Captain Cook Cruises ~ Fiji Luxury Boat Cruise

Captain Cook Cruises ~ Fiji Luxury Boat Cruise

As the ship sailed

our tryst with the waves and

murmurs of the sea

were paradisiacal

leaving us transfixed and transformed

with the elusive beauty of

FIJI

 

If you’re a person who appreciates intimate, low-key travel experiences, the Reef Endeavour is just what you’ve been looking for. My husband, Vikram and I were delighted when we were invited to join the Reef Endeavour Cruise, a Captain Cook Cruises’ flagship, and experience all that the wonderful boutique liner had to offer.

 

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Our time onboard with Captain Cook!

4 Cultures ~ Our Cruise Itinerary

We sailed on a “4 Cultures” itinerary which only departs a few times every year. Our starting point was from the marina in Port Denerau, near Nadi and the next seven nights were poetry in motion as we sailed to the Mamanuca Islands, before heading out further into the Yasawa Islands. ‘Yasawa’ is one of the words for ‘heaven’ in Fijian, so you won’t be disappointed when you see these islands! Everything around provided ignition to savour the splendour of our surroundings and I for one was enchanted by the truth and charm of the Fijian landscape.

 

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Our Cruise package was an eclectic mix of everything ~ relaxation, taking in the Fjian culture and tradition, guided tours of the Fijian villages and schools, and of course water activities like reef snorkelling and glass-bottomed boat tours.

Being a small cruise ship, the Reef Endeavor is built to meet the varied depths of the Fiji waters and can manoeuvre deftly into spaces where larger cruise ships wouldn’t be able to. We were lucky to discover the essence and beauty of some of the more secluded islands, and diving and snorkelling sites which we may not have had access to had we sailed on a larger cruise ship.

Cultural highlights were shows of traditional songs and dances by locals in villages we visited, and our cruising brought us in proximity to the aesthetic abilities of the Fijian culture, their creativity, and aliveness ~ thus giving us a full introduction to Fijian life, which was great! We were treated to a Lovo at one of the villages ~ a traditional feast that is cooked in the earth, and there was also a traditional drinking ceremony with Kava ~ the Fijian national drink that is mildly narcotic. At one of the many Fijian towns thronging with life and energy, we were provided with the opportunity to attend a traditional church service ~ thus allowing us to experience the diverse cultures of Fiji.

 

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Cruising on the Reef Endeavour

Like I’ve mentioned earlier, the Reef Endeavour is a slightly smaller cruise ship that caters to 130 passengers. Being smaller in size the passengers on board have the advantage of being personally attended to by the staff and crew, making the entire experience an exclusive, relaxing and comfortable one. But by far what was really heart warming was that by the time we disembarked, the staff members were familiar with all our names, our likes and dislikes, our food preferences, and our habits!

The ship though refurbished in 2013 hasn’t lost its appeal and bowled us over with its uniqueness in spirit and grace. The cabins are small but gave a sense of cosiness and belonging. In reality Vikram and I spent most of our time on the deck watching a new world that enveloped us in its mirth.

The ship itself has lots of facilities to keep you busy ~ the main pool deck, Deck C, was a great spot to hang out, and the Sun Deck at the very top of the ship was the perfect place to sunbathe. Decks A and B had loungers and chairs to stretch, relax, and enjoy the views, and was the place we spent our evenings at.

 

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Dining in Style Onboard ~ The Sinful Pleasures

You can look forward to full-board service aboard the Reef Endeavour and the comfort of knowing everything is included!

Dining was very relaxing and had an informal feel and was truly excellent ~ be it the starters, appetizers, savouries, or the main course. Whenever the ship was docked for sightseeing, the chefs would pick up their stock of fresh vegetables, fish, poultry, and meat at the local markets, and made sure that the food served was fresh and delicious ~ giving us a taste of Fiji through their creations.

 

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403 x Monuriki Stern e Dinner Crew

 

The buffet breakfast and lunch had an array of choices, and service was either al fresco by the pool or in the Captain’s Lounge. It was nice conversing with the other passengers on the ship during meal service and hearing about their adventures in Fiji.

Canapés were served in the evening between 6.30pm to 7.30pm and dinner was an à la carte affair with the choicest of Fijian cuisine and an inclusion of a few European dishes.

As for the service, I would say that it was the staff and crew that made the cruise memorable for us!

 

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Experiencing the Magic of the Sun, Sand, and the Sea

This particular cruise focused on both, the cultural activities and what Fiji is known for, its water activities and the beach.

A snorkelling excursion was offered each day, which is especially great for people like me who love water adventures and find it electrifying when exploring the colourful life that exists underwater. Those not keen on snorkelling but curious to see the underwater aquatic life could go out on the glass-bottomed boat which made a few trips during the cruise.

 

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They had some additional services which added up to our appreciation of this cruise.

  • A hospitality manager was always around to answer our queries, get our requests taken care of on priority, and ensure that our cruising experience was pleasant and enjoyable ~ just the way we wanted it to be.
  • There was an on-staff marine biologist who presented talks to familiarize us with the marine life that we were likely to see at each stop. That was quite enthralling ~ listening to the talk about the reefs and sea creatures and finally getting to see them up close.
  • We were provided with a diving instructor for the Discover Scuba Diving Course {DSD}. She also accompanies you on your maiden first open-water dives.
  • The diving staff knew exactly where the best spots were to view the colourful aquatic life and the vibrant marine world that exists underwater.

 

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What is good about smaller cruises such as this one is that you can get really close up, with just a short journey to the shore; we swam, went kayaking and paddle boarding, and it was enchanting to watch the sunlight play on the grains of sand and make them glint in shades of silver and golden.

