Fiji Princess Entertainment
Each evening, crew members serenaded guests with guitar music. Somewhat embarrassingly for the men, gals dominated the guys in both trivia and charades. Guests also competed in crazy hat, ad hoc fancy dress and Indian costume contests.
In addition to disco night, the most memorable entertainment was an international competition on the beach, during which we represented our countries with jokes, songs, and skits. The Japanese honeymooners won the crowd over when the bride leveled the groom with some karate moves. My hands-down favorite was the crew's proud rendition of Fiji's National Anthem.
All excursions are included in the cruise. In addition to daily beach excursions, there is a visit to a traditional village for Yaqona (kava drinking) and meke (song and dance) ceremonies, as well as a visit to a village school featuring a student concert.
Fiji Princess Public Rooms
The four decks are connected by two staircases located on either side of the ship. Smoking is only allowed in designated outdoor areas: saloon deck, lounge deck aft, bridge deck aft and sun decks. The ship's hallways are lined with handsome botanical prints of fruit, hummingbirds and butterflies.
The spacious lounge bar with its wake-facing views is the popular hangout for reading, cards, evening entertainment, dancing and cocktails. In addition to a D.J. booth, central dance floor and teak-accented bar with blue cushioned bar stools, there are some three dozen blue cushioned rattan arm chairs, beige bench seating and small tables.
We loved reading and relaxing atop lounge chairs on the sun decks along each side of the ship. The Bridge Deck has a full walk-around outside deck with a sun deck at the stern. The upper Sun Deck offers great views and features a shaded bar, some 14 loungers, tables and potted plants.
In the foyer are the reception desk and boutique; the latter offers a good selection of practical items like sunglasses, sunscreen, batteries and disposable underwater cameras, as well as a Fiji cookbook and bestselling paperbacks. The captain will chart the ship's course on a souvenir Yasawas map ($17). There's also a collection of Blue Lagoon logo items, including a good sun-protective rash guard for snorkeling ($18).
There's also a self-service laundry area on the saloon deck portside forward, with two washing machines and dryers. Laundry soap is available at reception.
Fiji Princess Spa & Fitness
The cruise is active, centered on snorkeling and swimming. On several occasions, Doug and I discussed getting up for the daily early riser swim at 6 a.m. (the wake up call is a knock on your cabin door), but laziness prevailed. Early risers can also join crew members fishing off the ship.
Each day, guests are ferried to offshore snorkeling reefs in two tender boats. Either Joseph or Eroni, the first mate, escorted our group. The corals and marine life here are spellbinding. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, a dive master from Westside Water Sports at Nania Island picks up guests who wish to dive (first tank costs $72; second tank $106). Blue Lagoon rents snorkel gear for $9 per person.
Much of our non-snorkeling time was spent blissfully in hammocks. My husband Doug consumed three science fiction novels in this position. Snorkeling was carefully scheduled so as not to conflict with morning and afternoon tea, served in china cups and saucers with fresh fruit and pastries. There were also water toys like single person kayaks and small boats with glass panels for watching fish.
Guests sparred with crew members in impromptu beach rugby games. There was an afternoon volleyball match at Nanuya Lailai Island, some 50 acres of which are owned by Blue Lagoon Cruises. "Try to win as losers will have no dinner," read the daily cruise bulletin. I couldn't resist a beach massage under the palm trees. Vika, the ship masseuse, worked her magic while tropical birds provided background music (20 minutes, $20).
There's also an onboard spa on the saloon deck with other options like a sunburn treatment, coconut body scrub and aromatic algae body wrap. Decorated with painted tiles and shells, the spa features skin care products like Biodroga from Germany and Lydea Jordane and Mancine from Australia (open 8:00 am to 6:30 pm).
The small wake-facing pool by the dining saloon is filled when the ship weighs anchor. Typical of small ships, there's no fitness center. Still, I would have really enjoyed a yoga or stretch class, small hand weights, and treadmill up on the lovely sun deck.