Thursday, March 15, 2018

Day 28 - Wed Mar 14, 2018 Aitutaki, Cook Islands - Crystal Symphony - Sydney to Tahiti

Day 28- Aitutaki, Cook Islands, Wed Mar 14, 2018

Beautiful sunrise over Aitutaki as we were out on deck walking this morning.

Aitutaki is a picture-postcard tropical paradise.  It is a triangle shaped (sides are 7.5 miles each) atoll famous for its light turquoise lagoon, fish and surrounded by pristine beaches.  Aitutaki has a population of 1,500.  The unspoiled places that we’ve had the opportunity to visit on this itinerary have been absolutely fabulous.  What an honor to visit places that so few people have been.

Image of the island, we docked the tender near the north (top) side.
On the schedule for this morning was a shore excursion-Maina Sandbar and Snorkeling.  The departure time from the ship was 9:30 am, but we were delayed and left after 10 am.  This is a tender port and the sea swells made loading the tenders very slow, to insure everyone was safe.  The ship was anchored outside the reef that surrounds the island, and there is a very narrow one-way channel that the tenders could pass through in the lagoon to get us to the tender dock.  This increased the time getting passengers ashore.

We had our choice of 3 boats to get into (8 passengers each boat) and then made our way towards the reef for snorkeling.  There are many coral formations in the lagoon and unfortunately our driver hit one and damaged the propeller on the boat.  It was quite a jolt, he proceeded slowly to get us to the snorkeling area.  Snorkeling was amazing around the coral formation.  We saw many fish, but the most impressive was the “Giant Clams,” measuring about 18 inches across.  The insides of their shells had different colors-one was green and black, another turquoise.  We didn’t even know Giant Clams existed. 

Next up was a visit to a small, uninhabited island for a little beach time.  There was a “forest” of dense palm trees, and we ventured in.  We had to be very careful where we walked as there were hermit crabs everywhere.  We also must have come close to a Red-Tailed Tropic Bird’s nest as there was a lot of squawking going on.  These seabirds are native to the Cook Islands.  What an amazing visit to a remote place.

Hard to see the red tail, it is long and skinny.

Apparently this is how new coconut trees grow.

There were zillions of hermit crabs in the trees.

Pre-dinner drinks was in the Cove.  We really enjoy two of the servers there, Petar (from Serbia) and Mikaela (from South Africa).  We enjoying visiting with them each evening.  Dinner was in The Waterside tonight.  Julie enjoyed the Potato Leek Veloute with Truffle Cream and the Grilled Shrimp with an amazing Papaya-Coconut Curry Sauce (one of her favorite entrees so far).  She initially ordered "Broiled Emperor Fillet" - a local fish, but found it way too salty. They replaced it with the Shrimp (no Shrimp picture, we forgot). Bob had the Fresh Corn & Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette, the Potato Leek Veloute and Veal Marsala. We shared a Banana Cream Tarte a la Mode.

The main show tonight was a Special Event developed by the entertainment team, titled “An Evening In The South Pacific.”  It was based on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical and had all the familiar songs.  It was incredible, and so many of the entertainers took part in it in addition to the usual vocalists and dancers.  We truly enjoyed it.


Huge crowd.

.. there ain't nothn like a dame...

We walked 7.23 miles, and had 15,140 steps.


  1. Are you decked out in Tommy Bahama attire?

  2. Nope, just your basic rash guard, probably from Costco.