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theNJR

A few specific excursion questions for our June sailing

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WOW.  That sure was a beautiful video.  SO glad for your info on the excursion.  We were also thinking about doing this snorkel as well but after reading the description I think we will just stay on the beach that day.  Sounds pretty dangerous trying to dodge the incoming swells.  What other snorkel trips did you take that you could recommend as well.

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On 3/23/2019 at 2:34 PM, fedexretiree said:

WOW.  That sure was a beautiful video.  SO glad for your info on the excursion.  We were also thinking about doing this snorkel as well but after reading the description I think we will just stay on the beach that day.  Sounds pretty dangerous trying to dodge the incoming swells.  What other snorkel trips did you take that you could recommend as well.

 On Huahine we did the ISLAND EXPLORATION BY PIROGUE & SAFARI TRUCK. The first part is a land tour with cultural sites and pearl farm, then they take you to snorkel at Motu Murimahora. The guide gave us food to attract the fish. The water was about 8 feet deep. My 79-year-old mother used a pool noodle. Make sure to bring your snorkeling equipment from the ship (you can check it out for the whole week). Luckily the guide had some extra masks and snorkels. Huge variety of fish. No current like on Taaha.

 

On Taaha at the Motu Picnic, we didn't see many fish, but we saw hundreds of sea slugs. Actually, we had had our fill of snorkeling at the Coral Garden earlier in the day and were getting down to some margaritas in coconuts.

 

On Bora Bora, we did the Lagoon Excursion with Maohi Nui. This was really great. Two seasoned guides take you to shallow water where you can commune with the sting rays. Then we went to go to deeper water to see fish and the black tip reef sharks. I would highly recommend this excursion. Less experienced snorkelers can hang by the boat and the ama (side float).

In Moorea, we did the Underwater Walk with AquaBlue. It is not snorkeling, but is a completely different experience. You walk with weighted bell helmets on the sand bottom while the guides wrangle the fish around you with a food canister. No snorkeling experience required, but not recommended for the claustrophobic. 

BGOPR4878.JPG

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A few more questions as we get ever-closer!

 

For whatever reason, the PG doesn't publish their excursion times in advance, but I have to assume the times are pretty similar. 

 

Does anyone know the depart/return times for:

 

Lagoon Excursion and Polynesian Feast Excursion Code BRB-1602

Bora Bora Dive BRB-1995

Moorea Dive MOO-1999 or 1996

 

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The dive times depend on a lot of variables including number of divers, their respective experience and whether there are any discover scuba or certification course divers for your cruise. Generally, there are two morning dives per site... I think 8am and 10am... with the new divers generally completing the first dive. This is not always the case and sometimes, perhaps depending on staffing they mix up the groups a bit. When you get on board, you will sit down at the dive desk which is next to the excursion desks and fill out a medical questionaire and they will advise as to what you are looking at in terms of timing. 

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5 hours ago, sita said:

The dive times depend on a lot of variables including number of divers, their respective experience and whether there are any discover scuba or certification course divers for your cruise. Generally, there are two morning dives per site... I think 8am and 10am... with the new divers generally completing the first dive. This is not always the case and sometimes, perhaps depending on staffing they mix up the groups a bit. When you get on board, you will sit down at the dive desk which is next to the excursion desks and fill out a medical questionaire and they will advise as to what you are looking at in terms of timing. 

 

Do they also have afternoon dives? And are the actual times not finalized until the week we sail? This obviously has a big impact on the other excursion we (might) do that day and when to schedule them! 

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None of our ship dives have ever been scheduled in the afternoon. 

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On 3/23/2019 at 2:34 PM, fedexretiree said:

WOW.  That sure was a beautiful video.  SO glad for your info on the excursion.  We were also thinking about doing this snorkel as well but after reading the description I think we will just stay on the beach that day.  Sounds pretty dangerous trying to dodge the incoming swells.  What other snorkel trips did you take that you could recommend as well.

 

While the description of the Drift Snorkel tour on Tahaa is accurate,  both my wife and I (mid 60's), I'm a strong swimmer lots of snorkel experience, my wife a competent swimmer, a little snorkel experience, took the plunge and had a spectacular time. We consider it one of the highlights of our 11 day cruise, and we took excursions in every port. It was absolutely exhilarating. The tour operator dropped us off at Motu Mahana afterwards, in time for lunch and 4-5 hours of everything the Motu has to offer. While we were there (September) incoming swells were minimal, and getting into the flow was a piece of cake. I do recommend maximum protection, long sleeve rash guard and yoga pants or workout tights would suffice. If you do or don't take the drift snorkel, the Pure Snorkel 4 hr tour on Bora Bora will take you to a smaller coral garden, without a current, and it too is a must do.

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On 4/1/2019 at 4:45 PM, theNJR said:

A few more questions as we get ever-closer!

 

For whatever reason, the PG doesn't publish their excursion times in advance, but I have to assume the times are pretty similar. 

 

Does anyone know the depart/return times for:

 

Lagoon Excursion and Polynesian Feast Excursion Code BRB-1602

Bora Bora Dive BRB-1995

Moorea Dive MOO-1999 or 1996

 

You must not be looking in the right place, because we very carefully chose which times we wanted to take our excursions. Some are only offered in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some are offered both in the morning and afternoon. Pretty crucial to know for a variety of reasons. They tell you what time they start, and how long they are.

