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best way to get local currency for Samoa, Tahititi and Tonga


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Hi Everyone,


As we are going on our first cruise on 4th June (W119 Pacific Dawn - Tahititian Treasures) I am wondering if some of you more experienced cruisers can help us.. We will be visiting lots of places including Samoa, Tonga and Tahiti and hope to do some independent sight-seeing etc. (not booking tours through P&O). Have any of you been to any of those places and if so did you get currency from your bank before you went or did you manage to exchange Aussie dollars once there?


thanks heaps for any advice you can give me,



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Hi Georgina,

We did the Tahiti cruise on the Sun Princess with the same itinerary as you will be doing. This was last October/November. I strongly advise you to get currency before you go. We don't try to exchange money when we arrive in a port unless we have to because it will take time, particularly if you have to line up with dozens of other passengers. Any transaction on your credit card will likely cost you a 3% foreign currency transaction fee imposed by your bank.


You will need Pacific Francs for Noumea and all the ports in French Polynesia. They will have Pacific Francs on the ship, but you will get a better exchange rate at the bank, unless you are wanting only a few dollars' worth. The bank charges a flat fee of around $8 whereas the Purser's Desk on the ship has no flat fee, but the rate isn't as good.


Nuku'alofa & Vava'u, Tonga - The currency is Tongan Pa'anga. We were unable to get any from our bank, but there was a currency exchange tent set up near the wharf in Nuku'alofa. It was on the left just after where the tour buses were lined up.


Rarotonga, Cook Islands - You will need NZ dollars. Some places will accept AUD, but don't count on it.


Pago Pago - US dollars.


Apia - Tala. We exchanged money at our bank prior to the cruise.


Savusavu, Suva, Port Denarau, Dravuni Island (Fijji) - All businesses and taxi drivers that we have seen on our several cruises to Fiji have accepted AUD.


For tour suggestions I suggest you refer to my review of our Sun Princess cruise. There is a separate post for each area we visited and these can now be found on around pages 21 and 22 on this board. I am currently writing a review of our recent cruise to Samoa that visited many of the ports will be going to. :)



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