restaurant. I would book this ... Read More
We went on this cruise because of the "sea less traveled". It was an adult only charter cruise. The staff was over the top polite and genuinely nice. The cabin, 817, was close to the pool/bar and restaurant. I would book this room again. Just be ready in the morning for the joggers to start stomping like elephants at 8:30 am above your room. After all, you do have to get up for breakfast. The shore excursions were the absolute best we have gone on. People that go on the the cruise and expect a giant mall in each port should not go. This is for adventure and seeing something new that you can check off your bucket list. We hiked to a waterfall after a rugged 4-wheel drive ride. Not for the feint of heart or handicapped. I made it with the help of our guide. We swam with lemon sharks, reef sharks and rays. We say the ship's namesake's grave and learned during lectures about his life. The on board archeologist who accompanied us on excursions gave us lectures and information we would have never known about. I would suggest doing only one excursion picnic on the beach and it would be the one in Bora Bora. Authentically cooked in the ground instead of brought in from a kitchen. That's just me. I found the on board activities fun and hard to choose from because they scheduled multiple events at the same time. I am not much of a meat eater, so I can't say much about the food. The people I ate with seemed puzzled at the weird combinations in the special restaurants. Pate on a slab of tuna tartar? Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
From the moment we checked in for the cruise, on floor 5, I was terribly disappointed. The entire ship smelled musty and moldy. The bathroom not he 5th floor, right were everyone must congregate for room assignments, was the smelliest on ... Read More
From the moment we checked in for the cruise, on floor 5, I was terribly disappointed. The entire ship smelled musty and moldy. The bathroom not he 5th floor, right were everyone must congregate for room assignments, was the smelliest on board. Wouldn't you think the cruise line would keep that spotless? It only got worse from there. The ship was certainly nothing special and not new. I was bored after only a cople of days. We have been on numerous high end cruises. On the Seabourne an Tauck cruises, never did we have rude staff. It appeared that staff were much nicer/friendlier/more animated with their own language-speaking travelers than Americans. The first two stops were disgusting in terms of food. We did not even eat because there were flies all over every piece of food at both buffets. i complained and a staff member said "so that's Tahiti"'. They need training. The food in all restaurants was not what we expected. The cruise line touts their "fabulous French food". it was more like diner food. I had pumpkin soup with so much gelatin that u could scoop it off the top. There's a restaurant for which you need reservations called "Le Griille". We were seated by a disinterested waiter and handed a dinner menu without even asking if we wanted drinks..and the waiter disappeared. Regarding the day trips. the only excursion i would recommend is the wave runners. That was so fun and outside contractor ran it, not the ship. There were 5 of us going around the island (think it was Bora Bora), . loads of zig zags and beautiful screnery. The lead guy stopped at one point and in shallow water made coconut slices and fresh pineapple. Another excursion we paid for was the bbq on the beach. It was awful. They took us by boat to what i would describe as a picnic grove in central NJ. i intended to snorkel but the guide warned us to be very careful of the strong currents, which ruined it for me. Out of 15 people i saw 2 in the water and they were not snorkeling. So once we got to this picnic table grove at 11 am, the bar didn't open for 1 1/2 hours (people were ticked off) while the locals prepared an awful lunch. lettuce, a few tomatos sliced, cervice, rice and indistuingidhable meat. . could not wait to leave. We also did the glass bottom boat tour which i thought would b corny but turned out to be interesting. The driver (also not associated with the Gauguin line) went under the boat and fed the fish so we could see them. beautiful colors. There was some cheesy entertainment, except for the last night when they had a group called "O Tahiti". They were very good. And our Gauguin "girl" Hei Hei (real name Urahei), couldnt have been nicer. A very sweet,smart young lady. I know the "girls" are assigned to guests and must sit and talk with them, but she was really fun and we enjoyed our conversations with her. urahei. hei hei As you see, I was disappointed. Expected better for the price and description. Wish we had returned to Seabourne Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the amazing comments and the itinerary. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. We were greeted by an extraordinary team who immediately made us feel so welcome. Check in was very quick and our luggage ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the amazing comments and the itinerary. