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Dive Review of Paradise Taveuni/Same in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Taveuni, Fiji

Paradise Taveuni/Same: "This was a great destination both the resort and the diving.", May, 2022,

by Henry O Ziller, CO, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 38 reports with 20 Helpful votes). Report 11912 has 1 Helpful vote.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was our 4th trip to the Fijian Islands, our 2nd to Taveuni. The route for us was Denver, CO to Los Angeles, CA on American who is partnered with Fiji Airways. Fiji Airways to Nadi, Fiji then Fiji Link to Matei Airport on Taveuni, Fiji.
We scheduled this trip in October 2019 at the Denver Travel show with Terri Gortan, the owner of Paradise Taveuni Resort. We planned to go in December 2020, but the pandemic changed that. We tried first to cancel the trip but would not be able to get a refund. Terri informed us that we could reschedule the trip anytime with NO expiration date! We had other trips planned for 2020 and were not able to get refunds on some of those either. We did have DANís annual trip insurance and were successful in obtaining reimbursement for our Borneo/Raja Ampat trip although it took a tremendous effort from my wife and her doctors.
Fiji required negative RAT one day ahead of arriving, then another RAT within 48 Ė 72 hours after arrival. The resort does the test at their site. Then a negative RAT is required within 24 hours of your return to the USA. This is also done wherever you are staying.
Fiji Airways web site states that checked bag weight allowances are 15 kilos and carry-on 7 kilos. We knew our checked bags were slightly overweight but had the capacity to shift weight to our carry-on backpacks if necessary but did not need to do that. I think they are just happy to have tourists returning and are overlooking the weight issue for now. Other divers we talked to thought the same.
The resort:
Upon arrival at TVU, Paradise will have their driver meet you and will offer to stop at a market or ATM if desired on the hour ride to the resort. The first half is on an asphalt road and the last half on a rough gravel road. The views from the road are quite nice. When you arrive at the resort you get a papaya smoothie and a foot massage before you are taken on a tour of the resort and shown to your bure.
This resort was one of many resorts destroyed by Cyclone Winston in February 2016, thus all lodging accommodations fully refurbished by 2019. They offer 16 oceanfront bures some with deluxe outdoor tub and shower plus an indoor shower and some bures with two bedroom. Our bure (Papaya) had a separate bedroom with a living room with plenty of space to store things. The A/C unit located in the bedroom kept the entire bure cool. Ours did not have a ceiling fan. There is a nice sized pool deep enough for offering discover scuba. The grounds are excellent with several hammocks and loungers spread throughout.
Breakfast usually starts at 6 AM to accommodate divers on the first boat. You order lunch meal during breakfast and dinner at lunch. The restaurant dining area is open to the ocean and they offer dining in a couple covered areas near the pool or take the romantic dining down on a landing just above the water. There are daily specials for all meals and a menu that does change. The food was good. Local beers were $6.00 FJD. Corona $15 FJD. Wine was $35 to $50 FJD/bottle or $12 FJD/glass for the house wine. A gift shop is available and has most of the personal items you may have forgotten as well as shirts, hats, and souvenirs. A book exchange has quite a few books.
The spa is located near the ocean and massages are offered in packages if desired.
The resort offers a variety of tours.
The diving:
Once your bag was delivered to your room a basket was brought to place all your dive gear in. Set it outside on your deck and they take it from there. The dive shop has a chalk board that shows which boat you would be on, which area the boat is diving, crew for the boat, the divers, and the time the boat would leave, usually 7 or 7:30. Your gear will be set up on the boat and taken off the boat after dives washed and hung to dry.
The dive shop rents all the equipment and it looks to be in great shape. They have a camera room at the dive shop with air conditioning. Nitrox costs $10 USD per tank. Two dive boats appear to be large enough to hold 12 divers plus crew, but we never had more than 8 divers. One boat has a 100 hp outboard and one two 75 hp outboards. Most of the dive sites take ½ an hour to get to the first dive site then work your way back toward the resort arriving back after the third dive in time for lunch. The boats are equipped with first aid kit, oxygen, life preservers, and radio. Mobile phones appear to work on the boats since they sometimes call for their third smaller boat to bring out equipment or to exchange tanks for the third dive. Entrance is by giant stride, and thereís a nice sturdy ladder for climbing back on. Fruit and cinnamon rolls are provided for surface intervals. Water is kept cold in a cooler is sport bottles and towels are handed out after the first dive, or whenever you want it. Dives are limited to depth (usually 80 ft.) and time (45 to 50 minutes). Shore dives can be done with or without a guide, but you do need a buddy. Night dives are offered usually on the house reef. Most dives are out on Rainbow Reef and many are wall dives with very little current. There are some really nice swim-thru and the coral on some dives is stunning. The great white wall at the right time is quite amazing. Large fish are few and far between as is the case just about everywhere. We did see a couple white tip sharks, a school of barracuda, a couple large grouper, a few turtles, and snakes, and a nice school of bat fish that followed along the entire dive. Mostly it is the small stuff, nudiís, tiny crabs, tiny octopus, blue ribbon eels, and shrimps that the dive masters find for you and of course the soft colorful coral.
Websites Paradise Taveuni   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Throughout the Caribbean and Central America, Micronesia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Australia, and Fiji.
Closest Airport TVU Getting There The route for us was Denver, CO to Los Angeles, CA on American who is partnered with Fiji Airways. Fiji Airways to Nadi, Fiji then Fiji Link to Matei Airport on Taveuni, Fiji.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50-70 Ft/ 15-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth and time. Normally dive times were 45 to 50 minutes.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments A tub was maintained on the boat. There was usually only one really large camera with most point and shoot type.
They have an air conditioned camera room, but I did not use it.
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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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