By Henri Komrij
Guest Henri Komrij and his wife Laura have sailed on the m/s Paul Gauguin twice and planned an upcoming trip. Komrij shares highlights from his voyages and what he has planned for his third cruise.
Once in a Lifetime
My wife Laura and I planned our “once-in-lifetime” trip to French Polynesia. Prior to our voyage in November 2014, we decided to spend three days in Moorea at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa in a beach bungalow. We absolutely loved spending time here enjoying the beach, the pools, and the property facilities. After our cruise, we stayed four days at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa in an overwater bungalow with amazing views of Mt. Otemanu and the azure lagoon. We loved the ray-feeding time at the resort, which was in the lagoonarium. It is a protected ocean habitat for local marine life and home to more than 200 species of sea creatures. At 2 p.m. each day, you can meet the resident stingrays, which swim right up to the shore to interact with hotel guests.
Of course, the centerpiece of our trip was the seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We wanted to do something special and opted for the private dinner for two on the ship’s marina in Bora Bora. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the cruise. The evening started with a private sunset cruise in the lagoon with canapes and Champagne. A fantastic private dinner followed with menu dishes from La Veranda, wine pairings, and a personal waiter. It was a night we will never forget.
We enjoyed so many other wonderful activities during the cruise, as well. Here are some highlights:
- SCUBA diving in Bora Bora and Moorea. The Gauguin’s dive team is so welcoming and helpful. They make the entire experience outstanding.
- The Aito Off-Road Safari shore excursion in Moorea offers great views, including the Belvedere lookout and the pineapple plantations, and visits the Fruit Juice Factory and Distillery of Moorea.
- The Lagoon Discovery with Snorkeling shore excursion in Moorea features snorkeling between two little motus where rays and sharks swim. It was the best snorkeling I have experienced.
- The Circle Island by Waverunner shore excursion in Bora Bora; there’s nothing like it.
- Relaxing on the pool deck enjoying the “drink of the day” (or several of them) served by the outstanding crew.
- Dinner at La Veranda and L’Etoile with the best service anywhere and excellent food.
- On deck, viewing the beauty of the sunset with a Mai Tai.
- Watching the wonderful entertainment aboard the ship including the local dance groups of French Polynesia.
Twice as Nice
That brings us to our “second trip in a lifetime” to French Polynesia. After falling in love with the experience aboard The Gauguin, we found that seven nights were just too short. So we opted for 10-night Society Islands & Tumatous voyage. The SCUBA diving on this itinerary was phenomenal.
Throughout this cruise and the previous one, Laura and I spoke all the time about how much we’d love to show our three daughters French Polynesia and The Gauguin. Our family loves the beach, the ocean, and the tropics. When a cruise specialist helped plan our first trip, I was on speaker phone, and our oldest daughter heard the entire conversation—and since then she has wanted to take the cruise.
Third Time’s a Charm
And we just booked another voyage aboard The Gauguin for May 2018—our third trip of a lifetime. This time, we’re going with our three daughters as well as our two new sons-in-laws. We can’t wait! When making our reservation, we asked if Paul Gauguin Cruises could mail us three brochures to wrap and give to our daughters as gifts. The company offered to send us a large poster that we wrapped and used to surprise them with. The kids were thrilled!
For this next trip, we’ve decided to renew our vows on Motu Mahana, which is one of the most memorable places we have been to. We are always the first ones on the tender to this private island paradise and the last ones to leave. Our kids will be with us, and we will be celebrating our 31st anniversary. We are so happy to share this upcoming voyage with them. Cruising aboard The Gauguin in French Polynesia is the perfect family vacation.
To view a list of Paul Gauguin Cruises shore excursions, click here.
For more information about the Private Dinner on the Ship’s Marina in Bora Bora, click here.
To learn more about out pre- and post-cruise hotel options, click here.
To find out about our vow renewal and wedding ceremony packages, click here.