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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
We are amazed that no review on Captain Cook Cruises has been posted on Cruise Critic. They cruise the Fiji islands exclusively and operate a very nice ship, Reef Endeavour, that can handle 120 passengers. I speaking with the Captain and ... Read More
We are amazed that no review on Captain Cook Cruises has been posted on Cruise Critic. They cruise the Fiji islands exclusively and operate a very nice ship, Reef Endeavour, that can handle 120 passengers. I speaking with the Captain and the Hospitality Manager we were informed that the average sailing has about 60 passengers, so that provides for lots of room for everyone both on the ship and the tender which holds about 50. The Voyage: We booked the seven day cruise which is made up of a four night segment to the Yasawa Islands and a three night segment to the Mamanuca Islands. Between the two segments, the ship returns to Port Denarau Marina and offloads some passengers and adds new ones. They run this schedule for three weeks in each month. There are other voyages to outer islands throughout the year on the fourth week. It visits places like the setting for the movies, Blue Lagoon and Castaway. It also goes to the Sacred Islands – a special snorkel location that has virtually pristine corals. The M/S Reef Endeavour: The ship has free WIFI internet connection which we found to be very fast and available most of each day. The ship provides all guests plenty of fresh drinking water. There is a self-serve laundry facility and the cost is very minimal. The sauna provides a great place to work off any jet lag or sore muscles from the various activities. Towels for the beach and water activities are available all day. This is a very family friendly operation with special events for children planned every night. All snorkeling gear and diving gear are available on the ship. The ship’s tender is a glass bottom boat which will cruise the local coral gardens on each island and provide everyone a chance to see the underwater world without getting wet. There is a spa on-board with various services. There is a swimming pool on board which doubles as the SCUBA-training tank. Three meals per day are available with light snacks served prior to dinner. The crew in the kitchen did a splendid job of keeping healthy choices and fresh fruit at all meals. No one complained about the gourmet food and the variety of the selections made by the head chef. She did a great job. Our Cabin: We had a standard cabin for two people and while smaller than luxury cruise lines, it had all the necessary storage space and electrical outlets for the trip. It was well lit and kept clean twice per day by the room staff. The bathroom had lots of water pressure and lots of hot water – which was a welcome relief when we needed to clean up after a snorkel or beach activity. The A/C was a strong unit which quickly chilled the air and refreshed us on the days when the Fiji sun was very intense and when the humidity was climbing ahead of a rainstorm. The Staff: We were very fortunate to have Clinton Perkins as the Hospitality Manager on our cruise. He is a consummate professional with a big resume in the firld of ocean cruises. He has worked on the finest luxury ships from other luxury cruise lines and has a compassion for and understanding of the guests needs. He had a wonderful can-do attitude and would stop anytime and chat with you to answer any questions. His style was clearly infectious for the rest of the ship’s staff. Every staff member was welcoming and cordial to us every day. They really had a good team spirit and were fun to spend time with. They have a wealth of knowledge and shared it without hesitation. All were English speaking native Fijians. Safety and comfort were of paramount importance in every operation. This ship is blessed with a wonderful crew and it goes all the way to the Captain who is around the deck throughout the day and hosts a table for dinner, most nights. He was a gentleman’s gentleman who would stop and chat with any passenger. The Excurisons: Every day was jammed packed with activities morning, noon and afternoon. We snorkeled once or twice every day at different locations or different islands on the same day. The highlight of underwater activity on the four day segment came on day two at Drawaga Bay where the corals and sea life were some of the best we have ever seen (to include the Great Barrier Reef, Tahiti and Belize). On the second night we were invited to a local village for a Fijian Feast (lovo) and Cultural music and dance performance by the villagers. Day three had a visit to a local school on Sawa-i-lau. The children from 6-13 years old performed songs and then led us around by hand to their classrooms to show us what they were learning. It was a special day. On the third day of the 3 night segment, we snorkeled the Sacred Islands and quickly discovered a coral reef that exceeded the quality of Drawaga Bay, which were thought to be impossible. The Dress Code: Despite what is written, there is none. Captain Cook publishes a dress code and asks people to wear smart casual wear for dinner. We were only one of three couples who would dress in that way each night. The average passenger rarely put on long pants and frequently kept their beachwear on all day, wet or not. Virtually none of the men wore dress shoes at night, preferring to go with sandals and flip-flops. For breakfast and lunch, almost all passengers were in beach wear and barefoot. When visiting the Fiji villages all guests needed to cover their shoulders and knees and uncover their heads. Some people thought themselves above those rules and were not permitted to enter the village. The best clothes to have on board would be a pair of sandal style shoes which can get wet as most landings on the beach are wet. One pair of sort /walking shoes would be needed for the hikes that are available. One pair of reef shoes would be very useful. Dress shoes and dress clothes can stay home. Men should invest in a sulu which the wraparound skirt for men worn by Fijians. Women need to invest in dressy cover-ups which cover the shoulders and go lower than the knees.   Read Less
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