Tahiti 2011:
Day 2 - Tahiti


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Tahiti 2011: [Day 1 - Moorea] [Day 2 - Tahiti] [Day 3 - Tahiti ] [Day 4 - Huahine] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Rangiroa] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Raiatea] [Day 9 - Bora Bora] [Day 10 - Bora Bora] [Day 11 - Moorea] [Day 12 - Tahiti] [Day 13 - Tahiti] [Day 14 - Coming Home]

Monday, February 21: Good morning, Moorea! It's easy to be awake before sunrise when you're jetlagged.
The lagoon was quiet in the morning but the island roosters were doing their best to wake everyone.
We enjoyed a few early-morning moments out on our deck.
We had breakfast plans, so we left our bungalow, watching the water as we did.
This porcupinefish was easy to spot just below us.
We jumped in the car and headed to Patisserie Carméline in Maharepa.
We had read online that they had amazing coconut croissants, but such things do not exist here. Instead, we both had Breakfast Americaine, consisting of orange juice, baguettes, croissants, fresh fruit, and omelettes. Washed down with Coca-Cola Light, we were stuffed.
After breakfast, we went back to the resort and admired our shadows in the water along the boardwalk.
The water is so clear that this photo of a white-banded triggerfish was taken looking down into the water.
This is the view of the reef right in front of our swimming platform.
Behold the variety of clams that we could see without even getting into the water.
But of course, we did get in.
And we got a closer look at the clams.
Clams, ...
clams, ...
... clams! These things are sometimes so brightly colored that they don't seem real.
Moorish idols are almost always found in pairs.
This is a bird wrasse.
This is touristus americanus.
These little blue fish with yellow tails were adorable.
We saw threadfin butterflyfish everywhere.
The aptly-named brown spotted sandperch is a tough one to spot because he blends in so well.
This was a particularly fancy (or filthy) sea cucumber.
These little three-stripe damselfishes are shy but fun to photograph.
There are tiny, interesting things to look at everywhere, including this bright blue spiral anemone.
Just as interesting but a little more scary, these spiny anemones were tucked into the coral.
We spotted this orangefin anemonefish in his native habitat -- hiding in his anemone.
This is a three-spot damselfish.
Here's another clam blending into the coral.
Debbie had a little face-off with this white-banded triggerfish. He won and she left.
This little blue guy kept hiding in his coral next to a beige clam.
There were so many little blue fish we couldn't identify, but they could grow up to be anything.
Another gorgeous clam, ...
... and another.
Our snorkel ended as we returned to our bungalow, but Debbie got one last shot: a view of our bungalow's glass floor from the viewpoint of the fish.
We put our swimsuits on the washline in the shower and let them air dry in the breeze.
The snorkel equipment and Debbie dried in the warm sun.
All too soon, it was time to check out. We hopped a ride back to the front desk and were gone.
We drove to Cook's Bay to Jus De Fruits de Moorea, a factory that makes their own fruit juices and liquors.
We were plied with free samples of alcoholic punches and liqueurs, so we were pleasantly buzzed as we walked through the gift shop afterward. We picked up some manoi oil, papaya passionfruit nectar, a fish identification guide, and some pineapple liqueur in an amazing bottle with a glass pineapple in the center.
We drove back around Cook's Bay again, passing a pen of goats ...
... on this pretty hillside farm.
To our horror, Snack Rotui was closed so we were going to have to find lunch elsewhere. We vow to return someday, and this time, we will buy some cake before it is all sold out by early afternoon.
These excellent kilometer markers circled the island.
As we were leaving Cook's Bay, we got one last photo. Fun fact: when Captain Cook first came to Moorea, he arrived in Opunohu Bay -- not the bay that was named after him.
Debbie remembered seeing a roadside stand selling casse-croûtes, so we got two: chicken with some sort of sauce, and omelette. We enjoyed them in our rental car at the lookout pointe over the Sofitel.
After lunch, Tom took a panorama shot of the scenery.

It's so pretty.

Once again, our ferry schedule didn't match the actual one, so we just got tickets to the next one, the Aremiti 5.
In the front of the ferry, there's a no-food-or-drink section that features films. We watched a few minutes of "Titanic" dubbed in French until Debbie got too angry thinking about the old lady and her jewelry disposal choices.
We went up top again and enjoyed more of the beautiful Tahitian weather. It was in the low to mid-80s for our entire trip, but there was always a breeze to keep things pleasant.
Uh-oh. It's pouring up ahead in Papeete. This could be unpleasant.
False alarm! Our freakishly great luck in weather struck again, and the rain clouds disappeared by the time we pulled into Papeete harbor.
There's our ship, Princess Cruiseline's Royal Princess.
All we had to do was reclaim our luggage from the ferry luggage bin, then drag it down the waterfront a short distance to the ship's berth. It was about 2:45 PM and check in just took a couple of minutes.

This was our first cruise with Princess, so it was the first time we had encountered the practice of identifying the occupants of each cabin. It was a little creepy being able to tell which cabins contained single women, which cabins contained old people, and which cabins contained potentially-unmarried couples like us because of our different last names. Isn't this some sort of HIPAA violation?

We were in a balcony stateroom on Deck 8, located on the starboard side at the very front, just where we like it. We did some relaxing on our balcony, enjoying the double rainbow and the view toward the waterfront on the right, ...
... and toward Moorea on the left. We were surprised to find that the soda package we had prepurchased wasn't in our room and when we inquired, we were told it was because there was no Diet Coke on the ship. The canapes we prepurchased also weren't in our room and were not available on embarkation day. There was more confusion regarding our prepurchased Internet minutes. Gentle reader, never ever prepay for anything on a Princess cruise and spare yourself three days of going to the reception desk.
So, instead of Diet Coke and canapes, we had some Rotui Papaya Passion Nectar on the rocks. We saw this brand of fruit juice all over the islands.
Dinner was open seating, so we asked for and received a table for two. After dinner, we got a belated shot of the sunset over Moorea.
As darkness fell, the waterfront lit up. Food trucks called roulottes set up in Vaiete Square on the Papeete waterfront, selling Chinese food, pizza, crêpes and other fast food.
We ventured off the ship to go take a look.
Each roulotte has an allocated space for the truck to park in and another space to set up for a dining area.
We found a truck selling crêpes, and ordered a chocolate banana crêpe to share.
It was so delicious and reasonably priced that we should have gotten two. We're still trying to understand why fast-food crêpe stands are so popular in places like France, Japan, and Tahiti, but haven't taken off in the US yet. Someone please start a chain for us. Thanks.

Day 3 >


Tahiti 2011: [Day 1 - Moorea] [Day 2 - Tahiti] [Day 3 - Tahiti ] [Day 4 - Huahine] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Rangiroa] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Raiatea] [Day 9 - Bora Bora] [Day 10 - Bora Bora] [Day 11 - Moorea] [Day 12 - Tahiti] [Day 13 - Tahiti] [Day 14 - Coming Home]

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