- Overall this tour was amazing and very relaxing. We had one boat for 6 of us, so we had plenty of space. I have listed below some of the pros, cons and some tips, but in general I would really recommend this trip.
- The snorkelling was amazing. It was so relaxing as we just swam around with the fishes. Our guide was quite relaxed about us snorkelling on our own around the boat as well, so we had a lot of fun
- We didn't have to worry or think about a thing the whole time we were on the boat. Generally our time was spent waking up, eating cooked breakfast, cruising around for a bit while we sat on deck and read books or chatted, snorkelled, ate lunch, cruised a bit more, snorkelled a bit more etc.! All in beautiful scenery!
- The cabins are functional and very well equipped considering we were at sea for 6 nights. They have a shower and flushing toilet in each cabin, along with a bunk bed and a fan. They also provided showering towels and beach towels (clean ones were provided mid-week). Our beds were made daily while we were eating breakfast. The de-salination unit meant we always had water for a shower and the generator meant that we almost always had electricity
- Meals were cooked 3 times a day. Again all meals were very impressive considering we were on a boat
- Our guide (Teddie) was fun and is very passionate about what he does and the Maldives in general. He was constantly updating the map so we knew where we were and was good on the guided snorkels he took us on
- The crew were helpful, nice and professional. I felt like we were in safe hands all the way through the trip. If we went out snorkelling on our own, they always had an eye on us
- The meal we had on the beach of a deserted island was a real highlight. Two members of our group had their birthday on the same day while on the boat, so for that night the crew arranged dinner on an uninhabited island. I won't spoil the surprise for others going on this trip, but it was absolutely amazing and took the crew hours to prepare!
- Our 'welcome' at the airport was ok. Similar story to other reviews…We arrived and were told to sit and wait for everyone else, which we did for nearly an hour (despite the fact that we later found out everyone else was already at the hotel) before a briefcase arrived that had to be taken to Male and we went with him.
- As others have said, the walking tour on the first day was awful. Our tour leader introduced someone else as our guide (Saleem) and said he would take us around the city. This surly character barely spoke a word to us unless we asked him a question, at which point he rolled his eyes. Not only this, Male doesn’t really have much to offer, so he didn’t have much to talk about to be honest. We then ended up in a souvenir shop where he clearly had a deal with the owner (something I thought was quite ‘un-Explore’), at which point he suddenly became very talkative, telling us what things in the shop were, how much they were and how we should all buy something etc. If at all possible, I would suggest dropping this from the trip as it really didn’t set the scene well at all.
- I personally did not enjoy visiting the inhabited islands. We only visited one due to poor weather when we reached another island. To be honest there was not a lot to see. We aimlessly wandered around a tiny island while our tour leader pointed out the de-salination plant and ‘local’ concrete housing. Everyone got bitten all over by mosquitos and then we ended up sat outside the little shop while our tour leader bought phone cards and cigarettes. When we came out, the local women had suddenly decided to start working on a reed tapestry. I may just be really cynical, but the timing for tourist photographs seemed a bit too good.
- The snorkelling equipment is ok. I wish I had brought my own kit though (even just the snorkel and mask), so I might suggest bringing your own if you have it.
- Don’t bother taking too many ‘proper clothes’, we spent most of the time in swimming costumes etc. on the boat and only got dressed for about 2 hours in the evening. There isn’t a huge amount of space in the cabins, so bringing only clothes you will use is a plus!
Published on: 09 May 2016