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Regatta: South Pacific 1st Timers! Tips/Insights?

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Just booked an Oceania, Feb. 17, 2020, sailing from Auckland/NZ to Papeete/Tahiti. Very happy late last year on our first sailing with Oceania.  Great itinerary and nice experiences with the Nautica, Athens to Dubai, 20-day sailing.  Discovered that Oceania has a large number of South Pacific sailings on the Regatta focused in these scenic and exotic South Pacific areas, especially for around Bora Bora, Raiatea and Papeete. Since roll calls do not always attract a large number of inputs and comments, I thought I would post and ask some key background questions here.  

 

YOUR SOUTH PACIFIC/OCEANIA EXPERIENCES?:  For those using Oceania in these areas, what would be your best tips, suggestions, ideas, secrets, etc., in this region where Oceania seems to have the most and best cruise offerings?  What excursions or tours did you love best?  Interesting and special speakers, entertainment, ship programs, etc., for this region?  In these warmer areas, does the air conditioning work well on the ship?  Key areas for more planning, preparing and research?  What's most different and unique with Oceania for this area of the world?  Any special cautions or warnings?  Our upcoming 18-day South Pacific cruise includes going to both Noumea and Maré Island locations in New Caledonia, Port Vila/Vanuatu, two days in Fiji at Lautoka and Suva, two different days for Apia/Samoa and Pago Pago, American Samoa, two days in Bora Bora, French Polynesia and then a day at nearby Raiatea. We finish and disembark at Papeete, Tahiti.  We will have six sea-days on this cruise.  Since the Regatta is being "re-done" in September, 2019, our February 2020 sailing will be on a practically "new" ship. I assume that will be a plus and good, right? 

 

THANKS for your sharing!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

For latest live/blog, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East while sailing Nov./Dec. 2018 for the first time with Oceania on the Nautica.  Connect for full report at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

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We've done Valpo to Papeete (18 days) and Sydney-Papeete-L.A. (38 days) on Oceania.

 

On Bora Bora, the snorkel/lunch with Patrick of Maohe Nui is world famous- so much do that you'll need to book many months in advance.

 

 

IMG_4225.JPG

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Terry,  tell us what you like to do.  A lot of the beauty of French Polynesia is underwater.   Do you snorkel, dive etc.  It will help us to help you if you tell us your interests.  

 

Looking forward to helping you who has helped all of us so much.  

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46 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

We've done Valpo to Papeete (18 days) and Sydney-Papeete-L.A. (38 days) on Oceania.   On Bora Bora, the snorkel/lunch with Patrick of Maohe Nui is world famous- so much do that you'll need to book many months in advance.

 

Appreciate these two super great follow-ups.  Fast AND excellent responses!!  Impressive.  Based on your suggestion, I have already sent an e-mail to Maohe Nui asking about their prices, options, suggestions, etc.  Love that wonderful picture you posted.  Looks like super fun!!  

 

For aquidneck1 smart question, not a diver.  Have done and like to do some snorkeling.  Have my waterproof Nikon camera for this trip that was used, successfully, at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  Part of the questions is how the snorkeling at Bora Bora compares to these many other islands we will be visiting earlier during this cruise next year.  

 

Personally, I like interesting sights and sites that photograph well.  Also like history and architecture, but my sense is that these South Pacific locations are not about these priorities compared to what we have experienced in Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jerusalem, etc.  Don't need to get too carry-away with fast jet ski boat, intense mountain climbing, being too "wild & crazy", getting drunk, etc.  Like to obtain a feel for the culture and people, their food, music, etc.  Does this help?  

 

THANKS!  Keep it coming.  Fabulous sharing,   Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 220,057 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

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Depending on how much time you’ll have in Bora Bora you might want to look into some other activities there.

We have leisurely sailed around the entire island on a catamaran with occasional stops for a dip. We also enjoyed 4 wheeling up to a mountain top to see WWII bunkers and great views of the island and the lagoon from high above. In Moorea you can also have a drive around with mountaintop visits or go exploring with dolphins.

