French Polynesia

 




 

Tahiti is one of the Society Islands though often its used as a catch-all, a la "Tahiti and her Islands", referring to all of the islands.  The Society Islands ~ Tahiti, Moorea, Tetiaroa, Maiao and Mehetia ~ are the Windward Islands with Huahine, Bora Bora, Raitea, Maupiti, Tupai and and three other small motus being the Leeward Islands.  Raratonga is not a Society Island but one of the Cook Islands.  Another group of islands which one Tahitian Princess itinerary covers are the Marquesas Islands.  There are many more island groups than I'd realized.  Tahiti Traveler provides an overview of the many island groups.

~ Know before you go!  ~

French Polynesia is VERY expensive.  Cruising is a less expensive 
way to see this island paradise.  In a hotel, with room, food & 
and an outing somewhere, it can easily be $1000.00 / day. An 
average (not gourmet) dinner for two runs about $150 USD with breakfast between $50 and $60 and drinks running $12 to $15 each. 
Thus 5-6 days at a hotel can equal or exceed the cost of a 10 day cruise.

Many travelers return complaining about the service as well as the expense of French Polynesia so a word about service.  From my 
year of reading, I've learned that one is ill-advised to arrive 
in Tahiti and Her Islands expecting equivalent accommodations and service as one would receive at a 4 or 5 star Resort or Restaurant in the US or Canada.  It's not going to happen. The people of FP 
are very laid back and gentle.  Just as they will not rush you and 
are most eager to please, speed is not in their nature and 
neither is our western idea of efficiency. 

Someone made the comment, "It's not Hawaii. Come back to FP in 20 years and you may rue the day you were disappointed with its quaintness and slow ways so be careful what you ask for."  With memories of Hawaii's islands 30 plus years ago 
versus today, I well agree with that philosophy.

It's a mind set.  Accept, going in, you are on island time. 
Yes the service isn't quick and sometimes forgetful, but 
as long as you accept that you won't be disappointed.

 


Itinerary

 

Tahitian Princess

 

Air Info

 

Papeete

 

Huahine

 

Raratonga

 

Raitaea

 

Bora Bora

 

Moorea

 

Previous Cruisers
Trip Reviews

 

Links + Tips
+ Black Pearls

 

Our Trip Review 
+ Photos 

 

 

Itinerary

 

Date Arrive Depart Comment
Depart YVR Wed
Sep 22
3:00PM AC#574
Arrive LAX Wed
Sep 22
5:51PM
Depart LAX Wed
Sep 22
11:45PM ATN#0101
Arrive PPT Thurs
Sep 23
5:05 AM IC Beachcomber
Board TP Fri
Sep 24
About 12 Noon Dock Port
Depart PPT via TP Sat
Sep 25
5:00PM
Arrive Huahine Sun
Sep 26
8:00AM Tender Port
Depart Huahine Sun
Sep 26
5:00PM
At Sea Mon
Sep 27
Formal Night
Arrive Raratonga Tues
Sep 28
8:00AM Tender Port
Depart Raratonga 5:00PM
At Sea Wed
Sep 29
Raitaea Thurs
Sep 30
6:00AM Dock Port
Raitaea Fri
Oct 1
6:00AM
Tahaa Scenic Cruising Fri
Oct 1
6:30AM 8:30AM
Bora Bora Fri
Oct 1
12:00PM Tender Port
Bora Bora Sat
Oct 2
5:00PM Formal Night
Moorea Sun
Oct 3
8:00AM 5:00PM
Papeete Sun
Oct 3
8:00PM
Papeete  Mon
Oct 4
12:00PM
Moorea Mon
Oct 4
1:00PM   Sheraton Moorea
Moorea Tues
Oct 5
     
Moorea Wed
Oct 6
  4:00PM??  
Depart PPT Wed
Oct 6
10:00PM ATN#0102
Arrive LAX Thurs
Oct 7
9:15AM
Depart LAX Fri
Oct 7
11:40 AM AC#775
Arrive YVR Thurs
Oct 7
2:15PM

 

Tahitian Princess

 

 
On Boarding:
  • Make Sabatini’s + Sterlings Dinner Reservations  
  • Get flowers for the cabin at La Gran Marche 
  • Book Spa Appointments (particularly for Sea Days + Formal Nights)
  • Order Room Service Breakfast for Tahaa Scenic Cruising Morning  
  • Check your Dining Time & Seating location, requesting any changes
  • Check your Shore Excursion tickets for accuracy

 

Notes from Previous Cruisers:
  • If you are open to an upgrade, or conversely do NOT want an upgrade, notify your Travel Agent or Princess accordingly so this info is recorded on your account.  To ensure you do NOT get upgraded an NUP code must be put on your account. 
  • When filling out embarkation docs, NOTE:  Look for a small box (with very fine print) on pg 2 or 3 of your real cruise docs (the little blue book).  It says: 

    "If my credit card was issued outside the US, my account 
     will be converted
    and settled in  the currency of my card.
     The details of the currency conversion are contained in 
     my ticket contract. 
     Check here______ if I do not want my account converted."


    Check that box if you DO NOT want your bill converted into your ‘home’ currency.  Whether it is/is not to your advantage will depend upon the prevailing exchange rates at the time of your trip.  On the last morning of your cruise, you will receive a print-out of your on-board account. All amounts are in USD. Let's say the total is $1000. If you've checked the little box beforehand, the comments will say that $1000 have been charged to CC number XXXX XXX XXX XXX. When this comes through on your credit card, the bank will make the exchange calculation and you will be billed in Canadian Dollars.

    If you didn't check the box, and your card has been issued by a Canadian Bank (they can tell by the first 4 numbers who/where the card is issued) then your bill will still show the total is $1000, and in the comments it will say $1000 @ 1.45 = CAD 1450. As this charge is now in Canadian Dollars, when the item comes through on your credit card statement, it will just show as CAD $1450. 
    Princess’s “standard rate of xchange” is 1.45.  If I want my account charged in US funds, I check in the space provided. The international exchange rate on your MC/Visa/Amex will not be on the card itself. Check with your credit card company(s) prior to your departure to obtain the rate currently in use.  

  • If you have a post-cruise stay planned, head down to the onboard Duty Free Liquor store and you can take your purchase back to your room with you. Helps cut down on the cost of those $15.00 drinks at the hotels.

  • Tahaa scenic cruising the next morning is on the starboard side of the ship.  Generally you have the best views on the Cook Islands Itinerary thru booking cabins on the Starboard rather than the Port side of the ship.

  • Find out if there are Scholarship @ Sea courses???  

  • We got to the ship around 2:30. Fastest check-in ever. No pictures though since we were apparently there before they set up the photo props. We went straight to our room. Our luggage was there within 30mins. Our room was 6070. It was absolutely wonderful. Had a great balcony with 2 chairs and a small table. Quiet room, no motion, and was 1 floor above the dining room and 1 floor below the laundry room. Very close to the elevator too. Our room steward, Ernesto was very attentive. Had fresh fruit waiting for us and put a mattress pad on our bed (Ask for this thru faxing Princess ahead of time or asking your room steward on arrival.) The mattress pad made our trip. I hate hard beds and this was the most comfortable bed I'd ever slept in on a ship. The room was nicely laid out and there was more than enough space for everything we had. There was not enough hangers, but we had brought an iron so that wasn't a problem. (Again - one can ask the room steward for more hangers if needed.) The view from our room was awesome. We had several sunsets and sunrises too. I would tell you girls to bring your own hair dryer. The one provided is for VERY short hair only. The TV programs were pretty much non-existent. Of course we didn't watch TV much anyway so it really didn't bother us that much. 

  • You can order room service - they have great cookies. I ordered a full plate of 12 each morning to carry on our tours. I just carried a lot of zip lock bags. The soda card is well worth the money if you like coke products and drink a lot of pop.

  • Chinese or Asian day was one of the best lunch buffets. The egg guy was great every morning ~ omelets, scrambled or fried...all done just right. Burgers and fries were great everyday and the pizza was delicious. 

  • The first Princess Patter lists the dining hours. The buffet is open 11:30 to 2:30 and 5:15 to 11:00 PM, but it is not open all night -- but room service is. Their buffet seems to peter out during the end of the cruise and there is little but coffee & pastries after 8:00 PM BUT the pizzeria remains open and the pizza is very good. You can get a slice or a whole pizza but you have to go and pick it up (and can eat it there).
  • We did the buffet for breakfast and lunch just about everyday and found the food really quite good. One day there was bowls and bowls of non stop prawns.........Ribs were excellent (can't remember which day) Sushi...well it left a bit to be desired.
  • The buffet (the first day) left a lot to be desired, but with the people leaving and the new ones coming on board we figured this was the reason for the quality of the food.  
  • Muster was at 4:30 (that is the time everyone is supposed to be back on the ship sail away day). We had to go to the dining room, life jackets in tow . . . they will actually start paging you if you are not where you are supposed to be, so no opportunity to skip out on it.  

  • If you take a digital camera and your cards get full, the guy in the photo shop will burn all your cards onto one CD and free up your cards to more. It was only $9 and he puts it in a case with a cute cover.


 

Tahitian Princess Dining Hours

Club Dining Room

Smart Casual

7:30AM - 9:30AM

12:00PM - 2:00PM

6:30PM & 8:30PM

$0

 

Pizzeria

Casual

N/A

11:00AM - 6:00PM

N/A

$0

 

Hamburger Grill

Casual

N/A

11:00AM - 5:00PM

N/A

$0

 

Panorama Buffet

Casual

24 Hour

24 Hour

24 Hour

$0

 

Sterling Steakhouse

Upscale

N/A

N/A

6:00PM - 10:00PM

$15

 

 

Sabatini's

Upscale

N/A

N/A

6:30PM - 11:00PM

$20

 

 

Air Info

AIRLINES TO TAHITI

There are 5 airlines listed with flights to Papeete from LAX however only Air France, ATN and Air New Zealand fly direct from LAX.  Hawaiian Airlines flies from Honolulu on Saturdays. Quantus also lists flights out of LAX but I've found they are all flights operated by ATN, rather than Quantus themselves. 

I hear excellent reports on Air New Zealand although their arrival time is Papeete is 2:35AM!  Air France is a mixed bag.  I also understand one should preferably choose an ATN flight that originates in LAX rather than one that originates in Paris, as those passengers embarking in France, it seems, get the primo seats.

If you are Canadian going to the US - it is even cheaper to book one way at a time as on the return flight you do not have to pay the Canadian Taxes (GST & PST). Makes a difference of about $30 - $50 per ticket.  (Don't know if this is true but thot I'd add the comment in case it works for you.  My tickets are already bought but may be worth checking into.

To check for all flights going to Papeete from *X* embarkation point, this ITA site gives one an excellent starting point.

Airline Codes:
AC Air Canada HA Hawaiian Air
NZ Air New Zealand QF Quantus
TN Air Tahiti Nui AF Air France
Airline Code Look Up Reference
Airport Codes:
YVR Vancouver
LAX Los Angeles
PPT Papeete
Airport Code Look Up Reference

 

LAX INFO
Making Connections:  
There is a book called The AOG that the Airlines and Travel Agents use to look up charts for timing flight connections.  The time between connecting flights is dependent upon which airlines you are using.
It may take awhile to get luggage, clear customs, and then get a cab or walk to the next airline's Terminal. You can take the Free Airport Shuttle, but who knows how long you will have to wait to board and how many stops it will make before arriving at your next Terminal.  Call each of the airlines that you are considering and ask what the timing is between your incoming and outgoing flight, making sure the agent is not just guessing but actually looking it up in their database reference. Also, ask what their Airline Policy is concerning taking a later flight if you miss the one you have booked (change fees?).

Overnight in LA:
For those living on or near the East Coast, the consensus is in favor of staying overnight at a hotel close to LAX. Connections, possible weather complications plus the airborne hours involved  suggest this is the wise decision if you want to enjoy your trip.  Priceline can supply you with a $50/$75 room at an excellent hotel.  If living on or close to the West Coast, it can be done in one day but leave yourself ample connection time.  In any case, the ideal would be planning to arrive in Papeete at least one day ahead to allow for jet lag catch-up so you are refreshed for your adventures! You've undoubtedly noted, we are flying Air Canada to LAX and Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles to Papeete. With some trepidation, (being a smoking person) I actually chose to do this in one swoop rather than spend an overnight in LA.  Hopefully, this will allow us a day in Papeete to adjust to the time differential, catch-up with our sleep and be refreshed for our TP adventure.

LAX Terminals:
LAX is a large and convoluted airport with several terminals.  Check this map for the terminal locations and this one lists each airlines usual arrival terminal.  However do check your incoming and outgoing flights as they may not arrive as their *usual* terminal. At IFlyLax you'll find an interactive map with each of the terminals being clickable.  Clicking (click on terminal name) produces a enlarged map of that terminal providing the location of the gates, shops, etc.  

