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Activities in French Polynesia and Cook Islands

Activities in French Polynesia and Cook Islands

Jul 18th, 2008, 02:45 AM
  #1  
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Activities in French Polynesia and Cook Islands

We are cruising from Sydney to Honolulu via Cook Islands (Rarotonga) and French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Moorea, Papeete) and I've been thinking along the lines of 'doing our own thing' on shore.

I've looked at various websites and thought we could possibly take the local bus in French Polynesia (Le Truck) on at least Moorea and Papeete (Bora Bora seems too limited) or alternatively hire a car to get around.

Has anyone done either?

Any other suggestions as well as suggestions for Cook Islands (Rarotonga) would be much appreciated
Vaycee is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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I was in French Polynesia - not on a cruise, but for a few weeks on the ground (Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti). For Moorea, it's definitely worth renting a car. It's such a pretty island. There was an tour that showed the rain forest part of it that was awesome. For Bora Bora, the island itself is TINY. I would take a tour - either the one to the battleguns from WWII, a sailing tour or a snorkeling/diving tour. The beauty for that island was the water, not really the island. For Tahiti itself, and I assume you'll be docked in Papeete - we rented a car, and took a tour, but I probably wouldn't do that again - I'd spend my money on the other 2 islands, and just walk around Papeete.....
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Jul 18th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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First of all just be aware that Raratonga doesn't have a naturl port so one must tender in AND about half the time the seas are too rough to allow this. We missed out for that reason. Best of luck with that one. We did Dr. Michael Pooles Dolphin encouner in Moorea and that we liked a great deal.
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Jul 18th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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Thanks Debi, good tips.

We arrive in Papeete early morning and leave a 5 pm. So do you have any idea about some place we could lunch perhaps and watch the world go by?

Agree about Bora Bora and Moorea, I'm really like getting a feel for local culture. Would there be some places on shore that we could check out for tours. It seems rental cars are readily available on the info I already have. We have the same time on Moorea as in Papeete. Bora Bora we have an hour longer.

Jacketwatch, thanks for heads up on Rarotonga.

"Dr. Michael Pooles Dolphin encounter in Moorea ..."

Is this tour available to book on shore? Is there a website?

Thanks
Vaycee is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 01:38 AM
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drmichaelpoole.com | Server location: United States
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Jul 19th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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Thanks
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Jul 19th, 2008, 04:30 AM
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You're welcome. BTW if you go you may want to get a seat which is covered. Most are but not all and the ones that were exposed to the sun got pretty warm. Cheers, Larry
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Jul 19th, 2008, 02:04 PM
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Sure thing - though as Aussies we are 'sun savvy' but very good advice for others who may read posts.

I have checked out the website and I'm drooling over the photos. Although I've done some initial research on French Polynesia, it's been a dream of mine since I was a child growing up in England to visit 'Tahiti' as French Polynesia is more commonly known (much like 'Hawaii').

I'll see what I can find out about Dr Poole on some of the local websites too as his is still under construction.

Thanks again
Vaycee is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 03:22 AM
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I do hope you go. Tahiti or FP or the Society Islands is the most beautiful place on earth I have ever seen and largely unspoiled. However paradise has a price. Its very expensive as well but if you are there cruising that doesn't matter much. G'day. And good luck today to Greg Norman. Larry
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Jul 20th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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'fraid he missed out - but he seemed pleased with his effort.

Yes I know FP is pricey that's why I've finally opted for the cruise. We get the bonus of finishing in Honolulu and can tick that place off our list as well - Oh the joys of travel

Everyone says I should have got into the travel business as I research so much and plan well ahead - but I feel it's the best way then you don't waste time on arrival finding out what to do or how to get to places.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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Well for 53 yrs. old, all things considered of course, he did very well, esp. in that wind. Contrats to Harrington! And yes keep on doing your research. I try to do that as well. Cheers, Larry
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Jul 26th, 2008, 09:11 PM
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Papeete don't miss the Farmers Market. Here you can buy beautiful pareaus (sp?) I had mine a colorful rendition of Morea Banana Bay framed and mounted on my bedroom wall so every morning I can see Morea.
Also there are the most gorgous flowers. My DH bought some for me and the Purser on the cruise put it in a vase that lasted our whole trip. You can watch as they make leis..
Also you can buy fresh real french bread to feed fish on a "Moto" visit.
One last thing I also found lovely picture postcards..some watercolor painitings at the market and I have those framed for my kitchen. They make great souvveniors too for those at home framed.
We also did our own around the island car tour from Papeete. The driver was a local..he was a bit crazy driver but we saw all of the island which is so differnt from Downtown.
We also charterd our own speed boat on Moorea and the guy took my husband snorkeling with the MAnta Rays..and snorkeled down a current between the islands..like a water escalator...the water and the fish were so fabulous.. and they loved the french bread.
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Jul 26th, 2008, 09:17 PM
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Forgot to mention..the best stuff I ever got for a sunburn was in French Polynesia called BIOFINE cream. I had a 3rd degree sunburn to my chest..did not speak a word of French but went to the Pharmacy,with big tears, in pain, open my shirt, showed my blistering chest (decently) to the Pharmacist who gave me a tube of this miracle stuff.

