43 Tahiti (Papeete) Senior Cruise Reviews

We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and ... Read More
We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and our cabin was very comfortable and kept spotless. We enjoyed the most delicious food with lots of fresh tropical fruit, an amazing variety of salads and superbly cooked meats with a large selection of desserts. For dinner there were two fine dining restaurants and a wide ranging and interesting menu. The shore excursions were well run - since this cruise was round Tahiti there was snorkelling, diving, picnics on beautiful little “motus” or tiny islands, tours with local historians around the islands and visits to pearl farms and vanilla plantations. But what made it for us was the charm of the Captain and his crew - they were all friendly, approachable and made everyone feel very much at home. We recommend this cruise so very warmly. There is nothing we didn’t love about it.... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise specifically due to the smaller number of passengers. We like a less crowded experience. We really loved the locals who entertained us and helped with local crafts. What a way to learn! If was fantastic. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically due to the smaller number of passengers. We like a less crowded experience. We really loved the locals who entertained us and helped with local crafts. What a way to learn! If was fantastic. We haven't cruised in a long time, but found getting aboard and finding information about the excursions we chose very easy. Of course there was no shortage of people to help you! We dined in all of the restaraunt's and they were all superb. Staff were very courteous and never seemed so overwhelmed with passengers that they couldn't provide good service. I loved the ports. I especially liked Huahine but maybe it was our tour guide. We did the 'Sacred Sites' one and our guide was very well educated and also could answer random questions about plants, shells, animals........and what a sense of humour! Of course the picnic on Motu Mahana was so incredibly relaxing.....or busy if you wanted to partake in water actvities. Did I remember to say how beautiful the Motu is!! On our last day at Mooreau we spent at the InterContinental Resort and Spa, my husband enjoyed to rest by the pools and read. A rest after nearly 5 weeks of traveling. It was our 40 wedding anniversary and we had a wonderful sunset cruise of the bay in Bora Bora and a private dinner on the ships marina! It was so romantic, the highlight for sure. The staff did such a good job of keeping this a secret from my husband and he loved the surprise. Thank you for that! Loved the entire experience and would love to do it all again........ Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any major announcements were handled by the cruise director. There was no warning that we would be without internet or communication the last half of the cruise. The itinerary was poorly planned and the Easter Island draw had been been promoted on the ship as being a pretty sure thing, was a great disappointment to all. Even though it wasn't the fault of the ship that we did not get to go to Easter Island, it was misrepresented as 80% chance by their enrichment speaker and the staff. The food was off and on with some excellent nights and some nights we couldn't find anything desirable to eat. This is amazing on a ship with so many nice restaurants. Surprisingly the buffet turn out to be our best option several days. The exit off the ship was extremely and unnecessarily chaotic. The disembarkation problems could have easily been avoided since the cruise line knew our flight time and the conditions at the airport and Cruise dock , but insisted on holding us back from leaving until after all of their tours left before us. Therefore those with flights from Lima had to wait too long and therefore get in last at the airport lines and almost missed flights. Even with all this time we had the buses were still not ready when they told us to leave. Combine this with the fact that they did not service their printers or computers to print boarding passes Etc the days before we had to disembark, seem to convey they we're focused on getting their excursions going to Lima rather than on the needs of the passengers who were still on board. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We spent our 25th anniversary on Moorea 27 years ago and decided it was time to revisit our memories. We had never been on a smaller ship and decided this was the way to see the other islands. It didn't disappoint. There were 142 ... Read More
