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55 Paul Gauguin Cruises Romantic Cruise Reviews

We have been to Tahiti in the past, but never taken a cruise. We decided to give it a try so we could experience several islands and excursions in a short amount of time, without having to worry about accommodations or dining. There were 8 ... Read More
We have been to Tahiti in the past, but never taken a cruise. We decided to give it a try so we could experience several islands and excursions in a short amount of time, without having to worry about accommodations or dining. There were 8 of us in our group ranging from 8 to 82 years old. Overall, the ports of call, excursions, crew service, food and cabin were superb. We loved the fact that it was a small cruise (300+ passengers) because everything was more personal. The Good - The food was top notch. Good breakfast and lunch selection and very good dinner selections. The waiters were very attentive. - The cabin was comfortable and nice, but the extras (food, cleanliness, special requests, etc) made it special. - The excursions were entertaining and varied; scuba departing from the on-ship marina was a very nice touch. Room for Improvement - It was somewhat of a hassle having to stay in a hotel a day before departure and during the day of disembarkation. In addition, it wasn't clear what kind of food was included at the hotel; the food was just OK and expensive. - The pool is definitely small and it more for show than actual usage. - The online excursion reservation system was fine, but make sure you do it before the cutoff date. - The entertainment was adequate, but having the same band for "everything" during the cruise got a little tiring. We enjoyed immensely our cruise and next time we will probably do the tuamotus... One last piece of advice, even though the gratuities are included, do leave gratuities to the 4 or 5 people that were outstanding during the cruise; they do appreciate it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise specifically due to the smaller number of passengers. We like a less crowded experience. We really loved the locals who entertained us and helped with local crafts. What a way to learn! If was fantastic. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically due to the smaller number of passengers. We like a less crowded experience. We really loved the locals who entertained us and helped with local crafts. What a way to learn! If was fantastic. We haven't cruised in a long time, but found getting aboard and finding information about the excursions we chose very easy. Of course there was no shortage of people to help you! We dined in all of the restaraunt's and they were all superb. Staff were very courteous and never seemed so overwhelmed with passengers that they couldn't provide good service. I loved the ports. I especially liked Huahine but maybe it was our tour guide. We did the 'Sacred Sites' one and our guide was very well educated and also could answer random questions about plants, shells, animals........and what a sense of humour! Of course the picnic on Motu Mahana was so incredibly relaxing.....or busy if you wanted to partake in water actvities. Did I remember to say how beautiful the Motu is!! On our last day at Mooreau we spent at the InterContinental Resort and Spa, my husband enjoyed to rest by the pools and read. A rest after nearly 5 weeks of traveling. It was our 40 wedding anniversary and we had a wonderful sunset cruise of the bay in Bora Bora and a private dinner on the ships marina! It was so romantic, the highlight for sure. The staff did such a good job of keeping this a secret from my husband and he loved the surprise. Thank you for that! Loved the entire experience and would love to do it all again........ Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Air fare from Los Angeles is included in the price. Everything was handled to perfection. The ship and its staff was beyond our expectations and we felt like royalty. Food was incredible, and the ports visited were magical! Staff knew our ... Read More
Air fare from Los Angeles is included in the price. Everything was handled to perfection. The ship and its staff was beyond our expectations and we felt like royalty. Food was incredible, and the ports visited were magical! Staff knew our names by the next day, and our preferences. Loved the fact you could choose from 3 dining rooms for dinner each night. 2required a reservation but there was never a problem making them. We were on board for my husbands birthday and they spoiled him all day. Room was even decorated and a special cake at dinner. Also liked the relaxed attire dress code wise. Didn't have to pack my husbands tuxedo to be used only once or twice. A surprise at the end was the fact we were put up in a day room of a beautiful resort with all transfers included, as our plane left after 11:00pm the day we disembarked. That was the icing on the cake! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have never been on a cruise prior to this trip, we chose this PG because the boat was comparatively small and it was in Tahiti. Tahiti is a very expensive holiday destination and the cruise seemed fairly priced. We had a balcony cabin ... Read More
