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Cruise Diary: Raiatea, French Polynesia

Guest Lynda Gavigan Halttunen and her husband Don sent us several great posts from their 30-day South Pacific cruise on Westerdam. Enjoy “cruising” with them!

After another day at sea, we docked at Raiatea, Society Island — a French speaking port of French Polynesia that uses francs for currency. We skipped exercise in order to go on deck and take beautiful photos of the “sail in.” It was very hot and muggy, but in the post office we were able to buy internet minutes and clear our e-mail.

Raiatea 1

Raiatea 3

Raiatea 4

Raiatea 6

Raiatea 8


  • Trennie A

    Good afternoon…Nick F., my husband and I are really interested in booking this very same itinerary next year, but at the moment, we are undecided as to which cruiseline we want to choose. We’ve cruised with Holland in the past and it was wonderful. The only complaint would have to be that there was nothing to eat in the public restaurants after about 9-10 p.m. I guess? As long-time cruisers with Carnival, this was quite a let down because rather we chose to take advantage of it or not, the idea of having the option was always there. Activities were also very limited, so because this length is so extended, we really want more options. It is between Princess and Holland. We are familiar with Holland, and not Princess. What would you recommend?

  • Julie

    Hi Treenie, we should disclose that Nick works for the Holland America Blog. Lynda, the author of the posts, does not. She was a full-paying guest who sent this in on her own accord. So of course we’re going to tell you to choose HAL! 🙂 During the day there are lectures, cooking demonstrations, movies, games, activities, spa and a host of location-centric enrichment programs as part of our new On Location program. But if you want an unbiased opinion, you are better asking on the message boards on Cruise Critic where you will get more opinions. We hope to see you onboard! Julie, HAB editor

  • lynda

    YES..I am 60 & my partner is 70 years old…we loved the sea days.
    We took several dancing lessons.
    I did the stretch class and the abs class most mornings.
    We are up early and go to bed early, so I don’t know about late night food.
    I do think that room service is available 24/7.
    We are 3 star mariners, so we have 100 days w/Holland America.
    We find it a good value overall in the cruise class we can afford.
    The Westerdam is an older ship in the fleet & due for refurbishing in 2014….
    the staff are immpecable!
    We originally were booked on a similar cruise with Princess out of LA and cancelled.
    We lost $2100, but the Princess verandah stateroom did not have a couch or tub.
    We have cruised on Norweigan & Royal Carribean….we prefer Holland America.
    We are tempted to try Oceana and my parents love Celebrity..
    Good luck with your cruise planning..

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