Thru Put Luggage:
Check with your incoming (to LAX) carrier.  It may be possible to thru put your luggage, eliminating the need to handle anything but your carry-ons at LAX.  I'm given to understand the walk from Terminal 2 (arrival terminal for Air Canada) to Tom Bradley aka Terminal B (the departure terminal Air Tahiti Nui) is about 10 minutes.  
If you choose to thru put your luggage, it may be wise to pack a change of clothes & toiletries in your carry-on *just in case* your luggage takes a little longer to arrive than you do.  

Activities Between Flights:
If there is a long wait between flights, check out the Austin Powers-type restaurant in the Tall Round building in the middle of the parking lots. It is very cute and eclectic. Be sure to look at the bathrooms. It is all decorated in silver, purples, ultra-modern furniture - just like the Austin Powers movie. You don't have to eat there to just go have a look; however, the food is delicious, French cuisine, although pricey. Or, you may just want to have a drink and enjoy the view. In the Olden days (1960's??), the restaurant rotated. It fell dark for a decade or two until it was revived about 5 years ago. It no longer rotates but you can walk clear around it in a circle for a 360-degree view, and watch the planes.

Duty Free:
Though I've been unable to find a map indicating its location, I understand Tom Bradley International Terminal has a reasonably large Duty Free store located in the main part of the terminal.

Currency Exchange:
Every comment I've read says DO NOT do this here.  You get hosed big time!  Do this exercise at home or wait until you arrive in Papeete.  

 

ATN INFO
  • ATN departs from Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B)
  • A small Duty Free store is located at the departure gate at LAX and another in the airport terminal in Papeete.
  • Be at the gate a minimum of 1 hour before departure from LAX.  As ATN does not have their own jetway, a shuttle takes you out to board the plane on the tarmac.
  • An upgrade to Biz Class can be requested at the ticket counter on check in.  To get these it's wise to get there early.  Upgrades are  $600US PP One Way on a space available basis. 
  • 20% of Seats (including all exit row seats) are assigned only at airport.  Thus if you are dissatisfied with your seat assignment, early arrival at the ticket counter may result in an improvement.
  • The ATN website did not accept Canadian postal codes so I had to book thru the 1-800#.  Still got the web price however.
  • No e-ticketing - tickets are sent via FedEx.  This was an additional cost of $35.00 for Canada.
  • Viewing screens for each seat give you a choice of 5-6 movies to choose from throughout the flight plus multiple games and a flight tracker which shows you exactly where you are at any given time.

 

FAA'A Airport
  • Currency Exchange is available at the airport via ATM and the exchange rate is considered to be quite reasonable.  However do be aware there is a service charge/commission attached (about $4.00USD) thus exchanging a small amount is becomes more costly.  
  • It will take approximately one hour to get thru immigration and customs.
  • A discussion on Taxi Rates information can be found here  
  • Got hosed on the cab ride from the airport to the Sheraton - $50!! but you can't do much about alternative transportation at 5:00 am. So I don't recommend using the cabs unless you absolutely have to.  
  • We took the LeTruck for $2.00 to the Beachcomber. The locals will tell you that it doesn't run after dark. That is not true. It actually runs until 9pm. Just make sure if you are going to the Beachcomber go across the airport parking lot, up the stairs and stand at the bus hut on the same side of the road as the airport. Le Meridian is a different story. Bus driver said it doesn't run because it is so far out. Not sure about that though.
  • We have arrived to FAA airport much before sun rise and had no problems getting a taxi. The taxis charge a special fee to any trip before 6:00 am.
  • Map of Faa'a Airport
  • Before departure from PPT, remember to get your pearl receipt stamped just after you go through x-ray. 
  • Forum discussion on spending time at the airport , where to get Le Truck, and other topics of interest.

 

 

Papeete 

 

Arriving in Papeete:
If you do not have pre-arranged transportation thru Princess, I understand it is wise to pre-arrange your transportation.  At some times there are many cabs at the airport to greet the International flights.  At others, well not necessarily.  As well, if two flights arrive simultaneously, transportation may not be so easily come by and prices may go up!  While cab fares are posted on a board at the airport, I understand late night/early AM arrivals also cause the cab prices to increase.  See the information regarding this subject under Faa'a Airport.
Another mode of transport is "Le Truck", the local bus system. 
I gather once you get the hang of it, it's cheap and handy. They are just refurbished trucks with benches in the back and everyone rides back there. You just tell the driver where you want to go, and they will drop you at the right stop. Only costs $1.30 per person during the day, $2.00 after 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm.  The stop for Le Truck at the airport is across the street and up the stairs.  

 

Accommodation in Papeete:
We've chosen the Intercontinental Beachcomber for our stay on Tahiti.  Below are excerpts of various remarks I've gathered on different properties, with the headings linked to the hotel websites.
Le Meridien
  • Was nice, and we enjoyed the OWB and saw tons of fish from our balcony. The current was very strong though, so we chose not to snorkel. The grounds were beautiful, and well manicured. Enjoyed the sand-bottom pool.  There is a plaza of shops and restaurants that we walked to. There was a bakery there, that sold sandwiches on long french bread for under 400 xfp! And pastries that looked delicious. There is a grocery store, too. In the same plaza, we ate dinner at La Cigalon one night, and another, Chez Remy, which were both good.  We used the hotel shuttle into town for 1000 xfp round trip. I love the market.
  • For anyone who plans to stay at the Meridien I would try to do both the beach and the overwater bungalows.
  • More info here http://www.sunspotsintl.com/destinations/tahiti/expanded/lemeridien.htm
  • Le Meridien is quite away from Papeete & from the airport.
  • Have read (but cannot confirm) Starwood has bought Le Meridian Hotels
Sheraton Tahiti
  • First day in Papeete was spent at the Sheraton - pricey, but nice. 
  • Flew to Tahiti early afternoon and checked into the Sheraton. Great hotel with lush gardens and a way cool infinity pool. Took Le Truck into town and found great shops above a large fish market. Bought last of our gifts and headed for the waterfront to eat at the Roulottes. This is also very fun. At 5:30 the Roulottes came driving in like a convoy, quickly setting up and serving. Many food choices for an average of $10. Finally found LeTruck back to hotel in time to check out and get to airport.  

  • Sheraton has 'day rooms' - contact them directly for current prices

  • Starwood Preferred Guest Card

 

Tahiti IC Beachcomber
  • Loved it. Really enjoyed the Lotus restaurant over the water
  • We loved the Intercontinental in Tahiti. We stayed in OWB #502. It was beautiful. We felt very spoiled. I'm a real hotel snob, and this was definitely a five star resort. It was very clean, with great service, good drinks, and centrally located. My only negative comments are that check in and out took a little while, so be prepared, the food's not that great, and the birds sometimes appear as if they are going to attack during breakfast. But all in all, it was worth the money.
  • Tahiti Intercontinental Beachcomber Resort: (3 nights) I suppose this portion of the trip served as a nice transition back to the hustle and bustle of the industrial world. At this stop, the Ambassador Card (formerly known as the Six Continents) only allowed for an upgrade from a Garden View room to a Panoramic View room secondary to the resort being extremely full (see below). Unlike the other 2 Intercontinental resorts, this resort had a larger, more commercialized feel and didn’t feel quite as intimate (especially with all of the of airplanes landing. You can’t really hear them but you can certainly see em!). Our Panoramic room, however, was very elegant / luxurious with an antique, almost “Bombay Company” like décor. Our meal plan at this resort was only for the American Breakfast Buffet so we ate our dinners at the Roullotes at the Tahua Vaiete docks in downtown Papeete. The short ride by “Le Truck” from the Beachcomber costs 130 XPF per person before 6pm and 200 XPF per person after 6pm. (I would recommend leaving at 5:30pm) The Chow Mein is pretty good although the Steak and Fries at 9500 XPF was our favorite! I recommend the “ Hong Kong ” Roulotte for steak and fries and Roulette “Kim” for the Chow Mein. The butter / sugar crepes topped with coconut ice cream from the “Vesuvious” Roulotte were the best I’ve ever had!!
  • Stayed in the newer Panoramic rooms - excellent, large and very comfortable. I like the Beachcomber since its close to everything. The food is so so but I like both of the pools. 

  • Stayed at the Beachcomber here too in a motu overwater bungalow -- big disappointment after Moorea and Bora Bora . They needed to be updated BAD and they smelled musty. Lagoon is not even close to Moorea or Bora Bora . Grounds were nice, pools were cool. This is really the only place we were bothered by a lot of bugs, especially on the deck to our bungalow. Our room key didn't work a couple of times and we had to walk back to the front desk so they could reactivate it. Restaurant (Tiare) was really good. Breakfast was the best on all the islands. Dinner was good. We tried to make reservations on our own for Le Belvedere, but they only spoke French. There are activities desks that have packages there -- go through them. We took Le Truck to Papeete and left after an hour -- not great shopping and the Roulottes  don't open until 6pm. A lot of restaurants are closed Monday night and that was the only night we were there for dinner.

  • We did a one night pre cruise stay at the Tahiti Beachcomber. I booked this online thru their website for $170 for a Lagoon View room. I requested an upgrade when we arrived and received a Panorama View room. The Beachcomber is a beautiful hotel on the best landscaped grounds of any hotel we saw. The staff is very friendly and we received very good service. Great snorkeling in their lagoon aquarium and good swimming in their great pool. There is no snorkeling worth doing off the OTW bungalows. The Tiki Bar is a hot spot at night full of locals and good music. All the food was very good. The express breakfast is a good deal at $11 and includes coffee, juice and a large plate of breads and rolls.  

  • We stayed at the Tahiti Beachcomber. We were upgraded from a garden room to the panoramic view. The rooms were spacious, beautifully decorated, and quiet. The view was wonderful. We overlooked the sand bottom pool and had a great view of Moorea from our patio. The swimming pools were great. The lagoon looked nice. One of our buddies snorkeled and said it was pretty good. The food was very good, but was quite expensive. For the breakfast buffet the cost was $28.50pp. I ate a piece of toast for $1.65 and had a glass of water. My hubby went all out with the buffet and said it was very tasty.

  • We stayed at the Beachcomber. We didn't get upgraded this time, but it was nice just the same. I have to say though this hotel isn't as nice as the one in Tahiti. The food was good at the poolside bar and grill. The view wasn't as nice from the pool either. The sunset was the best of the whole trip.

  • Priority Club Card also recognized I understand.


 

Pension Puea 
  • (just off Ave Prince Hinoi – discovered on www.haere-mai.pf website. The all time best bargain in FP—6500XPF for a fan-cooled room just 5 min walk from town, pleasant owners. I wish we had stayed here on the night we went dancing as it would have been so much more convenient. Well ventilated with both fans and cross ventilation, you can pay 2000 CFP extra for aircon but it isn’t needed. The owners even got up at 5am to wake us up and give us breakfast so we could catch our early flight home—this place is highly recommended. Not in the guidebooks yet so get here before it is and then it packs out!  

  • If you google this pension, there are quite a few hits with comments on it at Tahiti Traveler forums.

 

Royal Tahitian
  • A small hotel on the outskirts of town, reasonably inexpensive (considering) which I've read positive comments about.
Le Coco's Restaurant:
  • Le Coco's was the most extravagant restaurant we dined at on the trip. The setting is fabulous, where you can have drinks on a lawn leading right to the beach, and hear the waves crash as you enjoy your meal.
  • Went to eat one night at Coco 's restaurant. It was great, I would highly recommend it.
  • In Punaauia 
  • Ph: 689-58-21-08 
  • French cuisine. - $$$$$
  • Address PK 13,5 c/mer Punaauia 
 
Tahiti Comments + Info:

 

  • Tahiti's Papeete is just another good size "city". It's fun to do the walk-around town...visit the marketplace etc., but - IMO the thing to do here is to rent a car. It's drive on the right so with the except of the major roundabout in town - no worries. Do a complete trip around the big island (Tahiti-Nui) and - yes including the smaller north end Tahiti-Iti (little island). Avis has a car rental right at the dock area. Reasonable but, do reserve ahead. Get a good map of the sights to see (waterfalls, parks, etc.) and - start off clockwise around the island. Much easier & there are markets just out of town for picnic stuff & drinks. Take a cooler.
  • Shopping Downtown: This is the time to stock up on the souveniers and gifts to bring back. Le Gran Marche - a big 2 level market - is a lot of fun and a definite must see. Soaps, Monoi oil, t-shirts, fruit jams, Tahitian coffee, flavored teas, woven products, wood carvings, pareos, necklaces, and postcards etc… are all here.  

  • We discovered "Les Roulottes" at the pier the last night we were there.  They arrive shortly after 5:30PM and are ready to serve by 6PM. You eat with the natives and get more food than you can possibly eat for about $6.00. They make it right there.  The locals arrive with their own containers for takeout.  