We have never been on a cruise prior to this trip, we chose this PG because the boat was comparatively small and it was in Tahiti. Tahiti is a very expensive holiday destination and the cruise seemed fairly priced. We had a balcony cabin on level 8, it was very quiet and came with a butler. Our butler was Harry and he was fantastic, nothing was a problem. Harry organised dining, drinks anything we wanted really. The ladies cleaning our room were really great also, very helpful. The ship isn't new but we thought it was a lot better than some reviews were stating it was. We had many meals at the Le Grill restaurant that was very well run by Randy with great support from Joey and Roland, all the food was great. A special mention of Jobert a wine waiter, he was an amazing young man, he found out our favourite wine and next day we notice a bottle in our room - what a great touch. He was far more than a wine waiter and in a lot of ways this is how we found most of the staff on-board, this made for a great cruise. The other 2 restaurants were not as good but still very good food and service. We loved the Gauguin performers, great fun. The PG organised shore excursions were expensive, we found it was better simply to get off the boat and organise our own excursions. The only negative was in November it is starting to rain a lot in Tahiti. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have wanted to return to Tahiti since our last cruise there in 2001. It was the perfect relaxing getaway in a most spectacular destination. French Polynesia has such dramatically beautiful islands. Perfect weather too - not too hot! The ... Read More
We have wanted to return to Tahiti since our last cruise there in 2001. It was the perfect relaxing getaway in a most spectacular destination. French Polynesia has such dramatically beautiful islands. Perfect weather too - not too hot! The staff on the Paul Gauguin were the most personable of any cruise we have taken. Just amazing. The ship is lovely, comfortable and spacious. Three places to dine — all good! Loved dinners in La Veranda but wished the menu changed throughout the week. Nevertheless the food was great, nice presentation and impeccable service. Embarkation and disembarkation was handled very well - smooth and quick. Efficient. Did only two shore excursions as we had been to Tahiti before. Enjoyed the private PG beach - all included. Used the spa for massages - very nice! For a small ship, the Paul Gauguin had a little of everything the big ships have, even a small casino. What it did NOT have was a crowded feeling! We thoroughly enjoyed our week. Will look forward to cruising again on the Paul Gauguin. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Before going on our cruise, I spent countless hours reading reviews - mostly from cruisecritic - and they were so incredibly helpful that I feel like I have to now return the favor as some of the advice I read was outdated and I picked up ... Read More
Before going on our cruise, I spent countless hours reading reviews - mostly from cruisecritic - and they were so incredibly helpful that I feel like I have to now return the favor as some of the advice I read was outdated and I picked up a few tips of my own. This is a long review so feel free to skip it if you don't like novels. BOARDING THE SHIP We were on the dock at 3PM and there were only about 20 people waiting with us. Onboarding was very quick and very easy. We immediately went to the travel concierge desk to pick up our tickets for the excursions each day. You can also go to the marina after the safety drill to pick up your snorkeling gear that you will use and keep throughout the cruise. We did not have to give up our passports, only showed them upon check in. DINNER RESERVATIONS Once onboard, you can immediately make reservations for any of the two reservation-only restaurants at either one. We went to Veranda for lunch when boarding at 3PM and made our reservations for dinner at Veranda and dinner at Le Grille. You will receive priority when booking each restaurant for the first time, and then reservations are subject to other cruisers who have not been to dinner. We had trouble getting another reservation but on the last night we went to the Grille for breakfast and they were able to fit us in for that night. One thing I didn't realize is the restaurant where you don't need a reservation - L'Etoile - is a sit down very nice restaurant as well. I assumed it was something lessor but we thought it was very good and the menu changes daily whereas at Le Grille and Veranda, the menu stays the same so you really only need one reservation at each to get a taste. They told us on the last day that if you really want to eat somewhere and don't have a reservation, you can head there around 7PM and see if any of the 6:30PM reservations didn't show up - it's worth a shot. IN THE ROOM In the room, you will find full size shampoo/conditioner that I felt was very adequate and you do not need to bring your own. There is a mini fridge with sodas, waters and beer. There is a hair dryer. Each day, they will set out two new yellow beach towels for your use. There are american outlets and french polynesia outlets if you don't have a converter. There is plenty of storage, as many have said. ROOM TV The in-room TV does a lot things. You can see excursions at each