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is it worth it?

birmingham, alabama
4 posts
is it worth it?

Help! My fiance and I are having trouble planning our honeymoon. I have done a lot of research and found my "dream honeymoon" would consist of staying at the Pearl Resort & Spa in Moorea for 3 nights in a garden pool bungalow and then hopping over to Bora Bora for 3 nights in the overwater bungalow. Well, that package is about $2000.00 over our "budget" and it didn't even include our flight to LAX, any excursions, or food & drink. Trying hard to make this work I then found another package for just Moorea Pearl right on budget (but again- not including the other expenses mentioned). So, my question: IS IT WORTH GOING ALL THE WAY OVER TO THE FP AND NOT SEE BORA BORA/AND ONLY SEEING MOOREA or should I just do what our friends suggest and go to the Caribbean to save on travel time and money?

Thanks :)

New York City
Level Contributor
257 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: is it worth it?

Hi - congrats!!

Well we have not been yet and just booked our first trip. We have always wanted to go so we are very excited. We are only doing Moorea this trip because including Bora Bora is over our budget as well. Go to Moorea!! at first I thought the same thing about waiting until I could afford to do Bora Bora but then I thought why wait??? Moorea is also sooo beautiful and has so much to do and see.... so now I'm so ready to do just Moorea. Plus this way we will really get to relax instead of packing and unpacking etc. We also were trying to decide between the Pearl and the Sofitel. Loved the garden room with plunge pool too at the Pearl but yesterday we booked the Sofitel because we like a bigger beach area (just our preference) the Sofitel has these great garden bungalows with this giant glass shower that opens to a small private garden. Not as great as the plunge pool at the Pearl but it is very nice. I always thought when I go to Taihiti I have to stay in those over water rooms but.... some of the garden and beach rooms at some of the resorts are so great!!

anyway... if you really want to add in Bora Bora as well... maybe dont book the overwater room and then you may be able to fit in your budget because they are soooo expensive.

I say go to Moorea for your whole honeymoon and enjoy the plunge pool & island and save Bora Bora for an anniversary trip when it better fits your budget!!!

Hope any of this helps you in some way!!

PS We have spent a huge amount of time all over the caribbean so if you cancel the south pacific all together let me know... we have been to most of the islands and can give you a ton of advice on where to go & stay.

PSS Caribbean "aint" so cheap anymore!!!

Jackie

Washington DC
Level Contributor
754 posts
43 reviews
2. Re: is it worth it?

We went to Moorea and Bora Bora in 2002 and are returning to Bora Bora and Tahaa this year. My advice would be if there is anyway possible-add Bora Bora!!!

Different people have different favorites but Bora Bora is breathtaking with the most amazing lagoon. Yes, there are more OWB there then used to be and that always seems to be a reason why some people don't want to see it but I would completely disagree with this! Especially if you have never been there befo re! It a place I would say you should see once in your life if you can! The lagoon is so beautiful and there are many different resorts there so there are more pricing options. Even if you can't stay in an OWB I woud say it is worth it to take the extra hit on your budget (if you can)and see this gorgeous place.

There are many people on this forum who love Moorea (and I do think it is a great place worth seeing) but in our opinion Bora Bora was the most beautiful place we have ever seen! Hence our return trip this year. Maybe you can talk to your travel agent about your plans and see if they can come up with a few different options that might work for you and go from there??? We travel to luxury places all over the Caribbean and there are some really amazing places in the Carib too but Bora Bora was defintely the best destination we have seen!

Good luck!

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
5,112 posts
151 reviews
3. Re: is it worth it?

Ia orana

Foremost concer is at first your budget.

I would love to buy a Ferrari and can not afford it !

Keep in Mind to be able to do what you can afforsd ( Moorea would take care of that with the many options for lodging like the many Hotels, pensions, houses to rent ( a fully equipped house with kitchen for $ 1500 per week at teh fare hamara on Moorea is a tremendous value ) and as well the dining out and shopping options.

