Paul Gauguin Cruise Review
Itinerary: Tahiti & Society Islands - February 2012
Just returned from the South Pacific on Paul Gauguin. If ratings are 1-10, I rate this experience as a 14.
I enjoy small ships and was hesitant to go on a ship with 332 people. There are many times I wondered where all the people were. The ship is laid out and there are so many different things to do and activities off the ship that I many times wondered where everyone had gone. Never was there a feeling of 332 passengers.
I was a single and took the lowest category cabin that was available when I booked. # 763 in the front of the ship, 186 sq ft with balcony. It was lovely, well furnished, large and comfortable. The balcony was a joy.
If one thing stood out above all the rest on this ship it was the service. From the housekeeper maids to the waiters without exception everyone went out their way to offer excellent service.
The ship had just been renovated and I had been reading on line before sailing so I knew what to check out. Ship was lovely, spotless and still there was constant cleaning of the public rooms.
The food I found good, but less than excellent as I was expecting. The dinning room and the speciality restaurants were equal. Clearly not a negative but did not exceed my expectations which is what I was hoping for. However, I enjoyed each meal and I did not go hungry.
Flights from LAX and transfers were done perfectly. Excursions were well organized and varied. I did some off road stuff, the islands are small and I arranged with some vendors off the ship. To do it again, I wouldn't have done that, the ship excursions were equal and easier to work with. I never heard any complaints about any excursions during conversations with other passengers.
Lectures, naturalists, entertainment all were superb. Hard to find fault with any of the activities. But my overall favorite were the eight absolutely gorgeous Gauguines. I fell in love a dozen times on this trip. Being a single man the Gauguines seemed to go out of their way to chat and be wonderfully friendly. Their beauty, hospitality and island ways were so enjoyable. I wish I could have taken them home with me.
The trip came to an end way to quickly. Had to be out of the cabin at 9:00am. We waited around for a time before we were transferred to the hotel where we had a day room. Flight home does not go until evening. It would have been better to have arranged for some type of tour rather than hanging around the hotel all afternoon and evening waiting for the flight home.
I heard that Paul Gauguin has a second ship that sails in the Med and now purchased a third ship. Do not know where that will sail. Linda, thank you for all your help and e-mails. It was a great trip.