Paul Gauguin Cruises is a Tahitian-based cruise line offering all-inclusive fares in tropical surroundings since 2009. The atmosphere is laid-back aboard its two ships, and the expert staff is available at all times to cater to all needs of its traveling guests. The cruise line is owned by hotel industry leader Pacific Beachcomber and was created by its previous owner Vantage Deluxe World Travel. President Diana Moore was the former president of Windstar Cruises.
- Dining options
- Dress code
Gourmet meals are available in three restaurants which feature fresh seafood and exquisite French cuisine. Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and juices are included in the fare and available all day. Gratuities are also included in the price of the tip and you can tip staff members extra directly if you wish. Lunch buffets vary in tastes from French, Pacific, Greek, Asian, and Italian cuisine. Room service is also available 24 hours a day at no extra charge.
The dress code aboard Paul Gauguin cruises is casual attire during the day and elegant wear during evening hours. You will want to bring along comfortable reef shoes that can withstand the rocks and bits of coral that are common on the tropical islands and bug spray is an absolute necessity. Cruises feature a Tahitian night once during a cruise. Women are encouraged to wear Tahitian wraparound skirts and men typically wear Polynesian shirts. These items are available at ports and the ship's gift shop.
Ocean view cabins with balconies are approximately 200-588 square feet and are stocked with luxurious bathroom amenities, queen-sized beds with feather-down duvets, and small flat-screen televisions. In-room refrigerators are restocked daily with carbonated sodas, water, and beer. Rooms are adorned with red carpeting, beige sofas, sheer curtains, and floor-to ceiling mirrors at the head of the bed. Standard amenities found onboard of most Paul Gauguin Cruises include:
- Spacious, ocean view accommodations
- All shipboard meals, in your choice of venues
- Complimentary room service
- Complimentary beverages, including select wines and
- Spirits, beer, soft drinks, bottled water, and hot beverages served throughout the ship
- Refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water
Entertainment options include live shows nightly with Tahitian dancers and entertainers, as well as a piano bar, and casino. Guest can also take scuba diving lessons or go kayaking and windsurfing. Shoppers will enjoy La Boutique with its tropical clothing and merchandise. Zumba classes are offered during morning hours and trivia games are played among guests daily. Refresh and rejuvenate at the spa and hair salon aboard the cruise ship.
- Limited children activities
- Extra costs
- Shore excursions not included
Limited Children Activities
Children aboard Paul Gauguin Cruises are not commonly seen, except during the summer and winter holidays. Planned activities and programs for kids and teenagers are generally only available only during the cruises. Additional crew members are available during these times to entertain children with crafts, pizza parties, and movie nights. Families will want to cruise during these seasons. Otherwise, kids may be bored with little entertainment options. Paul Gauguin Cruises does offer an Ambassadors of the Environment Program for children ages 9 to 17. The program educates through eco-excursions where kids can hike across the islands and snorkel. The program is a bit pricey for families per person a $299-$379. There are no cabins designed for families as well. Showers and bathtubs are narrow, and passengers can easily lose their balance if they are not careful. Connecting to the Internet may prove troublesome in some areas of the ship also.
There are also a number of service fees required to be paid by each guest. These service fees include:
- An 18 percent gratuity is added to spa services.
- Internet plans: $35
- Traditional hair-styling ($135 for a shampoo, cut and blowdry) and nail services ($25 for a polish change) at the salon.
- Full open-water scuba-diving certification will cost $750. The per-person price for most single-tank day dives is $95.
- Spa treatments, such as a 30-minute body scrub ($80), 45-minute facial ($150) or 40-minute aroma steam bath ($140).
- Unique Polynesian-inspired spa treatments like Monoi oil massages ($80 for 25 minutes) and the signature Bora Bora Deep Blue Massage ($240 for 90 minutes) are also available.
Shore excursions are not included in the price of the cruise. Tours range from $55-$120 per person. While these costs may be reasonable for single travelers and couples, they may be too expensive for families on a budget. Excursions include activities such as an underwater walk, horseback-riding, swimming with stingrays, and more.
The fitness center is small and features free weights and cardio machines. Miles are measured in kilometers on the machines. The fitness area is at its busiest at 7 a.m. so you will want to avoid this time if you want to have room to move around freely. There is no outdoor jogging track aboard the ship, which is disappointing to those who like to run on a daily basis. However, the sun deck is a great place for walkers.
On deck eight, there is a spectacular seating area away from the noise and bustle of the ship. Be aware that there is an issue with soot buildup on the furniture, despite constant cleaning from the crew. Avoid wearing light-colored clothing to avoid staining nice clothes. An awning on deck six also has the same dirt buildup problem.
The Bottom Line
Paul Gauguin Cruise Line is a great choice for honeymooners and older couples who desire to set sail in a quieter and more intimate environment. The ships are not designed for families and there are very few activities for children outside of holidays and summertime. Beach lovers will enjoy the marina water sports and tropical island offshore excursions. There are plenty of other activities for adults to participate in as well. The most popular ones are the spa, casino, and Tahitian entertainers.
The company has very few customer complaints when compared to other similar cruise lines. However, the company has failed to respond to the one complaint it did receive. The crew provides top-notch service in meeting the needs of guests and does their best to exceed expectations. Overall, it appears to be a reputable cruise line for people to set sail aboard.