Raquel & Edwin: The Magic Screensaver
Raquel and Edwin are high school sweethearts from Puerto Rico who contacted us to help plan a trip for their 20th wedding anniversary. They are complete ocean lovers and avid scuba divers who enjoy a certain level of comfort. We tailored a package designed to balance their appetite for the big blue with their need to be pampered in beautiful modern hotels, a dream combination that resulted in utter magic.
Raquel: Exactly 10 years ago in 2005, I noticed a beautiful screensaver my computer whiz had on his PC. It was a photo of an overwater bungalow perched over the most pristine, vibrant shades of blue water I could ever imagine. I remember doubting if the photo was real and immediately began an online search. Shortly after, I found that these structures truly existed on an island called Bora Bora. It was then when my husband and I agreed to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary at this most magical, exotic place.
The ocean has always called to both of us. To be near the ocean simply doesn’t cut it - we'd rather be on it or better yet in it discovering the underwater beauty. We had read in a scuba diving magazine that Rangiroa was a prime destination for scuba divers. So we decided on visiting Bora Bora and Rangiroa. For Rangiroa, our knowledge was limited only to scuba diving. PFL took care of the details and provided several vacation packages to us considering our criteria. Every communication we had with Claudia and her team filled us with great excitement as this was proof of a dream becoming reality!
Prior to our arrival at the St Regis we had researched all of it's bungalows and although we thought we knew exactly what to expect, we were in complete awe at the size and beauty of our Overwater Villa #330. Wow! It was private, near to main pool and restaurants, and from the deck we could see the main beach. I almost started to cry!!! ...It was my AHA moment! ...Some dreams do come true!
Everyday we had breakfast at the Te Pau Restaurant. Having staff greet us by our name was a really nice personal touch! Then after breakfast, we would go back to our villa and get ready for our activities: Scuba Diving, Sting Ray & Shark tour, biking around the lagoon, pampering at the Spa ...
Our morning Scuba diving with Diveasy on Day 3 was by far one of the most beautiful dives we have ever done anywhere to date. Crystal clear water colored with so many species of marine life. Our Divemaster Pascal was wonderful. He made us feel safe, was very professional and friendly.
The ATV/Jet Ski Tour we took was a great and fun way to learn about Bora Bora. We truly enjoyed learning and tasting local fruits and candy, as well as learning and tasting various coconut preparations. Both of our guides were wonderful.
Then on to Rangiroa, and the Kia Ora Resort. We enjoyed our overwater bungalow as it was surrounded by a reef. For diving here we choose Y Aka Plongee Scuba as recommended by Pacific For Less - they provide a more personalized service and they truly did not disappoint. Our first dive was a reef dive and immediately encountered three manta rays. The crystal clear water, the variety of fish and number of schools of fish was amazing! Our Dive Master, Jean Marie, was very friendly, professional and projected confidence which made us feel safe. Our second dive was a drift dive at the Tiputa Pass…. Wow, what an experience! We saw dolphins, sharks, barracudas, and rode the Rangiroa Express all in one dive! Absolutely amazing!
We did the the Blue Lagoon Tour on Rangiroa, an hour boat ride out to the other side of the atoll where we were greeted by numerous black tip reef sharks and could walk among them in knee high deep water. Bring your water shoes!
Upon our return to Rangiroa, our last stop was a drift snorkel at the Avatoru Pass. What a ride! This is the closest it's felt like flying for me! To wind down, we used the spa services twice. I choose the Silky Skin package with Vichy Shower and massage...talk about being pampered!
We had most of our meals within the resorts and the food was very good. On Rangiroa, we dined off the resort at the Lagoon Grille. We were the only patrons there that night. The owners run this restaurant together and they were very friendly and food was really good.
Our entire experience was wonderful, and a remarkable way to spend our 20th! What was once a far fetched dream became a reality and today remains as glorious memories.