The Radiance of the Seas & Bora Bora.
Apr 17, 2012
|It was with sadness that we waved goodbye to the stunning Opera House, majestic Harbor Bridge and beautiful city of Sydney ...... au revoir, we certainly hope to be able to return someday.
At 11am on embarkation day, it took us 6 minutes to wheel our suitcases from our hotel right up to the Overseas Terminal where we were ushered onboard the Radiance of the Seas immediately .... no wait.
This is the third time on this ship that we love so much. Aaaaaaah 18 days of cruising - lovely!!
Most of this cruise is going to be sea days, just chilling and enjoy the cruise experience. We do have a few ports of call. Auckland, Papeete Tahiti, Moorea French Polynesia, Bora Bora French Polynesia, Hilo Hawaii and finally our disembarkation in Honolulu Oahu.
All our ports of call were gorgeous but I have to tell you about the DROP DEAD gorgeous Bora Bora. THis was to be the highlight of our trip and boy oh boy did it ever deliver!!
We had purchased a private tour (with 30 others) with Patrick. His outrigger canoes were decorated with palm fronds and filled with coolers laden with beer, sodas, water and champagne.
I can use every superlative that I can think of and still not paint a true picture of this unbelievably beautiful island...... suffice to say that this is absolutely the most beautiful place in the world that we have ever seen.
Bora Bora is unquestionably one of the most romantic, most magical destinations on earth. It’s the kind of place dreams are made of, where every view is post card perfect. And yet, no pst card can truly capture the intoxicating effects of its beauty. It is beyond idyllic, it’s otherworldly!!
We sailed the island on his outrigger canoe while being serenaded on the Ukelele. Literally every 500 meters the water would change to a different color blue. I have never seen so many blues and turquoise in nature, in one place, in all my life.
Our first stop was in 4 to 5 foot water. We were about a mile offshore within the necklace of coral reefs. We climbed down the front stairs of the canoe into the perfect temperature crystal clear turquoise water. Unfortunately we do not have an underwater camera but I was able to take clear pictures from above water with my regular camera. Once in the water, Patrick went ahead with a small bag of little fish. He walked through the water singing and dragging the little fish alongside himself. In no time we were surrounded by HUGE, graceful stingrays (much bigger than the Grand Cayman variety) and then came the black tipped sharks. They surrounded us swimming furiously up and down but not coming right up to us because the stingrays were surrounding us. It was an awesome experience!!!
We then cruised around to another motu and snorkeled in 12 to 15 feet water - which is considered by the locals as a lagoonarium. Tropical fish surrounded us, darting in and out of the coral reef below us. Patrick dove down and tried to coax a moral eel out of it’s lair. The eel (as thick as Tony’s forearm) came out about a foot, took the fish offered and went back into his hole.... what a wonderful sighting.
We were then serenaded over the exotic turquoise waters to their private motu where they had lunch ready for us and our tables (covered with palm fronds and hibiscus flowers) and chairs set up in the water. The canoe stopped about 100 foot from the beach. We stepped out into calf deep warm water and waded to the beach.
First the smoldering pit was ceremoniously opened to display the cooked pigs, taro, breadfruit, plantains, bbq tuna and spinach with chicken. On another fire was a pile of crayfish and a huge dish of tuna ceviche ..... oh heaven!! What a meal - fit for a king and washed down with champagne and more champagne.
Depending on the speed of WiFi at our hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii - I will either download the pictures of this magical vacation there, or if not fast enough, unfortunately you will have to wait until we arrive home with our superduper fast internet. We can’t wait to share these gorgeous pictures with y’all.
At the time of writing we have just cruised over the equator and have enjoyed a hilarious crossing the line ceremony with King Neptune. I have cross the line before so I am no longer a Pollywog but have progressed to being a Shellback. All those who have not sailed across the equator before were part of the initiation ceremony. First they had to kneel and bow down to King Neptune, thereafter they had fresh eggs broken over their heads and bodies, then covered in flour, then had cooked spaghetti flung at them and finally were sprayed with Marinara sauce .... yuck, yuck!!! Lots of fun was had by all - the pool deck was a circus!!
Sheesh - it’s exhausting having so much fun and sun. We are back in the cabin now waiting on room service to bring our fruit plate and cheese plate as we watch the movie “Love, Wedding, Marriage” .......