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. We were greeted by an extraordinary team who immediately made us feel so welcome. Check in was very quick and our luggage was immediately delivered to our cabin. We were on deck 6 which was the perfect location. The food and service were amazing. The crew knew our name and what we like to eat and drink the second day we were on board. Everybody was so nice, from the Gauguins and Gauguines to the waiters and concierge. We never had to wait in any restaurants. Shows were beautiful and so entertaining. Shore excursions were well organized and a lot of fun. Cabins are very clean and spacious. Our concierge April Jane always made sure we had everything we needed. The ship is a perfect size for people like us who like personalized service and a quiet place to rest, have great drinks and enjoy the scenery. Ports of calls were excellent choices with different things to do on each island (we really enjoyed the barbecue on the private motu on Tahaa, and the wonderful swim on the amazing beach on the motu in Bora Bora). We really enjoyed the music and songs by the Gauguins and Gauguines, as well as the visit on board by Polynesian women who taught us how to make the flower necklaces and heis and leis. This was for us the vacation of a lifetime. We will definitely go back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was supposedly a 'luxury' cruise. Terrible! Go Crystal or stay home...or just fly direct to the islands worth seeing. (Contracted by PGcruises) Air Tahiti Nui--AWFUL. First Class is the only tolerable seat on the plane. PG ... Read More
This was supposedly a 'luxury' cruise. Terrible! Go Crystal or stay home...or just fly direct to the islands worth seeing. (Contracted by PGcruises) Air Tahiti Nui--AWFUL. First Class is the only tolerable seat on the plane. PG (small, old, run-down, moldy) ship: cheesy staff entertainment, poor service, no A/C in main restaurant (?!?), loud hydraulic machine noises every morning 6:30-7:30am, cheap food w/repetitive menu, bulk cheap wines from Costco paired with any/every meal by the 'Sommelier.' Unhappy cabin maid and no where to swim ever unless you are paddling off the back of the boat, and even then no swimming is allowed. Rude Conciege/Reception desk with tons of 'French attitude.' Soooooo NOT worth it! We had bad weather to boot and it was the trip from HELL with a lame Captain who never communicates with the cruisers despite terribly dangerous sailing conditions. Tenders to shore were constantly cancelled and there was nothing to do onboard. We played shuffle board in the pouring rain. Oh, and NOT ONCE were we warned about how bad 'rainy season' can be. Even if it was perfect weather we would never waste this kind money on this cruise line ever again. They do give you a tiny cheap plastic 'beach bag' as a welcome gift after choking down some cheap Processo. It is laughable how bad this cruise line is. They should be ashamed of promoting themselves as a luxury liner. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
First time on a cruise . The Staff was very friendly and professional . My stateroom was very quite and clean . I went on the PG to experience the water . The dive staff was great - Maud and Clement were excellent dive guides . All the ... Read More
First time on a cruise . The Staff was very friendly and professional . My stateroom was very quite and clean . I went on the PG to experience the water . The dive staff was great - Maud and Clement were excellent dive guides . All the dive equipment was in good shape . Saw many BIG sharks and rays . Very cool . The Lagoon excursions to see the rays and more sharks were very well run . Drove a motor scooter around Bora Bora and Moorea - a real blast . Check out Belvedere on Moorea . Ate at L'Etoile every night . Wonderful food . Met lots of new friends and heard NO complaints . Loved Alex at the piano bar before dinner . All the PG bars carry the best booze . No charge or tipping , which took getting used to . Just the views of the islands from the PG deck is worth the price of admission . Stunning ! The islands are poor but that is not the fault of the PG . I always got a smile in return for a smile . Cant understand how anyone would not like this cruise . Everyone I met ( 125 people ) loved it and many were on for the 2nd or 3rd time . The PG is well air conditioned but the islands are warm and humid . Recommend highly that you stay on Tahiti a few days BEFORE the cruise . The pool at the Intercontinental on lagoon are fun . Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This cruise was chosen because of it's destination which we had never visited, it was also part of an extended 50th wedding anniversary celebration including a trip to Australia. The crew and standards of service were friendly and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of it's destination which we had never visited, it was also part of an extended 50th wedding anniversary celebration including a trip to Australia. The crew and standards of service were friendly and efficient made this a memorable experience. The weather was wonderful which was a risk at this time of the year with only a few showers on the last day. This cruise was not full but even if the ship had been full it would still be very spacious. The island stops were what you expected from a South Pacific cruise and the islanders very friendly and welcoming. This cruise is best enjoyed if you are keen on snorkelling or diving or just swimming in wonderful clear warm sea. We did always take the organised trips and we found the locals helpful to organise you own activity. The ship shows it is in need of some updating which is due in the hectic few months but it is still very comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I was the lucky winner of a Paul Gauguin cruise to Tahiti and the Society Islands. Amazingly, our room was not the lowest level, but had a beautiful picture window! Our room was ideal, and included a small in-room safe (large enough for ... Read More