If you keep your cost in check, you stand better chances to want to and feel like returning to FP ( as many posters here already do)

Remember as well that the "Hop" to Bora Bora will run you betwenn $ 300-400 depending on the season + another $ 100 for the silly boat transfer on Bora Bora.

Consider another option like Vahine island ( Hi pub ) on Taha'a with only 3 overwater bungalows + the view on the Horizon of the mount Otemanu + the cheaper Airfare to reach Raiatea and you have right there considered a great lesser known Tahian feel option .

Copy and past either of the following in your web search box:

http://www.vahine-island.com/accueilA.html

or personal pics:

http://photos.yahoo.com/flytahiti

and open Vahine Island.

Hope this helps

Meherio

S.F.
Level Contributor
6,314 posts
14 reviews
4. Re: is it worth it?

I llove these questions so hold on tight. First with all due respect to your friends, Have they ever been to the Pacific? And I'm not talking just Hawaii. The Caribbean does not deserve to be even mentioned in the same breath nor does it belong on the same planet as the South Pacifc.

You also must realize that there are other island groups in the Pacific that will offer much more value than French Polynesia. Fiji or the Cook Islands are the best options, Samoa works for the more adventurous and those looking for more culture.

Meherio hit in on the head with the Vahine Island Resort. I would strongly suggest taking a serious look at this place. Small, intimate, and great value. Another point to consider and be aware of, French Polynesia, most glaringly Bora Bora, is not what it used to be. What was once a affordable, adventurous, vacation destination is now honeymoon central. The once in a life timers willingness to spend upward of 10k for a scant week has driven prices up to the moon and caused Bora Bora to be riddled with new over the top expensive resorts where before there were only 3. The Hotel Bora Bora, once the best hotel in the islands and it still could be, could be attained by all. It wasn't sold out all year round because Tahiti was hardly even advertised in my day. Cruise ships were not allowed yet either. Most people, because they didn't know any better just traipsed off to Hawaii. Despite what many think here of my opinions on Bora, it is hard for me to suggest people not go, No one loved it more than I, but now? If you don't care for places with too many hotels, too high prices, and over all too a trendy destination, the other islands are more than worth it. So with all due respect to Travcarib, it is no longer imperative to see Bora Bora. Remember as Meherio says it's visible from Vahine. Vahine, Moorea, Huahine, and Rangiroa top my list for places to go if I ever decide to return. All of these will provide you with a beautiful more authentic, and much less commercial experience. Is Bora Bora the most beautiful of the island chain? No doubt but in reality with all the development that has taken place, is it truly still? Pub

Washington DC
Level Contributor
754 posts
43 reviews
5. Re: is it worth it?

To each his own...pub. but I can say that we thought bora bora was the best because of the beauty of the island (having a few more resorts here or there doesn't change it for us.) Maybe we will feel different after our upcoming trip since Le Meridien was where we stayed and now there are more OWB on that row.

That being said I know so many friends and family that have been to Moorea and Bora Bora and everyone I know loves Bora Bora and never would have missed it. (and they have been there in the past 2 years.) Which is why I say it is definitely worth visiting once. I never thought I would get the chance to go again but we definitely loved it so much we had to come back.

As far as the Caribbean there ARE some AMAZING places in the Caribbean. I am not sure where you have been but we have been to some places that are fantastic. I will say that nowhere has the beauty of Bora Bora and the charm of those OWB. But I really don't see the need to knock it so bad. You have your opinion but from someone who has been to many gorgeous spots in the Caribbean and been to FP I certainly wouldn't say it cant be mentioned in the same breath. You just have to know where to go.

Homeecrocks- hopefully you are able to figure out the best plan for your dream honeymoon. What kind of activities etc do you like. Are you and your fiance more into water activites, land activities,etc. We thought Bora Bora was amazing for all the water activites especially with such a breathtaking lagoon. Moorea in our opinion was nice because of all the nice overlooks and we did more land excusions there.

