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9 Tahiti (Papeete) to Transpacific Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it went to Pitcairn Island and Easter Island from Papeete. We then stayed on for a further 6 days and cruised to Chile. Embarkation at Papeete was shambolic as the Paul Gaugain was also boarding at the same ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Pitcairn Island and Easter Island from Papeete. We then stayed on for a further 6 days and cruised to Chile. Embarkation at Papeete was shambolic as the Paul Gaugain was also boarding at the same time. It appeared that no one from Ponant was present to advise us what we were to do and we were all walking around like sheep. At the disembarkation end it was even worse as we were told there would be taxis once we got out of the terminal and of course there were none, nor did the taxis even come there, so we had to arrange very expensive private transfers after waiting more than an hour for a fabled taxi. Once on board, our cabin was what we expected. It was very clean and our room steward was excellent. The turnaround for laundry, which was free for us as past passengers, was brilliant. Service in the dining room was inconsistent. Sometimes it was good and sometimes not. The service on any gala night seemed to favour those tables which had officers, which seemed to only host French passengers. That said, the wait staff we had were always happy and helpful. The standard of the entertainment is consistently good and the shows are always a highlight. Kamel, the Cruise Director is a huge asset for Ponant. The food is the biggest let down on this ship. In advance of this cruise we were required to produce significant medical evidence of our ability to travel for the last 6 days. From that I would have thought that both I, and my doctor, had made my gluten intolerance very clear. Apparently not. The choice of gluten free food is beyond poor. I raised this at the first opportunity with the head waiter, who then raised it with a very indignant head chef, who effectively dismissed my complaints. To be given a broken piece of toast for breakfast is an absolute insult, given how much this cruise cost. There were no gluten free pastries, not even rice biscuits for the cheese. The room service menu was even more limited. It is not often that I can go on a 3 week holiday, on what sets itself up as a French culinary gastronomy cruise and lose weight, but it happened. The quality of the included wine was very hit and miss. It was all French. Some was acceptable and others were very, very ordinary. The cocktails however were fabulous. The port calls were a bit of a problem, but mainly due to the water conditions. Our captain did a great job to get us to Pitcairn. In other reviews, non French passengers have made the complaint that there appears to be favouritism shown to French passengers and a sense of entitlement. We saw this too. I don't know how many times I was literally pushed out of the way by a person thinking that they had a better right than I did to be in that position in an ordered queue. We had very few landings on this cruise and for our special lunch and performance on Easter Island the French speaking passengers arrived significantly before the English speaking ones and took up the very best positions. We found it so hard to find a spot together so far from the action that it was not worth even bothering to get involved in the show. With so many non French traveling on Ponant this really needs to be addressed. We really did feel like we were getting second best treatment. Overall, if this had been my first cruise with Ponant I would be in no hurry to do another. We have been on two other cruises ( the Kimberley and from New Zealand to Sydney) and they were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 7th cruise with Lindblad. We go with Lindblad/NatGeo because of the smaller ship size (72 people on this one), the knowledgeable and expert staff and the very high quality of the crew. We toured the Tumumatu Atolls and ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise with Lindblad. We go with Lindblad/NatGeo because of the smaller ship size (72 people on this one), the knowledgeable and expert staff and the very high quality of the crew. We toured the Tumumatu Atolls and the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, visiting 17 in 15 days. Some had not seen a cruise ship stop there and many did not have any people where we swam, snorkeled, kayaked and hiked. We were fortunate to have wonderful weather. Every day offered a number of activities. The crew and Lindblad staff always were looking for what may be the most interesting or most rewarding. They would work closely with the Captain (who mingled with the guests on most days) to put the ship where we could best partake in the events. Flexibility was always high on the list and offered everyone the chance to get between activities when they wanted to do so. Another very strong attribute of the trip is the access to many experts of the Lindblad staff as well as those they bring on board. We had at least 5 naturalists, 3 cultural experts, underwater experts and certified photography experts. We also had the head of Nat Geo's Natural History photography on the trip. All of them reach out constantly and are there to answer, assist and suggest ways to get the absolute best out of the venture. If that is not enough, the Bridge is open and the Captain and Co-Captain would personally discuss the ship operation and navigation. As for other attributes, the Chef and kitchen staff did a fabulous job. Many choices, fresh offerings, and constant availability. Ice cream bars brought to the beach and greeting us after a drift snorkeling experience! The hotel staff knows everyone by name and is always ready to serve you. I would not pick Lindblad if you are looking for