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Old December 7th, 2008, 02:55 AM
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Default Rarotonga-Cook Islands

We had the pleasure of visiting Rarotonga on a cruise last year from Sydney to Hawaii. One thing none of the books tell you is that on Rarotonga, the entire island shuts down early on Saturday afternoon and does not reopen until Monday morning! By 2 o'clock on Saturday, almost everything (stores, cafes, even the hardware store!) closes down so the people can get ready for church on Sunday. There is an awesome flea market in the port area, but that too, pretty much wraps up by 1 or so. I imagine Sunday is even quieter.
There were a few stalls set up at the pier, even they closed up before sail off time! One stall had BEAUTIFUL flower arrangements which I am sure they could have sold 100 times that day- but no! They were for church the next day!! It was a beautiful place, but it would have been nice to know ahead of time that everything shut down early- we found out as we were gently urged out the door of every place we tried to stop in! One place did have the sense to stay open for us- I spent almost $300 there!!
Just out of curiousity, I look to see when various cruises make their stops at Rarotonga and it is amazing how many of them stop on Saturday and Sunday! Unless you are set up on some sort of sightseeing only excursion, there is NOTHING going on!!
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Old December 7th, 2008, 09:25 PM
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If you go to the South Pacific and really need "somthing to to" you are in a world of hurt. Just my opinion.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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We were in Bora Bora on a Sunday and a Monday. We were strongly advised that if we wanted to have something to do on Sunday, we'd be wise to book a ship's excursion because the entire island pretty much shuts down on Sunday. They are a very religious people on those islands ... primarily Catholics ... and they take the "Lord's Day" very seriously. No work whatsoever. I was actually shocked that even Bloody Mary's was closed on Sunday.

That's the neat thing about travel, though. You get exposed to a variety of cultures ... many of them totally unlike what you are used to at home.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:41 AM
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You could go to church on any Sunday you are in port and get to know the locals?
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