Paul Gauguin Cruises Tips. Watch-outs and Must-Knows Before Cruising

Published by Darron Toy on


You’re about to discover everything you
need to know about Paul Gauguin Cruises. What’s good. Who it’s really for and
important watch outs. I’m Gary Bembridge and this
is another of my tips for travellers. I’m currently, as I record this, on board
the Paul Gauguin and I want to share with you everything that I’ve learned about
Paul Gauguin that you need to know. Paul Gauguin is a small ship luxury cruise
line. It’s a one ship cruise line, and they cruise around the French Polynesian
islands. They focus on 7 to 14 day round trips out of Papeete. They’ve been
in business for over 25 years, so real experts in the region. What do Paul Gauguin do that’s unique, different or
better in my view? There are five things that they do incredibly well. First of
all, small ship luxury cruising. The ship only has 332 guests and 217 crew, so a very
high crew to passenger ratio. They have quite a wide range of cabins, which range
from very large owners suites down to porthole cabins. I was actually cruising
in the most common on board, which is a balcony cabin, and because it’s so
beautiful it’s great to have a balcony if you’re cruising through French
Polynesia. The ship has quite a lot of choice. There are three dining venues
onboard, all of which are included within the fare. The main dining room is
called L’Etoile. They also have the Veranda, which is a buffet for breakfast
and lunch and the evening turns into an up-market French restaurant.
They have the Grill, which is up on deck, and again it’s a buffet breakfast
and lunch and in the evening it becomes a specialty dining venue. The ship also
has the kind of usual things that you would expect despite being a small ship.
It has a theatre, it has a small casino, a couple of bars, a pool
deck, spa and a fitness centre. The ship also has a water sports
platform which opens at the rear of the ship. It’s a small ship
and it’s a pretty luxurious ship. It’s fitted out in a luxurious way and
the service, attention to detail and the quality of the food is very high. The
company has been operating for over 25 years
within French Polynesia, so their understanding and relationship
with all of the islands and people is very strong. They really know
and understand the islands and have incredible connections. The Paul Gauguin
itself has been designed to cruise around the French Polynesian islands,
not only is it small but also it has a very shallow draught and that’s
important because it can call on a lot of the islands that other ships can’t
get to. On board they have what is known as the Les Gauguins. These are billed as
Tahitian ambassadors and also Polynesian entertainers. They provide much of
the entertainment and many of the activities are run by the Les Gauguins.
They do dance, singing and provide demonstrations on how to make
local crafts. The Les Gauguins are a key part of the whole Polynesian
experience that is created on board the ship. There’s also an enrichment speaker who gives talks about the region. They have a big Polynesian
night, normally held in Moorea, where they bring on board local entertainers,
have a Polynesian buffet with Polynesian food. I think one of the key things
they do is bring alive the whole connection and the Polynesian
experience. The third thing which I think is really good is the fares are largely
all-inclusive, and pretty much everything is included. Of course, your
accommodation is included, your Dining including eating at the
specialty dining restaurants, all your gratuities, your drinks like wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks, use of the water sports platform and they also provide your snorkeling equipment, also time at their
private beach in Bora Bora and also access and the day on their private
island Mota Muhana and all the entertainment on the onboard and
enrichment activities. What’s not included? Excursions are not included. Wi-Fi is not included, and you can buy various
packages of Wi-Fi. For example, on the cruise that I was on it was around
US$29 a day for unlimited Wi-Fi ,and
the Wi-Fi was pretty good. Another thing which I think is something
they do incredibly well is some of the access to their private facilities.
They have a little private island called Mota Muhana which is in the island of
Faaa, and this is a beautiful day out where the whole ship heads across and they
have entertainment, watersports and a fantastic and huge barbecue.
In Bora Bora they have a private beach and they shuttle
people to and from the beach. I think that’s a phenomenal thing. These
private facilities are really top-notch and they’re absolutely beautiful,
and they included within the fare. Another thing that I thought was a
phenomenal thing they did were the excursions. There was an enormous range
of excursions, particularly considering it is quite a small ship with just over 300
passengers. They had scuba diving, snorkeling in every port, WaveRunner