port and book them. You can order room service. And you can request things like more hangers. There is also a great selection of movies and we were able to watch the news. Yes, we should be out more, but we enjoyed having some downtime in the room and being able to watch a movie and hang out was a nice perk. The room service portions are small - order more rather than less. LAUNDRY SERVICE We paid for the laundry service which we enjoyed having. In the room, is your laundry bag as well as a sheet detailing which items you are having laundered. You have to fill out a new sheet, place in the laundry bag and put on your door each morning and it will be back to you by the afternoon. The middle section "Laundry & Pressing" is what you will fill out if you have a laundry package (which does not include eco friendly cleaning). EXCURSIONS We did one excursion a day. I was torn on doing morning or afternoon excursions so did a few of each, but we preferred mornings. I would sign up online for the excursions ASAP as they do fill up. Our first port was Huahine and there is not much to do on this island so I would think you would definitely want to do an excursion here unless you spend the first day hanging out on the boat. We know a few couples who did several excursions a day or only did a few total. For us, one a day was about right. The highlight tour for us was in Bora Bora - the Lagoon Excursion at Maohi Nui. Other good tours: E-Bike to Belvedere in Moorea and the Underwater Walk in Bora Bora if only for the fun photos. BALCONY We were lucky enough to get a balcony and we really enjoyed hanging out on the balcony in the mornings or when the boat was moving. I could see the argument for not needing one, but if you can afford it, I would do it again, although it doesn't make or break your experience. ENTERTAINMENT All of the shows were at 9:30PM or 10:00PM and frankly, we could not stay awake for them. We were pretty sleepy by 8 and usually in bed by 9. We did stay up for the last show on the last night back in Tahiti and it was excellent - it was a professional troupe. We also did go to the Crew Show which was adorable and well done. DEMOGRAPHICS We are 31 and were on our honeymoon. There were several other (maybe 5 or 6) younger couples around our age. The majority of cruisers were in their 40's and 50's and there were also many couples 50+. We never felt too young or weird on the ship - we met lots of great folks and enjoyed spending time with them no matter the age. The majority of cruisers were great people who were avid travelers and many of them had been on the PG before. There were a few snotty 50-something that were rude to staff and ungrateful but they were few and far between. STAFF The staff was exceptional and they were always smiling, always friendly, and always accommodating. We loved all of them and enjoyed seeing them each day. Overall, this was a great cruise and we had an amazing time and met some great people. I don't know that we would do the cruise again but only because we would love to take a different cruise as this was our first one so we'd like to check out other places - there are too many places to visit! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose the Paul Gaugin as it was a smaller vessel (only 300 passengers) and everything was included - so no paying for good and drinks. Embarkation/Disembarkation Extremely efficient Service Mainly Filipino crew - extremely ... Read More
We chose the Paul Gaugin as it was a smaller vessel (only 300 passengers) and everything was included - so no paying for good and drinks. Embarkation/Disembarkation Extremely efficient Service Mainly Filipino crew - extremely hard working and very friendly. Couldn’t do enough to help you out Cabin We chose a stateroom. It was actually quite nice to have an, albeit small, verandah. Meant we could fit outside in the morning in our bathrobes - no rush to get changed and go on deck! Cabins were very spacious with a lot of storage. Food There are 3 restaurants. Two of them required a reservation by lunch time that day. These had the same menu each night for dinner. The main dining room needed no reservation and the menu changed each night.The food was very good. Tours We definitely recommend the wave runner tour at Bora Bora. The do one at Moorea,but the lagoons at Bora Bora are more impressive- you also go right round the island. In Moorea we were unable to hire a car last minute, however it worked in our favour as we found the best taxi driver in the island with a wealth of knowledge - also a genuinely nice guy. He was bought up in Hawaii but has lived in Moorea for 20 years.I would definitely recommend booking him ahead before you arrive if you can. He recommended that we get a day pass st the Sofitel in Moorea. It was really reasonable and included lunch, coffee, snorkel equipment,towels and some of the best snorkelling in the trip. PG have contracts with certain hotels only ( it’s the inter continental in Moorea) so local knowledge us key.His name isTeva Wilkes 87764564The phone number is correct but not sure if this is the correct email - but give it a go!tevawilkes@yahoo.cpm All in all, we loved the PG cruise. We are thinking of doing a 10 day cruise next time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise ship because