8 Tahiti (Papeete) Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Aranui 5-February 14-26, 2019. Papeete was a bustling hub of activity. The night before our Aranui 5 cruise, we lodged at the Hotel Tiare Tahiti on the Main Street (Boulevard Pomare) facing the harbour: reasonable rates, pristine but ... Read More
Aranui 5-February 14-26, 2019. Papeete was a bustling hub of activity. The night before our Aranui 5 cruise, we lodged at the Hotel Tiare Tahiti on the Main Street (Boulevard Pomare) facing the harbour: reasonable rates, pristine but very clean, staff accommodating. Check-in was 2:00 pm. but the hotel desk lady got us in earlier. The only downside was no bottled water in the room. If you arrive late, try to refill a water bottle on the plane. Highlight, with a room facing the harbour, was an outstanding balcony view of the Aranui 5 docking the night before our trip. Aranui 5 deluxe balcony accommodations were excellent. Picking a cabin on the port side, rear section was the right choice. Most of the harbour docking views were on that side of the ship. One morning, we were treated with a view of a group of sting rays frolicking in the bay and mountain goats climbing the huge cliffs on another occasion. Cabin has the usual amenities such as shampoo, shower gel, bar soap, body lotion, robe, slippers, refrigerator, ice bucket, TV, and Kleenex. Motion of the ship was a surprising treat for me. Unlike large ocean ships who attempt to control movement, this ship offered a cradle like rocking at night as it moved along. I always fell asleep like a baby. Meals are all served except breakfast which is buffet fashion. The staff is out of this world friendly, attentive and helpful. My husband has mobility issues and uses a cane. The muscular, hardy crew were always there to give a helping hand to everyone. Orientation meetings were thorough but sometimes difficult to understand in English. Raimana, Valentina, George and Pearl, who spoke perfect English, were the only guides we really understood. Also, we really appreciated all the help and Tahitian dance classes that were facilitated by Pearl, the entertainment director. The French and German interpreters were very good because they were either French or German nationality. The majority of the passengers were Parisian French (103), next in equal parts were English speaking and German (106) and eleven local Polynesians. I have to make mention of the weather. It is very hot and humid with the emphasis on the humidity. My husband and I, who are seniors, found the heat hard to survive at times but the Aranui staff were very accommodating as far as leaving a tour early to go back to the air conditioned ship. We were very fortunate on this trip because we did not have any rain. The itinerary, during the course of the trip, was interesting but the true highlight is the feast for your eyes and imagination. Entertainment in the evening is limited but we were so exhausted after a day of touring that a relaxing moment on the balcony with a Hinano beer, revelling in the beautiful scenery, was enough for us. Never watched TV or bought internet time. It was true freedom from our high tech. world. Hinano and Heineken beer had a “bucket” package. If you bought 5 beers, the 6th one was free. (2000 francs or $20.00 U.S.) Their Hinano beer was excellent and we are not real beer drinkers. Gratuities are collected at the end if you wish to give extra for the staff. The staff is so great you will want to tip extra. Red and white wine were French in origin. Red Malbec is good and both medium dry, white wines were quite palatable. Tips for the first time traveller on the Aranui 5: -Bring a refillable water bottle or keep the two free bottles they provide in your refrigerator at the beginning of your trip because they have water stations throughout the ship. We were on deck 8 near the elevators and one was located there. They are located on other alternate decks as well. Also a water truck followed us for some tours and we could refill them. -Bring a light weight backpack or wear a Fanny Pack like me because I detest backpacks that bump into everyone on a tour. Fanny Pack should be able to fit lengthwise, a 16 oz. water bottle. I also have an over the shoulder strap with a water holder device at the end for short jaunts into a village. -I found a hand, fabric fan was handy in my Fanny Pack to fan myself while stopped for tour descriptions. I also put a small cloth for face wiping in my pack as well. -Bring Deet bug spray to defend against nonos and mosquitos. I usually have a problem with the critters but not with the spray on. Had no problems with bugs whatsoever! -Bring strong suntan lotion as the sun is intense. Fair skinned me was all right with Neutrogena 60 SPF-FPS. -Bring aqua shoes if you are squeamish about venturing into unfamiliar waters for a swim. Also the Aranui has their own very unique WW 2 like barges that land on the swimming beach for you to disembark. The front of the barge drops down on shore and you walk onto the beach area. -Pick a balcony cabin if you can. Why a balcony cabin? You get two free laundries with Aranui but it was our experience we were rinsing out sweaty things after each tour and hanging them on the balcony chairs. Dried in a matter of hours. Buy some Dollar Store lounge chair clips to hold them on the chairs because there are strong winds while sailing. -Pack some Dollar Store wire hangers in your outer suitcase pocket for the closet and the clips to attach skirts and pants. Also, I packed my clothes in the fabric, mesh packing cases I purchased from our Dollar Store. Much easier to access and items of clothing are relegated to individual containers. Ready to go home, you just throw them into your suitcase. -Bring a hat with a neck strap as there is a lot of barge tendering from ship to shore. -Bring your own decaffeinated