  • Le Truck ~ This is the local bus system.  Inexpensive & fun.

  • Tahiti is actually comprised of two islands - Tahiti & Tahiti-Iti

  • Check for Tahitian National Holidays during your cruise!  Sundays most everything is closed but there maybe a national holiday, not necessarily  on a Sunday.

 

Excursions:
  • Patrick's 4x4  is oft mentioned and recommended as a terrific way to see Tahiti Island.  I'd advise to book early as I (booking over 2 months ahead) was out of luck as Patrick was fully booked!  More info at http://www.papeete.com/todo/adventures.html#4x4

  • Shop at La Marche for Flower Arrangements, Pareos and all manner of other goodies.  

  • Check out the Black Pearl Shops
  •  
  • Walking tour - Fodor's
  •  

     

 

Other links of Interest:

Things to do on Tahiti

101 Things to Do In Tahiti - PDF brochure from Le Meridian

Check www.TahitiCoupons.com for possible savings

Tahiti Web Cams:

http://www.tahitiplanet.com/webcam.htm

http://www.papeete.com/

 

 

Huahine  (Hoo-a-hee'-nay)
 
Accomodations:
  • At  Te Tiare Resort, its reported that OWB # 37 is an excellent location & that the restaurant there is very   
     good.

  • Tahaa - Hotel La Priogue is supposed to be good

 

 

Excursions:
  • Marc's Huahine Nautique ~ Raved about almost without exception as the best excursion, not only on Huahine, but of the entire trip! 
    Comments:
  • "HUAHINE: A MUST DO is MARC's MOTU picnic in . It was so much fun!! He takes you to a spot where there is a medium current and he lets you out to "drift" snorkel. No effort whatsoever, you just spread out your arms and float face down and drift over incredible underwater scenery. He follows in the boat and picks you up downstream a bit. If you have a problem of any sort raise your hand and he is right there. EVERYONE can do this, young and old. Don't just sit in the boat, you will regret it. His picnic is great, he makes poison cru (a great raw fish dish) and BBQ chicken and fish and has a couple guys playing music the whole time, and all this, picnic tables and all, is going on in about 12 inches of water, its a crack up. Don't forget the free Hinano beer, its really good. Marc has two canoes going, and if you can, get in the one with Armando, he does a better job of cruising past the shoreline and giving a little history of Huahine."
  • CC Thread on Marc's Motu Picnic
  • Marc’s Motu picnic -- The drift snorkeling was very fast. The picnic was delicious. The grilled tuna and barbeque chicken was really good. Remember, No bathrooms. The scenery from the boat is beautiful. It took about 1 1/2 hrs. to circle part of the island.  The water is deep enough that the coral heads are usually about 2 feet below the surface. Just relax and let the current take you. The boat will be there to pickup at the end. The food, drink and entertainment on the motu are great! The stop at the pearl farm was very good. If you are looking for a carved black pearl shell, this is the place to buy it. You will not find better quality or prices anywhere else.  

 

 

 

Raratonga

 

Raratonga is not one of the Society Islands but instead one of the Cook Islands.  Cook Islands is split into two groups, the Southern Islands and 
the Northern Islands, Rarotonga being in the southern group.  The currency here is the New Zealand Dollar which usually creates a 'good bang for your buck'.  Often mentioned also that Black Pearls are an excellent purchase.  
The Cook Islands site has information on each of the islands and a map of Raratonga.

 

  • Muri Lagoon is Beautiful. We booked the Muri Lagoon Cruise thru Princess and I wish we hadn't. It was nice, but I felt really rushed. You get to snorkel but the snorkeling is just OK (better in Moorea or Raitea). Then they take you to the motu in Muri Lagoon and it is really cool, like you're on survivor island - pretty and shady and you can walk easily from where they drop you to the other side (apx 300 yards) which faces the reef and the ocean. They do a pareo wrap demo (seen one, you seen em all) and a
    coconut opening demo, then they give you a BBQ which is just OK. (Nowhere near what Marc gives you in Huahine). I couldve spent hours here, but before you know it, you eat and they're getting you back in the boat. It was like a tease. We did the second cruise of the day and that was our mistake. If you do the earlier cruise and then want to stay, they will let you. Then you just take the shuttle back with the later crowd. To do it all
    over again, I would not book the tour. I would take the $3 shuttle to Muri Beach and eat lunch at the restaruant on the beach. Then you can actually walk or swim over to the Motu, its not that far out. Do all the snorkeling you want and spend your time leisurely. One more thing about Rarotonga: SHOP, SHOP, SHOP....the exchange rate is in our (US) favor and the prices are better here than anywhere. Too bad its only a one day stop.

 

Comments:
  • There is a beach at at the Rarotongan Resort. There is a better beach for snorkeling, but I can't remember the name of it. (See Below) You'll hear people talking about it. When you get off the tender, there will be people trying to sell you a circle island tour for $35 or something like that. This is one island where I would skip it. Either rent a car, rent a moped, or take the bus--the bus is quite cheap and you can get off and on when and where you like--you can catch it about 1/4 - 1/2 mile down the road from the tender in the little village. Also, this is one place where you might want some money, but can't change it on the ship. There is a bank 1/4 - 1/2 mile from the tender in the little village.  That's the best place to exchange--you'll only need to do that if you go to some little out of the way place to buy stuff. I bought some vanilla at a little roadside stand and had a challenge helping them figure out how to calculate it in USD, then again needed NZ money to buy a phone card. Restaurants, hotels, moped rental, etc. all took credit cards.  

  • The best snorkeling is on Titikaveka on the south shore. Our taxi/tour for 6 was $20 pp, only about $12 US, so quite a bargain.

  • We stopped at the beach across from the Raratonga Fruit Stand. The snorkeling was great. We saw starfish, sea snakes, and many colorful fish.
  • Rent a car or motor scooter unless you want the thrill of a three wheel scooter (Fun Car). If you just want to go to the beach, use the shuttle bus from the tender pier. The beach across from the Raratonga Fruit Stand is beautiful and the snorkeling is great. Be sure to check out the fish nursery near the shore. The baby Trigger fish are really cute. There is very good shopping in town with many shops. Everyone speaks English and are very happy to have you in their store. No pressure to buy. There are several liquor stores where you can buy beer and some expensive liquor. Money changing is not available on the ship, only on the island. At the tender dock is a money change table which will be there at the end of the day to change your money back before you leave the island. Most shops accept US dollars and Credit Cards.
  • Some did the Muri Lagoon snorkel/picnic in Rarotonga but Muri Beach is 
    not supposed to be so great as a beach – many small crabs.  
  • Internet in the Cook Islands was very cheap.

 

 

 

 

Raietea
Raitea Map

Raitea Info Site

Excursions:
Stephane Mata Tours
Bruno
"He met us at the Shell station by the ship. We had a wonderful time with Bruno and his first mate, Carolyn. The snorkeling at the coral gardens that he takes you to was one of the best we have done. So many fish, coral, and other sea life. The fish were so colorful. Bruno copied the digital pictures he took of our group, and made them into a photo cd for us. He met us at the dock later in the evening and gave the cd to us to take home. Can't wait to see how they turn out. Bruno is very friendly, and knowledgeable. One hint: No matter how unappealing the fish looks at the picnic...just eat it! It comes complete with the head, but was delicious. We had a great day. It was from 8:30 to around 5:00.
Comments:
  • Raiatea is good a stop, we spent two days there, the Pearl Resort was very nice. They upgraded us to an OW bungalow at no extra charge! We had a island tour with Bill Kolhans, had him all to ourselves. He is a WEALTH of knowledge, having lived there for 23 years, a retired Navy Captain with 2 Doctorate's from Columbia, one in anthropology. The town of Uturoa is interesting, too. Developing into a cruise-ship stop, there are some nice restaurants and grocery stores to get cheap food/drink.
  • all of us took a tour with Stephane (a guy) at MATA Tours. We all agreed that day was probably the best excursion we had. This guy took us on the most fun day imaginable. His boat was very nice and clean and the first stop he did was in the middle of the ocean (but only about 5 feet deep). He stops the boat and says "theyre coming". At this point were not sure what to think or what we've gotten into. But sure enough after a few minutes we were swarmed by apx 8-10 manta rays. It was incredible, we got out and they rubbed up against us, they were so friendly. He fed them and even lifted one up out of the water, half curled up, and onto his shoulder...not an easy feat as they are slimy and there's nothing to hold on to. Then he took us to another spot and did the same thing, only this time, sharks came. SHARKS! He was feeding them and they were swarming around his legs. Most watched from the boat, but I got out and watched from behind a rope he put out between 2 small bouys about 20 ft apart. He explained the sharks wont go under the rope. He even let me come out and feed the sharks myself. It was one of the most amazing and scary experiences of my life. Then he took us to the coral gardens. In my opinion, it was THE best snorkeling of all the islands. SO much to see! He found an octopus, pulled it from a rock and had it squirt all its ink out, then he let us hold it. We also saw huge calms opening and closing, a moray eel, starfish, and fish you can only imagine. I couldve stayed there all day! He then took us to a little island he owns where he is growing some vanilla. It was jungley (bring bug spray!) and he explained a little about vanilla. It is in no way a vanilla plantation tour, but it was nice to see and hear about it from a local guy growing in his "backyard". He then took us to his cousins Pearl Farm and shop, it was nice, absolutely no pressure to buy, and they were ultra friendly. Their house and yard was really cute. I believe we cirlced the whole island of Tahaa, and all the while Stephane played his ukelele and sand some songs, he was so funny and wore nothing but a hat and a short wrap. He was buff and a real islander - did I metion he walked barefoot on crushed coral and oh yea, also picked up one of those sharks out of the water???? Haha, he is one of my best memories of this trip, a real character. Best of all, we got all this for only $40 each! (although he did not include lunch, so bring snacks) it lasted most of the day, and he did not rush anyone, very nice pace. I regret this is the only day I did not take my camera. I got his card and the tel is (689) 60-89-01. Of note: he carries a cell phone in case of emergencies.
  • Stephan with Mata Tours for $40pp for the whole day for his tour. You can find him in the welcome center right at the pier buildings. He is over to the left inside the welcome center. He was great, funny, musical, and gave a fun trip. We fed stingrays, fed sharks, did the coral gardens, went to his private motu, had fresh fruit, and he showed us a few vanilla bean plants. His motu overlooked Bora Bora . It was a LONG trip around the island. If I did this again, I would just tell him after his stop at his private motu that he could take us back the SHORT way to the ship. He got us back in time to see the local dancers.
  • He served us plenty of fruit -- coconut meat, bananas, pineapple punch, and other fruit.  (You might want to take snacks & drinks from the ship.)
  • Mata Tours has two boats. The one we were in could take about 12 to 14 people easily. I don't know about the other boat.
  • Mata Tours said that they would adjust the tour to do only the things we wanted. You can leave and return when you wanted as long as the group agreed. You can stay at any spot until you want to leave. The shark feeding was really great. You can stay in the boat if you want to and still see the show. But the real show is under the water.
  • Raiatea and Tahaa
    These sister islands are very beautiful. He took us to his motu right next to the Tahaa Pearl Resort hotel. He gave us fruit for lunch while we enjoyed his incredible view of Bora Bora and explored his island. He even had a small vanilla plantation right on his motu. He also made a stop at the Tahaa Pearl Farm.
  • If you want a really good snorkeling, forget Bora Bora and go for a snorkeling tour in Raiatea or Tahaa where you can snorkel in the passes.  
  • Stephane with Mata Tours – need to book on the dock - about $40USD PP for whole day - Add Tips
  • Children of Raitea show @   5:30 ??  PM  tonite

 

 

Bora Bora
Restaurants

Bamboo House - French fine dining, try the raclette style fish or meat.

Top Dive - fine dining, excellent location, and 

One night we went to Top Dive on the main island and were so glad that we did. This restaurant truly is delicious. I had the best Mahi Mahi of the entire trip. We saw Mana Rays while we ate.

We ate at Bloody Mary's - touristy, but decent food, 

We ate at Bloody Mary’s for lunch and it was very tasty. We also went back for dinner. We were disappointed for dinner. 

Excursions
Jet Skis: YOU MUST DO THIS WHILE HERE
Don't do the jet ski's on Moorea, do them on Bora Bora. This was amazing and we did this thru Miki Miki Jet Ski. Loved this and our guides were great! We spent about 3 hours going around the entire island and also spent some time on a private motu. This is also good to do together on 1 jet ski. We were able to switch off driving 1/2 way thru and riding on the back gave the other person a relaxing break to enjoy the scenery.
Aquablue

If you are interested in the aquablue type dive in Bora Bora, go to Topdive.com, click activities. They also have a helmut dive, I believe called a sea walk for 62.50. We are on the 6/6 TP cruise and are planning to do our "sea walk' with AquaBlue on Moorea post cruise so that we can do the jet skis with Top Dive on Bora Bora. See the Bora Bora excursions thread for great recommendations of Top Dive.

