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Paul Gauguin - Review

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Cruise Ship: Paul Gauguin
Cruise Line: Paul Gauguin Cruises
Ship Rating: 8.6/10
Destination: South Pacific - All

By Vacationv
2014-07-16 22:08:47

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Ship Review: Before you read this, let me remind you that you can I just produced a 15-minute slide/video of a compilation of our TWO Paul Gauguin cruises. The show includes the 14 day Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands cruise and then we came back for more with the 13 day Tahiti to Fiji cruise.

Here is the link: http://youtu.be/h-nyiGr8VsU

This should give you a nice overview of what you will see, including a look at our pre and post cruise stays at the Hilton Resorts in Moorea and Nadi, Fiji.

If you enjoy and find it helpful, please give it a "Like" on YouTube and feel free to pass it along to others who may be considering Paul Gauguin.

Now to my review of our latest cruise from Papeete to Nadi in May, 2014.

You know there is something special about a ship when almost half of the 280 passengers are repeaters on a cruise line that sails very limited itineraries.

This was our second time sailing on the Paul Gauguin in four years. First we did a two week Tahiti, Society Islands/Marquesas itinerary. This May we wanted to see some new ports. We booked one way from Papeete to Fiji- 13 night itinerary, cut short a night by crossing the International Date Line.
We have been frequent Celebrity cruisers but as we get more seasoned traveling the world, we are scaling down to smaller ships like the Paul Gauguin, Seabourn.

There is nothing better than visiting a small village or port on a small ship. The alternative is disembarking with hoards of thousands of people from multiple Goliath ships.

Paul Gauguin does it right. The service is TOP NOTCH. It’s on par with the attention to detail we saw on Seabourn. In the dining venues, waiters made a point to get to know our name, our preferences and they made us feel special.
We especially like the country club casual dress code. As crazy as it may sound, we wouldn’t be opposed to shorts or jeans. We are simply not formal night folks and not having to dress up on our vacation is very appealing.

Food choices were wide and the quality was outstanding. If improvement could be made, we recommend more variety at their lunchtime menu, as the same menu and warmed over buffet offerings became tiresome. But for sure, Paul Gauguin is on target at breakfast and dinner. The food is fresh, well presented, portioned just right and delicious. The service gets high marks.

We upgraded to a larger verandah cabin (807- forward) and were very happy with the comfortable bed and ample storage and balcony area. If you are susceptible to sea sickness, pick a cabin mid-ship and an itinerary with fewer sea days. The Paul Gauguin rides well in gentle lagoons. She was built to sail the shallow blue waters of French Polynesia. She is prone to motion in open waters. I highly recommend the latest versions of the Transdermal sea-sick patches which are very effective these days compared to the earlier versions years ago.

We read reviews that some cabins were noisy and hot. We did NOT find that to be the case. Noise levels in the aft will likely diminish after the ship’s scheduled dry dock early this summer. Reportedly engine repairs are planned to alleviate a strong vibration which plagues the aft dining venues and cabins. The ship underwent a $7 million refurbishment in 2012, and we found her to be in great condition and well maintained.

While the television programming was limited and repetitive, including too much FOX News, the Guest Relations desk provided FREE DVDs of movies, which was a welcome addition to the onboard entertainment. Overall, entertainment was not memorable. Les Gauguines, local heritage singers and dancers, were as always, a wonderful addition to the cruise. The cruise director, Steve Wood, was seldom seen and his stage show was dated and “lounge-lizard like. A guest singer from France did not measure up to professional status and some walked out early in each of his shows. He just wasn’t a good singer. Surprisingly, the Filipino band and singer also fell flat. Their playlist of was dated and repetitive and their musical skills need some work. This was the first band from the Philippines I’ve heard that wasn’t very good.

The lectures were interesting and enjoyable. We knew the evening shows would be lackluster on a small ship so we opted to watch movies in our cabin. HELPFUL HINT: We always download movies on my laptop before we cruise and bring our own HDMI cable from home. Many ships at sea today have a port in the back of the TV to plug in a HDMI cable, which plugs into your laptop or video player. Bringing your own movies guarantees you’ll have handpicked video entertainment if you are not big party person late nights. If you aren’t familiar with an HDMI cable, ask your kids or seek the advice of a salesman at a big box electronics store. A cheap cable should cost you less than $30 or you can bring one from your TV at home.

