11 Tahiti (Papeete) Entertainment Cruise Reviews

So, this cruise was highly recommended by our travel agent and so we listened and booked it. So right from the get-go after final payment we received the airline reservations for a flight out of LAX that would not arrive until 10:30PM in ... Read More
So, this cruise was highly recommended by our travel agent and so we listened and booked it. So right from the get-go after final payment we received the airline reservations for a flight out of LAX that would not arrive until 10:30PM in Papeete and then they would transfer you to the ship. I am saying why? So, we'll board at Midnight? Yes. Well there goes your boarding experience and no dinner for that evening. Meeting at the airport and transfers to the ship were great, waiting and standing in the rain to board not so much fun. Day 1 of cruise gone! Cabin was great, luggage was already there waiting. The ship is quite old, but clean. I have no real complaints about the ship. Dining experiences were awesome all credit goes to the staff. The menus at the 2 restaurants that you must make reservations for have the same menu every night (bad idea). Earliest you can eat dinner is 6:30PM Food was very good though. All entertainment starts at 9:30PM and that just does not work for us, we did manage to stay up for the Beatles from the Philippines but ended up leaving early, they tried, but sorry out of sync and out of tune. It was the only show we went to. Other activities were going on throughout the days and evenings and the ones we did go to were good. But it should be mentioned that a lot of these activities start at 6:30PM so we did not get to meet the Captain as we had dinner reservations, we did not get to make a Tahitian flower crown for the wife as we had dinner reservations. The fitness center is very small and very crowded and most time we had to wait for a machine to workout. The Public rooms, Bars we awesome and we had a good time. Service throughout the ship was excellent as well as the staff, enough cannot be said about the wonderful staff. The shore excursions we took were average and nothing to get excited about. So let's talk about the Islands...first one we go to is Huahine and I have to say why? Why the heck do they go there? Tender from the ship to the opposite side of the Island and take the shuttle to town 30 minutes away and two stores were open, gezzz what a waste of time. Second one is their private Island Taha'a and it was great and had a good time there until it rained, and everyone scrambles to get back to the ship via tender. Third stop Bora Bora for two days. Toured the Island and went shopping, second day went on the glass bottom boat, it was OK but overcrowded. Next stop Moorea for two days, day one it rained the whole time of our tour around the town and the shops we went to, OK but missed all photo opportunities due to the clouds. Second day we went shopping until it started raining again and again a battle for the tender back. I believe Moorea would have been by far the best Island, but rain prevented most of the great experiences. So finally, back to Papeete and we get there at 7:00PM and receive our Dis-Embarkation instructions, I thought embarkation was bad this was really bad. Must be out of cabin by 9:00AM and can't leave the ship until 12:30PM Breakfast does not start till 9:00AM so 3 hours of sitting or waiting, what to do? They do allow you to walk into town, which we did and went shopping and were back by 11:00AM just in time for lunch. Then we wait till 12:30PM to get off and found out the bus was going to take us on a 2.5-hour tour "to waste time" as the guide said because the Hotel they were taking us to was not ready for us. The tour was OK, and the Hotel was very nice but all you get is a room for 4 hours to kill before you have to check out and wait in the lobby for another 1.5 hours before the bus takes you to the airport for your Midnight flight back home. After loading the bus and luggage in a van we get to the airport at 9:15PM and wait another 2.5 hours before boarding. The flight back to LAX is 8 hours and I can’t sleep on a plane, never could sleep in an upright position. So, from 6:00AM in Tahiti to 1:00PM home 33 hours later is not how I would have planned it. We did get about 2-3 hours sleep in the Hotel in Tahiti and wife slept on the plane home. My advice, don’t book your travel plans through Paul Gauguin, book your own flight and get your own Hotel if you need one and get there 1 day before because the earliest flights all seem to get there after 6:30PM and boarding starts at 3:00PM. Also, the earliest flight home starts at 8:40PM so again I would get a Hotel going home (even though you may not spend the night), some place to go and relax before going to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had the pleasure of attending a private Indian wedding as set up on this cruise The Indian food menu was “out of this world” and the chef-Nilesh -truly went above and beyond to present us with delicious and different menus every ... Read More
We had the pleasure of attending a private Indian wedding as set up on this cruise The Indian food menu was “out of this world” and the chef-Nilesh -truly went above and beyond to present us with delicious and different menus every single day! The bar and restaurant crew were outstanding and taking care of our every request To our pleasant surprise the crew gave us an entertainment nite to be part of and have real fun! Every whim was taken care of!! I only wish that there had been a larger pool though the ocean was there too! Every island we docked on had such unique offerings that we wished we had more time to explore all Lastly the beach barbecue on the private island topped it all with the activities one could do all day long We will definitely set the sails with this cruiser in the future! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Maasdam from Tahiti to Auckland via Fiji, Samoa and other Pacific Islands. Two of us in our 60's had a Neptune Suite midships (010) which was quiet, roomy, in excellent condition and fabulous. The staff were great, nothing was too ... Read More
