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27 South Pacific Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit ... Read More
this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit small, but our room stewards couldn't have been better. Every day there were great activities on for the whole family, which varied from White parties to Gatsby dance classes. The food in the pantry was pretty good, but could have been better if there was a bigger range. The pizza restaurant on level 8 served amazing food, and so did Dragon Lady (level 5), the only disappointing part was that it cost more to eat at these places.Our cruise travelled to Noumea, Maré, Lifou and Isle of Pines. This trip had been going smoothly until day 6 when the weather in Maré was miserable, as it was raining all day, when we reached Isle of Pines the following day (the last island) we were told that we weren't going to be getting off the ship due to the swell. The rocking of the boat was definitely noticeable throughout most of the trip but sailing with P & O Pacific Explorer was great!. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first Oceania cruise after many on Celebrity and Holland America. Our French Polynesia cruise was a charter so some of our experiences likely are different from a "regular" cruise so I'll try to stick to the ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise after many on Celebrity and Holland America. Our French Polynesia cruise was a charter so some of our experiences likely are different from a "regular" cruise so I'll try to stick to the parts I think you would find on both. First of all, we loved the size of the ship compared to the larger ocean liners. At 1,200 guests this made the ship much more manageable and easier to explore. We also loved that it seemed much less commercial than other ships -- no art sales, few shops, a tiny casino. This ship was built for relaxing. We had a penthouse suite which in a word was awesome. Tons of space, tons of storage (so much so that we probably didn't use half of the drawers) and a huge walk in closet. It was a perfect place to relax and unwind. Being in a penthouse suite gets you a butler -- he was very efficient and useful. We had him book our spots in the specialty restaurants but he was on hand for almost anything we needed. The food -- even in the main dining room -- was by far the best we have experienced on the 15 cruises we have taken before. The specialty restaurants in particular were terrific. We especially loved the French-themed one. Another plus was that at least for this cruise there was no surcharge for any of the specialty restaurants. We only ate in the main dining room three nights out of eight. Not great for the waistline but wonderful for the palate! Since this was a charter, most of the entertainment was brought on from the charter company so it's impossible to rate the Oceania's entertainment. Just understand that since this is a mid-sized ship the entertainment venues are not what you would get on a larger vessel. As for service, we generally had excellent service throughout. The one hiccup we had was resolved to our satisfaction and the staff bent over backwards to apologize and rectify the situation. Travel to French Polynesia is more expensive than other destinations but we were very happy with our cruise and with the Oceania Marina. I'd book Oceania again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The ... Read More
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The entertainment is amazing. Attend as much as possible. All incredibly enjoyable especial the Maquee live shows. Entertainment crew hilarious Mathew Dom Pablo Miguel etc. We had the smaller cheaper cabins which were perfect for our budget and needs....hot showers were amazing. Many reviews complained about the interior being old....well I'm no spring chicken either any more but it's how you present yourself and this ship is no different....the decor is gorgeous. We did a few pacific Islands and pre booked our tours through the ship and had a great time being emersed in the culture and saw some amazing scenery. All our kids 3-17 attended kids clubs Turtle cove HQ and HQ+ and loved it experience. We also had EDGE packages. These were prepaid great for 7-25yrs. Our adults would probably pay per session next time as didn't get the value from pre purchasing. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts for your passion to serve. Sad to see you retiring but hope to travel again with P&O and see some familiar faces. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Booked two Suite cabins #11117 and #11116 - Cabin was ok but a little dated - clean and reasonable size - bed was comfortable, but pillows cheap and hard. Cabin attendants were really good. When you book a suite with P&O you have no ... Read More
Booked two Suite cabins #11117 and #11116 - Cabin was ok but a little dated - clean and reasonable size - bed was comfortable, but pillows cheap and hard. Cabin attendants were really good. When you book a suite with P&O you have no recognition or any worthwhile benefits at all and certainly don't feel like a VIP. They need to take note of what Royal Caribbean do for guests who book suite's. We were suppose to have priority boarding, but apparently there was a wedding party that they decided had priority above suite guests. It started to rain and only when bitterly complaining (as i had my mother in a wheel chair outside) that they finally allowed us in to register and board. The common areas were over crowded at all times (except when we docked at Airlie Beach) and you could never get seats around the pool. Dining areas were also way overcrowded (what i would refer to as a pig trough) and constantly bumping into people and queuing for meals. It would take nearly 20 minutes or more to get a meal then line up to get a drink at the bar - by then my food was cold. Food on the whole was really average and in some cases disgusting. The main restaurant was really old, boring and nothing more than a Coles cafeteria. If your disabled and in a wheelchair then forget it as it's so not wheelchair friendly. Had so much trouble pushing the wheelchair around and doors that were constantly closed made it impossible. Even corridors that seemed blocked all the time, which meant i had to go all the way back and around the ship. Lifts were a real pain and spent so much time waiting to get to different levels on the ship. Entertainment and activities were just average. I would never step foot on another P&O cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Heard there were a lot of fights and many passengers 'kicked off' but we didnt see anything. I have cruised with RCL twice now on Voyager and this time around the food, service and overall experience has greatly improved. Our ... Read More