We spent our 25th anniversary on Moorea 27 years ago and decided it was time to revisit our memories. We had never been on a smaller ship and decided this was the way to see the other islands. It didn't disappoint. There were 142 passengers to 101 staff. It made it seem quite intimate and friendly. The staff make a point to remember everyone by name. Some of the small things I appreciated were no poised photos every time you got on or off the ship. There is no pressure to sign up for a future cruise. Plus it's all very relaxed with few dress codes (no dress up nights). The majority of the people were between 60-75 with about 5 honeymoon couples. We met some of the nicest people on this cruise. Our room was adequate with plenty of storage, comfortable bed, porthole view and nice toiletries. There are no elevators so all rooms have stairs. There is one dining room & the outdoors deck, Candles. We found the food to be very good. The special moments were the deck BBQ plus the special BBQ at Bora Bora on a private motu. The pool is very small & there is a hot tub. The deck had adequate chairs but without shade it was just too hot to set in the sun. Moorea is a lovely island. Best excursion is through Alberts Transport Lagoon where you get to snorkel with sharks & rays & have a great BBQ on a private motu. Siki was a great guide. Also went snorkeling at Temae Beach which was great. At Raiatea we wandered around town & then found an excursion up the Faaroa river, the only navigable river. At TaHa'a we did the cruise ship excursion of the coral drift snorkel. It was fun but definitely not for someone who hasn't snorkeled. The current was strong the day we went & if you didn't have flippers I'm not sure what you would do. It's important to keep up with the person in front so you don't get caught on the coral. We did this three times. Bora Bora is very pretty. It's all about over the water bungalows. We went on an excursion we found at the dock. It turned out to be great. We snorkeled with lots of sharks & rays & got to go around the whole island. We had a private tour around the island learning of the history of the US building the airport to protect the island during WW2. The ship put on a superb BBQ complete with fire dancers & Tahitian dancers. Great food. Our last stop was Huahine. We joined 7 others from the ship & hired a private boat to take us snorkeling. It was some of the best snorkeling we've ever done. But really wished we had more time there to explore the island which most people thought was the most unspoiled. We loved the small ship, meeting great people & having a relaxed atmosphere. Tahiti is living the dream. Absolutely stunning. We'd definitely sail with Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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
This was the second part to our cruise. Only about 800 to 900 on this section. We kept the same cabin 574 Main Deck and the same great crew looking after cabin. The ship as usual was kept clean and tidy. Unfortunately the menu in the ... Read More
This was the second part to our cruise. Only about 800 to 900 on this section. We kept the same cabin 574 Main Deck and the same great crew looking after cabin. The ship as usual was kept clean and tidy. Unfortunately the menu in the dining room and up in Lido did not change except for thanks giving evening. One evening in the dining the Lamb shank was very good. We found the Library a very good place to past the time of day. The shops were nothing to write home about, there was one big jewellery shop with some expensive items. Easy enough to get around the ship, lifts were never overcrowded except after a show when everyone was trying to either other places on the ship or to their cabins. The Hamburger/hot Dog place on deck 11 was great for lunch thou personally I did not like all the stuff that was put on the Hot Dog, Hamburgers were great. while having your lunch on deck it was quite often hard to hear the captain talking over the speaker. This was the part of cruise were looking forward to as my wife had lived on Niue and I was to get the conducted tour, it was not to be as the captain advised it was to rough at the wharf to land. We also did not land at Rarotonga as it was to rough to get into the tenders. Vava U Tonga was great as we were able to meet up with the wife's son and delivery a case of items that they wanted. Arranging to get off the ship with the case was a hassle from the front desk staff but in the end we saw customs when they came aboard and got cleared by them. Savusavu was ok, but Suva has not changed since we were last there apart from more high rise building. Dravuni Island was the best place for snorkelling and swimming. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
We thought that we would get away to some sunshine and this was the first part of our 28 day cruising the Pacific visiting islands that one would not normally visit. We enjoyed the smaller ship which only had about 1200 people on board. ... Read More
