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Jean Michael Cousteau Resort is located on a peninsula that marks the south-eastern entrance to Savusavu Bay. From Savusavu Airport, it’s a short jaunt up and over the hill to Savusavu town and then an additional 10 minutes along a coastal dirt road to the Resort. As you get closer and closer, communications ensue between the driver and the Resort, “What’s your estimated time of arrival? Are you on the dirt road yet?”

“What’s this all about?” I muse… and then as we pull up to the round-about driveway that marks the resort’s entrance, I see a musical group and greeters assembled for my grand entrance. The door is opened for me as I step out into the welcoming chorus. A tropical drink is handed to me while my “carry-on” bags are sent on to my bure with all my other bags.

Greetings are concluded at the desk, just inside the entrance. Rote formalities ensue: “How was your trip? Are you enjoying Fiji? Is this your first time to Fiji?” I smile and before I can answer, the manager, Greg, smiles back with a twinkle in his eye, “I remember you! You came with your family 2 years ago.” Good memory, this one.

“Yep.” I look down at the two-page questionnaire: name, passport #, allergies, # of children in tow and their ages, activities desired, credit card#, etc., etc. The form reminds me of a doctor’s insurance form. As I fill it out I keep the conversation going with Greg. I’m not great at multi-tasking, so the form is filled out haphazardly.

The questions relating to children obviously don’t apply to me on this trip, but they were important when my niece and nephew accompanied me a few years past. Then, when we checked in, staff magically appeared to take the kids to Bula Club. Depending upon the age, children are assigned either a full time nanny (one-to-one attention) or grouped into small groups with an activities director. This Resort excels with children.

Upon finishing the last question, Greg snaps for an attendant (well, he doesn’t snap, but for all intensive purposes, the staff here are ready at all times for his direction) and says, “Well, are you ready to start your tour of the property?” I blink once or twice. This guy doesn’t waste any time. “Sure. Let me get my camera, tripod, and video camera ready.”

Greg looks at my Nikon as I pull it from my backpack, then sees my white balance expo-disc. “Oh, I’ve got a D90 too, but I haven’t acquired yet the expo-disc. I’m also thinking of getting the D300S.” I smile, “Oh wow, yeah, um, well yes, the expo-disc is really great.” I feel intimidated. He’s a little too knowledgeable about my photo equipment. I hope he doesn’t ask to see my pictures.

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