a large fitness center (you don't have time to use it anyway), a casino (none), entertainment (the crew do a great job and the recaps are entertaining as well as the Hotel Manager), multiple pools (there is one spa) or shore excursions that hit popular places (they hired all the transport, which was 6 trucks on one island). However, if you are seeking an immersive experience and want to be with sharp and interesting people from all walks-of-life, you would be hard-pressed to find a better choice in Lindblad Expeditions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this ship because it was sailing in French Polynesia and we are avid snorkelers so this was perfect for us. The ship met our expectations. It was much smaller than other ships we have been on but exuded charm. Because we were ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was sailing in French Polynesia and we are avid snorkelers so this was perfect for us. The ship met our expectations. It was much smaller than other ships we have been on but exuded charm. Because we were kept busy visiting many ports and with few sea days we were never bored. The entertainment was excellent and many of the senior officers were seen to also lend a hand outside of their regular position if needed. It was like a "family" always stepping in to help out. Our cabin was on on the small side but the price was right for us so we did not have any issues. The shower was ridiculously tiny but there were bigger ones to be used if needed off the gym/spa area. We really appreciated the servers dishing out everyone's food at the buffet as this really cut down on respiratory illness. It is the first ship we have sailed on that had a noticeable absence of passengers coughing and hacking over the food. I needed the services of the ship's Dr. on one occasion and found the staff to be excellent and very professional although very busy for the limited time the hospital was open for non emergency visits. I would consider sailing with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Have just returned from a cruise on Le Soleal from Tahiti to Easter Island. We chose this cruise as it visited remote islands, particularly the difficult to access Pitcairn Island. Having seen some quite negative reviews from Australians ... Read More
Have just returned from a cruise on Le Soleal from Tahiti to Easter Island. We chose this cruise as it visited remote islands, particularly the difficult to access Pitcairn Island. Having seen some quite negative reviews from Australians on this site about this cruiseline I was a bit concerned before we left. Having travelled on a few cruise lines I found Ponant friendly, professional, staff catered well to non French speaking passengers and the food and service were excellent. There was a balance of fun, comfort and adventure. The Captain was frequently accessible and the cruise director one of the best. The cabins were comfortable and always clean. With such difficult to access islands it was sometimes unclear whether we would be able to land until the last minute, but we were always kept informed by the Captain about the conditions. So some flexibility is needed when undertaking this type of cruise but it all adds up to an unforgettable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This cruise was to see islands in French Polynesia and travel to Lima via Easter Island. I had wanted to go to Easter Island since college- fifty plus years. This seemed to be a great way to visit. The ship was to be there two days. It ... Read More
This cruise was to see islands in French Polynesia and travel to Lima via Easter Island. I had wanted to go to Easter Island since college- fifty plus years. This seemed to be a great way to visit. The ship was to be there two days. It was a beautiful sunny day but windy on arrival. The captain said the sea was too choppy for tenders. We circumnavigated the island with some things being pointed out when we were long past. He would not stay there to see if we might be able to land on our second day.. I took this trip to see Easter Island which was not done. A HUGHE heart brake. The ship is very nice and the food is excellent. The specialty restaurants are superb, but the main dinning room food is less good. The outside eating area, Waves, has a nice selection of sandwiches and salads with very good service. The Terrace , which is a buffet has very good food and a helpful staff. Breakfast in the room is excellent. Things arrive hot and on time. The stops in Polynesia were very nice. The islands are truly beautiful. I took a ship sponsored excursion on Moorea. The photographers were very helpful and informative.. The snorkeling was amazing - beautiful fish and the most beautiful coral any of us have seen. This was a very large expenditure of money for me and to not be able to do what I came for makes me very unhappy. When it is highly possible that a major destination of a trip be skipped, I believe this should be spelled out in no uncertain terms in all information on the trip. Soon after boarding the Mariina, I learned for the first time that there could be a problem with Easter Island. Makes me wonder if it was planned to skip Easter Island. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I have read some of the early reviews of the Papeete to Lima segment of the Marina Cruise. As usual, on certain points, I feel we were traveling on the ship in another dimension! It was wonderful cruise, with reality settling in from ... Read More
