Joannie and Ronnie loved Tahiti (Bora Bora) the first time they went and couldn't wait to return! This visit they went to Moorea and also tried something new...Rangiroa! They are both certified divers and LOVE IT!!! What a great couple!
Sofitel was great, as expected. Our last day on Moorea was delightful, our flight departed at 5pm so they extended our check out so we could snorkel and enjoy the ocean. We saw hump back whales that morning! Sitting on our bungalow deck enjoying our coffee watching the surf as it hit the reef on the horizon and there it was .... HUGE hump back at the surface. Was certainly highlight of the day.
Rangiroa was ok ..... hotel was ok. They say they have A/C but it really isn't ..... which was still ok. Ocean breeze cooled our room. The facility was fine .... just lack of services. Maybe difference between tuamotu's and society islands?? Not very friendly, just adequate. Water and surrounding area was breath taking.
Diving was OK ..... I know you are not a diver but in case you book travel for divers ..... the current is fast. So it's an adenaline rush but you cant really enjoy the diving. It's "tourist" trap to me .... sounds exciting but it isn't all that great, poor visibility.You DO HOWEVER have the opportunity to see some very BIG and unusual sea life (we didn't, but the opportunity IS there) BUT here is the big thing on Rangiroa .... very unconcerned w/ safety. I've never dove w/ any dive shop so unconcerned w/ safety. We are advanced divers so we felt comfortable. We know my husband uses more air than I do, we also know how to buddy up, share air and safely come to the surface but we have never gone diving where the dive master readily tells you to push it to unsafe low levels of air ..... would never recommend them to a recreational/occasional diver.
We liked the slow pace of Rangiroa and the remoteness of it ..... very beautiful area of the south pacific. The travel though was hell .... to do over, I'd stay within the society islands OR venture out to atolls.... not both. Too much travel time blown with infrequent flights and etc.
Moorea was great, Sofitel was magnificent as expected. Really relaxed. The snorkeling is the best I've ever done ...... better than the diving this trip. Apparently, hurricane Ollie wiped out a tremendous amount of coral (we could see the vast difference from 2 yrs ago) through out the islands so it has effected the diving greatly. We snorkeled off our bungalow every day, it was world class........ While we were disappointed in the diving .... that's kind of just happens now and then .... Moorea is so beautiful that you just can't complain when you're in paradise. We had a great trip ..... got home safe, fat and happy!
(Just for dive trip information .... dive conditions change when hurricane come through and many dive shops will tell you the dive conditions .... these didn't. Maybe recession? Maybe not wanting to discourage travelers ..... had we known we would have planned on diving a little less and relied on other activities .... it will take many many, many years to return those waters to the previous dive conditions. We feel fortunate to have dove in them two years ago ... its really a remarkable change ...... there were however, many sharks! Just like last time! )
If I think of anything else, ill let ya know...... was great trip.