Friday, June 13, 2014

Fiji - days 6 & 7

I woke in time for the sunrise but at this point I have decided sunsets are more spectacular. I will continue to wake up early this trip to have both sunrise & sunset on my Pinterest board, but on future trips, I will sleep in.

7am the Fiji Princess headed out of the bay and headed southward. We watched the small islands we pasted while eating breakfast.  Since we were unable to do our village dinner visit, at 9am we stopped at the Yasawa Island High School on Naviti Island for a tour. It is amazing that they did not have one computer. Not even for the teachers!
After lunch onboard, a marine biologist joined us and talk to us about the marine life, coral reef and conservation efforts that the Vinaka Fiji have been doing I the Yasawas. We went in our tender boats to the reef of Drawaqa Island. This was the best snorkeling I did this trip. My husband has an underwater camera but I did not think to ask to use it when I took off without him. Around 4 o’clock I had another first time experience and that was swimming with large magnificent Manta Rays. When I jumped off the little tender boat, one was swimming right towards me! I was lucky to jump off the right side of the boat since some people later said they never saw them. I did not follow that mantra ray but swam towards the group of people from our cruise to follow another one for a  while. It was a great experience before heading back to the ship.                                   
Our last dinner was supposed to be on the upper deck but once again because of high tide winds, we ate are has dinner together inside.  After dinner we had our International guest show. Everybody represented their country with a song or skit or poem. There was another couple from Florida and the four of us sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. It was a fun night and great way to end the cruise activites.

Day 7
I took my last sunrise onboard the Fiji Princess ship but since it had rained it was hard to find the sun.  At 10am we were docking in Port Denarau to disembark. Since we had some time, we walked around the shops in this port area and then stopped in the Hard Rock for a soda. Late morning we took a taxi to the airport and checked in for our 2pm small aircraft flight back to the Yasawa Islands. Our 35 minute flight was a little bumpy but we landed on the grass air strip just fine.


There was another couple on the plane that were checking into the resort, along with two employees returning to work. I do not believe there are any paved roads on this island. The road between the airstrip and resort was a little bumpy also and Erin, the owner who had come out to the airstrip to meet us, said they maintain it on their own. She tries to get the government to do some work on it but they just fly over and say it looks good to them. If they drove it, they might have a different opinion. Not sure how a dirt road looks from the air, if you can even see the pot holes.

Once you arrive at the resort (it was about a 10 minute drive), you are greeted by staff singing a welcome song. You sit in the reception area as you handle the paperwork. You are then walked by a staff member to your bure. We had sub zero, furthest from the lobby but closest to the beach.
We had requested a small snack (since we missed lunch) be delivered to our bure. We sat in our deck chairs both clicking away as we watched the sunset over the ocean. We were the last people to arrive for dinner in the open aire restaurant. When there are only 26 guess you are aware of this.  Even with a late (8pm) dinner, we were in bed by 10pm.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fiji - day 5 onboard Blue Lagoon Fiji Princess

I woke up in time to take my sunrise photographs. We were still at Nanuya Lailai Island with our ship still tied up to the coconut  tree.

After breakfast our activity today consisted of a 1 hour 40 minute guided walk, up over the island to the other side. Of course I was taking pictures along the way.
While we ate lunch onboard, we started sailing north some more. 1 ½ hours later we arrived at our new destination Sawa-I-Lau caves, or more commonly known as the Blue Lagoon Cave since the Brooke Shield’s movie was filmed here. This was the first time I had ever been in a water cave. We were guided into two caverns, although it is believed to have about 100.

Tonight we were suppose to visit the village of Tamasua but because of the high tide winds, we just stayed put for the night. After dinner, the 1949 Jean Simmons version of the movie Blue Lagoon was shown but because I was now determined to wake up for all sunrises, I did not stay awake to watch.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fiji - day 3 & 4

Early to bed, early to rise. We enjoyed breakfast outside on a deck at the Radisson Blu resort prior to checking out (quick 24 hour stay) and taking a taxi to the Port. Walked around the shops and stopped in at the Hard Rock. Around noon we boarded a catamaran to take us out to the Fiji Princess currently docked out in the Sacred Islands. This trip took about two hours but we were already socializing with another couple from Tampa, Florida and drinking champagne. We arrived at our ship around 2pm. Could have changed into our swimsuits and gone to shore but we decided to stay onboard and explore the ship. It is a small ship so not too much to explore. I happened to be on deck with my camera at sunset and started to click away. My husband had fallen asleep while reading. Therefore I went off to dinner alone. I happened to join a group of 8 or 9 travel writers. By 9:30pm, I too was asleep.
Another early morning but I managed to sleep in until 6am. Since I had the sunset the day before, I headed out of the cabin in hunt for the sunrise. 
While we were eating breakfast the ship was moving north. Around 9:30am we were tied up to a Coconut tree at Nanuya Lailai Island.  You could jump off the back of the vessel but we took the tender ashore. We staked out our beach chairs and made our way to the water to snorkel. The crew took some people out on a boat to feed fish while the people in the water (like us) got to be swarmed by the fish. We then moved over to a small reef. After the BBQ lunch on the beach, there was a basket waving and coconut demonstration. We went onboard early to freshen up before going back to the beach for our Lovo dinner (similar to a Hawaiian Laua or New Zealand Hangi). Of course I have now decided to take sunsets and sunrises to post on Pinterest and therefore when we got back on the beach my camera was clicking away as the sunset. After our Lovo dinner, a local village came to provide a dance show. Back onboard around 9 or 9:30pm.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fiji 2014 - day 1 & 2

It was my first time in the Bradley terminal since they added all the shopping area. Our Fiji Airways flight was on time taking off (11:30pm). Although they serve dinner shortly after takeoff, I was already half way to sleep. Since the plane was full and my husband always gets the window, it was nice to have an aisle seat instead of the middle between people. I actually slept well. Wake up just before breakfast was served.

Since we were too early for a room, we walked around the Radisson Blu and took pictures. Here are a few:


At 8am when the activities desk opened, we set up a tee time at the Denaru Golf Course. Shortly after we learned a room was ready for us (8:30am).  We were able to freshen up before walking over to the course. We went our as a twosome. The course had more water than you can see from the road. I was thinking it was going to be too easy a course but it had just enough challenge.

After our 18 holes, we had lunch and a beer.  Having been awake since 3am and having a little exercise playing golf, I did everything I could to stay awake until 7:30pm.