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Which is a preferred 10 or 11 day cruise


stromer
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I am considering taking my 1st PG cruise.  My choices are one of the  PG has 2 longer cruises where the 11 day includes the 2 Cook Island ports - Aitutaki and Rarotonga and the 10 day includes Rangiroa and Fakarava with both including 4 Tahiti islands.  Is there a consensus on what cruise would offer the best tropical locations to visit or are both good but in different ways? 

Thanks for any advice on this, Rick

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We have done the 11 day twice and the 10 day 3 times.  We are returning in June for the 10 day again.  The 11 day includes Aitutaki which is spectacular.  The lagoon at Aitutaki comes close to the lagoon at Bora Bora in beauty and has great snorkeling, which has to be accessed via an excursion on the lagoon.  Ratotonga is not spectacular in the least and could easily be skipped.

 

Both Rangiroa and Fakarava offer spectacular snorkeling in a super quiet setting.  We prefer the 10 day as we get to visit these two great islands and only have the 1 sea day.  If you are a diver than the 10 day is the one.  The diving in Rangiroa and Fakarava is world class.  If you don't dive you really can't go wrong with either.  I would make the final decision based upon your calendar.

 

If you are a

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The Cook's itinerary has more sea time I believe.  I disgree about Rarotonga, we had a very agreeable day there; must say we missed Aitutaki completely because of weather (which event is very common apparently.)

 

If you are into water, snorkeling or diving in a big way, the Tuamotus are wonderful.  But apart from that, the islands are flat atolls with no scenery per se.

 

A difficult decision it would be, for me.  I'd love one more chance to see Aitutaki. My favourite itin is still the Marquesas.

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3 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

The Cook's itinerary has more sea time I believe.  I disgree about Rarotonga, we had a very agreeable day there; must say we missed Aitutaki completely because of weather (which event is very common apparently.)

 

If you are into water, snorkeling or diving in a big way, the Tuamotus are wonderful.  But apart from that, the islands are flat atolls with no scenery per se.

 

A difficult decision it would be, for me.  I'd love one more chance to see Aitutaki. My favourite itin is still the Marquesas.

I agree that it's a difficult decision.

Aitutaki is a tough port to get to, and often it's not possible to enter. In December 2 years ago, we tendered in huge swells. The ship holds station outside of the small protected port, and needs to move to protect the tender as it approaches and leaves the ship. Heading into the port, it was rough, but on the way back, waves came totally over the tender. Once we reached the platform, it felt exhilarating, since we made it. The first time to Aitutaki, we went on the One Foot Beach excursion. We found it too long and too crowded, on a slow boat. We just returned to Aitutaki this September, and we had a much easier entry to the port. Seeing the same tender Captain as on our previous 2 PG cruises (including the biggest swells we've ever encountered during tendering when in the Marquesas) made me feel quite confident. We took the drive around the island since we hadn't seen that before. We enjoyed it since we hadn't seen much of the island previously. Others on the drive found it too hot and humid, but it was only in the low 80's and much cooler than Florida in September.

We've been to Fakarava on our Marquesas cruise. There's really nothing there. There's a small beach, snorkeling and diving. If you bring cash with you to shore,  you can take a taxi tour and see everything, and learn about life on the island in an hour. We did the taxi tour, and enjoyed it, and then did the ship's snorkeling excursion where the number of sharks made me uncomfortable.

We enjoyed our excursion on Rarotonga  much more than Aitutaki on our Cook Islands cruise. But at the end of the trip, we needed a few New Zealand dollars for 2 beers and didn't have them.

We haven't stopped at Rangiroa and probably never will. If it's like Fakarava, we know what will be there.

We really enjoyed our Marquesas trip in February 2017, but our recent Papeete to Fiji cruise was also wonderful as well.

 

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Most consider Fakarava and Rangiroa incredible. The diving and snorkeling are world class. Both Atolls so it's flat ..... the scenery is in the lagoon not land based for the most part. 

 

The image with all the fish was taken on the ship's 'Aquarium' excursion on Rangiroa. You can see the Paul Gauguin in the background. The other picture is close to the Blue Lagoon on Fakarava, again the ship's excursion. Large files so you can click on and enlarge 😉

 

As far as Aitutaki we've gone 4 times on the PG to is fantastic island. 4 times  ..... 4 times we were able to tender in, not one problem though the swells can be large the PG crew is a well oiled machine and you knew you were in good hands. The lagoon is incredibly beautiful, only second to Bora Bora IMO.

 

GOPR1434-Edit-2.jpg

 

_DJS2120.jpg

Edited by Tahitianbigkahuna
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I really don't think you can go wrong by taking any of the extended Paul Gauguin cruises. The islands close to Tahiti are great destinations. If you enjoy those, the islands visited on the cruises longer than 7 nights are great destinations that you should enjoy as well, and with fewer tourists. We always try to be onboard the Paul Gauguin as long as possible.

Edited by SWFLAOK
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