We're back and had a restful and wonderful time. The hardest part was the travel to and from Tahiti. The seats in economy are much smaller than we are used to (Southwest has Tahiti Nui beat by a mile!) We had a balcony on our stateroom on the ship and are glad we paid the extra to have one. The stateroom was roomy enough with plenty of closet and storage. The room attendant was GREAT. She was never in our way and always made sure we had plenty of towels and a tidy room.
It is hard to adequately describe the experience of 10 days in the South Pacific. It is so geographically isolated and feels that way as well. It is truly a "get away from it all" destination.
We enjoyed the 9 night Society Island/Tuomotu Cruise aboard the gorgeous Paul Gauguin. We had two cabins for the four of us and certainly had plenty of space. We never even used all the cabinets and drawers that were available. The cabin is outfitted in wood and has an old world yacht feel to it, as does the entire ship.
The room service was perfect every morning! We only went to the dining room for breakfast one time. It was just so easy to order the night before and enjoy coffee and breakfast in the comfort of our staterooms.
The food was fabulous! We had reservations in The Verandah for New Year's Eve and it was a very festive party atmosphere along with an elegant dinner. The party that followed on the pool deck was great! The other nights we enjoyed dinner in the main dining room, L'Etoile. We thought it was great - 6 course meals every night. Saw no need to eat anywhere else.
We enjoyed many excursions in each port. We certainly enjoyed the 4wheel drive jeep tour in Bora Bora - actually got stuck - a REAL 4 wheel drive experience. The kids loved it! Toured black pearl farms in Bora Bora and Tahaa. Went snorkeling many times, including a night snorkel with the Ambassadors program - what a treat! Our family enjoyed scuba diving off Bora Bora and saw black tipped reef sharks and lemon sharks - very up close and personal.. The dive masters are superb! We loved the stingray and tiki snorkel off Moorea with the Ambassadors Program as well. The day on the motu was fun even though it rained - the rain was a relief from the summer heat.
The crew works very hard to make sure everyone has a great time and things run very smoothly. The entire staff knows you by name within hours of arrival. There is a casual, relaxed atmosphere and friends are made quickly.
This is an amazing adventure!