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a VirtualTourist member asked on Dec 7, 2016


BB + Moorea in April or/vs May/Travel Agency/Plane/Places to stay Help!


So - my mother is turning 60 next time. I'm hoping to take her to BB + Moorea as a surprise (but 2 months after her birthday - since her birthday coincides with my dive trip in march... yes bad me - but that makes it even more of a surprise). Our interests: swimming, snorkeling, adventure, boat rides, scenery. I'm 32 and I am in decent shape. My mother will be 60 and she's also is good shape (wouldn't call her a hiker though)

Okay - so here's the deal - I need help - if you have to advice me on anything, question #1 is the MOST important because I have to choose my vacation week by the end of this week.

  1. 1 - Time Frame

June - October - High Season and probably most $$$ so no
December - March-ish (possibly April) = "wet season"
I'm thinking I would like the highest chance at beautiful weather - understanding that nothing is guaranteed. So - here I'm thinking either April or May. I'm spending soooo much $$$ - I want the highest chance at great weather and a great trip (without having to pay for "high season").

From my understanding April and November are shoulder seasons. I was thinking of doing early-mid May - does that seem reasonable/price-wise? Or is May when prices skyrocket?

2- Travel Agencies:
I know there's Costco - but I'm NOT sure how lenient they are to changing their set itineraries listed on their sites. Any advice on this is appreciated - please feel free to message me as well.

3- Places to stay - May coincidence with #2
Moorea: Garden Bungalow. Definitely would stay in Hilton Resort. I have the HH Hilton Visa - so my plan is to stay 5 nights in Moorea (have 3 free weekend nights from certificates) - so will only pay for 2 (through the agency and book 3 on my own).
Bora Bora: ABOVE WATER BUNGALOW! This is a toughy - because the prices can be outrageous. I can tell you for a fact we would love a location with views of the Lagoon. I know Le Meridien's price point may work... BUT I've heard from people who've been there before that the water isn't crystal clear like the other locations. Any thoughts/suggestions on other places to stay?

4- Planes - how to travel
So... we would like to spend as much possible time in the actual locations (I understand travel can take up a lot of otherwise well spend time on the islands). We obviously have to fly out of Los Angeles - there are 2 planes that typically arrive - one in the morning and another at night. I'm think perhaps get the one that arrives at night - so we can maybe stay in Tahiti for the night (sleep?) then start our adventure to Moorea first then Bora Bora (not sure how the transfers between those Islands work). Any thoughts on this?

5- Any must-do/must-see activities/suggestions?

Finally - on a more selfish note - is it worth it to dive in BB/Moorea? I found a site where they have a set price and they provide full equipment (no extra baggage for me to carry)
[original link]

Any suggestions/advice is appreciated


3 Answers

answered on 12/7/16 by
a VT member

WOW thanks for your very fast response!! I appreciate it. Will get on the e-mail right away.

Okay... I have to ask since well I'm a lady. Tahitian pearls... where's the best place to buy them at? Not sure how pricey they are but it's gotta be the best place to purchase them at I would think. If it's at Tahiti mainland - they perhaps I may consider staying there a day. But the travel agent might be able to help with this

answered on 12/7/16 by
a VT member

Tours arranged to visit those pearl farms - aren't they typically more expensive than the local sellers since they were be contracted/get commission?

I guess this brings up more questions...

1- How can you tell if they are legit? I know you can "bite"/rub them on your teeth and if it's not smooth, they are real - or so they say. Is there a more hygienic approach?

2- Approximately - what price am I looking at? I know it depends on size, color, shape and the amount of "birthmarks" on the pearls... but what am I looking at? I would love to purchase nice black, round ones with little birthmarks - so maybe "near top quality". I'm assuming buying them separately is more cost effective but you'll have to match them - shouldn't be to hard for earrings... but a necklace... OUCH. Would love a necklace!!! I'm assuming it's expensive - but wouldn't you think that's the cheapest place to buy them since they originated from there?

3- Do you bargain with the sellers or not? If so how do you approach it? Also - what currency do you use?

PS. No hating on me men! I'm a single woman - so the money I spend comes from me... not my man ^_______^

answered on 12/8/16 by
a VT member from Hesperia

Hello and welcome to VT......d:o)

Remember, - there are people from other countries that also like Polynesia. When you have winter ("off season"), in LA, (by the way, how was leaving out of LA obvious....), Australia and New Zealand have their summer season, (along with every country south of the Equator), so on season and/or off season is really pretty meaningless.

I second the Sofitel Resort. The Sofitel chain is what I used for my tours which were 5 star tours, Beautiful and well run. Have fun, and respect for wanting to do this for mom....;....d:o)

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