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Return to the Yasawa Princess 2014 (with pics) 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:32 pm Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
The Background
Dates - 10th Feb - 24th Feb 2014
Dates - 6th April - 13th April 2014

1st Trip Booked With - Desert Island Cruise
Flights - Sri-Lanka Airlines

2nd Trip Booked with Deep Blue Holidays
Flights - Swiss Airways

Camera's used - Canon 650d & for underwater pictures I used Canon S100 & a Canon G12 with a Light & Motion 1200 LED Photo Light.


This year I was lucky enough to have 2 holidays on the Yasawa Princess. I went for 2 weeks on the reunion cruise in Feb 2014 & then had a cheeky week in April 2014 during the UK Easter Holidays with my 14 year old son & a couple of friends.

Many people ask me why I keep going back (have been 4 times now & have already booked to return March 2015). We all have a favourite dish or TV show which we never get bored of and for me the Yasawa Princess is the ultimate way to see the Maldives. Every holiday I have had on board her has been amazing. Ive had holidays on a few islands (Meeru x 2, Bandos, Kuramathi & Biyadhoo) and had a wonderful time but, the Yasawa Princess takes the Maldives experience to the next level.



On a resort island you are stuck there with the same scenery every day. But, the Yasawa Princess takes you to a new island every day. But not just any old island, were talking desert islands, sandbanks in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters. Whilst growing up, I only saw those pictures of such locations on the chocolate BOUNTY adverts, but this is for real.




Also, being a diver, if you stay on an island, you are restricted to only diving on reefs & locations close to your resort. The YP takes her guests to visit the best of the North & South Atolls and the diver masters on board (Jambay, Irray & Issey) know the very best sites and will go out of their way to show you some amazing locations & marine life.

The Dhoni accompanies the YP through out holiday.



At this point, can I just point out that the guests (no children) on board the YP are varied in age & every time I have been on board, only 20% - 30% have been divers. The rest of the guests are on board to simply chill & snorkel & take in the amazing views, islands & sunsets.

Other questions I have been asked .. does the rocking of the boat make you sea sick? No, shes a medium sized vessel (33 cabins) and the journey between the islands very between 2 4 hours. The YP sets sail quite early (around 6 7pm) and usually gets to her destination by breakfast. Then spends the whole day/night anchored off the chosen island. I have NEVER been sea sick whilst on board.

So, onwards to my 2014 holiday experience & pictures. The Feb 2014 holiday was classed as a reunion cruise which basically gave anyone that had been on board before a discount. We flew with Sri-Lanka Airways. The second holiday was booked due to spotting some really cheap flights via Swiss Airways (450 return) and as my son had just passed his PADI Open Water Diving Course, I thought Id treat him to a week in the Maldives.

The Yasawa Princess



Build in 1984, shes 54.90m x 11m, has a cruising speed of 10-12 knots, has 33 cabins & can take a maximum of 60 passengers. Shes not a luxurious vessel but she has character & the owners & look after her well, continuously improving & maintaining her. For me, its just a place to sleep on as I spend all my time either diving or sitting in a blue lagoon off a desert island. She has a fully stocked ALL INCLUSIVE Bar managed by the brilliant Diggy, a full on Kitchen managed by the their amazing Chef Vijay who serves some amazing food. Vijay will go out of his way to make sure everyone is fed well & fully satisfied. The YP also has a sundeck, a bridge room and there are 3 types of cabins.

My room .... perfectly sufficient for my needs. After all, who goes on holiday to a destination like the Maldives & spends the entire time in their room/cabin ... unless you are on you're honeymoon Wink



The Sunsets

Every night gives us a new location with some amazing sunsets . Who needs HD when you have the real thing. Whether you are at the back of the ship sipping on a refreshing G&T or you are on one of the Picnic Islands with a rum & coke, there's nothing better than having a drink in your hand whilst watching the the sunset colors change every few minutes.









This one is probably one of the best sunset pictures I have ever taken probably!! ... and yes, the YP serve Draft San Miguel larger. And if San Miguel is not your thing, then stick a large slice of orange in it .... trust me!!




Night Fishing
The YP organises night fishing for all the guests once a week (sometimes two). If youre lucky, you will catch loads, but sometimes things dont go to plan & you come back with very little its a combination of the time of year, the tides and the location you are fishing in .... and a little bit of luck.

Ive always managed to catch something although the big ones always got away. My son was very pleased to catch his first ever fish ... a small Barracuda



On one of the fishing trips, someone caught a Moray Eel, but we did manage to unhook it & throw it back into the sea without losing our fingers.