We did the helmet dive with Aquablue. What can I say, it was unbelievable. An experience I will not forget. You don't have to know how to really swim, you just have to make sure you don't mind having your ears pop a little. He said you felt like an astronaut but I have to say it was difficult to try to run in the water with the weighted helmet on. But I would do it 100 times again. Cost $65pp

AquaBlue is the Tour Operator that Princess books with. Aqua Safari is the Same Tour and that is the name Princess calls it. About the same rate, either way. However, I believe that on Ship days, AquaBlue may Only book through Princess as there are only 8 headsets that can go down at a time. I think that 3 sets of pax go on a coach, 8 go down (after receiving instruction), then while the other pax wait - it is a 30-minute Dive, they can snorkel. Each of the 3 groups go, and then all 3 groups go back on the coach to the Pier.
I have reserved the 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the first BoB day. There are 3 more times on the 2nd day. It is $79. Just book it on the Cruise Personalizer to reserve because this Tour does become waitlisted quickly.
It always gets rave reviews. Have a great sailing.

 

 

We rented a car the first day and toured the island on our own. We got off the ship on the first tender and went straight to the Eurocar rental. I am proud we did that because within 5 minutes there were at least 10 couples standing in line to get a car.
We were able to make it back for the 8pm tender. That was good, because the next ferry isn’t until 11pm. Not sure why there isn’t a tender at 9 or 10. A lot of the group did the 4x4 and really enjoyed it.
Almost all of our group went on the Sharkboy tour. The water was so clear and the sharks were numerous. My husband had fed the sharks with Mata tours and seemed to enjoy those better. The cost was $55pp. He took us over to a motu, then did a brief snorkel. The current was strong, so some opted to stay in the boat. I have to say I was exhausted after just a few minutes of that snorkel experience.
We took the free hotel shuttle over to the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort (across the lagoon right where the tender drops you off). It is a beautiful resort. Have a drink and they wont throw you out, plus you can use the pool that way. Bloody Mary's is a must do. Had fun talking to folks at the bar. Was surprised that it wasnt rowdy like Senor Frogs, etc, but thats just French Polynesia - very low key and virtually no night life. Next day we hung out on the beach at the Bora Bora Resort and took a boat out to the Sofitel's island for lunch (boat is free with lunch).
http://www.taravana.com/charters.htm
That night we did the sunset cruise with Taravana (Richard Postma) and it was really great. Cost $65pp including drinks. The sunset wasn’t the best but it was still really nice. We watched the canoe teams practice at sunset. That was cool. 

 had emailed him too many times without a response. I finally placed a call to his business only to get an answering machine. I now have his cell number. He told us his computer has crashed again, so he has no idea when he will be back online. You call him and he will tell you to reconfirm as soon as you get into Bora Bora that first day. 

His number is
don't remember the country code, but when you start to dial the phone will tell you what you must dial first. I think it 01, but not sure.
cell # 689 72 30 99 (i know that is a strange number but that is the way you do it. when you get on shore just dial the 723099 or 605931

 

There are several telephone booths at the pier and on the street. We bought calling cards 40 units for $15.50. They work on all of the islands except Cook Islands. Internet in the Cook Islands was very cheap. Just go by any post office and they will have a telephone card you can purchase.

 

 


 

 

 



Here is the e-mail I received from writing to the AquaBlue website:

Ia Orana,
Here is a description of the aqua safari activity and the flyers is attached. A reservation is required. The public price is 6 500 CFP per person. Please let me know if you wish further details or information, we will be very happy to welcome your guest.
Best regards
Anne CONDESSE

Aqua Safari
DURATION: 2 HOUR $65.00 about
EQUIPMENT: BOAT
Wearing your swimsuit, don a yellow diving helmet for a spectacular experience to walk along under Bora Bora's spectacular lagoon; which some say is the most beautiful in the world.

No diving experience is required, and you need not even be a swimmer to discover this exciting new world. Your head remains dry inside the helmet, you can even wear your glasses and you remain in total security just a few feet below the surface. A taxi boat will come to pick you from the dock in Vaitape and will take you to a comfortable catamaran where your instructor will explain the basic safety measures and diving signs. Plastic shoes, wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins are available as there will be time for snorkeling while others are taking their Aqua Safari as group size is limited.

A certified diving instructor will help you to put on the helmet and descend the ladder into the crystalline waters for your 30-minute underwater experience. Walk on the sand among interesting coral formations while surrounded by tropical fish in a myriad of beautiful colors. If you wish you can have fish eating right from your hand while having a picture or video taken as a souvenir. All too soon, it will be time to return to the boat via the ladder where refreshments will be awaiting you. You may snorkel while others are on their walk. Return directly to the pier via water taxi at the conclusion of your tour.

Please note: The helmet while heavy is placed just as you enter the water and taken off as you exit. You remain connected to the boat's air supply via an air-hose. While this tour is suitable for most, be advised that those with heart problems or who are pregnant may not participate. T-shirts, underwater cameras and the souvenir pictures and videos are available for purchase. The total duration is about 2 hours.

 




 Moorea
Accomodation:
Beachcomber:

The Beachcomber was everything we could have dreamed of! Checking in was so personalized. They take you to the bar & get you coffee & leave you with the forms to fill out & describe the resort, restaurant hours, etc. Very nice. Our room wasn't ready (it was only 9:30 a.m.) so they gave us the key to a change/shower room (warning--there's no toilet in there, so if you have to go, find the washrooms before you go to the changeroom). Big tip--pack sunscreen in your carry-on luggage. We packed shorts, bathing suits, etc. and were prepared to sit in the shade by the pool, waiting for our room, but the shade turned out to be less than shade (we were under an umbrella that was under a tree) and we both got very bad burns in a couple of hours. It wasn't a great way to start a 2-week vacation.

I'd emailed a couple of weeks ahead, asking for Beach Bungalow 314 since so many here said it had such good shade. The Beachcomber emailed back to say it was already booked, but they'd make us happy. Did they ever! They gave me my second choice (tip---always give them backup choices!), #311, and we liked it even better than we would have #314. We had a beautiful view of the mountains to our right from our deck, the Dolphin Quest area, the over-water bungalows & the lagoon. There are tons of plants growing around the deck so it's very private (I don't think anyone walking by was aware we were sitting on the deck). #310 also looks excellent. We had the hammock right beside our bungalow & only once couldn't use it when we wanted. The bungalows are so nicely appointed. We used the bar fridge to store our groceries (we took out the bottled water & bottled juices & left them above the fridge, returning them when we left & we weren't charged for anything). We found the fridge stayed colder if we left the door of the wooden unit containing it open (to let the heat out). Every morning, we'd walk to the market (turn right once you're out of the Beachcomber's driveway)

Moorea -- We loved the Beachcomber! We had emailed them a couple of months ago requesting 514 and got it. By far the best overwater bungalow there. Fully overwater, very private deck -- no neighbors, great view of the sunrise. Nice bungalows, very comfortable, great snorkling off our deck! Staff was very pleasant and attentive. Went to the Helene Spa -- excellent massages and we also did the fresh flower bath and it was great! Did the Dolphin encounter -- AWESOME! There is a great pizza place (Miss Pizza) right outside the resort (Excellent chocolate crepes!) and a supermarket real close by (less than 10 minute walk) where we got beer and water and snacks. Breakfast was good, you get tired of the buffet breakfasts after a while. Ate at both restaurants -- both very good. Plenty of places to lay in the sun. We didn't go to the pool at all. If you go to the motu to snorkel, go in the morning -- more fish to see.

Taken to the Moorea Intercontinental Beachcomber. Very nice! Really upscale. We had joined the Six Continents Club and were upgraded from beach to OWB #510. Not a direct sunset view but a splendid spot. We were on a point and it was just magnificent.

Check in at the Moorea Beachcomber went smoothly. They have a separate check-in for the Rad isson guests. I had e-mailed the resort the week before requesting a certain overwater bungalow (514) and received it. It is one of the few that is completely overwater and has a great view of the reef, the Dolphin area and the sunset.  The interior of the bungalow is very nice. Thatched roof, woven walls, a separate sitting area and balcony. The bathroom was quite spacious with a large tub, open shower and separate toilet room. The only minor problem was the water was scorching hot unless you turned it almost all the way to cool. The AC worked well but the remote control was a bit finicky. A firm yet comfortable bed, good pillows and we were off to sleep.

 


Beachcomber in Moorea is fabulous. We stayed 1 night at Tahiti Beachcomber, 5 nights Moorea Beachcomber, + 5 nights Bora Bora Le Meridian.
Moorea is definitely much better than Tahiti ....I would stay in the Beach Bungalows on Moorea, (not overwater bungalows). The overwater bungalows at the Beachcomber in Moorea are not truly overwater. You don't really walk out onto a dock like you would think. Beachfront is best. Bungalows are beautiful...all teak wood, separate bedroom area, gorgeous baths...truly amazing! 

We had chosen to stay at the IC Beachcomber here as well. The hotel was beautiful, the grounds were beautiful, and our OWB (got upgraded again) was amazing! We were in #507 and had a pretty good view of everything. We thought that our bungalow might have that glass floor under the coffee table to see beneath, but it didn’t. We don’t know if it was just our bungalow or if all the bungalows were like that.

That day we quickly discovered that no matter how nice the hotel was, it was also somewhat inconvenient. We found that there is nothing within walking distance of the hotel!….which can be a big problem if you don’t have a car, which we didn’t, and if you like to venture outside the hotel. We did find that there’s a small pizza joint (Miss Pizza) just outside the hotel. Walk out the hotel and make a right. We never went there, but were told by another couple that it wasn’t bad. There’s also a little store called Raimona Market that’s about a 5-10 min. walk from the hotel. Again, walk out the hotel and go right. We walked there every morning to buy chocolate croissants for 120 cfp each. They were delicious!! Go early in the morning as they run out (so we were told). We would take the croissants and buy a bottle of coke and some pineapple juice (to store in our room) and go back to our bungalow and sit on our decks to eat our breakfast. One of the most inexpensive meals we had on the trip.

The Beachcomber was everything we could have dreamed of! Checking in was so personalized. They take you to the bar & get you coffee & leave you with the forms to fill out & describe the resort, restaurant hours, etc. Very nice. Our room wasn't ready (it was only 9:30 a.m.) so they gave us the key to a change/shower room (warning--there's no toilet in there, so if you have to go, find the washrooms before you go to the changeroom). Big tip--pack sunscreen in your carry-on luggage. We packed shorts, bathing suits, etc. and were prepared to sit in the shade by the pool, waiting for our room, but the shade turned out to be less than shade (we were under an umbrella that was under a tree) and we both got very bad burns in a couple of hours. It wasn't a great way to start a 2-week vacation.

I'd emailed a couple of weeks ahead, asking for Beach Bungalow 314 since so many here said it had such good shade. The Beachcomber emailed back to say it was already booked, but they'd make us happy. Did they ever! They gave me my second choice (tip---always give them backup choices!), #311, and we liked it even better than we would have #314. We had a beautiful view of the mountains to our right from our deck, the Dolphin Quest area, the over-water bungalows & the lagoon. There are tons of plants growing around the deck so it's very private (I don't think anyone walking by was aware we were sitting on the deck). #310 also looks excellent. We had the hammock right beside our bungalow & only once couldn't use it when we wanted. The bungalows are so nicely appointed. We used the bar fridge to store our groceries (we took out the bottled water & bottled juices & left them above the fridge, returning them when we left & we weren't charged for anything). We found the fridge stayed colder if we left the door of the wooden unit containing it open (to let the heat out). Every morning, we'd walk to the market (turn right once you're out of the Beachcomber's driveway) to buy a bagette (cheap!) and danishes that looked (and tasted) like they were apricot and raisin. Delicious (160 XPF each). We also bought cheese, cream for my coffee (I didn't trust the stuff the hotel supplied at first since it's not kept refrigerated, but I got so disappointed with the creme fraiche from the market, that I ended up using the resort cream eventually...that creme fraiche is weird stuff for coffee!). I'd packed a small jar of peanut butter (great suggestion) so we had the danishes for breakfast and cheese or peanut butter on bagettes for lunch. This really cut our costs down. Dinner was Miss Pizza several times (good pizza 1200-1500 XPF, cheeseburger frites--cheeseburger and fries--2 of these plus 2 pops were 2100 XPF). Diet Coke is called Coke Light there, by the way. We bought ham at the ABC grocery store at Le Petit Village for dinner once, too. And I celebrated my birthday in Moorea, starting the day with a room-service full breakfast (thanks for the tip that there's enough food there for 2---it's more like 4!) and finishing with dinner at Te Honu Iti (wonderful food, great service and it was so fun to watch the fish & rays come right up to the restaurant to be fed).

