South Pacific

Jan 29th, 2014, 01:27 PM
  #1  
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South Pacific

Would appreciate hearing from those who have cruised around the French Polynesia on either Regent Seven Seas or Paul Gauguin Cruises. Both seem to offer similar itineraries. Does one offer better value than the other. Regent seems to feature better air and excursion offers. Any comments on food, excursions, and other experiences. Many thanks.
Henrich is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 04:44 AM
  #2  
 
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I guess it depends. Regent Seven Seas owned and operated the Paul Gauguin for many years. These days, they just do itineraries in the region on one of their other ships.

Both are very nice luxury cruise lines, and I think I could recommend either without reservation as long as you can afford the cruise fares. The one plus that Regent Seven Seas has is that it is truly all-inclusive, including shore excursions, but you certainly pay for that level of luxury.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 11:39 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for your comments. I difficulty I have is that Regent offers excursions as you advised, but also airfare from our home in the Northeast and is nearly $2,000 less than a similar 11 day Paul Gauguin tour. Perhaps Paul Gauguin is more intimate with less passengers and gets closer to the islands. Just can't see the difference in value.
Henrich is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 05:37 AM
  #4  
 
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Paul Gauguin has about 160 staterooms for just over 300 passengers, which is intimate by cruise ship standards these days. But Regent ships are also small. Navigator has 245 cabins (fewer than 500 passengers); Mariner and Voyager carry about 700 passengers (so about twice as big as Paul Gauguin, but still not horribly large). I'm not sure off-hand which Regent ship is sailing in French Polynesia, but I don't think you'll find much difference in the islands the ships can call at. I doubt that any of these ships can dock at the smallest islands, so you'll be tendered ashore regardless of which cruise line you pick.

You will have more options for dining on Regent. Both offer a really good product. The only edge Paul Gauguin gets is that its ship was designed to sail in the South Pacific and has always been there. Paul Gauguin may also offer more of a French Polynesian vibe on board. Regent's ships are more generalists. But I don't think you'll be disappointed with either, and if you can fly for $2000 less on Regent, why not choose it?

Our reviews are posted here on Fodors.com, and you can read a lot more reader reviews of all the ships at Cruise Critic.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 11:10 AM
  #5  
 
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Henrich,

I cruised on the Paul Gauguin this past August and am also a 21 year veteran of what is now Regent Seven Seas cruising-Platinum level. As Doug_Stallings said, they were once managed by Regent and you get the same feel on both lines. We found the PG delightful. Its small size was intimate and we were able to get to know other cruisers and staff/crew easily.

Here are a few of my compariasons between the PG and the Mariner. As Doug mentioned, all ports were tender ports. I really think it would be easier to get the tender quicker on the PG versus the Mariner. Plus with the Mariner carrying 700 passengers versus 332 on the PG, in most ports that would really push the population of the islands. You would also miss out on Motu Mahana, PG's private island. That is a wonderful relaxing day, that Regent ships miss. Also on the PG, their marina and marina staff are great for water activities. The Mariner would have a plus over PG's dining. PG has been doing these ports for many years and would have an upper hand on knowledge of the area.

There are a lot to think a out between the two cruises.
luxcruiser is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 04:22 PM
  #6  
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Many thanks "luxcruiser" your comments are very helpful - sorry for the delay in responding. I agree the PG appears to have a better experience. However, I am challenged to justify the difference in cost when I consider the limited air fare options, and excursion costs etc.
Henrich is offline  

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