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About lovestx

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  1. In the last week, we did Three Coconuts as a PG excursion with a great guide and Magic Mountain on our own. Three Coconuts was strenuous and a bit tricky. Close to 5 miles round trip. Also not great if you have an aversion to heights due to switchbacks and the need to use a rope at one point. Magic Mountain you could walk to from tender point. Steep hike but on concrete road. Took 35 minutes up and 20 or so down
  2. Last week we had CD Carlos from Brazil and Capt.Ljutic. Some told us that Captain Ljutic said he would be leaving the ship at the end of his contract in April or May due to new owners, Penang. He was very friendly.
  3. For another idea...we booked a private excursion with Reef Discovery and it was one of the best of our 10 night trip. It was the Shared Lagoon trip and we made three or four stops to see eagle rays, manta rays, the area with great fish and an AMAZING moray eel. Nice boat with total of eight people. Back on the ship for lunch and then our to the private motu for a nap!
  4. We are still in the middle of our trip but can add that we flew BOS to LAX and then immediately connected to Air Tahiti Nui on the 4:40 pm departure. It was a long day but we don’t like decoupling connected flights (two check ins,etc). We stayed at the IC Tahiti for two nights so that we could attempt to be over jet lag by the start of the cruise. It all worked well. We will reverse that euphemism we fly home this Wednesday. If you can afford Premium Economy, go for it. The leg room on ATN is poor in Economy. And their movie selection wasn’t great.
  5. JIMinNC, thanks so much for the very helpful information! We are getting very excited now that the trip is so close.
  6. Thanks for taking the time to share this detailed review/Trip Report. I had read it earlier as we began to plan our PG cruise but read it with even more interest as we prepare to embark on PG for the Society Islands and Tuamotus on October 2. VERY helpful. We will arrive two nights early to get over East Coast jetlag and will stay at the Intercontinental. Our cruise is 10 days long, we are staying in a C balcony cabin and we are staying four nights afterwards at the Hilton Moorea. Great minds clearly think alike! I hope you and others won't mind answering a few additional questions: 1. I understand that it is important to make good use of our time when we first board to make dinner reservations for La Veranda and Le Grill (for the Bora Bora overnight I believe) and to get our snorkeling equipment. Would you agree that we should do both of these things immediately upon boarding? Anything else we should attend to? Marina reservations? 2. Given that we have booked almost all of our excursions with PG or with private operators that we will pay with credit cards, did you find that you needed much extra cash? We will probably eat off property in Moorea more often so I know that will make a difference. 3. We have booked an overwater bungalow at the Hilton. We are HHonors Gold. Do you think you got an upgrade to a better location? 4. We were sorry that you got to the airport at 6 p.m. for a much later flight? Hoping we might be able to go over to Papeete a bit later. We have Premium Economy seats on the way back. 5. Any advice for getting upgraded to PE for our flight down? I know that's a lot to ask. Anything you might be able to offer would be greatly appreciated!
  7. I will try to describe what we did and perhaps it will help you decide about Hinewai Reserve hiking. Take a look at this map: https://www.bankspeninsulawalks.co.nz/akaroa-walks/ Ou ship's tender brought us into the Main Wharf. We then walked over to a street opposite Daly's Wharf and walked up to The Giant's House, an uphill grade but not too bad. Then we turned right out of The Giant's House and began hiking up towards the 4/5 trail. It was partly on a paved road and then on pasture trails and, to be honest, it was a very steep incline the entire way. We finally gave up as we probably got to the point where you see the numbers 4/5 on the trail because the view over the bay was spectacular, wasn't going to get better and the hiking was just too hard (and we're in decent shape). We returned via the yellow 2 trail which was much more interesting and more of a downhill meander through some woods, etc. It would have probably been better to go up the 2 and down the 4/5! Not sure how you plan on getting to the Hanawei Reserve but it does look like a great place to hike but on the other side of the mountain from Akaroa.
