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Paul Gauguin Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, French Polynesia Bora 1

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RSSC - Regent Seven Seas, Formally Radisson Seven Seas Cruises Paul Gauguin

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2003 Date: 1/14/2003

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Email: greg@cruisingreview.com

TEL: 608-238-6001

Arrival

Map of Bora Bora

The nice thing about the Paul Gauguin is that since the islands are not far apart, the island transit portion is only a few hours, and is done from about 6am to 8 or 9:30am. This allows you to wake up to the beautiful scenery moving by your balcony. What better way to greet the morning.

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Anchor Set

Ship Newsletter for the day- Front

We dropped anchor in the harbor between the main port and a Motu hotel , with thatched huts which are built on stilts above the water. Many of these have their own mini-piers to swim from, and have a glass coffee table or a trap door where you can view fish at night with the help of a underwater light which attracts the underwater creatures. From my balcony, the tall peaks of Bora Bora towered over the sea, just a few kilometers away. An incredible setting.

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Off Road Adventure

Ship Newsletter for the day- Back

The tour I chose was the Bora Bora Off road Adventure where they take three vehicles with about eight people each to circle the island and do about four ascents into the mountains. Originally, the mountain roads were originally used during World War II to haul up the huge guns which guarded the harbor and airstrip. If you go on this tour, you will have amazing vistas of the surrounding motu's, and get a chance to see the turquoise water change different hues as the clouds pass by. The mountain roads are really improved trails, and have very steep ascents, along with mud and huge rocks. It's an adventure to be sure.

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Bloody Mary's

Boarding a tender which took us directly to the famous "Bloody Mary's" restaurant, I had dinner with Garnett, Patsy and Wendy, along with a couple from Virginia. With a sand floor, tiki-torch indirect lighting and a thatched roof overhead, this is probably one of the most tropical, and festive restaurants I have been in. The place exudes romance, so if you're on a honeymoon, this is one place you don't want to miss. Before dinner, you are taken to a buffet of the choice of fish, lobster, beef and shellfish. You may select from any of the major entree's, or mix several together. The selections are cooked over a gas and charcoal grill, and the results are incredible. This is one of the best meals I've had. The service lacks, so don't expect much there. I ordered a Cosmopolitan, was was brought out a very dry gin martini, with green olives. When I disputed the drink, the waitress was noticeably distraught, and when I ordered a rum and coke (since they don't make Cosmo's) it never came. My dinner companions had better luck, and ordered several bottles of wine. The location of Bloody Mary's is across the bay from one of the huge mountains, and has a pier for boat access. The view is nothing short of amazing. When we left around 9:40pm, a light rain had just subsided, and the clouds were parting to remove a beautiful Moon, nestled just over the mountain.

Evening

Evening festivities included some dancing from the Les Gauguines and a Polynesian deck party. My favorite place for the evening is La Palette, which is on the top back of the ship, with a bar, small dance floor and a grand piano. Every night, there is an excellent pianist/singer who will take requests, many of which are performed flawlessly from memory. Sipping a martini, listening to live music, and with Bora Bora just outside, life doesn't get much better than that.

Other Tours

Two other tours got rave reviews from the passengers. One was the Waverunner excursion around the island (they're just passing the ship as I write this). Two to a waverunner, you completely circumnavigate the island, with a stop for refreshments and snorkeling. Sean and Rose took the helicopter tour of Bora Bora, and came back with stories of beautiful vistas, with indescribable colors from the waters over the reefs below. This is also a great way to see the ship from a birds eye view.

Internet Cafe

It's funny to think that even in paradise, there will usually be a cyber-cafe hidden in the back of a store or restaurant. I found one such cafe near the boat docks, and it had two PC's and two iMac's with a satellite Internet connection. Using Hotmail, the lag time (latency) from using the far reaching satellites was agonizing. But nothing is better than sending an email to friends, telling them that "you" are in paradise. At about 40 French Polynesian Francs per minute, it's expensive, but still cheaper than the ship which charges a fee per kilobyte.

Bora Bora Reflections

I think all of the superlatives have been used to describe Bora Bora, but it is truly a magical place. It's easy to understand how artists, poets, writers and designers find their inspiration here. There is something awe empowering about natural beauty, and Bora Bora stands out because of the sheer contrast in the myriad of colors, towering mountains, lush tropical vegetation. Inspiration is found in many places, events and people, but here, it's the allure of the tropics which encompasses the ocean, the mountains, the clouds and the Moon. When you get them all together, you get a feeling you can't get most places, which puts a smile on your face, a warm feeling in your heart, and a little glisten in your eyes. With the aura from above, a path is formed over the water, like somebody from above scattered a million little diamonds just to make sure you know where the Moon was that night. What I love most about cruises is that you're part of an otherwise hostile environment, which offers up the most beautiful sunsets and an evening Moon that Shakespeare would love to write about. To those who haven't trying cruising, you should get on a ship like this in a tropical setting.

CONTACT TEL: 608-238-6001 Email: greg@cruisingreview.com RSS