If you are heading to Fiji try one of their 3 or 4 night excursions on Captain Cook Cruises out of Nadi. Our adventure started when we were picked up at the Westin Hotel in Denarau. The transfer was only 5 minutes with a quick check in at the ship. Upon arrival Susie, a nice Fijian staff member, greeted us with shell leis. Next we were given a tropical drink and some light snacks.
After a short orientation and safety briefing by Captain Mike Head and knowledgeable Hospitality Manager, Trevor Clarke we settled into our stateroom. It had a large sliding glass door giving us spectacular views of the ocean and scenery and made our room seem extra large. Trevor and (Luci at the front reception) were by far the best with customer service while many of the other staff were average. It would have been better if more of the staff were more hospitable and friendly.
From that point on our time was filled with activities. Each evening a daily itinerary was delivered to our room. Passengers are free to join in the off boat excursions or remain on board and utilize the sauna, Jacuzzi and dipping pool. Activities included snorkeling, coral viewing trips in their glass bottom boat, and a visit to a traditional Fijian village with a market, school and church. We also experienced a “Lovo” Feast, our favorite meal of the trip. The Lovo is a traditional celebration usually reserved for funerals and weddings where the food is cooked in the ground and a medicinal drink called Kava is drunk. We ate the most sumptuous chicken, several kinds of potatoes, fish and salads. We also enjoyed a dance performance by the villagers after a beautiful sunset.
The all-you-can eat food on board was served at specific times. Breakfast was from 7:30- 9am. Lunch was at noon. Cocktails and appetizers were followed by dinner around 6:30pm daily. Each night some entertainment and Kava drinking with the crew was a favorite activity for many passengers. There was also a wide variety of board games which we took back to our room to enjoy. One night we watched a movie on a big screen TV in the entertainment room.
We happened to hit the cruise during a school break so we had some children on board. We noticed that the Fijian men were especially kid friendly. They would play and roughhouse with the children which was so refreshing to see.
Compared to some bigger cruise ships, the Captain Cook Cruise out of Fiji was not as luxurious. However, it had a more intimate feeling (only 150 passengers) allowing us to meet more of the people on board. Most of the passengers were extra friendly being from New Zealand and Australia. The ocean water was the bluest we had ever seen and the stops for snorkeling were amazing.
For more information on Captain Cook Cruises “the small ship cruise line” and all their destinations including Fiji visit www.captaincook.com.au/home.asp