Day 20 – Lautoka, Fiji – Mar 7, 2018
We started the day before sunrise with a walk on deck. The sunrise was beautiful as we headed into Lautoka, Fiji. Fiji is composed of 323 islands, 106 of those inhabited. The population is about 900,000 total. Lautoka has 54,000 people, and is located on the western shores of Viti Levu, the largest of Fiji’s islands. The main industry in Lautoka is sugar refining. Lautoka’s most famous native citizen is golfer, Vijay Singh.
|Many small islands in this area.|
After a quick yogurt and fruit for breakfast, we headed to the Starlight Lounge for our shore excursion. The Starlight was quite crowded, clearly most were going on Crystal excursions and they were behind in getting people out (the dock area was very constrained, so they could only get a couple of buses in at a time).
Our excursion was the Beachcomber Island Snorkeling Excursion. We boarded a jet boat that took us about 12 miles (30 minutes) to Beachcomber Island. There was no place to dock the jet boat, so we had to do a boat to boat transfer to a boat that could land on the beach. Once on the beach we could choose whether to go back out on the boat for some deep water snorkeling or stay/snorkel from the beach. We chose the deep water snorkeling. Bob snorkeled for about 15 minutes, and Julie never did because the water was pretty rough and choppy. Once back on the beach, Julie did some snorkeling while Bob took some pictures of Beachcomber Island. All in all, it turns out that the excursion was pretty disappointing, mostly because there was so much time spent trying to get to the position/place and very little time to be able to enjoy the beach or the snorkeling. Our excursion entailed:
· Ship to jet boat
· Jet boat transfer to beach landing boat
· Back on the beach landing boat to deep water snorkeling
· Beach landing boat back to beach
· Beach landing boat to transfer to jet boat
· Jet boat back to ship
Once back on board we had a quick lunch and then headed to spend some quality time in the shower getting rid of the sand. Bob called it the boat, boat, boat, boat, boat, boat, boat, boat excursion.
|Beachcomber Island ahead.|
|Beach Landing boat that was also the snorkeling boat. The other boat took some people around that wanted to see the reef, but did not want to snorkel.|
|Not too far from us was treasure island and then Lautoka in the distance.|
|Another view of Beachcomber island.|
|Our cabin is the window in front of the second ship from the left, four from the bottom|
We enjoyed Tanya Tingarova, Violinist in the Crystal Cove prior to dinner in The Waterside Restaurant. Back by popular demand (Dennis and Sara) we’re adding food pictures back to the blog. Julie and Bob both had the same appetizer – Baby Beets with Marscapone-Goat Cheese Cream and Berries (amazing - the presentation was incredible, but the food was even better).
Julie had an appetizer portion of New Zealand Grouper Fillet for her entrée Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Risotto, Broccolini, and Champagne Beurre Blanc
Bob enjoyed the Sweet Potato Soup and the Char Sui Pork Belly & Five Spice Filet (both from the Modern Menu).
Speaking of the menu, here is a copy of the menu for the day. As you can see, it is divided into the Modern and Classic selections.
The sommelier provided a very nice Australian Cabernet Shiraz Blend.
Prior to the Oscars being broadcast live, we had to the opportunity to vote for who/what movie we thought would win in 24 categories. Bob and Julie got 19/24 correct, enough to tie for second. We will receive some sort of prize. The Cruise Director is trying to get Oscar winning movies for our viewing. Tonight we saw “Darkest Hour” with Gary Oldman who won Best Actor playing Winston Churchill. It is about the early days of WWII when the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. Gary Oldman’s performance truly was Oscar-worthy.
Note: when we got back to the cabin after movie we had a letter from the Shore Excursion desk saying that since our snorkeling excursion didn’t operate as advertised and deliver what it was supposed to and that we are receiving a full refund. Crystal takes the lead in making sure that all the ship’s experiences are positive, and customers are satisfied.
Today we walked 4.76 miles and 11,392 steps (plus the steps we would have gotten on our shore excursion, but Julie left her fitbit behind).