Aranui to Pitcairn Traveller Review "Probably the BEST cruise we've ever been on!!!!"
We hope you are well.
When the letter arrived from Ultimate we thought that maybe it was a survey on our thoughts about the recent Aranui 5 cruise to Pitcairn Island. As we would like to pass on to Ultimate Travel the following.
The cruise was probably about the BEST cruise we ever been on! The islands we visited (a little off the usual tourist list) were just wonderful. Two wonderful ladies on Amanu even took time to make Carole a grass skirt...on the spot. What an experience! The people are so friendly and welcoming. Aranui's agenda for visiting was really very good. No rushing, plenty of time and communications passed on to passengers was very good as well. The ship was a joy to sail in. The disembarking into the barges was an experience not to be missed. Our cabin had the biggest bathroom we've ever had cruising. The crew tried very hard to please all. While the food, sometimes was a bit limited, there was still plenty of it and served well. The weather was just brilliant throughout the entire cruise.
PICS OF THE TRIP BELOW
The highlight, of course for us and the other 72 Australians on board, was the opportunity to visit Pitcairn Island. Our time there was a knockout really. So much history and a link to Australia's early governorship. We could have spent another two weeks there...no trouble at all. The Pitcairners are trying really hard to move forward. AND being on the island on the actual day of the 229 year anniversary of the Bounty Mutineers landing, was a once in a lifetime experience for us. AND on Aranui 5 inaugural visit. The plaque & breadfruit trees presentation (by Aranui 5 owners) was also a must see. Carole and I have been trying to get to Pitcairn Island for over 40 years. We finally made it! AND we walked the island in stunning clear weather. What else could one want?
By now you'd be looking for a negative. Well we suppose there's always one isn't there. BUT it is such a minor one we sure it can be fixed. The company (Marama) used to transport us to and from the Aranui 5 seem to be at sixes and sevens. Leaving the hotel on departure day they just couldn't get the passenger head count right. For some reason it took forty minutes, while we all sat on the bus, before they agreed on how many passengers they were taking to the Aranui 5. After the cruise, with the Aranui 5 returning to port at 7pm not 7am, (as mentioned in printed itinerary) seemed to completely baffle them. All passengers, destined for the Manava Hotel had to wait almost an hour before we were picked up. All guests for other hotels, in Papeete, were long gone. I'm sure a simple comment from Ultimate would fix all future transportation issues.*
Richard, the Manava Hotel is a great place to stay. How we scored a room overlooking the lagoon...well we don't know. We usually get the room over the car park! We took so many photos and so much video. These will only enhance our vivid and very fond memories of the trip of a lifetime. Please pass on our comments to whomever you decide.
Our very kind regards,
Kevin & Carole
*COMMENT FROM ULTIMATE CRUISING: Unbeknown to Marama Tours and Ultimate Cruising (at that time) one traveller and his partner, had checked out of the Manava Resort early on the day of cruise departure – and gone to Papeete Hospital. Consequently Marama Tours were searching for 2 passengers booked for the transfer to the ship – but unable to be found. They were reluctant to leave without all the passengers - miss the transfer, and miss the cruise. Eventually staff at the hotel were found who could advise of the reason for the two passengers absence, and Marama Tours could safely depart.
FYI The ill passenger was admitted to hospital immediately and did in fact miss the Pitcairn cruise. They have since returned to Australia and on last report he was recovering well.