The Captain Cook Cruise bus is on time to pick up from the hotel and it is an excited group as we head for the Port. Our luggage is taken care of and all we had to do was confirm our presence and wait for the transfer to the ship.
As the Reef Endeavour is a larger ship, it moors out in the channel and it makes a pretty picture as we approach.
The tender parks on the hydraulic lift on the stern and we are gently lifted from the water and walk onto the deck. Another Bula Welcome by the crew only helps to raise the excitement level. The Captain presents a moving ‘Welcome Onboard’ speech as we enjoy a cocktail, then we are shown to our cabins and waiting luggage.
It would be easy to fill many pages with all the little details of life onboard the Reef Endeavour, such is the crew’s attention to detail. From remembering your name and your drink of preference, to being so polite and attentive in making sure that your cruise is a total pleasure.
The ship has recently been refurbished and was in fine shape. From the dining room to the cocktail bar and lounge, to the large pool area and the various sun decks. The enclosed library and lookout lounge and up to the top deck with its very spacious covered and open BBQ, bar and seating area, all next to the outdoor spa’s and a new gym. To me it is almost perfect.
Accommodation is a selection of Suites and Staterooms, we chose the new Tabua Suite which was originally two Staterooms, now converted to a two room suite, with ‘his’ and ‘hers’ bathrooms. All cabins are very well appointed and comfortable, and I know that a lot of travellers look for this high standard. But the real fact is that on this wonderful voyage of discovery, that the only time you are in your cabin is to sleep, shower and to change clothes.
Amongst the many highlights are the meals, from breakfast to lunch, to the wonderful evening feasts. Some meals are taken ashore and prepared by the crew for an island feast on the beach
All the food is delicious and as fresh as possible; the main meals vary each sitting and feature a selection of Fijian style dishes that are well worth tasting.
One statement is true ‘Nobody has ever left the festive board feeling hungry on a Captain Cook Cruise’.
Each of the cruises visit several islands, where we were taken ashore for visits to villages, to learn more on their stress free lifestyle and to enjoy the local souvenir market.
The most popular of these were the vists to the island schools. The children are born entertainers and we were delighted by their performances of singing and dancing, followed by an inspection of their classrooms and their schoolwork.
Other islands are for swimming and snorkelling on ‘post card’ tropical beaches. We were even warned to be careful about the chance of a coconut falling from a swaying palm trees.
The coral viewing from the glass bottomed boat opens another world for many, where the expert crew explain the various corals and fish life.