tea. I made a suggestion on the mid-sailing questionnaire to provide it but to be safe, pack your own. They have “instant” decaffeinated coffee only at the stations for breakfast and in the lounge. -Clothing is very casual but some people, like myself, like to wear something a little dressier at dinner time but not formal or not even semi-formal. My husband would wear casual dress pants to compliment my attire which was dressy casual. -As expected, they have a dress-up Polynesian Night so throw in an Hawaiian flowered shirt or pareo into your luggage or buy one before you leave Papeete. Store on board provides these items as well. -Take a picture of your daily itinerary before you set out each day then you will have each place downloaded with your daily pictures as the names of the islands are difficult to remember.n We thoroughly enjoyed the Aranui 5 experience and the people we met but wished we had been 30 years younger in order to participate in the unique, exploratory hikes offered for the individual islands. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We love Oceania for its amazing service and outstanding food quality and variety. We've been sailing on Oceania for the past 15 years and just got off the Marina yesterday. This was an unusual itinerary since it had so many sea days ... Read More
We love Oceania for its amazing service and outstanding food quality and variety. We've been sailing on Oceania for the past 15 years and just got off the Marina yesterday. This was an unusual itinerary since it had so many sea days (which we both love). We boarded the ship in Papette, visited 4 ports in French Polynesia and then sailed to Hawaii and visited 4 island ports there. We sailed 5 days from Kawaii to Los Angeles where we disembarked. We really enjoyed the ship's excursions. We did an excursion in every port. We enjoy nature, birds and photographing beautiful landscapes - we were not disappointed. The Pacific Ocean was as calm as a lake (we were quite lucky). We had perfect weather on every port day and all but one sea day. Our butler proved outstanding service - including room service breakfast on disembarkation day. We have booked a 30 day voyage August, 2019 sailing from London to NYC - visiting Iceland, Greenland and some of Europe. That will complete 31 Oceania cruises for us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We went to see the different islands. If we had known in advance there are no ports with docks we would not have chosen this cruise as I have back issues. One must tender in to all the islands. I had signed up for excursions in advance of ... Read More
We went to see the different islands. If we had known in advance there are no ports with docks we would not have chosen this cruise as I have back issues. One must tender in to all the islands. I had signed up for excursions in advance of the cruise but had to cancel all. Such a disappointment. This is not the trip for older adults. I did not see any information offered by the ship in regards to tendering. From our cabin all the islands looked beautiful. Our in room service by our butler was excellent. The food was very good and we did enjoy Le Veranda for dining. The dining crew were exceptionally good. They could not do enough for everyone. We did wish there had been onboard lectures about the islands. There were experts on board but we could not find where they might lecture if they did so. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Embarked at Papeete ran very smoothly . Especially loved our cabin and its position on the ship. It was a disabled cabin so had heaps of room to accommodate a wheelchair (which we did not have). The only downside to this cruise as opposed ... Read More
Embarked at Papeete ran very smoothly . Especially loved our cabin and its position on the ship. It was a disabled cabin so had heaps of room to accommodate a wheelchair (which we did not have). The only downside to this cruise as opposed to the others we have traveled on is the staff were not as friendly and some were quite rude. We traveled with another couple who had room 9098 which was the mirror image of our cabin. Food was OK but would not rave about it. We chose this cruise especially for the Itinerary which had a few sea days in between islands as we think it gets a bit tiring having a stop everyday and then you get bored having a few sea days . We got to stay in Bora Bora for an extra day as one of the other Islands were cancelled. We thought this was was great as other cruise ships we have been on would just give you an extra sea day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Windstar cruise line offered an interesting opportunity to see more than Tahiti and Moorea by taking a week long cruise on the Wind Spirit. The itinerary included the additional Society Islands of Bora Bora, Taha'a, Raiatea, and ... Read More
Windstar cruise line offered an interesting opportunity to see more than Tahiti and Moorea by taking a week long cruise on the Wind Spirit. The itinerary included the additional Society Islands of Bora Bora, Taha'a, Raiatea, and Huahine. Each stop afforded us the opportunity to learn more about the Polynesian culture, the local history, and the current economy. The two tours we arranged before the cruise with Francyfranc Tours in Moorea and L'Excursion Bleue in Raiatea, were offered at half the price of similar ship-sponsored tours and were excellent - better than the two ship tours we booked for other ports, which were also good. We were invited to visit the ship's bridge when at sea, although most inter-island travel was at night. It was a rare opportunity to chat with the captain and each of the officers on duty throughout the cruise and we very much enjoyed our brief conversations and the explanation of the instruments used to control the ship. The food was delicious