Need a Reason to Cruise Paul Gauguin Cruises?

No comments

Paul Gauguin Cruises is a luxury cruise line that specializes in providing unique and intimate travel experiences in the South Pacific. They have been operating in the South Pacific for several decades. The cruise line was founded in 1997, and it is named after the French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, who spent much of his artistic career in Tahiti, a part of French Polynesia. The cruise line focuses on providing luxury cruises in the South Pacific, particularly in the waters surrounding French Polynesia. When deciding if Paul Gaugin is a fit for your South Pacific vacation experience, consider these.


Reasons to Cruise Paul Gaugin Cruises

  1. It is an ideal setting for a large vessel that never carries more than 300 guests. 
  2. There is no nickel and diming. It is one all-inclusive price for the experience. 
  3. It is a laid-back luxury. No more worries about carrying that formal wear and wondering which night is formal. 
  4. It is ideal for people who only want to unpack once while seeing various sights. 
  5. The cruises have exclusive access to private retreats on Bora Bora and Le Taha ‘a islands.
  6. They are port intensive, meaning they spend a lot of time in each port.
  7. It is a wholly immersive experience of French Polynesian culture with nightly entertainment.
  8. The crew-to-guest ratio is one crew to 1.5 guests.
  9. It is unregimented, allowing you to plan your day as you see fit. 
  10. They are the industry leader with the highest rating and longest sailing time in the South Pacific. 

There is an array of sailings to choose from, from their most popular 7-nights exploring the Society Islands to itineraries that take you to the Marquesas and sailings that include other parts of the South Pacific, such as The Cook Islands and Fiji. A travel agent versed in the South Pacific is your friend and guide in your selection for itinerary, activities, and extension of stays.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslNeed a Reason to Cruise Paul Gauguin Cruises?
read more

Tahiti-Top 3 Most Asked Questions

No comments

Tahiti is open for business. One of the first openings for US travelers since the COVID-19 outbreak.  Despite current situations, Tahiti has long been a sought-after paradise for couples, families, and solo travelers. Tahiti is all about romance, rejuvenation, and relaxation.  It is a haven and offers an array of land and water activities. Due to all the coral reefs, it is the perfect dive spot as well.   No matter your reason for seeking out this destination, there are 3 common questions I always seem to get.

Top 3 Most Asked Questions:

Q: What is the best time of year to visit?

A:  Tahiti is an ideal destination year-round.  The rains come in January and February, but it is still spectacular because you will see waterfalls appear on the mountain that isn’t usually there.

Q:  How much time should I plan for my visit?

A:  We encourage an immersive experience for your trip. We want you to feel like you belong and connect with the country. I advise you to let me know how much time you’ve got. I will then customize the itinerary to suit your needs. I would recommend a minimum of a week as the flight from Los Angeles is 9 hours.

Q:  What type of documentation do I need?

A:  You will, of course, need your passport, which should have an expiration date 3 months past your travel dates, but we usually recommend 6 months for all international travel.  No visa is required for 90 days or less for tourism-based travel. With the new COVID-19 protocols, you will be required to provide a negative test result done within 3 days before travel, along with a Sanitary Entry Form upon check-in for your flight. Please know that we will assist you in any way we can in obtaining your requirements for travel.

Do You Have More Questions About Tahiti? 

Then send them to me at info@boomerangescapes.com. We are here to make sure you have the best vacation experience possible!


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslTahiti-Top 3 Most Asked Questions
read more

Tahiti Reopening-Covid-19 Travel Protocols

No comments

It is good news for the American traveler as The Islands of Tahiti reopen their borders to international travelers beginning July 15th, 2020.  French Polynesia has done a fantastic job in managing the Covid-19 outbreak amongst the islands.  They had fewer than 70 cases with no deaths reported.  As of May 29th, French Polynesia has had no active cases of the illness.

What does this mean for you?  It means you can travel to this incredible, romantic, cultural, and sensory destination as long as you follow the new protocols.  French Polynesia has established new Covid-19 visitor entry and stay conditions.

