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Tahiti Cruise

February 27 - March 9, 2001.
Pre-Tahiti: Images 009 to 019.

Before leaving for Los Angeles and Tahiti, Inge did the social rounds with us. On Saturday we had dimsum lunch at the Ming Palace, followed by dinner and desert at home with Po Yuan. Then on Sunday, we had dinner with my parents at Venus in Snohomish followed by some desert at my parents' house.


Day -1: Feb-26, images 020 to 022.

Seattle, Los Angeles. On Monday, we flew to Los Angeles and checked into the Hilton. We met Grace Lee and Ben for dinner and some cheesecake.


Day 0: Feb-27, image 23.

Tuesday was basically a traval day as we flew from Los Angeles to Papeete with Hawaiian Airlines. We joined up with Carol's mother as we arrived at Renaissance's beautiful R4. We felt strangely at home since this was our second voyage with the R4!


Day 1: Feb-28, images 024 to 049.

Tahiti, Papeete. On Wednesday, we woke up in Papeete. We took a local cab ride to beach south of Faaa airport. Cost was $30 each way. Carol lost her sunglasses as she decided to wear them while swimming. The beach not great by Tahitian standards. Unlike in 1999, the ship was docked at commercial dock, not at town.


Day 2: March-1, images 050-069.

Tahiti, Papeete. We split up Thursday morning: Inge and Jacob stayed on the ship, while Carol and her mother went shopping. In the afternoon, Jacob joined the ladies in town. We went to the local market and looked at black pearls. The R4 left Papeete in the evening and set course for Moorea.


Day 3: March-2, images 070 to 132.

Moorea. Friday morning we woke up to a very beautiful moorage location on Moorea. We had signed up for an excursion to a motu. They served us a local style BBQ lunch. We did some ray feeding, which is always popular with Carol! The snorkeling was also pretty good. We drove by Beachcomber hotel where they had a dolphin pen. The lunch picture shows our initial waiter, Jason from Australia, offering us desert.


Day 4: March-3, images 133-158.

Moorea. It rained a lot on Saturday, the second day in Moorea. The excursion was cancelled, so we stayed on the ship. Picture 157 shows what happens after one eats too much at the Italian Restaurant. It took all evening to recover.


Day 5: March-4, images 159-209.

Huahine. Sunday found us at Huahine, the only island where we spent only one day. We took shuttle bus to town, from where we went on a drive and pearl farm excursion. We visted a "Marea" (sp?) which is an ancient religious ceremonial place where sacrifices to the gods were made. This included human sacrifices! Carol bought a black perl, and her mother bought four! The evening show featured the "Paramount Performers". The show was followed by dancing lessons, including the "Cha Cha".


Day 6: March-5, images 210-343.

Raietea. We docked in Raietea on Monday morning, the only island (besides Tahiti itself) that actually allowed the ship to dock. We saw Earnie's boat from December 1999: the "Va'a Rahi", although it seemed to be designated for private tours. In the afternoon, we took an excursion to a very nice motu. We took some pictures with the Tahitian local dancers and musicians. In the evening the local dancers visited.


Day 7: March-6, images 344-435.

Raietea. In order to do something different than the ship excursions on Tuesday, I Purchased excursion from local outfit "Little Tours" led by the French girl in picture 344 (sitting at the bow). First we visited a kind of "Lagoonarium" where we could swim with stingrays and turtles, as well as see sharks and Moray eels. The lunch meal in picture 397 consisted of chicken, marinated raw fish (local style) and breadfruit. The Rock Fish in picture 398 is as poisonous as a Cobra! After lunch we drove a boat around Taha'a and visited several wonderful motus! In picture 418 and picture 419 we can see Bora Bora in the background.


Day 8: March-7, images 436-503.

Bora Bora. On Wednesday we finally found ourselves on Bora Bora, the most beautiful island in the world. We started off with the excursion to the "Lagoonarium". The leader was Xavier with his local "captain" Robert. See picture 493 for Robert. At the entrance to Bora Bora (from the point of view of the ship being docked at Vaitape), we can see the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Motu Tapu to the left (see picture 504 as an example). On the way to the Lagoonarium, we first pass the Pearl Beach Resort. The Meridian is the resort next to the Lagoonarium. Further down is the Sofitel and Sofitel Motu (the part that's on the motu). Picture 503 shows our favorite waiter "Norbert" who was from Budapest (the Pest side to be exact). He was a fanatic scuba diver as well as an excellent waiter.


Day 9: March-8, images 504-713.

Bora Bora. Thursday was certainly one of the most excellent days in my life! In the morning we took an excursion with a local outfit. First, we did a tour around the island. The driver was Charlie (see picture 545). We stopped first at Blood Marys. Note that there is a nice public beach at the southern point called "Matira Point". Picture 559 shows "The Mistake" (as Xavier called it) where Hyatt attempted to build a multistory hotel but where shut down. It's been standing this way for 17 years! Picture 564 shows the condo area where people like Marlon Brando (he sold), Jack Nicholson, and Donna Mills bought bungalows. Tour cost = $20. In the afternoon we used the same outfit to take us on a $24 tour that ended up including Motu Tapu and a visit to a coral garden. The Motu Tapu visit was fabulous as had one entire side of the island to ourselves. The coral garden snorkeling trip was also excellent as we met many stingrays and found three Moray Eels. Note the Leapord Rays on picture 687. Our coral garden guides are shown in picture 713.


Day 10: March-9, images 714-725.

Papeete, Sharton Hotel. It's Friday and the cruise is over. We disembark and head to the Sheraton Hotel where we rented a room for $120 and spent a rather boring day. See pictures of bus ride to the Sharaton. I took a nice picture of the sunset from our hotel room balcony.


Day 11: March-10, images 726-744.

Los Angeles and Seattle. Saturday morning found us landing in Los Angeles, from where we flew back to Seattle. There are some pictures from the Alaska Airlines flight as it leaves Los Angeles and lands in Seattle.


Day 12: March-11, images 745-749.

Redmond. It's Sunday and we are feeding squirrels in Marymoor Park. Inge looks like he made some new friends!


Extras: Map of the Tahitian Islands.
Trip notes from a previous R3 passenger: www.alhull.com/tahiti/index_tahiti.html
Another R4 adventurer: www.pengelly.net/tahiti.htm
Al Hull's pictures: the young dancing girls, and a Bora Bora hotel from the air.
Stitches: Papeete (small) R4 deck (small), Moorea (small), Huahine (small), Raiatea from ship (small), Raiatea from dock (small), Raiatea Island, Raiatea island excursion (small), Bora Bora from R4 (small), Bora Bora Lagoonarium (small), and Motu Tapu (small).
Small pics of Bora Bora from the air: one, and two.
The American WW-II gun at Bora Bora.

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