Everyone knows of Club Med!
The idea of flying off to some South Pacific island for fun, sun and scuba diving calls to the desperate need to escape work, So how about a really distant scuba trip to Moorea, Tahiti in the heart of the South Pacific?
Getting there is only the beginning of the adventure... there are only two airlines that service Tahiti, and one is called AOM. This airline will truly test the limits of your flying durability. The in-flight service is minimal at best, the plane is typically filled to capacity, and movies leave a great deal to be desired, however, kudos where they belong.. on the flight deck. The pilots kept the ride fairly calm and both their takeoffs and landings were "comfortable."
To get to Moorea requires a 40-minute second leg flight on a STOL (short takeoff and landing) turbo-prop aircraft. The aircraft is small enough that it only seats 20 people, and even from the back of the plane you can easily read the cockpit gauges and hear the flight crew calling for clearances.
Once on Moorea you are met by a loudly decorated Club Med bus, hustled aboard and driven for several miles along a scenic winding shoreline road to the main entrance of the Club Med Moorea resort. As the bus pulls through the long drive, past bungalows and palm trees, it stops in front of an open air foyer where employees gather, playing a eukalele and singing a welcoming song (which you will later come to dislike as it is played everyday for each new bus load of vacationers).
The facilities are nice, Spartan, and the food, well, that's another review all by itself. Suffice it to say, some folks will think it was terrific and ask for seconds, and still others will be asking where the "real" food is?
Now to the diving, Club Med Moorea is not the place to go if you are an experienced diver and want to be able to get several dives in during the day, night dives, and shore dives, forget it! One of the mantras of Club Med is to "leave your watch behind..." If you do that, you will not get aboard any dive boat while at Club Med Moorea. You cannot just go to their dive shop, sign up for a same day or next day dive and expect to go... no its more involved than that... you have to standing in line at the dive shop at 6:50PM so that you can put your name on a first come, first serve list and when the number of divers meets the number carried on the boat... well, that's it until the following evening when you get to do that ritual all over again. If you miss this narrow timeslot to sign up for diving, there are NO other diving accommodations available, so you will be relegated to snorkelling along the shore. They do not permit shore diving, or night diving inside the inlets.
When you manage to get out to go diving and if the dive master is feeling fresh and excited, you will get to dive some very spectacular areas around the island many of which were just incredible. The reef near the Club Med resort are badly damaged from many previous hurricanes, so don’t expect to see beautiful reefs on that side of the island, the other side is another matter entirely.