We thought that we would get away to some sunshine and this was the first part of our 28 day cruising the Pacific visiting islands that one would not normally visit. We enjoyed the smaller ship which only had about 1200 people on board. Visiting islands via the ships tenders was an interesting experience. While the ship was of a mature age the crew and hotel staff kept in clean Our stateroom was 574 on the main deck slightly forward. We received an upgrade from the deck below. Our two cabin stewards kept the cabin clean and tidy. We asked for anytime dining in the dining room in the evening and was always able to be seated. Always asked if wanted to join others or be seated by ourselves. Personal option of the Dining room menu was sometimes good. Thanksgiving dinner good. Had Breakfast and lunch in the Lido and also dinner three or four times. Unfortunately food choices for dinner did not change except for the sweets. No dancing and the entertainment I would only give six out of ten. We did one shore excursion at Raiatea, Society Islands to visit a plantation and swim at a very nice island. We found that you had to use 8 US quarters in the washing machine and 4 quarters in the dryer. Shops on the Maasdam were nothing to write home about, big jewellery shop, If you where looking for pearls. Though you could find cheaper pearls in the island markets. Back at Papeete we received a in transit pass to get off the ship as we were on the second part of the cruise. Would I cruise with Holland America again, would depend on the itinerary but I did like the smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I had heard it was luxurious and a once in a lifetime experience. Wrong. The ship is 20 years old and showing every day of it. For the price we paid and the fact that it was an exclusive French ship, I expected the best French food. ... Read More
I had heard it was luxurious and a once in a lifetime experience. Wrong. The ship is 20 years old and showing every day of it. For the price we paid and the fact that it was an exclusive French ship, I expected the best French food. Even perhaps a small French creperie on board. No such luck. The food was average, and not particularly French. I have been on may cruises and most ships have excellent entertainment. Not on this one. There wasn't actually any entertainment to speak of, apart from a Tahitian group who were amateurish at best. The lead singer if you could call her that was often off key. The best thing about this cruise was that the staff were amazing. Highly trained and couldn't help enough. There was also the fact that you could drink as much as you like and didn't get charged for it. There were also a large amount of free in cabin movies. Most of the shore excursions were very expensive, and a bit disappointing except for the Dolphin experience. That was amazing. Being able to get into the water with the Dolphins and get a photo kissing one was worth the trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Everything about this cruise was wonderful, including staff, food, and excursions. We were particularly impressed by the food and restaurant service, with the exception of the on deck restaurant which at night was purportedly a fine ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was wonderful, including staff, food, and excursions. We were particularly impressed by the food and restaurant service, with the exception of the on deck restaurant which at night was purportedly a fine dining restaurant which needed special booking.Unlike the other La Veranda fine dining restaurant, which had amazing food and wonderfully attentive service, Le Grille food was limited in choice and in our view mediocre, and there was little ambiance when we went on 14th September. Our six thirty booking was early, and they must have overbooked for later because our three courses were rushed to the extent that by 7.20 pm 50 minutes later we were being asked if we wanted coffee with our desert! Couple this with a waiter who firstly forget my order for Cointreau without ice with my coffee, and when reminded took another ten minutes to bring a bottle over and asked if I wanted it on the rocks. I confirmed again no, and he went off for a further ten minutes, and then came back with it on ice! When the maitre de asked how things had gone I told him, and he was almost rude in his defence of the rushed meal (we always serve the coffee with the desert) and his defense of the waiter (he's very busy and he has to go all the way to the bar for drinks) What a let down on an otherwise wonderful cruise! So, forget special bookings at Le Grille, and make extra ones at La Veranda, but the main restaurant was also superb both in food choices and great service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise ship because we were on it 2 years ago, and LOVED it! There are no words to describe the service on this ship. It is absolutely THE BEST service you will ever receive anywhere in the world! EVERYONE, and this goes ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because we were on it 2 years ago, and LOVED it! There are no words to describe the service on this ship. It is absolutely THE BEST service you will ever receive anywhere in the world! EVERYONE, and this goes for every person that is on that ship, is amazing! I cannot say enough about the waiter staff, or the housekeeping staff! Kudos Paul Gauguin for hiring people that care about their jobs! The outings were good too, most of the time. The only negative I would give is that they have apparently switched their shampoos and lotions to another brand that is really terrible. Last time we were there it was so wonderful, as far as shampoos and conditioners and lotions go, that I didn’t bring any this time hoping to save some weight in my luggage. BIG mistake! So take your own, if you go! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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
