Posted June 15th, 2004, 06:26 AM
We just returned from a cruise on the Wind. There are two tours offered for Fanning Island; Napali Beach Getaway and a Barracuda Reef Snorkel. See descriptions of each in NCL's website:
We did the Napali Beach Getaway and it was the best $20 that we spent on the cruise. The beach was fantastic. Everyone there loved it. It may have been the highlight of the entire cruise. It was a pristine white sand beach with clean/clear water. You could walk out over 50 yards and the water would only still be at your knees. You could also walk the very long beach. They had an ample supply of loungers, chairs, umbrellas, floaters, and hammocks. There was plenty of shade as it looked like a "palm tree plantation". There were also beach toys (hobie cats, kayaks, bikes, etc.) for an additional charge. The ship did set up a small bar on the beach. Also the locals set up their shops along the path to the beach. NCL ran continuous tenders (i. e. every 20 to 30 minutes)from the Napali Beach to Fanning Island. The only downside was that there was no restrooms at on beach island. In addition for the $20 NCL also gave you a Fanning Island T-shirt.
The last tender from the Napali to Fanning was 2:30 PM and the last tender from Fanning to the ship was 3:30 PM. After a day at Napali we had about hour or so on Fanning Island. It was very hot, very humid, a little dirty, and had a lot of flies. The beach there was not nearly as nice as Napali. We walked around the main area on Fanning; had our passports stamped, bought a postcard/stamp at Johnnie's store, and looked over the shopping mall. Note on the shopping: there were probably 20 to 25 tables set up and each vendor had the same articles for the same price. Basically it was the sharks tooth knives and shell things (i.e. mostly necklaces). We missed the ships lunch buffet on Fanning; however, the comments that we heard were that it was crowded, flies were every where, and it was nothing special. We had a large breakfast on the ship and a couple oranges each (that we brought from the ship) for something to eat at the beach. Fanning is very primitive. They had basically no electricity, or water/sewer lines. It was very interesting to see how they live, but I'm not sure that I would have enjoyed spending the entire day there. Also, most of the locals spoke very little English. NCL did build a block building with flush toilets there for the passengers. They must also have had a generator to power their pump/compressor.