I was the lucky winner of a Paul Gauguin cruise to Tahiti and the Society Islands. Amazingly, our room was not the lowest level, but had a beautiful picture window! Our room was ideal, and included a small in-room safe (large enough for a tablet but not a small laptop) and restocked beverage refrigerator. The climate control in all areas of the ship was amazingly comfortable, particularly with the heat and humidity (which I loved, don't get me wrong!) of the gorgeous French Polynesian islands. The meals were wonderful--healthy and delicious choices were the norm! Room service was included, too. The ship's amenities included a small gym--very nice for a ship this size. The staff were truly outstanding! The port talks were a refreshing change from larger ships' sales pitches--the excursions were actually presented at the end, with independent options (eg. bicycle rentals on Bora Bora) also mentioned. Snorkel gear are included, and can be picked up in advance of excursions. We enjoyed the underwater diving helmet experience (we are non-swimmers), and would highly recommend it. As well, the guided archaeological walk on Moorea was also excellent. Friendly, casual, and yet very attentive service made the cruise perfect! A small error occurred prior to embarkation, but was remedied more than adequately, reflecting the high professionalism of the staff and the integrity of Paul Gauguin. Thanks so much, Paul Gauguin, for fulfilling a dream! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have read many reviews of M/s Paul Gaugin and wanted to cruise in Tahiti to maximize our trip. We have sailed on Regent ships and loved those experiences. M/s Paul Gaugin staff was the real star of this show. By the end of the first ... Read More
We have read many reviews of M/s Paul Gaugin and wanted to cruise in Tahiti to maximize our trip. We have sailed on Regent ships and loved those experiences. M/s Paul Gaugin staff was the real star of this show. By the end of the first day most staff we interacted with knew our names. By the 2nd day they knew our drink orders. We had a small issue upon boarding with the temperature in our first suite. The suite on deck 8 was very warm. The butler assured us it would get cooler. Two hours later it was no cooler and were perspiring just from unpacking. To make a long story short after two phone calls and one trip to the Guest Manager's office, and, two trips by the service guy to our cabin they admitted they couldn't fix it and moved us to another suite on the same deck. My only feedback there is that they knew the cabin A/C was broken before they put us in the room they should have moved us to to the other suite up front. Anyway, the issue was solved with the suite move that same day so our trip continued pleasurably. Food is fantastic. We didn't eat at the French restaurant instead opting to eat every night in the main dining room. The staff there is incredibly helpful and downright fun. The bar in the casino you pass on the way to the dining room was our first stop every night and enjoyed the hot canapés there before dinner every evening. Make sure you hit the private moto that Paul Gaugin offers a day trip to - Moto Mahana. Perfect day trip with beach BBQ and drinks from coconuts, floating bar, and ukulele playing crew members. It is a dream come true. The evening entertainment was ok - pretty much expected the Polynesian shows so nothing surprising there. There is a gym looks fairly current never saw anyone in it - there is just much to do ashore everyday there is no need to go to the gym for exercise you are in port every day on the 7 day cruises. We do not have kids and were very happy that there we no children on this cruise. We sailed in September so most children are in school which is why we chose this time of the year. Just nice to not have to deal with misbehaving children in the common areas and at dinner. I could type for an hour but just want to close with this: we are coming back next year. The ship really needs a overhaul some areas are tired, and, the technology on the ship needs updating for TV in the room and internet. In this day and age there is no excuse for those areas to be lacking especially at this price-point. Again the staff of this ship is the star they are incredible. Book a trip you won't regret it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Tahiti & the Society Islands. I had very high expectations for this trip. The Paul Gauguin exceeded my expectations in every way. The ship is small (332 passengers) and that is a huge plus. Staffing is 1.5/1 and that is great. We had ... Read More
Tahiti & the Society Islands. I had very high expectations for this trip. The Paul Gauguin exceeded my expectations in every way. The ship is small (332 passengers) and that is a huge plus. Staffing is 1.5/1 and that is great. We had an upgraded suite that was just terrific in every way. Our butler and housekeeper were on top of our every need. Dining - fresh locally caught fish every night - every night! There are themed lunch buffets every day. Breakfast buffet is also wonderful. You also can order from a menu at breakfast and lunch. The food was terrific! The fish at dinner was just phenomenal. Any of those dinners would be a $40+ price in Hawaii. Go to the Crew Follies. You will be pleasantly surprised with the talent some of these young folks have. And while in port you can do several water activities right off the back of the ship. Service... Let me say this... I never heard the word "no" all week. Everyone went out of their way to say "yes". This was a World Class way of creating raving fans. The other thing about the staff is that we had a blast with all of them. I told them when we left that we will talk about them for years to come and we will miss them. They were an integral part of an amazing experience. Our travel partners who have gone on more than a dozen cruises said that this staff was the best they have experienced. Shore Excursions run the gamut from active water sports to cultural tours. If you get bored on this trip, that's on you. Can't happen as far as I am concerned. We hope to cruise again with Paul Gauguin in the near future. To sum up, when we filled out our satisfaction form we had to add a page. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My wife and I were looking for a different itinerary and Paul Gauguin offered that with a 7 night cruise around the Society Islands out of Tahiti. Highlights are two days in Bora Bora and Moorea. The Paul Gauguin is a small ship holding ... Read More