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 chose this cruise based on recommendations from others who used Oceania and its reputation as an upscale cruise line. The service was incredible. I think the fact that we were in a large suite may have helped, don't know for sure, ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on recommendations from others who used Oceania and its reputation as an upscale cruise line. The service was incredible. I think the fact that we were in a large suite may have helped, don't know for sure, but the fact that we were greeted by name the first night at the specialty restaurants was impressive. The room was great, the butler Mani was fantastic, and everyone on board was friendly and helpful. It was our first "sea trials" cruise since my wife has an issue with motion sickness, but the Marina proved to be very stable in the Pacific. Only on one night she was a bit queasy on the long trip north to the Marquesas, but was not too bad. The service was better than I have had in any hotels and the wait staff as good if not better than any restaurants. We enjoyed it very much, so much so we booked 2 more cruises with Oceania. Houskeeping even arranged our shoes back in the closet! The food was great. We preferred the specialty restaurants and the magnificently decorated Grand Dining room. They were quieter and more relaxed than the buffet and we were not in a hurry, even for breakfast. We especially liked having our breakfast in the suite. The terrace cafe was too crowded and we felt jostled while trying to get food. There was a nice variety of food there, but people were standing over tables waiting for seats at times. People would sit there grazing for hours if they had no trips ashore or the ship was at sea and occupying all the tables. On those days we went to the Grand Dining room for breakfast or lunch as it was usually empty and much more relaxed, even if there were fewer menu choices. We like the quality atmosphere rather than quantity. You are afforded that choice. The suite afforded us more access to the specialty restaurants, Polo-Steak, Toscana-Italian, Red Ginger-Oriental, and Jacques-French. All were good but Jacques was some of the best French food we have ever had, even better than in Paris IMHO. The Chef Geno was a true "Genius". Do youself a favor, try Jacques even if you do not have a reservation included. Best French food EVER in my humble opinion.! In Tahiti, the ships excursions were good, convenient and planned well, albeit expensive I think. If you are not in Tahiti for Diving or watersports, there is only so much sightseeing available. If you are budget conscious, you may do better by renting a car or taxi, but the cruise ships pretty much use up all the local transportation. Divers on board seemed to do better booking their own trips onshore. One person paid a local in Huahine to drive him around for $20 he said. Even drop off and a pick up later at the beach? Caveat emptor. The scenery is gorgeous. The ports except for 2 require tenders which require a little more planning. The tender crews were efficient and accomodated the handicapped. Not a cruise for children or even teenagers. The onshore attractions are mainly scenic which is spectacular. Some of the others (see Trip Advisor) were a bit contrived and touristy, but ok for a few hours. I.E. One pearl farm was real, the other was just a gift shop, a vanilla farm was also a gift shop. I found better prices on pearls in COSTCO and NY, so unless you want a souvenir, do some research if you want a low price. Be aware that Oceania has a 36hr cancellation policy if you change your mind on shore excursions. There were excursions for limited mobility persons. Check the info on the Oceania website. The live entertainment on board, other than the culinary classes was just average. We are spoiled being so close to NY and Broadway maybe?. The entertainers tried hard, but "missed" a few notes. This combined with the fact that they start at 9:30 and we were usually tired, limited our participation. Some folks liked it, most others so-so. I would not cruise for the entertainment. We did miss the comic, which I heard was good. We did like the piano player in the Lounge and the afternoon tea with the Chamber music was delightful. The pastries were enough to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. The