Maasdam from Tahiti to Auckland via Fiji, Samoa and other Pacific Islands. Two of us in our 60's had a Neptune Suite midships (010) which was quiet, roomy, in excellent condition and fabulous. The staff were great, nothing was too much trouble, smiles and greetings everywhere, loved them. Food was the best of several cruises we have done (home made burgers were to die for), excellent range of food options all well presented, hygienicly handled and delicious. Evening entertainment was top class, especially "The Unexpected Boys" (similar to The Jersey Boys) who put on 4 different shows during the cruise. My only suggestion would be to improve the range of films and shows on ship TV - very limited range of boring news channels, and two movie channels (which repeated the same film for a day each) - fortunately we found the onboard video range and overdosed on Netflix shows. We have previously cruised with P&O, Carnival and Princess, and this ship was better than all of them. Would definitely cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Getting aboard was painless. Oceanview cabin was small clean and quiet! The food was incredible, the servers were ALL polite and efficient. Could get a reservation at the specialty restaurants anytime. The food in the main dining room ... Read More
Getting aboard was painless. Oceanview cabin was small clean and quiet! The food was incredible, the servers were ALL polite and efficient. Could get a reservation at the specialty restaurants anytime. The food in the main dining room was just as good as the specialty restaurants!. Free Pop and water were filled in the fridge everyday. Specialty coffees, smoothies, milkshakes were available all day at no extra charge!! Entertainment was hit and miss....the average age on board was 70 so the shows were geared towards this generation. Went on a few shore excursions sponsored by the ship... they were good but waaaaay overpriced. Would recommend going with private tours that are everywhere as you arrive. Yes this was fairly pricey but you get what you pay for...You can pay up front or be nickel and dimmed to death. One final comment no photography or art sales were EVER mentioned. Would go again in an instant...have been on NCL and princess and this was a big step up. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
If you are seeking a cruise with Tahitian culture, history and dancing, this one is not for you. We have taken two other Polynesian cruises and the crews were Polynesian. We learned a lot about the islands and their culture and history. ... Read More
If you are seeking a cruise with Tahitian culture, history and dancing, this one is not for you. We have taken two other Polynesian cruises and the crews were Polynesian. We learned a lot about the islands and their culture and history. The shows featured Polynesians and their dancing. The crew on the Wind Spirit is Asian and Eastern European and knew nothing about the islands. It seemed the cruise director learned everything he knew of the islands from books.This ship should have been sailing in the Caribbean. The entertainment every night was Hot, Hot, Hot, YMCA, and rock, nothing Polynesian. Even the music on the speaker systems was devoid of anything Polynesian. The crew was exceptional in all other respects. the food was good but not great. You pay $9 for a small glass of wine. Tours were excellent but expensive. On two occasions we contacted local tour operators for equivalent tours at less than half the price. The sports platform included a small swimming area and a couple of kayaks. On first and last day we had rooms at the Meridien hotel in Tahiti. Breakfast was included but nothing else. A better choice is the Paul Gaugin where everything except tours is included. We would not take another Windstar cruise. There is much better value to your money elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
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 is the third time we cruise with Paul Gauguin and we were so glad that we picked the right cruise to the S. Pacific islands. We cruised from Fiji to Tahiti and each island was so lush vegetation and beautiful The food was good and we ... Read More
This is the third time we cruise with Paul Gauguin and we were so glad that we picked the right cruise to the S. Pacific islands. We cruised from Fiji to Tahiti and each island was so lush vegetation and beautiful The food was good and we were so impressed by the restaurant staffs with majority of them were Filipinos from the Maîtres' D to the busboys and all of them gave us excellent service. We've been cruising a lot and we have to say that this is the best restaurant staffs we ever experienced in the past 25 yrs. of our cruises. Our cabin maid was also a Filipino and she was courteous and v. responsible too. The Excursion head was also excellent, he was from a European country which we forgot where was the place and he has a lot of patience to answer many of our questions regarding booking of the excursions. We took a v. special excursion in Bora Bora, the Aquatic Walk under 12 feet in the water to see the tropical fish, corals and sting ray. My wife and I are non-swimmers and yet we had a ball going down in the ocean to see so many terrific fish. One draw back of this cruise was they have the show kind of late at night, it starts at 9:30 p.m., with a full day visiting the islands and by the time we finished dinner was already time to go to bed. We only saw two show, the