Here is a short list of what you can expect:

  • Wear a mask.  You will be required on the flights to wear a mask at all times except to remove for your meal or drink.  In destination, you will be expected to wear a mask when not in open air situations, or in situations where the 6 foot distancing cannot be maintained. An example, the ferry ride over.  You will see all airline staff and hotel staff wearing masks.
  • Covid-19 test. You will have to have a test done within 72hrs prior to boarding.  Your test results must be negative and you must show proof of negative result at check-in.  Test can be done by most health authority centers such as hospital, clinic, and testing centers.
  • Sanitary Entry Form.  This will be a form you are required to rill out after you’ve received your negative test results. It is similar in nature to the immigration forms you are used to filling out when traveling internationally. This again will need to be done prior to your arrival for boarding your plane with the receipt from completed form with you for check-in at the airport.

Once in destination, you will see the heightened cleanliness protocols.  French Polynesia asks that visitors be responsible and respectful that is honoring prevention measures in place and reporting if while in destination any flu like symptoms that arise.  Be aware the Ministry of Health of French Polynesia may carry out some tests and accredited medical staff my carry out inspections of accommodations while you are in destination.

Air Tahiti Nui has loaded flights in for July with August yet to be finalized. As we have seen this virus and the conditions surrounding it have been very fluid. The fluidity of the situation means that at anytime borders could close again or more measures could be put in place until a grasp on the disease has been fully made.  If we all travel responsibly, there is no reason why we can’t enjoy the benefits and current need to revive and rejuvenate with a much overdue escape.

For more details on what to expect and arranging your travel,  please contact your travel advisor. We are tapped in to the latest information being released from the destination both with our suppliers and the tourism board.  We thank Tahiti Tourisme and Down Under Answers for providing these latest details .  Information above was current and up to date as of June 19, 2020.

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslTahiti Reopening-Covid-19 Travel Protocols
read more

Passport for Your Palate-Black Pearl

No comments

Black pearls for dessert?

Yes, in the islands of Tahiti. French Polynesia and her islands are known for their cultured black pearls, which of course, you will want to buy. Many shops even allow you to create your own one of a kind piece of jewelry, which I did take advantage of while on Bora Bora. However, before I reached Bora Bora, I was introduced to a very different kind of black pearl. One of the chefs at the Hilton Moorea came up with a dessert named after this pretty gem.

Like the pearls, it is indeed dark, dark because it is made of dark chocolate. If you are anything like myself, the mere mention of chocolate already has you ordering before the waitress can even explain. The best part about this dessert is it comes with a bit of a surprise. Just like when prying open an oyster shell to find that beautiful gem, the black pearl dessert has its own inner gem.

To see a peek at the surprise, check out this short video… Black Pearl at the Hilton Moorea 2014.

Now it’s been a few years since I was at the Hilton Moorea, but reaching out to my contacts with Tahiti Tourisme and the Hilton, we were able to get the hotel to send us over a rendition of what I tried and found so delectable.

Here is the recipe…..

Black Pearl Dessert

Ingredients (for 4 spheres) :
Dark chocolate 70% 500 grams for 8 silicon molds (half-spheres with 6cm diameter each)
Fresh raspberries 10 grams per sphere
Raspberry sorbet 15 grams per sphere
Popping sugar 6 grams per sphere
Raspberry coulis 200 grams for the 4 spheres

Preparation :

Tempering of the chocolate: melt the two-thirds of the chocolate in a bain-marie or the microwave when the temperature reaches 53°C/55°C
Add the one-third left to lower the temperature at 27°C/28°C, stirring regularly (it takes a few time)
Allow the temperature to 31°C – be careful; the temperature increases very quickly. If it exceeds 32°C, the chocolate won’t have a shiny aspect, and it will give a dull color with whitish marks!
With a brush, line the inside of the 8 molds with the chocolate and store them in a refrigerator to let the chocolate harden. Repeat the operation.
When the chocolate is well hardened, unmold the half spheres carefully and keep them in a cool place.
Place a half-sphere on a platter. Put the popping sugar inside the sphere, the raspberries pieces, and a finger of raspberry sorbet. Close with another half sphere.
Serve the plates and at the last moment, pour the hot raspberry coulis.

Many thanks to Tekura Kelley from Tahiti Tourisme, Erin Wigger, and Virginie Hanot, Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, to help me and pass the recipe on for use in this share.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-Black Pearl
read more

Passport for Your Palate-Tahitian Vanilla Vodka

No comments

When you think of vanilla, do you think of French Polynesia?