activities in every port, catamarans, simple gentle sighting,
glass-bottom boats, days out at very premium prestigious resorts which was
one of my big favourites. You had access to the beach, pool
and lunch included. They had more active excursions like ATVs and 4×4 drives, cultural and archaeological activities
as well. On top of that you could also then go on helicopters and float
planes to get view over the islands. So, an enormous range of excursions were
offered, and that I thought was a big plus especially because it’s a
small ship with not that many passengers. Who do I think that Paul Gauguin is
most suited for? Most of the passengers are in their 50s and 60s and pretty
active. It is a pretty active cruise for a start all of the stops are tender stops, and you have to be nimble enough to be able to climb in and out of the tenders.
A couple of places, like on the private beach, there was a wet landing so
you had to be active and able enough to get off the tenders into the water.
Most excursions are pretty actively like snorkelling, ATV drives, wave
runners and cycling. So, it’s a pretty active experience. You’ll find that the
passengers tend to be 50s and 60s but they are very active. Of course,
it is a luxury line so it’s relatively expensive so that does by definition
attract the people who are able to have the time and the money to do it.
French Polynesia is quite a long way to get to, from Europe it’s about
21 hours and even from LA it’s over 8 hours. There were, of course, younger people on
board because French Polynesia and a luxury cruise is
attractive for honeymooners or people celebrating some significant birthdays
or events. In terms of the mix of people, quite an interesting mix. It’s
predominantly American, lots of Canadians and there was a good representation of
people from Asia, because airlines like Air Tahiti Nui
flies from Japan. Quite a lot of French, because of the strong
French connection with French Polynesia. And as with all cruises wherever
you go, you’ll always find lots of Australians and New Zealanders who love
cruising! The language onboard is primarily English, but all the
announcements are done in English and French.
The menus are in English and French. The daily program you can get in either
English or French. So, it definitely is bilingual but it is predominantly
English onboard. What about solo travellers and what about families?There
were a couple of solo travelers on board the cruise that I was on, but it can be a
relatively expensive way to cruise. What’s very important is you need to
work with your agent, or with Paul Gauguin, if you are a solo traveller I
want to come on their cruises, because they do have various offers and deals at times of the year. But you can end up paying, particular in the premium
cabins and the Suites, the price of two people even if there are only one of you.
So, work with your cruise agent or Paul Gauguin
and find out which of the cruises they’re offering different discounts and
offers with better prices for solo travellers. For families Paul Gauguin
can be a pretty attractive option if want to come to the
region with a family for a couple of reasons. They are introducing, certainly
during the key summer school holidays and the more significant holidays like Christmas, incentives for
families to come on board. What are the deals for families? If your child is
aged 17 years old or under they sail free if they’re in the same cabin as you.
Of course, you have the various taxes and the flights to get
there. They have introduced a new program which is called the Mona
Explorer program. They run the program for kids on board aged between 7 and 15 with lots
of activities really related to the marine life and ocean conservation. It’s
really educational but fun at the same time, and those are run on selected
cruises. If you’re planning to travel on Paul Gauguin with your family, work with the line or your agent too ensure that your cruise has those offers and
check if they do have the Moana Explorer program on board
because that’s going to make your child’s life on board fantastic.
The dress code on board is relatively relaxed and informal, and it’s
what is called “country casual” or smart casual. In the evenings you’re asked
to dress up a little bit, so you’re asked to wear a collared shirt and ideally no
jeans. So, slacks if you’re a gent and the equivalent for ladies. No
torn jeans and no shorts. If you’re one of those people that want to get dressed up
you can and if you’re one of those who like to cruise in a relatively informal
relaxed way you’ll certainly find that on board Paul Gauguin that people did dress relatively smartly, but not overly. The key thing to think about
is collared shirts and slacks is the most that you need to worry about. The
key strength of Paul Gauguin is that it’s a small ship, it’s luxurious and
they are absolute experts in French Polynesia. I have loads of videos of tips
about all the regions of the world, including more about French Polynesia, so
why don’t you watch one of those right now?