  8. Ombud, I think your plan looks good. We did not visit Napier. Akaroa - I think it's a pretty long ride into Christchurch but might be worth it as the city is really interesting. Hard to believe that there is still so much devastation 8 years after the big earthquake. The museum there....Canterbury maybe....was really interesting. And I would say that the sail in and out of Akaroa is gorgeous and not to be missed. Auckland - not sure about your plans there....looks like you will be flying home the day you disembark perhaps? If so, you might enjoy a walk around the Ponsonby area, a trip up the SkyTower (my fear of heights kept me from that) or some time at the Auckland Memorial Museum if you have an interest in the World Wars or Maori culture. Tauranga - looks like you don't want to go see the geothermal area. Your walk about Manginui could include a hike (somewhat challenging as it's pretty steep) up to the summit. There are some cute shops in the town too and it's a very easy walk from where the ships dock.
  9. Here are the cruise excursions we took: Tauranga - Archer Tours that included the Lost Village (we added as we thought it would be interesting and it was), Te Puia and Rotorua. Jim Archer was great. I'm sure I wrote a review on Tripadvisor Wellington - DIYed to include TePapa Museum, cable car ride and walk down through the Botanical Gardens Akaroa - DIYed the Giants House (fabulous but go when they open) and did a crazy hike up the mountain Dunedin - Went with Iconic Tours around Dunedin and then on to Larnach Castle, including lunch stop. Didn't love our tour guide. Tasmania - DIYed Bonorong Animal Shelter, walk around Hobart and Cascades Female Factory Tour (read "The Tin Ticket" before the trip and that figured big in it) Melbourne - did a two hour walking tour with Melbourne by Foot - Cultural Walk. Very good guide. He tailored the small group tour (just four of us by design) to our interests Sydney - DIYed Bondi to Coogee and Manly Beach. Did the one hour tour of the Opera House...well worth it. Also did The Rocks Walking Tours which was very good as well.
  10. Just an update as you have all been so helpful.... Our excursions loaded sometime overnight on the 60th day out (today). I went online at 5:50 a.m. EDT and was able to book all of the tours I wanted. Some SCUBA in Moorea was already sold out and one or two other tours on Moorea had only 1 or 4 remaining tickets. I ended up booking some extra excursions as I had planned in case I can't get the private tours that we are hoping to do. Figure I can cancel them 7 days before the tours. Here's our current plan thanks, in large part, to many of you and to some others on CC who have offered trip reports: Huahine: Booked Huahine Nui Safari with PG but may cancel and go with Huahine Nautique instead Bora Bora: Booked Shared Circle Lagoon Tour with Pure Snorkeling and plan to go to the Motu. Still need to find something to do on Day 2 so I booked Maohi Nui 1/2 day tour with PG but not convinced we want to do that yet. Would rather be on the water in Bora Bora. Rangiroa: We don't like the options with PG. Would like to do a drift snorkel with Plongee Diving center but they aren't responding to my email. Fakarava: Have been in touch with Ato. There are 4 of us now on his waiting list but he needs 8. Unfortunately, there is no one but me on our Roll Call. But I'm hoping that others will add to it or that we'll find people onboard who will book. TaHa'a: Motu Mohana Moorea: Wanted to do both the Dolphin excursion with Dr. Poole and the Trails of the Ancients Trek with Mark Eddowes but they only offered them on Day 2 and both at the same time. Hoping they may add one of these on Day 1. Anyone know if they will? Also booked the Three Coconuts Trails Hiking trip in case we need something else here. Planned on hiking during our post-cruise tour but could do it off the boat. We plan to do the Lagoonarium post-cruise thinking it will be less crowded than when we are on the ship. Feel free to give me feedback! And please tell me if I'm crazy to book the laundry package. It seems ridiculously expensive but I'm not sure I want to spend time washing clothes while in my cabin and it seems there isn't a wash and fold kind of place on Bora Bora or Moorea that I could use.