I do. My memories are filled with the aromas and flavors of the South Pacific. These islands are truly full-on sensory experience and must be visited at least once during your lifetime.

One aroma and flavor that was infused throughout my experience was vanilla. I spent a glorious two weeks among the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Le Taha’ a, which are part of the Societal Islands of French Polynesia. These are the most well-known and tourists, but the country is actually made up of 118 islands and atolls. While visiting, I found vanilla in my lotions, oils, meals, and cocktails.

While Tahiti is no longer a major exporter of their vanilla, it is considered a “luxury” vanilla due to its properties and rarity. Unlike other countries that grow vanilla, the vanilla in Tahiti has the distinction of being hand pollinated. It has become a very distinct part of the culture. The best-known location for its cultivation is Le Taha ‘a, otherwise known as the “vanilla island.” The bean is highly sought out by Parisian chefs and visitors as well.

I brought home my own beans from Le Taha’ to replicate the infused vodka I fell in love with at the resort bars. They had a variety of flavored infusions, but truly the vanilla was my favorite. Infusion of the bean into the alcohol is easy. The only hard part is waiting for it to be ready to drink!


How to Make Tahitian Vanilla Vodka

Ingredients:
750ml of your favorite vodka (go for good quality, not the cheap stuff)
1 Tahitian Vanilla Bean (can be ordered online, but I think a visit to the islands is the best way to obtain)
Directions:
You’ll need a lidded jar or bottle. You can use the bottle as is. Place the bean in the vodka and seal. Let stand for 1 to 2 weeks, shaking gently every other day. Let sit until your desired flavor strength.
The longer the bean sits in the vodka, the stronger the flavor will be. If you accidentally let it sit too long, add more vodka. Easy peasy, right?
When you are ready to pour, enjoy on the rocks with your favorite cola or with your favorite fruit juice. My preferred choice is pineapple. Be creative and see what you can come up with. Cheers!

Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-Tahitian Vanilla Vodka
read more

Tantalizing Tahiti

No comments

Tahiti.

What comes to mind when you hear someone say Tahiti? Do you smell floral scents? Do you see pure white sand beaches? Do you see endless shades of blue water lagoons? Do you think overwater bungalows? Do you imagine lush green tropics? All of these things embody Tahiti, but Tahiti is only one island in French Polynesia. People don’t realize the region is not Tahiti. Tahiti happens to be the largest island in the Societal Islands which are the ones most tourists visit. It is also the most populated by the Tahitians and is home to the main gateway of entry to this beautiful South Pacific escape.


Tahiti is more than a connection point.

I would encourage travelers to consider 1 to 3 nights on this island to enjoy everything the main island offers. I recommend you put a visit here before venturing off to the other islands and build your experience with that amazing crescendo at the overwater bungalows to punctuate the end of your trip!

Tahiti has much to offer, from the waterfalls to the beaches to the capital city of Papeete. Take a guided tour of the island’s beautiful, bountiful countryside. I enjoyed stopping at Fautau Waterfalls. It was a pleasant hike in to see the falls from where the car park, but that was half of the adventure. Then you emerge from the forest to see the cascading water in the midst of this deep tropical background. It’s especially spectacular if you go during the rainy season as even more water cascades over the cliff. Just remember the insect repellent.

Are you more of a history buff? A reader of books? Then you might like to take the tour to visit the home of James Norman Hall, author of Mutiny on the Bounty. It is incredible to see the preserved history in this home and learn more about a man who lived his life to the fullest. It’s a true hidden gem.

If it is the culture you are after, then look no further. Papeete, herself, is a multicultural hub of activity with busy boulevards and a bustling harbor. The market, or Le Marche, is the perfect spot to pick up those sought after Tahitian gifts and souvenirs from vanilla beans, to monoi oil, to the colorful pareos. A pareo, a large scarf with many wearing options, is a must-have for any woman visiting the islands. I even had the opportunity during my stay to create my own oil. As evening descends upon the city, be sure to take part in the local cuisine by visiting the food trucks or better known on the island as Roulottes. They can be found set up almost every night and offer a wide variety of cuisines. I know I had to start with seafood and then couldn’t resist ending my evening with a crepe.

