Discover ‘Fiji Time’

finally bit the bullet, and took my kids overseas for the first time by myself. I quite often take them away, just the three of us on adventures, and I had been wanting to try overseas. I wanted to take them somewhere I had never been before. I also wanted somewhere considered family-friendly with plenty of experiences available that would excite my nature-loving kids. I have a bit of a fear of flying, so when the opportunity to cruise from New Zealand to Fiji and back came up earlier this year, I booked us in.

Fun and relaxation

The cruise took two full days at sea to get from Auckland to our first Fijian stop. We then had three days hopping around Fiji, before spending another two full days at sea to get home again. What I really loved about this holiday was how straight forward things were. Yes we needed passports and travel insurance and a bit of spending money. But we arrived in Auckland, we unpacked into our room and our room took us to another country, and back again.

The sea days were full of activity. My favourite things were watching my kids have fun on the extreme sports equipment. You have to pay to use these, but for the experience we thought it was well worth it. My youngest did the bungy trampoline and my eldest found the excitement of the flying fox across the ship too good to pass up. The other great thing was how easy it was to have quality time with each child separately. I took my eldest to a few shows, and my youngest and I had a sneaky ice cream date or two.

Suva

When we arrived in Suva, it was so hot and muggy that stepping off the ship instantly fogged my glasses and camera up. We were ushered over for a photo opportunity with some locals. I think a combination of the heat, the smells of the local market and the strangeness quite overwhelmed the kids. who were glad to get onboard our tour bus and find it was fully air-conditioned. Our tour guide, Kuli (or Mr Cool as he liked to be called) and Captain Tui took us around Suva and all the historical sites. I found the tour really educational, and my eldest got a lot out of it. My youngest was asleep almost the whole way around!

My favourite stop was Thurston Gardens because it was nice to get out and walk and see different trees and plants. The Fiji Museum was good as well, though we mainly stuck to the maritime history and didn’t venture further into the museum due to the heat. My youngest absolutely loved our last stop which involved shopping. She bought herself a teddy bear with “I’m on Fiji Time” written on it. I had to giggle – she is always on “Fiji Time”.

Fiji

Tivua Island via Port Denarau

Our trip to Tivua Island was via Captain Cook Cruises. The tour was a little pricier than some other shore tours offered, but it seemed to have the best reviews and ticked all the boxes for me. I was feeling really anxious all day for some reason, but there were so many highlights.

As we travelled to Tivua Island, the crew sang and the kids danced along. They had a Kava ceremony on board and even though I had no intention of having any, my hand shot up when they asked for volunteers. It tasted peppery and a bit like cold herbal tea.

Tivua island is actually a white coral cay, and it’s absolutely beautiful. We went on a glass bottom boat, and the kids were thrilled to see clown fish and blue devils. My eldest went snorkeling and she actually swam with baby sharks and clown fish. When she came back she was absolutely buzzing about the experience. Lunch was provided and the staff were so friendly. On the way back to the wharf, my kids fell asleep.

Fiji

Dravuni Island

I really thought after Tivua Island that nothing would top it. But then we arrived at Dravuni Island. This little island is reliant on cruise ships and tourists for their income, so as we came ashore there were all sorts of little stalls. We came prepared because I had read they had a little Primary School and that they accepted donations. So, the kids had selected some picture books for the school’s library and I got some school supplies together as well. It was school holidays in Fiji, so we didn’t manage to see a class being run. However, the head teacher welcomed us so kindly and gave us a tour. The kids were blown away by how different but similar the classrooms were.

We tried green coconuts being cut open by families along the beach. My youngest was not a fan of the coconut, but my eldest had two. A lady offered to braid my hair. We jumped into the water and had just the most amazing swim. The water was over my head, but I could still see my feet in the clear ocean water. Later my youngest made friends with a little Fijian girl and we had a boat ride with her family around the island. It cost us $10 per person, and it was thrilling and fun. The best moment was watching these two kids, who didn’t speak each others language at all, giggling together. So precious. I honestly feel a little sad even now, remembering lining up for the tender boats to leave Dravuni. Because we weren’t just leaving this amazing place, but Fiji too.