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Just now, MrRandal said:

You must not be looking in the right place, because we very carefully chose which times we wanted to take our excursions. Some are only offered in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some are offered both in the morning and afternoon. Pretty crucial to know for a variety of reasons. They tell you what time they start, and how long they are.


Are you sure that you could see times prior to being 60 days out? Our travel agent said that the PG doesn't post them until then. I wanted to have everything planned prior to the 60-day mark, so we can get everything booked the second they are available (and book non-PG excursions further in advance). 

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1 minute ago, theNJR said:


Are you sure that you could see times prior to being 60 days out? Our travel agent said that the PG doesn't post them until then. I wanted to have everything planned prior to the 60-day mark, so we can get everything booked the second they are available (and book non-PG excursions further in advance). 

My apologies, I thought you were within the 60 days. Book your non PG Excursions first, and have your list ready for the PG Excursions you want to take, and preferable times. Have back up plans just in case something is sold out. Some of the more popular excursions do sell out early on the first day you can book, especially the SCUBA Excursions. Not sure exactly which other ones, but someone who has sailed the PG multiple times may be able to offer better insight.

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1 minute ago, MrRandal said:

My apologies, I thought you were within the 60 days. Book your non PG Excursions first, and have your list ready for the PG Excursions you want to take, and preferable times. Have back up plans just in case something is sold out. Some of the more popular excursions do sell out early on the first day you can book, especially the SCUBA Excursions. Not sure exactly which other ones, but someone who has sailed the PG multiple times may be able to offer better insight.


Thanks! Very good to know about SCUBA selling out. The Bora Bora and Moorea dives are what's holding up the rest of planning to schedule around the non-divers. In fact, we may not be able to dive in Bora Bora if morning is the only option, since we are doing Pure Snorkeling day 1 and Lagoon Excursion and Polynesian Feast on Day 2. Darn. 

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1 minute ago, theNJR said:


Thanks! Very good to know about SCUBA selling out. The Bora Bora and Moorea dives are what's holding up the rest of planning to schedule around the non-divers. In fact, we may not be able to dive in Bora Bora if morning is the only option, since we are doing Pure Snorkeling day 1 and Lagoon Excursion and Polynesian Feast on Day 2. Darn. 

We don't SCUBA, but I remember reading about SCUBA Excursions going fast, and it seemed like they did. You will love Pure Snorkel, first class operation, fast boats, great locations, great guide.

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On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 3:03 PM, MrRandal said:

 

While the description of the Drift Snorkel tour on Tahaa is accurate,  both my wife and I (mid 60's), I'm a strong swimmer lots of snorkel experience, my wife a competent swimmer, a little snorkel experience, took the plunge and had a spectacular time. We consider it one of the highlights of our 11 day cruise, and we took excursions in every port. It was absolutely exhilarating. The tour operator dropped us off at Motu Mahana afterwards, in time for lunch and 4-5 hours of everything the Motu has to offer. While we were there (September) incoming swells were minimal, and getting into the flow was a piece of cake. I do recommend maximum protection, long sleeve rash guard and yoga pants or workout tights would suffice. If you do or don't take the drift snorkel, the Pure Snorkel 4 hr tour on Bora Bora will take you to a smaller coral garden, without a current, and it too is a must do.

Thanks so much for this info..So like "SeasickLikely" said you do 3 passes and do have to walk over jagged coral to get to the entrance, correct?  We are going in August so hopefully the swells aren't too bad then as well.    I am almost 65 and would consider myself an intermediate snorkeler.  Is it a real strenuous snorkel or more of a drift?  Please if you don't mind, tell me what other excursions you did that were good land and sea and also include the "do not do" as well if there were any of those.  We are going to do Pure as well.  Heard so much good about them.  Thanks for all of the info...we really appreciate it.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, we made 3 passes, I'm going to guess the entire area is the size of a football field, maybe a bit narrower and a bit longer. We wore our good water shoes, walked to the start and changed into our flippers at the start. They float your water shoes down and you change back and forth, walking in the water shoes, swimming with flippers. If you have on proper footwear it shouldn't be an issue, I certainly wouldn't do it in flip flops or barefoot. While it is a drift, you do have to pay attention to where you are going, and readjust your direction or you could find yourself drifting  into a coral head. In some areas the coral is very, very close to the surface, you can't swim over it, you need to go around it. Try to stay up front, as close to the guide as possible, they'll show you the easiest path. If you get way back in the line (8-10 snorkelers) you may get behind someone who is off the preferred route. On occasion, we had to kick pretty hard for a few seconds to adjust, but my wife and I didn't find it strenuous, although some people might. As I said, we found it quite exhilarating, and beautiful beyond our imaginations. Everything we did in the water was incredible, on every island. We did the 11 day cruise which included The Cooks, so we got to see a lot of ports, and swim and snorkel in a lot of lagoons. The one land excursion that we really enjoyed was the intermediate 3.5 hour ATV tour on Huahine, although there are many land tours that we heard very good reports about from other passengers. It really depends how much time you want to spend on land vs in the water. The water in French Polynesia is like no other in the world, so we spent as much time in it as we possibly could.

Edited by MrRandal

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We are now officially 60 days out!!


Does anyone know what time you can book excursions on the PG site? I’m getting the “Shore excursions are available to pre-reserve between 60 and 7 days of sailing.” 

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If you are officially 60 days out, you should be able to book. Call your TA or PG.

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