Maldives...Anyone?

HumanShield

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Oct 8, 2008
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Maldives is epic- what you see on the pamphlets is what you get.

The advice we were given before we left was:
  1. Stay off the main island unless you want to hear planes coming in and out all day/night- a sea plane ride is and epic experience so I'd suggest looking for an island that is a bit away from the main island. Also, if you guys get sea sick, don't consider the boat transfer and look for a sea plan option.
From our trip:
  1. Don't fly with Qatar- we lost a full day due to a delay on their side and got zero compensation/revolting sandwiches to eat in Doha Airport and we lost out a full day of our honeymoon- fly Emirates/Direct
  2. Go for full board/half board or at least ensure that water is included in your package
  3. Water Villa's are nice- maybe book 1 night in one as a suprise for your Mrs but there's really nothing wrong with a beach villa- it's absolute paradise!
  4. At $5 a bottle of water and not having a drinks package, we landed up collecting the complementary water bottles which they gave us daily (1l per person daily) and filled up our bottles using the aqua cooler in the gym - sneaky move but it saved us big dosh considering how hot is was.
  5. Not sure if it's still there but we found a pay to go lounge at the airport when we left for home - it was spotless compared to the normal airport so this is worth spending the money on.
Maldives is awesome... don't let anyone convince you otherwise :D

Edit: I've seen some suggestions re Thailand - Thailand is also great but far far far far far more commercial. If you're looking for a proper couples get away, Maldives is your go to place
Flew recently with Qatar. Nothing but good things to say about them. No delays or anything of the sort.
The delay coming back was courtesy of the Maldives airport check in. There isn't enough capacity to handle the traffic and things end up getting delayed. The airport is chaos though. But that's what you get for an island airport in the middle of being upgraded.
 

MaisonP

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Flew recently with Qatar. Nothing but good things to say about them. No delays or anything of the sort.
The delay coming back was courtesy of the Maldives airport check in. There isn't enough capacity to handle the traffic and things end up getting delayed. The airport is chaos though. But that's what you get for an island airport in the middle of being upgraded.
I agree.

Qatar is the best of the 3 Middle eastern carriers.

Singapore airlines which is a step up from the above 3 is also an amazing experience and they do a quick stopover in Changi airport. They are also the quickest flight you can take from SA.

I choose Qatar because I really enjoy Doha airport and the shopping there. It makes emirates look average.
 

Muttley

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I'd also suggest using holidayfactory - only had great service from them
 

Athos

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Sep 11, 2005
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I've been to the Maldives. To that exact resort. Get the all inclusive package.

We had an amazing time.

*Edit: When you go take a good torch with you. The night life in the sea is unbelievable. That island is magic.
 

MusicalMan

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Nov 15, 2016
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I've been to the Maldives. To that exact resort. Get the all inclusive package.

We had an amazing time.

*Edit: When you go take a good torch with you. The night life in the sea is unbelievable. That island is magic.

The only thing putting me off is that bars apparently close at midnight - I'm guessing there isn't much night life after this
 

MusicalMan

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Sorry for this.....
How does the VPN story work?
I only ever used VPN (Windscribe) so my wife can watch shows playing on American Netflix
 

Athos

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The only thing putting me off is that bars apparently close at midnight - I'm guessing there isn't much night life after this
Yeah there is not much night life. It is a tiny little island you can pretty much walk around it in 15 mins.

All my wife and I did there was chill in the pool and drink cocktails. Snorkel the rest of the time (we took our own wetsuits, snorkels, masks and fins) so we came and went as we pleased. At night we ate and headed back to the room, had a night walks. I don't know why, but I packed in my led lenser torch, which was awesome, like I said. We saw a lot of sea life at night. There are small concrete piers (for lack of a better word) that you can walk out onto night and day. We didn't really mingle with the other occupants.

They have shark feeding some evenings which you can go and watch at the main pier. We had some pretty insane close encounters with small black tip reef sharks while snorkeling and standing knee deep in the water just outside our garden unit beach villa.

The island is actually very popular with surfers, apparently it is one of the better spots to surf in the Maldives. We don't surf so didn't really pay much attention to that side of the island.

When we were there (2013), there was still a lot of coral on the beach from the 2012 tsunami, so we packed in some beach footwear to deal with that.

That was about it, 7 days goes real quick when you are chilling to the max.
 
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MaisonP

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291
Sorry for this.....
How does the VPN story work?
I only ever used VPN (Windscribe) so my wife can watch shows playing on American Netflix

If you are booking flights and accommodation and going via the carrier or property directly.
If you use a VPN and say choose a server in Bangkok or Turkey or wherever, you should get cheaper prices than doing it logging in from South Africa.

If you are going to book your flights through a travel agent or Flight center, then dont worry.

I usually save around close to R1k on return flights to Bangkok or Phuket if i go via a VPN.
 

MusicalMan

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I looked around on a few of the resorts and I cannot find an all-inclusive package for some reason
 

Readsalot

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If you're up for the much longer flights, I'd definitely recommend Thailand. Thailand is huge, so there are many more options to explore. It's also known the world over for its food. If you do go to Thailand, I'd recommend booking a place to stay for the first few nights, then once you found your feet you can decide where to go next.
 

MaisonP

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Nov 9, 2020
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Phuket...
Okay don't need to go full board when going to Phuket.

You will be surrounded by streetfood, restaurants, 7/11's and everything else your heart desires.

If you are looking at Phuket, just get your accommodation sorted. You want something with a view, and something that you guys will feel comfortable with and obviously an aircon is a must. But 99% of the places has aircons.

When i travel to Phuket i usually budget max R1500 per night. Trust me, with that budget you can really find something amazing.

The rest you go as you wish. Dont bound yourselves when going to phuket. You dont want to eat 3 times a day at the hotel/resort.

And dont be worried at all if you havent yet travelled like this. I guarantee you that you guys will have a time of your life.
 

MaisonP

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Nov 9, 2020
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291
A
If you're up for the much longer flights, I'd definitely recommend Thailand. Thailand is huge, so there are many more options to explore. It's also known the world over for its food. If you do go to Thailand, I'd recommend booking a place to stay for the first few nights, then once you found your feet you can decide where to go next.
Agree. 15h:30m is the quickest to get there via Singapore Airlines and that includes a stopover of an hour at Changi
 

r0ckf1re

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Sep 14, 2021
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Phuket...
Stayed here:

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/hktmb-phuket-marriott-resort-and-spa-merlin-beach/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2&y_source=1_Mzg4NTYyNy03MTUtbG9jYXRpb24uZ29vZ2xlX3dlYnNpdGVfb3ZlcnJpZGU=

It was all inclusive

All Inclusive Inclusions:
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast from 06h30 until- 10h30.
Lunch: A la carte or set menu from 12h00 until 14h30.
Dinner: A la carte, set menu or buffet from 18h30 until 22h00.
Beverages: Free flow of house wines, local beer, juice, soft drinks, spirits, coffee or
tea and local drinking water from11h00 until 22h00.

Used a travel Agent from Flight centre. It was a while back though, not sure if Covid has impacted offerings.
 
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