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Nextholiday?

South Pacific cruise - Fiji

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I am feeling overwhelmed and find it hard to find info so apologies :)

 

For a first timer to SP (have been lucky enough to have done Hawaii) for anyone who has visited would you say in your opinion these ports are worth visiting. Would appreciate any help/thoughts to start me off :) 

 

- Lifou - New Caledonia 

- Port Vila - Vanuatu 

- Dravuni Island - Fiji

- Suva - Fiji

- Savusavu - Fiji

- Lautoka- Fiji

- noumea New Caledonia 

 

thank you 😊 🙏 

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On 1/3/2019 at 4:36 AM, Nextholiday? said:

I am feeling overwhelmed and find it hard to find info so apologies :)

 

For a first timer to SP (have been lucky enough to have done Hawaii) for anyone who has visited would you say in your opinion these ports are worth visiting. Would appreciate any help/thoughts to start me off 🙂

😊🙏

 

- Lifou - New Caledonia

Tender port. Tours available for booking onshore. Good snorkeling at Jinek Bay and great views from church on headland. Both in walking distance from tender jetty and beach. Further afield, vanilla plantation tour, scenic cliffs of Jokin. Not much else.

 

- Port Vila - Vanuatu

Docking port. Tours available onshore. Town is pretty typical Pacific centre. Not much of interest except good duty free at Fung Kuei store. Outside of town some scenic spots generally overflowing with tourists. I would suggest a snorkeling tour.

 

- Dravuni Island - Fiji

Tender port. Unspoilt island. No facilities at all. Very nice.

 

- Suva - Fiji

Docking port. Grimy commercial centre. Tours available onshore. Get out of town for tours.

 

- Savusavu - Fiji

Never been there.

 

- Lautoka- Fiji

Docking port. Pretty much he same as Suva. Head out of town.

 

- noumea New Caledonia 

Docking port. Rather dull and relatively expensive. Good aquarium. Amedee lighthouse excursion expensive but nice.

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New Caledonia is a nice stop.  We did not like Vanuatu.  Fiji is gorgeous but the cruise ports are relatively industrial, not great, mostly far from good beaches and snorkeling.  IMHO I would not take a cruise with the stops you have mentioned but I would highly recommend a land vacation on Fiji.

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Nextholiday - A Princess ship is totally wrong for these islands. Look at the ports of call you have listed.  Only places a big ship can go which are mostly grim.  You need to look into expedition ships with about 100 passengers, equipped with zodiacs which will enable you to land directly on to remote beaches and small villages.  This is what the South Pacific is all about.  Ships and experiences like this -

 

IMG_0796.jpg

Edited by Fletcher

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There is a thread somewhere by Luckie Puris (I think) which has excellent summaries of the South Pacific ports. I find the search function difficult to use so I haven’t been able to find the link for you.

 

I found that her wrote up for each port was great, though I remember thinking that the reef was a lot more dead in one place than she said, then I saw that the thread was a few years old.

If I track it down I will post it for you. 

 

If you go to Suva, I recommend the Jewel of Fiji Tour. For Lautoka, the Savala Island trip. And for Noumea, Amadee Island. 

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On 1/16/2019 at 2:43 PM, Fletcher said:

Nextholiday - A Princess ship is totally wrong for these islands. Look at the ports of call you have listed.  Only places a big ship can go which are mostly grim.  You need to look into expedition ships with about 100 passengers, equipped with zodiacs which will enable you to land directly on to remote beaches and small villages.  This is what the South Pacific is all about.  Ships and experiences like this -

 

IMG_0796.jpg

 I am sure you are right about smaller being better but unfortunately the ones I have seen like that are at least 3 times the price. If you have any suggestions it would be lovely 

Edited by Nextholiday?

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2 hours ago, Nextholiday? said:

 I am sure you are right about smaller being better but unfortunately the ones I have seen like that are at least 3 times the price. If you have any suggestions it would be lovely 

 

Nextholiday - Yes, expedition cruises are expensive but perhaps not quite as expensive as you think for they almost always include all shore excursions, gratuities as well as drinks - sometimes open bars, sometimes wine just with meals.  Big cruise lines seem like bargains until they start nickel and diming you on board.  

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On 1/21/2019 at 2:25 PM, Nextholiday? said:

Hi 

can I ask which companies to look at please 

 

I'd start with Silversea (Silver Explorer), Zegrahm Expeditions and Quark if you are based in the USA.  The UK company Noble Caledonia has several South Pacific itineraries on their ships Island Sky and Caledonian Sky.  The French company Ponant also seems to have a lot of South Pacific trips. The ship in my photo is the Caledonian Sky.

