Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Fabulous Cruise Through French Polynesia on the m/s Paul Gauguin (Bora Bora Day 2)

The m/s Paul Gauguin (left) in Bora Bora
Bora Bora is a small island - only 22 miles around - but is such an amazing  tropical playground I could stay there forever!  Thankfully, the Gauguin itinerary stays in Bora Bora for two full days!  There are an abundance of amazing shore excursions on Bora Bora and I do recommend you do them all!!!  Diving, snorkeling, jeep safaris, shark feeding....  all unforgettable! 

A lovely view from the beach
And of course, these are all activities that you can include on your HoneyLuna honeymoon registry ( or your Paul Gauguin honeymoon registry ( I highly recommend taking pictures of the two of you enjoying the activity or shore excursion and that your friends purchased for you as your wedding gift and sending it to them in a "thank you" note when you return home. Your friends will love seeing you having such a good time on your honeymoon cruise on the Paul Gauguin!

Bora Bora Beach Day
The diving and the snorkeling are fabulous in Bora Bora so definitely if you are into water, make a snorkel and dive trip happen.  One of my favorite land activities is the jeep safari.  This is really a great way to see the island, have some fun and more importantly, get to higher elevation so you can see from up high the stunning amazing spectacular views of the Bora Bora lagoons.  There really is nowhere else like Bora Bora on earth!  Click here to see your shore excursion choices
A couple enjoys the motu beach

Another option to kick back and relax is to take the tender to the Gauguin's private beach on a motu in Bora Bora.  The Gauguin has a private, lovely white sand beach on the motu with spectacular views back to the main island and Mont Pahia and Mount Otemanu.  You can enjoy a shore excursion in the morning and relax on the beach in the afternoon.  There are limited services on the beach but you can still enjoy a refreshing beverage as you soak up the sun, snorkel, relax and thank your lucky stars you are in paradise!
This is paradise!

The m/s Paul Gauguin leaves Bora Bora tonight.  You cruise out of the magficent lagoon just as the sun sets.  I promise you, you will never forget your two days in Bora Bora! 

Tomorrow, Moorea Day 1.....

Definitely not Iowa!
If you need help booking your Paul Gauguin cruise or your stay at the Intercontinetal Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa, please email us at info (at) and we will connect you with one of our expert travel agent partners to help you!

Register for your honeymoon!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Fabulous Cruise through French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin (Motu Monday and Bora Bora)

Cruising into Taha'a
 I must confess, this was my second time cruising through Tahiti on the m/s Paul Gauguin.  (The first time was in 2001 and I loved it so much I knew I had to come back!)  So I already knew that my favorite day was "Motu Monday".  Motu Monday is a "Robinson Caruso" kind of day, spent on Paul Gauguin's private island just off of Taha'a. 

Cruising to Taha's (Bora Bora in back)
To get there, we pulled up anchor in Raiatea and cruised slowly over to Taha'a.  No matter where you look, the scenery is amazing.  On one side of the ship you can look over to see Bora Bora in the distance.  On the other side, you see the beautiful island of Taha'a.  It is so beautiful, it's actually almost impossible to understand and believe that it's real!
Paul Gauguin's Motu!!
There are several shore excursions on Taha'a, and it is possible to enjoy a shore excursion and also spend time on the motu! (Click here to see PG's shore excursions! ) Since I had been here before, I opted to do just a full day on the motu.  And a full day is not long enough!!  The motu is staffed with Paul Gauguin's gracious employees, who bring you water, cook you lunch, mix cocktails, serve you coconut water in coconuts, offer you kayaks.... it's just truly an amazing, enjoyable day!

Vow renewal on Motu!
 One couple had opted to enjoy their vow renewal (after 17 years!) on the Motu.  The Paul Gauguin staff can arrange weddings or vow renewals on the ship or several different places / choices throughout the cruise.  The motu of course is the perfect place for that wedding or vow renewal in paradise!  The ship's captain and the cruise director performed the ceremony -- and of course the staff did an amazing job of setting up the "venue". 