Heard there were a lot of fights and many passengers 'kicked off' but we didnt see anything. I have cruised with RCL twice now on Voyager and this time around the food, service and overall experience has greatly improved. Our dining room waiters and cabin steward were the highlight of the crew- absolutely awesome. A lot of the shows were not my cup of tea- but hats off to the dancers and singers- awesome voices and moves. Ice skate shows amazing. A lot of activities not my thing but there's heaps to choose from to keep you busy, or just relax- which is what I prefer. Ports of call more than most cruises I have been on, so a good variety of things to do ashore except Mare. Unfortunately due to the weather (and hoard of jelly fish) it wasn't safe to do anything, but mare has definitely upgraded the dock and market, so great to see. Have booked Ovation of the seas for Jan 2019, so excited to see all the extra activities onboard. Crew very attentitive in all areas. Promenade cabin 6305 in a perfect spot too. Got a great price. Booked all tours directly with locals before boarding- all ships are too expensive! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I was on a 12 night cruise from New Zealand via Tasmania finishing up at Sydney Australia. The cruise was to include New Zealand North Island, New Zealand South Island, Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney Australia. Embarkation in ... Read More
I was on a 12 night cruise from New Zealand via Tasmania finishing up at Sydney Australia. The cruise was to include New Zealand North Island, New Zealand South Island, Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney Australia. Embarkation in Auckland was bad. Their boarding ramp broke and this added a few hours to the ordeal. Not a great start. The room (see below for cabin description) was very poor, dated and with quite a few issues. The ship itself was quite dated and in need of a lot of attention. Hit and miss on reception staff. I took pictures and videos which I presented to the reception staff who did a lot of nodding, agreed to do things and then didn't do anything. Needed constant chasing. That said, eventually one reception person did sort me out and was very good. (they are on shifts so quite hit and miss). I had also had a problem where my door didn't close at all. This was quickly sorted out. The other staff on the boat were very good (restaurant etc) and very friendly. I approached Holland America head office with these issues, offered to show them the evidence in the form of pictures and videos I took of the knocking noises, and of the poor customer service on the ship regarding this. They were not interested and all I got from them was a dismissive "Sorry you feel that way" type response, to quote them "extend our apologies if you feel their response was unacceptable". Very poor response. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The crew, security and cleaning staff were all stellar. Melbourne folks are an absolute blast to party with. Carnival Liberty sells more alcohol than any other ship in the fleet largely due to the good folks from Melbourne's love for ... Read More
The crew, security and cleaning staff were all stellar. Melbourne folks are an absolute blast to party with. Carnival Liberty sells more alcohol than any other ship in the fleet largely due to the good folks from Melbourne's love for celebrating life to the fullest! If your looking for a glass-half-full trip then this is the one. It's also largely suitable for families, we could see no evidence of any impropriety.. just great great times. Truffles restaurant was great and they would break the dinner up with their dancing cabaret through the enthused diners. We didn't really try the buffet up on the Lido deck except for cooked breakfasts. The staff were so very courteous and helpful. They made the whole experience very personable one which I really love. The best advice I can give is don't try to participate in all the activities all the time - you will exhaust yourself. Just pace yourself and give yourself a little buffer to go and enjoy the view of Bass Straight from the observation deck. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Visiting the South Pacific has always been a dream of mine. As my wife was approaching her 60th birthday we decided to make this dream a reality and chose Paul Gauguin cruises. First, we are ardent cruisers having done more than 30 to ... Read More
Visiting the South Pacific has always been a dream of mine. As my wife was approaching her 60th birthday we decided to make this dream a reality and chose Paul Gauguin cruises. First, we are ardent cruisers having done more than 30 to date. We are not brand loyal and choose our cruises based upon their itineraries. Prior to Paul Gauguin, our smallest ship had been the Oceania Nautica at 682 passengers. There was quite a bit to like about this cruise: staterooms were much larger than expected given the size of the ship and number of passengers. There was a lot of shelving space available, more than enough for all of our clothing and other assorted goods. Embarkation was a breeeze. We were told in advance that boarding would begin at 3:00 pm. At 2:55 we were given the OK and were in our stateroom within minutes. Our bags were promptly delivered within a half hour. The food and service were the best we've experienced on any of our cruises. Whether in the main dining room or either specialty restaurant, service quality was high and the food was excellent, though I would give La Verandah a slight edge in ambience and menu. I would really like to highlight amazing service offered by Raffy, one of the head waiters. My wife has a gluten allergy which we reported prior to sailing. Raffy was in charge of 36 people with dietary issues. Each night, he would find us and present us with the menu for the next day, whether it be in the main dining room or one of the specialty restaurant. One night, we went to the wrong restaurant and he still tracked us down. Unlike other ships, my wife could order anything on the menu and it would be prepared gluten free. Incredible service!!! On another occasion, I had slipped on an excursion and skinned my knee quite badly. William, one of the deck stewards, we had gotten to know quite well, noticed my injured knee and promptly brought a first aid kit and attended my injury. He cleansed the would with alcohol, sterilized it with iodine and then gave me some bandages to help protect it. Once again, great service above the call of duty. Our cruise director, Artur, was a quirky fellow... in a good way. He had a very impish personality and always seemed to have a glint in his eye. He was also a very good magician and hosted a few sessions with interesting sleight of hand. I also have to give kudos to the crew who supported the tender transfers. At Rarotonga, sea swells had to be at least 8 feet, yet they still managed to get people ashore and back. Four able bodied seamen had the routine down pat to time the swell and help passengers move to/from the ship and tender. I've been on other cruises with much calmer seas where tenders had been cancelled. On the other hand, there were a couple of concerns about this cruise that I would like to express. This ship was designed with a shallow hull to facilitate