My wife and I were looking for a different itinerary and Paul Gauguin offered that with a 7 night cruise around the Society Islands out of Tahiti. Highlights are two days in Bora Bora and Moorea. The Paul Gauguin is a small ship holding only 340 passengers we sailed with about 250. This gave us an almost one for one staff/passenger ratio. Service was OUTSTANDING, the Crew asked your name and then did a great job remembering it, nice touch. Food was excellent, no problems there unless you want a midnight buffet, not on the Gauguin. Ship had a decent sized show room and nice piano bar. We spent most of our post dinner time in the piano bar mingling with people we met. Bar on the top deck aft was also a nice spot. If you are looking for great entertainment and you like the ship to be your destination then I would recommend you look for a bigger ship with more to do. We went on this cruise for the itinerary, not to hang out on the ship so it was not an issue for us. Rooms are standard, balcony was small. Ship is getting a bit dated, but is scheduled for dry dock spring of 2017, I might wait until that happens, but not a deal breaker if looking to go. All in all, top notch service and food make up for any short comings and the Society Islands are wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I would like to share a very negative experience I had with Paul Gauguin a few months ago in the hopes that if you are considering vacationing with them you are well informed about their booking tricks. Paul Gauguin marketed the cruise my ... Read More
I would like to share a very negative experience I had with Paul Gauguin a few months ago in the hopes that if you are considering vacationing with them you are well informed about their booking tricks. Paul Gauguin marketed the cruise my wife and I spent our 25th anniversary on as a 7 day - 7 night cruise to the Society Islands. We purchased their Air and Cruise package. This was our first mistake. If you purchase their Air with the Cruise they will make every effort to fly you in on the last available flight and you will not get on the ship until midnight or later. They mislead you into believing you will arrive by 10pm but Customs and Baggage claim at the Papeete airport are long and crowded with all the late flights arriving at the same time. You have no choice when you use their air package. Even if things go smoothly you will not arrive on the ship until after midnight so the cruise is really a 6 day – 6 night cruise. They purposely do this to minimize their cost because passengers who embark at 3pm (which is when they claim you can board but make it impossible to do so) start drinking and eating and using their services. They tactically avoid this if you buy their air package with the cruise. The only ones on the ship at 3pm are those that book their own airfare and arrive the day before. Additionally, services on Day 1 (or really Day 2) are awful. They are so busy pulling up lines and heading out to sea that you will not be able to find someone to get a beverage or snack. Also, the pool is drained. My room service phone didn’t even work so we went straight to bed very frustrated. My wife and I saved for this very expensive 25th anniversary trip and it was a huge disappointment. The service throughout the week was good at times but also lacking in customer service. Not sure how they got the Travel Awards but clearly they have a long way to go in customer service. I did reach out to Sandy Stevens, VP Sales and Guest Relations but this was after the trip and she already had our money so she was not interested in a resolution. Again, when you are paying the extremely high prices they demand and they say it is a 7 day – 7 night cruise you expect them to honor that which they don’t if you use their airfare. Sandy argued that it’s similar to a hotel if you arrive after midnight and you still count the day before. Clearly she missed the point because with a hotel you choose to arrive when you do so if you choose to arrive after midnight you pay for the room. What Sandy doesn’t understand and missed is Paul Gauguin does not let you choose when to arrive. They choose for you and their choice is to force you to stay off the ship as long as possible. If you decide to cruise with Paul Gauguin then prepare yourself for a big let-down which is how you will feel after spending a life savings to be treated poorly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I will start with this was the worst vacation i ever went on.From the time we got onto boat.First we went up to lunch,what a joke,my buffet in florida blew away 95% food served on this boat.very sad with the money we spent.Lets start with ... Read More