Captains cocktail party was definitely worth attending. Our room was wonderful. Having a large room, although more expensive, allowed us some quiet privacy with enough space that we did not need to use a lounge to spread out. The hot tub on the deck with the TV was over the top too. It was windy on the front of the ship, and they tied down the furniture at night, but that was not an issue for us. Other folks did have an issue with this in prior reviews, but we did not. The staff was there in the am and set it out again every day. But being in the front of the ship and watching as we entered the next island anchorage was priceless. We did get "scolded" one night by the captain because we did not draw the curtains at night while underway. We were at dinner and were late so we forgot. We had a polite but assertive phone message telling us the captain was not pleased. Our room was directly below the bridge and the glare affected their visibility. The butler dealt with it, but were definitely "scolded". The room had a small excercise room with two machines which we used once or twice, but It became more of a storage room for the cushions, chargers, etc. Would be better as a bedroom or study I think. TV was limited but had nice previews of the ports. Also, Jacques Pepin had his own cooking channel which I liked, but we were not really there for TV except to check th News on CNN and MSNBC etc. Won't find your sitcoms, but we did have a library of movies. Liked the binoculars in the drawer, but found them by accident. Understand you are in the middle of the Pacific and the Internet is not what you have at home. UNLIMITED Internet means 24 hr unlimited access, NOT UNLIMITED BANDWITH. Streaming applications are not supported, video conference, etc. You are sharing the satellite connection with 1500 other guests and crew so if you set your expectaions and enjoy the ship and scenery and save the internet for home, you will be less dissapointed. ITS SLOW,,,,, PERIOD! Our houskeeping was great. Bulgari amenities nice, fruit everyday and welcome bottle of top shelf champagne. We had 6 bottles of top shelf liquor which sufficed so we did not get the liquor plan. We opted for a glass or bottle of wine at dinner. One nice thing the sommelier told us is that we could save the unconsumed bottle for the next night at a different restaurant. They vacumn sealed it and brought it the next night. This was good because my wife does not like red and I did not want to drink or waste the rest of a bottle, especially an expensive one. Also liked the wine tasting of the "old school" wines. They had a great selection, including Tignanello one of my favotites. Don't always see some top end wines at a tasting. The beverage director really knew his wines and regions. A nice upscale break from more local or touristy winery tastings. The wine markup was not outrageous for the higher end wines. A bottle of Tignanello, although pricey and retails for $90, was $140 on board for a reference. You can also get a decent chard in the $45 range. Boarding was fine. Transfers for our 8:30 am flight great. Although a suite is expensive, when you add up the perks, it helps defer some of that cost. Early boarding, more excursions, more specialty dining, liquor, butler service, really added to the experience. A splurge, yes, but when spending your kids inheritance, who cares! LOL The VISTA suite has all the perks, more than enough room, and all of the perks of the owners suite. Usually sells out first. Air Tahiti is not bad, but if you are tall its tight in coach. Sit on the outside. No Economy plus seating. Try for the newer plane. First class is good, but very very expensive. In summary, wonderful trip, great service, great food, great room, average entertainment for my taste.. Will go again, booked 2 more cruises. "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Read Less
Sail Date March 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
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
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
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, ... Read More
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, is that time. Far too many people, rocking up in board shorts, singlets and thongs and expecting to be allowed entry to the Dining Rooms. We are not snobs by any means, but we do like to make an effort and dress appropriately, when we enter and are served a meal, in the ships main dining room. You want to dress and act like rednecks, then go to the Buffett. We did notice that waiter service, in the bars and dining areas, appeared to be cut back a little, compared to other ships. The food on board was very good, but we have experienced better on other Cruise Lines. Staff were very good, as we have found on other ships, but lacking in numbers on this ship. All the on board venues, both dining and entertainment, could have used some additional staff also, but on the whole, our cruise