I thought this would be the best place to get some of my questions answered regarding my upcoming honeymoon dream cruise next month. If anyone can help out me and my wife-to-be Tracy before we take off on the adventure of a lifetime that would be most appreciated....
1) Cash or Travellers Cheques? - Which should we carry? We are from Canada so should we carry a small amount of US Cash with us or just get some USD Traveller's Cheques and cash them at the purser's desk daily as needed?
2) Does the Purser's Desk carry a supply of Polynesian Franc's (Tahitian Currency) and New Zealand Dollars (Cook Island's Currency) that we can write a cheque for or have the USD equivalent charged to our shipboard account on a daily basis?
3) Do most of the local stores, markets, tour operators etc. take credit cards (American Express, VISA, etc.)? I prefer to shop that way....and get AirMiles points...and not have to worry about carrying a large amount of Cash or Traveller's Cheques with me.
4) Are there ATM's around or near where the ship docks that will work on the PLUS or CIRRUS system for us North American's who may want to withdraw local currency? Are they trustworthy?
5) Shore Excursions: What are the BEST ones that Princess has to offer? We are booking a couple this weekend and would LOVE some advice ahead of time. (We may look at booking some off-boat excursions at the docks as well, but need some advice on the Princess offered ones first.)
6) Flight time from LA: We are booked on Air Tahiti Nui on the way from LAX to Papeete and on Omni from Papeete back to LAX. I've heard the flight time is about 8.5 hours...is that correct? Any idea what movies are playing right now on ATN or Omni? Does LAX have those DVD rental places for personal movie rental/choices that you can just send back or drop off on Papeete?
Thanks for all of your help and I look forward to hearing all of your responses.
Just got off the T.P. a week ago. One heck of a great cruise! To answer your questions:
1. Carry cash. We exchanged US bucks at LAX for a few hundred Tahitian dollars. This worked quite well and the exchange rate was fine.
2. Not sure about the Purser's desk regarding your traveler's checks. I thought I heard that Princess will charge you a fee to cash them there, so we didn't chance it.
3. Yes, the stores and tour operators all took our Visa, with no problems. My visa statement shows them correctly, as was expected.
4. ATMs are everywhere and in abundance. I used one on Raiteaa (sp?) with no problem. Shouldn't have problems either as long as your PIN is 4 numeric numbers. ($5.00 atm service fee on visa though . . . ouch!)
5. We took 3 Princess excursions: drift snorkeling on Raiteaa = excellent. Snorkeling/moto barbeque on Raratonga = great; Snorkeling/moto picnic (tables in the water) on Huahine = excellent. Princess is a little pricey, but they were worth it. Also took a shark/stingray feeding excusion on Bora Bora we booked off the pier. This one was the best! $55 USD booked thru TopExcusions. Awesome!
6. We flew the exact way you will be (ie ATN to Papeete, Omni back) and both were about 8 hours flight time. On ATN, there was 3 movies to choose from. Don't remember what they were. On Omni, they showed Chicago, Showtime and something else. That flight is at 9:45 p.m. so I slept off and on thru all of them.
Don't know about DVD rentals in LAX, but you won't need them anyway. Too much happening on board to have time to watch DVDs.
There is no charge for cashing Travelers Checks on board. There is a 3% fee for drawing cash in the casino that is charged to your shipboard account. I take Travelers checks for my gambling money and other cash I might need.
As far as credit cards go, I don't know how it works in Canada but I use my MBNA card when I'm out of the country as they only charge the 1% Visa fee while others like Citibank MasterCard or Visa, add another 3% to that 1% fee. And that's in addition to the exchange rate.
I usually take the excursions through the ship so those get charged to my room and I don't have to worry about money conversions. Plus, if an excursion is late, they hold the ship for you but if you book on your own, you are responsible to get to the next port if you miss the sailing.
The others gave you pretty straight information. The one other detail of which you should be aware is the arrangements for the Omni charter. This charter flight actually leaves late in the evening on disembarkation day, which is unusual, but you have to go to the airport in the morning for check-in and then return to the ship until you go to the airport between 8:00 and 10:00 PM to board the plane. You can book an afternoon tour from the ship in Papeete, or you can go into town on your own, or you can use the facilities aboard ship on a "cash" basis.
The dining room also operates an unusal arrangement on turn-around day due to the late timing of the Omni charter flight. There's open seating for dinner between 6:00 and 8:00 PM and again between 9:00 and 10:30 PM (for those who arrive late), with the same menu ("Sailaway Dinner") served during both time slots. If you are on the Omni charter flight, you can eat dinner aboard ship before your final disembarkation.
How was your trip? We are leaving on Sept.10th. I would like the answers to the questions you orginally asked. Especially the tours onff the boat or wait and book on shore? Could you rent a jeep and go on your own? Advisabe?Email me when you get back. Is the flight 5 1/2 hours fron LAX to Papatee or 8 hours?
Re: Re: Tahitian Princess - June 12th, 2003 Honeymoon
We are going on the TP on Sept.10th. Did you talk to anyone who went to the pearl farm in Raiatea? Also the snorkling and lunch in Rarotonga was that at the Muri Lagoon? What did you do in Bora Bora? I am a scuba diver, did you talk to any one who dove? I wonder where the best place to dive would be? I have gotten mixed reviews about the snorkling in Tahiti. We have been all ove r the Carribean. Is the snorkling likr there. We saw lots af colorful fish, large and small?