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  #1  
Old September 7th, 2008, 11:20 AM
kathy16 kathy16 is offline
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Default Stop over in Fiji?

We are thinking of making our air reservations for our cruise from NZ- SYD in Jan/Feb 2009 on Air Pacific, since it seems the least expensive option. Should we stop over in Fiji for a night or two in either coming/going. Would there be enough time to visit one of the outer islands. I read in TripAdviser boards, that there are several resorts that will pickup at airport and transfer to boat to bring to resort (and not only the priciest resorts). Any suggestions of resorts? Are stop-overs easily available? Or is this way too much trouble?
Kathy
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Old September 7th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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moojar moojar is offline
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Hi Kathy,

I think if you have the time, it is definitely worth it. If nothing else, you get over your jet lag in a nice laid-back setting. And they don't come much more laid-back than Fiji! And the diving is simply fantastic.

I have only been there once, so I'm not an expert. We landed at Nadi (pronounced 'Nandi'), which is at the western end of the main island. That is handy to the Mamanuca Islands, which are relatively close inshore. (The Tom Hanks movie was filmed on one of them!) That is where most of the middle-of-the-road resorts seem to be, with the higher-end resorts to the north, around the second-largest island.

There is a lovely sort of country-club area just outside Nadi with several name-brand resorts (Sheraton, Sofitel, Raddisson, etc..); that might be an option for you too. They call it 'Denarau Island' but it is on the mainland. You can get day-trip boats out to the islands from there.

Don't stay in Nadi, it's a dump. And don't stay near the airport, there are some dark stretches of road and lots of BIG Fijians sitting around. I KNOW!

If you are after coral, stick to the protected areas to the west and north of the main island; the trade winds blow from the south east, and the swell that that kicks up does not allow soft coral to flourish on the southern shore. (There's a big barrier reef south of the Mamanuca Islands to protect them - one of the Billabong Pro surf events is held there.)

The other airport is at Suva, the capital, at the eastern end of the main island. Nice spot, pick me up a T-shirt from the museum if you go. But I don't think there is much in the way of resorts over that side. There is a town outside Suva to the west - Pacific Harbour. It looks suspiciously like time-share heaven. Bad vibes, I don't recommend it.

Cheers,
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  #3  
Old September 7th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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eh2zed eh2zed is offline
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Certainly stopover if you can. Our airline Air New Zealand allowed free stopovers so we did post cruise. We stayed at Bekana Resort on an outer island. Only a 3 star but OK. We were supposed to do a 3 day/2 night Blue Lagoon cruise but it got cancelled due to weather.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 01:12 PM
MMDown Under MMDown Under is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy16 View Post
We are thinking of making our air reservations for our cruise from NZ- SYD in Jan/Feb 2009 on Air Pacific, since it seems the least expensive option. Should we stop over in Fiji for a night or two in either coming/going. Would there be enough time to visit one of the outer islands. I read in TripAdviser boards, that there are several resorts that will pickup at airport and transfer to boat to bring to resort (and not only the priciest resorts). Any suggestions of resorts? Are stop-overs easily available? Or is this way too much trouble?
Kathy
Stopovers are always worth it, especially if you stay a few days. I would pick an island which doesn't have day trippers, if possible. However, any island is better than the mainland in the vicinity of the Nadi Airport.

Just remember Jan/Feb will be hot and humid, so plan on just relaxing.
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  #5  
Old September 7th, 2008, 10:33 PM
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OHCruisinDad OHCruisinDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy16 View Post
We are thinking of making our air reservations for our cruise from NZ- SYD in Jan/Feb 2009 on Air Pacific, since it seems the least expensive option. Should we stop over in Fiji for a night or two in either coming/going. Would there be enough time to visit one of the outer islands. I read in TripAdviser boards, that there are several resorts that will pickup at airport and transfer to boat to bring to resort (and not only the priciest resorts). Any suggestions of resorts? Are stop-overs easily available? Or is this way too much trouble?
Kathy

We spent 6 days there in December 2004 on our way to Australia for the holidays. We stayed at the old Sheraton Denaru and were only 5 - 10 minutes from the small marina where all of the day trips and transfers to the island resorts left from. As other posters have said, avoid Nadi and the southern shore. You want to go north - northwest to the smaller island in the closer-in group (the Mamanucas). The Yasawas are further to the north-northeast and a longer trip to reach.