we were on it 2 years ago, and LOVED it! There are no words to describe the service on this ship. It is absolutely THE BEST service you will ever receive anywhere in the world! EVERYONE, and this goes ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because we were on it 2 years ago, and LOVED it! There are no words to describe the service on this ship. It is absolutely THE BEST service you will ever receive anywhere in the world! EVERYONE, and this goes for every person that is on that ship, is amazing! I cannot say enough about the waiter staff, or the housekeeping staff! Kudos Paul Gauguin for hiring people that care about their jobs! The outings were good too, most of the time. The only negative I would give is that they have apparently switched their shampoos and lotions to another brand that is really terrible. Last time we were there it was so wonderful, as far as shampoos and conditioners and lotions go, that I didn’t bring any this time hoping to save some weight in my luggage. BIG mistake! So take your own, if you go! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Let's start saying that this is a very small ship. It doesn't have 10 restaurants or bars or 6,000 sq.ft. of fitness room. We are talking about luxury ship, where every passenger has the ability to know each other on board , and ... Read More
Let's start saying that this is a very small ship. It doesn't have 10 restaurants or bars or 6,000 sq.ft. of fitness room. We are talking about luxury ship, where every passenger has the ability to know each other on board , and where all crew members know you and remember your name, your favorite drink or dish. This is where you are treated like a king and every your wish becomes reality. Food is exceptional, served in three restaurants. Drinks are all included, along with crew tips. Obviously you can still extra tip for those services you think they exceeded your expectation. Room services 24/7. Cabins are very nice and elegant, and bathroom very roomy with a tub. All cabins are ocean view, from portholes to picture windows to balconies. The ship has a Marina that opens up when the ship anchors, and offers lots of water sports activities, and provides snorkel gears to passengers that want to use them on their land excursions. French Polynesia is the place to go, at least twice in a lifetime. Expensive but worth it. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Although we're avid sailors, for years we've avoided taking a cruise because of our negative impressions of large cruising ships docking in Caribbean ports and disgorging thousands of people. However... We have just returned ... Read More
Although we're avid sailors, for years we've avoided taking a cruise because of our negative impressions of large cruising ships docking in Caribbean ports and disgorging thousands of people. However... We have just returned from an 11 day cruise on MS Paul Gauguin to the Cook and Society islands of French Polynesia. We highly recommend this cruise! The ship is attractive, well- maintained, and well-managed . It holds 320 passengers and is spacious enough so that you never feel crowded. It has an incredibly well trained, cohesive staff who take pride in their service. Anything that you need is not just available- but anticipated. Our cabin was lovely and sitting on the balcony looking at the amazing blue colors of the water and the surrounding islands was wonderful. The meals in both the main restaurant, L’Etoile, and the two smaller venues (Le Grill and La Verandah) were gourmet- beautifully presented and delicious. We enjoyed all our excursions and felt very welcome on whichever island we were visiting. We extend our thanks to everyone aboard the Gauguin- and especially to Rowena, Marlon, Marvin, Rowell, Flo, and Mike . Special thanks to David Walsh of Avoya Travel who offered wonderful suggestions, selected the perfect cabin, and followed through whenever it was needed. We'll obviously be taking more small ship cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was such a luxurious ship. We wanted to see as many is as many islands as economically as we could. We have cruised only once with Royal Caribbean and found it too big and regimented. We were dubious about the all inclusive but we ... Read More
This was such a luxurious ship. We wanted to see as many is as many islands as economically as we could. We have cruised only once with Royal Caribbean and found it too big and regimented. We were dubious about the all inclusive but we loved it so much that we are looking at booking again but it would have to be Paul Gauguin. The staff, cleanliness, food was outstanding. We had a balcony and a bath. The food was excellent and there was a choice of 3 restaurants. The bars were all comfortable and there were plenty of seats wherever you went. The entertainment was 1st class and the staff were all so friendly. Every member of staff was hard working, cheerful and nothing was too much trouble. The receptionist was very knowledgeable regarding the trips and the islands. The views were stunning and the water was truly turquoise. Our lovely cabin lady Marion really worked hard, was very informative and was a pleasure to see twice a day. Truly magical scenery. Can't wait to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was, hands down, the best cruise we have ever done. The smaller number of passengers and the attention to customer satisfaction was simply exceptional. The wine selections with meals were outstanding, and the staff were just so ... Read More