Happy Couple!
After the ceremony, they enjoyed cake and champagne before taking that celebratory dip in the South Pacific!!  What better way to "seal" your commitment?!

Strolling around the motu!

The Stunning Intercon Thalasso

It might be a slight exaggeration to say I cried shamelessly when we left the motu, but I was clearly very sad!  However, Bora Bora was our next stop (2 days!)  so at least I had something to look forward to!   We planned a day to the stunning Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa.  This is also a day trip you can book as a shore excursion.  The resort is all over the water villas and offers stunning views wherever you are! 

The pool and beach.

The resort truly is a paradise and again, their amazing Concierge (Laure Salabert) and her team go out of their way to make your stay as spectacular as possible. And oh my goodness, the Spa.....

View from the Wedding Chapel
The Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa is also a fabulous place for a wedding or vow renewal.  There are several places on the property to get married on the beach with a view, or they have a stunning chapel built out over their lagoon....again with amazing views.  The team will put together an unforgettable service to say your "I Do's" in paradise. 

I can't say enough about this property.... and... if time and budget allow, I highly recommend actually adding a few extra days pre or post cruise for a stay at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa.  It will truly be some of the best days of your lives!!!

And I forgot to mention, the Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa also has a honeymoon registry where you can register for the items and activities of your honeymoon at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa as your wedding gifts!  Check it out!

For more information on the Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa you can visit their site at

Tomorrow's post.... Day 2 Bora Bora. 

If you need help booking your Paul Gauguin cruise or your stay at the Intercontinetal Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa, please email us at info (at)  and we will connect you with one of our expert travel agent partners to help you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Fabulous Cruise Through French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin! (boarding the ship and Sunday Raietea)

The m/s Paul Gauguin doesn't leave Papeete until 10 p.m. Saturday night.  Our flight landed in Tahiti at 5 a.m.!  After clearing immigration we grabbed a cup of coffee, got some French Pacific Francs (there is both an ATM and a money changing machine at the airport), rented a car and hit the road to explore the island.

Beautiful water lily
Driving on Tahiti is very easy -- and you really can't get lost.  It's worth it to rent a car and spend the day exploring this gorgeous island.  Being an avid wannabe surfer, we set out immediately for Teahupoo - the legendary surf spot on Tahiti Iti.  It is literally at the "end of the road" and just a gorgeous paradise.  The day we were there, the surf was small.  Plus the break is about 1/4 mile from shore - so we didn't see much, but at least I can say I've been there!

Black sand beach on Tahiti
After Teahupoo, we drove to the lookout at the Taravao Plateau.   Not only do you drive through a gorgeous plain, the panoramic views form the top are breathtaking.  Highly recommend this side trip!  We continued our drive around Tahiti Nui to the black sand beach near Tiarei - this is also a great place to hike / explore "Les 3 Cascades".

 Moorea from Intercontinental Tahiti
We ended our day of exploring with a stop at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort. This is a large, lovely property with stunning views over the pool to the island of Moorea.  We enjoyed an ice cold Hinano as we relaxed in the sun, absorbed the ambience and counted our blessings that we were in Tahiti!

The lovely m/s Paul Gauguin
Now it was time to board our home for the next 7 days, the m/s Paul Gauguin!  We dropped our car at the airport  (total rental by the way was about $60 USD - well worth it if you're up to exploring on your own!) and took a taxi to the port.  There the m/s Paul Gauguin stood proudly, looking luxurious and elegant, waiting for her next group of passengers to dazzle!

Our beautiful stateroom
We were just a few minutes early to board but no matter - the crew was already there to provide service.  They welcomed us warmly,  offered us cold water and tagged our luggage.  They seemed genuinely happy to see us!

A balcony stateroom is a MUST!

As you can see, the staterooms are gorgeous!  They are roomy, well appointed, plenty of storage and offer large bathrooms will a full tub/shower.  I encourage you all, to definitely book a stateroom with a balcony!  Yes, it does cost more, but it is worth it!  We spent lots of time relaxing on our balcony.  Being early risers we were up with the sunrise about 5:30 and have coffee delivered to us every morning to enjoy on our balcony while we soaked up the view and started our day!