I will start with this was the worst vacation i ever went on.From the time we got onto boat.First we went up to lunch,what a joke,my buffet in florida blew away 95% food served on this boat.very sad with the money we spent.Lets start with a outdated ship,the food rating from 1-10 was 3.For the money we spent,the most ever spent and was to be a trip of a live time.Not even close.upper deck chairs were the worst.Entertainment was a joke.They dont tell you about the Marquesas that their are NO swimmable beaches in the Marquesas islands.Front desk said we should of known that when booking trip.That is total BS.Over 14,000.00 spent and you charge for wifi.How can you have 4-8 drinks and not even get a buzz,we drank so called kettle one.10 days on boat before we got back to Bora Bora to go swimming.on 13 day of cruise we went to a hotel in Moorea and had best lunch/food in 13 days.We should have that on ship breakfest/lunch/dinner.I spoke with VP Sandy Stevens she did not care about our complaints and said that she will do nothing for us and social media does not matter do what you have to.So i will.She needs to go onto the viking star and see how a ship needs to be run,and what real food looks like.We will never cruise Paul Gauguin.I hope this save some people from making the same 14,000.00 mistake we did. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Fabulous experience. Took a one week cruise from Tahiti to Tahiti through the Society Islands and loved every minute of it. Love that the cost is all inclusive so drinks, either alcoholic or soft drinks are included. Great crew. Wait staff ... Read More
Fabulous experience. Took a one week cruise from Tahiti to Tahiti through the Society Islands and loved every minute of it. Love that the cost is all inclusive so drinks, either alcoholic or soft drinks are included. Great crew. Wait staff is primarily from the Philippines and the captain, first mate, etc from Croatia. Could not have better service. Excellent cuisine. We particularly enjoyed the main dining room but also enjoyed the restaurant on the lido deck. My daughter fell ill one day and the medical staff were equally terrific. The cabins are about what you expect. Nicely appointed, small, nice amenities. The lectures were excellent. We didn't partake of the evening entertainment which is typical "cruise ship" fare. Instead, after dinner we headed to the back deck for cocktails, conversation and dancing. This is a perfect cruise for honeymooners or babymooners btw. As to our stops, we loved them all but Bora Bora and Moorea were over the top wonderful. Don't miss the mutu on Bora Bora. We ventured out there the first morning of our 2 day stay and, hardly any other passengers were there. We felt as if we were on our own private island. I don't know if it is because we spend the day on the motu at Tahaha the day before or the fact that there were no facilities on Bora Bora but, we considered ourselves blessed. Also included in your fare is unlimited use of the water toys - kayaks, paddle boards and snorkel gear. We're not much for taking organized excursions so we rented our own car on Bora Bora and explored the island. They have an electric car that's quite cool. It's one seat wide with the other seat behind it and half the price of a regular vehicle. Friends of ours rented that which we didn't discover until we returned our "regular" car. If I had known, I would have gone for the electric. Do take time to spend pre or post cruise in Tahiti. We spent our last night in an over the water bungaloo at Le Meridian and it was just fantastic. Overall: I have always wanted to go to French Polynesia/Tahiti and all I can say is that it is even better than you think it might be. It's only 3 hours further than Hawaii and is way less crowded, the people are wonderful and the French influence is everywhere but primarily in great cuisine. Next time you're thinking of headed to Hawaii, think about Tahiti. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Worst trip ever.Let me start with the staff was 100%.We saved for two years14,0000.00 plus travel, and expected the best food and beaches every day.They dont tell you that their are no swimable beaches in Marquesas islands.We left with ... Read More
Worst trip ever.Let me start with the staff was 100%.We saved for two years14,0000.00 plus travel, and expected the best food and beaches every day.They dont tell you that their are no swimable beaches in Marquesas islands.We left with 40-50 mph winds.People were sick for days,they should have stayed in Bora Bora area,we got to Marquesas and canceled all trips.We did not go swimming on beach until the 10 day of trip.The back of ship opened 2 times.The ship is out dated,food was disgusting,fly all over food on upper deck,drinks are watered down,tenders were very unsafe getting on and off.We went on the 13 day to intercontental hotel in Moorea and had the best food of the whole trip,very disapointing .We will never cruise Paul Gauguin again.Spoke with VP Sandy Stevens and she offered nothing to us and told us social media does not matter.I will posting pictures of our trip on youtube and outher pictures.GOOD VP Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I have always wanted to visit the Marquesas, and as I was in Papeete for a book signing of the French edition of "Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator," it seemed an ideal time to fulfill that ambition ... and Paul ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit the Marquesas, and as I was in Papeete for a book signing of the French edition of "Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator," it seemed an ideal time to fulfill that ambition ... and Paul Gauguin was offering a good deal. The ship is small. I believe it holds something over 300 passengers, and was not full during this cruise. Everything is immaculate, from the brilliant white paint outside, to the meticulously cleaned public spaces. The crew is disproportionately large, so there are times when two or even three waiters vied to carry my tray or top up my glass of red wine. As is so common with cruise ships these days, the wait staff and cabin stewards are Filipino. Absolutely charming people, so friendly, efficient, and eager to please. I was surprised that there were so few Tahitians in the crew. Two beautiful girls on the travel desk, charming and helpful girls at reception, and a small entertainment troupe. The other surprise was a separation of the sexes -- the cabin stewards were all female, and the