A few years ago, my husband and I were considering a trip to French Polynesia for our 10th anniversary. We ended up taking a fantastic cruise on the Celebrity Mercury instead. That was the cruise that got us hooked on cruising again. However, the the beautiful images of the exotic Polynesian islands still linger in my mind. The brochures and web sites promoting the Polynesian vacations have some of the most enticing photographs I have ever seen.
We are hoping to be able to combine our love of cruising and our desire to visit French Polynesia with a cruise to the islands. Currently, several cruise lines offer cruises to this far off location. Celebrity has repositioning cruises that travel from Hawaii to New Zealand with stops in the Polynesian Islands. Regent sails the Paul Gaugin exclusively in the Polynesian waters year round. Princess sails the Tahitian Princess in the islands most of the year except during the summer when it moves to the Alaskan itinerary
It is hard to figure what the most affordable option is. The Luxury lines like Regent have a very high base price, but they sometimes offer specials like two for one. I also haven’t quite figured out how to figure in the air fare. When using the cruise-air options provided in the booking interface on the cruise line web site, the total cost of the air fare is often more than the cost of the cruise. Especially on the repositioning cruises like the ones go from Hawaii to New Zealand or reverse. It is not generally any more expensive to book the two one way fares, but the cost of these long haul flights is still pretty high. Also, often cruisers can find better airfare independently as the cruise draws nearer. Most cruise lines allow passengers to start out with the cruise air option and then cancel it with no penalty if they decide not to use it should they find a better price on their own. However, when I book a cruise I like to be able to get a really good idea of what my total cruise cost would be. Since airfare is a big component of these exotic cruises it is important that I have that price locked in.
So for now I’m still dreaming about the South Pacific. If you’ve had any cruises to Polynesia, please share your experience with us.