We especially like the “all inclusive” atmosphere on this ship. Fares include all gratuities, most alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and all of the fine dining venues. It’s anytime dining on this ship with complimentary 24-hour room service and water sports.

After sailing two different itineraries, we much preferred the beautiful and unforgettable islands of Tahiti, The Society Islands and Marquesas. Fiji, The Cook Islands and Tonga were interesting and pretty, but just don’t match the “life changing” beauty of French Polynesia.

Make sure you add a day or two pre or post cruise and stay at one of the over-water resorts in Tahiti. We booked two nights at the Hilton on Moorea. I highly recommend their lagoon rooms which are built over the water and offer incredible views. Food is pricey but not unexpected when booking a remote property. This is bucket list stuff for sure.

The average age on our cruise was probably 65, but we were delighted to see some younger couples and professional people that made for a fun cruise. Personally, I think kids would be restless on this ship, without the usual kid’s club type of facilities.

The tender system was efficient and timely. We booked our own activities so I can’t comment on the ship’s tours. We prefer to “do our own thing” which grants us the freedom to tour on our on schedule.

We usually find it’s less expensive to make our own arrangements. When we are tired and ready to call it a day, we simply ask the driver to take us back to the ship rather than being part of a captive audience on a motor coach.

Paul Gauguin is not a cheap cruise, but it is worth every dollar spent. If you have the financial means, book a Business Class seat on Air Tahiti Nui or Fiji Air. They have nice service and it’s much more comfortable up front. This cruise line frequently offers discounts off of their brochure rates. It’s worth the investment for a voyage you will never forget. Like I said in the beginning- many on our cruise were sailing Paul Gauguin for the second or third time. They obviously have enjoyed the experience too.

Next stop-Celebrity Infinity round trip from Buenos Aires –Antarctica in February, 2015. Can’t wait for our next experience at sea!
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
8.6/108.5/109.5/108.5/1010/1010/105/10
This user recommends this cruise ship

Ventura - Review

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Cruise Ship: Ventura
Cruise Line: P&O Cruises
Ship Rating: 9.4/10
Destination: Mediterranean - All

By Rhein
2014-07-05 18:10:24

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Ship Review:
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
9.4/1010/1010/109/1010/109/108.5/10
This user recommends this cruise ship

SuperStar Aquarius - Review

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Cruise Ship: SuperStar Aquarius
Cruise Line: Star Cruises
Ship Rating: 3/10
Destination: Asia

By Tatsulee
2014-06-08 20:17:34

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Ship Review: Worst cruise experience ever. Staff was ok, English speaking staff was more courteous than the Chinese speaking ones. They do need to train staff to at least acknowledge guests when they see them and not sit, smoke, and hang out in the hallways. The food was ok, but scarce, not much selection. They closed restaurants exactly on time even when there were guests in line, which was worse because they decide to close half the buffet early so everyone is crammed in one line. The lines in the ship are the worst. First thing you do when you board is stand in a four story high line to get a number to have a chance to reserve a table for the gala dinner. Then you sit in the theater for another two hours to actually be able to reserve that table (all the while the ship is leaving the port and there is sail away party on the top deck that nobody attends due to this dinner reservation madness). The safety training is a joke, most people do not attend because of the dinner reservation line, the ones that are there do not have the life vests, and the trainers are just going thru the motions. Then there are more lines to be able to meet with immigration and leave the ship, then even more lines to get your passport back.
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
3/103/104.5/104/102/101/103.5/10
This user does not recommend this cruise ship

Navigator of the Seas - Review

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Cruise Ship: Navigator of the Seas
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Ship Rating: 9.5/10
Destination: Caribbean - Western

By Moose
2014-05-21 10:52:11

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Ship Review: We had a wonderful time onboard the Navigator last week. We were met by almost an entire crew of smiling faces (one gentleman needs a lesson in customer service but that seemed to be an isolated case and not a pervasive issue on the ship so I did not mark off for service).

