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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Feb-March 2013
Flop in the turquoise waters, snorkel in the lagoons, taste the local bougna and explore the remnants of penal colonies and mission churches. Lazy stops Ports have idyllic bays and coral-fringed lagoons, but cruising the South Pacific is more than just an island beach holiday. It’s a chance to meet the locals, try some French cuisine in Noumea, drink kava in a traditional village in Fiji or Vanuatu, bike and hike through jungle trails, shop, swim, dive and snorkel. Rhapsody of the Seas flits around the Pacific from October until April each year on itineraries from 12 nights to the long 18-night one-way cruise to Hawaii. The best South Seas ‘hit’ can be had along the way on the lovely isles of New Caledonia (Isle of Pines, Lifou, Ouvea) and Vanuatu (Mystery Island and Champagne Bay) where there’s little to do but flop in the turquoise waters, snorkel in the lagoons, taste the local bougna (meat and vegetables cooked in taro leaves) and explore the remnants of penal colonies and mission churches. Champagne Bay, on the island of Espiritu Santo is named for the spring bubbling up from the seabed and is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Pacific. Stops at Vila in Vanuatu and Suva in Fiji take you to hustle-and-bustle ports, so it’s advised to pre-book a 4WD tour that includes village visits and fire-walking to make the most of the short stay, or opt for a massage at the Pure Fiji cosmetics factory and spa, just out of Suva. Singers and dancers will greet the ship in Samoa, an island blessed with fabulous beaches, waterfalls and enticing swimming holes. Don’t miss a visit to author Robert Louis Stevenson's former home and museum, an imposing residence perched amid sweeping lawns ringed by tropical forest. ACTIVITIES There’s no chance of being bored on Rhapsody with its two pools, four whirlpools, gym, sauna, steam rooms, day spa, beauty salon, casino, outdoor movie screen, rock-climbing wall and basketball court. Activities fall into one of several categories: learning, getting healthy, mixing and mingling, competing, showing off, partying and unwinding. Passengers can attend lectures or seminars on acupuncture, and partake in meditation sessions, napkinfolding and creative writing workshops. Singles can mingle while doing the daily Walk-A-Mile around the top deck, at aqua-aerobics classes or the afternoon trivia game. Men who like a chat and a beer might attend ‘The Shed’ get-togethers, while those who want to sing out loud can take to the stage for karaoke. Extroverts might sign up for the ‘belly-flop’ and ‘lovely legs’ competitions, but no fellas on my cruise put their hands up for the ‘sexiest man in the world’ contest. Party-types can boogie at the disco and laugh or cringe at the late-night adult comedy. For quiet times with a good book, head to the stunning Viking Crown Lounge, with its gorgeous ocean views, for peaceful mornings. HAVE YOUR SAY! Tweet us about your latest cruise. W: twitter.com/ ProbusSthPac Active RetireesTM | 19 !In Samoa, you'll see beauty everywhere: lush tropical forests, waterfalls dropping into sparkling lagoons, twinkling beaches, powerful blowholes and other-worldly lavafields.
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2013
Active Retirees April-May 2013