25 Comments

Nielsen Michael · August 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm

Great video as always.
Do you think it’s a cruise that you can take without using the excursions or is it essential to factor in the costs for those?

Ron Jacobs-Young · August 15, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Thanks this ship is for me.

Kay S · August 15, 2019 at 6:49 pm

What a beautiful ship. I really like the kids' policy.

Angela Horton · August 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm

I was actually looking at Paul Gauguin cruises this afternoon so this video came at a perfect time. I was interested in the 14 night cruise to the Society Islands but wasn't sure if it would be better to do a 7 night cruise followed by a hotel in French Polynesia. What are your thoughts?

Angela Horton · August 15, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Forgot to say, great video!

Nick Barshay · August 15, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Thank you for the informative video. It sounds like you had a wonderful experience. This is one of my dream cruises.

Patrick Mooney · August 15, 2019 at 8:51 pm

Another great video, Gary. I would definitely like to do that cruise but as a solo traveler, I think I may just try to do Tahiti and French Polynesia as part of a World Cruise… We'll see. I do love researching the possibilities. Thanks, Gary!

little dragon · August 15, 2019 at 8:55 pm

So beautiful. Thank you for sharing. ; ))

Robert Ellis · August 15, 2019 at 9:28 pm

Another great video on a cruise I’ll never go on. Glad you had a good experience.

Bill A · August 15, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Really astonishing to see this over-the-top Paul Gaugin commercial (!) uncritically filled with so much praise for this poorly run, overpriced, tired ship that badly needs new management, new staff, and refurbishing.

Our June 2019 cruise was the worst, by far, of the five cruises we've taken — although maybe we were spoiled by superb Noble Caledonia and Silversea ships.

Excursions were poorly differentiated, and terribly managed. Typical of our bad experiences with the excursion team: At the Rangiroa atoll, famous for its enormous lagoon. It was windy and all our excursions were cancelled.
The many people who wanted to go ashore were dumped at the pier by the indifferent Gaugin cruise staff who made absolutely no effort to salvage the day.

Food was OK but rarely special. And, with few exceptions, the ship's waiters and other staff (usually 100% friendly on other cruise ships) were often indifferent or even surly. All in all, I only wish the actual cruise had been as pretty as this video.

Crystal Cruiser Guys · August 15, 2019 at 10:45 pm

But, Gary, how do you REALLY feel about it? 😉

Klab_99 · August 16, 2019 at 2:43 am

Thanks Gary – another great video

Jet Stream · August 16, 2019 at 3:28 am

When I win the lottery….

Jennifer Ross · August 16, 2019 at 4:16 am

I read that this cruise line has been bought by Ponant.

PaulTakeoTravels · August 16, 2019 at 7:18 am

Is Paul Gauguin still a part of Silversea Cruises?? I used to get their brochures and Paul Gauguin was part of the cruises mentioned.

Jasmine Lindsay · August 16, 2019 at 10:05 am

Another great video Gary!

I noticed when you were talking about the kids club, that you’d missed the pronunciation of Moana. It’s pronounced as Mo-Ah-Nah (rhymes with bow, car, car). It’s a common word in Polynesia which means ocean 🙂

Look forward to the next video!

Kate RH · August 16, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Gotta love those Catameringues — bet they taste nice 🙂 Great review thanks

Ed F · August 16, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Very nice review Gary! Thanks for sharing. Ed

Jo Dura · August 16, 2019 at 7:44 pm

My dream cruise…one of

P M · August 18, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Unlike many other cruise lines, Paul Gauguin won't publish pricing. You get their travel agent to call you to play 'let's make a deal'. I prefer using companies that are more transparent and up fron with pricing. I really wanted to do this trip with PG but will have to pass, on principle.

Laura Halstead · August 18, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Bucket List.

Qamar Abbas · August 25, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Hello sir sir you make one vedio at works cleaner dishwasher security guard House keeping etc please 🙏🙏 sir you make some vedio I sea because I want job in this Co

Jeanne Stamper · September 7, 2019 at 10:37 pm

So excited to be cruising this ship in 2020! Anyone have favorite tips for shore excursions. I am looking at getting PADI cert. before our cruise.

chadcruisers · September 13, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Great video. We certainly want to try this one day!

Just think · September 13, 2019 at 3:27 pm

love your stuff, but come on get some new crowns. they make cheap ceramics over stainless steel ones that are great.

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