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About smalltowner

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  1. So, you are saying there is a captain's reception. I know how it works, and usually we don't go to the lounge for it anymore, just to Martini's, but I was wondering if they would have it on such a short cruise. Glad to hear they do. Thanks.
  2. This summer, my husband and I are sailing from Barcelona to Lisbon on Sirena, a 7-day cruise that visits ports we haven't been to before. We have never before done such a short cruise, but it works out because we are visiting our son in Helsinki and traveling around with him before flying to Barcelona for the cruise. It seemed a nice way to end our trip. I'm wondering if there is a Captain's reception on such a short cruise, or a loyalty club party? We have done 12 Oceania cruises so far, so are at the silver level. Just thinking ahead to what our wine needs will be 😄.
  3. Thanks for all the input and good wishes. I'm looking forward to getting away from winter in a couple of months.
  4. Thank you, Peetoonya. This gives me an idea of costs in French Polynesia. I am concerned about a beach with no shade, too, so that's good to know about Matira Beach.
  5. Update: Nausori looks like a no-go. Suva would be better for just looking around. Our last time in Fiji and Suva was 2005, so we should see some differences. I remember we really liked the Fiji Museum, so we could go back there. We never in a million years thought we'd ever return to Fiji, so we tried to see as much as possible in 10 days in 2005. First we spent a week at a resort near Nadi. From there, we did numerous excursions: explored Nadi, hiked the Nausori highlands, visited Yavuna village (including lunch with a family, a talk by a village elder and a kava ceremony), took a bus to Suva for a day, got a taxi tour to the Sigatoka sand dunes and the Tavuni Hill Fort, and took a cruise through the Mamanuca Islands. Then we went to the little island of Nananu-I-Ra, where we spent 3 days snorkelling. After that, we flew from Nadi to Auckland to spend 2 months in New Zealand, mainly hiking and fishing (my husband). Those were the days. He even hiked the Tongariro Crossing. Time has passed, and we can't do some things we used to love doing, but, hey, here we are returning to Fiji, and we can still walk a few kilometres in a town if nothing else! I think we'll just decide on the spot about FJD, as it is possible we won't do anything that requires them. I will take some XPF though, along with USD and AUD. Thanks for all the feedback.
  6. Thanks, Bronte2. I have looked into it today, and am wondering if my husband will be able to manage it, especially if it has been raining. Mud seems to be a factor in descriptions of the trails. There is a bus that goes there every 20 to 30 minutes for $2 each, and if we did go, I think we'd use the bus rather than a taxi. If it looks too difficult, we can just have a drink at the restaurant there and take the next bus back to Suva. I may look more into Nausori, the town the bus is heading for when it goes past the park. Maybe there's something to see there. We like going on local buses, just for the experience.
  7. Petoonya, what are the rates like for a taxi in FP? In Bora Bora and Moorea we might just want to taxi to a beach, as we've already done 4WD tours there, and snorkel excursions. Depending on whether the ship tenders in from Opunohu or Cook's Bay in Moorea, we could maybe even walk to a beach. I remember it being really hot and humid for walking though. We have an overnight in Tahiti, and time to get a taxi tour there, which we have not done before. Any idea how many XPF that might run? I'm thinking when I order some AUD through the Auto Club, I might get a few XPF and FJD dollars, but trying to figure out how many. In Fiji, my thoughts were for a taxi to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and back, then walk around the town a bit, as we haven't explored it before. In Suva, I was thinking of a taxi to the Colo-I-Suva forest park and back. On our previous trip to Fiji we did spend a day in the town of Suva. I guess another place to find this out might be on the TA forums. Bronte2, we are staying at Manly Beach for our pre-cruise time, but will make a day trip to Sydney. In 1994 we were there in your Aussie winter to visit my sister-in-law and her family for 2 weeks, after we did a tour of all the iconic spots such as the Great Barrier Reef, Cape Douglas, Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, Darwin, Uluru, Kangaroo Island. During our time with our relatives, we went to many spots close to Sydney, such as the Blue Mountains and Bondi Beach. My husband has some mobility issues now, at almost 75, but we plan to do some hiking around Manly and to snorkel at Shelly Beach. We still enjoy snorkelling, but have to be in calm water and off a beach, not a boat. But as long as we can do some things, we're happy!