I have read some of the early reviews of the Papeete to Lima segment of the Marina Cruise. As usual, on certain points, I feel we were traveling on the ship in another dimension! It was wonderful cruise, with reality settling in from time to time Embarkation was a breeze (we were in the Suites line). The stateroom was a Oceana Suite which I will review in the Cabin section. We were overwhelmed by the size and decor. As Suite pax we obtained a precruise reservations for the Specialty Restaurants and with additional on board booking I snagged 16 nights in the specialty restaurants. so we ate at each restaurant 4 times. The menus were never boring and we gravitated to certain favorite dishes. We did eat in the MDR for the balance of nights and we were never disappointed. Our average dinner at all the restaurants was about two hours. With excellent service and surroundings we enjoyed every minute of the dining experience. The MDR was our daily choice for lunch. Always excellent with the" tour of the worlds" sampler appetizer being our favorite. Hint the Mediterranean sampler is heaven. The shows were not up to the level of say Celebrity talent. I understand the parent Norwegian is working on this but it did not reach the Marina for our trip. The first week's itinerary was French Polynesian Islands. We snorkeled at each Island, booking our own excurrsions. Raitea and Rangiroa had the best snorkling. We saw 5 ft white tip sharks, 4 ft sting rays and zillions of fish. I saw a group of red snapper that easily totaled 500 fish. Pitcairn Island was as expected with some interesting highlights and low lights. One of those places glad we saw it but never need to return. I had high expectations for Easter Island but we could not tender. The wave action was not severe but there is no shelter from the wind and the wind and waves were fighting against each other causing these long rollers. We were down on deck 4, ready to debark when the crew opened the tender platform and immediately seawater came sloshing into the ship. The rolling of the ship caused the tender platform to submerge and that carried seawater into the ship when the ship rolled in the opposite direction, No way any able bodied person could manage boarding a tender, let alone the great majority of seniors on this voyage. The Captain did the right thing. there would have been many injuries. This Island is similar to the vagaries of successful tender, similar to the Falkland Islands. Same thing happened to us there. The Captain had the ship circle Easter Island and I was able to photograph the back side of the famous statues all in a row shot with a telephoto lense, albeit from their backsides. Because of Easter Island we spent a total of 10 days at sea. WE were blessed to have our suite. We traveled about 5000 miles on this cruise, and never before did we experience about 4000 miles of nothingness - no ships, no birds, no sealife, just water. Callao port (Lima) was a commercial port like Cevetevichia (Rome). For non Oceania excursions and debarkation, the main gate was atrocious. Very small and just replete with aggressive taxi drivers. Oceania could improve their handling of local shuttle service. Nevertheless a perfect trip Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My husband and I really enjoyed the Marina because they take such good care of their passengers. I wish we would have arrived in Papeete a day earlier to see that city but didn't want to pay the extra Air Deviation fee. Embarkation ... Read More
My husband and I really enjoyed the Marina because they take such good care of their passengers. I wish we would have arrived in Papeete a day earlier to see that city but didn't want to pay the extra Air Deviation fee. Embarkation in Papeete and disembarkation in Lima, Peru was extremely well organized and went very smoothly. The cabins are quite comfortable and the bathroom is by far the best I've seen on a cruise ship with marble floors and a separate tub and shower. The cabin's closet was a bit oddly designed which made it hard to open one of the doors completely but the closet space was adequate. The dining experience is superb in all venues especially the specialty restaurants. Jacques was our favorite. The only negative about the eating arrangements is that all eating venues closed by 9:30 so if you wanted to get a snack later in the evening, the only choice was to have room service because all other eating venues were closed. I didn't particularly like the entertainment and didn't participate in any activities but we did enjoy having a variety of lectures to attend. The service is impeccable and the staff seemed genuinely interested in you having an exceptional experience onboard the Marina. We chose this cruise because the ports of call included the Tahitian Islands and Easter Island; however, we understood that the weather conditions did not allow the tenders to safely transport passengers but were still disappointed that we could go to Easter Island. We enjoyed the excursions but the prices seemed to be somewhat inflated; however, I do have to say that the excursions were very well organized and executed. This was definitely a cruise for seniors and not for children as there was absolutely nothing for them to do. I think Oceania has misjudged their clientele to be country club types but, in reality, the clientele on the Marina were the usual cruisers who didn't mind the expenditures associated with this cruise experience. There was obviously a variety of interpretations of "country club casual". The dress in the main dining room was somewhat disappointing since I think there should be, at least, an effort to dress appropriately for the venue. We saw many people in inappropriate attire (jeans, t-shirts, and athletic shoes)--definitely NOT country club casual. I might choose this cruise line again (maybe for a particular itinerary) but it probably would not be my first choice as I don't think it's necessary to pay this amount of money for a very good cruise experience. The post cruise to Macchu Pichu and Lima were also very well organized and an unforgettable experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I am a fan of Oceania, having travelled on a few of their ships. I find the cruise line perfect for us, not to big just the right amount of quests on board. We found the ship clean, comfortable and the food excellent, the quality and ... Read More