was good. The main theatre entertainment on this ship was exceptional and probably the best we have seen throughout our 15 cruises so far. The smaller bars provided reasonable music, but nothing you would write home about. Cruise Director and staff were always mingling with the passengers and available to answer questions. The Captain and ship's officers were seen to be walking around the ship daily and always speaking with the passengers. We joined the ship in Papeete and the whole process of getting on board, seemed to take forever, but this may have been the first time, a ship has embarked hundreds of passengers here and the facilities were just not up to task. Disembarking in Sydney was fine without any problems. As stated above with minor grievances set aside, I would recommend this ship for future cruises, if your happy to hang out in your shorts and thongs all day, then this is the cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Positive: - Food: if you’re a foodie, this is the cruise line for you. The ‘cafeteria’ type food served in the Terrace was average at best, and breakfasts are nothing special. Dinners, however, are first rate. Especially in ... Read More
Positive: - Food: if you’re a foodie, this is the cruise line for you. The ‘cafeteria’ type food served in the Terrace was average at best, and breakfasts are nothing special. Dinners, however, are first rate. Especially in their 2 specialty restaurants (no added charge): Tuscan & Red Ginger. Delicious. - Beds: super comfortable. Good pillows too. - Service: as one would expect at this price. - Smaller Passenger Size: Sirena holds ~650 passengers: nice size. Negative: - Room size: Small! Granted, the Sirena was built in 1999 so it lacks the updated features newer ships have, such as larger rooms in the ‘average’ category. We upgraded to Concierge class, but it didn’t give us more space or anything notably special. We found the upcharge to a larger room size was significantly more than on other cruise lines we’ve enjoyed. - Bathroom Size: Again it’s an older ship but we still paid the luxury cruise line price and would have expected a better refurbishing in the bathroom. Of particular disappointment was the shower curtain that clings to one’s body in this small space. No place to sit or put your leg up to shave, ladies. Nor do they provide a magnifying mirror: have they not checked the average age of their clientele?? Big disappointment. - Drinks Prices: Oceania has limited, viable drinks packages (alcoholic beverages including beer & wine are NOT included.) Our first night celebrating in the lounge we ordered doubles, as suggested by our server. The drinks were of average size, from our experience. I can’t imagine what a single would have been. My husband’s Manhattan and my martini – singles from our view point – cost over $50.00!! When we said as much to our server he suggested we go to another lounge where we’d get the same size drinks for half the price: we did and we did! Wow. I complained to the reception staff and we were credited half of our money back on the super-pricey drinks. We learned that you had to know which bars serve which size drinks at what price and time: complicated. Better yet, we learned to buy and bring our own, using take-out coffee cups! - Cold Rooms: the large room where performances and entertainment occurs (Sirena Lounge) is COLD! We wear sweaters and take blankets. I think it's cold for the performers' benefit, but not great for the audience. Summary: We are highly unlikely to cruise with Oceania again. Our favorite line to date for ocean cruising is Viking. We did their 22-day Mediterranean cruise in 2015 and absolutely loved it. Further, we like the all-inclusive deal that Viking offers (excursions included; these are extra on Oceania) and their average cabins are lovely. Viking ocean ships hold less than 1000 passengers so it too is a nice size. For larger ships (thus lower pricing) we like Celebrity & Princess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Days at sea were restful and wonderful. Food was bland and had little flavor. I found food on Riviera to be delicious last June. For example, the steak at Tuscan steakhouse was flavorful, like it was dry aged and came with gorngonzola ... Read More
