My husband and I are planning a trip to the French polynesia in March 2008 for his 50th birthday, and we thought that the best way to see it all, is to take a cruise. We have never been on a cruise before, so we do have many questions. I'm finding alot of answers here and this is great! We were originally planning on cruising on the Paul Gauguin, which includes pretty much everything (gratuities, booze, etc., etc), but it is way out of our budget. Princess is more reasonable, but with having to pay for all your drinks, wine and gratuities, I'm starting to wonder if it is that cheaper. When on holidays, we like to enjoy a few drinks in the afternoon and wine with dinner. Can someone give us an indication of how much a bottle of wine can go for on these ships? Are you allowed to bring alcohol on board?
We're from Ottawa, Canada, flying to LAX is very expensive, so we'll be looking for deals there too! Any tips you can provide will be greatly appreciated!
You can bring your own wine on board, they will charge a $15/corkage fee in the dining room. A typical bar bill for the two of us on a 10 day cruise is approximately $800. This includes a few drinks during the day for both of us, wine in the dining room, and a few drinks in the casino at night for me and a few drinks in the shows for my hubby. I know I could cut the bill down without my double Baileys in the casino, but I like to end my evenings that way. It actually works out to about $40/day per person. My husband buys buckets of beer during the day, I'll have a rum punch or a frozen margarita (or three). We have a before dinner cocktail, I have a bottle of wine with dinner which lasts 2-3 evenings (they will recork the wine and serve it until it is gone). Then I have at least 2 drinks in the casino and at least 1 double Baileys before retiring for the evening. The wine ranges from $20 up depending on what you choose. A great number of people do put alcohol in different containers, but if they catch you, they will confiscate the alcohol until the end of the cruise. You can also buy packages to have cocktails in the cabin, but I don't think it saves much. In my opinion, the difference in the price of the cruise will more than make up for your bar bill. It sure sounds like a wonderful birthday present and I know you'll have a marvelous time. Best wishes!!
Hello TwoSix and welcome to cruise chat;
penny3333 gave you a good overview of the cost of wine and drinks.
I'm not too familiar with Regent Seven Seas cruises or the Paul Gauguin except by reputation, which by the way, is excellent, so I did a little checking; and depending on what catagory cabin you are thinking about, I saw some prices for Paul Gauguin that were not much more than Tahitian Princess; and factoring in the things that are included I could conclude the Paul Gauguin was actually a better deal--and this from a die-hard Princess fan.
Some sailings and cabin catagories were astronomic, but there were also some that seemed quite reasonable--as low as $1995 for 7 days.
You might want to check a little further.
Thank you so much for having taken the time to answer my post - really appreciated. And I am really starting to believe that it would indeed be a better deal for us to sail with the Paul Gaugin, so we'll continue to look into that. Happy cruising everyone!
Happy Birthday. Cruising French Polynesia is a great way to sample the different islands. You are traveling so far; please do try to stay for a few days before you return home. I recommend a post-cruise stay over a pre-cruise stay. You can ferry to Mooreaa from Papeete in less than one hour. You can disembark from your ship and roll your suitcase across the parking lot to the ferry dock.
If you find a good fare on the Paul Gaugin, do try it. Don't be fooled thinking that the 10-day on the Tahitian is a better bargain. If it is the itinerary that includes the Cook Islands, the ship spends a full day at sea traveling there and one coming back - and the water is usually quite rough. Much of the time, the ship is unable to dock in Rarotonga (the Cook Island that is on the itinerary). I typically enjoy sea days -- but I did not like sea days on the Tahitian Princess. I did not like the ship and did not want to spend any more time on her than necessary.
That being said, please know that this cruise was one of my favorites because it was so delightfully social and the passengers, mostly couples in our age range, were lots of fun. All of the port stops are wonderful. The entire place is beautiful.
I am a diehard Princess fan but this is one time that I would not recommend it. If this is the only way you can manage it, then by all means, book the Tahitian and don't miss out on French Polynesia.