You might want to look at some roll calls for cruises that included FP to see what people have done or will do.

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Posted (edited)

So nice to hear so much enthusiasm for cruising the South Pacific!

 

Have cruised through FP several times, last on Windstar 4 months ago and previous to that on Oceania Sirena 2 years ago.

I'm a water person so my favorites in Bora Bora are those that involve snorkeling. Tohora Bora Bora, Pure Snorkeling and Lagoon Service are excellent and you can check them out on Tripadvisor.

 

Raiatea is a very quiet island but SO much to do. Rafting, snorkeling, hiking....but my favorite is a drift snorkeling trip to the unbelievable Coral Gardens in adjacent island Tahaa. It is one of the most beautiful areas and experiences I've had in Tahiti. The fish and the clarity of the water are incredible. The ship should have an excursion to Coral Gardens Tahaa, but if not L' Excursion Bleue (Tripadvisor) does- lots of sharks and rays and a visit to the Coral Gardens.

 

Papeete on the big island of Tahiti has shopping and museum visiting, but best to make your own magic. Either rent a car from Avis or take a circle island tour with Yota Tahiti (Tripadvisor). There are hiking tours to check out, as well as snorkeling with turtles and shipwrecks with Tahiti Lagoon Paradise (Tripadvisor).

 

A Tahiti addict here- going again in 2020 and 2021. Excited for you!

Edited by Petoonya

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Terry, 

 

Bora Bora is definitely a place to be on and in the water.  There is some history there and you can do a land tour but you can also see the cannons from the water.  We have not done Patrick's tour and it continues to get rave reviews.  We like to limit our all day cook on the beach excursions when we are there and some other islands offer that option without others so we have not done it.  We have done Pure Snorkeling which I highly recommend.  They have small comfortable boats holding a maximum of 8, the guides have been phenomenal.  We have done two 1/2 day tours and one 3/4 day tour.   In the latter we asked for just a small lunch of sandwiches.  We had a beautiful tray of sandwiches and kebobs served to us in the water.  It was heaven.  

 

One thing to know about Bora Bora and the other islands is that for some of the tours, you will need to gather a group of people and have a minimum.  The organizer for these tours has the job of coordinating with the operators.  There is little infrastructure on some of the islands.  

 

We have always done Bruno's tour L'Excursion Bleue.  We have been pleased with our experiences but there are some communication issues so make sure that you are clear that you want his small 12 passenger boat and you can also limit the shopping stops although they may also be of interest.  Vanilla and Pearls.  

 

For Tahiti, we toured 1 day with Fabrice from Tahiti Eden Tours.  He was fantastic and such a wonderful young man.  We used him for multiple transfers as well.  

 

The ship is well suited to the heat of the area.  We have done this on both the Sirena and the Marina.  We were very surprised at how much time we were able to spend on the balcony.  I would highly recommend a PH for this itinerary if you are able.  We are spoiled and certainly our friends love the trip in a balcony cabin.  Walking the deck for exercise is difficult and we found it more comfortable on the balcony than by the pool.  

 

I have not been to the islands that you will visit early on so I cannot comment on that.  You will love it.  Ask away.  

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35 minutes ago, aquidneck1 said:

 

Bora Bora is definitely a place to be on and in the water.

That is true IF you love water enough to spend the entire day in it. For us 3 hours of snorkeling is more than enough. Sometimes the currents can be strong and snorkeling in those conditions is not easy and tiring .

I think what makes FP so different from, say Hawaii, are the lagoons and their magical colors in the sun - I can't think of any other place that can match that.

One can best appreciate those wonderful shades of blue and turquoise from above.

JMO.

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8 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

That is true IF you love water enough to spend the entire day in it. For us 3 hours of snorkeling is more than enough. Sometimes the currents can be strong and snorkeling in those conditions is not easy and tiring .