and the table service was generally very friendly and efficient. We enjoyed the two events ashore: the evening luau on Motu Tabu off Bora Bora, which included very entertaining Polynesian dancers, and the picnic lunch on a motu off Taha'a. However, the evening buffet on the open pool deck with a rain storm was not as successful. Of particular note was the Captain of the Hotel Staff and one of his Lieutenants assisting on the serving line during the picnic. This leadership approach results in the friendly, cheerful and efficient service provided by the entire crew directly serving the passengers. Do not miss the crew's talent show which is presented at the end of the voyage. The other onboard entertainment is limited to a husband and wife team singing popular songs. Be cognizant that the weather in the southern hemisphere summer (our winter) is sunny, hot and humid with frequent showers. Being from Houston, we know hot and humid, but we found this weather to be well beyond our summer experiences. If you like water sports (snorkeling, kayaking, etc.) you will love this cruise. Snorkel gear and other water sport equipment is provided without charge. Just a heads up: when snorkeling, be careful of currents carrying you into coral, which can cause significant injuries. You will probably not find any cheap cruises or airfare to Tahiti due to lack of competition. Be sure to allow plenty of time (3 hours minimum) if you're making connections in L.A. and be clear on whether your bags will be checked through. We almost missed our flight to Tahiti due to a misunderstanding in this regard. Also recognize that you must produce a return or continuing airline reservation or you will not be issued a boarding pass to fly to Tahiti. In summary, we very much enjoyed this unique cruise on Windstar and would definitely recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
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
We had a superb trip, nice people aboard. I have mobility issues so we booked the handicap cabin with Balcony . Oceania have only 6 handicap cabins aboard....for that I fault them. On most cruise line you can book a handicap cabin at ... Read More
We had a superb trip, nice people aboard. I have mobility issues so we booked the handicap cabin with Balcony . Oceania have only 6 handicap cabins aboard....for that I fault them. On most cruise line you can book a handicap cabin at everylevel, but on Oceania there is not much choice. the service from staff is excellent. Grab bars in all public washrooms. Staff carry your food to your table if you eat in Wave or Grill terrace on the 12 th floor. We loved eating on the deck outside in the back of the ship. Internet access was good, very fast early in the morbid or late at night, very slow for obvious reasons during the day. Food was excellent everywhere but our personal favorite was red ginger. Jacques being second. The room was spacious, pool area usually not incredibly busy. In destinations Bora Bora and Moorea were by far our favourites. Embarkation was not great and disembarkation was better. One nice thing is that they allow you to bring your wine (great in Australia and New Zealand) aboard. There is a 25$ corkage fee and if you do bring liquor you can only drink it in your room . All in all a very nice experience Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Marina is a beautiful ship with fabulous food, a really nice salt water pool, a nice fitness center/spa, library and Internet cafe next to coffee shop, enrichment, visual art and culinary classes, putting, ping pong, needlepoint, line ... Read More
Marina is a beautiful ship with fabulous food, a really nice salt water pool, a nice fitness center/spa, library and Internet cafe next to coffee shop, enrichment, visual art and culinary classes, putting, ping pong, needlepoint, line dancing, evening dancing with Big band or the Sligo band and late night theatre. There was Bridge and other card/board games and a Casino. The itinerary was an excellent one on our Papette FP to Charleston SC last month. Each area unique in history! It would take pages to describe the beauty, culture and great people we met along our journey! Would definitely recommend French Polynesia as a destination! We had upgraded last minute to penthouse from veranda. Both are very nice, however the PH closet is really walk in and fabulous. I liked the spacious design of the room as well. Didn't really use Butler for much. He took laundry for pressing and cleaning which any of other stewards do as well. I suppose if you wanted to dine in he would be more helpful as when I ordered breakfast to the room one morning, he set table with tablecloth, glasses and silver and served food like a waiter in the dining room. I enjoyed onboard, the pool, sauna/steam room, art classes, enrichment series, and line dancing. I heard from others the culinary classes were great. I loved the music, from the string quartet to piano bar and the two bands, each different in their own way! Overall the staff was excellent. We had a few quality improvement issues which were addressed with GM. I would like to have seen more daytime music on sea days otherwise all the music venues were great! We changed to handicap room second leg of b2b to one of 4 Veranda HC which was great as we had more room for mobility scooter and other medical equipment. The bathroom gets soaked when you take a shower. It was great for my husband as there was a shower seat. I usually took my showers in the spa! Javier, an excellent Chief Concierge arranged assistance for our departure which made it much easier for my husband, a handicap man on a mobility scooter and many others. We have 2 more upcoming cruises with Oceania. Ships we've been on and love. Sail on! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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