transit in lagoons. This design element was also a deficiency in the deep seas. This was without question, the rockiest ship I have ever been on. Even in relatively mild seas, this ship yawed and rolled quite a bit. The ship is also showing its age. It could use a refurb to bring it up to current cruise standards. There is some wear and tear and it lacks what is now basic technology on other cruise ships. For example, they are going paperless with their itineraries posting them electronically on the TV set in your stateroom and in the elevators. This proved to be quite a nuisance. If they want to save paper I would recommend sharing this information electronically on free WIFI as many other cruise lines now do. Finally, and I profess that I like to be entertained, I found entertainment on this ship lacking in both variety and quality. As a luxury cruiseline, I expected a higher standard. Although "Les Gaugines" were excellent hostesses, their routines became repetitive by the end of an 1 day cruise. During the day, activities were limited as well. I am used to having options on larger cruise ships and would have appreciated a bit more variety on this one. Evening shows were adequate, with British singing duo of Mark and Abby being a standout, as was the Polynesian dance troupe from Tahiti. All in all though, this was a great cruise and is one that I would recommend. Happy to answer any questions you may have. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The ship is young enough and attractively styled and crewed! Maintenance of rust and cleaning of deck,glass,and balcony are not great. Cabin and storage was totally fine. Our cabin steward was never close to our heart and when we ... Read More
The ship is young enough and attractively styled and crewed! Maintenance of rust and cleaning of deck,glass,and balcony are not great. Cabin and storage was totally fine. Our cabin steward was never close to our heart and when we boarded one waste bin was not emptied, nor the bedside table cleaned. The toilet compartment seemed to need a deep clean /freshening. The Senior Housekeeper always looked in control but the staff were disappointing as stewards and waiters. Our cabin /balcony was blighted by the constant contact with Zodiac boats being lowered and raised to the top deck storage. Ponant made several blunders during the booking, confusing my details with someone on the other side of the world with a similar name. We were given an on board spend to our surprise just before the end of the cruise after being told earlier that there was none. I must say the Captain and French members of staff were excellent as was Camal the Cruise Director. Though with a 98% English speaking passenger group why French was usually the first language spoken I never understood. The very few French speakers on board were favoured and one day, next in line to board a zodiac ,we became invisible as a French couple were shown on ahead of us ! Even more outstanding were the large Nature Guide/Zodiac pilots team who gave excellent lectures/briefings and were entertaining stars. The trouble was the food and drink. The baking was also pathetic at times. Twice there were "fancy" set menu special/party nights in the very attractive main dining room. However the set menu food was even worse than regular cooking.Now I have been on many ships and make every allowance I can for the catering difficulty of a small ship in remote waters, but this was BAD. The extra pasta meal required due to the sea state delay in final docking was one of the better efforts!! To cap it Ponant served as house wine (to mainly Australian passengers) cheap Australian "Oxford Landing" wines, which irritated many. Cabin service food was simple but fast and well served. Eventually some poor French wines did materialized! Bar service could be slow with one bar man being the norm and many cocktails on offer! I will say I enjoyed the free flowing Champagne.... The "Grill" (deck) restaurant/buffet is too small when the ship is full and the weather hot. These Kimberly Coast cruises attracted mostly (noisy) elderly Australians so the fun of an international passenger mix was missing. Good ships photography/DVD service. Did not use internet, (100 minutes@ 30Euroes). I could never use Ponant again as my food and drink is important to me. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
This was our first cruise on such a small ship. We have previously sailed on large megaships with Holland America, Princess and Celebrity and found Windstar to be far superior for experienced travelers who enjoy adventure and more unique ... Read More
This was our first cruise on such a small ship. We have previously sailed on large megaships with Holland America, Princess and Celebrity and found Windstar to be far superior for experienced travelers who enjoy adventure and more unique ports. The Tahiti ports are the south seas paradises we dreamed of and more than lived up to our expectations when we booked. They are still relatively unspoiled by hordes of tourists and far more relaxing than Hawaii. The food on Windstar was outstanding and there were no upcharges for specialty restaurants. The staff were uniformly professional and friendly and the food was far better than that we experienced on mass market cruiselines. My only caveats are that Windstar is not well suited for families sailing with children, elderly people with mobility issues and party people. Independent adults and couples looking for a very relaxing vacation will find Windstar to be an ideal and adventurous escape. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was such a magical cruise! Totally amazing look at the island nation of Tahiti.It truly enriched our lives. The food was top notch and we have cruised and traveled the entire world. It's a nice small ship where you get to know ... Read More
This was such a magical cruise! Totally amazing look at the island nation of Tahiti.It truly enriched our lives. The food was top notch and we have cruised and traveled the entire world. It's a nice small ship where you get to know everyone, crew and fellow passengers. We saw 6 or 7 islands Bora Bora and Huahine being my favorite.The crew couldn't have been better. Rina and Natasha at the front desk were SO NICE and helpful they knew everyone's names. They deserve a raise! Captain Ned and first mate were the most personable officers I have ever meet on a cruise, loved them. The excursions were to die for. Loved the floating mats off the back of the boat when we stopped. Dody my room steward (room 104) kept or room immaculate at all times. The crew on this ship made this cruise they were the best of any cruise I have ever taken. Just loved this cruise. They do need new mattresses in the cabins. I hope that is part of the refurb they are about to do. If you want to do Tahiti this is the way to go, even better then staying a week in Bora Bora. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our first cruise and we chose Carnival because of the price and that it covered our birthdays. Our trip started well with the shuttle from the airport it was easy to use,( they found us) quick and our luggage was well taken care ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose Carnival because of the price and that it covered our birthdays. Our trip started well with the shuttle from the airport it was easy to use,( they found us) quick and our luggage was well taken care of at the port. Our cabin was a pleasant surprise comfortable and very clean. Later we found it to be well appointed. We sailed out of Sydney and the views from the ship were outstanding. We used most of the dining options, and enjoyed all of them. The Empire being our favourite not just because of the great food, but because of Dessi and her marvelous team who not only feed us each night but entertained us. Our waiter Godfrey sand and danced for us each night. We enjoyed the Red Frog Pub and again our waiter Eka gave us personal attention. The stops at the islands were wonderful, some with not a lot of touristy things which was nice. Our cabin stewards Turi and Andi keep our cabin in very good order and went out of their way to help us celebrate our birthdays with messages in colour pens on the mirrors. We found that all the staff we came in contact with remembered our names and made us feel like we were special. Lastly the young people who put on all the shows, Wow what talent. The comedy club, very entertaining. We travelled from Adelaide to join the ship, We are a couple late 60's and early 70's. We disembarked with ease, no rush, shuttle to the airport in time for our flight. Would we do it again...........in a heart beat. Thank you Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship ... Read More
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship were outstanding, the ship provided us with a number of sports, such as table tennis(ping pong), basketball, soccer, cricket, paddle tennis, mini golf a jogging track and a well equipped high-tech gym. Every night, when the room steward refreshed our room he left us with delicious chocolates and the next day's edition of the Princess Patter( the newsletter with showed all the activities happening in the next day). One very important thing I would recommend you to purchase, especially if you are travelling with kids, is to buy the soda and drink package. And also purchase once you get on the ship, not before, because the price onboard is cheaper than purchasing it from the website. With 60 Australian dollars we could get all the drinks we wanted for free. And one thing that you should know is that Princess is not very strict with the package. For example, I could but a drink and then give the card to my sister and she could get a drink for herself. Our interior cabin was very nice. The service on the ship was amazing. The dining was also great. The pizza in this ship was amazing. For breakfast there was a huge variety of food, from pancakes, to waffles, to omelettes, to hash browns, to scrambled eggs, to croissants, to yoghurt, to chocolate croissants, to fruit etc. The dinner was amazing too, and the dessert was absolutely wonderful. The cruise was actually very great for children too, the kids clubs were awesome, and the youth counsellors very very friendly. The service on this ship was also very great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This ship was not gay friendly! As soon as our cabin crew realised we were a couple they started to treat us in a significantly withdrawn manner. Several incidents occurred, including snickering at me in the hallway as I walked past. When ... Read More
This ship was not gay friendly! As soon as our cabin crew realised we were a couple they started to treat us in a significantly withdrawn manner. Several incidents occurred, including snickering at me in the hallway as I walked past. When this was raised with P&O head office, the response after it was investigated was that we were seen on the CCTV smiling at times when we were on board and this meant we had a good time. It was a very poor response. I did not expect to be treated this way on a ship that sailed from Australia. We have been on Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises and we were treated just like every other customer. Very disturbing P&O. To be fair, the entertainment on board was better than any other cruise we had been on. The food and the rest of the service was sub-standard, but I did enjoy having a drink at the rear of the boat, Bingo, the affordably-priced cocktail course etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
The embarkation and disembarking were fantastic ! on and off in no time at all as with the tender services that i did The ship itself i did find good and had plenty of bars and retreats to just laze around, pool area on deck 11 was ... Read More
The embarkation and disembarking were fantastic ! on and off in no time at all as with the tender services that i did The ship itself i did find good and had plenty of bars and retreats to just laze around, pool area on deck 11 was good as with the adults only pool at the aft,could do with a bar in the adults pool area. The cabin was clean and spacious (was on deck 5) and loved it , no engine noise as i have heard people say at all and no noise either from other cabins,room attendants were great ! Got to say you are spoiled for choices when eating on the ARIA ,as part of your ticket you have options such as the Pantry and Waterfront as well as Angelo's for Italian and Dragon Lady for Asian ,people Angelo's and Dragon Lady are free eating places ,i am saying this as so many people onboard thought you had to pay to get into these top eating restaurants but you must pre book in the early morning to ensure you get a time that suits you to eat ,so read up about prior to going onboard what is free and what is not A concern i had was that mainly at the Pantry the food was only warm ,it was rare to get a hot meal ! If you are into organised there is plenty to do and for the entertainment it was all good from the adults only comedy shows to stage shows i found the service provided by the ships staff excellent As for shore tours it is cheaper to do your own thing when reaching a port as a lot of the same tours you book onboard are a lot dearer than the same ones as mentioned you can book yourself on shore All in all i had a good cruise and will be back on the Aria in the near future Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose Oceania because of the itinerary. We have never been to the South Pacific or Easter Island before. With only about 800 passengers aboard, embarkation was swift. We were early so we didn't have access to our cabin but ... Read More
