A Travellerspoint blog

Port of Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


View 2013 Polynesian Cruise on greynomadm's travel map.

We awoke at 0420 when the ship's anchor was dropped overboard. We were not due in Suva until 0700 and couldn't understand why we were almost 3 hours ahead of schedule ?? The mystery was solved when I happened to see a deck officer later, there had been a medical emergency aboard and they had made the best time possible to have the patient taken ashore.

After a brief but spectacular sunrise we pulled up the anchor and headed for our berth. The local Police Band played a welcome as we tied up at 0700. Had our breakfast in the dining room for the first time this cruise and sat with a lovely couple, both ex-RAAF of WWII vintage, both in their 90s.

Went ashore and walked through the many stores looking for a cheap USB Flash Drive. Our cabin steward has expressed an interest in some of my pictures so this is the easiest way to transfer them. Jenny needed some replacement potions and lotions which we found in the local supermarket.
Made our way back to the ship through the local produce market. Some fantastic fresh fruit and vegetables. Mounds of ginger and turmeric and hot chillies. I tried a piece of a local slice, crumb base and a rich yellow topping, very sweet but couldn't determine the flavour.

Back to the ship in time for lunch before too many people crowded the Horizon Court. All Aboard at 1530 for a 1600 departure. Suva may not be the prettiest town but it certainly has a lot of retail options and most of them in walking distance of the wharf.

The Police Band entertained us as we prepared to leave, it was impossible to find a vantage point along the deck with people standing up to three deep. Well past the 'All Aboard' time we still had a gangplank deployed. Announcements from the Purser's desk failed to locate the missing passengers and fully 30 minutes late two individuals finally arrived. The was a rousing and appropriate comment from the crowd.

The Band continued to play until we were well clear of the wharf in what was certainly the most memorable departures on this voyage.

Another enjoyable dinner and a show in the Vista Lounge. An unusual act by Richard Scholes incorporating the exaggerated movements of mime, changing masks, a bit of magic and finally some clever hand shadow work. He looks like he's been a round the block a time or two but was well worth the 45 minutes.

The clocks go back another hour tonight as we head further Westward towards New Caledonia.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:17 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Skipped a Day

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Overnight we crossed back over the International Date Line and skipped from Sunday to Tuesday in an instant. The sunrise was masked by rainclouds and there was little or no colour today. There were some interesting storm clouds and I managed to capture some images.

Off to breakfast and then adjust to the modified schedule as the Cruise Director attempts to fit the activities into the available venues. Spent some time reading and people-watching in the Crooners Bar then moved to the Theatre for today's Marine lecture on sharks, an enlightening insight into these superb creatures.

The theme for the Horizon Court lunch is Italy again. The range of breads, cheeses, cold meats and other antipasto ingredients was impressive. There was also the usual range of cakes and other sweet things. The ice sculpture featured two doves atop a classic column.

As it was a sea day and the weather less than optimum there was a crush of people looking for seats inside the Horizon Court. We had a quick lunch and vacated our seats to make our way back to the stateroom for some R&R. Jenny had a restless night again and has nodded off in an attempt to catch up. The frequent change of time zones is no doubt effecting her biorhythms.

Cast en eye over the 'Boxed Watch Sets' for sale at just $14.95 on out way to dinner. The menu tonight was South American, those who were brave enough to order from the themed menu ware somewhat disappointed with what was delivered. The 'word' from the staff was that there was an overwhelming number of orders from the 'always available' standby menu. My choice whilst quite delicious was not what I expected either.

After dinner we joined the crowd in the Theatre which filled up well before curtain time. The act was Grant Galea, in a word 'pathetic' !! The two numbers he sang without theatricals and 'comedy' were quite good but we'd have left if we'd been at the end of the row.

Suva in Fiji tomorrow and less than a week until this cruise ends.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:01 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Sunday, 29 September 2013


View 2013 Polynesian Cruise on greynomadm's travel map.

An idyllic sunrise show as we approach Pago Pago. The forecast temperatures and the fact that it is a Sunday will preclude us doing anything strenuous ashore today. A quick breakfast after which we watched the docking process as the ship came along side the wharf. We were expecting to see an ambulance to be there to pick up Barbara but although we spent almost an hour on watch we didn't see her go ashore.