While often overlooked by travelers for her more famous counterparts in the outer islands, like Bora Bora, you can see she is not a place to be missed. Tahiti is so much more than an overnight stop before your flight home. Take time to see everything this island has to offer beyond your arrival and departure at the airport.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslTantalizing Tahiti
read more

Tahitian Pearls

No comments

“An irritating, tiny grain of sand cultivates layers of luminous, miraculous, one of a kind beauty just as life challenges cultivates and evolves each of our souls.”-unknown.

As I sit here reflecting, drawing my hand along my throat,  I am drawn back to my time in Tahiti and the little orbs that hang from my silver chain. They were a gift I bought myself in December 2014 while in the Islands of French Polynesia. My particular pearls were bought at the Tahiti Pearl Market in Vaitape. I remember the day well. We began the day with a shark and sting ray excursion. As we were finishing our day out on the ocean and lagoon of Bora Bora, a storm moved in. Here the 10 of us were on a small boat and the captain had us sit steadily facing the shore as we waited for the storm to pass. We entertained ourselves with various camp songs and could not resist singing the theme from “Gilligan’s Island”. Once we made it back to the resort, it was a quick change to catch our ferry to the mainland to have some lunch and shopping in Vaitape. We were caught in another downpour and waited it out in the restaurant before venturing to the stores. Black pearls are really a must purchase you see and we were on a mission that day to come home with some.

The black pearl is known as the Tahitian Pearl.

This organic gem is formed from the black lip oyster and primarily earns the name Tahitian Pearl because they are mostly cultivated around the islands of French Polynesian. The pearls actually aren’t true black; they’re charcoal, and they also can be found as silver or dark green. At the Tahiti Pearl Market you had the option to purchase a piece already made or could design your own. I opted to make my own design so that it would be one of a kind. The pearls range in size, shape, color and luster. The price ranges too, depending on the size, color, and luster you choose for your setting.

Looking at the boxes and boxes of pearls it was so hard to decide, but fun at the same time.

It was like having a bag of marbles, but on smaller scale. I finally chose a charcoal, green, and white to place on an “S”-shaped pendant I had picked out. The amazing part is they actually assembled and crafted your design while you waited. You could watch the French Polynesian woman behind the glass. I truly must say the French Polynesians are some of the most friendly people you will ever meet in your travels. After about 30 minutes my creation was complete with certificate of authenticity. I was so excited to collect my treasure and return to the shuttle with my friends. Almost all 10 of us had something either made or purchased throughout that afternoon. It is truly a treasure I will cherish for a lifetime.

updated July 19. 2020


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslTahitian Pearls
read more

Must-Have Item for the Islands

No comments

What is the must-have item for the islands?

The pareo is the Tahitian word for a wrap-around skirt. In other parts of the world, it is known as a coverup, sarong, or wraparound. It refers to women’s skirts as the men wore an item known as a loincloth or maro. Today, a pareo is best known as an item you wrap around your body.

Seen as a symbol of the island, the pareo is worn by men, women, and children. It’s beautiful coloring and cool comfort makes it a staple piece of clothing among island inhabitants. One’s imagination only limits its versatility in wear. During a recent visit to Moorea, we were fortunate enough to run across one of the locals at the bar at the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa. He took the time to demonstrate just some of the many ways to wear a pareo. Click on the image below of my dear travel colleague and friend Sarah Bush of Bali Ha’i Dreams to see a video of our lesson.

More than being the most versatile piece of cloth you have ever worn, the pareo is a work of art. While many pareos are mass-manufactured now, there are still artists in the islands’ hills that hand paint the beautiful and colorful designs. You can actually visit the artists in their home/workshop during a 4-wheel drive tour and select your very own one of kind hand painted pareo.

Are you ready to adorn the islands? Tie on a pareo, put a tiaré flower behind your ear, rub on some monoi oil, add a puka shell anklet, and voila!


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslMust-Have Item for the Islands
read more

Passport for Your Palate-The South Pacific’s Poisson

No comments

I have a taste for travel. That is to say when I travel I like to taste. One of my favorite things to do is try the local food no matter which destination I land in. For me, slipping into the culture and habits of the people makes the trip all the more fascinating. Often a destinations food can be it’s true definer.

What is South Pacific Poisson?

