Lifou, Loyalty Island – a whale of an island!! See… Doesn’t it look like a whale?
And… no rain!! The humidity was high and it remained overcast. But we were ecstatic to get to enjoy this beautiful island without the rain. It’s an unspoiled beauty, for sure.
It was a very special day for the natives. It was the very first time Royal Caribbean has brought a ship here. It’s a custom for RCI to do a presentation to the local authorities the first time a ship ports in a new place. They were so happy to have us, they really went all out. They had children singing and greeting us at the dock. Adults were singing and dancing in their “Pavilion”. The chiefs from the seven tribes came together to welcome us. Captain Stein made a nice speech and gave them a lovely plaque to commemorate the occasion. They presented him with a handmade wooden canoe with “Rhapsody” carved into the side. They also gave him an orchid lei and tied on a sarong. Then they offered a buffet of local food and drink to everyone. Later on we saw all of the chiefs on board having lunch in the Windjammer with several staff members. It was just incredible to get to be a part of it. I took sooooo many pictures. I’ll try to narrow down to a few.
Even though their existence is meager, they take great pride in their home. We saw lots of these huts and every one had such a nice yard around it. They decorate with sea shells and flowers
The coastline was a combination of sandy beach and coral cliffs with grottos. The sand was ground up coral, so not as soft as the sand at Isle of Pines. The water was crystal clear and would have been spectacular if it wasn’t reflecting the dull grey sky. You could see the coral reef easily without even getting in the water.
It was the perfect place for our last port. I can’t even believe I’m saying those words. We’re starting to feel the dread of traveling home. I spent a good deal of the afternoon studying the cruises for 2011. So many places… so little time. Bruce worked all afternoon – in fact, he still is. Someone has to pay for all the cruises I drooled over today!
We have 2 sea days as we travel back to Sydney. Captain Stein promised us smooth seas and sunny skies. I hope he’s a man of his word.