We loved the Beachcomber! We had emailed them a couple of months ago requesting 514 and got it. By far the best overwater bungalow there. Fully overwater, very private deck -- no neighbors, great view of the sunrise. Nice bungalows, very comfortable, great snorkling off our deck! Staff was very pleasant and attentive. Went to the Helene Spa -- excellent massages and we also did the fresh flower bath and it was great! Did the Dolphin encounter -- AWESOME! There is a great pizza place (Miss Pizza) right outside the resort (Excellent chocolate crepes!) and a supermarket real close by (less than 10 minute walk) where we got beer and water and snacks. Breakfast was good, you get tired of the buffet breakfasts after a while. Ate at both restaurants -- both very good. Plenty of places to lay in the sun. We didn't go to the pool at all. If you go to the motu to snorkel, go in the morning -- more fish to see. Went on the interior tour with Albert Tours. William, our guide, was awesome and it was only US$25. Great time. Tiki Village was fun -- good show, not good food. But an experience you have to do.

the moorea beachcomber is one the nicest properties we have visited and we travel extensively. i recommend it highly. we stayed at an over the water bungelow #614, it is at the end of the island where the owb's are located. it offers alot of privacy and great views. however, it is near a travel channel where excursion boats and other watercraft move about, so it can be a bit busy at times but we were never bothered and enjoyed waiving at the passing visitors from time to time. the water was very clear and we could see numerous fish moving about right below our deck.

 

was surprised the beachcomber did not have an exercise facility as a resort of that caliber should have one.

We first stayed 4 nights at the Beachcomber in Moorea - best resort. Moorea is only 30 min ferry from Tahiti - stay here instead of Tahiti. The overwater bungalows at the Beachcomber are really only half on the water. We stayed in a garden bungalow and it was great. We went on a 4x4 tour (Moorea Explorer) - $45/half day - great tour. My husband did a dive through Bathy's, which is on the resort and is a PADI facility ($70/1 tank). Eat off the property because the food is a lot better. We ate at Le Tipanier (cute French place, reasonable - $65 dinner) and Te Hono Iti - over the water and rays swim by as you eat. They both pick you up at the hotel for free or $5/each. We ordered an American breakfast from room service each morning (just one - $33), but we could share it, as it was a lot of food. We did the Polynesian Buffet one evening - they set it up on the beach and there is a dancing show - $65/person - good to do once.  


Going by the rooms people recommended on this forum, I sent an email to the Beachcomber folks telling them the rooms I would prefer. We got our first choice - beach bungalow 317. If you are not into snorkeling you cannot go wrong with this room. It has an unobstructed view of the lagoon and the ocean. You can see sunsets from the patio. The main beach is close by. In fact right below the patio, another small beach starts. We saw rays, eel, stonefish and plenty of other fish from our patio.
  The Beachcomber grounds are kept very neat. You can see over a dozen varieties of flowers, and plenty of birds around.  The continental breakfast is really good and one order is enough for two people. We also ordered some soup and stuff at night and that was also good too.  They were cashing travelers cheques for 109XPF for each US dollar, which was by far the best we got. Our connection from Papeete to Moorea was so tight, we didn't get time to exchange any currency in Papeete . So the Beachcomber exchange rate was what we had to live with. They didn't charge any commission either.

Moorea Beachcomber – Beach Bungalows #314 or #315 but actually all from #310 up have unobstructed views.  Also both #514 & #507 have been reported as excellent accommodation.

 

 

 

 

Sheraton Moorea
Map of Sheraton Moorea

The Sheraton was a beautiful hotel, much larger than the Sofitel Motu, and has more of an "American" feel to it. The Front Desk, Activities desk, etc. are all helpful, but not the all out, do anything we can for you service that you get in Bora Bora . Just our observation and not a complaint AT ALL. More rooms, mean more people - so you don't have a secluded feeling like we did in BB. We had an overwater bungalow here as well, we were right in the middle of the pack, but you really don't mind your neighbors, if you see them at all.

Stayed 4 nights at the Sheraton Moorea. This is an amazing resort. Much nicer than the IC and possibly the best location on the island. O/W bungalow had awesome views of the mountains and the horizon. Tons of fish and coral right under us for daily snorkeling. Huge bathroom with claw foot tub, shower, pillow menu (oh yeah!), glass top coffee table for fish viewing, 2 tiered deck, fresh water shower on lower deck, etc.

Sheraton Moorea – Beach Bungalow #54 is best (regardless if it appears not) as it gets sun all day.

 

Pearl Beach
Stayed at the Pearl - I have been here several times and I like the property but its getting way to kiddy for me. Had to be at least 5 families with kids from babies to 5 years old. A lot of noise and crying. Don't get me wrong I love kids but when I go to Tahiti without my children, I don't want to hear someone else's crying at 5:30 AM.

We then spent 6 nights on Moorea again at the Pearl resort. We were upgraded to a deluxe OWB (#426 the best one at the resort) and couldn't have been more pleased

Moorea Pearl Beach OWB (overwater bungalow) is the BEST!  The OWB are right on the crest of shallow to deep water, thus snorkeling was excellent right off the OWB. All other OWB's we saw on other resorts were in 2 ft of water with no coral and very little fish. We guessed from internet photo's and were exactly
right. Where the water is a light teal color, it is very shallow-waist
deep at most. where it is dark blue, it is deep and more fish.  We also stayed at Bora bora pearl beach-beachfront bungalow and OWB, and there was no snorkeling at Bora Bora without going a ways. Also, all the Moorea OWB's face north (out the
deck), and got sun on the deck all day even to sunset
where at BB, most faced so there was very little sun on the deck - partial day sun at most. If you want sun, make sure you figure out which unit you will get in advance!

Restaurants:
A note about transportation to/from restaurants: 
While many restaurants offer to pick you up, they try to group many into one trip as gas costs a fortune in Tahiti.   The same applies on the return trip thus you may have to exercise patience until a 'full load' is achieved.  If such events are going to irritate you, hire your own cab or rent a car.

A comment worth reading:

We knew all about the restaurants that come and pick you up from your hotel, but again we didn’t find this to be true. We discovered that some of the restaurants (mainly the ones near Cook’s Bay, where most of the restaurants are located) would not come to the IC Beachcomber as it was too far from them. We also thought about ordering pizza from the well-mentioned Allo’s Pizza, but again, they wouldn’t deliver to our hotel because it was too far from them. I’ve already discovered from other posts that the restaurants DID come out to pick them up. Maybe it just depends on how the restaurants are feeling that day. I don’t know. We had called Le Mahogany, Le Cocotier, and Te Honu Iti and none of them would come to the IC. Someone also posted on this site that it might be better to go through your hotel concierge as some restaurants may not come to pick you up if you call the restaurant directly and you’re the only one from your hotel going to that restaurant. So check with your concierge and have him/her arrange a pick up time for you. We called some other restaurants on our own and finally found 2 that would come to our hotel: Alfredo’s and Linareva. We went to each on different nights. Our hotel did provide a shuttle to La Petit Village , where a few restaurants are located, but the shuttle isn’t free. I believe it was 400 or 600 cfp per person. So unless you’re going to rent a car, you’re basically limited as to where you want to go eat. Some have said that the walk from the IC to La Petit Village isn’t bad, but I would say it’s AT LEAST a mile, which may not seem far to some, but it was to me, especially in that hot sun!
The Sheraton and the Sofitel seemed to be just as bad. It appeared that the most “convenient” hotel was the Pearl Beach Resort. Since it’s near Cook’s Bay, there are numerous restaurants, shops, and little markets within walking distance.

Te Hono Iti (Little Turtle) aka Chez Roger 
Pao Pao, Cook's Bay Ph: 689-56-19-84
French/Seafood - ask for a table by the railing.  Comments vary.  Here's some:

"Loved this restaurant. Was pleasantly surprised by the scenery. We sat at a table overlooking the water and couldn't believe the amazing sting rays below. They even allow you to feed the sting rays with tuna. This was the best restaurant on the island that we went to and I would highly recommend this."

"Excellent Classical French cuisine. I ordered a seafood combination that was the best. Make reservations for a table by the water. We saw about 4 rays, many fishes and a kind of a water snake (sorry, I don’t know the name in English). 1000 cfp for pick-up and slow service."

"If you can get a seat at the railing, you can see and feed the fish and sting rays. (And excellent apple pie!)"

"We had the snails in puff pastry, which were excellent, and I had the Shrimp Provencal, which I would also recommend. My husband had a chicken dish that he didn’t like because it wasn’t chicken breast like you would expect in the US . The service here was extremely slow and although the restaurant provided free transportation on the way home, on the way there it was $5pp."

"We ate the first night at Te Hono Iti. We're food connoisseurs and thought it was just okay, but we didn't find it as great as a lot of people on this board reported. The atmosphere is nice, though, and the location great.  We got to see an eel hunt for his dinner!"  

"Second best food and by far the most romantic spot."

"Great food, but the night we were there, the service was EXTREMELY slow. We were patient, but it was a reallly long night. The location is great and if you sit by the water you can see the sting rays come up for "leftovers". "


Le Nouveau Monde 
Relatively new and purported to be surpassing Te Honi Iti as the best restaurant on the island. Opened in Nov '03 I believe.
Chez Capo  
"It’s a very small and simple open air place with typical tasty food and friendly service. Free pick-up."
"
6 people, a bottle of wine, a couple of Hinano's, super service and a super friendly guy....12200xpf's (about $130US) and the appies are free....taro chips....mmm"
Le Bateau Linareva 

"The Linareva Floating Restaurant where, after the waitress pulled two large chalkboards to each table as patrons decided on their orders, we chose and then dined on thinly sliced sashimi on cabbage with a wonderfully flavored soy sauce dip as an appetizer, Mahi Mahi in Vanilla Sauce and Shrimps in Curry for the main course, and a Rum Raisin Ice Cream and Mango Parfait with a very large rolled cookie sticking straight up."

Advice is to go there when the water is calm.  

We also went to Linareva - the floating restaurant. It was a long drive from our hotel, but it was an interesting atmosphere and the food was good.

Alfredo's 
Many comments on this restaurant ~ some good and some not so good.  Italian Cuisine with some reports slow service & so-so food while others loved the food.  

"Delicious Italian food. Fettucine Alfredo and Tortellini was great! The best garlic bread appetizers. We went here twice since the food was good and different from what every other restaurant had."

We also did Alfredos. The best meal I think we had. I highly recommend the grilled tuna in mustard sauce YUM YUM and the Crčme  Brulee heavenly!!!

We ate at Alfred's - great food, friendly owner and staff!! 

Le Mahogany 
Snacks/Restaurant with French/Chinese/Seafood
Ph: 689-56-39-73
Free pick-up.

Good food but service reported as on the slow side.

"Le Mahagony was the site of one of the best dinners on our entire trip. We ordered appetizers consisting of hot stuffed mussels and Chinese-style poisson cru made with two kinds of ginger and a light vinegar dressing. The main course was mahi mahi in vanilla sauce and tuna chunks in coconut curry sauce. Dessert was half a small pineapple soaked in rum with vanilla ice cream. Our waiter’s name was Heiva, and he was so fast and efficient waiting on all the tables in the restaurant. After this delicious dinner, we returned to the Sheraton and enjoyed the cool breezes and stars on the deck, and took another long soothing bath."

"We ate at Le Mahogany twice and really enjoyed it. Better food and half the price of Te Hono Iti."

That night we had dinner at Le Mahogany, which we would highly recommend and they do offer a free transportation from the Sheraton.

Chez Michelle:  

"The best meal, my wife and I both agree, was at a small place called Chez Michelle at the bottom of Cook's Bay right beside the bridge and the internet cafe. It is a small place (5-6 tables) and run by one older French lady. Plastic tables, but right on the water. The food was incredible. I had the Shrimp in Coconut Curry sauce... and I have never (and likely never will) taste shrimp that fresh (and it was completely deveined and no shell at all). The sauce was the proper blend of flavor and spice, and it was served with rice and a side of local spinach (2100CFP).  My wife had a chicken dish that also was incredible. The chicken was so flavorful, so fresh and just tasted like the best home-cooking ever 1800CFP). Obviously, we really loved it. Cash only, and Michelle is very good about translating the menu (on a blackboard) into English."  Open for Lunch and Dinner."

 

Le Cocotier 

Understand this is near the Pearl Beach Resort

"Le Cocotier was our favorite. Food was good, place was very "comfortable" and they had a guy singing American Blues music. He was very good. Drinks were terrific. I could have stayed there all night."

Le Pecheur 

on Cooks Bay and provides free transportation to and back from most hotels. Top notch.

Sheraton Beach BBQ 

Reported to be very enjoyable.  Handy if you stay there!