I am a fan of Oceania, having travelled on a few of their ships. I find the cruise line perfect for us, not to big just the right amount of quests on board. We found the ship clean, comfortable and the food excellent, the quality and variation excellent, especially Jacques and Red Ginger. One complaint I have is with the lounge chairs around the pool. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish some guests can be, they are not happy with one deck chair, but, they have to hog two, one in the sun and one in the shade. This is at the cost of other guests not be able to find just one deck chair to enjoy themselves around the pool. There has to be a way to control this, it is such a selfish act and has to be stopped. Activities - I found them adequate, all I need during the day, maybe there could be some different acts in the evening, as we found far to many musicals on the list, albeit they were good, ( more variation). Service: We found the service, on the whole very good, except I did have two episodes whilst on the ship. On in the breakfast area, where a girl behind the counter was quite rude when I mentioned I had waited for 10 minutes for two poached eggs. A chef from the kitchen came out and very quickly I received my meal. This was the same girl who looked a little hung over the previous morning and in fact left her station to go and talk to a friend at the next counter, while we all stood in a queue for our toast. The other problem I had was with the maitre D' at Red Ginger, I felt his attitude was a little off. Apart from these two incidents, I thought the staff was very well trained and very polite, and that has to do with the training programme you operate on the ship. Tours: I have to say i think they are so overpriced for what they are, so I very rarely take any, we prefer to do our own thing at half the price. The one thing I have to mention, I found our Butler excellent, well trained and very eager to help and assist when required, he did go beyound his call of duty. He was cheerful, interesting and he deserved to be in his role and we wish him every success for the future. And yes, we will travel again with Oceania, we think it is a great cruise line , it suits us and gives us what we want from a cruise. Thank you for a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The ports of call were so interesting. Doing a Pacific crossing was on the wish list. Having travelled through the Suez Canal previously we wanted to travel through the Panama Canal on this cruise. Embarkation in Papeete, Tahiti was easy. ... Read More
The ports of call were so interesting. Doing a Pacific crossing was on the wish list. Having travelled through the Suez Canal previously we wanted to travel through the Panama Canal on this cruise. Embarkation in Papeete, Tahiti was easy. Our concierge level cabin 7060 was lovely, clean and comfortable. A bottle of Jaquart Brut was waiting for us on arrival in an ice bucket. Wonderful destinations in the Tahitian area such as Hua Hine in the Society Islands, Rangiroa, French Polynesia in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. Friendly and efficient customs immigration into the USA at Hilo in Hawaiian Islands on June 13th 2015. Highlight was an evening provided by Oceania on the battleship Missouri in Honolulu, Oahu on June 14th 2015. A visit to Maui and Lahaina town into which you can walk straight from the ship was so enjoyable. We really enjoyed a tour of Nawiliwili at Kaui, Hawaii. 5 days at sea from Hawaiian Islands to Los Angeles was smooth easy sailing and so relaxing and pleasant. Tours offered in Los Angeles were limited and poor. Loved San Diego and the tour. Cabo San Lucas in Mexico is an easy walk from the ship but there isn't much on shore except shops selling souvenirs and resorts. Huatulco Mexico was picturesque and we went on a catamaran along the 5 bays and swam in the green water. In Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala we drove to the border with El Salvador and did a safari. There was an election taking place and the woman running for office was the daughter of man who committed genocide. Interesting place. Corinto Nicaragua was experiencing a severe dust storm when we visited with high winds, very poor air quality and low visibility - echoes of environmental issues with ploughed bare lands during the beginning of hurricane season and high winds. Puntaneras, Costa Rica was peaceful and we enjoyed it there. Panama Canal transition took an entire day and was very interesting. Cartagena in Columbia saw us doing a tour of the walled city. The town is 1 kilometre from the port. Exiting the Panama Canal the sea state was very rough with 65MPH and number 11 on the Beaufort Scale winds. Horrible violent seas followed in the next few days with mountainous rough waves. The roof on the Terrace Cafe fell in! Wave height was 11.5 to 16 metres (37 to 52 ft) and exceptionally high waves with very large patches of foam driven by the wind and large amounts of airborne spray severely reduced visibility. Wind crept up to 72MPH. As number 12 on the Beaufort Scale is an actual hurricane we were creeping up that level of weather so the captain made the decision to change course to sail us alongside Kingston in Jamaica and Haiti towards Cuba in an attempt to escape the sever tropical storm. An announcement was made 'for the safety of all on board we are changing course...' We headed on the 'Old Bahama Tunnel' towards the port of Miami and the weather severity subsided. A dramatic end to a long cruise but most people were OK other than airlifted out in the middle of the night due to injuries by the US Coast Guard! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015

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