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-   -   To BillJ - ? about the Cooks (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/to-billj-about-the-cooks-301517/)

lovetravel Mar 27th, 2003 08:51 PM

To BillJ - ? about the Cooks
 
Hi Bill!<BR><BR>I saw your very helpful posts on your recent trip to the Cooks.<BR><BR>My husband and I went to FP (Moorea, Bora Bora, and Tahiti) for our honeymoon this past September. We absolutely fell in love with the islands - we were already planning our next trip back when we left!<BR><BR>I have seen the amazing photos and read the great stories - however, it doesn't sound like you were totally thrilled with the snorkeling in the Cooks.<BR><BR>My question is this: we are planning our 1st anniversary trip and have been considering the Cooks, Hawaii, or going back to FP (we're from New York). We are HUGE snorkelers, and love being in the water all day...<BR><BR>Would you recommend going back to FP, or did you like the Cooks enough to warrant a trip there (considering it's so far for us). Also, any other comparisons between the islands would be great.<BR><BR>Anyone else's opinion and help is greatly appreciated.<BR><BR>Thanks so much for the help!!

BillJ Mar 27th, 2003 09:16 PM

Dear lovetravel.<BR>Boy, I have I got an idea for you that will screw everything up. One word. Rangiroa, in French Polynesia. If you like laid back island life, no bars, no jet skis, nothing to do. This is a place for any anniversary. Romantic with a capital R. If you have to have a lot of action, don't even consider it. You might be happier in Fiji, specifically the Blue Lagoon Cruise up into the Yasawa islands. (see their web site).<BR>On Rangiroa, stay at the Kia Ora Village, and spend the extra $ for an overwater bungalow.Countless fish and snorkeling down a ladder on your deck. &quot;Shoot The Pass&quot; with Pascal and Cosetta, and you will measure all future snorkeling trips to that standard. A pass is an opening in the reef, allowing the tide to rush into the lagoon, in this case, the second largest lagoon in the world. They take you in a boat to the opening of the pass, then you get in the water with Cosetta as your guide, and drift (fly) with the current into the lagoon at about 8 knots. It is like a nature movie in fast forward. The exhilaration is incredible. The boat picks you up in the lagoon, takes you out for another go. We did it one day, then went back for another day.<BR>Then check out the Kia Ora Sauvage. Owned by the Village, it is a lonely little motu on the other side of the lagoon, reachable by 1 hour boat ride. There are only 5 huts, no electricity, and a guy and his wife to take care of you and cook. Kind of a Robinson Crusoe with a meal plan.<BR>I can give you more details if this is of interest. email me at [email protected].<BR>I booked my recent trip to Cooks through Costco (believe it!) Saved mucho $. They go there too. Check out www.hotelkiaora.com and www.costco.com

Louise Mar 28th, 2003 09:01 AM

We, too, are avid snorkelers and after visiting both the Cook Islands and Tahiti would definitely choose Tahiti. Kia Ora is a lovely place to stay and &quot;shooting the pass&quot; was one of the most memorable experiences in my life. Was very disappointed in the snorkeling in the Cook Islands but to be fair, the days we went to Aitutaki our snorkeling trips were cancelled because of the weather even though it had cleared up nicely by the time the boat was to have left. Also, have to agree with Blue Lagoon cruises which we have done twice. Lots of people love the Cook Islands though.

lovetravel Mar 28th, 2003 09:48 AM

Hi!!<BR><BR>Thanks so much for the response!! Yes, your idea definitely screwed everything up we were planning, but I love it!!<BR><BR>I just got off the Kia Ora website and costco.com (I had no idea they sold travel - I'm used to getting my paper towels in bulk there!!) :0<BR><BR>We are now thinking of doing Rangiroa, and maybe going back to Moorea, and then checking out one of the other islands.<BR><BR>I'm goint to price out some packages - I'll let you know!! <BR><BR>Thanks again!!<BR><BR>

sneezey Mar 28th, 2003 02:15 PM

Just as a matter of balance ;-) try Vanua Levu in Fiji. Sounds like you've already had the taste of one island and would like another. If all you want is snorkle/dive you might even venture off to Palau.

