Part 1…Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia…A tour at sea…

Vacation/holiday huts set into the side of the mountain

With few tour options that appealed to us on the island of Moorea, located in the chain of islands, Society Islands, which is a part of French Polynesia, we opted for the Eco Tour on a three hour boat ride that was intended to tour around the entire island.

The ticket we purchased for the tour.

Unfortunately, a giant wave/swell was expected to hit the north and west sides of the island later in the day today and our eco tour guide, Terry, informed us that we’d need to stay away from that side of the island.

View of the shore from the boat.

However, once we got going, somehow we ended up on the west side. The waves were huge and the boat with only 11 of us passengers and two crew rode the waves quite well, although we bounced about considerably throughout the “three-hour tour.” This boat ride would not have been suitable for the seasick prone.

The pier where passengers exited the tender boats to go ashore.

Tom wrote about the three-hour tour on his Facebook as we’re sitting in the Schooner Bar at the present and one of his FB friends commented, “You know what happened in the last three-hour tour?” (Gilligan’s Island). We sure laughed out loud over that comment.

Most of the homes in Moorea are located along the water, although some appear to be located in the mountainside.

Waves and swells aside, the hard pounding boat tour made taking photos very tricky when it was nearly impossible to hold the camera steady. 

The cost of the tour was listed at $129 per person which we booked yesterday morning. Later in the day, Tom had heard another passenger at the “Shed” guy’s get together, that he had received a 10% discount card left in his cabin earlier in the day. We hadn’t received such a coupon.

More homes along the coast.

With a bit of pressure exercised by Tom at the tour excursions desk, he was able to convince the rep that we should be entitled to the 10% discount as well. As a result, our cost for both of us was down to about $235 making it slightly more palatable.

The greenery in the hills reminded us of Kauai.

With the high cost of extras aboard ship, we continue to watch our budget being highly selective as to what we charge for our onboard account. Preferably, we can go on tours we arrange on our own or with other guests at a considerably lower cost than those offered on the ship. However, this particular cruise’s ports of call appear to have certain safety risks in one going out on their own. 

Moorea, like most islands, were created by volcanic eruptions.

Plus, if we choose a private charter tour, if there’s a breakdown, flat tire or it runs out of gas, we could conceivably not make it back to the ship on time. The ship won’t wait. However, if we’re on a ship sponsored tour, the ship will wait. 

A fisherman headed out fishing.

We can only imagine how difficult and stressful it would be to miss the ship, having left passports, money, and digital equipment on the ship. I can’t imagine this is a risk we want to take in countries that may have had a few less reliable private tours.

House along the shore.

We made it back to the ship on the “tender” which in this case, is the ship using its lifeboats to ferry passengers back and forth to the pier when there’s no port large enough to accommodate the ship’s massive size. Using a tender has been the case in about half of the ports of call we visited on our previous 10 cruises, this being the 11th. This doesn’t bother us at all.

The huts for rent along the shoreline in Moorea.

As for last night, we attended a fabulous comedy show in the main theatre enjoying every moment after another engaging dinner in the Romeo and Juliet dining room. At this point, we can honestly say that every meal we’ve had in the dining room has been delightful. Again, the Aussies, are a fun lot of people.

Terry, our marine biologist had a sense of humor and was a good teacher.

This morning, we had to be ready to board the tender by 8:15 which required an early breakfast. We made it in plenty of time, each having a light meal to avoid feeling too full. The food continues to be acceptable for me with the special accommodations the restaurant staff is providing.

Tomorrow will be one full week we’ve been on the ship with 11 more days until we arrive in Sydney. The time isn’t moving too quickly that it’s getting away from us. We’re absorbing and relishing in every moment, living one precious day at a time, never for a moment forgetting how grateful we are for these experiences, never for a moment, taking any part of our lives for granted.

These huts are located in the ocean which is very popular with tourists.

We’ll be back tomorrow with Part 2, Moorea, Society Islands, and some facts about the island and again, we’ll be getting off the ship to tour the next port of call, Tahiti. Gosh, this is such fun!

It’s Saturday night! Have a good one!

                                                    Photo from one year ago today, May 30, 2014:

A weather phenomenon in Madeira grabbed our attention as dense could be rolled into the island created an interesting scene of the village and mountains.  For more details. a video and photos, please click here.

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