While visiting French Polynesian’s Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Le Taha’a, I couldn’t have been more excited to discover that their famed delicacy is Poisson Cru. Poisson Cru literally means raw fish. Being a major fish lover, especially for raw fish, I was delighted when told I must try their Poisson Cru.

Poisson Cru is a famous Tahitian dish

similar to Latin Ceviche, Hawaiian Poke or Kokoda. It consists of raw fish marinated in coconut milk and citrus juice. The coconut milk gives it a softer texture. One try of this dish and you will be craving it! For me, finding out that it was available on nearly every menu, meant I could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I did!

The dish is fairly easy to replicate at home, but won’t taste nearly as good as having it in the island backdrops of the South Pacific. Using simple ingredients (the fresher the better) with minimal preparation time you are going to want to try this dish at home.

Here is a recipe from About.com I have found and made.

Poisson Cru

Takes: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients:
1¾ pounds of fresh tuna (sushi grade)
½ cucumber (3½ ounces)
1 tomato (1¾ ounces)
1 green pepper
1 large onion
8 limes (juiced)
1 glass coconut milk
Salt and pepper
Preparation:
Dice the fish into ½-inch cubes, rinse with fresh water, drain and place in a large bowl.
Squeeze the limes and pour the juice over the fish, mix well and chill 20 minutes in refrigerator.
Cut onion and green pepper into thin slices, cut tomato into small cubes, remove seeds from cucumber and cut into thin half-moons.
Drain some of the lime juice, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
Add the coconut milk five minutes before serving.
Serve chilled. Present on a bed of lettuce, in a coconut shell or your prettiest bowl.

For another fabulous poisson dish try Kokoda.

It is a similar recipe to Poisson Cru (Marinated fish in Coconut Cream) that I received from Melissa Watt with Travel2 after our trip to French Polynesia in December 2014. Kokoda is a refreshing dish from Fiji. This recipe uses coconut cream instead of milk, white fish and less vegetables.

Ingredients:
1kg Fish Fillet (White Fleshed Fish)
Half cup lime juice (fresh)
1 coconut crème
1 Tbsp Red capscium finely chopped
1 Tbsp Green capsicum finely chopped
1 Tbsp Red onion finely chopped
1 Chili finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
Cut fish into small cubes
Place fish pieces in a bowl and marinate 100ml of lemon juice and a little salt
Store marinated fish in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours (best overnight)
Wash fish and drain the water out
Mix with coconut crème, capsicum, onion, chili, remaining lemon juice, salt and pepper
Serve chilled immediately & garnish with twisted slice of lime

ENJOY!

Updated 8/30/2020


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-The South Pacific’s Poisson
read more

The South Pacific-The Home of Romance

No comments

The South Pacific islands offer some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery of anywhere in the world.

Mountains, stunning stretches of beach, sparkling surf, calm lagoons, crystal clear blue waters, and scenic natural environments above and below sea level make the South Pacific ideal for romance. For years, filmmakers have used the amazing island backdrops to create movies such as South Pacific, Blue Lagoon, and Couples Retreat, leaving moviegoers wanting to visit this unspoiled, unique environment of extreme beauty and tranquility.


February is the season of romance. Whether celebrating a honeymoon, an anniversary or just rekindling the love, there is an island spot for you in the South Pacific. Whilst there are numerous islands in the South Pacific to explore, only about 500 are inhabited. Of those inhabited islands, some have become the favorites for couples looking for romance- French Polynesia, Fiji, and The Cook Islands. Each destination has its very own romance personality.

The Cook Islands
A Polynesian nation with a fierce pride in its people, history, and culture, boasting a warm, welcoming climate any time of year. Lying within the same time zone as Hawaii, the Cook Islands’ location makes it convenient for travelers who like to keep in touch with home while they are gone. No visa required! Visitors can stay up to 31-days with just a valid passport and return ticket home. The Cook Islands are comprised of Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, and the Sister Islands. One of the coolest things visitors can do is obtain a Cook Islands Driver’s License from the Police Station in Rarotonga or Aitutaki. It makes for an awesome souvenir even if you don’t intend to use it. Another unique feature is the Cook Islands are one of the few places in the world without chain hotels or high-rise buildings. Most accommodations are locally owned and operated.
A romantic rendezvous is easy in a place where it is forever summer. The fall/winter (May – October) is ideal for weddings, honeymoons, renewal of vows, anniversaries, and romantic getaways. A myriad of stunning and intimate locations are available to say “I Do.” A bonus for the happy couple is that weddings are legally recognized internationally. They need only be in the country 3 business days before the wedding to obtain their marriage license. A great selection of venues, facilities, and professional coordinators are on hand to plan and take care of every fun activity and detail. Memories from the Cook Islands will last a lifetime.