wait and bar staff were all men. This was a discovery cruise, and so the star was the shipboard archaeologist, Mark Eddowes. Fluent in French, Marquesan and Tahitian as well as his native English, he was a superb communicator. Well attended lectures on Polynesian culture and history were followed by tours on shore. Thus we plowed our way through stunning scenery along bush tracks and up rubbled slopes to find dramatic ruins of marae, dance platforms, and temples, all eloquently explained. This was not a trip for anyone who has trouble getting around, unless one is happy to stay on board and contemplate the stunning landforms from the sea. The islands are "steep-to," meaning that the cliffs plunge straight into the ocean, and surf and swells have to be negotiated to get on shore. The tender crews were outstanding, but getting on and off a plunging lighter was a literal leap of faith. It was tremendous fun, but those who get along with a cane have to be prepared for adventure. An amazing adventure, I might add. Paul Gauguin are to be congratulated on the quality of their crews, and the service they provide. Dining under the tropical stars at Le Grill is particularly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I sailed on the Paul Gauguin for 14 magical days in June/July of this year. This was our third Paul Gauguin cruise, but definitely will not be our last. We have traveled all over the world, and this was by far the best ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Paul Gauguin for 14 magical days in June/July of this year. This was our third Paul Gauguin cruise, but definitely will not be our last. We have traveled all over the world, and this was by far the best vacation experience ever. Our balcony cabin was luxurious, clean and comfortable. It is so nice to sleep with the balcony door open at night and hear the sound of the ocean. The food and the wait staff were simply amazing. Shout out to our head waiter Ryan and his assistant Ivan! Their impeccable service was enough to make us want to cruise again with Paul Gauguin. The shore excursions were well orchestrated, and even though it was tricky getting on and off the tender in the Marquesas, there were always 4-6 strong men always there to help each passenger on and off. Every shore excursion in the South Pacific is amazing. We particularly enjoyed the hikes with Polynesian Anthropolist Mark Eddowes. The accomodations and service on the Paul Gauguin are incomparable. From the time we boarded the ship to the time we departed our every need was anticipated and met. The onboard lecturers provided wonderful information about the places we visited, which made the experience even more meaningful. A Paul Gauguin cruise may seem pricey to most people, but if you travel to this area of the world and stay in a hotel, I can almost guarantee the cost of your hotel, transfers, car rentals, alcohol, shore excursions, etc., will be more than the cost of a Paul Gauguin cruise, and not nearly as enjoyable. I urge everyone to check it out, it is worth every penny! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
French Polynesia has been on our list for a while. We wanted to see a range of islands so we chose a few nights at an over water bungalow at Le Taha'a and then boarded the Paul Gauguin for a cruise through the Society and Tuamotus ... Read More
French Polynesia has been on our list for a while. We wanted to see a range of islands so we chose a few nights at an over water bungalow at Le Taha'a and then boarded the Paul Gauguin for a cruise through the Society and Tuamotus Islands. It was a fantastic experience from start to finish. The service was excellent, everyone is there to make sure you are having a wonderful time from our room stewardess, to the dining room staff, to the bartenders. We loved the food on board, in particular the daily fresh fish and the themed lunch-time buffets. We enjoy food and are avid cooks, so we really appreciated the diversity, quality and creativity of the food on board this ship. The all inclusive drinks were great from the local beer, to our nightly cocktails, to the daily wines. I was a kid in Hawaii for 2 years in the early 60's and French Polynesia brought back so many memories since it is still relatively untouristic and lets the scenery both above the water and below it speak for itself. The natives were very friendly and we had some very enjoyable tours. We did a mix of independent tours and ship tours, which we found through Cruise Critic, and they were all sensational. Nothing beats snorkeling a sea life rich reef, having your guide catch some local fish, and then serving you that fish grilled along with local fruits and vegetables. Sitting outside in the glorious weather, watching the sunset, with a drink in hand, as you cruise to another island is sheer bliss. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We are from British Columbia, Canada, My list of world travels was Tahiti area and West Polynesia. I am a avid Tripadvisor reader and learned from reviews that this vessel was" All Inclusive" and visited 8 islands and had ... Read More
