Merry Christmas: A very surreal cruise, so far. After a nine-hour flight, we decamped in Papeete, exhausted and a bit staggered to go from an air conditioned airplane to the tropical humidity of Tahiti. There's usually a ceremonial bit at the beginning, where a band plays "Margaritaville" and we wave farewell, but since the ship didn't sail until 4:00 a.m., that just wasn't practical. Not much life so far.
The first stop was the island of Moorea, which is quite beautiful if you are into that sort of thing, but since I don't snorkel or sunbathe, I made only a perfunctory walk off the pier, realized there wasn't a resort within walking distance, and returned to the ship. Also, this is French Polynesia, so good luck watching the NFL.
The Tahitian Princess is a relatively small cruise ship. The cruiseline purchased the beast from the Renaissance cruiseline after that company went under in the aftermath of 9/11, and have pretty much left the ship intact; even the on-board dining rooms have the same names they did. Still, as anybody who has cruised before will tell you, the larger the ship, the less enjoyable the cruise. On a ship this size, you get to know a lot more people in a shorter time, and all the amenities that one comes to expect are delivered, but in a smaller, more accessible space.
We sail for a couple of days, which, of course, means two days of the social event of any cruise, Bingo. So once again, Merry Christmas to believer and infidel alike.