What’s more, the “bar” was always open ~ this meant that the staff would constantly pamper our thirst with chilled beer and soda {which were charged to our cabin}.

 

On our first night Vikram and I had the pleasure of being seated at Captain Ken’s table. The service was extra special and the Captain had some great tales, but also got to know each of his guests. Fine wine was freely poured and the companionship of the other passengers was generally very congenial.

Evenings were lively and entertaining and there were a lot of interactive activities that helped us in getting to know the crew members and passengers. One such fun activity that left us surprised and quite entertained was the crab-racing night. Each table was given their own sand crab and had to compete with others in a race!

 

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The rest of the nights we got acquainted with the Fijian way of life ~ they love singing and dancing, and it was like one big family when the staff also got involved. We were also treated to some folklore which helped us to know more about their myths and legends, customs and traditions, and culture and people that makes Fiji what it is.

The highlight of our cruise was the candlelight dinner that was arranged for Vikram and me on the last day of the cruise. To say it was whimsical sitting on the top deck with just the stars, sky, and the music of the lull of the waves would be an understatement! We were pampered by a personal chef and server who served us with a menu that was delectable. The ambience was so romantic and felt almost like a fairy tale!

 

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What makes cruising in these waters novel and unique?

Vikram and I did not expect the landscape to be constantly changing as the ship deftly manoeuvred its way to take us to hidden diving sites, virgin islands, and unexplored places untouched by the constant presence of travellers. It was indeed a big surprise for the both of us each time we saw varied scenery unfolding in front of our eyes and experienced the cryptic pleasures that lingered in these isolated areas which otherwise would not have been accessible to us. Well, that added up to our element of curiosity and made us eagerly look forward to the next imagery which worked against the predictable dullness that is usually associated with cruises.

If you’re at all sceptical about cruising, this kind of smaller cruise is a great place to find out if you would enjoy it or not ~ it’s more personalized and intimate and the camaraderie that exists between the staff, crew, and the passengers makes the cruising informal and relaxing. There is a lot of freedom to do your own thing, like taking a guided tour and immerse in the playfulness of the Fijian villages, their customs, and traditions while on the few nights you are sailing.

 

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Fun Fact: A few Hollywood films have immortalized the beauty of Fiji in their films ~ ‘Cast Away’ that starred Tom Hanks had the Monuriki Island as the backdrop, and the 1980’s hit Blue Lagoon that conceptualised the passion filled love story between Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields was shot at the Yasawas Islands.

 

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The Verdict

I would recommend this cruise to all those travellers wanting a wonderful holiday in Fiji soaking in the diversity of the archipelago. The sheer beauty, rawness, and hidden vulnerability of the place is beckoning; the sea and its blueness that exists in its depths and on the exterior, weaves an ambiance that is serene and peaceful yet mysterious, and the cluster of islands clinging together for life strips the land of its barrenness and breathes into it a life that is irresistible to all.

Whether you go there looking for adventure, water sports, or chasing sunrises and sunsets, the Captain Cook’s Reef Endeavor Cruise is the manifestation of all your dreamy expectations to reality.

 

The adorable crew 🙂

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* Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from Captain Cook Cruises. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

34 Comments

  • All of the idiosyncrasies that make you, you, are the ones that make your blog so wonderful, Tanya! Every other person is the ideal little explorer, but you have realistic experiences that inspire us all!

  • The more I read about Vikram, the more I’m happy he’s in your life! He just seems to balance you out SOOOO well. 🙂

  • Fiji looks like paradise, indeed. You compose great, detailed posts, and I would effectively say you’re my favourite blogger! Now I wonder if I can persuade my husband to take a trip to Fiji…

  • Like me, there are most likely a large number of people who like you, and follow your blog, but presumably don’t disclose to you that they like you. So here it is, a simple comment telling you that I really like you, your blogging, and your helpful insights, Tanya.

  • This 7 nights cruise looks like a fun thing to do in Fiji. I haven’t visited much of that part of the world, but this is really inspiring me!

  • Your posts on Fiji makes me want to go there (I have plans to visit in early 2020!), and furthermore, you’re a “genuine” person who has this awesome blog, and above all else, you’re fantastic!!

  • Tanya, you are by far my favourite Travel Blogger. I love your honesty and openness. Looking forward to reading more from you!

    • Thank you, Swathi! <3

      There have unquestionably been challenges, however I'd say they were definitely worth it when I see how much I have accomplished and how wonderful my life is today. 🙂

  • Reading all you described above just makes me wish I was crusin’ Fiji right now! Living the life you want dependably implies diligent work; I hope you will continue for many more years to come.

  • I truly delighted in perusing this very insightful and beautifully written post, Tanya. I’m planning to head to Fiji next year ~ sounds like it could be the trip of a lifetime! 🙂

  • Hello Tanya, this article makes me want to explore more of Fiji, there are simply so many islands to choose from! What’s more, I really like your blog ~ just keep going!

  • Even though I’m not anticipating visiting Fiji anytime soon, I’m glad you wrote about your amazing cruise experience. It’s something I possibly would have searched for, and certainly enjoyed reading!

  • I love how honest your writing is, Tanya. There are such a large number of blogs out there, however I’m working on finding my own writers voice… slowly! So thank you for continually inspiring me to do so!

    • Thank you, Savitha!
      It certainly requires an investment of both time & energy to find your voice and make sense of what you’re comfortable sharing, but you’ll get there 🙂

  • I would love to try out Captain Cook Cruises! Just to discover how deprived my taste buds are and what other flavours there are out there in the world! Thank you for the recommendation, Tanya. This was a wonderful read. xx

  • Thanks for such a detailed post, and so happy you shared these lovely photos. Reading your blog entries makes me feel like you are my best friend. We are so similar in some ways, Tanya! 🙂

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