Days at sea were restful and wonderful. Food was bland and had little flavor. I found food on Riviera to be delicious last June. For example, the steak at Tuscan steakhouse was flavorful, like it was dry aged and came with gorngonzola butter. Steak on Sirena had very little flavor and no butter was offered. Food offered on buffet at dinner largely mimicked dining room food. If I don't like what's in the dinning room I want to go to buffet for additional options. Room was a PH2 and was comfortable, 8006 on the port side. Butler was amazing but Joel the housekeeper we didn't see much of him. One night at 7:00 as we dressed for dinner, he knocked and mentioned there was a drawer needing fixing. It was news to me and I was surprised by his appearance and dismayed he pushed his way in with the handyman and proceeded to tell me the cabinet door was driving him crazy when cleaning in the room. Due to his impolite and inconvenient repair call, we had to stop preparing for dinner and thus it delayed us 30 minutes. Joel was terse and demanding when he said the door drove him crazy and needed to be fixed. He was reported to the head housekeeper and apologies made but what the heck! I never experienced behavior on Riviera. Joel then hung out around staterooms the night before we disembarked and the morning of, like he was scoping the situation out and making his presence known. This is appalling behavior. Further more, I was a few days into the cruise and asked for different scented lotions as they were advertised as being available. I left a note two nights in a row and never received any product or explanation. The morning of the third day the butler said they were working on it. Not another word was mentioned. I then said something in the mid cruise survey and Joel knocked on the door and mentioned my request and that I had said something about it in the survey. He then said to me That he had told me on the first day that if I needed anything yo call him, and I didn't notify him. He was stern with me in his tone. I said I had waited two nights upon leaving a note and the butler said it was being worked, so when I still hadn't received anything or any further word I decided to say something. And that I presumed the butler had shared the latest updates and requests with the entire team. It is ridiculous that paying what I paid to stay in this level of stateroom that I had to ask numerous times and be talked to the way I was. I never mentioned that six days went by and no qtips were replaced in the bathroom. Not sure why the services were lacking as it appreared the staff were just in a hurry to d their job and go about their way. It's one thing to forget a day or two to replace items like this but that clearly wasn't the case here. The staff were super reactive to the mid cruise complaints made so I commend them on this, at least my comments were taken seriously. However, the staff feel all over themselves to come see us in the restaurants and everyone referred to us by name when they had not talked to us previously. I wish input was looked at as constructive criticism and the staff didn't make my husband and I feel odd and made me wish I had never filled out the survey. Others I talked to who had done the mid cruise survey previously said they suffered the same treatment and would never complete one again. I now feel the same way. I don't understand why certain exercise classes incur an $11 per class fee. Things like circuit trains and stretching and relaxing are free but yoga, Pilates, and spin are not. How about offering certain classes of staterooms free classes or x number for free and then a charge is accessed. He stretching class was a lot like a yoga class thankfully but for those who paid for yoga I felt bad fro them. The spa is run by canyon ranch. The massage I had was $99 during the last four days of the cruise but was $135 normally. A great deal unless you paid full price earlier in the voyage. A point I would be upset about had I paid full price. Massage was good but not sure I would do it again. Entertainment was not that great. Magician was good but get seats in front and not on the side as his props block your view of seeing his tricks. Comedians were okay, string quartet was wonderful, and production show performers were not good. It was as if they were trying to do something professional and it just wasn't at that level. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We did the 7 day Tahiti experience two years ago and enjoyed it very much. We did the extended version to experience the Wind Spirit in Full Sail in the open sea. It didn't happen. The saile were never all put up and only a token part ... Read More
We did the 7 day Tahiti experience two years ago and enjoyed it very much. We did the extended version to experience the Wind Spirit in Full Sail in the open sea. It didn't happen. The saile were never all put up and only a token part sail went up briefly. Additional to this Windstar have cut back in many areas. The so called Watersports platform showing Skiing, Sailing ang Kyaking is no more. They have cut staff and the Sailboats never hit the water as they did every day on the last cruise the reason for this is not enough staff to man the area. The Kyaks are in a Pauling condition. The Dining experience is now reduced because Windstar Head Office have decreed that White Wine Glasses are to be removed and all Wine served in Red Wine Glasses. Refrigerators were broken so hot White Wine was served. Urns were broken so Tea was Luke warm at best. No Shampoo was available. Paid for Transferrs were forgotten and Passengers left stranded. Tenders were in poor condition with broken seats. I don't know how Certificates were obtained recently with the Tenders in this condition. The Past Cruisers drinks night was spent wondering where this line is going. The opinion was overwhelmingly down. Unfortunately a great cruise line in decline. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French ... Read More