We all agree that the trip was amazing, and we definitely want to get back soon for more adventures. For ocean and coral exploring, it ignited my eldest’s imagination. For my youngest, the friendly people, the fun, and of course “Fiji Time” made this trip a winner.

This article was written by Kym Moore. Kym is a working mum of two, and occasional blogger. Fancies herself a writer, when she isn’t editing her kids’ vlogs or running their social media at Baby Likes Cake. Follow them on Facebook and YouTube.

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11 Comments

  1. Alezandra 30/09/2018 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful trip idea. A cruise is such a great family trip and would probably try it when our 3 year old is a little older for him to appreciate it.

  2. dawnblyth 30/09/2018 at 12:45 pm

    This is the kind of holiday I would love to take my family on. A cruise gives you everything on board that you need – food, accomodation and entertainment along with experiences off shore and on shore that you would never have otherwise. It sounds like a very economical way of having a family holiday and I love the cultural insights you sound like you get by going on the islands.

  3. Jen_Wiig 26/09/2018 at 10:59 am

    Wow!!! what an amazing sounding journey for you and the kids!! I haven’t ever had a family holiday with my 3 boys but the idea of a cruise has always intrigued me. What incredible memories you created especially for the kids something ill bet they wont forget. Cruises seem very child friendly too and gives you the extra bonus of going to various places but all included in the one cost.

  4. MuddledUpMolly 25/09/2018 at 8:14 pm

    My husband and I did this exact cruise for our belated honeymoon last year and we loved it!!We missed our kids the whole time though so I’m looking forward to them being old enough so we can also enjoy this trip with them in future 🙂

  5. felicity beets 25/09/2018 at 6:26 pm

    this sounds like so much fun – i would love to go on a cruise for a holiday – it looks like there is so much to do.

  6. Shelz69 16/09/2018 at 5:12 pm

    I have been thinking about going on a holiday with my two kids to Fiji for a while now but have been a bit chicken to take them by myself. I didn’t even think about going on a cruise either, this sounds quite fun and something I had not thought about until now. I will be definitely be looking into this further. Thank you for being brave enough to give this a go, and writing a review about it as this has definitely given me something to think about.

  7. Bevik1971 11/09/2018 at 4:19 pm

    Awesome! We are going to plan a family holiday next year as we have never been overseas as a family 🙁 I’ve been to Fiji but pre-family and was in 2003! I think we will probably plan to go to Rarotonga though – not sure if hubby would be keen to go on a cruise though 🙂

  8. SarahBlair 11/09/2018 at 12:05 am

    Wow!! That sounds AMAZING!! I would love to go to Fiji and take my family, especially my husband who lived there as a baby but can’t remember it. The cruise sounds great as well, almost like having two different holidays in one!

  9. Mands1980 08/09/2018 at 11:51 am

    This sounds amazing looking at the wee islands of Fiji that you wouldn’t normally see I didn’t know they did cruises to Fiji. The kids would have loved it just the whole experience of another culture and meeting the children. The flying fox sounded cool on the cruise as well.

  10. Shorrty4life1 07/09/2018 at 12:57 pm

    Wowee good on you for taking your kids by yourself that’s an inspiration right there in itself. This sounds absolutely amazing. I’m guessing maybe p&o cruises? I’ve looked into the Fiji one on there site it looks amazing. We have been looking at places to go for a holiday out of new Zealand. This cruise looks bliss yous have went on.

    • kymmage 08/09/2018 at 11:21 am

      Hi! Yes it was a P&O cruise. It was an eight day Fiji one. I would definitely go again, though I may be tempted to try another that includes Fiji and goes to other islands too. I think with cruising you get the bug pretty easily 😂

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