The layover is well worth it. The only problem I found is that nearly all the flights arrive or depart at horrible times in the middle of the night. That is why most tours require a night in a Nadi or airport hotel as you need to stay somewhere until you can shuttle to one of the small island resorts. Our TA arranged transfers from the airport to the Sheraton with a local tour operator (Rosie Tours) and the process was very effecient and well run.

Another great option was also mentioned and that is Blue Lagoon Cruises. Captain Cook Cruises (www.captaincook.com.au) also runs several small ship island cruises for 3 - 4 days to a week. I just checked their site and they are running specials for cruises through next March if booked by September 30th. Note the quoted fares are in Aussie Dollars which is good for us right now.

If you can, stop in Fiji. You will not regret it at all and may not want to leave!
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  #6  
Old September 8th, 2008, 06:28 AM
Aquarians Aquarians is offline
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Default Fiji

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy16 View Post
We are thinking of making our air reservations for our cruise from NZ- SYD in Jan/Feb 2009 on Air Pacific, since it seems the least expensive option. Should we stop over in Fiji for a night or two in either coming/going. Would there be enough time to visit one of the outer islands. I read in TripAdviser boards, that there are several resorts that will pickup at airport and transfer to boat to bring to resort (and not only the priciest resorts). Any suggestions of resorts? Are stop-overs easily available? Or is this way too much trouble?
Kathy
Kia ora
If you are intending to stay for a few days remember that, following the latest coup, Fiji is currently controlled by the army and as a consequence tourism has suffered due to concerns over safety/stability. There are therefore some good deals to attract tourists but I suggest you check with the appropriate government department in your country to ascertain whether they have any concerns about visiting there.
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Old September 8th, 2008, 10:58 AM
M&A M&A is offline
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We stopped in Suva last year, it too is a bit of a dump and there is nothing there in the way of resorts. We did go to a resort at Pacific Harbour which was nice but the water was very muddy and brown and not a good area for diving/snorkelling.
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  #8  
Old September 8th, 2008, 11:15 AM
greatam greatam is online now
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We spent 5 days in Fiji. Went to a couple of outer islands, rented a car and drove around the island (well, we rented the car and a young couple from New Zealand drove). We stayed at the Club Fiji Resort. Wonderful food, good accommodations. We rented a beach front villa. The package price was VERY reasonable and food was included.

It was MUCH better than some of our friends experience staying at the Sheraton/Hilton, etc on Denaru Island. We had all gotten VERY cheap ($61.00 RT from LAX) airline tickets and there were a bunch of us that went at the same time. We had more opportunities to do things than they did, due to the small, boutique nature of the resort. The owners couldn't have been nicer.

http://www.clubfiji-resort.com/home.htm
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  #9  
Old November 10th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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blitzpacker blitzpacker is offline
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Default Nadi Shopping and Transportation

Hi,
We just got back from Fiji - did a complete back to back South Pacific cruise.
Nadi was a little intimidating, but we were fortunate enough, after a bad experience, to meet a wonderful person. If you need any transport or a great, guided tour, we strongly recommend Alvin Vikash Tel: 9363363 (Fiji).
His prices were very good and he took us on a fabulous shopping tour in Nadi. He also drove us to South Pacific Harbor (4 hours - fabulous diving) and picked us up again one week later!
If we go back, we will definitely give him a call!
Enjoy! Hope this helps anyone looking for straight forward, fair priced, private "taxi".
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