I did Tahiti in July of 2000 aboard The Renaissance.
I liked the cruise method as a way of saving $$ on meals and lodging.
There are places where you can save some money, like the Club Med in Bora Bora, or a YMCA/hostel type thing in Papeete.
The islands are not very far way from each other and they are all small, like 18 miles around. I know b/c I bicycled around Huahini !
One could do 2 islands a day with a charter boat tour is you base out of Bora Bora or Moorea.
If you do a land deal, you might want to get one of those places over the water with the glass floors. You turn the lights on underneath and the fish come around. Kind nice. And they have a ladder leading directly into the water or just dive right in from your deck!
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Thank you for the reply..We are planning to go in 2008. Would love to stay in one of those huts over the water. Did you have enough time to explore the islands while on the ship? Where did you board the ship?
Sandy & Dennis
Tahiti proper is crowded. Beaches are rocky. The out islands are beautiful. The planes that take you to them are like taxis -- actually land in the parking lots and you walk on -luggage is limited to 25 lbs.. We stayed at the Pearl Resort in Raitea and from there took a boat to Bora Bora and Tahaa. The water bungalows are beautiful. The island of Raitea is very underdeveloped and food is very high. I would highly recommend any of the Pearl Resorts, but make sure the tours are in English and money currency is another problem. We stayed in Tahiti at the Hotel Sofitel - was not impressed. I must mention that the water bugs at the Tahiti airport are big enough for saddles. Be careful where you stay!