The Night BBQ

One of the highlights of the holiday is the Night BBQ. The YP staff go above & beyond to organise an amazing evening for the guests giving then a night to remember (and a hang over to go with it).

Remember, the staff have to transfer all the tables, chairs, sound system (for the disco), drinks & food from the YP to the island, and then transfer it all back in the early hours of the morning.

But, before the works starts, a quick game of football.



And dont forget to light the BBQ . "LOOK AT MY CREATION .... MAN MAKE FIRE!"



Then work starts on the sand sculptures





And the results are stunning




Followed by another perfect sunset ...



A perfect full moon for a Night BBQ



The Results



The Diving

As I mentioned, I have yet to find a location around the world which surpasses what the oceans of the Maldives has to offer.

Amazing colours & detail if you can get close enough



It's like being dropped into a giant fish tank



Beautiful fish of all sizes & colours



Everybody loves a clown fish ...



And there are always Surgeon Fish to be found at the start & end of your dives ... they like to play with your bubbles



And small groups of Sweet Lips love to give you the eye ...



Everybody loves turtles and the ones we found were not shy & allowed us to get real close





Moray Eels .... as amazing as they are, they still give me the goose bumps



This year, we were lucky enough to swim up close with dozens of Eagle Rays ...



Huge Sting Rays .... pretty evil looking ones too



And sharks galore ...



Every time I post a picture of a Shark, people seem to freak out, but the sharks found in the Maldives are mainly Black Tip, White Tip Silver Tip, Grey Reef, and if you are lucky Hammerhead Sharks (which I still have to cross off my list), and all of these sharks are all harmless ... unless you go tug its tale ... then you may be in for a surprise.




But there is one shark that is dangerous & is rarely seen in the Maldives ... we were lucky to have one appear at the rear of the ship when the chef disposed of tuna fish ends into the sea. This Tiger Shark ate all the fish ends before disappearing. Surprisingly, nobody wanted to go snorkeling or diving that afternoon.



We were lucky enough to see loads of Nurse Sharks & huge Rays on the night diving



Although we didn't manage to get to dive with Manta's, we did manage to snorkel with some ..



And finally, if you are lucky enough, you'll get to snorkel with these gentle giants ... Whale Sharks. We were very lucky to see two in Feb & one in April. Remember, if Whale Sharks or Manta Rays are on your bucket list of things to see, then you have a high probability seeing them with the YP.




If you would like details on the Yasawa Princess & prices, then please get in touch with Gordon at RTC Travel (www.rtctravel.co.uk/) or Michelle at Koamas Luxury Escapes (https://www.koamastravel.com/).

And if you have any questions, feel free to PM me.


Hope you enjoyed the read & the pictures.

Regards

Chas


Last edited by Chas & Maxi on Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:56 pm; edited 4 times in total

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:35 pm Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1457
Location: Cumbria
Nice one Chas..really enjoyed your adventure and amazing pics.
The YP seems just a nice size vessel not too big or too small. Get a good range of guests and nationalitys and should be a very sociable experience.

Cheers for taking the time to tell us all about it Smile

Casey Cool

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:38 pm Reply with quote
gailmail65
Joined: 03 Sep 2012
Posts: 423
I was born in Cumbria. Live in Northolt, Middlesex Nice to see fellow Maldives people - from both counties on here! small world isn't it?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:58 am Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
Gailmail65 .... I live in Greenford .... just down the road from you

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:09 am Reply with quote
RobandClaire
Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 50
Really enjoyed your pictures, thanks for posting Chas Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:24 pm Reply with quote
gailmail65
Joined: 03 Sep 2012
Posts: 423
Chas & Maxi wrote:
Gailmail65 .... I live in Greenford .... just down the road from you


Yes,I notced, hence my comment about Middlesex/Cumbria. Small world!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:09 pm Reply with quote
ivorfatarse
Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 795
This is on my to do list,but not yet. Back to Meeru first. Great trip report.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:44 am Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
Going back to Meeru is on my list of things to do too Smile

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:10 am Reply with quote
CalebPierce
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 6
Wow! So cool views.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
Just booked to go back March 2016 for 2 weeks of cruising the best of the north & south atolls.

Like Meeru, I keep going back because it is so good. If you've been on the 3 day Meeru cruises, then you will love the YP. Imagine each day spending a time on a different desert island. The chance to snorkel with Manta Rays & Whale Sharks. Amazing food & food & all inclusive bar.

Can't wait.

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