Since then everytime I go to a French province I buy it...now you can buy it via MDs in the US.
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Aug 4th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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cd
 
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Vaycee
We selected from the ships excusions and have never been sorry. In Papeete we took the 4x4 safari tour which takes you way inland on roads you would NOT want to drive on, you go thru streams and our driver even drove us over a dam, a small dam, but nevertheless a dam!

In Bora Bora we snorkeled with stingrays by jumping off the boat, and then the boat took us to shore where we just wasted the rest of day away snorkeling and enjoying the beauty of the water. The water at Bora Bora is the most beautiful I have ever seen.

In Moorea, the shore excursion was a party on the island and it was great. The boat that took us to the island had a band that started playing the moment we took off and then moved to the island once we arrived. They set up tons of food and we picniced and snorkeled all afternoon. Moorea is beautiful. The second day on Moorea we did rent a car and drove the island and stopped for shopping and purchased a black pearl.

If you get a chance on Bora Bora, eat at Bloody Marys and of course have a bloody Mary! You're going to have a great time!
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Aug 4th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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Thanks 1JAR and cd - all suggestions most welcome.

I appreciate the quality of shore excursions, but I'm concerned that in some cases you pay an undeserved premium and can often get just as good or better value by 'going local'. I also believe this way you are helping the local economy.

Having said that - I will be checking out the shore excursions of course, but I will already be armed with ideas and suggestions from here and other sources. So hopefully I'll be able to make the best judgement.

We have plenty of time, Rhapsody of the Seas hasn't even arrived in Sydney yet! We are taking its return to base voyage so will not be cruising until April.

If anyone has other suggestions they would be much appreciated.
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Aug 4th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Hi:

I would chime in with the suggestion of Dr. Poole and his excursion. We followed two whales and some people actually got to go into the water (w/their snorkeling gear) and observe one of the whales hang there. I am sorry that I did not feel brave enough at the time.

If Huahine is one of the ports your boat calls at, by all means look up Marc's Picnic, which was an absolutely fabulous way to spend a day. They set your table in the water, do a wonderful barbeque, beer, music, etc. Just a terrific day.

We rented a dunebuggy [sp] on Bora Bora and just cruised aimlessly around the island, stopping for lunch at the famous Bloody Mary. A beautiful island, probably our favorite.

There are some nice galleries on Rarotonga, but I did not find it too amazing otherwise. Same with Papeete.

Anna Roz

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Aug 5th, 2008, 03:20 AM
  #17  
cd
 
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I remember thinking Papeete was a little dismal when our ship was docking but the beauty we found inland on the safari tour is remembered and we were there 8yrs ago. I think you have to get away from the town area to appreciate Tahiti.
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Aug 6th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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I've been reading Cruise Critic and some suggest it's possible rental cars could all be gone unless you get off the ship early. That's OK if that's what you have to do, but I don't want to get caught out.

Should we look into reserving a car for pick up at the dock prior to our arrival?

Thanks cd for your comments re Papeete. I've already heard Papeete is not the destination of choice so your suggestion of the 4x4 inland might be the go.

What sort of $$ are we looking at?

Thanks anna_roz. Dune buggy sounds like fun, will bear that in mind. Any particular hire company? Did you arrange on shore yourself?
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Aug 6th, 2008, 09:12 PM
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Vaycee, the dune buggy rental place was right across the boat terminal, once we got off the tender. I cannot remember the name, but it did not look like there was any shortage of those little things. We did not make advance arrangements.

Warning! There is no reverse gear so, while husband steered, I pushed the buggy and friends snapped a photo. LOL

Anna Roz
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Aug 7th, 2008, 04:41 AM
  #20  
cd
 
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Vaycee
I don't remember the price for the 4x4 safari but it was 8yrs agao so would be higher now. It was a ships shore excursion.
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