Le Sylesie for breakfast....1000xpf's for a 3 egg omlette, 5 or 6 pieces of bacon and a toasted baguette, 800xpf's for a huge fruit plate. Both can be easily split.
Le PLantation was excellent, my husband had the duck and he said it was the best hes ever had. 
Allo's Pizza

The husband and wife were so friendly and fun to talk to - we felt like old friends when we left! Their pizza is thin crust and right out of the wood fired oven - tres bon! They also have some wonderful olive oil with local chili peppers if you like it hot, to sprinkle over your pizza!






Sandwiches from the truck up at Le Belvedere are to die for......baguettes a foot long, ham, cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce.....350xpf's, 500 if you want a salad too. If you aren't there at lunch stock up, take them back to the hotel for dinner (stash them in your little fridge)

Forum Discussion on Moorea Restaurants
Transportation:
Air Moorea Schedule + Fares 
Ferry Schedule
A note on the Ferries - there is supposed to be a new ferry - the Aremeti V - in service shortly with greatly increased capacity.  
Excursions:
  • Rent a car on Moorea to avoid the restaurant "ride" problem and see the sights, and for sure, the other resorts. Plan your days and your car rental. Get the car in the afternoon, go to Belvedere for the views, have dinner on Cook's bay, and use the car to tour in the morning before you return it back.
  • Scooter around the island: HIGHLY Recommended to do on Moorea.  This took about 3 hours to make it around the entire island and it was so much fun. Originally we were going to take 2 scooters, but the activities director recommended we share and we were so happy that we did. This way you get to talk to your loved one and laugh with them while driving around. Half way thru the scooter ride it started to pour rain. We couldn't do anything but laugh and hope that we made it safe. It made it more exciting. This was a great way to see the entire island and kind of an adventure.
  • Dolphin Quest:  Although this is a little expensive, about $450, this was something we really wanted to do. This is thru the Beachcomber resort. The honeymoon program only has 6 people in it and you get to swim with the dolphins and get to learn about them and get pictures with them. The program also gives you a free picture. It was amazing to come so close with the dolphins.
  • Dolphin Quest: We didn’t participate but you can watch this by the bridge and take some good photos.
  • Mandara Spa (At the Sheraton):  I got the coconut scrub and Heaven and Earth massage and my husband got the 80 minute Sports Massage. The treatments were great and although pricey we got a room together which was romantic. We were glad we did this on Moorea since it was a lot more expensive at the same spa in Bora Bora.
  • Rent a Scooter – it takes about 45 minutes to drive around Moorea

  • If you want to do the “Lagoonarium” – talk to Albert’s Tours

  • We took the 4X4 tour offered by Albert on Moorea, and I’m sorry I did. First off, they really packed us into the back like cattle – they wanted to put 10 of us back there! One couple refused and sat in the cab of the truck with the driver, but it was still a little too crowded for my tastes. The worst part, though, was the bumpiness, particularly on the way up to the waterfall. It was so bad that when we got to the point where the waterfall hike began, I decided to hike back down to the road instead. I couldn’t stand that bumpy ride a second time! As it turned out, the waterfall wasn’t that impressive – Doug says one woman kind of had a look on her face that said, “Is that all?” Anybody who’s spent a fair time in Hawaii has seen plenty of nice waterfalls without having their kidneys up in their throats.
    The highlight of the 4X4 was Belvedere, but you don’t need a 4X4 to see it! You can go up in a rental car, because the way is smoothly paved. Also, they took us to a couple of tourist traps that sell black pearls and liquor. So, I’m sorry we took that tour. Better to rent a car and explore the island on your own.

  • Alberts Boat Cruise and Motu Picnic. This was worth EVERY PENNY. It was $60 per person. We boarded a catamaran near the Club Bali Hai. The tour guide was very good, he explained all the mountain peaks and pointed put things here and there. We went past both bays and docked near the Sheraton (but far out) for the shark feeding. This really pissed us off: we didn't know to bring our snorkels and no one told us to! We bought them for the sole purpose of not using anyone elses nasty masks, but we had to our we would have missed one of the greateest experiences here in Moorea. Swimming with Sharks! I was scared but they don't bother u ...you are literally swimming WITH the sharks, watching them be fed by our tours guides. BRING YOUR UNDERWATER CAMERAS! it was an experience we will never forget.  Next, off to the Sting Ray Feeding by our Beachcomber.  Then off to the Motu Picnic. They docked us near a cute motu, seems like all the tours go here too..we saw a few boats. They demonstrated the coconut husking and we were able to eat some. We snorkeled around until they had the Barbecue ready for us. There was ice cold water, juice and Hinanos ready for us. They also demonstrated how to make to Poisson Cru(raw tuna, lime juice, salt, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and cocunut juice mixed together) Now it was time to eat. This was ABSOLUTELY the freshest most delicious meal. Fresh grilled tuna (so tender unlike the tuna in any US restaurant) the Poisson Cru was soooo good and i don't even like raw fish at all! They had fried rice, bread, barbecued chicken and the sweetest pineapples. We pigged out and snorkeled some more. They gave us some raw tuna to feed the fish with while we snorkeled. It was really cool because the colorful fish actually come us to your hand and take little bites of the fish from you.  Then they dropped us off at the Beachcomber deck.

  • We did the shark and stingray tour with Maco. This was one of the best days of our trip. We had to contact Maco directly because when we asked the Sheraton about this tour they said he was no longer running it. Obviously, they must not get a commission from him. The tour was so amazing and included a great lunch and Hinanos. The staff was great and we really can’t say enough about this tour.

  • Also do the tour with Dr. Michale Poole - the marine biologist stationed there.  He does tours on Sunday and Thursday. It was whale season (July-Oct) and we spent a couple of hours with 3 Humpback Whales and even got to snorkel with them! This was a once in a lifetime experience! He'll also take you out to cavort with the spinner dolphins.

  • Went on the interior tour with Albert Tours. William, our guide, was awesome and it was only US$25. Great time. Tiki Village was fun -- good show, not good food. But an experience you have to do.

  • 4x4 Tour Albert Transport: Cost = 40,000 XPF per person: We signed up with Albert Transport for this very worthwhile excursion around Moorea. There was a “shack”/office right outside of the Beachcomber (literally across the street) where you can sign up and get around the extra commission charged by the Beachcomber. Hint: Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and apply bug spray BEFORE heading out!!! If you plan on bringing back some alcohol, be sure to buy it at the juice /distillery factory as the prices will be the best that you will come across. If vanilla beans are on your shopping list, I suggest you buy them at the agricultural school where 5 beans will cost you 900 XPF. The prices for vanilla beans were generally much higher everywhere else.

  • Bicycle Ride: Highly recommended. You can rent bikes from the Beachcomber for 13,000 XPF per person for 4 hours but we went with a company called “Rent a Bike” that rented bikes for 10,000 XPF per bike for the entire day. They will actually pick you up for FREE and their telephone #: 711 109 Hint: BRING LOTS OF WATER. I would estimate 2+ liters of water for 2 people over 3-4 hours so bring a light backpack and fill up with more water at the roadside magasins when you run out. The bikes were actually pretty decent 18 speed mountain bikes in reasonably good shape and the road around the island is paved. Enjoy the sights, the intermittent breeze, and go at a leisurely pace! We biked east for 13 km before heading back.

  • The highlight of the 4X4 was Belvedere, but you don’t need a 4X4 to see it! You can go up in a rental car, because the way is smoothly paved. Also, they took us to a couple of tourist traps that sell black pearls and liquor. So, I’m sorry we took that tour. Better to rent a car and explore the island on your own.

  • We did the 4x4 tour (Albert Tours) on Moorea. My husband has a bad back (2 herniated disks) and I have a bad neck (1 herniated disk). We were really leary about doing the 4x4 after everyone said not to if you have a bad back, but we found it was fine as long as you stand up for the rough parts (going up to the pineapple plantation & distillery and the waterfall). If it gets really bumpy, stand on the balls of your feet. Neither of us had any problems with our backs or necks (but watch your head on the framework over the 4x4 when it gets bumpy!). This tour was really amazing! My favourite parts were the view from the Belvedere and the hike up to the waterfall (you cross 2 streams on stepping stones). It had rained a day or two before our tour, so there was water on the waterfall (it would still be beautiful without, though). Wear running or hiking shoes on this trip or you'll have trouble on the hike to the waterfall (we saw many people slipping & falling with thongs or sandals on).

     

     













Tips + Info
  • If you are staying on Moorea, bring a flashlight for navigating a night.
  • We toured the whole island, went to the Belvedere (get there early in the morning it tends to get very cloudy up there later)
  • It turns out that the OWB's are not completely enclosed, so if you have the ceiling lights on when the sun is going down, light seeking bugs might get in trying to get to the light.
  • Le Petit Village is worth the walk (about 1/2 hr.) and we went 3 times. I bought pareos and a t-shirt at one of the shops there...on the Beachcomber end of the strip. I don't remember the name of the place, but it had a wide covered porch on the front with racks of pareos and wasn't very deep inside. She had beautiful colors & the pareos were the most reasonably-priced that I saw. I got 2 short pareos for my 19-yr-old daughter for 600 XPF each and several full-sized ones for 1000 XPF each. A t-shirt for my 21-yr-old son was 1500 XPF.
  • Wake up call at 5:45 so we can watch the sunrise and go to the markets for breakfast pastries (gotta go early or they will all be gone) Went to the bridge near Dolphin Quest to watch the sunrise. You can hear the dolphins playing around by the bridge. The market was fully stocked with the pastries. We got so much: Pizza, chocolate croissants, donuts, and a large muffin. Went back to have breakfast on the deck. We made tea and coffee from the in room supplies. It was wonderful and cheap.
  • Some hints for traveling to Moorea: Speaking French would be helpful as most people greeted us with “Bon jour,” instead of the Tahitian “iao rana” (pronounced yo-rana).
  • stop at a local market where we picked up four cartons of Rotui fruit juices in all the flavors (banana juice was excellent), baguettes, jams, crackers, pate, cheese, and Hinanos. We had brought a collapsible thermal bag and instead of emptying out the refrigerator to make way for our abundant supply of beverages, we kept them cold in the thermal bag with ice from the hotel ice machine. We did put the cheese and a few other snacks in the honor bar refrigerator to avoid soggy crackers.
  • We rented a car upon returning to the Sheraton from Eurpocar (The Air Tahiti Nui Magazine advertisement for Europecar should get you a 10% discount)
  • Also rented a car for the day and drove around on our own. Perfect and relaxing. This island is incredibly beautiful. Moorea-get off the resort for fun-the rental car shack across the street was half price than the on-resort one, plus we kept it overnight free, while the resort one pickup was 2pm, and minimum 4 hr rental, but car had to be back by 5pm! Drive to Belevedere lookout! Walk to store just down street and get some snacks. 
  • Buy water at the grocery store – even restaurants charge 4-700 CFP for it.
  • a small “magasin” approximately 5 minutes away by walking (take a right onto the main road from the IC resort and the store will be on your right. Note: the store closes daily from 12-3pm for a break and is only open Sunday in the morning…)
  • Stock up on goodies at the grocery store for happy hour at the hotel....and buy any booze onboard....it is way cheaper and you get 10% off if you buy 3 bottles - 2 to take home and 1 to drink there!

  

 

 





 

689 is the Country Code that you call from the U.S. for those phone numbers. I looked in my address book for you. E-mail to Nani, Dr. Heirfara's wife. She is from Hawaii and attended University there (majoring in Dolphins). She has been very prompt and polite (excellent English) in e-mailing me with answers to all my questions. Lisa B. set this up on our Thread (4 Sept). Moorea Boat Tours is their name. Here is her address: E-mail: mooreaboattours@mail.pf

We actually booked ours online. It was in Moorea, not Bora Bora. We left the pier promptly at 10am. We got back around 1. The cost was $65usd. The owner Vincent was very good about responding to my emails. He carried us out. We each stayed down 25-30min. The time passed quickly. We had 9 on our boat. We went in a group of 5 then a group of 4. We could snorkel while the other group was down. We had a blast. He will feed the fish, stingrays and take photos for you too. I would use him and save $14 from the ship price so you can spend that at the little shopping area at the pier. Prices in Moorea are MUCH cheaper too. Enjoy your vacation in paradise. I went to gomoorea.com and found his email address under excursions

We did a 5 day postcruise stay on Moorea at the Beachcomber and surprisingly found a couple of really reasonable places to eat in Le Petit Village (about a 30 minute walk...we walked there and then took advantage of the free pearl place rides back to the hotel). Chez Capo for dinner and LeSylesie for breakfast. Everything is so incredibly expensive, especially at the hotel. Good pizza and quiche there though and not too badly priced. Miss Pizza across the street was really good too, but about the same price as the hotel. We also found a market about a 10 minute walk from the hotel to stock up on mix, juice and junk food (our evening appies..) We took advantage of buying our booze on the ship and then had our own little happy hour each night (there were six of us) The Hinano's in the bar and at the pool were around $4, but any fancy drinks were $11 - 12 or more (good but.....) Also got good deals on the transfers from the ferry through Albert Tours. We also took a couple of his tours while we were there and had a lot of fun.


