This past August, blogger Jaime Brochu sailed with us aboard the m/v Tere Moana. We let her takeover our Instagram and she posted photos along her voyage. Visit our Instagram (@paulgauguincruises) to see more of Jaime's beautiful photos she took during her cruise. Here are some highlights from her sailing.
She’s called theTere Moana.
And most importantly, not the Paul Gauguin. There is certainly a distinction—in size, in itineraries, in people. But the one common thread is the spirit.
When we first made our trek on theTere Moana in March of 2013, we were 2 time Paul Gauguin past guests.
We were ready for the same exact experience we had in French Polynesia to happen on the seas on the Caribbean. At the time, the Tere Moana was only a few months old; meaning new ship, new faces and a new experience. These new adventures combined with familiar hospitality and spirit makeThe Moana the special little sister that Paul Gauguin had always wanted.
That brings us to September 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The beauty of this ship is her size with only 88 guests. The ship set sail for the Spanish Islands and the French Riviera. A quick and easy onboarding experience in Barcelona gave way to a beautiful sunset and dinner at La Veranda, the restaurant on the back of the Tere Moana. We drank wine, dined on fresh fish and felt our worries drift away with the Barcelona coast line.
What I love most about this ship is the amazing ports The Moana is able to dock. St. Barths, Mallorca, St. Tropez, and Jost Van Dyke are among so many other incredible destinations.
Just the ports alone are enough to grab your attention.
But what seems to keep my attention are the people. From the Captain, Begnt, to the Maître D’ Allen and Hotel Director Nelson, it is clear the PG Team on the Tere Moana has are all warm, welcoming, and make you feel like you are a direct part of the Tere Moana family—just like the Paul Gauguin staff.
We sailed from Barcelona to Mallorca, Menorca, and Palamos, Spain, before moving onto the French Riviera. Ports like Sete, St. Tropez, Nice and finally Monaco welcomed our little ship with open arms.
In fact, after our return, a friend discussed just how difficult it is to get to places like St. Tropez unless you’re on a boat. We felt like we were part of the mega yacht scene, even if just for a moment.
I can remember seeing other cruise line commercials on TV that depicted perfectly ordered and timed events, in a succinct cadence. I never agreed with that idea until we sailed on the PG ships. In particular, The Moana really makes this stand out, as the crew truly adapts to the locations, number of guests and environment to make your vacation incredibly special—on your time.
During our sailing, Nelson and Allen worked together to get our smaller group of guests into special dining locations.
Everything from grilling steaks on the back of the ship, to fresh local mussels and lobster next to the pool while watching the sunset.
I even mentioned how much I loved French Rose wine, and Nelson had some available for our dinner the following evening.
The cherry on top was the final night when the crew worked tirelessly to convert the main lounge and bar into a romantic restaurant. We dined in a chandelier and candlelight filled room with a local magician! It was pure icing on the cake at that point.
Another notable, the Captain on our sailing was so different—in a good way. Captain Begnt was friendly, approachable and FUNNY! Often times you are invited to meet the captain and feel like you are impinging on his free time. Bengt took the time to show us around the bridge and upon learning of my love of photography, took me to the bow of the Tere Moana to take the obligatory “I’m the King of the World” picture!
The Captain always took the time to stop and ask how our day was, and we learned a little about his expeditionary background. His love for this type of sailing was clear, especially in the little extras like trying to arrange a swimming stop for the guests outside of Menorca.
I told him at the end of the cruise that the cruise line should offer an excursion with him on the Zodiac going to remote beaches and snorkeling spots—I would sign up in a second!
Ultimately, the Hotel Director, Nelson, said it best. “The Tere Moana is not the Paul Gauguin and it never will be. What they do have in common is the heart, and the excitement.” I couldn’t agree more.
For more information about sailings aboard The Moana, click here.
Jaime Brochu is a blogger for Sunscreen Required, photographer and frequent jetsetter, residing in Houston, Texas. You can follow Jaime's adventures on Instagram (@jbrochu). We can't wait to see where she travels with us next.