NOTE: You don't really see it in the brochure, but when you stand on the beach and look out, you don't see the ocean, you see two motus (small islands). There is a small channel of water (lagoon) between the main island and the barrier reef. The motu is on the reef. I'm not saying it isn't pretty, it's just not what some people expect.
NOTE: This is one of the few villages that does not have a fresh water swimming pool. The lagoon is so enticing though, I'm not sure that it's even an issue.
or bigger size (100K)
Everything in Tahiti is VERY expensive; make that, EXTREMELY expensive. If you go shopping, sticker shock is a frequent problem. After you look around a little you'll find staying at the Club is a real bargain.
Dumb stuff. When you open the fares entrance door, you need to stick the plastic card attached to the door key into a slot in a wall mounted box in order to turn on the room electricity. This seems like a solution to a problem that didn't exist. Most folks just disconnect the key and leave the card in the slot for the duration.
The meal hours are much more limited, than is usual at other villages. Breakfast: 7-10:30, Lunch: 12:30-1:45, and Dinner: 7:30-8:45. No late breakfast or late lunch. Unlike any other village I've been to, the fresh bread selection is limited to just French Bread, at lunch and dinner.
This village has one dive boat that does two trips per day (8am & 10:30am), both single tank dives. On my last visit you could do both of the dives, if you so desired, for the same price. This means you do the normal one tank dive, return to the village (take the 1st stage of the reg off the tank, leave the BC still hooked up, and all your gear onboard). Then you have 30 minutes for a quick breakfast (cigarette and coffee for the French), then you re-board around 10:30am, with a few new faces, and off for the next dive. It's not as nice as a 2-tank dive, but not really all that bad. The reason for all this seems to be the size of the boat. It is meant to hold 40 people (very friendly people), but there is only room for one tank per person. The boat must return to the dock in order to refill the tanks for the second dive. One night dive per week on Wednesday; at 6:30pm.
The coral on the dive sites is not awe-inspiring, but the fantastic number of fish make up for it. The dive sites are either a series of small ridges (like fingers on your hand) or a sloping flat plateau. They no longer do the 'shark feed' dive, as too many aggressive sharks (Leopard) had started showing up; better safe than sorry. Maximum depth for the 1st dive is 66 feet (20m), or 98 feet (30m) if both buddies have computers and are advanced certified. The max for the 2nd dive is 'no deeper than the 1st dive'. Maximum dive time is 45 minutes for either the 1st or 2nd dive. A dive computer is not essential, but I do recommend one; especially if you want to buddy dive. On my last visit, the one week dive package was $250US.
|Wednesday||Moorea Lagoon||Black Motu|
|Sunday||Opunohu Wall||Pass Left|
Everyone seems to like the 'Safari 4X4'. It's a complete tour of Moorea with a drive up through the mountains and jungle, including Belvedere. There is a short trek (10 minutes) up to the waterfall, bring some walking shoes; but they may get muddy. Bring bug spray and sun screen. Plus, if you sit in the open area of the truck, hope it doesn't rain.
The second favorite is the 'Shark and Ray Feeding'. They take you up the coast a bit, you jump in the water (holding onto the boat) and watch as the local black-tip reef sharks swirl around as the guide gives them lunch (no small children please). Then back down the coast a bit and into the shallows for the rays. Everyone loves this part. The rays are very friendly (and large) and will come right up to you. If you do the Club Med version of this excursion, the staff photographer will video the entire trip and will show it at the bar before dinner (hoping you'll buy a copy, of course).
NOTE: Both of the excursions above, can be done outside of Club Med. Albert's is just out the gate and to the left (5 minute walk) and seems to be preferred to the Club Med equivalent; a bit cheaper also. There is another 'shark feed' trip available down the road to the right at the second campground; look for the small sign.
Also, rent a scooter on your own and drive around the island. There is only one road and you can't get lost. OK, there are two roads, you need to find the turnoff that leads to the center of the island - a spot called Belvedere. The finest vista on the island. There is no town to speak-of on Moorea, but you will find areas along the road with clusters of shops selling miscellaneous goods, local crafts and colorful hand printed fabrics (pareos). There are black pearl shops everywhere.
No one that I've met liked 'Dolphin Quest'. The usual comment is "what a rip-off". If you've never seen a dolphin in a captive environment before, maybe it's worthwhile; but it's a lot of money for the brief experience.
|Lagoon Safari||Min 8 people, Mon/Wed/Sat 8am-12pm, $52US|
|Nature Hike - easy & advanced||Min 1 person, Everyday 7:30am-12pm, $43US|
|Safari 4x4||Min 4 people, Everyday 8am-12pm or 1:30pm-5:30pm, $40US|
|Shark & Ray Feeding||Min 6 people, Mon/Wed/Thur/Sa 2pm-4pm, $38US|
|Shopping in Papeete||Min 5 people, Fri 7am-1:30pm, $40US|
|Tahiti Tour||Min 8 people, Wed 7am-6:30pm, $142US|
|Tetiaroa||Min 12 people, Mon/Thur 7:30am-5:30pm, $250US|
|Bicycle Rental||Everyday, |
1 hour $5US, 2 hour $7US, 4 hour $9US, 6 hour $11US,
8 hour $13US, 24 hour $18US, 1 week $70US
|Cata Jet||Min 2 people, Everyday 9am-11pm or 2pm-4pm, $57US|
|Deep Sea Fishing||Min 4 people, Everyday, $130US|
|Dolphin Quest - shallow||Everyday (30 minutes in the water), $105US|
|Dolphin Quest - snorkeling||Everyday (30 minutes in the water), $122US|
|Helicopter (15 minutes)||Min 4 people, Thur/Fri 10am-3pm, $128US|
|Tiki Village - dinner & show||Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat 6pm-10:30pm, $69US|
|Tiki Village - show only||Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat 8:30pm-10:30pm, $38US|
Most recent visit: Oct-2001