We chose Oceania because of the itinerary. We have never been to the South Pacific or Easter Island before. With only about 800 passengers aboard, embarkation was swift. We were early so we didn't have access to our cabin but there was plenty of room for our carry on bags while we had lunch in the Terrace Café buffet. All of the food was served to us, no guests handled any of the serving utensils to help curb the spread of illnesses, and that continued throughout the entire cruise. We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was a little smaller than we expected and the balcony was not very large either. The closet was barely large enough for a long voyage but it contained drawers, a safe, as well as hanging space. The shower was tiny but we did also have a bathtub and plenty of storage space in the bathroom. Enough about the cabin - let's get on to the food. Food and service on board was fabulous. There are four specialty restaurants and there is no added cost to dine in any of them. Reservations are required because they fill up quickly. We enjoyed Chilean sea bass in Red Ginger, the Asian restaurant, and it was probably the best we've ever had. Lobster tails are available every night if you choose to dine in the Terrace Café. The Marina did have the finest cuisine at sea, as advertised. We had lunch in the dining room most days and enjoyed their around the world tastes that changed daily. There were seminars about our destinations and more, and hands on classes for art (free) and cooking (for a fee). We also used hand held audio guides to learn about the art on the ship (Picasso is one of the artists). The musical reviews on board were the same as other cruises, full of energy and talented young performers. A string quartet was excellent, as was a comedian who came on board for two shows. Shore excursions were adequate although quite expensive. The South Pacific isn't commercialized yet as so many other ports so choices were limited. We will definitely plan another Oceania cruise. The service and atmosphere were far superior to other cruises we've been on (29 past cruises with Holland American, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival and a few others). Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Flew from Melbourne & stayed overnight at Hacienda Motel opposite the docks. Adds nearly $1,000 per couple to the over all holiday. Real pain for us Melbournians. Apart from that, Brisbane Portside Precinct is lovely and within ... Read More
Flew from Melbourne & stayed overnight at Hacienda Motel opposite the docks. Adds nearly $1,000 per couple to the over all holiday. Real pain for us Melbournians. Apart from that, Brisbane Portside Precinct is lovely and within walking distance of several motels, it was hot, we called a taxi -$8. No real problems boarding, except so many people arrive hours before time. Brisbane is quite organised, there is seating but thank goodness we walked down the precinct again and had a coffee and looked at the ship from the balcony viewing area, before checking in (Platinum). Not been on Sea Princess before, the upgrade/refit in Horizons is lovely, appears much lighter than on Dawn Princess. More room around the tea & coffee area and sweet & savoury snacks and treats behind glass, does seem somewhat cleaner in these times. Rooms - we had an inside as we booked late and took what was available, near the back but all good. We like fine dining, had problems in Rigolletos as we had booked for table for 2 and on table for 10, two men very unpleasant and argumentative. Tried to get smaller table, on 4th night we had a table to ourselves, 5th night arriving at 8.10 (7.45 was our booked time) the Maitre de (rudely) said we were "too early"! Really! I offered to look at the shops, he then said he had no room for us, try Traviata's - really! This was our 9th cruise so were quite taken aback by his attitude. Traviata's were also surprised but accommodated us with no problems. Note: A passenger told us there are only 4 tables for 2 in the Fine Dining Restaurants. I can't confirm this. Anyway, all good from there on, I even had a birthday cake one evening, very nice. The PNG Cruise itself - hot, humid, fun, very good company most people our own age, we are 72 + 76. Shows were good, islands were fun. Cultural Show at Alatau is a must and take a chance and ride a canoe, the people will look after you. Sure there's not a lot to see but we got off at every stop, swam in the beautiful pristine waters, took another chance and with the help of local finally got on a sailing boat to the little island only 5 mins away. $5 each. Locals are lovely, they do have markets but have little idea of pressuring you to buy. THINGS YOU MUST HAVE: Plenty of $5 notes, lollies for the children. Other items you could take are books, pencils, clothing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time ... Read More
Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time with Princess Cruises and they excelled in every area. In Alotau we did the Cultural Festival on board tour which was worthwhile. We noted that independent travelers still had to pay the same as passengers if they wanted entry. Good range of cultural dancers and the arts and crafts were very nice and affordable. We noted that the sellers were not used to haggling and when we were dropped off at the local market on the way back to the ship we could see why. All the produce in the markets was marked with a price and that was what was paid. There were other tours to suit other interests such as WWII or local village and cooking tour. Off to Kitava Island where we were greeted by three young ladies in traditional dress who we felt were only doing it because their mum had insisted. We saw her taking note of the numbers of passengers getting off the tenders so I'd say she billed the cruise line for the privilege as many of the other children had signs "K5 a snap" in front of themselves. The primary school children were there to greet us and put on small performances and were a delight. More carvings, shells, string bags (bilums) for sale. Lovely place for a swim and snorkel. Off to Rabaul where we took a full day tour with Kokopo Tours (wish I could insert their flyer here so others could benefit!) AU$150.00 each including water and lunch at the Gazel Peninsular Hotel. Saw everything there was to see, Yamamoto's bunker, Bita Paka War Cemetery, Kokopo War Museum and Cultural Center, Hot Springs, Volcano, WWII Zero crash site etc. The devastation of the last major eruption in 1994 is still very evident. Sea day before reaching Doini Island for more snorkeling, dance groups etc. More arts and crafts to buy. What a great little 'resort' island. Check out www.doiniisland.com and if you're cruising there pre-book snorkeling or trips to Samarai Island etc. Love to come back and chill!!!! 2 more sea days and back to Brisbane. On the way up to PNG and on other sea days we were entertained by very knowledgeable speakers who obviously loved their work. All in all a very pleasant visit to our next door neighbours. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My partner and I just completed an 11 night cruise through Society and Cook Islands. The experience was phenomenal. This was not our first time in these islands but it was our first time cruising. The Paul Gauguin is a lovely luxury ship. ... Read More
