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Questions about Fiji Etiquette

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Our Sun Princess cruise in January visits Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Dravuni Island, Suva, Savusavu, Lautoka and Lifou. In researching the islands, I am so looking forward to visiting these beautiful beaches. However regarding Fiji, I'm somewhat concerned to read about the Kava ceremony and the expectation that visitors present a gift to the village chief. I've also seen mention that women should not have shoulders or legs exposed and that shorts are not appropriate for men either.


I, in no way, want to disrespect anyone by not adhering to their customs so I would like to know beforehand what is actually expected of visitors from cruise ships. We really have no desire to participate in a Kava ceremony or buying a gift for the chief. Is this really expected of everyone? Also, we are visiting the islands because of their beautiful beaches and had planned on wearing swimsuits with appropriate coverups. Do we need to bring more clothes to change into when leaving the beaches if all we plan to do is a little shopping?

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Our experience in Fiji - we visited a village between Lautoka and Nadi.

Kava - no you don't have to partake, there are usually more than enough wanting  to participate.

A gift for the chief - not necessary.

Dress - just show respect, no short shorts - to the knee is fine for both males and females, yes, cover shoulders.

When indoors in the village, remove hats and caps.

Perhaps ask permission before taking photos.

Swimwear with appropriate coverup is fine as long as shoulders and upper legs are covered. If you are on a resort, just your swimwear is fine to wander around in.


Enjoy your cruise to Fiji and the other islands. We love Mystery Island.





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We visited Lautoka and Suva. We hired a driver in  Lautoka and he invited us to his home for tea a dessert. We were in Suva on a Sunday and went to a local church. I contacted them on Facebook and we enjoyed an amazing experience. Go to my website to read my reviews and recommendations under Travel to Europe and Australia.

Www.DonnaGawell. com 

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No gift is required.  We attended one and there was mention of a gift required and none was given.  Everyone was dressed in accordance with their customs and all the men did not wear a cap or hat to kava ceremony and no one was forced to drink the drink if they did not want.  Actually you had to go and get it, it was no served.  A representative from the tour group played a part in the service and did drink the kava.  (a sip only)  we did not hear if he liked it or not.

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