RSSC Paul Gauguin Cruising Review

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Papeete, French Polynesia

Embarkation 1/3 Saturday, January 10, 2004
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Papeete
Bora Bora
Bora Bora
Bora Bora
Papeete
Raiatea
Motu
Bora Bora
Bora Bora
Moorea
Moorea
Papeete

Rain and Storms

Clouds over Bora Bora

After some evening storms, the rain continued all morning and afternoon. There were periods of large downpours and some significant wind, but otherwise it was overcast and brief light rain. During my entire stay at the resort, there were small periods of showers, which never lasted more than a few minutes to a half-hour. I had asked another couple who had stayed at another resort in Bora Bora about their hut. They had been placed by Radisson in a beach bungalow, but then requested an upgrade to an over-the-water hut upon arrival. This turned out to work quite well. They stayed at a new resort in which the hut had a floor which was completely made out of glass. While you could not feed the fish directly, they said it was fascinating, and even a bit eerie at times to be almost floating above the water.

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Movie-Bora Bora Cloud Peaks 2

Checkout

Clara

Checkout at this resort is 11 a.m. and since my flight wasn't until 2:30 p.m. I waited around and had lunch with Clara. A couple that was there who had visited from Rangaroa had mentioned that Paul Allen's superyacht was at anchor at a resort there. One of the world's largest yachts at over 200 feet, it has two turbine helicopters, and a 50 ft. launch. Upon leaving the resort, the boat ride from the Motu to the airport in slight showers took only 15 minutes. Check-in consisted of showing a ticket to an agent and getting a boarding pass. The ATR-7x turboprop showed up on time and loaded up for the flight out. No security, no assigned seats. The plane was full. On a humorous note, there was one puppy and one grown dog on the plane. In French Polynesia, it's an accepted practice to put your dog in a cloth bag, and they become a carry-on. The flight was very bumpy at times, due to the inclement weather. After about 40 minutes, the flight landed at Papeete where a driver was awaiting to take a few of us to the ship.

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Movie-Bora Bora Huts 2

Embarkation

m/s Paul Gauguin

I arrived at the ship around 4:00 p.m. There was no line. After myRollaboard went through a scanner, I was shown to the reception desk and presented with a swipe-card, which acts as a room key and charge card. They take a digital photo and then request your passport, which they retain for safekeeping during the cruise. At this time, you can also give them a credit card which will balance your shipboard account at the end.

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Movie-Cruise Ship Harbor View

Suite 814

Suite With Butler

I was escorted to my cabin by my butler. The cabin was even more spacious than last year, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a nice bottle of wine from Radisson. I unpacked and gave the butler some clothes and my evening jacket to press. Typically on a cruise ship, it's difficult to get something back from laundry the same day, but my butler was back with my garments pressed within two hours. Very impressive.

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Exploring the Ship

Port of Papeete

After unpacking, I went around the ship and took some photos of the harbor. Papeete is mainly a commercial harbor, with some inter-island ferries (that transit to Moorea about 12 miles away), some container ships, packet ships and a huge square-rigger. The port is currently undergoing some major renovation to expand to attract more shipping.

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Movie-Cruise Ship Pool View

Private Ship

Welcome Flowers and Wine in Cabin

After getting into my evening attire, I went for a sunset martini at La Palette. To my surprise, Hal Fraser was at the piano, and the bartenders from last year were also there. It was like coming home to see old friends. Best of all, everyone of the ship who was here a year ago on my last cruise in Polynesia, they all remembered me. After catching up with the bartender while he prepared a Melontini for me, he mentioned that the ship had only about 150 passengers. Typically, this ship will hold up around 300, so it seemed like your own private yacht.

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Movie-Raiatea Radar Bridge

Dinner at Le Etoile

Melontini

After a delicious dinner at the main restaurant, and after dinner drinks at the piano bar, I retired for the evening.

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GPS

Welcome Aboard Newsletter

I turned on the GPS and let it run by itself on my balcony all evening. We were in transit from Papeete to Raiatea. The seas had large rollers and you could certainly feel the ship moving. Periodically I would look at the GPS to view our progress. We were doing 12-14 mph on a steady course until dawn.

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Ships Newsletters

Newsletter - Back

Each day the ship delivers a newsletter to your cabin, this contains the days activities, shop, spa, and food service times, island facts, and a map of the next island.

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Additional Photographs: Embarkation 1/3

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Related Information

General Info
Seven Seas Paul Gauguin Information
Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and French Polynesia
Other Pages On This Website
Panama Canal Books | Ultimate Travel Gear | Digital Photo Tips | Luggage Info | List Info | Ultimate Packing Info | Caribbean Books | NCL Norway Review | Cruise Ship Secrets | Radisson Diamond Review | 2003 Radisson Paul Gauguin Review | Travel Bath Kit | NCL Norwegian Sun Review | NCL Norwegian Dawn Review | Radisson Seven Seas Voyager Review | 2004 Radisson Paul Gauguin Review | 2004 Radisson Navigator Review | 2005 Bora Bora Cruises - Tia Moana - Ship Review | 2005 Seadream Yacht Club - Seadream I - Ship Review
Papeete-01 | Bora-01 | Bora-01 | Bora-01 | Papeete-01 | Papeete-02 | Papeete-03 | Raiatea-01 | Raiatea-02 | Raiatea-03 | Motu-01 | Motu-02 | Motu-03 | Motu-04 | Bora-01 | Bora-02 | Bora-03 | Bora-04 | Bora-01 | Bora-02 | Bora-03 | Bora-04 | Moorea-01 | Moorea-02 | Moorea-03 | Moorea-04 | Moorea-05 | Moorea-01 | Moorea-02 | Moorea-03 | Moorea-04 | Moorea-05 | Papeete-01 | Papeete-02 | Papeete-03 | Papeete-04 | Bora-08 | Bora-08 | Papeete-08 | Raiatea-08 | Motu-08 | Bora-08 | Bora-08 | Moorea-08 | Moorea-08 | Papeete-08 | Bora-03 | Bora-04 | Bora-05 | Bora-02
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