This was, hands down, the best cruise we have ever done. The smaller number of passengers and the attention to customer satisfaction was simply exceptional. The wine selections with meals were outstanding, and the staff were just so phenomenal. We would recommend to anyone. Best value for money. Mary Grace and Harry ( our room steward and butler) were amazing! The shore excursions were easy to book on line prior to our trip, and the entertainment on board was great! The staff in the lounges and restaurants were superb. Scenery in this part of the world is unsurpassed for breathtaking beauty. The drift snorkel and swimming with rays and sharks was exciting and one-of-a-kind experiences! Ricardo and Manny in the breakfast Veranda Buffet were aways a smiling way to start each exciting day! Even had a brief visit to the on board nurse and physician and cannot find fault! It will be a pleasure to come back and repeat this week-long stay in paradise.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We wanted to experience the French Polynesian and nervously chose the Paul Gaugin cruise line. Make no mistake about it, my wife and I are not cruise line people. The best way I can describe this cruise is to write and say it was the best ... Read More
We wanted to experience the French Polynesian and nervously chose the Paul Gaugin cruise line. Make no mistake about it, my wife and I are not cruise line people. The best way I can describe this cruise is to write and say it was the best experience my wife and I could have ever hoped and prayed for. Only 328 people are on-board the ship and the crew made us feel like we were the only couple on board. Most of the sailing is done in the evening and each morning we woke up in another Island Paradise. The only suggestion I can offer is to research and plan your excursions well before your cruise; don’t miss snorkeling in Bora Bora and Morea. Be prepared for a long trip from the (East) states to Tahiti. You want to seriously consider renting an over the water bungalow, or any room, the first night at the Interconntinental Resort so that you can rest after the long trip from the States to Tahiti before boarding for the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose 11 nights to really make it worthwhile (Tahiti is a long way from Canada). We were so pleased to be able to visit the Cook Islands as well as the Society Islands. The magical pristine beauty of the islands, the wonderfully ... Read More
We chose 11 nights to really make it worthwhile (Tahiti is a long way from Canada). We were so pleased to be able to visit the Cook Islands as well as the Society Islands. The magical pristine beauty of the islands, the wonderfully welcoming and interesting Polynesian people, and the joys of a small, superpbly-appointed cruise ship, all contributed to our best cruise yet. We loved that the ship went right into lovely lagoons. Access to the destination islands by tender boat was easy and convenient. Our stateroom was perfect in every way. Much more is included than on other cruises - such as tipping, all restaurants, and alcoholic beverages. The staff were so thoughtful and friendly. The cuisine was top-notch! Make sure to book "La Grill" for an outdoor dinner by the pool, for the nights you are anchored in Moorea and Bora Bora. Magical! The cruise line-owned beaches at both Taha'a and Bora Bora, are wonderful days with everything you could want. If you are a morning person, head to the stern to La Palette to watch the sunrise with a morning snack and coffee, while waiting for breakfast service to begin at The Grill or La Veranda. Please don't be one of "those" people who puts their towel on a lounge chair to reserve it for the whole day, and then only use it for one or two hours. If everyone just uses a chair when they need it, then there is no shortage of spots. We do wish that there was more shade available on the pool deck for at sea days. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
On a scale of 1-10, my wife and I would rate our December 2-13 (2017) Paul Gauguin cruise to French Polynesia a 9.9. Our central goal was to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in style, and we set high expectations for our trip. This ... Read More
On a scale of 1-10, my wife and I would rate our December 2-13 (2017) Paul Gauguin cruise to French Polynesia a 9.9. Our central goal was to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in style, and we set high expectations for our trip. This cruise exceeded our expectations in nearly every respect. The few issues we encountered we’re minor but we’re more than happy to share our general impressions and recommendations with you. Because we wanted this trip to be “extra special,” and as worry-free as we could make it, we chose to make all of our travel arrangements through Paul Gauguin, including roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to and from Papeete, arrangements for our vow renewal ceremony, and a two-night stay in an overwater bungalow at the end of the cruise in Tahiti. Trip