The food in the main dining room was excellent. The ship gets full marks for its selection and the quality of the food. However the food and service in the Windjammer were extremely lacking. We may have been spoiled with an above average buffet on our previous cruise because this did not meet the standard of even budget buffets on land. We were only visited by one crew member who gladly brought us coffee on our first day while we were in port, but after that there was no real drink service to be seen. Coupled with almost no difference in menu between days we avoided the Windjammer completely after the second day. If the buffet and main dining could be given individual ratings, the Windjammer would probably score a five or below.

Overall a marvelous ship that I was able to comfortably transport my disabled father across and off in our ports of call with ease. I would highly recommend this ship to new cruisers.
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
9.5/1010/109/109/1010/109/1010/10
This user recommends this cruise ship

Disney Dream - Review

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Cruise Ship: Disney Dream
Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line
Ship Rating: 8.3/10
Destination: Bahamas

By Lita74
2014-04-12 07:33:25

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Ship Review: This was our first cruise and it exceeded our expectations. This is a first - class operation that caters to both the young and old!
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
8.3/1010/100/1010/1010/1010/1010/10
This user recommends this cruise ship

Celebrity Century - Review

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Cruise Ship: Celebrity Century
Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
Ship Rating: 0.8/10
Destination: Pacific Coastal

By Sarahharris818
2014-04-03 01:51:49

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Ship Review: I would like to preface this review by saying that my husband and I are avid travelers and cruisers and we are not the complaining type. If you look at my reviews on this site and other sites, I tend to never leave bad reviews. Our experience has to be pretty bad in order for us to even think about leaving a bad review and this experience fits the criteria.

My husband and I had a terrible experience on our recent Pacific Coast cruise on the Celebrity Century Ship. The first issue had to do with our luggage. We boarded the ship and while all of the other passengers received their luggage, we were informed that ours could not be found. The concierge explained that perhaps it had been delivered to another room on our floor or it might be on a completely different floor entirely. My medication and all of my valuables were in my suitcase, and we would have had to leave the cruise at our next port if they didn’t locate it. After 2 hours of complete panic, we were notified that our bag was found.

On the same night we notified the front desk that our television wasn’t working. They said that they would have someone come up to the room right away to fix it and the man explained that it was too big of an issue to fix that evening so he would send someone by the next morning to switch out the TV. Unfortunately, by the third day the issue still hadn’t been addressed.

Initially when we booked our cruise, we selected our time and seating for the main dining room on the ship. We selected a table for 4 people, for my husband and I and our two friends. When we arrived for our dinner, my husband and I were escorted to a table for 6 with 4 people we didn’t know already sitting down. We explained the situation to the host and he brought us to the dining manager and we sat with him for 20 minutes so that he could rectify the situation. Once they handled our seating arrangements, the 4 of us were seated at a 10-person table because they didn’t have any smaller tables available. My husband and I, along with our 2 friends were less than impressed with the food. We each ordered different appetizers, entrees, and deserts and we all agreed that the food was pretty terrible.

The ship itself is extremely outdated and has its own old moldy distinct smell. You really couldn’t escape it and I understand that the ship is old, but if you’re going to keep an old ship in operation, I think it’s worth taking better care of it. In addition to the smell, many areas of the ship looked dirty and neglected.

The food on the ship in the main dining room, in the buffet and in their specialty restaurant, Murano, was awful. In the main dining room, everything looked and tasted like a TV dinner. In the specialty restaurant Murano, the food was so loaded with salt and cream that my husband felt sick and we ended up leaving before they could even bring out our entrees. The buffet was probably the best food that the ship had to offer and that’s really not saying much. It seemed to be the safest in terms of taste and appearance.

On the third night the water was extremely choppy and my husband was vomiting in the bathroom for the majority of the night. While I was walking around the ship that evening, it was a ghost town and the people that were out and about were complaining about how rocky the boat was and staff members even put barf bags in each of the elevators in case the passengers couldn’t make it to their bathroom.