My partner and I just completed an 11 night cruise through Society and Cook Islands. The experience was phenomenal. This was not our first time in these islands but it was our first time cruising. The Paul Gauguin is a lovely luxury ship. Great food, clean and pleasant decor, extremely friendly and efficient staff - especially the dive operation, room service and wait staff. Of course, the ports are amazing and the excursions diverse - the travel desk is very accommodating and search for other options at your request. The staff as well as the passengers were totally accepting of us as a same sex couple and made every effort to make us feel included, welcomed and part of the scene. That has not always been my experience and it has made me leery of "straight" cruises in the past. This was a very pleasant surprise. The primary disappointment we had on the cruise was the diversity of entertainment and onboard activiites. The entertainment needs to be reviewed and upgraded. While the performers were pleasant enough, they aren't "star" quality. Also, there needs to be more diverse entertainment in other areas of the ship (restaurants, bars, etc.). There's not a lot to do onboard ship during the day and that should be addressed. One bright spot is the Enrichment Series of lectures - very informative and passionate speakers on polynesian culture and history. Another major source of dissatisfaction is the expensive and dicey internet service. I spent almost $500 on internet service. I am still employed and had to check in often, download some documents, etc. I think the cruise ship needs to upgrade their service and their pricing model. If planes can have internet at 40,000 ft, I'm not sure why a cruise ship can't. I also overhead people complain about wanting to send pictures home to family, facetime, etc., and it is not practical to do so. The cruise line needs to "get with it" if they want to attract a younger professional passenger. All in all, it was a great cruise, a wonderful ship, amazing ports of call and very pleasant staff. We can highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I am a relatively amateur cruiser who has cruised half a dozen times on several different mass market cruiselines over the last decade or so. Following is a brief summary of highlights and lowlights of my most recent cruise from Auckland ... Read More
I am a relatively amateur cruiser who has cruised half a dozen times on several different mass market cruiselines over the last decade or so. Following is a brief summary of highlights and lowlights of my most recent cruise from Auckland to Sydney with stops in Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Akaroa, Dunedin, Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sound, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney. We spent five days in Auckland and the North Island prior to the start of the cruise and visited Hobbiton and Rotorua prior to sailing. I really enjoyed the additional time we had to explore prior to the start of the cruise and would strongly recommend this to others considering this itinerary. Auckland is a relatively small city and is easy to walk around to explore. Having the time to explore Hobbiton and Rotorua independently was well worth the additional expense (especially since the entry fee to Hobbiton is only $75 NZD and Rotorua was also much cheaper to explore on your own than through the cruiseline's tours). Embarkation in Auckland was quick and easy and after boarding and having lunch in the Oceanview Cafe we were able to be in our cabin by 1 pm or so. The Solstice is very large but easy to navigate though there was a wait for the midship elevators often. For the most part the food in the Oceanview Cafe and the MDR was acceptable and we found it to be equivalent to hotel convention food. Unfortunately, the "Top Chef" menu night in the MDR was by far the worst food served during the entire cruise. If I were Top Chef I would not want to be associated with the quality of the food that was served that evening. We did not want to pay additional money for food on a cruise which is supposedly all inclusive so did not eat at any of the deck 5 premium restaurants. On other cruises we have taken we didn't find the additional expense worth it. The disembarkation in Sydney was extremely poorly organized. If your luggage tags had an odd number you got off on deck 5 but if you had even luggage tag numbers you got off on deck 2. However, they didn't announce this or even have a sign posted explaining this at the disembarkation gangways. Thus, many people ended off disembarking and then getting back on the ship since they got off on the wrong deck. This was the only extremely poor organization we experienced but it left a bad impression for people at the end of the cruise. Anyway, I will never be a person who primarily cruises for my vacations and Celebrity is basically equivalent to other cruiselines I've been on (Holland America, Princess). We enjoy cruising since you can travel to several places without having to worry about packing and flights between the ports. It's a sedate and non-stressful way to travel but it is far too easy to overeat and you are limited to traveling to places accessible by the sea. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our 8th cruise but we hadn't been on P&O for 5 years. I know one shouldn't compare apples with oranges but after sailing on the Diamond Princess in December 2013 the poor old Pearl just can't compare. Just ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise but we hadn't been on P&O for 5 years. I know one shouldn't compare apples with oranges but after sailing on the Diamond Princess in December 2013 the poor old Pearl just can't compare. Just little things like no bag provided for towels, no water brought to the table in the buffet etc. Considering we paid virtually the same price on the Diamond, it's head and shoulders above the Pearl. The staff were good. The food was just ok in the Waterfront - the same old complaints about steaks not being done as ordered but also some of the dishes just didn't taste good. We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet and found the food realy nice, especially the salads and the carvery. Drinks are expensive - take your own soft drinks. We were really lucky with the weather. Isle of Pines was great - a short walk from the tender wharf brings you to a lovely beach. We did the Noumea Explorer hop-on hop-off bus - great value at $15 - buy the tickets at the cruise terminal. Loved Mare - we paid the $15 for the shuttle to Yejele Beach - what a beautiful place! Amazing beach! Lifou is also really lovely. To sum it all up, would we go on P&O again? Yes, maybe, if the price is right. Did we enjoy ourselves? Well, being on a ship is really wonderful and not worrying about cooking, shopping and cleaning is great. I just think P&O are cutting corners and it shows and unlike Princess, P&O don't have the LGBT get-togethers which is a dissapointment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