I think what makes FP so different from, say Hawaii, are the lagoons and their magical colors in the sun - I can't think of any other place that can match that.

One can best appreciate those wonderful shades of blue and turquoise from above.

JMO.

Paul.......If you go to  Kona on the big island it is at the same realtive latitude as Tahiti.   The fish the coral the sea is every big as colorful as Bora or Moorea.     Go to Magic Sands beach park and you would sware your in Tahitihawaii21.jpg.10a8c5efa1ab2f5b674a1ec0567be2d8.jpg

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19 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

If you go to  Kona on the big island it is at the same realtive latitude as Tahiti.   The fish the coral the sea is every big as colorful as Bora or Moorea.

Dan - I am sure you know Hawaii better than I do but in all my trips there (on all 4 main islands) I was never fortunate enough to see the colors of the FP lagoons. I saw lots of beautiful blues but to get the variety and shades of colors you see in FP you need a lagoon with shallower waters. Your picture looks very pretty but just about all of it is blue.

Hawaiian Islands are too young for coral reefs and lagoons

At least that is my understanding.

This is what I am talking about:

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=french+polynesia+lagoons&id=5AB79F6A65366F075E58CB32DA8A1F0369CB9FB9&FORM=IQFRBA

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2 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Dan - I am sure you know Hawaii better than I do but in all my trips there (on all 4 main islands) I was never fortunate enough to see the colors of the FP lagoons. I saw lots of beautiful blues but to get the variety and shades of colors you see in FP you need a lagoon with shallower waters. Your picture looks very pretty but just about all of it is blue.

Hawaiian Islands are too young for coral reefs and lagoons

At least that is my understanding.

This is what I am talking about:

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=french+polynesia+lagoons&id=5AB79F6A65366F075E58CB32DA8A1F0369CB9FB9&FORM=IQFRBA

As I said  having been to Tahiti 5 times...  Go south of Kona on Alii drive    by Magic sands beach park and  prepare to be wowed.    Diving and snorkeling are actual better in the Kona region than in Bora. 

 

 Your right about the colors in lagoons  its due to sand ... and while it looks nice there is sparse marine life and little to no coral  and you need  lots of coral  for lots of fish.. sand kills coral , a filter feeder.  Its an underwater desert

 

  The big island of Tahiti is one big industrial supply depot.    Get out of the town.    

I offer some ideas for visiting the Region:

Best place to snorkel is Fiji        On Bora Bora   and Moorea  get a wave runner tour...    Patrick is  a  well known guy who is a  broker for guys with boats.   Everyone does the same water tour. 

 The  huge tourist pavilion at Bora is where you can book  boats  and land tours... everyone is hungry and prices are cheap  Lots of hotels have closed in recent years.  The  ones on the  outer reef are still surviving but $$$$$$$$$$$$$    

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Posted (edited)

The point I was trying to make for Terry is that while you can see the colors of the water at sea level there is nothing like seeing the expanse of the surrounding sea from a mountaintop.

Those views are what I remember best about Bora Bora and FP - there are lots of places to snorkel around the world but few views like that.

Edited by Paulchili

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Paul,  good thought.  I have always seen the amazing colors from the boat.  I wish that I had a picture to show as this past February, it was amazing to look across the horizon at the colors.  I am sure that it is spectacular from above but hot as well.  Agree that if you do a land tour the views must be spectacular.  

 

We did have some amazing snorkeling south of Kona.  Not sure that I agree that the water color variation was as amazing but I am limited by my various lengths of stay

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We loved Fakarava.  It is practically undeveloped and the snorkeling was amazing  just off the shore.

 

If you are ending in Papeete, consider spending a night or two in Moorea.  It is an easy ferry ride next to the cruise ship terminal.  You can get the overwater bungalow experience without the overdevelopment of Papeete or the prices of Bora Bora.  It's every bit as beautiful.

