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doug52

Big difference

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My Wife and I just completed two back to back cruises in the Caribbean this year after cruising on the PG last year on the 11 night Cook Island and Society Island cruise.  We had booked the Caribbean cruise mainly to experience a brand new ship(Celebrity Edge) two years ago while on a TA cruise on Celebrity.

 

Well after experiencing these two destinations in consecutive years, there is no comparison.  French Polynesia will be our warm weather cruise destination from now on.  While the Celebrity ship was fun, so is the intimacy and service on the PG.  And, the beauty and water activities in French Polynesia just totally blew away the Caribbean.  

 

We can't wait to plan another trip on the PG.

 

If you are undecided based on cost, just go for it. The PG experience is definitely worth it.

 

And, if you really want a romantic extension, look into the Vahine Private Island Resort extension offered by PG.  The best land resort we have ever experienced.

 

Doug

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Of course it helps that you live in California!  But we absolutely agree about FP.  The Vahine resort looks great, btw.

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10 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Of course it helps that you live in California!  But we absolutely agree about FP.  The Vahine resort looks great, btw.

 

Yes, even more of a reason for us to fly 8 hours to Tahiti versus 5 to 6 hours to Miami or San Juan.  Just two hours more for a much more scenic and remote destination.

 

And, Vahine is great!  I am happy to answer any questions on this small, luxurious remote resort.

 

Doug

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Got to agree with you Doug. After a couple of trips on the PG decided to try a Caribbean cruise on the Navigator... I think still Radisson at that time. So still small(ish) ship and similar service level to PG. Could not compare to the beauty of French Polynesia... both in the jaw dropping scenery and kind Tahitians.  We decided we’re not bucket list people, no been there done that for us, more like been there ... when can we go again? Currently planning trip number 10.

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Wow, 10 trips, we can only hope.  We do have a few bucket list destinations that are planned:

 

Med- so the Wife can see Venice this trip on the new Regent Splendor

South Africa- for the animals on the Azamara Journey with land safaris before and after

Australia and New Zealand on Celebrity

 

And then, like you we may just plan repeated trips on the PG and enjoy the beauty, remoteness, service, and friendly locals over and over again.

 

Doug

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Posted (edited)

Before we retired, we normally did 2 flights to the Caribbean a year from the NY metro airports. We've visited nearly every island in the Caribbean for a week to 10 days and returned home. After retiring and spending a number of years taking our boat to the Bahamas where we spent the winter on board our 43 foot boat,  we sold the boat and bought a condo in Florida.

Since we missed boating, we decided to take our first cruise ever. And since our "once in a lifetime" trip many years ago was a week at the Sofitel Bora Bora followed by a week at the Park Royal Beachcomber (now IC) Moorea, we found the Paul Gauguin to be a reasonably priced alternative to return to French Polynesia.

Before disembarking, we had another PG cruise booked, and we have another booked this year and one next year.

We've started taking other cruises have done 2 cruises to the Caribbean since they're easy to access from Florida, and have decided that we would rather fly to an island destination and stay for 10 days to 2 weeks rather than cruising to the Caribbean again. The Med, SE Asia and Austrailia, and a river cruise from Amsterdam to Prague are also booked this year and next.  

Edited by SWFLAOK
typo

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2 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

Before we retired, we normally did 2 flights to the Caribbean a year from the NY metro airports. We've visited nearly every island in the Caribbean for a week to 10 days and returned home. After retiring and spending a number of years taking our boat to the Bahamas where we spent the winter on board our 43 foot boat,  we sold the boat and bought a condo in Florida.

Since we missed boating, we decided to take our first cruise ever. And since our "once in a lifetime" trip many years ago was a week at the Sofitel Bora Bora followed by a week at the Park Royal Beachcomber (now IC) Moorea, we found the Paul Gauguin to be a reasonably priced alternative to return to French Polynesia.

Before disembarking, we had another PG cruise booked, and we have another booked this year and one next year.

We've started taking other cruises have done 2 cruises to the Caribbean since they're easy to access from Florida, and have decided that we would rather fly to an island destination and stay for 10 days to 2 weeks rather than cruising to the Caribbean again. The Med, SE Asia and Austrailia, and a river cruise from Amsterdam to Prague are also booked this year and next.   

 

Somewhat similar to your history, we had a 38 foot express cruiser in Newport Harbor here in Southern California for several years before we got tired of the same old boating experiences(no Bahamas out here) and ended up selling our boat and buying a second home in Big Bear at 7,000 feet to enjoy the climate and the lake.  And, then we started our cruise vacations first with Princess, then Celebrity, and last year PG.  

 

We really enjoyed the luxury, small ship experience on PG, so we are going to try the  luxury Regent Splendor for Europe, and the luxury lite Azamara Journey for South Africa to stay with the smaller cruise ship experience.  

 

While we are doing some bucket list destinations for the next three years, we both agree that French Polynesia and PG are our ultimate destination.  We will probably do one of their other itineraries next, the 10 or the 14 day, although we loved the 11 day Cook Islands itinerary.

 

Doug

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Posted (edited)

We've been on several Caribbean cruises and the French Polynesia and Paul Gauguin really did spoil it for us. I look at different Caribbean itineraries and just shrug now because the itinerary just doesn't really matter as none of them will come close to comparing to the French Polynesia. We are especially spoiled now when it comes to the snorkeling.  Given that we are on the East coast we will likely do many more Caribbean cruises in our lifetime but they will be more for the cruise itself than the destinations. 