Photo & Review Links
  • Photos of Moorea & IC plus Bora Bora & BB Nui
155 Captioned Photos from June '04 TP Sailing
  • Photos of Moorea and Sheraton Moorea here
http://www.storage1.tclean.com/

 

TP Cruise Photos
Tahitian Islands + Cook Islands
Great Tahaa Photos Plus
Lonely Planet Forum 
Tahiti Explorer Forum

 

Mutiny on the Bounty:  Two versions which were actually filmed in Tahiti. The 1962 version with Marlon Brando was filmed on Bora Bora, and the 1980-something version with a verrry young Mel Gibson was filmed on Moorea - called The Bounty (based on a different version of the story). 

 

Links, Tips & Black Pearls:
Tahiti's Islands Info Links:
Tahiti Travelers Tips:
  • Drink Bottled Water on the islands, not tap water, to err on the safe side.
  • If you're staying post or pre-cruise in an OWB, try the canoe breakfast - ONE TIME - during your stay, and once again order for ONE PERSON. (It is worth the pictures or video).
  • A 7:00 am canoe breakfast that we ordered the night before arrived right on time. The 3900 cfp cost was well worth it (ordered only for one person since we had read that it would be sufficient). The breakfast consisted of a glass of pineapple juice, a mouthwatering poisson cru served in a coconut shell, assorted croissants and breads, jams and jellies, butter, mixed fruit salad, and French-style pressed coffee. Clearly there was enough food for two people. What a treat to see a beautiful Tahitian couple arrive by canoe and deliver a perfect first breakfast in paradise. The Tahitian man paddling the canoe allowed my wife sit on the canoe as he paddled out a little so I could get a few pictures, all the while joking that he was going to steal my wife. If you can do this canoe breakfast at any of the resorts you stay at, I recommend you do it at least once for the photo opportunity if not for the tasty food.
  • Check to see if there are any French holidays falling on dates during your trip - we couldn't do any laundry on a Sat in Papeete b/c everything was closed for a French holiday (including the hotels' laundry services). And it's the capital city!
  • Don't expect fancy shopping or pristine surroundings or any kind of "night life". Once you step outside the resort hotels, you are essentially in a third world nation, and some things are a bit primitive. Learn to deal with it, or don't go. There are no clubs or discos or anything - everyone is in bed by 9:30 at night (and up at 5:30!)
  • watch out for some unexpectedly expensive things. A Hinano beer (great local bottled beer) in the Sheraton Tahiti was $3.50, but a glass of pineapple juice was $8.00!!
  • take along things like sunscreen (and lots of it - it's expensive too), bug spray, ziplocs, a flashlight, a sharp knife, and film. I had no trouble buying batteries, but had to go to 3 stores to find film and even then it was 200 speed. I never had to use my bug coils, but they are a good idea too - travel candles came in handy as well. Also, a pair of Speedo water shoes for walking around in the snorkeling areas is a good idea - protects you from coral cuts.
  • One thing I loved…a ice cream bar called Maxibon. Yummy! It’s made by Nestle, and I’ve never seen it in the U.S. I wish they sold it here!

  • Make sure to convert at least $50 dollars to CFPs per week, some banks charge extra fees that make their net exchange rate equal to hotels.

  • Brazil is a Tropical spot too, so on the first day on Moorea the sky looked cloudy to me. I use no sun protection and it was not a good idea. The Tahitian sun U.V. is really high plus the crystal water reflection, so take care. Use protection lotion even when it’s cloudy because the sun can show up anytime.

  • Nobody informed us before we went about the different climates of the
    Leeward society islands (Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Tahiti , etc.) and the
    Northern ones that include Rangiroa and Tikehau. The latter ones are flat
    atolls that are much dryer, sunnier and breezier and attract much less rainfall than the jungley mountainous islands to the South. Bora Bora was much more humid and rained 4 out of 5 days we were there. It seems there are always clouds hanging around the volcanic peaks, however picturesque they may be.

  • Bottom Line: don't go to French Polynesia for fine dining or shopping or
    action. But go for beauty, relaxation and ocean activities. We loved it!

  • They move waaaay slower than most US citizens are accustomed to. Get used to it, and you'll be fine. For those of you who want to get your drink on, I suggest ordering two at a time or else you may be waiting a while for refills.

  • Canadian travelers' cheques were fine--it saved me the exchange rate when I cashed in my extra ones back here.

  • Use your Visa where you can and use Francs everywhere else ( you can use dollars, but some places will make their own exchange rate which is usually not very good).

  • Tipping is not native to FP, but its becoming more popular. I felt weird not tipping, and left money where appropriate. No one refused it :)

  • Everything is really, really expensive. Be sure to budget and expect it or it could ruin your vacation. It wasn't a big deal for us because we prepared - however we never spend money like that in the States.

  • We didn't use the water floats that we took at all. We read they would be a good idea - didn't even blow them up to put in the water. Because you are on the equator and the water is saltier you float really easily.

  • Take your own mask and snorkel. It's a minimum investment - ours were so much better than what you could borrow from the hotel. We didn't need fins.

  • We always ordered room service breakfast for 1, it was plenty of food and cheaper than both of us going to the hotel restaurants to eat.

  • The humidity made my hair a mess. Bring a good conditioner.

  • Monoi Oil works for bug bites. I got one bite walking in the sand and remembered reading on this forum about using the oil so I put it on in the morning and at night. I sat outside every night and never got bit.

  • The seafood almost everywhere is fantastic...you MUST try Mahi Mahi in Vanilla Sauce and Shrimps in Coconut Curry Sauce somewhere( its on practically every menu)

  • Dinner is always $100-$140 each night

  • You DO NOT need a lot of clothes. We read this over and over but of course we over packed and as a result the luggage was too heavy (but it was probably our wine and vodka and the library of books we brought that we barely read, I only read 3! Girls, you can just wear a pareo and flip flops everywhere during the day. And maybe some shorts and tanks for the 4x4's…oh and a sweater for nighttime and possibly one pair of pants in case it rains.

  • The flight to Tahiti is long. Take a Benadryl or Tylenol PM and sleep until u get there.

  • They never serve coffee WITH dessert, it always comes AFTER dessert and its tiny.

  • Tahiti is expensive: dinner of shared appetizer and 2 entrees is at least $85 and that's without wine. We never exchanged money: Credit card works everywhere (tiny shops have wireless credit card machines!!), even US dollars accepted anywhere at rates better than resort exchanges. If you can't get over the prices, go somewhere else. It will bother you. No tax  compensates. And room service is the same price as restaurants.

  • US people are definitely the minority. Tahitians first, then French, and many could not really communicate in English (or Japanese for that matter), though they tried and it was fun to try to communicate, but if it had been important, forget it.

  • While there are no vaccines required to enter French Polynesia, the Center of Disease Control recommends Hepatitis A, Polio Booster, and Tetanus which is what we got 8 weeks before we left. Malaria is not present but Dengue Fever is, so watch those mosquitoes!!!  Just make sure your Tetanus is up to date (need one every 10 years) as coral cuts and scratches can turn nasty.

  • My few humble suggestions to future TP cruisers are to pack light, don't worry about exchanging currency-greenbacks worked in every shop, book reservations for the Steakhouse the first or second day because it sells out early, and be aware that on your last day aboard ship you can use the showers and changing room up in the Spa until around 5:30 PM. Its a much nicer way to travel especially since you need to vacate your cabin at 11:00 AM and after using the pool all day ,it was most welcome.

  • Be very careful around coral--nothing hurts more than a coral cut. Pack some Neosporin and Band-Aids just in case you cut yourself. Also liquid band aid stuff as regular band aids come off pretty fast in the water.

  • Diving gloves protect your hands from the coral.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Bring little gifts for children of the people who help make your stay more comfortable. I brought rafts, bubbles, frisbees, stickers and candy bars. After seeing the reaction these things that don’t mean much to us got I wish I would have brought allot more. I left the gifts on my last day there except for the stuff I left for the women who cleaned my room at the beach bungalow so I know the service I received had nothing to do with what they might get.  

    I loved shopping for pearls in Vaima. You have to check out the black pearls in Vaima Perles. Best place to buy high quality pearls, buy them loose and set them right there. I wasn't too impressed with Robert Wan or Sibani Perles or their salespeople.

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

Things I’m glad brought:

1) Zip Lock Bags: to keep baguette pieces dry while snorkeling
2) Swim Trunks with a 3rd velcro/zipper pocket to hold the baguettes (see above) while snorkeling
3) Snorkel Set from Costco: The US Diver’s snorkel set from Costco costs about $38 and includes a mask, fins, a dry top snorkel, and a very nice carry bag. We actually left the fins at home to save space in the luggage and opted to use the fins supplied by the resorts. The best part of the set had to be the dry top snorkel which kept the mouthpiece dry as a desert even in choppy water! The mask could have fit a little better but was totally fine for a “one size fit all” mask.
4) Sunscreen: the Coppertone SPF 45 from Costco costs about $8 and includes both a 12 oz. and 4 oz bottle and worked very well. A great value
5) Bug Spray: Make sure it has DEET! Be sure to apply BEFORE going out – especially on the 4x4 safari rides.
6) Eddie Bauer Sport bottle from Target: The 1 liter sized lexan bottle for $6 was a life saver. The wide mouth leak proof top made it easy to make and store Gatorade
7) Gatorade: Get a container of the dried powder from your local grocery store
8) His and hers small backpack: great for hauling water, sunscreen, bug spray on those excursions and bike rides
9) Plastic grocery bags to help re-arrange and store things in your luggage
10) Wide brimmed boonie hat: REI (www.rei.com) sells a nice unisex Dorfman Pacific Boonie hat with a hibiscus trim for $15 and is quite stylish!
11) Extra battery for the digital camera: The hot temperatures means that your digital cameras will lose their battery charge faster and having 2 fully charged batteries each day means no down time for picture. You can get replacement batteries from Ebay for cheap
J
12) Woolite: Bring a small bottle for doing light loads. You can bring a small rectangular plastic storage container which can serve as both a storage compartment in your luggage and a small wash basin.
13) Jan Prince's Book - Tahiti and French Polynesia Guide: A very handy reference and a fun read

 

don't expect fancy shopping or pristine surroundings or any kind of "night life". Once you step outside the resort hotels, you are essentially in a third world nation, and some things are a bit primitive. Learn to deal with it, or don't go. There are no clubs or discos or anything - everyone is in bed by 9:30 at night (and up at 5:30!)
- buy your black pearls either at a pearl farm, a local jeweller (not a store) or the Papeete Central market. There are lots to be found, so shop around. We got a fantastic huge peacock colored pearl at the market for half the price of the stores.
- watch out for some unexpectedly expensive things. A Hinano beer (great local bottled beer) in the Sheraton Tahiti was $3.50, but a glass of pineapple juice was $8.00!!
- take along things like sunscreen (and lots of it - it's expensive too), bug spray, ziplocs, a flashlight, a sharp knife, and film. I had no trouble buying batteries, but had to go to 3 stores to find film and even then it was 200 speed. I never had to use my bug coils, but they are a good idea too - travel candles came in handy as well. Also, a pair of Speedo water shoes for walking around in the snorkeling areas is a good idea - protects you from coral cuts.

 

plastic silverware, ziplock bags, your own snorkeling gear for the motu, bug coils, matches, candles, bug repelent, food knife, suntan lotion and an extra swimsuit because my shot off at moc 1 on beach (no big deal because everyone is topless).

 

Canadian Travellers cheques work fine

 

Bring plenty of water proof sun block - I have olive skin and don't burn easy. I GOT FRIED!
Go to the grocery store on the islands and stock up on water and other food items. Get a breakfast package so you only have to worry about buy dinner. (or the other way around)
Go on a shark feeding tour - If you like it, do it on both islands!
Go kiayaking - its free at most hotels
Get some bread to feed the fishes! They will take it from your hand.
Get reef shoes - nothing fancy $10 or less
There is very little night life on the islands, its more of a quiet peaceful, water lovers place!
Make sure room has A/C and/or overhead fan.
Don't be surprized to see bugs in the bungalow (even at the immaculet Sofitel Motu, I saw a single roach) Its a tropical island, thats just the way it is.
Learn a few words in tahitian and smile alot. - Mauruuru (Thankyou) Iaorana (Hello) - Most people at the hotels speak english and we had very little trouble communicating. A smile goes a long way over there and the people there are very friendly when given the respect they deserve.
Don't be alarmed if the french woman go topless. I know this was a hot toping on this board We saw maby 3 or 4 who decided to go topless (and none were good looking). I'm not a big fan of the french right now (incidently the natives don't seem to be big french fans either) but everyone got along great on the islands.
Use your visa where you can and use Franks everywhere else ( you can use dollars, but some places will make their own exchange rate which is usually not very good.

