Fiji and Samoa are both great, if for different reasons. Fiji is much larger with a much wider variety of resorts and activities. You'd never run out of things to see and do in Fiji. As you say, Samoa is more natural and less "touristy". It's the eco-tourism capital of the South Pacific where you can sleep in a thatched fale right on the beach for much less than you'd pay in Fiji. Samoan food is based on local ingredients while much of the food served to tourists in Fiji is imported. You can surf in both countries, although there's certainly a much wider choice of waves in Fiji. For safe beaches in Fiji you'll need to go to the outer islands as the beaches along Viti Levu's Coral Coast are exposed to undertow. Samoa has many excellent beaches with far fewer tourists sitting on them. All that said, Fiji is probably closer to the Rarotonga you enjoyed than Samoa. Resorts like Castaway in Fiji cater almost exclusively to Australian families. In Samoa, Aggie's Beach Resort is package tourist heaven but maybe not for you. Here's an idea: Your folks will be paying for this trip, right? Well let your mom take you to Fiji this time. In a few years when you are paying your own expenses, go to Samoa where your dollars will take you a lot further. Good luck!