2019 World Cruise - Day 33

Monday 02.04.19 - 'Uturoa, Raiatea, French Polynesia

Details from the Princess Cruise Lines:

Day 16 - 04, February 2019

Dress Code: Smart Casual

All Aboard: 5:30 PM

Considered the second largest island in French Polynesia, Raiatea is situated approximately 120 miles northwest of Tahiti. For the Polynesian "Maohi," ancestor of today's Tahitian, Raiatea was known as "Sacred Havai'i" and was the center of royalty, religion, culture and history. The principal village is Uturoa, with a population of over 10,000. This bustling port town features a colorful market and arts and crafts shops along the waterfront. Raiatea is currently undergoing a renaissance, with special attention being given to preserve the island's rich culture and heritage.

Raiatea's importance as both a religious and historical center for all of Polynesia is complemented by a wealth of archaelogical sites, tropical scenery and reef fringed lagoons.

-6:00PM) Usual Temp = 70° - 83°

I was amazed out how close to town we docked.

When we were planning this cruise, none of the excursions via the ship sounded interesting. Also, we could not find any private tour options, so we decided to just walk around the town on our own. 

We began the day by visiting a few of the shops, where we bought some sort of egg roll looking fried noodle thing, some candy & drinks. 

First world privilege rant:
This may be my least favorite port so far. It was miserably hot.  All the shops we went into were severely overpriced. I was never able to fully connect to the town free WiFi. It was odd that in every store, there were no cold drinks in the coolers. 

We only found one restaurant (Restaurant Bar Maraamu Raiatea) near the port that had traditional table & chairs. 

The service here was extremely slow. Almost to the point that I wasn't hungry by the time the food arrived. To make things worse, Shelly's food came out wrong. I was given a butter knife to cut my steak with. I noticed other tables had bread bowls. Our waitress asked us if we wanted any but never brought any. A waiter finally brought Shelly's correct dish & some bread. Bonus points for having the best French fries I have had on this trip & for having cold drinks. 

POULET AIGRE DOUX (Chicken sweet & sour sauce) - good, but the sauce is mixed with the fried chicken so it makes it soft.  The flavors were good and went well with the rice.
POULET AIGRE DOUX (Chicken sweet & sour sauce)

fluffy white rice

POULET A L'ANANAS (Chicken pineapple) - this is what Shelly really wanted to eat. She asked the waitress if the chicken was battered & fried. She confirmed it in fact was fried, but when it arrived it was stir fried. So she switched dishes.
POULET A L'ANANAS (Chicken pineapple)

ENTRECOTE & FRITES/CRUSITEES (Beefsteak with french fries & mixed salad) - The steak was cheap but cooked a correct medium rare. I couldn’t really pin down the exact flavors of the great salad dressing. The best fries I have had this whole trip. 
ENTRECOTE & FRITES/CRUSITEES (Beefsteak with french fries & mixed salad)

medium rare steak

We finished lunch and practically melted as we walked back to the ship. 

View from our balcony, looking back at the restaurant

5:30pm ALL ABOARD! Pacific Princess sets sail for Auckland, New Zealand shortly afterwards (instead of Nuku’alofa, Tonga due to bad weather)

7:45pm MDR Dinner 

I had…
Tapas Style Chorizo Sausage, Paprika Tomato Cream - a good dish that would be great with some tortilla chips. A crunchy element would be awesome.
Tapas Style Chorizo Sausage, Paprika Tomato Cream
fried potato brava, pepper poached hens egg

Tapas Style Chorizo Sausage, Paprika Tomato Cream
fried potato brava, pepper poached hens egg
Louisiana hot sauce

Caesar Salad + Crab Meat - the crab meat is listed as being part of the burger, but I think it works better as a salad topping.
Classic Caesar Salad + Caribbean Jerked Crab Meat
crisp romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese and herb croutons

Carvery Roast Beef - this was a fantastic fork tender cut of beef. Our normally wonderful waiter messed up & brought me Jim’s steamed veggies.
Carvery  - Roast Beef
house Cajun spice rub, beef gravy, misplaced steamed veggies

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream - a solid no fuss dessert.
Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

Shelly had…
Rustic Beef & Vegetable Hot Pot - good brothy soup with beef flavors, I mostly ate the broth and left all the vegetables.  The small empanada was good especially with hot sauce.
Rustic Beef & Vegetable Hot Pot
served with a crisp baked miniature empanada

Seasonal Field Greens - a boring salad
Seasonal Field Greens, Celery Hearts and Tomatoes
choice of homemade and low-fat dressings

Pan Seared Tilapia with Chili (menu was misprinted as Red Snapper) - good tilapia with a nice buttery sauce otherwise not much flavor.  I am not sure where the chili was but I didn’t see any peppers or taste any spice.  My waiter brought me extra butter sauce so I spooned that over the rice.
Pan Seared Tilapia with Chili
cilantro and Lime Butter Sauce bok choy, rice pilaf Wahoo

English Toffee Ice Cream - Tasty!  I really enjoyed the toffee flavors.
English Toffee Ice Cream

9:30pm Cabaret Showtime - an entertaining show starring a very energetic Michael "Banjo" Young

Set our clocks back 1 hour


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