arrangements and transfers were flawless. We’re glad we made this decision. But this brings us to a couple of recommendations to consider. The flight on Tahiti Nui to Papeete is scheduled to get you in quite late (10:55 p.m. in our case.) Our particular flight was delayed in LA and as smooth as the transfers were, we didn’t board the ship until nearly 1:00 a.m. The ship actually began to pull out of the dock before we had our cabin keys in hand. It made for a very short first night on board the MS Paul Gauguin. We would highly recommend that you arrange to arrive one day before you embark. This will also give you the advantage of boarding early, unpacking, having a nice “first dinner” on the PG, making your dinner reservations at La Veranda and Le Grill, and getting a good first night sleep. Also, consider saving the over-the-water bungalow experience for Bora Bora or Moorea. We do recommend that you conclude your trip with an additional night or two back in Tahiti. This was our second cruise but our first “small ship” experience—and our first trip on the MS Paul Gauguin. What a difference! This is a ship that strikes a perfect balance between informal and formal. PG describes it as “country club casual.” By day, just about anything goes and you’ll see shorts and sandals. Think Tommy Bahama at night… slacks or khakis and tropical shirts for the men and sun dresses for the ladies. Don’t pack the jeans and dinner jackets for this voyage. (And probably leave the kids home for this one.) We were assigned Stateroom 615 (Category D) with a balcony that made our living space feel brighter and more spacious. The layout of our cabin was generally well thought out and there is ample storage room. We used the balcony to store our snorkel gear and reef shoes. Now for the bad news: There are two standard electrical plugs in the cabin (one by the vanity at bedside and one underneath the television). None in the bathroom. We’d suggest you pack one or two “multi-plugs” or powerstrips. And internet service is hit and miss and numbingly slow. That’s it! We would be hard pressed to identify another complaint or concern about life onboard the Paul Gauguin. It’s that good. The over-all ship layout is terrific. Everything is quickly accessible but think “downsize” in comparison to larger cruise ships. The smallish swimming pool, Le Grill, and the La Palette Lounge are on Deck 8… La Veranda, the spa, a decent sized fitness center, boutique, a small library, a jigsaw puzzle table are on Deck 6… the small casino (one blackjack table and 13 slot machines), comfortable piano bar, the internet café, photo shop, and the multi-functional Le Grand Salon where you’ll enjoy evening performances in a comfortable, casual, and close-up setting… the reception desk, dive desk, and concierge are on Deck 4… and an innovative watersports “marina” is on Deck 3. We didn’t choose to scuba dive on our trip but fellow passengers who did so, raved about it. On the downside, there’s no hot tub, sauna, or jogging course on board. Service is impeccable… really. Almost over-the-top at times. (Did I really need someone to carry my breakfast plate back to the table for me?) You’ll be on a first name basis with wait staff in a short period of time and you’ll probably have one or two favorites who seem to keep an eye out for you. My wife has wheat and dairy intolerances and we couldn’t believe how well she was taken care of during this trip. Dining options are great as well. All three restaurants offer the same fare at breakfast and lunch. I’d personally rate the breakfast and lunch buffets as very good but not great… maybe B+. If time is pressing (e.g. you have a morning excursion scheduled), the buffet is the perfect answer. If you have the time, you might have a slightly better experience ordering off of the menu. For dinner, L’Etoile on Deck 5 is the ship’s principal restaurant and reservations are not required. Reservations ARE required on the two smaller more specialized restaurants (La Veranda on Deck 6 featuring French cuisine and Le Grill on Deck 8 with more of a Polynesian flare). All were terrific. Consider making your dinner reservations on your first day for the two smaller restaurants. The rule of thumb is that you are limited to a total four reservations—two at each. Near the end of the cruise PG schedules a Polynesian Night and the menus are the same in all three restaurants. You might want to verify when this is scheduled and avoid using a reservation for this particular event. On those days when you don’t have an onboard dining reservation, consider trying one of the island restaurants. We had a great dinner with two other couples at the St. James Restaurant in Bora Bora and experienced a great dinner and the best sunset viewing of our trip. You’ll receive a daily La Orana newsletter that will detail shipboard activities. Typically there are port talks and guest lectures in the Grand Salon… a range of onboard Polynesian activities led by Les Gauguines & Gauguins… and good (but not great) evening entertainment in the Grand Salon that typically run from 9:30 to about 10:15. We would highly recommend that you book your “must do” excursions in advance of your cruise. Some fill up pretty quickly. Excursions are pretty subjective things. Our favorite experiences were the Lagoon