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I should also add that these expedition ships do not have the extensive dining options, or the shows, or the casinos, or the spas, or the dress codes (oh blessed relief) of the larger ships.  Passengers will be like-minded, extensively traveled and communal - you get to know everyone on board.

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- Lifou - New Caledonia - relaxing island, beach, snorkel, braid hair, massage, visit churches or book a tour

-

-

- Suva - Fiji  Huge vegetable and fruit market across from pier. Friendly vendors, took lots of pictures. Town is fine but a bit rund down. Watch out for old men who try to take you to stores. They say that the Indian shop keepers raise prices when a ship is in port. Probably not true. The department store had clothes with the same price as everybody else. 

-

-

- noumea New Caledonia - Dock has a building with excursion vendors. Don't book the hop-on-hop off bus we took. It was too expensive for having no explanations. Town is not overly interesting, colorful market. We had a nice tour that included  the Tjibaou Cultural Center outside town. Booked it in the terminal building.

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We are also going on this cruise - for the second time. We first went on Diamond in 2018 and thought it was one of the best cruises we’d been on (and we’ve done over 60!]

 

I’m sure you will enjoy it, and we are really looking forward to experiencing all that Majestic Princess has to offer.  We love the big ships (including the RCI behemoths) and love the variety on offer, both with food, swimming pools, choice of cabins and entertainment. We would feel stifled on a very small ship, and love meeting a variety of people, but each to their own. Thank goodness some people prefer the very small ships, as otherwise there might not be room for us on the ‘big girls!’ As they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison......

 

As for the ports,  well we fell in love with Dravuni, had an amazing day in Vanuatu, thought SavuSavu was idyllic, with a wonderful tender into the small dock, and are looking forward to returning to the other ports for a different view of them. We are a bit wiser this time so hopefully that will help. The only port we were really disappointed in was Suva, a big industrial port, but this time we hope to find a beach where I can swim. Last time we made the mistake of not booking a tour and walked round the town, which we though was scruffy, and we didn’t enjoy the department store, which was full of dated clothes and souvenirs. We high tailed it back to the comfort of the ship I’m afraid!

 

If if you have anymore questions about the ports then please do ask. 

 

 

Edited by ellie1145

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On 8/9/2019 at 6:32 PM, ellie1145 said:

We are also going on this cruise - for the second time. We first went on Diamond in 2018 and thought it was one of the best cruises we’d been on (and we’ve done over 60!]

 

I’m sure you will enjoy it, and we are really looking forward to experiencing all that Majestic Princess has to offer.  We love the big ships (including the RCI behemoths) and love the variety on offer, both with food, swimming pools, choice of cabins and entertainment. We would feel stifled on a very small ship, and love meeting a variety of people, but each to their own. Thank goodness some people prefer the very small ships, as otherwise there might not be room for us on the ‘big girls!’ As they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison......

 

As for the ports,  well we fell in love with Dravuni, had an amazing day in Vanuatu, thought SavuSavu was idyllic, with a wonderful tender into the small dock, and are looking forward to returning to the other ports for a different view of them. We are a bit wiser this time so hopefully that will help. The only port we were really disappointed in was Suva, a big industrial port, but this time we hope to find a beach where I can swim. Last time we made the mistake of not booking a tour and walked round the town, which we though was scruffy, and we didn’t enjoy the department store, which was full of dated clothes and souvenirs. We high tailed it back to the comfort of the ship I’m afraid!

 

If if you have anymore questions about the ports then please do ask. 

 

 

May I ask what you did on Dravuni, Vanuatu and Suvasuva, or want you learned and plan to do this time? If you booked tours, with whom? We like to snorkel 

Thank-you!

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16 hours ago, sherifa said:

May I ask what you did on Dravuni, Vanuatu and Suvasuva, or want you learned and plan to do this time? If you booked tours, with whom? We like to snorkel 

Thank-you!

 

 

I posted information and photos about Dravuni earlier in this thread. It is a tiny island, with no excursions - just boat trips round the island for a few dollars. It’s an unspoilt tropical paradise and the day is all about the beach, the crystal clear water and the friendly culture of the Fijian people. There is a school and the people are very friendly.

 

You can walk from end to end in about 20 minutes. We don’t snorkel but apparently the snorkelling is great. As you disembark the tender turn left and keep walking, there is a beach at the end of a track where you can snorkel I believe. There are other beaches if you go right.

 

You can turn right and walk to the top of a hill for amazing views of the surrounding area and the ship anchored in the bay. 

 

We will just be enjoying the beach and exploring this time.

 

At Vanuatu we took a private tour which I also described earlier in this thread (with photos). I’m afraid I’m not sure about snorkelling.  We are doing the same tour again as we enjoyed it so much.

