Destination Overview:

This is part 2 describing our trip to Raiatea of a 3 part blog on our trip to Tahiti.  To recap, we were setting off on a two week journey that would include a week on a 60 foot catamaran from Raiatea with a captain and cook.  We started on the island of Tahiti, (Read Part 1 here) then ended our journey with a stay in an overwater bungalow at the prestigious St. Regis Bora Bora.

Travel Season:

As a recap, we traveled during the rainy season that occurs from December through March, which is a less expensive time to travel. See average weather chart here – http://www.tahiti.islands-travel.com/weather.html

On to Raiatea!

We arrived at the airport too early forgetting that all of the local flights only require a 30 minute check in.  However we were able to pack our bottles of duty free rum onboard and no one seemed to care what else we had.  The inter-island flights do have a strict luggage weight limit and my carry on needed to be checked because it was too large for the tiny overhead bin…oops.  Rose was able to make our flight instead of the later one she was confirmed on having made it through customs in record time.

An hour later we were all dropped by our taxi at Apooiti marina where we were told our boat would be moored, it was not there but we did find the company director who agreed to drive our luggage down the road into town where our boat was actually docked.  We elect to walk in a light drizzle the ½ mile or so into town and once there head to the Champion Grocery Store to stock up on wine, juice, and other mixers which are the only things not included in the cruise fare.

Introducing the Crew

Boarding of our yacht Mata Fenua, an Eleuthera 60’ catamaran was at noon and as soon as we have been shown our cabins a delicious lunch of poisson cru, a specialty of raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk that was served with rice and a French baguette.  This is a very typical lunch there. Although if someone did not like the uncooked fish Julie, our cook and hostess, would be able to accommodate with something else that would be just as tasty.

The rest of our crew for the voyage consisted of Wynn our captain and Alene, a 19 year old intern, who was learning the ropes of the hostess position.  The other passengers joining us were Thomas & Vicki a French couple on their honeymoon and Christina from Switzerland.

Life is an Oyster — and a Pearl!

After lunch we motored a few miles inside the Raiatea lagoon and anchored near a small building set on pilings about a half mile from the shore.  We were shortly picked up by one of the owner’s of Anapaperles in her dingy.  We took a short ride to the deep water near the edge of the reef and jumped in with our snorkeling gear.  The owner’s assistant dove down and brought up a string of oysters from the depths for our pearl demonstration.

Michael, Thomas, and I swam back to the building while the others rode in the boat.  Once on the deck we were shown the different grades of pearls and the way the oysters are coerced into producing the black pearls by the introduction of a special shell bead and a small piece of tissue from a “pretty oyster” which is the only fatality in the operation.  Each of these donor oysters can produce up to 60 implanted cultured pearls of various size, color, and quality.  One of the pearls we witnessed being removed from its host was a vivid golden hue which I instantly wanted to possess.  Unfortunately it was a very expensive pearl and I must depart without it.

After the pearl lesson we pulled anchor and moved another mile or so in the lagoon.  We anchored for the night and Tomas opened a bottle of French champagne.  This will be one of many New Years toasts for the evening!  Our first dinner is leg of veal with polenta, a green salad, and bottles of French wine purchased in Raiatea.  Every meal onboard will be accompanied by crusty baguette picked up along the way.  The rest of our night was spent dancing on the bow but we decided at 10pm to hit the pillows as the New Year had already happened in California.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our exciting adventures in Bora Bora!

Did you know that I am a Tahiti Specialist? So, contact me toll free 877-775-6252, or via email: lisa@thecruiseexperience.com for a Tahitian trip to be remembered for a lifetime!

About the Author, Lisa Theodoratus, CTC, The Luxury Travel Expert:

Lisa Theodoratus is a Certified Travel Consultant, as well as a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor, and enjoys traveling as a host on her Ensemble Escorted Cruises where she can interact with guests and ensure that all their wants and needs are met so their trip is remembered for a lifetime!
While Lisa loves all things travel, her favorite vacations are taking cruises because it gives a person the ability to visit many obscure and mysterious places one may miss taking a land excursion.  Some of her favorite trips have been on small luxury vessels or riverboats in exotic locales!

Lisa has many favorite destinations — whether she is designing her clients an elegant trip to Italy, Tahiti or a cruise in Europe or Alaska – creating a personalized luxury trip that they will remember for the rest of their lives is her passion!