Cruise with Beach Break on Aitutaki (our favorite stopover)… the Pa tour on Rarotonga… the Sharks and Stingrays Encounter on Bora Bora… and the Sunset Sail on Moorea. We’d also suggest that you make a point of getting down to the ship marina the first day at sea to check out your snorkeling gear. With a maximum of 332 guests, you will get to know a good many fairly quickly. There is a feeling of community that you won’t find on larger ships. On this particular sail, most of the passengers were about our age… in their 50’s and 60’s. A significant number (maybe a third) were French-speaking. Other than a fun block party on one of the first few days where the ship organizes cocktail parties in hallways for passengers to meet their “cabin neighbors,” PG doesn’t need to work at getting people together. It just happens. By the end of the cruise, you’ll be on at least a face-recognition basis with nearly everyone, and you’ll likely make some good new friends along the way. Our Paul Gauguin experience was a wonderful one. It will not be the cheapest traveling you’ll ever do but it will be among your best. And we can’t think of a better way to celebrate a special occasion… like a 50th wedding anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My husband and I booked the November 11th sailing for our honeymoon. We booked in March 2016, so we definitely had a long wait. I read the cruise critic boards like an addict prior to departure, and some of what I read concerned me. I ... Read More
My husband and I booked the November 11th sailing for our honeymoon. We booked in March 2016, so we definitely had a long wait. I read the cruise critic boards like an addict prior to departure, and some of what I read concerned me. I began to question our decision. However, I am glad to report we had had a fantastic time and wouldn't hesitate to go back. My husband and I drove 4 hours to the Saskatoon airport (We live in Northern Canada). We then boarded a flight to LAX and stayed overnight. We arranged for a car service to pick us up at the airport. We used MGCLS, they were great, they texted me when I arrived and arranged pickup at a door outside the baggage pickup. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Santa Monica. It was a newer hotel, used points to get it and it was right next to the pier which was great. We also used the same car service the next day to go back to LAX. We arrived at the airport and their was a PG rep (Lois) waiting for us. What a great start! Security line was long, but that is to be expected. Boarded the flight, have to say I was pleasantly suprised with the food on Air Tahiti Nui.. the reviews were not good, but it wasn't bad at all. The complimentary wine was also good. 8 hour flight went by pretty fast, we landed in Tahiti around 10:40 PM. We did not book our Pre-Stay through the PG. I acutally booked a catarman through AIrbnb and it was fantastic. Eric, the owner picked us up at the airport and drove us to the marina. We stayed on his CAT for 3 nights, eating, sun bathing and snorkelling. (Highly recommedn, it was a fraction of the cost of the IC) Embarkation day came, we had to be out of the CAT at 11am, so Eric's wife ALic dropped us off at the PG. We couldn't board yet, so we walked across the street sat at a bar. I enjoyed some Mai Tai's while my husband enjoyed beer and soccer. At 2:40 we walked across the street, and we were on board at 3:00 sharp. Having cruised larger ships, this was by far the easiest embarkation ever. Glass of champagne, swipe you AMEX and then our cabin steward Rona escorted us to out cabin. Cabin was great, were in 606 a D class balcony. Bathroom was bigger than previous cruises which was great. Bed was comfy and mini bar was stocked well. Dinner every night was fantastic! I had fresh fish every night (Get the Wahoo & the Red Snapper) and the wine service was fantastic. we elected to sit at large tables to meet new people. We had a 7 course meal every night, I miss that already. Lunch was just as good, everyday was a themed buffet, I elected t visit Sammy the chef for the make your own pasta station. Always enjoyable. Can't really comment on breakfast, we never made it. We ordered croissants and fruit from room service every morning. It was prompt and good. Don't miss going to Tea every afternoon, it was a hidden gem. I had three massages at the spa and they were all fantastic. I also had my hair curled there and I was also satisfied. (Note: The spa is a little overpriced though) The dive team was great, very patient as I am a new diver. In Bora Bora we did an excursion through Pure Snorkeling and it was excellent. A must do. We saw a hammerhead shark from our balcony in Moorea. Highlight for us. The ship was well layed out. Easy to find everything and never a line. We would absolutely return! The guest speakers were great. I only wish there were more lectures. A dead whale washed up on the reef when we were at Motu Mahana, so they advised us to stay out of the water. I would highly recommend this cruise, the food was great, staff were great! Read Less
Sail Date November 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 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
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
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