We had just left Taha’a after a party on Paul Gauguin’s private reef islet, Motu Mahana. Our next two days cruising were spent anchored off the coast of Bora Bora. We truly enjoyed being on the top deck with the wind in our hair seeing the beautiful sights up close. Once on the island, we enjoyed our tour of the island and made stops along the way to see the gorgeous views of Mt. Otemanu and visit a pareo making facility where we watched people tie-dye and create these popular swimsuit covers. We saw a giant blue crab up close, drove by some of the incredible resorts, and made a stop at a restaurant owned by Americans and loved by the locals and tourists alike. Anchoring in the bay overnight while having the ship remain in calm water as we dined outdoors on the deck was one of the highlights of the entire cruise.
Our last two days were spend anchored off the coast of Moorea. Each of these islands, though all in the South Pacific and part of the chain of Society Islands, has a personality of its own. While similar, they have different landscapes of amazing beauty. In Moorea, we did our final land tour and enjoyed the drive up to “Magic Mountain” where we enjoyed 360-degree view of the island. It’s breathtaking and spectacular. Another fantastic viewpoint that we visited was Mt. Belvedere where we experienced the feeding of the sacred blue-eyed eels, saw many chickens and a sacred burial site, learned how pineapples are farmed, and took a lovely hike to a stream. All in all, it was another wonderful day and filled with surprises.
Life on the ship was very relaxed. Paul Gauguin hires only the best of the best with customer service being their top priority. It’s their goal, which they accomplished as early as the first day to make each passenger feel special by remembering everyone’s first names and providing top notch service throughout. With the three dining rooms, it’s easy to get to know the wait staff, have them remember food and beverage preferences, and to be able to recommend the best dishes to exceed our culinary desires. The food was phenomenal with the rotating menu in the main dining room, Le Etoille. No two nights were the same, and the food presentations were artful.
The seven-night cruise was a perfect amount of time and gave us a taste of luxury while making us want to return for more! Our last stop before flying home was to a hotel, which was the perfect place to stay for any length of time pre- or post-cruise. It was conveniently located and incredible with over-water bungalows, two different pools, a scuba center, large exercise facility, expansive lush grounds, and more. It’s just the kind of place you never want to leave!
So, next time you’re thinking of going back to Hawaii, give it a little thought because just one movie past Hawaii, you could be in the South Pacific. Perhaps Tahiti will call your name! Manuia and maururu! Cheers and thank you!
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