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Dive Review of Nai'a Fiji/Sheraton Fiji on Denaru in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Bligh Waters

Nai'a Fiji/Sheraton Fiji on Denaru, May, 2010,

by Jeanne Reeder, MO, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 5488.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Raja Ampat, Alor Archipelago, Turkey, Palau, Japan, Bonaire, Curacao, Cozumel, Saba, Cayman Brac, Virgin Gorda, St. Vincents
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 81 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions It was requested that we respect the 70 minute dive limit unless we told the dive master in advance.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We were making-do on the Lycianda during the Nai'a's repairs.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Nai'a repairs from her explosion in January were not completed yet, so we went on a 130 cruise vessel they leased and refitted, the Lycianda; same Naia crew. Because more cabins were available, I got my own room -- always so nice. But, no nitrox, which is a bummer on repetitive dive trips.

It was a 7 night trip, 6 + days of diving, 3-4 each day.....7, 10:30, 2, 5:30. 18 passengers; 15 crew. All were experienced divers, and included several professional photographers with their huge camera set-ups.

Crew was awesome -- one of the best I've encountered; all Fijian but for the Cruise Director-Dive Instructor Sam and Instructor-Dive Master Brigette. They worked together seamlessly and anticipated trouble spots, thus preventing them. Most were very strong (like weightlifters) and made it safe getting into the pitching zodiacs in the rough waters we encountered a couple of days. Another nice thing about the crew -- they sang beautifully -- and would gather in the evenings after work on the deck (and after most divers had gone to their cabins) for impromptu singing, guitar and drum playing and kava drinking which they kept in a bucket. Only two of us joined them most nights. Kava produces a very mild feeling of well-being and is not addictive no aftereffects the next morning.

Diving was very good, but holds a dim candle to Raja Ampat. The usual dive began at 100' to the wall where we observed white tip and reef sharks, large tuna, large jacks, Humphead wrasse, 5' Bumphead parrot fish,...in other words everything 5' and up. Even a school of about 4 dozen 5' yellow tail barracuda. Of the big stuff, the 22' manta rays were my favorite.

After that I poked around at 60' looking for the 1/4" stuff, such as baby Rockmover wrasse -- like a tiny leaf crazily swimming this way and that. I found a baby dwarf hawkfish that I couldn't believe! Another favorite was 2" Bicolor parrot fish. When my computer gave its alarm, it was time for Part 3 -- circling a bommie or two of various sizes, then a safety stop on top of the bommie, many at 15'.

There were lots of beautiful soft corals on the bommies, all seeming to vie for space. And there were plenty of small fish and critters hiding on the bommies in its crevices and within corals, such as red banded pipefish and long nose hawkfish. So many are experts at camouflage, blending surroundings hiding in plain sight if you look long enough. Careful seeking revealed a delicate Cyerce nigricans. A couple of the divers liked to put their hand in a crevice for about five minutes and have a manicure by Cleaner Shrimp. I never had the patience.

The waters were very rough a couple of days, which made the two 22 zodiac skiffs difficult to get into both from the main vessel and from the water at the end of the dives. One day at the end of a dive my skiff got stuck on top of a reef water poured in and it tipped wildly. The 4 of us on the boat reacted instinctively, re-donning our fins and mask. After about 15 minutes the other zodiac appeared and waited at the edge of this shallow reef while we 'walked' across the verrry uneven reef, about 100. Not fun when the waves try to slap you down and you gouge yourself on the elkhorn. I felt so bad about damaging the coral, but no choice. Thank goodness for sturdy dive boots!

For the most part, food was delicious. And they served wine with it....which made it doubly nice. The fish was the least tasty, but I soon learned to have the excellent fillet Mignon instead. We had at least two choices for each meal.

Day temperatures were in the mid 80s and undersea a fairly constant 82; very humid.

My dive buddy Debbie (from LA area) and I had two days in Fiji before boarding the liveaboard due to Air Pacific flight schedule. We would have had to arrive the day we were to leave and knew we would be exhausted (if we even made it!). We stayed Sheraton Fiji Resort, on an island attached to Fiji by bridge, and near one of the two larger towns of Fiji, Nadi. I enjoyed the pools at our resort and a couple of nearby ones, walks on the long beaches, and the hammock near our room. It was a very kid friendly resort, with well equipped play room, outdoor play equipment and a large pool for children of all ages. The dozen or so children I saw were very well behaved with good manners. The breakfast buffet was piled high with all kinds of fresh fruit. The huge hams were delicious! Offerings were typical from several countries, but mainly Japan and the Middle East. Feasting Big Time for the first meal of the day!

We took a cab into Nadi and ended up buying traditionally designed material and having outfits made, $10 per piece. We were accompanied to the shop by a staff person at Nads so we would know how much material to buy..and spent a lot of time with 2 seamstresses designing what we wanted. I wanted Indonesian style, with which they were not familiar. No patterns, but a lot of measuring. We picked them up after the trip as they could not do it in one day (required two).

We spent the morning of another of our two days visiting a gorgeous orchid farm (Garden of the Sleeping Giant) which was begun by Raymond Burr to house his orchid collection. There are over 2000 varieties and they blew-me-away with their beauty. It was a peaceful walk on the pathways through the jungle with only a couple of others in the vicinity.



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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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