Self-book to French Polynesia?

Old Jul 29th, 2003, 11:14 PM
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Self-book to French Polynesia?

I have begun to do some research into a possible trip to Moorea and Rangiroa for next summer. I've been reading Jan Prince's book, which I like a lot. I usually book things myself, I love doing travel research, but this region is starting to seem a little complicated, mostly in terms of flights. Air Tahiti Nui alone has a tricky schedule LAX-PPT, and my book says something about the possibility of "having yr travel agent book you straight through to Moorea" (??), and a few other things that I don't quite know how they work. Add in being unsure of transport times to airports, and the possibility of using Air Tahiti's Lagoon Pass and booking THOSE times, and I am really lost.

At this point I am ready to fall exhausted into the arms of a good Tahitian specialist travel agent...has anyone successfully booked a multi-leg trip themselves? Or, can anyone recommend a good Tahitian specialist TA in the Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley area? I don't really want to book with these online Tahitian package dealers either, I would want to sit down and talk to an actual person. Thanks!

love
roxy
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 03:38 AM
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sandi
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Roxy -

Try contacting SoPacific Destinations located somewhere in southern CA, or Swain Travel, specialists in Australia, NZ and the Pacific, located in suburban Philadelphia. They know their stuff and found their prices competititve.

Sorry, but I don't have the actual websites available, so do a "seach" for So Pacific Islands and both these company sites should be on the list.

Both seem to use Air New Zealand as their carrier as they probably have a deal with them and a better schedule, but have them check Air Tahiti Nui if this is something you're interested in.

And they'll be able to give you as much info as you desire on all the resorts on all the islands and atolls.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 05:06 PM
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Any FP TA worth their salt will have been there recently and is very familiar with the various islands as well as the resorts, yet won't try to steer you to just 1 or 2. Grill them as to where they've stayed at, restaurants they've been to, and excursions they personally enjoyed and disliked.

Like yourself and despite having browsed Pleasant Holidays, Islands in the Sun, tahitiexplorer, etc. I too felt safer speaking face-to-face with a TA when planning my HM back in 10/00. Although I live in the SF Valley, I came across an agency in Costa Mesa, "I Do" Honeymoons (tacky name I know!), who were very familiar with FP and beat Costco's prices. I ended up visiting their office twice. They'll work with the package providers and try to customize an ideal FP vacation for you. Give them a try as well as the ones sandi suggested.

BTW, I personally disliked Jan Prince's book after my trip although the history of the islands she provides was very enjoyable reading. It's nothing compared to Maui Revealed. She thinks the world of everything, but I didn't enjoy half of her recs on Bora Bora and Moorea. Maybe the newer editions have improved. I think you'll get better advice from posters here and on tahitiexplorer.
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 02:35 PM
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I used Pacific Destinations last year with great success. http://www.pacific-destinations.com. They are in Huntington Beach. Although, if you've done most of your research yourself, you might want to talk to Costco. My friends just booked through them and saved a bundle. Just a thought...
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 03:30 PM
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FYI - "I Do Honeymoons" is no longer in business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watch out! Just because they're local TA's, doesn't mean they're the best & legit. This company went out of business last summer 2002 and many couples (who didn't have travel insurance) lost a lot of money! They just suddenly disappeared! Another agency is in their old physical office space in Costa Mesa, CA. You might consider them: Australian Travel Headquarters. Sorry, don't know their website - do a search.

We're planning to use www.pacific-for-less.com for our upcoming trip to the Cook Islands. They gave us a better price than Costco! And, of course, we're purchasing travel insurance in addition.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 07:45 PM
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Thanks for the update Simone...such an awful shame. Seems a lot of agencies have been hurt after 9/11, but it's downright awful when they shut down and put some major hurt on unfortunate honeymooners.

If you have any concerns as to a local TA, I think it might be best to contact one of the top 3 FP wholesalers directly (Islands in the Sun, Pleasant and Tahiti Legends i believe).
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