  11. Thanks for all of the incredibly helpful replies! So it sounds like we should try to book as soon as we get up this Saturday and know that it may not work. We aren't going to go Scuba diving and don't plan to do a PG excursion on Bora Bora so maybe we will be fine. I am planning on booking with Pure Snorkeling and, from what I've heard from many previous cruisers, we won't want to spend more than a couple of hours on the BB Motu given there are no chairs. At my age (just hit 60), I'm not that comfortable lying on a beach towel for very long! vjr, which ATV tour did you book that was popular? On Moorea? Looks like we will be embarking the day you disembark! And Mr. Randal, I think you have it confused....We disembark on October 12th....and close friends are embarking that day for the 7 day cruise. Have a great trip!
  12. Thanks for the quick response FlightMedic! We plan to book privately with Pure Snorkeling and to spend time on PG's private motu on Bora Bora. Trying to figure out what to do our second day as most of the snorkeling trips look the same (so would be a repeat of Pure Snorkeling). Any suggestions? I looked into a day pass at the Thalasso but they do not let you use their pool so I don't think that's worth $100 per person.
  13. We are embarking on Paul Gauguin on October 2nd so we assume we can register for excursions as early as this Friday, August 2nd. I have heard they can sell out quickly. Is there a specific time that they load the excursions on to their site? We are on East Coast time. And I'm also happy to hear your opinions on any specific excursions....we are planning to do a combination of PG and private excursions.
  14. While planning our October 2019 trip, I read as much as I could about booking our airline tickets given that Air Tahiti Nui does not easily let you select seats when purchasing through a partner airline. I just booked my tickets last night and thought I would record what worked for me so that others have the information going forward. We booked our flights independently as we are Platinum members on American Airlines AND we had $2000 in transportation vouchers from American that we needed to use. We wanted to book Premium Economy for the LAX to PPT/PPT to LAX legs but they were only available on the return trip. I didn't want to purchase the PE tickets on the return until I could be sure that we could get seats together and that they weren't the last row of PE and didn't have a big recline. I booked the flights and class I wanted on AA.com. I put the tickets on HOLD (as American allows you to do) for 24 hours. The next day, I called Air Tahiti Nui during their business hours and asked about seat availability on those flights. The agent was very helpful and was able to book seats for me that I liked for each leg of the ATN trip. She told me it would be much easier for her to do so if I selected flights on AA and put them on HOLD...which I had already done. After I selected my seats, she gave me the record locator would be using to manage my flight which was different from the one that AA used. Also note that the ATN agent told me that she could not book my trip herself as the ATN site does not quote the correct pricing for flight itineraries that have different classes in them. I then called AA to use the vouchers to purchase the tickets. Most of you won't need to do this. Had I not had vouchers, I would have simply gone to AA.com and purchased my tickets. I could already see all of the seat assignments. Hope this is helpful.
  15. Since you haven't heard from Drake/Darrin, I'll offer some thoughts. We spend the winter on St. Croix and have been vacationing there since 1998. Here's what I'd do: 8:30 a.m. Pick up rental car 9:00 a.m. Drive through the rainforest but don't spend time stopping to see the pigs. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dive the wall at Cane Bay 12 noon Depart Cane Bay area. Or you could eat at Eat at Cane Bay. The Chicken Shack isn' t "all that" in our opinion...and it's a bit out of your way. Drive into C'sted. Maybe grab a quick bite at Cafe Christine or Rumrunners or Shupe's on the boardwalk. Or drive through C'sted so that you can see the Danish architecture and the pretty harbor and stop just outside town (at the Bypass intersection with Hospital Road) and pick up some Killer Tacos from this famous truck 1:30 p.m. Drive out the East End Road to Point Udall. There are many beautiful views of Buck Island and the area as you drive. Will take you 30 minutes to get to Udall from town. Spend 15 minutes at Udall. 2:15 p.m Start driving back to F'sted along the gorgeous and undeveloped South Shore Road eventually connecting with the highway (DEFINITELY get a map from the rental car company). You will be back in F'sted in 45 minutes if you don't stop. 3:30 p.m. Grab some rum drinks at Tap Deck Bar or Louie and Nachos. You'll be close enough to the pier to be walking back onboard by 4:30
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