Like The Cruise Experience on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheCruiseExperience

Visit the website – www.thecruiseexperience.com

DESTINATION TAHITI: The Most Magical Place on Earth! Part 1

By Lisa Theodoratus, CTC, Owner of The Cruise Experience

Destination Overview:

This is part 1 of a 3 part blog on our trip to Tahiti. We were setting off on a two week journey that would include a week on a 60 foot catamaran from Raiatea with a captain and cook.  We started on the island of Tahiti, then ended our journey with a stay in an overwater bungalow at the prestigious St. Regis Bora Bora.  If you think Tahiti is really, really far away, it actually takes less time to fly to Tahiti from the West Coast than flying to Europe.

Travel Season:

We traveled during the rainy season that occurs from December through March, which is a less expensive time to travel. See average weather chart here.

The Beginning of Our Adventure

Our first two nights were at the InterContinental Tahiti, which is only a 5 minute taxi ride from the airport.  The InterContinental Hotel is one of the top hotels in Tahiti, and was recently awarded by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the “Top 25 Best Overseas Leisure Hotels in South Pacific.”  I could see why — our panoramic ocean view room had a wall of glass that slid back to create a completely open environment and a fabulous view of the pool and ocean.  We headed down to the outdoor bar to enjoy a cocktail and listen to the band before retiring for the evening.

Awoken by the Sound of Crashing Waves…

We woke early the next morning to the sound of waves crashing on the outer reef and the chirping of many birds.  After a leisurely breakfast we decided to take the local bus downtown to the market.  While it is interesting to see and take pictures of the fruit and fish vendors there is not much else to do in Papeete.  I had a tasty piece of pizza in the market with a cold glass of limeade, while Michael tried what he thought was chicken with rice.  Either way, he said it was yummy.

We spent the afternoon in the hotel’s sand bottom pool complete with in-water bar where the specialty was a large rum filled mai-tai.  Our evening was spent in the hotel’s fine dining restaurant over the water where I had mahi mahi with a delicious vanilla sauce, one of the many vanilla dishes I would enjoy on the trip.

We were up early the next morning for our 7:30 a.m. flight to Raiatea on Air Tahiti the inter-island air carrier.

 Stay tuned for part 2 of our exciting adventures in Raiatea!

Did you know that I am a Tahiti Specialist? So, contact me toll free 877-775-6252, or via email: lisa@thecruiseexperience.com for a Tahitian trip to be remembered for a lifetime!

About the Author, Lisa Theodoratus, CTC, the Luxury Travel Expert:

Lisa Theodoratus is a Certified Travel Consultant, as well as a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor, and enjoys traveling as a host on her Ensemble Escorted Cruises where she can interact with guests and ensure that all their wants and needs are met so their trip is remembered for a lifetime!

While Lisa loves all things travel, her favorite vacations are taking cruises because it gives a person the ability to visit many obscure and mysterious places one may miss taking a land excursion.  Some of her favorite trips have been on small luxury vessels or riverboats in exotic locales!

Lisa has many favorite destinations — whether she is designing her clients an elegant trip to Italy, Tahiti or a cruise in Europe or Alaska – creating a personalized luxury trip that they will remember for the rest of their lives is her passion!

Like The Cruise Experience on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheCruiseExperience

Visit the website – www.thecruiseexperience.com

SEADREAM Fares Are Inclusive

Ocean view accommodations, open bar with select premium brands, water sports

equipment from the yacht’s Marina, all gourmet meals, gratuities and more!

$2,999             $3,499              $4,299

  7-Nights               8-Nights                10-Nights

Contact Lisa Theodoratus, Owner, The Cruise Experience, For Special Prices on this cruise at 877-775-6252 or (415) 457-7880!

DATE   2012

EMBARKATION   / DISEMABARKATION

BROCHURE   FARE

VOYAGE

LENGTH   

YOUR   EXCLUSIVE FARE

19 –   26 May

Monte Carlo, Monaco – Nice, France

    $8,999

7-nights

$2,999

30   May – 9 June

Venice, Italy – Piraeus (Athens), Greece

$11,900

10-nights

$4,299

16 –   23 June

Piraeus (Athens), Greece – Piraeus (Athens), Greece

$8,999

7-nights

$2,999

30   June – 8 July

Istanbul,   Turkey – Piraeus (Athens), Greece

$9,900

8-nights

$3,499

14 –   21 July

Piraeus (Athens), Greece – Civitavecchia   (Rome), Italy

$8,900

7-nights

$2,999

21 –   28 July

Dubrovnik, Croatia – Piraeus (Athens), Greece

$9,400

7-nights

$2,999

29   September – 6 October

Nice,   France – Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

$9,400

7-nights

$2,999

13 –   20 October

Civitavecchia   (Rome), Italy – Nice, France

$8,900

7-nights

$2,999

20 –   27 October

Nice, France – Barcelona, Spain

$8,900

7-nights

$2,999