i am NOT a crier.

So you can imagine my shock last year when we left the Paul Gauguin and I was sobbing like a toddler who didn’t get candy at the check-out counter.

At the time, I attributed this sentimental breakdown as too much Sauvignon Blanc at the farewell lunch. I quietly hid behind my Jackie-O shades blubbering, while D laughed next to me. Why do I have to leave such an incredible vacation and go home?  Didn’t it just begin?

So this year I was determined I was not going to cry– why would I? I’m blessed to be here, especially 2 years in a row! As 10 euphoric days began to wind down, I found myself sitting by the pool getting teary eyed. WHAT. THE. HECK.

And then it hit me: I was leaving my family.

The crew and staff on the boat made D and I an extended part of their family for the last week and a half. We learned about their children and families at home, rooted for our favorite servers in their nightly dart tournament and even watched them dance as Lady Gaga in the Crew Show on board.

And as this realization dawned on me, Ricardo, the incredible and always smiling pool bartender sent over our favorite poolside beverages– Mai Tais– and the tears began again.

Having been on 15 cruises, I cannot tell you the name of any of my servers at dinner, the name of our cabin stewards and certainly not the name of the security staff that swiped my card every time we left or returned to the boat.

For the last year, since we first went on PG, I remembered all these people. Considering they all see new guests each week, D and I were floored to realize how many staff members remembered us– I’m a little scared for what they remember– down to the month we were there!  It was honestly impressive. Even our sweet little cabin steward last year, Kim, stopped us in the hallway to welcome us back. 

Whenever anyone asks me about my favorite vacation spot in the world, I always say “Tahiti!!” and follow that up with, “on the Paul Gauguin.” There is no other way to travel these majestic islands.

To Ricardo, Junar, Elmo, Erlinda, Quinto, Ernesto (bar and server), Jayson, Jan-Michael, Francisco, Tania, “Uncle Johnny” Jonathan, Michael and SO many more: Thank you. It is you that makes this ship incredible. Without you and your PG family, the ship is just a beautiful boat in beautiful scenery.

Thank you for making my husband and I part of your family for a week. You are above and beyond the best in your industry. We hope to run across you on the PG and hopefully the Tere Moana very soon.

Happy travels. :)

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