RSSC Paul Gauguin Cruising Review

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Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora 1/4 Tuesday, January 13, 2004
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Papeete
Bora Bora
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Papeete
Raiatea
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Moorea
Moorea
Papeete

Arrival

Colors of the Motu

We arrived around 8:30 a.m. in the beautiful main lagoon at Bora Bora. There was a WindStar Cruise Ship there as well, but left later that day. It was a perfectly sunny day, with a few wisps of clouds around the peaks that are predominant in Bora Bora. GPS Fix at anchor: 16 deg 30.575 South latitude and 151 deg 45.519 W longitude.

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Movie-Bora Catamaran and Peaks

Helicopter Tour

Helicopter Tour

The lagoon off of Viatape is about 100 feet deep, and was the original crater of the volcano. An atoll is formed when the volcano slowly sinks into the sea so that the protective outer reef forms a barrier from the Pacific Ocean and the multicolored lagoons. The ship helicopter tour is aboard a modern French turbine helicopter, and is about $140 for a 20 minute tour. A small group aboard the ship decided to charter the helicopter for about 1.2 hours to view all the nearby islands, and they highly recommended it for others. You get a birdseye view of the beautiful islands, and coming back to Bora Bora, you come in at a higher altitude to see the entire island. I tried to charter the helicopter for an hour for a photo shoot, but the pilot would not bargain below $2,000 an hour. A helicopter tour is a must do item either here or in Moorea.

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Movie-Bora Helicopter Outer Reef

Internet Access

Beautiful Waters of Bora Bora

Internet access is at the post office via phone card. You can also choose between an internet cafe and a store location as well. Internet service is limited at best, and you'll be on a French keyboard which does not have the standard layout, that makes typing almost impossible. The cost of a phone card is about $10 per hour of connect time.

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Movie-Bora Helicopter Pearl Beach Resort

Biking to Bloody Mary's

Interior with Sand Floors

A two hour bike rental was about 1500 local currency. Using my trusty GPS unit, from Viatape to Bloody Mary's was about 3 miles. You can bike around the entire island (depending on how fast you are) in about 2-3 hours (about 30 km). Rental bikes are not the best, but they'll get you there. If you want a nicer bike, buy one when you land in Papeete and just keep it on the ship. When you leave, donate it to the crew bike livery. Even though most of the islands have quite a bit of elevation, there are plenty of flat roads which traverse the perimeter of the islands. Biking is great exercise and a good way to see the islands. The tenders have plenty of rooms for bikes when they're not crowded.

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Movie-Bora Helicopter Peaks

Bloody Mary's

Restaurant and Bar

GPS Fix: 16 deg 31.776 S latitude and 151 deg 44.657 W longitude. I locked up my bike outside and headed in for a refreshment. It was about 90 degrees outside and the short bike ride over left me quite thirsty. Even during the daylight, Bloody Mary's is a very unique and fascinating place. From the lagoon, they have a long pier which accepts tenders from the local resorts and visiting yachts or cruise ships. The backdrop is the twin peaks of Bora Bora. Entering in Bloody Mary's you pass by the world famous sign, which has photos of celebrities who have visited the enchanting restaurant. Inside, you'll find a sand floor, and open grill area where you can see your food being prepared. I sat at the huge natural wood bar along with the boutique staff from the ship and bought a few rounds of drinks. After about an hour there, I got back on the bike and headed back to the ship.

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Bloody Mary's

Afternoon Massage

Sunset

Getting quite accustomed to an afternoon massage, I decided to have another one before dinner at Bloody Mary's. The Carita Spa onboard the ship does a great job of providing a relaxing massage.

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Movie-Bora Helicopter Takeoff

Tender to Bloody Mary's for Dinner

Fresh Seafood Selection - Grilled to Order

At 7:20 p.m. I boarded the tender with about 20 other ship passengers and headed towards Bloody Mary's. After a 10 minute tender ride, we all stepped off onto the long pier which leads to Bloody's. The way to the restaurant was lit by classic Tiki-torches and the evening atmosphere at the restaurant took on a new character than by daylight. This has to be one of the most romantic restaurants in the world. It's not wonder it is world famous. I sat at the bar and had a few delicious cocktails while the rest of the patrons chose their dinner from a gorgeous display of a variety of seafood and beef. I started off with an appetizer of shrimp and beef shish-kabobs, and then had a surf and turf dinner which was comprised of both Mahi-Mahi and some beef Ribeye steak. The dinner was absolutely scrumptious and was a nice change from the more French faire as found on the ship. This is a stop that everyone who is traveling in Bora Bora should make. Go with someone, or go alone-- you won't regret it. Bloody Mary's accepts all major credit cards, including American Express.

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Movie-Bora Helicopter Resort

Ship Information

Bora Bora Map

Map

Map of Island
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Movie-Bora Helicopter Runup

Ship Information

General Info

Island Information

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Movie-Bora Sunset Pan View

Ship Information

Newsletter Front

Daily Newsletter

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Movie-Bora Helicopter Warmup

Ship Information

Newsletter Back

Daily Newsletter

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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
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