  8. Thanks for the reminder about Kauai. I was planning to rent a car there, and I think I need to pre-book. And thanks for the information about Suva. Lautoka is before Suva on the itinerary, so I guess I will find out there about whether or not they will take AUD. I plan to get there with AUD to use if it is accepted. I will just cash them in when I get home to Canada if I still have some. This will be our 4th visit to OZ, and I would love to just save the AUD for a 5th visit, but 30 hours or more of travel to get there is becoming tougher and tougher all the time.
  9. We've been to NZ a couple of times, and loved it, but we don't go there on this cruise. The ports after Sydney are Brisbane, Vanuatu, Lautoka (Fiji), Suva (Fiji), Pago Pago (American Samoa), Apia (Samoa), Bora Bora, Moorea, Papeete (overnight and halfway point of B2B for us), Rangiroa, Nuku Hiva, Hilo (Big Island), Honolulu and Nawiliwili (Kauai), ending in San Diego. Lots of sea days of course. The only places in this itinerary that we have never seen before are Brisbane, Vanuatu, Pago Pago, Apia, Nuku Hiva and Nawiliwili. I'm not really worried about buying stuff in stores; rather I'm imagining arriving in some of these ports and deciding to try to get a taxi tour, but not having the currency they want. On the other hand, if it's a rainy day, I won't want to do that, so I won't need that currency. The towns where this may be an issue are the Fiji ports and Apia if there is no ATM near the ship dock in those places. The easy way is to just go on a shore excursion offered by Oceania, but we've already done a lot of what they offer (visit a school/village, take part in a kava ceremony, etc.), on a previous land trip to Fiji, (on the way to New Zealand), and we don't really want to do it again. When we did a French Polynesia cruise a few years back, I don't even remember if we got XPF. We were with Paul Gauguin and had everything prebooked through the cruise line, including a pre-cruise hotel and lots of shore excursions. Mind you, we did do a few excursions with cruise critic organized groups, so maybe XPF were required for those, but we forget these things after a few years! Anyway, because we did so many excursions before in French Polynesia, I'm pretty relaxed about what to do there this time, but I just wondered if taxi drivers would take USD if we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to get a taxi to a beach or something. Thanks for the input.
  10. My husband and I are cruising on Regatta from Sydney AU to San Diego from March 1 to April 1. We have been to many of the ports at some time or other in the past, and we have done many of the activities visitors to these islands usually do, but we just love the relaxed vibe of crossings, so we thought we'd try a Pacific one for a change. I'm not sure what to do about currency, as we may not even need any, if we decide to just walk around in the small port towns of the islands we will visit. We will have Australian dollars, as we are spending a couple of weeks in Manly Beach before we embark, and we will take US dollars as well, but I'm not sure if either currency would be acceptable in Fiji or Samoa. I think Australian dollars are accepted in Vanuatu and American dollars in French Polynesia, but if I'm wrong, please let me know. If I need local currency in Lautoka or Suva, Fiji, or in Apia, Samoa, will an ATM or currency exchange be available anywhere near where the ship docks, or where a shuttle will deposit us (if there is a shuttle provided)? If the weather is nice, there are some places outside of town that we might want to taxi to, but we probably need local currency for this. I'd appreciate some insight from anyone who has cruised to these ports. Thanks.
  11. I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I can't seem to find a way to search through threads with keywords, as I could before this website was changed. I am boarding Zuiderdam next Sunday, and wondering if I can carry a few litres of water or Perrier on board with me.
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