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  Tahiti Cruise  -  Hotel Last Day

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Regal Princess
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Seven Seas Mariner
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Sovereign of the Seas
Splendour of the Seas
Star Clipper
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Superstar Gemini
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Tahitian Princess
Thomson Celebration

Thomson Destiny
Thomson Dream
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Vision of the Seas
Voyager of the Seas
Wind Spirit
Wind Star
Wind Surf
Yankee Clipper

Quotes (Diane, Buil remarks are after others)

All these from DianneC "Masked Traveler":

On, Sunday...the shops along the main street were closed so we headed for the grocery store. Approach the first le truck you see after crossing the street in front of the ship. "??? Champion overte ????" 120CFP per person.

We got a variety of chocolates for @ 200CFP ea (Cote de Or best, avoid Champion). You can find them in the baking section.  

Hinano- big ones- 195CFP, postcards 60 CFP, schoolkids blank workbooks 19- 27CFP ea (no that wasn't a mistake, these are a great, useful, cheap souvenir and come in calligraphy & music. Also saw some at one of the souvenir stores for 200CFP.) 

We took a little different track on our departure day & it was lots of fun. We got to the hotel on our bus @ 2PM. The food & baggage storage was back in the hospitality room. There was time for a lovely swim in the glorious pool, a good back massage under the waterfall and then a dip in the upper level hot tub (just above the towel cave). Out by 4PM and dry by 4:20 and ready and waiting for our "Le Belvedere" truck by 4:30. 

This was our 4x4 excursion and the trip was a delight. We had a beautiful sunset dinner looking out over the harbor at the little R4 & Moorea in the distance. Food was great, but I can't recommend the fondue to anyone who is not used to lots of oil. The beef and the wine were plentiful. The grilled mahi-mahi got raves. Cost about 5,000CFP per person- prix fixe- includes travel up and back. A Papeete classic. 

We changed into our travel clothes after the sun went down. Then at @ 8PM the truck picked us up and took us directly to the airport. (We could have had them take us back to the hotel as well, but buses and I don't get along so we thought it was worth the risk of facing an extra long wait at the airport. 



...we had a couple of days in Papeete at the end of the cruise...took the ferry from Papeete back to Moorea and spent the day...rather than...Papeete...about $10 each way. On Tahiti, the ferry to...R3...On Moorea, the ferry port is on a different part of the island from where the R3 goes. ...bubble cars for rent...$40 instead of $ or scooter if...early...several ferries...nicest one...a catamaran...doesn't take ferry catamaran (also nice) take...half hour....another car ferry...funky (but okay)...takes 1-1/2 hours. For some reason the R3 wouldn't let anyone off the ship until we missed the good ferries (...went at 9 and 12 or so).

...disembark from R3 they...take you to the Sheraton Hotel (used to be the Outrigger Hotel ) to spend the day until....7:30 or 8, when they take you to the airport...hotel...very nice...swimming pool...provide six rooms for people to change clothes...provide a little buffet and cold there looked pretty good...(but it's expensive)...delicious pineapple drink at the bar (ground-up pineapple, no booze)...was $8...can rent a room for day use...$120...hotel...close to downtown Papeete...can Truck for 120 francs (or take a taxi.)

...the cases were picked up bright and early and put on the dock under surveillance...had enough time after breakfast to go into town and the Municipal Market in Papeete (two blocks from the ship). What a crazy marvelous place that is, noisy, fragrant, incredibly colorful, i.e. a photographer’s paradise! Bought more “stuff” although the prices seemed a little higher than on the other islands but the selection is unbeatable.  After lunch we were transported to the Sheraton Hotel where we were to wait for our buses to the airport later in the day...had a buffet meal at the hotel at 3, then spent hours under a palapa by the pool (this hotel is BEAUTIFUL!) drinking maitais until we headed for the airport well after the equally beautiful sunset. The plane left just a tad late, not much, but on the return flight the food  service on Hawaiian Airlines definitely took a nose-dive! After the good food on the ship, it barely made it to average…


DIANE and BUIL's EXPERIENCES (On our cruise, the Sheraton was the Outrigger which was purchased by Sheraton later)

We liked the leisurely morning, not being rushed as with other lines, even had lunch aboard ship....

Disembarked 1:45pm dockside to a full day of rain, drizzle, or overcast to find our luggage under tent. We were helped by Polynesians to move luggage 20-30 feet to a line (each line few letters of alphabet for last name, like a-c, d-f, etc)...after document check, luggage loaded into a separate container for plane, boarded bus for the luxury Sheraton Hotel to spend the day (this all happened relatively quickly) until 

Arrived at side of hotel, went in side door to a large banquet style room, tile floors, with banquet chairs and tables, a cold drink bar, and a buffet area with a side room for carry on luggage...this part was not a luxury experience, but quite ordinary and different from the rest.

We were impressed by the remainder of the Sheraton Hotel...very luxurious...very expansive with large spaces, wide stairs, a number of wide open areas on different levels, wide corridors...very nice swimming pool with curving rock stairs to hot tub in rocks...still sprinkling rain...large chairs in various other parts of hotel looked comfortable, but already taken by maybe a quarter to a third of the the ships passengers, the remaining passengers had to sit back in the banquet room.  We wondered about the other guests as we passengers were a large herd (numerous bus loads).

We were to have banquet food (not up to par with the cruise) available til 6pm and we waited for the line to dwindle (it never did)...we stood in line about 5:30pm and the buffet ran out of food a few minutes later, had waited too long, though we did get a few brownies and a couple of picked over items, many others weren't so lucky...this wasn't typical of our experience of Renaissance up to then...maybe it only happened this one time. 

The R4 passengers were given the room numbers of four rooms for  men and four rooms for women (for changing, showering, etc) which were very large with king-size beds and balconies facing the ocean, very nice rooms...I looked at each of the men's rooms...each a sign on the door saying  to keep the room unlocked...found a women in the last one who pressed her finger to her lips and pointed to the bed which had a man sleeping...a few hours later, found a different one of the men's rooms locked,  & went to another I hardly used the rooms, I was unaffected, though amused at some of the  passengers concepts of sharing the rooms.

The bus took us to the airport several hours before the flight.  One couple preferred to wait in the Sheraton Hotel and took a taxi the short distance to the airport, later. 

Though parts of this may have seemed undesirable, it was generally better than any of our rushed disembarkations from the other 7 cruise lines (12 cruises).  embarkation/debarkation procedures  Another View of Hotel Situation


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