Beverly Hills, California Travel Agent
A French Polynesia Cruise
Beauty everywhere you look. This is what I remember most about the South Pacific as I cruised around French Polynesia. I had the opportunity to cruise there with Oceania Cruises a few years ago and I can't recommend the destination enough, whether you go on a cruise or a resort-based vacation. It is easy to understand why so many people go there on honeymoons but it can be a wonderful vacation for singles, friends, and families.
Cruising is an easy way to see a number of the islands. The one I took began and ended in Papeete, Tahiti which is a cute town. The nicest hotels are large resort-style properties located a bit outside the town itself. I stayed at Le Meridien and can't recommend it enough. It was relaxing, rooms were spacious, and the service was incredible.
From personal experience, I can also highly recommend Oceania Cruises as a great way to see number of islands. The ships are smaller than what many typically think of for a cruise ship. Regatta for example has only 684 guests and a staff of 400. This guest/crew ratio is evident in the exceptional service you receive on board. And, if food is your thing, this is the cruise for you. Their "burger bar" specialty is a filet mignon with a lobster tail on top. A sensible poolside snack! The cruise sailed from Papeete and included stops at the French Polynesian islands of Moorea, Rangiroa and Bora Bora.
Each island has its own special beauty. Some are tall peaks, shrouded in jungle; others are low coral atolls, ideal for snorkeling, diving and glass-bottom boat tours. In Bora Bora, I highly recommend buying a day pass for one of the resorts in the area to enjoy a nice meal and dip in the ocean. The ship can set it up for you or you can make plans ahead of time. I chose the Sofitel which has a private island and beach area. You can go in a group for less than $100 per person for the day. If you are taking a land based vacation and staying overnight there, consider one of the overwater villas. They offer a unique experience that people usually rave about, especially if you are looking for a romantic experience.
Whether cruising or staying at resorts, French Polynesia offers a number of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from snorkeling through pristine coral reefs and picnicking on a private motu (small island) to petting a sting ray and snorkeling among (harmless) sharks. If you’re looking for an exotic tropical destination, let’s talk about French Polynesia!