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Patrick’s tour on Bora Bora is not to be missed.  And I’m not much of a snorkeler. The feast on the private motu and entertainment is terrific.   

On Moorea,  Francky Francks offbeat tours are lots of fun.  We stayed three days at a Moorea resort and he picked us up at the hotel..  he also takes cruise passengers out.  

Buy cheap water shoes at Target for all the water activities, then throw them away.  If lots of snorkeling take a couple pair, they smell after a couple wearings. 

We were there March/April and were told there wasn’t much breeze most of the year.   This is the only thing I did not like.  We were on Marina and the AC was fine.

O brought on some local folklore groups but I don’t remember which islands.  We also had several guest speakers who were informative. 

 

This is a gorgeous part of the world, lovely people and a great cruise. 

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1 hour ago, sammiedawg said:

Patrick’s tour on Bora Bora is not to be missed. Buy cheap water shoes at Target for all the water activities, then throw them away. We were there March/April and were told there wasn’t much breeze most of the year.   This is the only thing I did not like.  We were on Marina and the AC was fine.  O brought on some local folklore groups but I don’t remember which islands.  We also had several guest speakers who were informative.   This is a gorgeous part of the world, lovely people and a great cruise

 

WOW!!  Continued wonderfully specific details, excellent background, helpful info, etc., as we prepared for the South Pacific.  As mentioned above by sammiedawg, I love getting these insights for the ship entertainment, Patrick's tour on Bora Bora, etc., etc.  Appreciate also very much the many other information items from ljandgb, aquidneck1, Paulchili, Hawaiidan, melody hounddog and Petoonya.  This has been a great "learning experience" that has happened in less than 48 hours.  Fascinating about the colors in the water, comparisons to Hawaii, "the big island of Tahiti is one big industrial supply depot", etc. 

 

Keep it coming!!!  Very good and smart people here on these Cruise Critic boards have been contributing so much of the "good stuff"!!   Hopefully, there will be much more background and experiences shared.  AND, that it will be helpful for all of those in November 2019, during 2020 and 2021, etc., who will be sailing with Oceania to visit this unique region.  

 

Received a very detailed response back yesterday from the MAOHI NUI Lagoon Tours folks with a number of options for us to consider during our visit to Bora Bora on two different days..  Things now are still fairly "loose" for their scheduling and there is a good bit of flexibility.  But, I will aim to review more fully these many great potentials and get a tentative booking made soon.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 234,977 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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This is a great thread with some fantastic information

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On 4/29/2019 at 7:29 PM, TLCOhio said:

Just booked an Oceania, Feb. 17, 2020, sailing from Auckland/NZ to Papeete/Tahiti. Very happy late last year on our first sailing with Oceania.  Great itinerary and nice experiences with the Nautica, Athens to Dubai, 20-day sailing.  Discovered that Oceania has a large number of South Pacific sailings on the Regatta focused in these scenic and exotic South Pacific areas, especially for around Bora Bora, Raiatea and Papeete. Since roll calls do not always attract a large number of inputs and comments, I thought I would post and ask some key background questions here.  

 

YOUR SOUTH PACIFIC/OCEANIA EXPERIENCES?:  For those using Oceania in these areas, what would be your best tips, suggestions, ideas, secrets, etc., in this region where Oceania seems to have the most and best cruise offerings?  What excursions or tours did you love best?  Interesting and special speakers, entertainment, ship programs, etc., for this region?  In these warmer areas, does the air conditioning work well on the ship?  Key areas for more planning, preparing and research?  What's most different and unique with Oceania for this area of the world?  Any special cautions or warnings?  Our upcoming 18-day South Pacific cruise includes going to both Noumea and Maré Island locations in New Caledonia, Port Vila/Vanuatu, two days in Fiji at Lautoka and Suva, two different days for Apia/Samoa and Pago Pago, American Samoa, two days in Bora Bora, French Polynesia and then a day at nearby Raiatea. We finish and disembark at Papeete, Tahiti.  We will have six sea-days on this cruise.  Since the Regatta is being "re-done" in September, 2019, our February 2020 sailing will be on a practically "new" ship. I assume that will be a plus and good, right? 