Fiji
Bula! Welcome! Fiji consists of 333 mountainous islands of volcanic origin. It is in the heart of the romantic South Seas and is the first country to see each new day’s dawning. The perfect destination for those looking to escape the doldrums of winter with pleasant year-round temperatures. The warm waters of Fiji are great for snorkeling. This destination is perfect for the laid back traveler where the dress is casual all year-round (no ties, gentlemen). While Fijian and Hindustani are most commonly heard, English is widely spoken and taught in schools, making it an easy place for American travelers’ communication. There is a wide variety of unique and fascinating things to do and see, but if you are looking to stay put, you will find many activities are centered around the pool, beach, or lagoon. Many activities are water-based such as swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing, but you will also find various land activities to include tennis, golf, and horseback riding. One of the best things to do is to get out and meet the Fijians. Every city and town has an open-air market- a must stop for any visitor. Attractions and activities here are truly endless and cater to the laid back all the way up to the heart-pounding adventurer.
The beautiful, fragrant garden of tropical flora make Fiji a great place for romance, weddings, and honeymoons. Simple ceremony or full-on with a choir, warrior escorts, and traditional costumes could be the start of a new life together. To experience this, grandeur couples must get a license from the nearest marriage registry. Typically a minimum of 36 hours. You must also reside in the country at least 1 working day before the wedding. You will need a valid 6-month passport and your original birth certificate as well. You can choose to marry in a hotel or resort, on a beach or in a church. It is even possible to make arrangements to have the whole resort to yourselves. Imagine a wedding in total privacy.

French Polynesia
Better known as Tahiti and Her Islands (the Society Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands), French Polynesia is famous for her magnificent, sensual, sun-drenched landscapes. Comprised of 118 islands and atolls, lying half-way between the United States and Australia, it is the Society Islands – home to Moorea, Bora Bora Taha’a, and Tahiti that are most often visited. The islands speak French and Tahitian, although English is widely heard. Offering lush tropical backdrops encircled by coral reefs and surrounded by beautiful azure, turquoise blue lagoons, this destination screams romance!
While a 14 hour flight from Los Angeles, this destination does not require crossing the dateline and is only a 2-3 hour time difference from Pacific Standard Time depending on daylight savings. The claim to fame for this destination is being the home to the overwater bungalows—a signature accommodation where visitors sleep above the waters in their own thatched-roof bungalow villa or suite. Many of them with glass floor viewing areas to see the sea and coral below. Start your day off with a quick trip off the deck for a morning snorkel. The island resorts provide Polynesian spa experiences that will relax and rejuvenate. What could be better than a couples’ massage or maybe a bath in a tub full of flowers?
Weddings come with an array of locations. Wedding Chapels are available at many resorts for couples that prefer to have a Western-style ceremony. Like privacy? Choose to celebrate your wedding on your own tiny private islet (called motu in Tahitian). If you like to really go out, you can even get married underwater. Whilst weddings in French Polynesia are legally recognized, there is a bit more paperwork for this destination. It is highly recommended you work with a destination specialist when planning a wedding to ensure all legal documents are procured and translated. The typical process takes 3 to 5 months. An option would be to have a legal ceremony done stateside then have a symbolic traditional Tahitian wedding performed during your stay. And of course, like the other islands of the South Pacific, the array of land and water activities is endless. Take a 4 – wheel drive tour of the mainland or spend the morning swimming with shark and stingray and the afternoon shopping for cultured “black pearls.” Most of all, be sure to discover the rich history and culture of this captivating destination.
Everything here whispers romance. From the north to the south, from the mountains to the seas, these fragrant paradises combine all the truly generous and wonderful landscapes Mother Nature has created.

The South Pacific is your gateway for a romantic getaway!

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslThe South Pacific-The Home of Romance
read more