Showing posts with label French Polynesia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French Polynesia. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Song of the South . . .Pacific, that is!

Our month-long journey that sliced through a mere section of the South Pacific has come to an end.  We sailed 18 days across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to reach Australia and flew home to Seattle in 17 hours. We sampled a tiny bit of a very vast region, overwhelmingly vast. . .

The Pacific Ocean covers 63.78 million square miles, 165.2 million square kilometers.

We knew it was big but didn’t comprehend its vastness until we found ourselves aboard the Celebrity Solstice sailing from Honolulu, Hawaii to Sydney, Australia.

The Pacific Ocean is home to some 25,000 islands; some 6,000 – 10,000 of which are inhabited.

We visited six in a month’s time.

When remembering those visits – aside from the sheer joy of seeing land each time we approached a new island – we remember the welcomes we received by the Pacific Islanders who shared their proud heritage and culture with us through song and dance. . .


This Hawaiian troupe from the Lahaina, Maui Senior Center showered us with sweet ‘aloha’ through their songs and dances.


Six days later when we reached the next island in our journey, this band of troubadours greeted us in Pape’ete, Tahiti. And just footsteps beyond, another group performed for us:


We had reached French Polynesia, almost a mid-way point in our journey. Before leaving Tahiti we were treated to a bit more entertainment as we returned to the ship for a mid-day break from the 90-degree temperatures, which didn’t stop these two from performing.

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Then it was on to Bora Bora and Mo’orea, where musicians again filled the air with lyrical welcome.

DSCF1168The old adage, ‘first impressions count’ couldn’t hold more true than for cruise passengers disembarking at new locations. Those first few steps off a ship can say a lot about a place. Here, it was warmth and welcome

When we think French Polynesia now, we think of the warmth of smiles and the Songs of the South.

Hope you’ll sign up to receive our reports about the South Pacific – you can do so on our home page,TravelnWrite. We’ve got a lot of places and people to tell you about in the coming weeks, and we'll take you behind the scenes on board the Solstice, and we've got some new tips for finding cruise deals! See you again soon.

That’s it for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday so head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more armchair travel.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Living A Celebrity Life

Our floating home has carried us several thousand miles from the port in Honolulu, Hawaii to French Polynesia – Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea.

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We are sailing the same waters charted by those brave navigators centuries before us; James Cook and Ferdinand Magellan, among them.  I dare say our ship, the Celebrity Solstice, pictured above, is far more luxurious than the ships they sailed.  And much larger -- it would take almost 10 of Cook’s ships to stretch the length of ours. 

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And now that we’ve been on this vast stretch of ocean for five days, passing no other ships, seeing no other forms of life, we are even more impressed with the courage of those early day explorers. We leave tonight for another four days at sea to reach New Zealand.

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Our ship has 15 floors stretching from the lower floor 2 where we board the tenders that take us to shore in many ports, (photo above from a tender) all the way up to the very tip-top Sunset Deck from where we wile away hours watching the clouds and sea.

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Our room we describe as being on one of the ship’s  bulges – we are on the 8th floor – quite in the middle of the ship.  The circle to the left of the “X” above highlights the area in which our cabin is located.

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By being on the bulge our balcony is slightly larger than those on the narrow part of the ship. Note the flat screen television - (we watched our Husky football team play last week and today we are watching Sunday NFL football following our return to the ship.

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I am writing at the desk to the right of the television and when I turn my head to the right, and look out at our deck, this is my view. We are currently anchored at Moorea.  A tropical paradise? You had better believe it – photos don’t do it justice!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Sailing to Oceania

“You are sailing to where?!” 

Oceania. . .you know, that region also called the South Pacific

We’ll be boarding our old favorite, the Celebrity Solstice this fall in Honolulu bound for Sydney, Australia.  Our journey by sea to the land ‘Down Under’ will take 19 days to complete.

As shown on the map above, our route will take us through the Pacific Ocean with stops at a few of the islands that make up French Polynesia, give us a sneak peak at New Zealand and provide two long, lovely stretches of leisurely days at sea. 

As seekers of great adventures at great prices, you know we sometimes have to have patience while waiting for the travel gods to bring those concepts into sync.  We’ve had this routing on the radar for at least two, maybe more, years.

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And, as seekers of great adventures at great prices, we know we  must be able to act when opportunity knocks on the computer screen.

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It rapped while we were in Ko Olina last month.  There it was in an email announcing the week’s Top 20 Travel Deals sent by Travel zoo. 

Even better, it was offered by our friends at Crucon, the New Hampshire on-line cruise agency that we’ve used (and recommend highly) for our recent cruises.

The Scout did a quick comparison of other cruise web sites we use, we checked dates and within hours of reading the email had made a deposit to hold the room.  We’ve learned good deals go fast.

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The Good Deal:  The price of $2,199 per person guarantees us an outside balcony cabin, (my favorite place on the ship!) and includes prepaid gratuities ( a savings of about $450) plus complimentary alcoholic and specialty drinks (a savings of about $900 per couple over purchasing the cruise lines “drink package.”)

This illustrates our mantra: There are travel deals to be found out there.  Check TravelnWrite’s Deal Finder page for other tips on finding deals.  We’ll see you back here for Travel Photo Thursday!


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