We are from British Columbia, Canada, My list of world travels was Tahiti area and West Polynesia. I am a avid Tripadvisor reader and learned from reviews that this vessel was" All Inclusive" and visited 8 islands and had excellent service. We flew to LA then to Papeete Airport (8)hrs. The Papeete Airport is not fun and took us over 1 hr to get through customs as only two agents and very crowded and hot standing then waiting for luggage. We flew with Tahiti Air and very good service, got breakfast snack. But enough leg room and made us comfortable with their flying kit, blanket ect. Gauguin people got us on a bus and took us to the Intercontinental Resort. This was a nice perk, as little sleep on the plane. Got a adequate room, sleep, meal, and transportation to the ship. Thanks and wish the meal was included also at the LeMeridien Resort. The Gauguin Vessel had 318 passengers and can get on 332. I think it was 277 deck workers. Christopher pool deck ask our name and he had his name tag on and looked nice in white uniform. Christopher knew our names every day all the 11 days! He knew our drinks also! Was attentive and the best service we had on the pool deck. When Christopher was not working we felt the service was much slower for drinks ect. He was not pushy, quiet, calm, smiling, concerned how we felt in choppy, windy weather and very friendly in nature. I think one of the best deck employees we have had and been on a few other cruises. Another bar and waiter was very nice man, my wife felt him sincere, friendly and very help full was Franciso. Worked at the piano bar, decks, also restaurants. Knew our drinks, and name every day, thanks guys, great work, and the best! We did like every day the piano bar and listening to Marius Baetica piano tunes. Nice guy, great melodies of old and new and movie tunes. Thanks for nice music and atmosphere. Must mention Phillip at the Le Veranda Restaurant always wanted his section, his dry humour was good, best service and recommendations. The breakfast and lunch areas are smaller but adequate. The dinner restaurants are 5* and meals excellent quality. Now for our maid Eleanor who was so friendly, knew our names every day, smiled, greeted us all the time, very excellent room maintenance, very clean state room we liked the decor, all things very clean, bathroom items appreciated, fruit, fridge full all days, turn down every day, with chocolates so nice! She works very hard, effeciate timing of cleaning rooms and maintenance. We missed seeing her face and greetings, all the best in life Eleanor!! The information desk lady's Tahitian ALL great, friendly, speak English, beautiful, pleasant. This ships itinerary, route, islands and time at islands,in Polynesia is the best way to see the area. Enough time is given also to take tours, relax onboard. The Tahiti entertainment group is much appreciated and worthwhile for the atmosphere and pictures. The gift shop supplies seemed to be short in mens clothes as wanted a Paul Gauguin shirt, T-shirt but not in a Large seize. Told by manager all purchased previous trip. I suggest more souvenirs, postcards, picture books be available. Shirts of Polynesia in my seize also not available. Why not replenish every trip? I always have purchased a shirt for a memory. We happened to get the first big storm, lots of wind, waves but the ship did well and so did the captain. Spent another extra day at Bora Bora. The Jean Cousteau lectures and helpers were great to hear and appreciated the pictures. We talked to people on board who had been on 14 trips and still booking more! Check out the ship islands and own Moto To's(islands) and you might be interested. The rooms are a good seize with port holes or windows, we had deck 3, queen size bed and good location to get tenders a shore. Quiet and no vibration on this ship as some we have taken had. Yes we would take this vessel to the Cook Islands next time because of the ships crew service and the seize. Most were adults (40-70), only (12-14) children on this trip. Great Experience and a dream come true! Softsand-13. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We spent three nights prior to the cruise in Moorea and took the 3 PM Arameti ferry to Papeete along with several other cruisers. It was a short walk (800 feet maybe) from where we reclaimed our baggage to the end of the PG dock. Two ... Read More
We spent three nights prior to the cruise in Moorea and took the 3 PM Arameti ferry to Papeete along with several other cruisers. It was a short walk (800 feet maybe) from where we reclaimed our baggage to the end of the PG dock. Two porters quickly joined us to take our luggage. We had changed cabins (upsell) after our luggage tags were mailed, but updated tags were quickly provided. We walked to the ship and were welcomed and guided to checkin in the lounge on deck 5. Quick and easy - passport, credit card swipe, and photo - no lines. We were then escorted to our cabin on deck 7 and arrived just after our luggage. The cruise itself was exceptional. Although we are experienced cruisers having taken 14, mostly with Celebrity, this was our first (very) small ship cruise. The staff was exceptional with many remembering your name after the first meeting. Our cabin on deck seven was delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed having a balcony. The cabin attendant kept the room sparkling and our refrigerator stocked with our favorites. Dining staff was quite attentive and quickly learned our preferences. We had no trouble obtaining a table for two (or more if wanted) and although not assigned a table were generally seated in the same area. The waiters quickly learned our preferences and had it at the table as we arrived. As others have reported the Gauguines, although small in number, are everywhere serving as hosts, at the tender landing to assist in boarding, etc. The assistant cruise director was an upbeat fun person from France who mingled with all the passengers. The CD generally introduced the shows and little else. Age range was all over (10-80) with several newlyweds and many older couples doing vow renewals. Since this was a cruise with Jean-Michel Cousteau onboard there were extensive activities and two "guides" for the kids who really seemed to enjoy the interaction often preferring to go with "their" group instead of mom and dad. Costeau's presentations along with one from Mark Eddowes were excellent. There are, however, several differences from a larger ship. The biggest