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  #1  
Old May 1st, 2013, 07:34 AM
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Trekker954 Trekker954 is offline
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Default Advice plesae - S.Pacific vs S.Pacific with Fiji

My dilema is which to chose and IS Fiji worth all those sea days. I'll be doing Royal Caribbean. No discussion there.

Looking at 12 nighter South Pacific which has only four sea days (two at the beginning and two at the end). (Noumea, Lifou, Vila, Champagne Bay, Luganville, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines)

We hear so much about Fiji here in the States and would love to see it. But is it worth addinig an additional two more sea days, thats six sea days. We think that is ALOT of sea days (for us) but clearly if Fiji IS worth seeing. Is it all that different from the other South Pacific islands we will be seeing? I have no knowledge of anything in the South Pacific. I just know we want to go. I do not know about the weather, if we go swimming in these places, I know nothing, so help me out. Please.

Fiji cruise would include Suva and Lautoka, Noumea, Lifou, Vila and thats it; we'd lose Champagne Bay, Luganville, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines.

Since we are flying all the way from Miami, I want to make sure we make the right choice. RCI is suppose to open their Australia deployment schedule today for late 2014/2015; although early 2014 isn't totally off the table. I'm already cruise heavy early 2014.

Thanks for any advice.
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  #2  
Old May 1st, 2013, 12:24 PM
Globaliser Globaliser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker954 View Post
Since we are flying all the way from Miami ...
An alternative: Find a routing which allows you to stop in Fiji in one direction. Then you can do the non-Fiji cruise with fewer sea days, and then you can see Fiji separately on your stopover.
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  #3  
Old May 1st, 2013, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
An alternative: Find a routing which allows you to stop in Fiji in one direction. Then you can do the non-Fiji cruise with fewer sea days, and then you can see Fiji separately on your stopover.
I'm sorry, I'm not sure what your suggstion is. Doing the 12 night S. Pacific cruise on my cruise of choice which is Royal. then fly to Fiji at some other time? Sorry, you aren't that clear.
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  #4  
Old May 1st, 2013, 02:08 PM
Globaliser Globaliser is offline
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Either:-
  • Fly Miami to Fiji.
  • Stop. See Fiji.
  • Fly Fiji to Sydney (or wherever the cruise starts from).
  • Cruise.
  • Fly Sydney (or wherever the cruise ends) to Miami.
Or:-
  • Fly Miami to Sydney.
  • Cruise.
  • Fly Sydney to Fiji.
  • Stop. See Fiji.
  • Fly Fiji to Miami.
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  #5  
Old May 1st, 2013, 06:07 PM
annenic annenic is offline
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The 12 nighter is to ports and islands that are very small with no real infrastructure and the activities there are swimming, snorkelling and anything water based. They are absolutely beautiful, peaceful and simple with the exception of Noumea and Vila - these are cities and as such have a lot more choices of what to do.

You will even discover that the only ship tours available are in Noumea and Vila. I thoroughly enjoy Noumea, but am not really a fan of Vila.

Including Fiji may not fill your desire to experience it. The ports of Suva and Lautoka again are cities and as such are not that pretty. Lautoka has just recently become a port destination and it is not really set up in any way to cope with 2500 passengers descending from a cruise ship.

I like and enjoy Lautoka and am heading back there next week but it is in reality a dirty, dusty destination. There are no white sandy beaches there (same with Suva) and most passengers probably head down to Denarau which is the resort area about one hour away. The smaller islands in Fiji are the typical tropical postcard pictures but you may be limited in port time to access these islands and enjoy.

Suva is a bustling city and if you are looking for the beautiful south pacific island experience you will not find it here. There will be a number of ships tours available here.

I only mention ships tours as that gives you some indication of what is possible to do. I very rarely do the ships tours but it gives me a base on what it is possible to do in the area.

I guess you need to keep in mind that all these places are really 3rd world - so keep your expectations of the cities realistic.

Hope this helps - my thoughts only. Someone else may see it completely differently.

....and having said all that I probably would include Fiji - it is an experience, the people are wonderful and I would enjoy the extra cruise days
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  #6  
Old May 1st, 2013, 06:21 PM
cjcruiser27 cjcruiser27 is offline
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Great idea! I will have to remember that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Either:-
  • Fly Miami to Fiji.
  • Stop. See Fiji.
  • Fly Fiji to Sydney (or wherever the cruise starts from).
  • Cruise.
  • Fly Sydney (or wherever the cruise ends) to Miami.
Or:-
  • Fly Miami to Sydney.
  • Cruise.
  • Fly Sydney to Fiji.
  • Stop. See Fiji.
  • Fly Fiji to Miami.
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  #7  
Old May 1st, 2013, 07:47 PM
MMDown Under MMDown Under is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annenic View Post
The 12 nighter is to ports and islands that are very small with no real infrastructure and the activities there are swimming, snorkelling and anything water based. They are absolutely beautiful, peaceful and simple with the exception of Noumea and Vila - these are cities and as such have a lot more choices of what to do.

You will even discover that the only ship tours available are in Noumea and Vila. I thoroughly enjoy Noumea, but am not really a fan of Vila.

Including Fiji may not fill your desire to experience it. The ports of Suva and Lautoka again are cities and as such are not that pretty. Lautoka has just recently become a port destination and it is not really set up in any way to cope with 2500 passengers descending from a cruise ship.

I like and enjoy Lautoka and am heading back there next week but it is in reality a dirty, dusty destination. There are no white sandy beaches there (same with Suva) and most passengers probably head down to Denarau which is the resort area about one hour away. The smaller islands in Fiji are the typical tropical postcard pictures but you may be limited in port time to access these islands and enjoy.

Suva is a bustling city and if you are looking for the beautiful south pacific island experience you will not find it here. There will be a number of ships tours available here.