By using HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry  (  or Paul Gauguin's honeymoon registry )  you can let your friends and family buy pieces of your Paul Gauguin honeymoon as your wedding gift and have those additional funds to pay for a balcony stateroom!

Exploring Raiatea
Saturday night we "set sail" or technically, began motoring / cruising to Raiatea.  When we awoke Sunday morning, we were still several hours from Raiatea but could already see it in the distance rising from the Pacific.  It was so beautiful watching the island as we got closer and closer... Although not a touristy island / as well visited as others in French Polynesia, Raiatea is a lush, beautiful island and I LOVE IT!  

Raiatea is called "The Sacred Island".  It was the first island settled by Polynesians and is considered the cradle of Polynesian culture.  My favorite shore excursion on this island is the combo Faaroa River cruise
with the jeep safari (which also takes you to the Taputapuatea Marae).  One of the great things about cruising on the m/s Paul Gauguin is that it does visit some of the smaller islands and you do get to spend a lot of time on each island - which gives you plenty of time to do some shore excursions as well as to explore on your own if you wish!

Local dancer welcomes us!
After our day of exploring, we stopped by the Grand Salon for a Polynesian Dance Show  / Welcome put on by a local dance troupe.  The children were lovely, charming and gracious and the show really put us in the mood!!  I even got up on stage and danced a bit.... I might have blown my back out trying to swing my hips like these girls but it was really fun!!

Let me just say that for each and every night on the cruise we enjoyed the MOST amazing dining experience!  The food was wonderful, the wines magnificent, and the service was just spectacular.  So I won't go into a lot of detail about what we ate (there's really not enough room!) but suffice it to say, it was all great.  The dinners are a la carte (no buffets!) with a wide range of excellent choices.  Also, I will say that I'm a vegetarian -- and I had so much to choose from that it was never a problem for me.  My cruise mates enjoyed the fish and meat dishes and assured me they were fabulous as well!

Next post, Motu Monday!  (My favorite!!!)

Take a look at the amazing / fun / adventurous shore excursions offered by the m/s Paul Gauguin   Of course you can include the shore excursions in your HoneyLuna honeymoon registry!!  Your family and friends will love purchasing for you these fantastic experiences that you will cherish for a life time!

If you would like help booking your Paul Gauguin honeymoon cruise, please email us at info (at)   and we will refer you to one of our preferred travel agents!

Start your honeymoon registry now!  Visit HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry  (  or Paul Gauguin's honeymoon registry )

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Fabulous Cruise Through French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of cruising through Tahiti and Her Isles on the m/s Paul Gauguin. What a fabulous 7 days it was!  And I couldn't help but think, EVERY honeymoon couple should be spending their honeymoon doing exactly this!

If French Polynesia is heaven on earth (and it is!) then the Paul Gauguin is the vehicle that gets you there!

The best part is, you can use either HoneyLuna's Honeymoon Registry (   and select the Paul Gauguin registry template (when registering and selecting your destination, go to Cruises - Paul Gauguin and you'll see the available itinerary registries) or you can use Paul Gauguin's site for their honeymoon registry.  With the Paul Gauguin Honeymoon Registry, gift monies go to the ship for on-board credit to use for the shore excursions and spa treatments that are purchased for you.  Check out their honeymoon registry site at: 

In addition to using the honeymoon registry to receive pieces of your m/s Paul Gauguin honeymoon as your wedding gift, the m/s Paul Gauguin is the best value in French Polynesia!  It is truly truly ALL INCLUSIVE!  If you want room service, it's included!  If you want glasses of champagne every afternoon at La Palette after your busy day of sightseeing, it's included!  The food is amazing, the wine list is fabulous and the staff and service will and do make you feel so special!

I will be posting a "day by day" review of our cruise with pics -- I highly encourage you to check back for each day's update and to share this great experience with me!  If you haven't yet decided on your honeymoon location, do check this out -- PG Cruises has some great deals going for 2012!

If you would like help booking your honeymoon cruise on the m/s Paul Gauguin, please email us at info (at) and we will get you in touch with one of our travel agent partners to assist you!