 

THANKS for your sharing!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

For latest live/blog, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East while sailing Nov./Dec. 2018 for the first time with Oceania on the Nautica.  Connect for full report at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

If you are lucky, one of the guest lecturers will be James Grant-Peterkin who is extremely knowledgable of all things Easter Island (he is a full time resident there who also operates a great tour company).  He lectured on four days prior to our arrival, lectures including history on the settlement of the South Pacific islands.  Each day his lecture was presented

to standing room only attendees.

 

In Bora Bora we used Patrick at Maohi Nui tours for their lagoon tour and luncheon on a motu (an islet in the lagoon).   Excellent tour!  *****

 

Easter Island we used James Grant-Peterkin's company, Easter Island Spirit.  We booked the two day tour and were actually able to tender in on both days.  We were certainly blessed!  Another five star tour.

 

In Moorea we used Safari Mario (I believe).  Another fun day and great tour.

 

Hope this helps.  There's lots out there.

 

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On 5/2/2019 at 6:07 PM, Itisi said:

It sounds like a nice itinerary.  Do you snorkel or scuba?  Have a great time.

 

YES, this is a super great itinerary.  That's what attracted us, plus having had very good experiences with Oceania late last fall in doing our Nautica cruise from Athens to Dubai.  

 

NO is the response to the question for whether I have had any skills and doing with scuba.  But do have some snorkeling interests and experiences, including at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  Below are two picture examples.  Will I get better and more interesting visuals at Bora Bora, etc.?

 

Wonderful, added suggestions and follow-ups, especially from DeanoNorthPerth.  Keep it coming!  Great sharing.  Welcome to Chi chemist from the Chicago area.  Don't be shy in posting your questions, etc. 

  

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 220,109 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

 

From Australia's Great Barrier Reef and with my Nikon AW110 underwater camera, here are just two samples.  In 2014, I was using this camera for the first time and shot about 260 underwater pictures.  It was very unclear when under water, what would turn out and how, if at all, these pictures would look.  Will aim to do and get more and better in Bora Bora, etc.:

GBRLizIslanReef1_zpsd2288c6f.jpg

 

GBRLizIslanReef_zpse59da67b.jpg

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On 5/4/2019 at 6:43 AM, TLCOhio said:

 

YES, this is a super great itinerary.  That's what attracted us, plus having had very good experiences with Oceania late last fall in doing our Nautica cruise from Athens to Dubai.  

 

NO is the response to the question for whether I have had any skills and doing with scuba.  But do have some snorkeling interests and experiences, including at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  Below are two picture examples.  Will I get better and more interesting visuals at Bora Bora, etc.?

 

Wonderful, added suggestions and follow-ups, especially from DeanoNorthPerth.  Keep it coming!  Great sharing.  Welcome to Chi chemist from the Chicago area.  Don't be shy in posting your questions, etc. 

  

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 220,109 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

 

From Australia's Great Barrier Reef and with my Nikon AW110 underwater camera, here are just two samples.  In 2014, I was using this camera for the first time and shot about 260 underwater pictures.  It was very unclear when under water, what would turn out and how, if at all, these pictures would look.  Will aim to do and get more and better in Bora Bora, etc.:

GBRLizIslanReef1_zpsd2288c6f.jpg

 

GBRLizIslanReef_zpse59da67b.jpg

 

 

As a diver and professional NPS  naturalist  I have been sailing and diving the South pacific for 30+ years Let me comment>   

Feb will be at the end of the rain  season...    There will be very few  sand beaches on the islands  mostly coral rubble.  Hotels will charge you to visit their sand beach

  In islands ringed by  a fringe reef  the water inside the reef is fantastic color  but a desert for marine life

As in the great barrier reef you have to get out on the reef...face not the inside  to see good stuff.