just got off the pacific jewel yesterday did the j232 bounty adventure would like to have my little say Had an awesome cruise just loved Norfolk island an dravuni Fiji must say its only my opinion but a little disappointed in the events an ... Read More
just got off the pacific jewel yesterday did the j232 bounty adventure would like to have my little say Had an awesome cruise just loved Norfolk island an dravuni Fiji must say its only my opinion but a little disappointed in the events an entertainment as when we were on the pacific pearl an pacific sun both had much more an more age appropriate entertainment up for offer, as i said its my opinion i just found the music and activities more for over 65s the attic was too small for dancing there was no dome, the oasis is free hence never a sun lounge unoccupied, the gate way through there is to the upper an lower decks which children constantly RAN in an out of, we will book again but not on the pacific jewel, i found the entertainment crew very boring an mundane the senior cruise director Gemma was totally not into engaging with passengers yet ive experienced cruises with second in charge cruise events member Alan on other cruise and he and zultana g were amazing and worked well together engaging at all times with ALL passengers he and Gemma do not appear to communicate or work well together this displays to passengers, there was suppose to be a GBLT meet it was at 10 am in the attic no music no crew member anyone who came in walked out (disrespect on P & O side), after a written complaint the GBLT was rescheduled to meet in the casbar at 6pm (dinner time)ON A FORMAL NIGHT ???? although we entertained ourselves an had an awesome time and wonderful cruise overall enjoyed meeting the wonderful people of all the beautiful islands that we visited especially Tonga, Norfolk islands & Dravuni Fiji :):) some examples was knitting club, seniors meet, there was no trivia in the evening, the music on deck 14 was always screeching you could not sit an chat, there was no room that did not have pre recorded music so no where to sit an play a game of cards read a book (except for a dark library) or just chat with friends, the kids turtle shack was on deck 14 at the other end of the boat from the only lift to deck 14 was on the opposite end most afternoon activities in the kids club involved parents participation, in the evening there was not a selection of activities it was the show then the karoke not a choice of activities i think P & O should reconsider Gemma's role someone with engaging an warming personality then again in waterfront grizald, rupert and amit where amazing crew members made us all feel like family interacted wonderfully these people should be long standing crew members for years to come, salt grill really dont cater well enough for non seafood eaters la luna was amazing we went on a thai night yummmmmm would dine there again like ive said we will cruise again but not on the pacific jewel Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
First, about us. We're a gay male couple, both 50. We took this cruise with a friend staying singly in a nearby cabin. We've cruised on Oceania (and the Regatta) once before, in 2008 (Barcelona to Rome), and once on MSC ... Read More
First, about us. We're a gay male couple, both 50. We took this cruise with a friend staying singly in a nearby cabin. We've cruised on Oceania (and the Regatta) once before, in 2008 (Barcelona to Rome), and once on MSC (Eastern Caribbean), in 2011. I walk with forearm crutches and bring a wheelchair for trips with a lot of walking. We opted to not get an accessible cabin because Regatta only offers those as interior cabins. We originally worked with an Oceania agent when the cruise first went on sail to get one of the rear, larger-balconied Veranda cabins (6093). We were offered an opportunity to inexpensively upgrade to a PH2 cabin and took advantage of it, having been curious about the extra level of comfort and service. I hate to begin on a negative note, but our experience with Air Tahiti Nui was less than stellar. We opted to use miles for the air portion (pulling about $1000 off the cruise fare) and saved up enough miles to go round-trip first class. We found that although TN (Air Tahiti Nui) claims to offer free first-class seats, they only offer business. OK. We booked round-trip business seats between Papeete and Chicago. Several weeks later we got a phone message instructing us to call TN. They had cancelled our return flight and rebooked us two nights later. We didn't have enough vacation time to accommodate this change, so we tried to work with them and American Airlines (our airline which was offering the Air Tahiti Nui deal) to no avail. Adding insult to injury, they had added the flight back, and an additional one later that night, but wouldn't/couldn't put us on. So we ended up traveling coach on the way out and kept these new business seats on the return. It was quite a reworking of our plans and a major inconvenience; we were nearly ready to cancel the trip, but our friend convinced us to persevere. (We're glad he did.) So we flew coach to PPT, leaving Chicago Friday around 630PM and arriving around 530AM. PPT has no jetways, so we needed to stay on the plane until they brought a lift to the plane. PPT employees then whisked up through customs. We'd booked accommodations at the Hotel Tahiti Nui in downtown Papeete; they arranged for a transfer from the airport. We found them and arrived at the hotel before 8AM. I'd had the foresight to book a room for the night before as well so that it would be waiting for us. We settled in an rested for a bit before starting our brief visit of the city. I've reviewed the hotel separately on TripAdvisor, but will briefly mention here that it was a good fit for us. Be aware that the city of Papeete is a dirty urban mess. There is nearly no accessibility. Sidewalks have no cut-outs, are often several inches about street level, and suddenly end without warning. We ended up walking/wheeling on the street with traffic -- very intimidating. We ended up using side streets to get around. The Market was interesting (and accessible). The hotel was within a couple of blocks of the cruise dock. We didn't need any additional transport once we arrived at the hotel. We arrived at the port just after 11AM and waited briefly to be checked in. We were escorted to the Terrace Cafe for lunch. We had the foresight to wear knee-length swim shorts so that after lunch we simply headed out for the pool and dove in while awaiting the announcement that our cabins would be ready. Other folks looked at us enviously; I strongly suggest others follow this policy (or wear swimwear underneath street clothes). The ship is not completely accessible. There is no elevator access to deck 11 where one finds their putting and driving ranges, shuffleboard courts, and private cabanas. It is difficult to get over the air/water seal bombs separating different sections of the deck. And although there are ramps to get through the doors to/from the outside decks, it requires at least two people to use them -- one to hold the door open while another lifts the front