With our 29-day cruise with Holland America, Amanda and I were looking forward to completing another bucket list destination with our visit to Fiji. It seemed like the further east our ship continued to go from Australia, the islands became more beautiful. Some day, we will continue our bucket list to visit more islands of the South Pacific, but for now, we will dream about our time in paradise.
Upon reaching Fiji, I learned to my surprise that Fiji is actually made up of 330 islands with 110 of them inhabited. There are even 500 islets, which are basically small spits of land, almost like an oasis in the vast, deep blue ocean.
Our ship docked in the port city of Lautoka on the main island of Viti Levu. We had many excursions to choose from during our time in Fiji, and we decided to take the daylong excursion to Beachcomber Island.
After docking in Lautoka, about 100 of us from the ship made our way to 2 boats, waiting to take us on the 45-minute ride to Beachcomber Island. Each boat had a top and lower deck. On this day, a typhoon was churning in the South Pacific a few hundred miles away, causing the sea to be a bit on the high side. With a past experience of sea sickness on a trip to Key West, Florida, I knew that I should select a seat, where I could sit by the side of the boat and to be able to see the horizon.
Out on the sea, the waves were very noticeable, but I kept looking out toward the horizon, as we passed by several small islets on our way to Beachcomber Island. The crew of our boat was very nice and helpful, answering questions about Fiji. I asked about sharks, and the boat captain said, “Ah, in Fiji, we have only nice sharks.”
After 45 minutes, we arrived to our island, where we would spend the next 6 hours. There is no dock at the island. Our boat backed in as close as it could to shore, and each of us began to disembark from the boat into waist-deep water. The waves crashing around us. The warm breeze almost pushing us up to the beach.
The island itself is a resort that has many accommodations for those wanting to stay overnight. However, through a marketing relationship with Holland America (and I am sure other cruise lines, as well), the resort accommodates excursion guests for the day with activities planned. In the below picture, there is a planned out itinerary of things to do. Or, if you want, do like we did and decide to just sunbath on the powdery, white sandy beach and do a little snorkeling.
The weather was incredibly gorgeous. Being January 9th, we were in the middle of summertime here in Fiji. The temps were in the low 90s, and I am sure the humidity was high, but with the wind coming off the ocean, who could tell.
As part of our excursion, we each were given a ticket for 2 free drinks (water, soda, or alcohol), and lunch was provided. The guests at the resorts ate in the on-site restaurant, while us passengers from the cruise ship were treated to lunch in a two-story pavilion. Downstairs was the bar and performance area with a sand floor, while the upstairs had the tables and buffet lunch with the ability to look down.
During lunch, we were treated to a Fijian fashion show that demonstrated the typical clothes that men and women from Fiji wear. After this, we were privileged to see a Polynesian show with dancers…and ending with a fire dance.
The below is a video I took at the end of the fire dance…how does he do that without burning himself?
The island itself is rather small. In 10 minutes, you can walk around the entire perimeter of the island.
The below video was taken from the west side of the island…the water near the island is so crystal clear, while further away, it is the brightest blue imaginable.
I have heard stories before of people visiting these wonderful places and deciding to stay and not return…until Fiji, I now understand how this could happen!
While we only spent 6 hours on the island, it gave us a taste of what Fiji is like. The next day, we visited another Fijian island (Dravuni Island).
But, we both felt that even though our time was short here…that Fiji is a place that we will return to again someday…