Considering how sick my husband was feeling and how bad the cruise was going, we figured we had to get off the boat and just be done with the cruise. We decided to pack our things and exit in San Francisco. When we spoke with the front desk staff, we were told to speak with Aelred Almeid (the ship’s documentation officer). We told him about our situation and he explained that we would each have to pay a $300 fine if we wanted to exit the ship. I was in complete shock and Aelred said that he would talk with Cameron Robertson (the guest relations manager) and explain the situation to him and call us back in our room. Aelred called about an hour later and told us to come and speak with Cameron Robertson. When we explained our situation to him, I started to break down in tears because I was just so upset about everything we had been through up to this point. Cameron was extremely cold and told my husband and I that it was too bad and there wasn’t anything he could do. He didn’t offer us any alternatives, any compensation, but most of all any compassion.

Even if there wasn’t anything Cameron could do about the penalty fees, he could have at least shown my husband and I some compassion. He looked at me and said in a cold rude tone, “well your husband looks fine now.” When I told him he was being very cold and rude to us he said, “well if you want to leave, just leave.”

If this is how Celebrity Cruises treats their passengers, I want nothing to do with them. My husband and I love every cruise line we’ve ever been on…Norwegian, Princess, and Holland America. Our Celebrity Cruise on the Century was the cruise from hell. To put someone in charge of guest relations that could care less about an experience as bad as ours was a HUGE mistake. I wouldn’t recommend this cruise line to anyone and due to this experience, I will never cruise with them in the future.

Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
0.8/101.5/101.5/100.5/100.5/100.5/100.5/10
This user does not recommend this cruise ship

Celebrity Constellation - Review

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Cruise Ship: Celebrity Constellation
Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
Ship Rating: 8.8/10
Destination: Bahamas

By Riverstraveler
2014-03-30 18:54:41

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Ship Review: Celebrity Constellation is a large ship. Although the amenities are limited, only has several pools and a ball court, the pools are very nice. There is a therapeutic heated pool in a solarium. The food was very good and service was exceptional.

The itinerary, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, Nassau, Bahamas, Key West, Florida,was layed back and relaxing.
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
8.8/1010/1010/107/1010/1010/106/10
This user recommends this cruise ship

Elation - Review

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Cruise Ship: Elation
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Ship Rating: 6.1/10
Destination: Caribbean - Western

By Riverstraveler
2014-03-30 18:48:13

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Ship Review: Carnival Elation is an older ship. It doesnt have the amenities of the new Carnival Ships. The service was good. The food was good. Most of the shows were limited to space and timing, depending on dining room seating time.

The itinerary, Western Caribbean, New Orleans, Louisiana, Progreso and Cozumel, Mexico, had limited excursions.
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
6.1/106/106/104/107.5/107.5/105.5/10
This user recommends this cruise ship

Carnival Valor - Review

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Cruise Ship: Carnival Valor
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Ship Rating: 8.4/10
Destination: Caribbean - Southern

By Riverstraveler
2014-03-30 18:37:59

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Ship Review: Carnival Valor was a very clean ship. The food was average. Service was ok.

The itinerary, Southern Caribbean, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten, was exceptional. The excursions were excellent.
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
8.4/1010/1010/106.5/108/109/107/10
This user recommends this cruise ship

Navigator of the Seas - Review

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Cruise Ship: Navigator of the Seas
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Ship Rating: 7.8/10
Destination: Transatlantic

By Garysevy
2014-03-30 12:49:02

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Ship Review: Service was disappointing. We were told that there had been a 75% change in crew just before sailing. There were many in training. Crew were misinformed on many occasions. Felt like being lied to.
The ship is great. We love the Voyager class ships. Some updating was needed. Updates are scheduled for January 2014. We enjoy Royal Caribbean and will cruise with them again.
Ship RatingConditionLayoutAmenitiesServiceFoodEntertainment
7.8/106.5/1010/1010/103.5/109/108/10
This user recommends this cruise ship
Displaying 1 to 10 of 1261 reviews
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