wheels to get onto the ramp. Oceania staff was always eager to help, particularly in getting in and out of our cabin. And when dining, I was always offered a choice of remaining in the chair or transferring to a regular chair at the table. Oceania specializes in smaller ports, so this means they far more commonly offer tender service ashore. This means once you clear ship security, you must go down a short flight of stairs (8 steps?) to a lowered platform. From here you transfer to a smaller ship which then takes you to the dock. I was able to get up and down the stairs on my own, and the crew always helped getting the chair on the tender boat and on to the dock once ashore. I'm a smaller guy (145 lbs), and I got the impression that they would have helped me transfer while remaining in a chair if needed -- but don't quote me on that. We were surprised to find a few "friends of Dorothy" (Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans) meetings scheduled. Through these meetings (and through others hearing us talk in the restaurants), we became a group of 11 who met each evening to compare our days, meet as a team for Regatta's Team Trivia contests (we had a blast), and dining and/or enjoying the show together afterwards. I don't recall this back in 2008 -- this was a good call on Oceania's part. We enjoyed the space of the suite. Using a wheelchair in a regular veranda cabin is simply impossible; there's just not enough room. Although the suites aren't accessible, I used them as if they were. I was able to get the chair to the threshold of the raised-floor bathroom and simply rise up from the chair to stand and maneuver to the tub or toilet. (In a regular cabin, I used my crutches and fell once, injuring myself. This was far easier.) It was also wonderful having two reclining seats and ottomans on the balcony where there was room for us both to stretch and relax. In terms of service, however, we weren't sold on the upgrade features. Our butler was very professional and helpful. We enjoyed having a hot breakfast brought up to our room, but more often found it easier to just head to the Cafe. Having the offered canapes meant losing our appetite for dinner. We were disappointed to find that when you order a course-by-course meal, the entire meal must be from the same restaurant, even though restaurants share kitchens. (Our butler did work around this once because their French Onion Soup -- which is spectacular -- is ONLY offered on the room service menu, not in any restaurant.) We did take advantage of free pressing for two garments apiece, but did not ask him to pack or unpack our cases as we wanted to know where everything was. And although it was nice having two reservations in each of their prime restaurants, it wasn't anything we would have otherwise paid for. Happily, Oceania's larger ships do offer a couple of accessible veranda cabins. We think we will go that route on our next Oceania cruise. Oceania's cuisine is one of their best selling points and we were very pleased. There were some misses (particularly the Kobe Burger, which is mysteriously a Chef's Selection in the Polo Grill), but by and large we were very pleased with every meal. Favorites included: Polo Grill: lobster bisque, Maine lobster shelled tableside, filet mignon, Toscana: Aragosta Fra Diavolo con Tagliolini Freschi (lobster & pasta), yellow-fin tuna, lasagna. Grand Dining Room: coconut layer cake, caviar, grouper, duck a l'orange Terrace Cafe: Freshly carved prime rib, spring rolls "Interesting" became our buzzword when describing food -- the blend of flavors was often unexpected, but nearly always entertaining. Oceania's service was outstanding. Once we stated a beverage preference, it was known from then onward. These folks were savvy enough to know that I preferred San Peligrino earlier in the day and Perrier for dinner and later. (Honest -- the taste is different.) Opened bottles of wine were saved for following evenings, of course. And the sommeliers were always helpful. At the Cafe, all either of us had to do was raise our head and someone was there immediately to help in whatever way they could. I often had folks at the buffet eager to carry my plate as I wheeled myself around the buffet and back to our table. The entertainment was ok; this is not Oceania's strong suit. They had an 8-piece band and a string quartet who were both excellent. There was also the 4-piece "Regatta Cast" who were better each night. (Their last night show was ovation-worthy.) Other entertainment included Dale Kristien, who sang Phantom of the Opera in LA for many years. She did a lot of name-dropping and appeared to be her own best fan. Their magician was good, but not amazing. Our cruise director, Nolan, also sang and entertained a couple of nights. Good voice, very witty entertainment. Finally, the Regatta crew. We were overwhelmed by the friendliness and eagerness to help. Everyone seemed to be invested in our having a good time. The crew is from 42 different countries and we found employees on board from places as disparate as Jamaica, Macedonia, Greece, Nepal, Namibia, and Peru as well as the more common Indonesia and Philippines. Everyone went out of their way to greet us and ask if we were enjoying ourselves. It's also worth noting that although the cruise was sold out, the ship NEVER felt crowded. There were almost always plenty of chairs available poolside, even on at-sea days. Do note that they take the "do not reserve a chair" policy seriously. Some fellow travelers were incensed when Oceania staffed removed their belongings when they left their chairs for lunch inside. (Their belongings were returned to them with no problem.) After the cruise, we spent a couple of days at the Manava Suite Resort in Punaauia. Reviewed in detail at TripAdvisor. Short version: it was a wonderful close to our vacation. We flew back on Air Tahiti Nui, business class (non-flat seats, only moderately more comfy than coach), leaving PPT at 1150PM Saturday night and arriving home in Chicago 9PM on Sunday night. MISSING PORTS: Nuku Ova: The port itself was impressive. Nice tiki music show. The rest of the island was dull and very hard to ride in a wheelchair. I would have been happier just watching the show and getting back on the ship. Hiva Oa: It's worth noting that the French Polynesian islands are mostly ringed with coral reefs; once the ship was inside the reef breakwater, the waters were all remarkably calm. Once in the French Marquesas (this island and Nuku Ova above), this was no longer the case. Waters here were too choppy for the tendering process, so we took a last minute diversion to Tahuata. This was not even remotely accessible for a wheelchair; the "road" was dirt and rocks. I stayed on board as the others went on a hike of the main road and up to a Christian shrine about 1/4 way up the cliff. They had a very good time. The island folk did a great job of creating a welcoming port with practically no notice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012

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