We walked ashore and ran the gauntlet of eager taxi drivers and tour-bus operators offering a variety of deals. We walked past many closed shops and bought some inexpensive craft items for Jenny's stockpile. Called in at McDonald for a large Coke and then headed back to the port. Very hot and high humidity ensured we didn't spend a lot of time in the dock-side stalls but did manage to snag a few shirts.

Jenny had problems with her cruise card again - this is the third card. Quickly replaced at the purser's desk but a bit of a nuisance. Unloaded our purchases and made our way to the Horizon Court for a light lunch.

After lunch the usual R&R as we prepare for the sail-away and dinner. The town of Pago Pago was very quiet because it was Sunday and our sail-away was almost a non-event. The three policemen who had 'stood' guard all day were the only people on the dock.

Dinner was a bit subdued as thoughts turned to Barbara and Barry as we wondered how they were doing. After dinner we went to the Vista Lounge for Mark Kristian's 'comedy' show. His jokes were old but well told, his singing more enthusiastic than brilliant but he redeemed himself with a very beautiful rendition of "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" with just the piano as backing.

Clocks back another hour and the calendar forward a day - Monday 30 September 2013 is anther lost day for us as we cross the International Date Line Westward.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:46 Archived in Samoa Comments (0)

Sea Day Two En-route to Samoa

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The early dawn gave way to a better than expected sunrise. There was a good mixture of light, cloud and the ocean. Routine breakfast and back to the stateroom. I had to call the customer service desk to have a member of the security staff unscramble the combination lock of our in-room safe. You are required to enter the code each time you lock it, last time I had obviously miss-keyed a digit.

Time to dig out the Kindles to fill in some time before Jenny's craft and my marine biology sessions. Lunch in the dinning room was not as pleasant as yesterday's with a rather obnoxious couple making up the table of six. The "Rum'n'Raisin" ice-cream was pretty good though.

Some more R&R before preparing for dinner.

We were an almost complete party for dinner tonight. Barbara is still in hospital and Barry joined us to bring us up to date. Tomorrow, Barbara will leave the ship to be admitted to the local hospital and be treated by a specialist. Barry has asked me to take care of their access baggage which he can't manage ashore. I've agreed to store it aboard and hand it over to a courier in Sydney when we arrive. Poor old bugger is doing it tough.
Just picked up the cases from Barry and found room under the bed to store them. He keeps on saying he doesn't know how he's going to cope with all the arrangements without Barbara there to direct him. Feel a bit inadequate that we can't do more to help.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/3655
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:30 Archived in Samoa Comments (0)

Sea Day En-route to Samoa

Friday, 27 September 2013

The ocean is calm and the scattered clouds provided some interesting patterns for the sunrise. A simple breakfast and we spend time in the Crooners Bar to read our Kindles. Jenny heads off to her craft session and I visited the 'Future Cruises Consultant' for details of the 'Share Holder's Bonus'. There is up to $250 per cabin On Board Credit depending on the cruise duration. The bonus is available to shareholders who own 100 or more shares in Carnival Corporation. Sounds like something worth investigating.

I attended the marine biology session and learnt about the many different strategies employed by fish to ensure their propagation. A most informative and interesting 45 minutes.

We've decided to do lunch in the dining room, partly to avoid the scrum in the Horizon Court and also to moderate the amount of food. We were seated with a couple who were on their first cruise and were quite impressed to hear their generally positive observations. We heard from our dinner waiter that Barbara was still in the hospital so we are likely to be at reduced strength for dinner tonight.

Back to the stateroom for our regular routine R&R and for me to find the words to sum up the morning.

Formal night tonight and our table is depleted once again, Marilyn and Jim are at the Sterling Steakhouse, George is AWOL and Barbara is still in hospital and there's a probability she'll be put ashore in Pago Pago.

After an enjoyable dinner we headed for the Vista Lounge and while waiting for the show to start a person collapsed and a Code Alpha was announced and within minutes there were medical, security and general support staff streaming into the lounge. Within minutes the patient was wheeled out and an announcement after the show said he was making a full recovery.

The show featured the comic magician Phil "Trust Me" Cass. Some very funny stuff and amazing magic tricks. Clocks go back an hour tonight as we continue to sail Westward to Pago Pago.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:45 Archived in Samoa Comments (1)

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