We’re back, and all I can say is WOW! Seriously, the most perfect places ever. I cannot wait to share this trip with you! I’ll be as detailed as possible, as I know this is a dream destination for many like myself.
First up, what and where is French Polynesia?
French Polynesia is a group of tiny island, also referred to as the Society Islands, in the South Pacific (also referred to as Oceania). Located south of the equator, the official language is Polynesian, but French is even more common.
Getting to/from French Polynesia isn’t easy. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Unless of course you have a private plane, like John Travolta. He was also in Bora Bora while we were there! Before getting to the other islands, visitors all fly into Tahiti first, as it’s the only International airport around.
From Tahiti, Moorea is another 10 minute flight (or a 40-minute ferry ride), and Bora Bora is about a 45 minute flight.
Many choose to stay in Tahiti before filtering out to the other islands. We opted not to, as we were eager to get to the other islands.
Our itinerary looked like this:
Day 1: Leave New York
Day 2: Arrive LA, Fly to Tahiti, Ferry to Moorea; Moorea overnight
Day 3: Moorea
Day 4: Moorea to Bora Bora
Day 5: Bora Bora
Day 6: Bora Bora
Day 7: Bora Bora
Day 8: Bora Bora; Fly to Tahiti, Fly to LA
Day 9: Arrive in LA, Fly to New York
We left New York about 6:30pm. For some reason I felt worse during the 6 hour flight to LA than I did on the 16 hour one we took from New York to Hong Kong. We flew American Airlines, and their new planes are horrible! About 2/3 of them are dedicated to first and business classes, and those back in Coach are crammed into the other third. I’ve never been closer to the seat in front of me, or to the person next to me. Thank goodness it was my husband, or I would’ve gotten to know a stranger on a whole new level. I couldn’t sleep, and my legs were cramping, so I forked over the $33.95 for crappy Internet. I stalked the map, and was so happy when I saw this:
We had a small layover in LA, and boy was I nervous for our next flight. Especially after this bad one. It’s our first time flying Air Tahiti Nui, and many people say how worth it splurging for first class is. We always fly coach, because I don’t think first is worth the exorbitant expense. I’d rather spend money elsewhere. However, after this last flight, I was regretting this big time. I was tired and cranky. Plus, by now it was midnight LA time, so 3am New York time. AND we still have another 8 hour flight to go! I was seriously so over this trip, and we weren’t even halfway there yet. All I wanted was to sleep.
Then, we boarded our Air Tahiti Nui flight.
Dear Air Tahiti Nui,
YOU ARE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!
I felt like I was brought back to the old days of flying. You know, where the customer was treated like an actual customer. Back when it was a luxury to fly. Where your comfort is top priority, and it was the airline’s pleasure to accommodate you.
As we boarded, the cabin was full of this beautiful, tropical scent. I suddenly felt like I was already on an island! At my seat was a pillow, blanket, and pouch, filled with ear plugs, socks, an eye mask, and towelette. There was so much room between the seats that I rested. Comfortably. I’m so glad we didn’t spend the extra to fly first. Coach was plenty roomy and wonderful.
The plane was big, with two side rows and a long middle row. We sat in one of the side rows, in seats K and L. Air Tahiti Nui fed us dinner and breakfast, but I wouldn’t know if it was good or not, because I slept. Finally!
By the way, little tip: Alcohol is free! Yes, even in coach! On the way home I may have gotten a little tipsy while watching movies, which are also free.
Arriving at the airport in Tahiti was SO exciting. Even though it was still dark out, at 5am local time, a welcome crew greeted us as soon as we stepped off the plane. BLESS YOU ALL for having a job that requires you to perform at that hour. In an airport.
The airport in Tahiti is small (also, there’s no ac except in the one food area and in the large duty free shop). Later on I’ll really see what a small airport is like! Down to not even having security in the Moorea or Bora Bora airports! Can you imagine? You literally walk on the plane, and that’s it! But more on that later! Back to the Tahiti airpot… It’s pretty boring, especially when you have a five+ hour layover here like we did on the way home!
So when we arrived in Tahiti we got our luggage, and all was pretty uneventful. We waited until just after 6am to grab a taxi (to avoid the additional surcharge). FYI: be sure to check the cost chart that’s located right where the taxi’s are lined up. And of course, just like you would anywhere, confirm the rate before you get in.
If you remember, we had so many issues with Air Tahiti (they are different than the airline we just flew, Air Tahiti Nui). We eventually decided to take the 40 minute ferry ride to Moorea, rather than the 10 minute flight. Thanks to Air Tahiti’s MANY changes, the ferry would get us to Moorea HOURS before the flight would.
Next up, the ferry to Moorea!