BillJ Mar 29th, 2003 05:11 AM

To lovetravel:<BR>We were in Rangiroa in March of '02. We only had one week, flew from west coast, LAX on Air Tahiti Nui. Got the package through local TA, but will use Costco when we go again. Because of flight times, had to burn one night in Papeete, no real time there though.<BR>Two nights in Kia Ora Village. Shot the Pass that day. Then two nights on Sauvage, (many guests to Sauvage extend on Sauvage) then two more nights back at Village, shot the pass again. Back to Papeete, had a day room prior to late night flight back home. Nice dinner, saw the market place. A great week. Did not take meal plan at Village, several other &quot;very interesting&quot; places to eat on Rangiroa. Meals are provided on Sauvage. In fact, one day, we caught our meal. Hope you enjoy &quot;Rangi&quot; and congratulations on your anniversary.

lovetravel Mar 29th, 2003 06:52 AM

Hi again!!<BR><BR>Thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions - we really appreciate it!!<BR><BR>BillJ - it sounds like you had an amazing trip!!<BR><BR>We are very excited to go to Rangi and shoot the pass - I have a feeling based on your words that we too will be heading back for more than one &quot;shot&quot;!!<BR><BR>Thanks so much, and I'll keep you guys posted - I'm waiting on some price quotes.<BR><BR>Best Regards!! :)

lovetravel Apr 7th, 2003 07:08 PM

Hi again!!<BR><BR>I just wanted to let you know we actually wound up choosing Hawaii instead of going back to FP or trying the Cooks this year.<BR><BR>We won a contest for 2 round-trip tickets anywhere in the U.S.,so we couldn't pass those up!!<BR><BR>We both looked at each other and said, well I guess Hawaii will be our 1st anniversary choice!!<BR><BR>I just wanted to thank everyone again on this forum for all of your help and advice - I will be quite active in the U.S. forum, but will be back here as well.<BR><BR>I guess 2nd anniversary will be back to FP and Rangi!! (Why do we choose such far places???) :)<BR><BR>Thanks again!!

LordBalfor Apr 7th, 2003 07:49 PM

Can't pass up a deal like that. Have a great time.<BR><BR>Aloha,<BR><BR>Ken

lovetravel Apr 9th, 2003 07:54 PM

Thank you so much again!!<BR><BR>Aloha and mahalo!! :)

TomandSue Apr 12th, 2003 03:45 PM

Been to the Cooks twice during the last 3 years ( a very long way from the Wales in the UK but worth every mile). The main island of Raratonga is beautiful, swimming is great, snorkelling is excellent, cost of living is reasonable. Raratonga is a small island only 20 miles around but it has some good hotels, excellent places to eat and is unspoilt. Roads are very good. When you land on the island you are welcomed by Jake , singing local songs , whilst you wait to go through immigration - I gather that he welcomes nearly all flights and since they usually land in the middle of the night it is not a bad track record considering he is no longer a young man - far nicer welcome that you get in London or New York.<BR><BR>In all honesty this to me and Sue is the one of best place we have ever visited and that is saying a lot since we have been fortunate enough to visit over 50 countries.<BR><BR>I have got to admit though that the island of Akitaki is the best.If God created one place on earth that matches our idea of heaven then it must be &quot;one foot island&quot; on Akitaki. I had seen pictures of the place before but always thought they used filters, when it came to Akitaki , they were not needed.Please stay on Akitaki for a few days since it is basically paradise.<BR><BR>We have not visited Tahiti so we cannot comment but we have visited Fiji, ( the main island was very disappointing), snorkeling very bad, although I gather things are a lot better on the outer islands and Samoa in the South Pacific which was good but the Cooks win by a mile.<BR><BR>Hope wherever you go you enjoy, for us there is only place and that is the Cooks, which we hope to return again to this year. A lot of money to spend but worth every penny.


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