Which is more glorious—watching a brilliant red sunset while bobbing in a tropical lagoon perched on the edge of a zodiac (rubber dinghy), or dining with friends (and no one else) under the stars? In the days since I returned home from cruising to the incredibly gorgeous islands of French Polynesia, I still can’t decide.
Of course, there’s no need to choose between a Tahitian sunset and starlight. I thoroughly enjoyed both, and you can too.
In fact, the two go hand in hand when you sail away to the South Seas aboard the luxurious 332-passenger Paul Gauguin. Should you be taking your sweetie to Tahiti, it simply doesn’t get any more romantic than this.
The only-in-the-islands scene unfolds on the Paul Gauguin’s rear marina platform. Think of the open-air space is a nautical dining room with three walls. The focal point, laid out before the open wall, is a turquoise lagoon, palm studded cliffsides and expansive sky—before and after sunset. The air is warm. A refreshing breeze blows. Gently lapping waves contribute the all-natural sound effects.
Your exclusive table is set with a white cloth and adorned with colorful tropical flowers. Twinkling lanterns illuminate the idyllic setting. You’re served by your own private waiter and serenaded by the ship’s Polynesian entertainers. The lovely Gauguines dance and strum guitars while handsome Gauguins sing.
Be sure to take plenty of photos. Once you return home, you’ll find it hard to believe the evening was real! Trust me on this one.
Paul Gauguin Cruises offers Dinner under the Stars twice during their seven-night French Polynesia cruise. It’s new, and it happens while the ship is anchored overnight in the lagoon in Bora Bora and again while anchored in Moorea.
Dinner must be booked in advance and costs $250 per couple or $400 for a group of four friends, including paired wines. In Bora Bora, the menu of French cuisine comes from the ship’s specialty restaurant, La Veranda. In Moorea, marina dinners take place on Polynesian Night and feature such local island dishes as poisson cru and passion fruit cheesecake.