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Fletcher

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About Fletcher

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    UK
  • Interests
    travel to far-flung places
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

Recent Profile Visitors

844 profile views
  1. The OWBs at the Hotel Bora Bora have all been removed. I stayed a few times there back in the 1980s. It was truly wonderful and you could snorkel with mantas straight off from your deck.
  2. Debsjc - There's no doubting that the best beaches on Upolu are along the SE coast. You could just drive along there towards Lamomanu and go back but I think you would have time for that half-loop from Apia. Otherwise, the area around Coconuts and Sinalei resorts have beaches and more facilities. They might give you a day-pass.
  3. I've not driven in American Samoa but in Samoa (Apia) is an excellent place to rent a car. We have done this twice - once when we stayed two weeks at Aggie Grey's and Coconuts and once when we were there just for a day on a cruise. The island is, I think, too big to drive completely around if you only have a day but there is a short loop that takes you through some gorgeous scenery, a remote cross island road, some fascinating villages and the spectacular beaches on the south coast. You can also time your visit to Valima (RLS's home) to avoid the crowds, though climbing up to his grave is quite a long and muddy slog.
  4. It will be interesting to hear what Mr Rumor thinks of Corner Brook. We thought that was rock bottom as far as ports of call are concerned, a rubbish substitute for PEI which was cancelled because of those selfsame pesky right whales. Here's a shot of the Navigator at Corner Brook, a great place if you want a spare part for your chainsaw.
  5. Only the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taputapuatea, a magnificent ancient site of a Polynesian temple. The enormous stone platform here is one of the major sites of the South Pacific.
  6. Yes . . . there were four tourists on Komodo that day, the two of us and another couple. We were staying at a Losmen at Labuanbajo on the western tip of Flores. Our guide charted a police launch and we set off for Komodo, stopping at the village to buy the goat. The village in those days was very poor and I remember the graveyard and the graves covered in sharp coral rock to deter the dragons from digging up the bodies. We then dragged our poor bleating goat down the path to a sort of feeding area where our guide butchered it and hung it up on a hook and rope. About a dozen dragons eventually devoured the whole thing. The place was full of flies and snakes and you got close enough to smell the dragons' putrid breath. Then we all went to pink beach for a picnic, a swim and a snorkel.
  7. Further research at the BBC shows that tourists might now have to pay $1000 each to visit the island. When I first went there in 1988 all I had to do was buy a goat. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49888876
  8. It seems that Komodo won't be closing after all - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/01/indonesia-cancels-komodo-island-closure-saying-tourists-are-no-threat-to-dragons
  9. I am booked on a Ponant trip in spring 2021 - a back-to-back in French Polynesia, aboard L'Soleal and sailing to the Marquesas and Austral Islands. I am not expecting Seabourn or Silversea levels of luxury and service and I discount all the comments about the food because one person's three star Michelin is another person's KFC. The reason I went with Ponant is simple - their itineraries are far more interesting than Silversea's same-old-thing. Part of my Ponant cruise is in association with National Geographic.
  10. There's quite a bit about camera set-ups in my blog about this trip - https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2483913-quest-for-the-holy-grail-a-voyage-to-south-america-antarctica-amp-south-georgia/
  11. That's a great b2b, especially the first cruise to the Austral Islands and that's where a small ship like L'Boreal will come in handy for zodiac landings on these remote islands which, by and large, have no tourism. My b2b also goes to the Australs as well as the Marquesas - the itinerary for the Marquesas seems to much better than the traditional Aranui and also Nat Geo's Orion. I'm not expecting the same lux standards as you get on Seabourn or Silversea but I ran into a couple of Ponant's ships in Ushuaia last year and they look incredibly sleek and sophisticated. There is relatively little info on this Forum so I do hope you plan on writing up your trip.
  12. Exactly which cruise are you considering? I am a veteran of several trips on Regent, Silversea and Seabourn as well as many small expedition ships. I have just booked back-to-back with Ponant in French Polynesia in May 2021. This will be my first Ponant experience and I chose them because of the itinerary and the size of the ship.
  13. Thomas Cook officially died at 2am today. The BBC are calling this a 'death foretold.' The company almost went bust several years ago and I can't really understand why so many people continued to book with it. The management takes all the blame and a lot of money - the CEO has paid himself £8 million over the past five years of failure.
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