A cruise in Polynesia: the chance of a lifetime

A cruise in Polynesia: the chance of a lifetime< /p> UPDATE DAY

After having visited around sixty countries and always avoided organized trips, if someone had told me that I was going to go on a cruise one day, I would have cried foul! The great traveler in me had some prejudices about these floating cities…

First, I like to travel slowly and explore each country in depth, whereas cruising imposes a schedule and short stopovers. 

Then, I like to discover the local culture and feel out of place as we find ourselves surrounded by people who look like us as soon as we find ourselves on board.

A godsend

Then the stars aligned to test my prejudices. 

Following an impromptu phone call from the One Life Travel agency, I had the incredible chance to replace a passenger at a lower cost for a seven-day cruise in French Polynesia, in November 2022. 

Motu Ofetaro, an islet accessible from the island of Raiatea.

We stopped on five islands in the southern archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, as different as they are exotic: Huahine, Raiatea, Bora-Bora, Moorea and Tahiti. 

Was I going to like the cruise concept? It was the P-O-L-Y-N-É-S-I-E, the paradise of honeymoons and diving, the fantasy of turquoise lagoons. 

In addition, this French overseas country, on a background of coconut trees, waterfalls, lush greenery and volcanic mountains, was on my list of must-see destinations to absolutely discover! 

The surroundings of Raiatea are perfect for a snorkeling session or for swimming.

At this reasonable price, I signed with my eyes closed.

Personal verdict

This experience with the NCL cruise line was a real blessing. 

Being able to cover several islands in Oceania in one week, including the flight portion, was perfect. In such a short time, it would have been much more expensive (and quite a headache!) to organize such a trip. 

As expected, I had a real crush for French Polynesia, enough for me not to follow the rest of the group for the flight back to Montreal!

Would I cruise again? 

Probably never if I can avoid it, although I now have a more nuanced view of life on a cruise ship. 

The rest happened in Airbnb at a slower pace, lulled by the waves and the exceptional kindness of the Polynesians. 


  • An unobstructed view of your destination, from a perspective impossible to observe from the mainland
  • The return to the comfort of the ship each evening, without organization or the slightest hassle
  • No need to drive or any feeling of fatigue regarding the kilometers traveled between destinations
  • Know what to expect when it comes to activities and meals


  • The loss of authenticity of certain places and ports visited by many ships
  • The impression of discovering a country on the surface and little immersion in the local culture
  • The possible feeling of racing against time at each stop
  • The prices of excursions, rentals and visits adjusted upwards according to the number of visitors
  • The loss of spontaneity, stops and times being fixed in advance
  • Seasickness ? Find out about the stages of the trip and the season, because the sea can be rough
  • The disastrous environmental cost raising many debates. Indeed, each passenger would emit four to five tons of greenhouse gases per cruise, the equivalent of 20,000 km traveled by car!  

Take off on a cruise, who is it for?

View of the island of Huahine from the boat cruise.

►People with a limited number of vacation days or people who like to accumulate the greatest number of countries and cities visited, in flight and in a single trip

►All-inclusive enthusiasts, since it is a concept offering the same advantages on a boat: à la carte or buffet restaurant, dance evenings and entertainment, organized tours, swimming pools, spa, casino, etc.

►Those and those who like to meet and be surrounded by their fellow human beings 

►Travellers who prefer organization, support by a third party and who like to be in a known and controlled environment

Bérengère Thériault loves travel, writing and photography. She has visited around 60 countries since her first solo trip at the age of 19. To follow her:
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