I only mention ships tours as that gives you some indication of what is possible to do. I very rarely do the ships tours but it gives me a base on what it is possible to do in the area.

I guess you need to keep in mind that all these places are really 3rd world - so keep your expectations of the cities realistic.

Hope this helps - my thoughts only. Someone else may see it completely differently.

....and having said all that I probably would include Fiji - it is an experience, the people are wonderful and I would enjoy the extra cruise days
If you decide to make Fiji a stopover to or fro joining the cruise, you could visit one of the smaller picturesque islands mentioned above.

Agree with comments about Lautoka and Suva. I have visited Lautoka on a ship and found it a disappointing port of call. I have visited Suva, on a land holiday, by public bus and really enjoyed the experience (before coup).
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  #8  
Old May 1st, 2013, 10:39 PM
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With Fiji, you need to go to the Yasawa Islands. They have a Blue Lagoon cruise which is fantastic and a much nicer way to see and experience Fiji.
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  #9  
Old May 1st, 2013, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker954 View Post
...Looking at 12 nighter South Pacific which has only four sea days (two at the beginning and two at the end). (Noumea, Lifou, Vila, Champagne Bay, Luganville, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines)...

Fiji cruise would include Suva and Lautoka, Noumea, Lifou, Vila and thats it; we'd lose Champagne Bay, Luganville, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines.
We did a 14-night cruise on Holland America (Volendam) from Sydney in 2012 that got to Noumea, Lifou and Isle of Pines in New Caledonia; to Vila and Luganville in Vanuatu; and to Lautoka and Dravuni Island in Fiji. I would not recommend giving up stops in New Caledonia and Vanuatu in order to travel to the two cities in Fiji. The suggestion to stop over in Fiji while flying to or from Australia, and stay there long enough to get to an outlying location, seems to me to be the way to go if that is practical for you.

John

Last edited by J-D; May 1st, 2013 at 11:36 PM.
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  #10  
Old May 2nd, 2013, 12:20 AM
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I agree with the others, after just coming back from a cruise of the South Pacific. The small resort or undeveloped islands are gorgeous, the cities not so. I would not go out of my way to visit Suva and my husband has been a little further afield on a business trip and actually found some things distressing as Fiji is a third world country.

The postcard pictures of Fiji are the Resorts or like Dravuni Island, small (only 200 residents), no resort and absolutely unspoilt, we thoroughly enjoyed that stop over. When we go back to the South Pacific, if it includes a stop to Suva I will not even get off the ship.

Also in the port cities you are less likely to meet the native population, Fiji especially has a large immigrant community.
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  #11  
Old May 2nd, 2013, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no fuss travel View Post
With Fiji, you need to go to the Yasawa Islands. They have a Blue Lagoon cruise which is fantastic and a much nicer way to see and experience Fiji.
And what airport would I see about flying into. Or do I fly into the bigger fiji and take a boat to Yasawa
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Upcoming Sailings
I have no cruise control; it's like the cruises book themselves
11/6/2014 - Regal Princess - U.S. Inaugural (Inside) Princess virgins
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Past Cruise History
RCI - Enchantment 2X, Navigator 2X, Mariner; Grandeur, Jewels 2X, Majesty 6X, Allure 2X, Oasis 2X, Radiance, Liberty 6X, Independence, Monarch, Serenade 2x, Legend, Adventure
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Carnival - Glory; Destiny; Celebration
Disney - Disney Dream
Other Travel History
North America (includes Central & Caribbean): United States (45 of 50 states plus DC & PR), Canada (5 Provinces), Mexico (21 of 31 states) plus Mexico City, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba (work related), Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica, Belize, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Martin, St. Kitts, Cayman
South America: Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil
Europe: Germany, France, Finland, Ireland, England, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Vatacin City, Austria, Greece
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  #12  
Old May 18th, 2013, 10:59 PM
PJOZ PJOZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker954 View Post
And what airport would I see about flying into. Or do I fly into the bigger fiji and take a boat to Yasawa
You fly to Nadi then get a boat from Denarau, which is about half an hour from Nadi airport if I remember correctly. The boat ride to whichever island you choose (there are a lot to choose from) is around 1-2 hours I think (it is a while since we did it) or I assume the Blue Lagoon (very small ship) cruises leave from Denarau too. The flight from Nadi-Sydney is 4 hours and Nadi-LA is about 10 so it is quite a good stop over point.

I agree with the others, we have done Fiji by flying there and cruising and a big ship out of Sydney is definitely not the best way to see the best of Fiji. Also the Fiji cruise includes mostly bigger town ports and misses the beautiful beach stops. I'd definitely take the south pacific cruise plus Fiji stop over option.

Penny
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  #13  
Old May 20th, 2013, 12:18 AM
annenic annenic is offline
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Hi,

We just got back from Lautoka and the Yasawa Islands yesterday after spending 2 wonderful weeks there. I do enjoy Lautoka (we were there for business) ... but it can be very disappointing for cruise ship passengers. We spent one week in Lautoka and then one week relaxing in the Yasawas.

Rather than do a cruise around the Yasawas (which is very expensive), check out the website Awesome Adventures dot com - it is not just for backpackers as some of the resorts are 5 star! What we did was to build our own tour - so we picked 3 different resorts on 3 different islands and stayed for 2 nights on each island. All three were very different with their accommodation, food and beach/swimming/snorkelling access. All 3 were wonderful.

Most resorts have both dorms (for the backpackers) as well as bures (for the more discerning traveller). Surprisingly this works very well and we enjoyed the company of the younger generation and didn't find them to be too noisy or boisterous (or even rude) at all.
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Last edited by annenic; May 20th, 2013 at 12:19 AM. Reason: left out a word...
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