I just arrived home yesterday afternoon from a fantastic trip to FP. I'm still a bit groggy and jet lagged and will have to wait a few days before I can do justice to a full trip report.
However, everything was wonderful and exceeded my expectations. ATN flights were fine, not crowded so everyone could spread out; my layovers in LA with hotels at two Marriotts saved me and helped me adjust to the time differences (will post hotel reviews); 3 days in Tahiti was perfect for more time adjustment and climate acclimation (will post reviews on Pension de la Plage and the Island tour); 14 days on the Aranui 3 were magnificent -- I can't even begin to say how great it was, even sleeping in the dorm was fun and the food was FAB (lots of details to be provided later); 5 days in Moorea included lagoon tour, Dr. Poole's tour and rental car, all of which were great.
Anyway, I am enamoured with Moorea, addicted to poisson cru (I ate it or sashimi virtually every day), and love the music. I'll be asking for some recommendations on particular CDs or downloads as I didn't find any CDs there that anyone could really recommend.
Also came home with a tattoo that I got on my last day in Moorea when I knew I wouldn't be swimming. And a beautiful black pearl necklace.....
All in all a fantastic trip and I wouldn't change a thing about it (except the exchange rate for dollar). And the weather was really really good -- lots of sun and fluffy white clouds, just a little rain the first few days in Papeete but it was perfect for an afternoon nap. And I didn't get one single mosquito or no-no bite!
I promise more details in the week to come with photos and video clips as well (I hope).
Thanks to all who helped me plan the trip. I see now why you go back time after time.