S.F.
Level Contributor
6,314 posts
14 reviews
6. Re: is it worth it?

TC, I have had the opposite experience. Many friends of mine went to Tahiti after seeing me go every year, twice in 85 and another trip was only 8 months apart. My enthusiastic descriptions of Bora Bora blew them away. They waited a bit too long and went in the 90's. All said that Bora Bora was not their favorite. When I shockingly and yes with a bit of scorn asked why, all said it was getting too busy and commercial feeling. Well what the heck about now, 10-15 years later? With even more hotels having been built. TC, I'm glad you loved it and you can afford to go again, something I don't think is very easy for many in this day and age. But please just try to picture when there were ZERO hotels on the motu, no bloody helicopters, parasails, jet ski's, or 400 dollar a meal restaurants. There were only 300 hotel rooms on the island and only about 30 over water rooms total at Hotel Bora and the Marara. You could walk up Matira beach from HBB to the Marara and come across just one pension. East Matira beach is now hotel row.That is why I think the other islands are a better option now and there have been quite a few people recently who agree with me on what has happened to Bora. I can't agree more with you on it's beauty, and anybody who says it isn't a beautiful place, or the most beautiful, (back then mostly) would risk incuring my wrath! LOL!

That corner of the lagoon where the Le Meridien and now sadly those other ridiculous places are used to be a picnic haunt for us. We would take a Zodiac boat out there and have the motu all to ourselves. Sorry for the rant but I'm so passionate about my times Bora Bora and that I can never go there again.

As for the Caribbean, while I admit most of my exposure to the area has been via a cruise, a mode of travel I detest worse than a cancer, what I have seen of the area does not impress me at all. In fact the parts I have seen are downright ugly, and unfriendly feeling. I have no clue why Belize is so popular, The Cayman Islands are the biggest nothing I have ever seen except for Cozumel, and Costa Rica did nothing for me. I could not wait to go home, the complete opposite to my Pacific vacations where I had to be dragged on the plane to leave. Yes we all have our opinions and glad we can discuss them on this forum. Pub

Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
172 posts
7. Re: is it worth it?

PUB: So where do you like then?

S.F.
Level Contributor
6,314 posts
14 reviews
8. Re: is it worth it?

Luxury, I'll try to believe this isn't sarcastic and I will tell you. I have been to Tahiti 7 times.

Fiji 12 times

Cook Islands once

Samoa Twice. The old Bora Bora I loved more than life. I loved Aitutaki in the Cook Islands and the island of Ofu in Samoa is a gem. Seeing I have been 20 times to the S.P. it's obvious I love the area.

The northern coast of California is a huge love of mine and my girlfriend and I plan on ending up there one day. She has purchased a home within a few hundred yards of the ocean. I am very passionate about the United Kingdom, it's history and notably of the monarchy. We have been to London 9 times with more trips planned. Other towns throughout the U.K. have not disappointed and we would like to see more of the northern areas and Scotland. I also enjoyed Canada.

Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
172 posts
9. Re: is it worth it?

Pub: Nope, wasn't being sarcastic. Sorry I wasn't more clear with the vague short post. I was curious what you liked because you seemed very critical of several locations and thought it would be interesting to see what locations you simply preferred. I figured with over 5000 posts, you must love traveling and have places you love as well. Thanks for answering my off-topic question.

My fiance and I are SP virgins and are very anxious to change that. I can only hope we will be able to visit as much as you have. I have only been to the Caribbean once and UK twice, but I would completely agree with your assessment based on our limited experience. Thx again.

Richmond, Virginia
Destination Expert
for French Polynesia
Level Contributor
4,826 posts
15 reviews
10. Re: is it worth it?

Luxury trip............can't wait till you get back and let us know how you feel about FP.............my gut feeling is you will come back with the Tahitian Flu:) I forgot when are you going and where are you staying. Too lazy to check back:)

regards

BO