tahiti-explorer.com is bad.

Apr 2nd, 2003, 11:17 PM
  #1  
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tahiti-explorer.com is bad.

Every single post on Tahiti/F.P. is answered with somebody recommending tahiti-explorer.com.

It's just a TRAVEL AGENT. And an expensive one, at that. Just a warning to you all.
(I'm sure the next post will tell me to go to tahiti-explorer.com and find out about that... right?)
dantana is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:04 PM
  #2  
 
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The reason folks keep recommending the Tahiti-Explorer board is because it is the most active board (by far) on the subject of Tahiti, with a large number of very knowledgeable posters. As a result, it truly is the best place to get information from folks that have traveled (in many cases repeatedly) to French Polynesia. The fact that is run by a travel company hurts the board only in the sense that questions like "who should I book with" are removed. Since that particular travel company underwrites the cost of running/maintaining the board, I think most folks would agree it is a reasonable restriction to disallow posts directing readers to another company - otherwise other companies might be tempted to use the site to advertise anonymously.

Other than that one restriction, it's a great information source. I used it extensively when planning my trip to Tahiti a few years back - even though I didn't end up booking with them.

So my advice is to use whatever sources of information are available to you in planning your trip. It's extremely foolish to avoid a great website just because it's run by a travel agency. If you don't want to book with them, then don't, but you may as well use whatever resources are available... there is no charge after all.

Ken
LordBalfor is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 06:52 AM
  #3  
 
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I agree that tahiti-explorer is very deceptive and I marginally trust some of the info that is there. Many posts get deleted from that board, not only for advice to buy from other agents, but also if you say anything too negative about FP or the people there. I've seen several threads get deleted recently, especially if you dare to ask anything about how the Tahitians treat Americans in light of what's going on in the world.

With that said, there are some great people who add much, much valuable info to the board like Lord Balfor; read some of his posts on Epinions and you'll get some good info.

There's another FP message board but I won't even mention it because it, also, is a bunch of American TA's who post under phony Tahitian names steering you toward one particular travel agency.

If you're looking for pricing, check out Costco.com. Give them a call and they'll customize a package to whatever you want. I got quotes from about a dozen TA's online, and Costco beat the lowest by $1,000 for the same exact package. I'm sure the TA's would say that Costco service is poor, but we've found the opposite: the accuracy of their info on quotes was better than at least half of the TA's (some gave us quotes for flights that didn't even exist), we've gotten constant updates on the itinerary changes at Air Tahiti (that affect all FP travellers), and they've handled special room requests at the hotels. FYI, Costco just subcontracts to a tour operator. I don't mean to be all anti-TA, but if you read all the FP forums, you'd never realize that Costco is a good choice to investigate Tahiti packages.

Too bad Fodors doesn't have a more active FP constituencey.
Loki is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 03:25 PM
  #4  
 
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Just to chime in here, we just returned from a trip to Cook Islands arranged through Costco. I called in my desired itinery, and within a day or two they had it arranged. Everything, accomodations, transfers, the works, all worked like a charm.. Without a hitch.

Yes they book through a local agency, which took care of us in fine fashion. They seem to specialize in South Pacific, Hawaii, and Mexico west coast. You can pick up their travel brochure at the store, or find them on www.costco.com.
Last year we went to FP, Rangiroa. I spent a lot of time on their board, and gained much information. But I did not book with them.
BillJ is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 03:43 PM
  #5  
 
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Yes, Costco does a great job with travel and at very good prices. We didn't book with them for our South Pacific trips, but did use them for our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and everything went super smooth. They are definitely worth checking out. We will likely use them for an upcoming (hopefully) trip to the US Virgin Islands.

Ken

PS to Loki: Thanks for the kind words.
LordBalfor is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 08:00 PM
  #6  
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Hi dantana,
I agree with LordBalfor about the good info on the tahiti explorer site from travellers to French Polynesia. I too have recommended that site to others, solely to get opinons from people who have been there. I also found it very helpful when planning our 2nd trip there last year and I have since offered my opinons to people asking for info. I did not use it for anything other than gathering information on accommodations, interisland flights, food and all other areas of interest to potential travellers, questions that I could not get fully answered here. It is a very comprehensive site for FP
 
Apr 7th, 2003, 09:54 AM
  #7  
 
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We have used Tahiti-Explorer extensively and found it extremely useful and fair. Not only that, but we booked 2 trips with them and they were cheaper than most other travel agents. Yes, they are travel agents, but as I am not going to the moon I don't expect them to be rocket scientsts! They're experts in their field and did a great job for us, which is all I expected.
Jacky is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 05:31 AM
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Maybe something's changed because I had about 10 TA's quote the same package recently and they were the 3rd highest.
Loki is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 09:35 AM
  #9  
 
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Great info here regarding Costco, I'm definately going to check with them. I looked at their site and if I'm understanding you all even if I don't see the package I'm interested in (Bora Bora, Rangiroa and Tahiti) they can probably put something together?

Cool!
Wendy is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 11:14 AM
  #10  
 
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We tried Costco too, but they were very unhelpful in regards to details about the hotels and the destination. We wanted to know the difference between "regular" and 'Premium" over the water bungalows and they didn't really know (even though that was another $200 more per night). They had to call us back, which never happened. That's not good enough for me. I want to work with people who know the destination personally and can offer advice, not just sales people on the phone.
I also go on the Tahiti Explorer site, and they do a damn good job of providing useful info. I didn't find their prices or package to be more than a lot of the US tour operators, and often less.
EricMa is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 04:40 AM
  #11  
 
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It's funny, the 2 people backing tahiti-explorer in this thread have one and only one post on these entire forums, EVER. Who would sign up to open an account to just respond to this thread and never another? Most people open an account to ASK a question, it's obviously a shill. The folks I talked to at Costco knew plenty about the different accomodations. Once I mentioned Tahiti, they put me on hold and connected me to a specialist that dealt in that area. Sure, they don't travel there often like some of the Tahiti specialists, but if you have an idea of what you're looking for, you'll be OK. I got a package through them that wasn't listed on the site. Just call them, tell them the hotels you want, what days, how long, and they'll price it out.

By all means, compare other TA's prices but don't believe the hype that you're getting much greater service. I'm sure some are extremely knowledgeable and if you have no clue what you want, they will be great for you because they really know all the details, but beware of the cicle of propaganda on some of these websites. Also, note that there are a few Tahiti TA's that operate under different names with different websites, but it's all the same place. Always look in the "About Us" link and check where the office is. There's something I just don't trust about any business that functions under multiple names especially if they are separate corporations or LLC's.
Loki is offline  
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