I'm planning a vacation for my mother and I for early summer 2003. I've been reading up on cruises and really one of the only ones that appeals to me is the Radission Paul Gauguin. I read some reviews on epinions.com and everyone is raving about it. I have a few questions though and I would really appreciate it if someone could help. Thanks in advance! Here goes:
I can't seem to find any prices on Radisson's website. Only pictures and other information. For the 7 night cruise in Tahiti what are the lowest prices? And are those prices per person or per room with the suggested amount of people? Are the prices for the off season or busy season (when are those, btw)? Does that include meals? If not, about how much do the meals on the boat cost?
About what time do the excursions begin? I'm not really that excited about cruises where you have to be up at dawn just to enjoy the islands.
I checked on the Paul Gauguin myself and the Oct. 7 sailing is $2750 per person plus $149 per person port and taxes on i-cruise.com. I've found i-cruise.com to be as close to the best price as I could find. This price is for a port hole view cabin and is the least expensive.
All the food on the boat is free. And from what I've read the drinks (alcohol too) are also free. I've heard great things about this boat as you have and it intrigued me.
However, i-cruise.com does not have any listings for this ship beyond Dec. '02 which might mean they are moving the ship to another location but not necessarily. I just don't know.
> All the food on the boat is free. And from what I've read the
> drinks (alcohol too) are also free. I've heard great things
> about this boat as you have and it intrigued me.
Not all alcoholic drinks are free, just wine with meals if I recall correctly. If one wants a more vintage wine or a mixed drink, I believe those are extra. And they don't nickel dime you for sodas and ice cream. One of the best features that one has to consider, when evaluating a Radisson cruise is that tips are really included. Not like HAL that says that tips are not required when they are still expected. Radisson pays their people well and, as such, tips are in that price. So deduct $10/day/pp in any comparison you might do with what Princess is offering.
To all. Ah, yes! My favorite cruise! Took it last Feb and am taking it again this Feb. Beer, wine, and/or cokcktails are included at dinner and LUNCH, as well as on the motus (private beaches, and don't miss these!), around the pool, and in a seemingly endless stream of cocktail parties. In addition, soft drinks and bottled water are included all the time. You also get an included mini bar in your room or suite, with replinished soft drinks, and one liter per guest selected liquor. Whew!, more than I could consume! And, if you want another liter of liquor for your cabin, I checked the room service price list and found items I drink (i.e. Bacardi Rum) at about $14 per liter --- just like at the stores here at home.
Not quite totally "all inclusive", but close enough for me. This is the best cruise in the world --- period.
No, you don't have to get up early to enjoy the PG itinerary. Don't write off the motus (private beaches) as they are far more than the usual private beach! The PG was actually custom built for this itinerary, isn't going anywhere else, and has a published schedule for '03. I'm on it in Feb. 03. I really recommend that you contact one of several TA's who specialize in Radisson for the best price and value, not a "dot com" site. For example, air is included on bookings from Jan. through March. Many of these TA's can get you a better price than that mentioned above. There are also ways to get room credits such as AMEX platinum card use, affinity groups, and more than can be said in a brief "sound byte" like this.
Warning: If you have been cruising the "mass market" lines in the past, prepared for a pleasant shock as the PG and Radisson. None of the "old rules" apply. Like going from a Ford to a Ferrari. Also be prepared to become addicted to the lack of crowds and lines, and all that is included, and to never go "mass market" again, as you won't want to!
Hi! I just realized that you are the same "Thomas" as on the "Cruise gripes" board, wherein we have been debating (as gentlemen) the ins and outs of a more inclusive cruises vs. "nickel and diming" (and the question of whether it is that). By way of information, the Paul Gauguin is the example I have had in mind as the almost perfect balance on this issue. Very many beverages are indeed included, but not always "hard drinks" at the bar. More importantly, also included are things for non drinkers, and just about anyone, including snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, lectures, and water skiing -- along with all soft drinks and bottled water. Even shore excursions are available at close to the ship's cost, as Radisson does not view them as a profit center but rather a service.
One of the problems in debating the issue of inclusiveness on cruise ships is that so realtively few cruisers have been on anything but the lines that are becoming increasingly non-inclusive about many things. This leads to many misconceptions about what a more inclusive cruise would be like. Some fear a "boat load of drunks". With the PG, the opposite is the case. Some fear lack of chioce. But again, the PG includes so many things that are extra elsewhere that there is an abundance of chioce. The only difference is that your choice probably will be included in the fare. Shore excursions remain extra (as mentioned) as is spa use and aclohol in the bars at times other than the cocktail, pool, or beach parties ---- and of course dinner and lunch.
I really hope you give the PG a try. I don't think you will return thinking that you were denied the right to chose activities, but that this right was enhanced. And, if you do go, let me know what you think!
To Earnie: Absolutely, what you say is true, and is a necessary element in getting the most value from a PG cruise! In past years, theses months have been the "rainy season", thus the cruise discount.. But in the last several el ninio years, the rain has been concentrated in Decembr, leaving the other months fairly rain free. Jan, Feb, and March with the included air are where the PG bargains are. Again, IMO this is the best cruise in the world ---- period! GOI
Has anyone on this board done the 14 day Marquesas trip? I have only been on the BIG ships before - except the R4 in Tahiti where the water was so rough the tender couldn't dock. I am concerned about the size of the ship and the possibility of spending too much time feeling ill. Might May or Novembe be better (I see just 2 dates for this trip? MIght there be a passenger on this board who is prone to sea sickness and who has had a good experience on such a small ship?