The pre-trip organization and travel arrangements had been fine tuned with all possible questions answered. Everyone made the flight, no forgotten passport, no surprise oversize luggage, everyone was very much aware of the rules of engagement pre-trip.
Flights were understandably inexpensive so a certain amount of inconvenience was built-in. It was well accepted on the way there with all day and all night travel in three flights. Arrival in Nadi at 5:00AM seemed OK with everyone, after all, we were in Fiji ready to dive the Pacific ocean!. The bus had a broken luggage trailer but a replacement bus and trailer was supplied within minutes and we were on our two hour transfer to Volivoli. We had a bank, currency exchange office, Duty free stores and generally the entire airport open for service that early in the morning!
Check in and orientation at the resort was flawless. We then proceeded to have lunch and go for a checkout dive from shore. With no surprise, everyone passed with flying colors! Our travelers are of course well travelled and excellent divers. After a nap we reconvened for dinner and got ready for the morning real dives.
Diving: The diving turned out to be better than what was planned with a boat trip and two dives a day. Some people in the group elected to do some afternoon shore dives and some night dives. Shore dives were interesting but viz was low near shore. We unfortunately had 2 days of rain to start but the rest of the trip was sunny with flat seas. Maybe a little too flat! A bit more wind would have been welcome in February when weather gets hot and humid. The rest of the trip went pretty much predictably the same as the first day except no rain. Diving was superb. I did have better viz underwater the past two times I was there, in the 80 to 100Ft range. We only had about 60 to 80 Ft this time.
Food: quality was good and quantity was great. Too much for me.
Accommodations: great. Air conditioned rooms done everyday, bathroom very spacious, hot water as needed with adequate pressure, a refrigerator in the room with chilled water from the filtered supply down the hall. No TV but that goes in the positive department….We had a nice individual and spacious balcony looking out on the Bligh waters from our room up on the hill.
Massage: included in our package was a ½ hour massage. Some of us elected to add another half hour to make it a real enjoyable time in a nice cabana over the beach.
Activities: Soni was our guide for a village visit that included a school and hike to a refreshing waterfall in the mountain. other activities included Kava ceremony on several occasions, a “Meke” cultural dancing and singing with audience participation, kayak rentals. VoliVoli also shares the Fiji Siren live aboard on site. The Siren offers 7 and 10 day live aboard trips in the central and Taveuni waters. I was lucky to be offered a private visit of the yacht.
Travel on the way back was not as accepted as the way there as we had a very long layover in LA. You could tell after 10 days away from home, and the grueling travel back, people were starting to get a little on edge. At the resort, several people only had one key per room which turned out to be very inconvenient. The bus on the last day changed our schedule to a later start which prevented us from visiting Nadi before the flight.
Overall: A success.