This morning, m/s Paul Gauguin is anchored off the coast of Huahine, Society Islands. In the past, Huahine was a center for Polynesian culture, and is now one of the richest in archeological sites.
The day begins with an 8:30am muster drill held in the Grand Salon on Deck 5. Unlike most cruise ships, m/s Paul Gaugin does not store lifevests in the staterooms. Instead, they are on the lifeboats themselves, which makes sense when you think about it. So there was no need to drag a lifevest to the drill for the demonstration. Crew members demonstrated the proper way to put on the vest in the event of an emergency, then each group (A, C and D) were led out to the lifeboat deck for further safety instructions.
After the drill, we decided to grab a late breakfast in La Veranda (Deck 6 aft). They were just about to close down the breakfast buffet (open from 6:30am until 9:30am) but graciously took Rickee's egg order and gave us one last run at the buffet. After breakfast, Rickee wanted to learn how to tie a Pareo, a traditional Tahitian wraparound skirt/dress. Even though the Pareo can be worn by men or women, I did not choose to participate in the demonstration. I was left to camera duty instead.
Since we expect to be spending some time in the water on this trip, we decided to visit the Marina on Deck 4 aft to obtain our snorkeling gear. Paul Gauguin Cruises provides guests with complimentary use of snorkel masks and fins. When we arrived, the marina door was open and some guests were already taking advantage of the paddleboards and kayaks, also provided for guest use.
The weather today is a bit undecided. It is mostly cloudy, with a few bursts of sunshine breaking through, and even a little rain shower from time to time. There was something for everyone! Many guests went ashore for excursions and the ship ran tender service throughout the day for those wanting to go ashore on their own. There is also a shuttle that runs every thirty minutes to take guests into Fare from the tender pier. When we learned that the shops in town close at noon, we decided to stay on board and enjoy the pool, the intermittent sun, and other activities.
Just aft of the pool is Le Grill, and that is where we decided to enjoy our lunch today. Le Grill offers a very nice selection of salads, sandwiches, soup, desserts and a made-to-order pasta station. The a la carte menu features burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. I ordered a cheeseburger and Rickee tried the grilled mushroom and brie sandwich. Both came with fries and both were good!
This afternoon, we thought we would check out the "Children of Huahine" show in the Grand Salon where a group of children from the local village of Tamarii Maroe entertained with a colorful local dance performance.
After the show, we read where Executive Chef Stephane Palluaud was going to perform a Moonfish presentation in Le Grill. Before long, Chef Paliuaud was carving up huge filets of the fish for this evening's dinner in Le 'Etoile restaurant.
After the demonstration, we had just enough time to stop by La Veranda on Deck 6 for "Ti No Avatea", or what we refer to as Afternoon Tea (4pm to 5pm). In addition to a substantial buffet of cookies, desserts, scones, et al, fresh, hot Crepe Suzette was being served.
The visit to Afternoon Tea might have been the final nail in the coffin. There was no way we would be able to have dinner tonight! Instead, we decided to clean up and get dressed for the Captain's Welcome Party. After a quick meet-and-greet with the Captain and Senior Staff, we were treated to an Homage to Tableau Gauguin, a unique performance featuring Les Gauguines and music by Santa Rosa. Afterward, the Captain took the stage to introduce members of the Senior Staff and welcome all of the guests.
After the Welcome Party, we visited the Piano Bar on Deck 5. While most guests were heading to dinner, we sat at the Piano Bar enjoying a quiet cocktail and reflecting on all we had done today. Tomorrow, we will be in Taha'a where, weather permitting, we will enjoy a day at the beach!