Sixty something: My solo trip to Fiji (Part two) 27



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Beachcomber was a 30-minute boat ride into the ocean and the highlight of my trip. Along the way I met a local family – a mother, daughter and aunt who were spending the day there and almost begged me to spend it with them. They were wonderful and made my day amazing. We jetted over the ocean which had quickly turned into the blue of the pacific and we passed many small but gorgeous little islands. This was Fiji, the Fiji I had hoped to be staying at. Our tour boasted a glass bottom boat ride and turtle feeding, along with other attractions. According to Beachcomber there was and never had been turtle feeding. We were still charged for this and the glass bottom boat. When we brought it up later there were no explanation, we were brushed off. I did however spend a lovely day dancing with the hot young men of the island, swimming with the fish and the locals and eating and drinking. I was happy I didn’t have to spend Christmas Day on my own. Beachcomber was what I had thought I was getting for my money at Anchorage. I was to learn that so many of their guests expected the same and had many complaints.

We returned to Anchorage that evening with the promise of a traditional Christmas dinner set menu and a Polynesian dancing review. You needed to book to get a seat for this so some of the guests and myself had booked a table together. When we turned up for our dinner we were told it had been cancelled and offered a buffet meal – nothing like was promised and no entertainment. We still were charged the set price of the Christmas dinner.  

The last day of my stay I met a couple who had booked their villa and arrived as scheduled, only to be told their room wasn’t quite ready and would be soon. They sat at reception for six hours before the room was ready. They kept getting told “in a minute”. They had confirmed with the resort as did I the week before arriving.

The day I left, I was given my account. There should have been only a few extras like the Beachcomber tour as I had prepaid. Just goes to show you need to check EVERYTHING. I had been charged for drinks at the bar that I paid cash for (thank goodness I kept all receipts). I had been charged twice for my tour and also for a tour I did not take. I finally got it sorted and frankly was glad to see the back of the resort. I have to point out that I met some lovely people from Australia and locals with whom I will be keeping in touch. I was impressed at the genuine friendliness of the Fijian people and some of the others. I had tried to make the best of my holiday.

I had researched and read reviews but it just goes to show that on an island such as Fiji there are so many places that are just not what they seem. Anchorage Beach Resort has a lot to answer for. I didn’t meet one person who did not have a negative experience. At the very least we are owed an apology and as I have found out, it is courtesy to let guests know if something will not be in use before you get there. At Anchorage this is not the case.

In Fiji I am told that if you are not a native of the country you cannot own the land but you can lease it. The Australian man who owns this resort has obviously done this. He lives there so can see what is occurring. There are no safety standards at this resort which is bad for children and elderly alike. The staff are poorly paid and work long hours. This may be the way of Fiji but this man needs to take responsibility for his resort. Despite being disappointed at the turtle feeding and glass bottom boat ride, I had a very notable day at Beachcomber Island and I had many laughs with the locals and tourists over the whole situation. The massages were to die for, the food, mostly Indian, was not and was quite expensive. It wasn’t a complete waste and it was something I have learned from. I have emailed the owner, thanks to a local who had his email address but he has not replied. I will not give up though as this was money I worked hard to have and not well spent through no fault of mine. All of us can’t be wrong. I am sorry that an Aussie is responsible for this.

Returning to Australia by Fiji Airways was another great flying experience and my overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport was pure luxury before returning to Tassie. Did I gain anything from my experience? Yes. No matter how much you research, things can still not be what they seem and I gained a chest infection which has and is still making my life a misery. The moral to all this is to make the most of any situation no matter how bad and not to sleep right under the air conditioning, especially if you have weak lungs.

Happy New Year everyone.

Have you ever had this happen to you?

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Fran Spears

Born in 1953. Came to Hobart from the north west coast of Tassie to be closer to my son as I have mild chronic bronchitis. Mild and chronic in same sentence – even that makes me laugh. Have just completed and passed my diploma in Public Relations. Love to write and have lead a reasonably interesting life. My motto: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

  1. I have been travelling overseas yo all over the world since 1982 ,I don’t really have any such stories ,but I have learned ,not everywhere is like AUSTRALIA ,hence the saying ! WHEN IN ROME ” etc ,have done 10 big ship cruises ,but now love RIVER CRUISING ,it’s just luxurious and magnificent ,did many coach tours when I started travelling ,but they are quite tiring really ,but I will always love travelling ,it’s the wonderful people you meet ,the absolute beauty of every country I’ve travelled to,and in June flying to London again !! One of my favourite cities — and then joining our group for a 12 day train grip through Switzerland ,then more of London ,I don’t take really long holidays. 3 weeks is enough for me ,I miss my family and miss MELBOURNE.

  2. Boreo. Wild Life Tour. no hot water for showers , lucky if you got a drip.. And the food was uneatable. Lost 2 k in a week. had 4 pieces toast per day. But on the up, met some other lovely people on this tour , who we keep in touch with to this day,, and the Tour Guides were really good with local information, and friendly saw what we wanted to…

  3. Send a report to the Fijian Tourist Bureau.I paid for a tour and the man did not turn up, chased down by the Tourist Bureau and money refunded weeks after I returned to Australia…all because I completed a survey at the airport on leaving.It was after a coup so positive feedback was important

  4. No….thank goodness but risking a self planned 6 week UK trip…..accommodation is very expensive hope it goes ok thanks fir the good read

  5. Agree with Vivienne. Rate Trip Advisor. Glad you managed to make the most of it despite all the troubles.

  6. First of all Fran, I hope you are feeling much better. What an experience you’ve had, but glad you could see some positive out of the negative (which many people wouldn’t do). The Fijian people are lovely. Hope the Aussie responds to your email. Good luck on your next adventure! 💕

  7. Thank you Fan for letting us know but am glad despite all the dramas you still had a good time, I hope you are feeling better now..good reading thanks xo

  8. Should have gone to First Landing. We met a lovely lady there travelling by herself several years ago who absolutely loved it. The managers Amanda and Darren welcome her back home each year since then and the staff make such a fuss over her, even walk her home at night. Reasonably priced, bure accommodation to get the Fiji feel and great food. Not good for swimming in the ocean but great walks on the reef and snorkelling and perfect for relaxing. Ps we have time share on Denarau but always like a few days here as well.

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