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French Polynesia is beautiful, remote, and quiet. It was extremely hot and humid when we visited, but we enjoyed it immensely. Oceania did promote this accurately as not for children, and in fact only 1 lonesome child was on the ship, which was nice for those of us who need a break from grandchildren. We had never cruised Oceania before, so my remarks will compare it and the smaller ship adventure to our previous cruises with larger ships and other cruise lines. Our package included the cruise, flights, WiFi, gratuities, and 4 excursions, which made it so much easier when it came to the final bill. Soft drinks and bottled water were included, the bar fridge was stocked with soft drinks, and bottled water was included as we disembarked each day. drinks were very expensive at over $11 for a mixed drink, and $7 for beer, so if you are a big drinker, you might look into the drinks package. The gift shops had only high end items, one of the two shops was dedicated to a brand of high end jewelry and the other had minimal, but high end clothing. Embarking the ship was easy and smooth. Tendering was easy with only 600+ passengers, also no photographers, no art auctions. On the negative side, the buffet was small and limited, but very good. Entertainment was limited with a large lounge instead of a theatre without tiered seating. The ship also seemed to ride a bit rougher with its small size, even though the seas were calm, more of a bounce in the fore and aft where the dining room and entertainment were located. It was a real bonus that the specialty restaurants were no extra charge. The Tuscan Grill was so so, but we loved Red Ginger with excellent food and service and a great maitre d'. As on many cruise ships lately the food, service and staff were excellent. The cabins were slightly smaller than we have had, with the bathroom noticeably smaller, but they were well appointed with a super comfortable beds and bedding. Our Oceania experience was great, but not better than we have had on other cruise lines. The small ship experience was good for this itinerary, but we probably prefer ships with 1000-1800 passengers. This itinerary was wonderful and relaxing, just what we were looking for; however we could have missed the 3 days that it took to get up to Nuka Hiva, as on a small ship there isn't a lot to do on sea days. We would recommend this cruise for the quiet adventure, and the ship to those who prefer to do without all the hype and hassle of the huge ships. Passengers on this cruise were mainly American and well travelled. We enjoyed sharing a table at meals and hearing new travel stories. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Tahiti & the Society Islands. I had very high expectations for this trip. The Paul Gauguin exceeded my expectations in every way. The ship is small (332 passengers) and that is a huge plus. Staffing is 1.5/1 and that is great. We had ... Read More
Tahiti & the Society Islands. I had very high expectations for this trip. The Paul Gauguin exceeded my expectations in every way. The ship is small (332 passengers) and that is a huge plus. Staffing is 1.5/1 and that is great. We had an upgraded suite that was just terrific in every way. Our butler and housekeeper were on top of our every need. Dining - fresh locally caught fish every night - every night! There are themed lunch buffets every day. Breakfast buffet is also wonderful. You also can order from a menu at breakfast and lunch. The food was terrific! The fish at dinner was just phenomenal. Any of those dinners would be a $40+ price in Hawaii. Go to the Crew Follies. You will be pleasantly surprised with the talent some of these young folks have. And while in port you can do several water activities right off the back of the ship. Service... Let me say this... I never heard the word "no" all week. Everyone went out of their way to say "yes". This was a World Class way of creating raving fans. The other thing about the staff is that we had a blast with all of them. I told them when we left that we will talk about them for years to come and we will miss them. They were an integral part of an amazing experience. Our travel partners who have gone on more than a dozen cruises said that this staff was the best they have experienced. Shore Excursions run the gamut from active water sports to cultural tours. If you get bored on this trip, that's on you. Can't happen as far as I am concerned. We hope to cruise again with Paul Gauguin in the near future. To sum up, when we filled out our satisfaction form we had to add a page. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016

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