Based on your pictures of the Great barrier reef  wit  blue clams and  lots of convict tang fish.    Fiji will impress    buy a good mask and snorkel and bring it with you rental ones  suck.... Hey would rent a tooth brush?

 Fiji will be excellent  at but not at SUVA...  in Suva get out of town  to the south west and  North East    for  scenery,  Suva is  or can be dangerous  to  innocent people. so can  Papeetee  too.

Pago Pago on the north side ( National park)  is great... bring your golden eagle  card its a US natl park

 

  Bora is  to me very disappointing   if you never saw fish or 80 ft visability  thats cool   but it is really not all that great.  FIJI , Lautoka and the Pago are       In bora  I urge  you to  enjoy  cruising around the lagoon. to be fair many rave reviews are by people who have never seen a tropical fish or coral in the wild and prettty water.... it blows them away.

 

Avoid swimming in fresh water.streams or pools.. you can get very sick   It aint the blue lagoon  lots of parasites   

 Avoid eating reef fish.. locals are immune but they carry a disease  that you can get   Wear dive booties or water sandals  when wading  because Noumea has a  population of stone fish...not good to step on one. 

In new Caledonia  and Fiji  expect to see sea snakes  they are not interested in you only what you scare up ( they are poisonous)   They will follow you

 

 Wave runners in Bora and Moorea and take a $30  around the island van... lots of them.   Wave runners book direct for $250 for a 3 hour tour.  Do it in advance as there are only about 20 or so on the island     Take Wave runners tour from Moorea   same cost but includes a stop at a sting ray spot...

 Have fun   read up,    remember you will need a flash for underwater pictures below 6 ft.   if you have a 20 mm or larger lens use it for UW  pictures  focus at infinity   2029478699_DSC_0101(2).thumb.JPG.6f807326862085329b094aa0b1643750.JPG

 

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17 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

As a diver and professional NPS  naturalist  I have been sailing and diving the South pacific for 30+ years Let me comment>    Feb will be at the end of the rain  season...    There will be very few  sand beaches on the islands  mostly coral rubble.  Hotels will charge you to visit their sand beach.   In islands ringed by  a fringe reef  the water inside the reef is fantastic color  but a desert for marine life.  As in the great barrier reef you have to get out on the reef...face not the inside  to see good stuff.  Fiji will impress    buy a good mask and snorkel and bring it with you rental ones  suck....

 Fiji will be excellent  at but not at SUVA...  in Suva get out of town  to the south west and  North East    for  scenery,  Suva is  or can be dangerous  to  innocent people. so can  Papeetee  too.   Pago Pago on the north side ( National park)  is great... bring your golden eagle  card its a US natl park.   Bora is  to me very disappointing   if you never saw fish or 80 ft visability  thats cool   but it is really not all that great.  FIJI , Lautoka and the Pago are       In bora  I urge  you to  enjoy  cruising around the lagoon. to be fair many rave reviews are by people who have never seen a tropical fish or coral in the wild and prettty water.... it blows them away.  In new Caledonia  and Fiji  expect to see sea snakes  they are not interested in you only what you scare up.   Have fun   read up,    remember you will need a flash for underwater pictures below 6 ft.   if you have a 20 mm or larger lens use it for UW  pictures  focus at infinity  

 

WOW!!  Super appreciate these detailed comments and this important follow-up information from the very experienced Hawaiidan.  Why is this so helpful?  As we consider ALL of our many options for these eleven locations we will visit, it is important to figure out our best priorities for each of these varied and different locations.  Keep it coming!!  Will continuing researching and learning more in order to determine what is best to consider doing at each island.  On many islands, you can snorkel, but it helps to plan in advance for which islands offer the best "visuals" and most interesting sights.  

  

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 46,392 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

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