I was excited to be given the opportunity to to cruise on the Oceania Marina and travel to Tahiti. I love small ship cruising and I was super excited to experience Oceania Marina’s elegance and “The Finest Cuisine at Sea”. We departed Australia on Friday 8 March and as we crossed the international dateline, we were able to enjoy a weekend in Papeete prior to the cruise.
We stayed at the beautiful Manava Suites in Papeete, in a Lagoon Studio with stunning beach/pool views and overlooking Moorea in the horizon. This was the perfect Resort for pre-cruise, 4 star, with a large infinity pool, great restaurant and pool bar. The property offers both Suite and duplex apartments. We spent the weekend enjoying the resort, spa treatments and some local restaurants.
We boarded the Oceania Marina on Sunday after lunch, and embarkation was quick and efficient – we were onboard in no time. We took it easy that afternoon and just took our time settling into our Verandah stateroom. Our cabin featured a generous size verandah, luxury seating area with mini-bar, spacious wardrobe closet and granite bathroom with a bath and separate shower.
After the mandatory muster drill, we met for cocktails on the top deck before heading to dinner. We had dinner at Toscana – probably the best Italian food I have ever eaten and the service was impeccable!
On Monday we docked in Moorea and had booked on the morning Shore Excursion; swimming with Manta Ray and Sharks, which was amazing.
We then walked to the Intercontinental Moorea and had lunch and a swim and then afternoon excursions, swimming with the dolphins – one of my bucket list experiences. This was an incredible experience. The whole day was probably one of the nicest days of my life.
And, to top off this spectacular day, we then dined at Jacques, French cuisine – just divine.
On Tuesday we arrived in Raiatea and joined a shore excursion to the Marae Taputapuatea, the largest marae in Polynesia, World Heritage by UNESCO since 2017. Taputapuatea brings an exceptional testimony of 1000 years of civilization. We returned via a swim stop and refreshment at one of the outer island. We dined tonight at Red Ginger – fabulous Asian classics and even offered a menu for our Chop sticks!
We arrived the next morning in Bora Bora and made our way to the popular Matira beach for a coffee and swim. With breathtaking beaches, aqua waters and the backdrop of Mount Otemanu and Pahi, I understand why Bora Bora is considered one of the most beautiful islands. We then toured north to explore further and spent the afternoon at the Intercontinental Resort for lunch and a swim. Our last night we were very fortunate to dine at Privee, the private dining room on board, together with the General Manager and Future Cruise Manager. This was again exceptional service and meal.
The next day we flew back to Papeete and had day use at the airport motel before our late flight back to Australia.
Tahiti as a destination Island holiday has so much to offer, as each island is unique. The Oceania Marina is probably the best small luxury ship I have cruised on. With its maximum capacity of 1250 passengers, elegant yet casual ambiance, multiple specialty dining at no additional cost and exceptional service I will definitely return to Cruise with Oceania again.