first one was performed by the Tahitian dancers on ship and they were very good..........then the second time was the last night when we arrived in Papeete, Tahiti and they invited a top professional Tahitian Dance Group to perform and they were really great. We really enjoyed visiting Aitutaki, Cook Islands, this is a small island but all the houses have a nice mowed lawn, the guide told us that it is mandatory by the gov. that each house must mow their lawn or else they will have to pay a fine. The island itself has beautiful Blue Lagoons and tons of coconut trees, mango, banana, noni fruit trees in the whole island. During the cruise they have 2 great speakers who conducted a few lecturers, first one was Jean Michel Cousteau who is a v. famous lecturer, environmentalist, educator marine & flim producer. The second lecturer was Steven Hooper, a specialist in the arts of the Pacific region and North America. He gave great lectures of the culture, history and the customs of the Polynesians. On the whole we would highly recommended this cruise to everyone who are nuts about the S. Pacific islands. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My wife and I took the 10 night South Pacific Cruise from Papeete to Papeete. The embarkation process was a breeze, with smiling and helpful crew members guiding us all the way. We had to kill time in the buffet restaurant till our ... Read More
My wife and I took the 10 night South Pacific Cruise from Papeete to Papeete. The embarkation process was a breeze, with smiling and helpful crew members guiding us all the way. We had to kill time in the buffet restaurant till our Penthouse Suite (see review below) was ready, but the wait wasn't too long. Our butler was professional and helpful. The food and service in the main dining hall were excellent. The waiters were very friendly and open to suggestions about future menus. The dining hall transformed into Jacques Bistro for lunch, with a different and innovative menu every day. The desserts and the escargot were especially yummy. The buffet restaurant had a wide selection for breakfast, but we could hardly experience it, because of the inexplicable opening times of 7.00 am and even 7.30 am. (Most cruise lines start breakfast service at 6.00 am or 6.30 am). Considering that we had to report for most shore excursions by 7.45 or 8.00 am, the late breakfast timings made no sense at all. We were forced to eat limited choice room service breakfast on our tiny and uncomfortable dining table. The speciality restaurants, Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger were outstanding. The nightly entertainment was way below par, considering Oceania advertises itself as a luxury cruise line. There was an average Australian singing duo and a so so comedian who were repeated almost every alternate night. The only one good show was about the golden oldies. Also there was only one set at 9:30 pm. Considering that half the passengers finished dinner by 8.00 pm, this entailed an unnecessary and boring wait. Deeply disappointing. The off-road shore excursions were good but not always well organized. On one excursion in a 8 passenger jeep, we were put in with six fellow travelers who spoke only French. Overall, the cruise was like the proverbial curates egg: good in parts, but did not live up to the luxury tag. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The term 180' from normal is very fitting. We have been on 10 cruise with larger cruise ships and this one was very different. Everyone is so relaxed and friendly and there is no need to get all dressed up. The crew where amazing ... Read More
The term 180' from normal is very fitting. We have been on 10 cruise with larger cruise ships and this one was very different. Everyone is so relaxed and friendly and there is no need to get all dressed up. The crew where amazing and worked so hard to make our 2 meal on coral islands so special. The highlight was the dinner at Bora Bora where we watched the sunset as we sipped our cocktails and ate a fest before being taken back to the ship in the dark and have a great view of the ship all light up with her sails up. The accomodation was a little cramped but well appointed. My only grip would be that on the lower levels the engine noise was quite evident. Though we did get use to it and the benefit of being low was the close proximity of the ocean to oir port hole. This was definatley a bucket list cruise and one we will remember for a long time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Price point for service/experience provided does not match. Destination (Polynesia) outstanding. Ship experience did not measure up, not a luxury experience. PG had better hope it does not get much competition in this location. ... Read More
Price point for service/experience provided does not match. Destination (Polynesia) outstanding. Ship experience did not measure up, not a luxury experience. PG had better hope it does not get much competition in this location. Itinerary included a trip to the Marquesas - the entire trip was focused on filming an advertising promotion. No excursions one day for the passengers, due to 'rough seas' - however excursion filming proceeded for the advertising crew and 'models.' Talk about a disconnect. No real suggestions for excursions outside the ship's arranged excursions - not a way to promote customer goodwill. Especially at a so-called luxury cruise line. We found - on our own - much better priced local excursions although would have been better for the cruise line to make simple suggestions. This means having to research locations / excursions on your own in advance of the cruise. Again, outside of destination I would not recommend PG. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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