being it moves a lot more. Thus the port order may change if there is bad weather forecast. On our cruise a low developed over Moorea and we spent an extra day in Bora Bora after Taha'a since that harbor was more protected. Please note that you tender to every island except Tahiti and the landing on the private motu may be a very "wet" one - above the knees high and unexpected by some vertically challenged guests. On board entertainment venues are very limited and there is one show at 9:30 or 10:00. You get to know your fellow passengers quite well. Not sure that I would want to spend several sea days onboard, although the library looked interesting. There are three choices for dining - main dining room in Etoile (no reservations), French dining in La Veranda (reservation required) and a grill, Le Grille (reservations required). There was never a wait for dining in the main dining room at 6:30 - 7:00. Reservations were generally available with a day or two advanced notice. The food was very good. I personally preferred the main dining room as the menu changed nightly and had a great variety. Breakfast and lunch were available in La Veranda and Le Grille. Buffet style and order off the menu in both locations. Lamb chops were available for breakfast. We were particularly impressed by the staff and their attention to detail. Our prebooked tour tickets were in our room on arrival with two exceptions. We had a note from the travel desk to check with them. Fearing they had been cancelled, we were pleasantly surprised when they asked us to review them as they had very similar stops. Can't say enough about the dining room staff especially maitre d's Raffy and Christian and their team. We did a combination of ship and private tours: Moorea - Moorea Miti Tours - a great small group snorkeling excursion with no more than 12 people. Tour departs early so you beat the crowds and wave runners to the stingray site. The boat was so easy to reenter after snorkeling or lunch, which by the way was quite tasty eaten while sitting at a table with our feet in the water. Olivia and Romain are great hosts and operators who obviously enjoy their venture. Although we were at the Hilton before the cruise, we stopped at the tender pier for two guests from the Paul Gauguin. Huahine - Huahine Nautiqe - A land tour to see multiple sites followed by an outrigger canoe ride, drift snorkel, lunch on a motu and return to the dock. Absolutely outstanding land tour, snorkeling and lunch with lots of fun times. Bora Bora - Day 1 - Pure snorkeling. Outstanding small boat - 6 people - tour with four snorkeling stops with Fabien. Absolutely gorgeous sites. Day 2 - Maohi Nui ship tour. Good snorkeling with three stops and 10 people. Since our departure was changed from 1700 to 1200 it was nice to be on a ship sponsored excursion as we caught the last tender to the ship. Rangiroa - Gauguin Pearl Farm ship's tour. Nice tour of a pearl farm on a Sunday when most other businesses were closed. Excellent explanation of pearl farming with nice selection to buy afterwards. No pressure to purchase. Fakarava - Walked around town parallel to the coast originally planning to snorkel off the local beach, but there were numerous sharks and we weren't sure they were the friendly types used to tourists that we swam with before. We also learned of a large tidal pool with lots of interesting critters that was accessible if you walked perpendicular to the coast for about two blocks from the tender landing (the island isn't very wide). Friends raved about Ato's tour - next time. Bora Bora - Day 3 (returned due to weather). Island tour with Le Truck ship's tour. Since both earlier days in BB had been devoted to snorkeling (and it being out of the question due to weather), this was an excellent three hour tour with multiple stops including Mama Edna's and Bloody Mary's. Moorea - Since we had spent three days before the cruise on Moorea, we were not disappointed in spending the scheduled first day in Bora Bora. On the second day we visited the shops on the pier, packed and relaxed before the trip home. Tahiti – Had a great tour with Tracey (Unique Tahiti Tours) exploring the west coast of the island and part of Tahiti Iti in her spacious Mercedes van. Not only did we tour, but her commentary provided a lot of info about the island and FP in general. Overnight at the Intercontinental. Not to the same standard as the Moorea Hilton, but nice for a night. We were glad we had pre-booked with the concierge a taxi for our early morning (Air France) departure as there we none in the taxi queue. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Heard about how good this line was and tried it. It was better than expected. 5 Star/Excellent rating in my book. Check in was speedy and EXCELLENT Cabin was clean and perfect EXCELLENT Ship ... Read More
Heard about how good this line was and tried it. It was better than expected. 5 Star/Excellent rating in my book. Check in was speedy and EXCELLENT Cabin was clean and perfect EXCELLENT Ship was EXCELLENT Staff was EXCELLENT Excursions were EXCELLENT Food was EXCELLENT Dinning was the highlight every day. 15 staff in dining room each meal including trained sommelier with excellent wine suggestions. Cruise is all inclusive with no tipping of staff, wine and drinks included (some special liquors have a charge), mini-bar in cabin included. Absolutely the best trip we have ever done. If I had to find something less than perfect it would be that two singers sang off key :-) Tours of the bridge, galley and engine room are not advertised but ask at reception desk on first day.. Small ship, 330 pax and 550 feet long. If you want a great cruise this is the one! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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