 

We flew to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui with a 1:00 pm departure out of LAX. We checked in at 10:00 am and walked around the duty free shop to pass some time before entering the secured boarding area.

 

Monoi oil good for bug bites

 

Air Tahiti plane was HUGE. We were in the middle aisle and we were getting more tired by the minute. They passed out Tiare flowers when i was already passed out, so i missed it. I woke up when they gave out little goodie bags with an Eye cover, earplugs, earphones for the movies and socks! They also have a cool footrest that u can adjust to make u more comfortable. The plane was kinda chilly but i beared it since i slept most of the way. They had 6 different movies playing continuously and we had 2 meals...not bad.

 

We arrived in LAX at about 11:20am and made our connection to the 1:00pm ATN with no problems. We checked our bags all the way through and rather than wait for the airport shuttle we made the 10 minute walk to the Tom Bradley Terminal. There were absolutely no lines and we even had time for duty free and ended up waiting at the gate to board our plane.

 

Don’t expect the service you receive from anyone to be exceptionally good. Tipping is not part of their culture and everything happens very slowly. You often have to ask for things 2 or 3 times before you get them. Expect each meal to take at least 1 hour. Dinner usually takes 2 hours.

 

Taxis usually cost $15 to get from the airport to town and we had a taxi driver chancing his arm at $25 to go back to the airport at 10pm.
You can store your bags while you go into town at the left luggage building in the parking lot of the airport. It cost us about $20 for 2 big bags, a rucksack and a carry-on bag.

 

Underwater cameras ( going to need more than one -- they are $35 over there in Moorea for the disposable ones.)
Zip lock bags (put bread for fishes, but digital camera in there so it doesnt get wet)
Sun tan lotion (better to have more than less)
Favorite music (5 radio stations on the island $25 for local music cd)

 

Onward to the check-in desk, and after receiving your boarding pass, you are still "free" in the airport to shop in the duty-free stores. If you drink alcohol, it's a good idea to stock up on it here at about 1/3 the price you will pay in Tahiti . They check your boarding pass and deliver your package to your gate when you board the plane. We shopped in the duty-free area outside security, and then went up the stairs to the food court to grab a bite to eat. The security line to the gate was rather long but this is not visible until you get behind the sign that tells you which gates to enter for. The line is winding but moves pretty swiftly. If you are bringing a laptop, take it out of the case to save everyone some time. We were told to be at the gate at 12:00, one hour before the flight, because ATN busses its passengers about a mile away to the plane. HOLD ON to an overhead rail during the ride!

 

Once onboard and up and away, ATN gives each passenger a Tiare flower to place in their ear (right for "available," left for "attached"). The plane smells like Tahiti before you are even in the air! They also serve two very decent meals onboard, offer 5 movies to watch during the flight, and serve FREE HINANO beer! On the downside, the seats are narrow, the under-the-seat storage is VERY limited, and some of the arms between the seats don't fold up. We noticed on the way back that the seats in the middle of the plane, as opposed to the two seats together on the aisle, appeared to have more leg room between the rows.

 

Things I learned on this forum that were confirmed:

Ř “Time” and “On-Time” take on a new perspective --- Except for the Flights, which all took off 10 – 15 minutes early.
Ř It doesn’t get cold.
Ř The place upstairs (inside security) at the PPT terminal is a good place to hang out while waiting for boarding.
Ř There is a bag check across the street at PPT.

Things I didn’t learn (or may have missed) on this forum:

Ř The A340 is the quietest airplane ever.
Ř There’s an air-conditioned snack bar (with a Hinano on tap) and restaurant on the second floor at PPT Airport (outside security).
Ř You don’t have to be to the PPT Airport 3 hours early. If you do, you wait outside in line. It’s hotter and stickier out there.
Ř Main Duty free at LAX is outside security. Small one near ATN gate.
Ř Customs and Immigration at PPT and LAX were a breeze.
Ř Tote and Float Rafts - Took but didn’t need or use – USJETS is very Buoyant in Saltwater.

 

We could put our roll-on suitcases on the Ono Ono Ferry to stow them and that way
we wouldn't be burdened with luggage. A very nice gesture! At 3pm we were on the ferry, which was very clean and comfortable (this is the Ono Ono) - it was a very smooth 30 minute journey to Moorea - very dramatic pulling into the bay there - the mountains rise behind the bay and you suddenly know you are in Tahiti.

 

 

Mozzie sprays and potions:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Buggspray." It's vanilla scented, 25% Deet, and keeps away the mosquitoes and no-nos too! It smelled and felt great, and I just ordered some today from www.buggspray.com. They offer free shipping and your order is processed through amazon.com.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2002 --- The results of the study were that DEET-based products provided the best protection with the longest duration. Higher concentrations of DEET provided longer-lasting protection. A formulation containing 23.8 percent DEET had a mean complete-protection time of 301.5 minutes

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Put your sunscreen on first (at least 1/2 hour before you're going out in the sun so it is absorbed by your skin). Just before you go out, apply the Buggspray. By then the sunscreen won't be affected by it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ketchup is waaay bad in Tahiti – bring your own if you are a ketchup afficianado

 

Smear the inside of your snorkel mask with toothpaste  & then rinse off thoroughly.  It will keep your mask from fogging up.

 

 



 

 

 

Don't feed the Roosters unless you want them waking you at 5AM each morning.
Air Tahiti Magazine has interesting articles, particularly about indigenous fish and plants.
Guide Books:
David Stanley
Jan Prince
French Polynesia Liquor Importation Limits: 2 Litres Per Person

Champagne is tres cher in FP.

Movies set in French Polynesia to get you in the mood:
  • "Love Affair" with Annette Bening + Warren Beatty
  • "Hurricane" with Mia Farrow
  • "South Pacific" (remake) with Glenn Close

 

 

 

 

http://www.janesoceania.com/tahiti_pearls/index.htm

Currency:

The local currency is the CFP -Central Pacific Franc- (the currency code is XPF).  The currency code actually comes from the original name - Cour . . .
Banks, located on each island and at Tahiti's International Airport generally give a slightly better rate of exchange than hotels.

In Tahiti, 2 extra foreign exchange offices are available: the Faaa International Airport office (from Monday to Friday from 7.30am to Noon and from 12.45pm to 4 pm as well as 1 hour before departures and after arrivals of international flights); and the Overseas Passenger wharf on the Papeete waterfront (open from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and from 7am to 1pm Sundays and holidays).
The following forms of payment are accepted: all legal bank notes, international credit cards, and travelers checks (an exchange commission is charged on the latter)

 

 

Black Pearls:
 

Pearls of Tahiti Buyers Guide

Black Pearl Gem Company - Moorea. It took me a long time to decide on something but my husband was unusually patient. I think it may have had something to do with Hinanos they kept giving him. Overall, our experience here was great and we were able to take advantage of their free shuttle, which allowed us time for lunch at the Iguana Café where we enjoyed some cheeseburgers and Hinanos. We also went to the grocery store and bought some drinks and snacks to take back to the hotel. After lunch and shopping, it was back to the Black Pearl Gem Company to get the free shuttle back to our hotel.

A Lesson - Black Pearls, 101: I now have a better handle on spotting Fresh Water Pearls (like the ones I wear now) vs. the Real Tahitian B.P:
1. SIZE, for one thing. 6mm would be a Large size for fresh water, whereas, for the Ta. B.P., they will Start at 6mm and go up to 15mm.
2. PRICE: The cost of a full string of TBP is, most likely, out of my range. I shall be searching for a Pendant and matching earrings.

I did not care for the pearls paired with yellow gold. They seem to be more well-matched using white gold. I also saw some rings set in Platinum, always with diamond designs. I don't care to get rings, however, because pearls are much too delicate to be in the garden dirt and dishwater that I so often frequent.


My Advanced Pearl Class will be complete if and when I visit the L.A. Jewelry Mart. I'll keep you updated. It was great fun yesterday, tiring; however, I really got a good education and some good buys on clothes.

Moorea - The other place
that I bought pearls was at the Artisan Gallery aka Lili's Shop. Very wonderful and
friendly New Zealand lady - very well priced pearls and this is a place that you can
go through a whole tray of them picking them out, weighing them and seeing how much they
are - no pressure, just a good, friendly feeling. I bought a full pearl necklace from
her as well as some loose pearls and a pair of earrings. Lovely lady.

Black Pearls: My mother and cousin bought it at Le Petit Village (MOOREA)but the best part to me was the free diet cokes, free internet acess and visited the neighbour Roonui Tattoo. Great arts but you need to book it 5 days before. We asked for someone on Papeete and he recommended the Marquesas Island ’s Brothers at the Papeete Market. We forgot that’s going to be Sunday and they were closed.

Island Fashion is on Moorea, and Bijouterie Tananu is near Papeete .

A friend of ours did a lot of pricing of Tahitian pearls on her trip to Tahiti . She has a very good eye regarding fine jewelry. The following are the places she felt had the best prices for pearls.

Bijouterie Tananu
Centre Commercial Tamanu
Tel 58.45.94


Island Fashion - Black Pearls
Ron Mall
BP 98 Maherepa
Tel 56.11.06

If you don't already know much about Tahitian pearls, you should learn a lot about them in Tahiti .

The color pearls we are looking for is Peacock, the more expensive color, which is green colored, or darker gray with a good green hue. We will be looking for those, round with very minor blemishes (maybe 1 larger blemish if 1/2 drilling will remove the blemish) and hope to find 13mm of this type under $100 US.

We may also pick up some slightly baroque pearls of graduated sizes from 9mm to 13mm for a necklace if we find a good price. Approximatley 30 pearls should make an 18 inch necklace if my math is right.
 

- buy your black pearls either at a pearl farm, a local jeweler (not a store) or the Papeete Central market. There are lots to be found, so shop around. We got a fantastic huge peacock colored pearl at the market for half the price of the stores

 

Gifts for Tahitians


Remember ~
if you are blessed, be a blessing to someone else!

Tonight, I went to Smart and Final for groceries and, although not on my List, I remembered that I need to buy Candy for the Children. Nani will probably bring her Little Whale (daughter) on our Moorea Dolphin ShorEx so I thought it would be nice to bring some gifts (with Mom's permission to eat it, of course). 

I wanted to get something that won't melt in my luggage. I have about 15 pounds of candy & gum. You know they sell those Huge Industrial-Size boxes at Smart and Final.

I bought M&M Minis - in the little tubes (24 tubes in a box), 48 tootsie rolls - 1-1/2 lb. (they are now square instead of round), 150 pieces of bubble-gum, and 36 Chick-O-Sticks ("crunchy peanut butter and toasted coconut candy"). Of course, I had to sample the 'Sticks'. Now I remember them from when I was a child - delicious. It may be too much to bring it all; however, I could sell it on the ship - LoL. 

Last request...
If you are staying at the
Sheraton we went to go eat at this place that right by there. When you come out of the Sheraton its the first place that sells pizza to the left. Its a family of 5. They are very poor they were able to get us pizza but didn't even have to offer us to drink. Luckily we had a bottle of water. They treated u with so much love and kindess that we just wanted to bless them and we did. We had brought Kool Aid from the states and bottled water and some other stuff like pop tarts and chocolate granola bars and we gave it to them and they took it like it was gold! So grateful! Also reading on the board we read that Gameboys are really big out there and you could use it probably to negotiate or barter or whatever, we just gave it to them so that her kids could enjoy it. Those kids faces just lit up! SO last request is that you go over there to her place and maybe not take a Gameboy but buy something from her little boutique of souvenirs, take her kids some kool aid from the states, some candy, clothes, anything. I'm sure they would greatly appreciate it.

Gifts for Tahiti discussion

 

French + Tahitian Language








Jour / Day : Mahana
Océan / Ocean : Moana
Perle noire / Black Pearl : Poe rava
Fęte / Feast : Tama'araa
Maison / House : Fare
Femme / Woman : Vahine

Homme / Man : Tane
Interdit / Fobidden : Tabu
Repas / Food : Ma'a
Danse / Dance : Tamure
Ile / Little Island : Motu
Fini / Finished : Oti

Learn to count, days of the week, names, where are you from, in both French and Tahitian. Learn colors in Tahitian for sure! You'll need them for the boat launch rides. Think blue, green, well, every color under heaven. The boat driver will love you! No, you don't need to, English is OK, but I encourage my fellow travellers to give it a try. The response is overwhelming. And smile. Tahitians love that.

French English Tahitian
Oui / Non Yes / No E / Aita
Bonjour Hello Ia Orana
Au Revoir Goodbye Nana
Merci Thank You Maruru
Salut   Greetings Manava
Bienvenue Welcome
Maeva
Fini Finished  Oti

 

 


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