 

We, too, have a few more bucket list destinations that we want to hit in the near future so it will be a couple years before we can get back on the Paul Gauguin but we will be back!

 

This year we are doing a land trip to Bali, Singapore, Phuket & Dubai. Next year we will most likely do South Africa on the Azamara Journey. I have been waiting for a more affordable and shorter cruise option for Africa!

Edited by minabruuke

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17 minutes ago, minabruuke said:

We've been on several Caribbean cruises and the French Polynesia and Paul Gauguin really did spoil it for us. I look at different Caribbean itineraries and just shrug now because the itinerary just doesn't really matter as none of them will come close to comparing to the French Polynesia. We are especially spoiled now when it comes to the snorkeling.  Given that we are on the East coast we will likely do many more Caribbean cruises in our lifetime but they will be more for the cruise itself than the destinations. 

 

We, too, have a few more bucket list destinations that we want to hit in the near future so it will be a couple years before we can get back on the Paul Gauguin but we will be back!

 

This year we are doing a land trip to Bali, Singapore, Phuket & Dubai. Next year we will most likely do South Africa on the Azamara Journey. I have been waiting for a more affordable and shorter cruise option for Africa!

 

I hope you do the Journey to S. Africa in '20 and review it on the Azamara board.  As I mentioned above, we are already booked for this cruise in '21 and we are going with at least 3 other couples.  So, would love to get feedback on this new itinerary for Azamara.

 

Doug

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We didn't feel brave enough to do Bali, Singapore and Dubai without a cruise line taking care of us. We took an Alaskan cruise on Regent, and booked a 32 night Singapore to Sydney back to back cruise this December. Regent includes business class airfare which gave us flights from Miami through Dubai to Singapore and back from Sydney. Bali is one of our stops.

But then we saw that the Paul Gauguin is heading for a refurb next April, and has a cruise from Fiji to Bali next April. This will be a significant birthday for me in a bad way, so why not be in Bali on he Paul Gaugin? 

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I would have loved to do that Fiji to Bali on the PG.  But given that we're booked on a Regent world cruise in 2021, we're on a sabbatical from expensive cruising right now.  We will be in Bali on that cruise, and hope to do a few days of independent travel there--my sister-in-law is Indonesian so she can give us tips, and my other s-i-l loves it there and has recommended private guides while there.

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After our Papeete to Fiji cruise in September, and the Fiji to Bali cruise next April, we'll have done just about everything we can do on the Paul Gauguin. It's kind of sad since we loved our 2 previous cruises so much.

A world cruise sounds wonderful, but somehow spreading the cost of cruising out over 3 or 4 cruises a year has felt more comfortable to us than an all at once payment for a world cruise. Maybe in the future we'll decide to go for it. I love to follow along on the boards with cruiser's world cruises. I hope you'll be telling us all about it Wendy.

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16 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

After our Papeete to Fiji cruise in September, and the Fiji to Bali cruise next April, we'll have done just about everything we can do on the Paul Gauguin. It's kind of sad since we loved our 2 previous cruises so much.

A world cruise sounds wonderful, but somehow spreading the cost of cruising out over 3 or 4 cruises a year has felt more comfortable to us than an all at once payment for a world cruise. Maybe in the future we'll decide to go for it. I love to follow along on the boards with cruiser's world cruises. I hope you'll be telling us all about it Wendy.

 

Well, on the PG, we've done different routes multiple times--Cook's and Marquesas only once each, Tuamotus a couple, Societies four times.  So we don't mind doing the same thing over again--would love to do the Marquesas again, for instance.

 

And yes, spreading the cost out is definitely easier!  And we're in a cruise desert right now, awaiting this wc in 2021.

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6 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

 

Well, on the PG, we've done different routes multiple times--Cook's and Marquesas only once each, Tuamotus a couple, Societies four times.  So we don't mind doing the same thing over again--would love to do the Marquesas again, for instance.

 

And yes, spreading the cost out is definitely easier!  And we're in a cruise desert right now, awaiting this wc in 2021.

I loved the Marquesas and wouldn't mind going that again. On our first PG cruise, my husband had some pain in his hip before we left on the cruise, and an x-ray showed nothing in that area. As it turned out, it was a herniated disk, and after the first bumpy excursion in the Marquesas, he spent a number of days in bed while I took the excursions on my own. I did OK  since there were other older women on their own, as well as a few couples we had already met, and i enjoyed it. My husband never had a chance to go ashore again in the Marquesas, but he agreed to booking onboard for a Cook Islands cruise in December of the same year, and that led to the 2 additional cruises. When we spent a week on Bora Bora and a week on Moorea in 1995, it was our once in a lifetime trip to French Polynesia, and then in 2017, we changed our mind.

 

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17 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

When we spent a week on Bora Bora and a week on Moorea in 1995, it was our once in a lifetime trip to French Polynesia, and then in 2017, we changed our mind.

 

I know what you mean, FP is quite addictive.  They call it the Polynesian Flu.  We'll be getting a (very) small fix in 2021 as we pass through on our way to NZ, but will get to see Samoa on the way as well.

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