 

i have also posted about Savusavu. Again, I’m not sure about snorkelling but we will probably hire a taxi and go to the beach. 

 

Hope me this helps.

 

These photos are of the beach we went to at Suva. It was pretty unspoilt with no facilities. The water was very shallow.

40AD1855-CAE2-4D70-86DE-F358F3458DF7.jpeg

9A2C3558-5747-4C55-AA5A-F04DA63C1C19.jpeg

57217D70-0CC0-4AD4-A657-DB3C9AFAB412.jpeg

Edited by ellie1145

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4 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

Here are some photos of the rainforest reserve in Savu Savu

 

 

6E42E356-4C06-47DF-9079-06CA44D5DC82.jpeg

32D19259-E1A9-450A-A57B-F5B6870DC41B.jpeg

B609A58F-BA84-4673-9545-3FAA748EF8EF.jpeg

AE1A03E9-9BB2-4082-8473-EEDC95F93EAD.jpeg

Ellie 1145,

 

Thank-you for the info and photos. It is very helpful and will aid us in planning our ports!

 

Sorry if I asked for info you already posted. I didn’t see another post from you after Nextholiday?’s original question, Jan 2. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what a “thread” is as I thought that is where this one began. 

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14 minutes ago, sherifa said:

Ellie 1145,

 

Thank-you for the info and photos. It is very helpful and will aid us in planning our ports!

 

Sorry if I asked for info you already posted. I didn’t see another post from you after Nextholiday?’s original question, Jan 2. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what a “thread” is as I thought that is where this one began. 

 

Please don’t worry, I’m pleased to be of help. This roll call is getting very long so it needs a bit of investigating to find something previously written. I’m hopeless at finding things myself on CC!

 

There are photos of Dravuni on a previous page and some info and photos about Vanuatu which I posted a while ago.

 

If I can be of any further help just let me know!

 

 

 

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On 1/24/2019 at 12:41 AM, Fletcher said:

I should also add that these expedition ships do not have the extensive dining options, or the shows, or the casinos, or the spas, or the dress codes (oh blessed relief) of the larger ships.  Passengers will be like-minded, extensively traveled and communal - you get to know everyone on board.

 

Are you saying that those who travel on the behemoths are neither extensively travelled nor communal????  Ha ha! 😏😂

 

In our experience we have enjoyed meeting some very interesting and  incredibly friendly people from around the world - both professional and non-professional - and we have made some amazing friends en route. One of the joys of cruising I think.

 

Luckily there are big big ships and small ships and everyone has a choice, so what suits one doesn’t suit another but there are no rights or wrongs. Personally, I hate sloppy dressing and welcome whatever dress code the cruise lines can cling onto, but that’s only my preference. Others prefer a casual approach. Neither is right nor wrong, it’s simply a matter of choice, and luckily there is plenty of choice out there so I don’t have to sail on a small ship with a small amount of, admittedly, well-travelled and ‘communal’ people, where there is no dress code. My loss. Their gain!😂

 

Actually, what does communal mean? According to the dictionary it means:

Definition of communal. 1 : of or relating to one or more communes a communal organization. 2 : of or relating to a community. 3a : characterized by collective ownership and use of property. b : participated in, shared, or used in common by members of a group or community a communal kitchen gathered for a communal meal.

 

Perhaps you meant that people are convivial, sociable, companionable, gregarious or just downright friendly?

 

We've certainly found people on cruise ships, whatever their size, are all of these things.

 

Roll on Majestic Princess! I’m looking forward to meeting all of you lovely people!

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1 hour ago, sherifa said:

Ellie 1145,

 

Thank-you for the info and photos. It is very helpful and will aid us in planning our ports!

 

Sorry if I asked for info you already posted. I didn’t see another post from you after Nextholiday?’s original question, Jan 2. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what a “thread” is as I thought that is where this one began. 

 

 

I’ve managed to find my previous post about Dravuni and Vanuatu. They were posted on May 30th on page 3 of the Roll Call. Hope this helps. 😎

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2 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

 

Please don’t worry, I’m pleased to be of help. This roll call is getting very long so it needs a bit of investigating to find something previously written. I’m hopeless at finding things myself on CC!

 

There are photos of Dravuni on a previous page and some info and photos about Vanuatu which I posted a while ago.

 

If I can be of any further help just let me know!

 

 

 

Thanks, again! I see now why I was confused. I found your post on the “ports of call” South Pacific Islands thread , not a roll call. I haven’t even checked Roll calls for other cruises board for info. We will be on the Maasdam in Feb/March.

Do you have any thoughts for Vava u activities or excursions?

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