SUNBIZ

Let’s Go Local: Mele Cruises Into Diving

Mele was on board the Captain Cook Cruises MV Reef Endeavour, four-Night Yasawa Islands Cruise from December 28 to January 4 with her cousin Joeli Ditoka.
10 Jan 2021 13:49
Let’s Go Local: Mele Cruises Into Diving
Mele Raturaga trys out the PADI Discover Scuba Diving programme. Ms Raturaga was a guest onboard the Captain Cook Cruises Fiji MV Reef Endeavour, three/four Night Yasawa Islands Cruises from December 28, 2020 to January 2, 2021.

Meet Mele Raturaga.

The Lovonivonu, Taveuni lass is the Embassy of Japan, Public Relations Cultural Affairs Coordinator in the Information and Cultural Affairs Section.

An avid traveller Mele as she is known by many is also the brains behind Mai Graze Fiji.

She loves food artistry especially tropical grazing tables for all occasions.

Mele was on board the Captain Cook Cruises MV Reef Endeavour, four-Night Yasawa Islands Cruise from December 28 to January 4 with her cousin Joeli Ditoka.

The three and four nights Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands cruisediscover, the beauty of these westerly Fiji Island groups.

They cruise through some spectacular passages from Malolo Lailai to the Yasawa northern reaches.

Mele describes herself as: “Normally somebody that loves to take a break in nature and take photos (whether visit beaches or rivers or waterfalls) when I’ve had a long week at work or occupied work schedules.

“The only way to relax would be to go for walks with a view of the ocean or anything near the sea.”

Businessman Graham Eden with Mele Raturaga onboard the Captain Cook Cruises Fiji MV Reef Endeavour, three/four Night Yasawa Islands Cruises from December 28, 2020 to January 2, 2021.

Businessman Graham Eden with Mele Raturaga onboard the Captain Cook Cruises Fiji MV Reef Endeavour,
three/four Night Yasawa Islands Cruises from December 28, 2020 to January 2, 2021.

Describe your experience of cruising for the first time? 

Where do I even begin? Exciting.

Our departure from Port Denarau began with a safety procedure by Captain Ken Ballentine whilst having lunch enroute to Tivua Island for the afternoon activities which included snorkelling, water sports like kayaking and swimming.

With a full on schedule you had so many options with activities.

I went with my cousin Joeli-Jason, we just loved every moment onboard.

The guests that became family and we would always share and compare activities would be appropriate for the morning session and afternoon etc.

The crew onboard ReeFendeavour were just absolutely amazing and they definitely made the cruise an unforgettable experience.

Why did you choose to go on the 4 nights Captain Cook cruise in the Yasawas? 

Because I wanted to celebrate and welcome the New year on a cruise in the middle of someplace I have never been before.

Also, I had been wanting to visit the Sawa-I-Lau Caves 12 years ago.

So it was a tick on my bucket list just being on this Captain Cook Cruise and experiencing such an amazing time.

What things did you enjoy the most about the cruise? 

The best part about the cruise was waking up in a different location each morning, having an activity (snorkelling, swim, kayak etc) in that particular area then visiting a completely different beach for the afternoon programme.

But my most favourite activity was facing my fear: diving.

The fact that I wanted to try it out and experience this PADI Discover Scuba Diving programme.

Tell us a bit about your diving experience? 

The experience was just amazing.

A whole different world underwater, I usually just see all this on TV and never really gone out to see for myself.

The diving instructors were patient, helpful and super positive, it was easy to feel comfortable and safe around them.

Taking my first ever PADI discovery, Scuba diving in Sawa-I-Lau reef was just surreal.

Fell in love with everything underwater and knowing the importance of the marine life and biodiversity within.

I even got to see a few reef sharks which firstly got me spooked out then I’m giggling and telling myself to freaking breath.

To be able to experience this PADI Discover Scuba Diving programme was just amazing and now I look forward to applying for more lessons and education on becoming certified by completing the PADI Open Water Diver course.

Would you recommend the cruise to your friends and family? 

Absolutely.

Highly recommended.

If you haven’t, you should!

Essentials: 

  • Sunscreen protection spf15+
  • 1 swim-wear a day
  • Reef shoes
  • Underwater camera/GoPro
  • Petty cash for purchasing jewelleries on the island or for donations and fakawela.

Aboard Reef Endeavour 

The cruise visits the islands of Waya, Naviti, Sacred Islands, the private island of Tivua, the Sawa-l-Lau limestone caves and lagoon and Monuriki – the island where Tom Hank’s movie Cast Away was filmed.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj


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