Have you ever dreamed of staying in an overwater bungalow in a beautiful tropical destination? I know I have! So, when a friend of mine posted on Facebook about her dream honeymoon to Tahiti I had to learn more.
Tracy and I were in a networking Mastermind group together. She is a realtor with Keller Williams in Brighton, MI. We met for coffee to talk about her dream honeymoon to Tahiti. She shared with me that her husband Joe planned the whole honeymoon with some assistance from a travel consultant. Kudos to him for planning such a special trip!
Private Catamaran ~ 3 Nights
Joe and Tracy chose to spend three nights of their dream honeymoon on a private catamaran. They had a captain and a chef on board with them. For those of you who are accomplished sailors you can captain your own vessel if you want to. Before the trip they were able to choose their food & drink options. Their private French chef made amazing seafood entrees for them each night, in fact, Tracy, who is not a seafood lover, loved the fresh seafood so much she was a bit disappointed when on the last night they had steak.
The small islands surrounding Tahiti are called motus (motu = Polynesian reef islet with vegetation). The Captain took them to several motus and also to a natural coral garden for snorkeling and diving. The catamaran also has a kayak and paddle board for client use. One of their stops included a Pearl Farm. These "excursions" are included at no extra cost. Many of the motus are uninhabited so it is like having your own private island for a day. Tracy also said the snorkeling was so much better in these natural reefs and coral gardens than when they went to Bora Bora and went on a commercial tour. She learned a lot about pearls at the pearl farm which came in handy when they were in the more "touristy" section of Tahiti. She said they were trying to sell some of the imperfect pearls as perfect, but because she had visited the Pearl Farm she knew better.
Tracy was worried about motion sickness since she is prone to that, especially on boats. She shared with me that she had mild nausea one time. That was when the catamaran had to head out to deeper water as they made their way to Bora Bora on the last leg of the trip. She said it was very windy that day. She never actually got ill, but she felt a bit queasy in the deeper water. The rest of the time she was fine. The water color is stunning, from the shallow turquoise to the deeper water royal blue.
St. Regis - Bora Bora ~ 3 Nights
Have you ever seen the movie "Couples Retreat"? St. Regis is where most of that movie was filmed. At the conclusion of their private catamaran cruise, the Captain dropped Tracy and Joe off at the St. Regis resort dock. They spent 3 nights in one of the beautiful overwater bungalows. They had a huge bedroom, bathroom, and a two tier deck. Some of their photos were lost when Joe's cell phone fell off the deck into the water below. Tracy recommends taking extra precautions with your non-waterproof technology! Snorkel gear and bikes are provided for guests. You can also get golf cart transportation to any of the resort restaurants, pool or spa area.
Tracy and Joe had a meal plan which is highly recommended since food and drinks are very expensive. Included in their stay was a daily breakfast buffet and dinner. Even with the meal plan they spent at least $100/day on alcohol, water and tips. A mixed drink is $30 and a bottle of water is $10! There are 3 restaurants (Italian, Sushi and Lagoon) and the Polynesian buffet at the resort. Reservations are required. Their overwater bungalow had a butler who arranged all of their dinner reservations. Tracy said to save money they would grab a few extras at the breakfast buffet to snack on throughout the day until their dinner reservations in the evening. She also commented that the dinner portions are not what we as Americans are used to. They are much smaller. The staff are all very friendly and speak English, French and their native language. The resort was at full capacity but it did not feel like it. There were no crowded areas even at full capacity.
Tracy highly recommends using the spa. She said it was lovely. They had a $500 gift card from their parents for the spa. They used it for a romantic couples massage. Like most everything it was expensive and the gift card was used up on their massage and tip. They did hang out in the spa after the massage and use the private spa pool and beach area.
They returned to Tahiti via a small plane. Tahiti itself is very touristy. Black pearls are one of the items Tahiti is known for, but they are extremely expensive. Tracy said they will transport you for free to one of the pearl stores, but you have to purchase something to get back. The pearl she looked at was $9000! They decided to pay for a cab to return to their hotel instead of purchasing a pearl! She also said there were roosters everywhere and many stray dogs. As with many tropical islands tourism is big business.
Weather was great (they were there in September). If it did rain it was only a sprinkle for about 5 minutes and then it was over. Tracy noted that it was a bit windy during their stay. I asked about bugs and she said she did not notice many bugs.
- Bring adaptors - they have one outlet that is our standard outlet, but the rest are European and require an adaptor.
- Tracy said she stocked up on bottles 3 oz or less of sunscreen, bug spray and other toiletries but had to throw them all away at the airport due airport restrictions of small liquids you are allowed to carry on. They did not check their bags, if they had checked their bags it would not have been a problem.
- Bring your own medications (anti-nausea, ibuprofen, etc). There weren't any at the resort.
- If you are a TV junkie you could bring your Apple TV to hook up since there aren't many choices on the local channels.
- Bring lots of cash, she said the $1500 they brought was not enough.
So what does a dream honeymoon like this cost? Tracy said that the whole trip (including airfare, luxury accommodations in an overwater bungalow with butler, food/drink, private catamaran with captain and chef, and spending money of $1500) was $15,000. Tracy told me they plan to return...maybe for a 5th anniversary. In their opinion, it was totally worth every penny they paid. Looking at their photos and listening to Tracy recount the trip, I agree!