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OMG - Looking at a 3rd visit for my 50th ....advice please 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:31 pm Reply with quote
sharon&kevin
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 155
Location: East Yorkshire
Good evening All

I really want to scream from the hill tops, my husband has decided we are to visit Meeru for the 3rd time next year, for my 50th Birthday treat around February March time. We were last there in 2010, and have longed to go back ever since. I cannot believe the prices are so high, and its looking like a week is all we can really afford. I had my 3rd daughter in July 2011, and would really like to take her with us, so I'm looking at some advice on the best tour operator.

Direct flights preferred
All inclusive essential
Cheapest time of year but not the rainy season
Are the garden rooms ok, only ever stayed in over water, and water bungalows
Can children stay in Jacuzzi rooms

Thanks in advance

Sharon

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:30 pm Reply with quote
Humble Jim
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 6197
Location: Leeds, UK
Hi Sharon Very Happy

I'm going to respond to your requirements first, if I may, before putting some travel provider suggestions up for consideration.

sharon&kevin wrote:

Direct flights preferred


If you're looking to fly from anywhere in the North this is not an option (but if someone knows different then let us know!). There used to be from Manchester several years ago, but no more. I note you're in an adjoining part of Yorkshire to us.

As far as I'm aware the only direct flights go from London Airports now (and even then perhaps only Gatwick?).

From Manchester you have a bunch of non-direct choices that stop in the Gulf, these being Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Emirates. I think - possibly - Sri Lankan goes from Manchester too but I'm not 100% about that.

sharon&kevin wrote:

All inclusive essential


All holiday providers will offer that. Possibly some will offer only that, with others offering Full Board and AI. Alternative is to go Full Board and upgrade to AI on island on arrival (you'd need to check what the on-island upgrade to AI would cost).

sharon&kevin wrote:

Cheapest time of year but not the rainy season


Hmm. You mention Feb / March. Unfortunately that corresponds to High Season in the Maldives which is the most expensive time. Usually things are a bit cheaper in April or later but once you're into May / June you are in the wetter / most overcast part of the year.

In your position I would not go all that distance for a week if I could avoid it at all. Consider getting quotes for a 10 night stay instead. 10 days is the new fortnight for many people now. Whatever the length of your stay you'll be spending a day and a half or more just getting there and back.

sharon&kevin wrote:

Are the garden rooms ok, only ever stayed in over water, and water bungalows


See my photo based report here (if you haven't already): http://www.meeru.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14714

They are an excellent budget option. Yes, basic compared to what you've stayed in before but rooms are well appointed and in easy reach of both the main restaurant and the very new children / toddler facilities on the island (and indeed they are near everything else on Meeru).

sharon&kevin wrote:

Can children stay in Jacuzzi rooms


"No" is short answer to that. Beach Villas (non-Jacuzzi type) are the alternative (pricier) family accommodation to Garden Rooms.


Travel Provider Suggestions
==================

Find the web sites sites for these but ring them for actual quotes I would. Then trade off the best against each other. The golden rule is never pay list price!

ē Simply Maldives
ē Purely Maldives
ē Magic of Maldives
ē Travelbag
ē Travel Designers

The above can sometimes be cheaper than other Maldives holiday agents such as these below (who are also worth contacting just in case they have some special deals on that just happen to match or beat the above):

ē Kuoni
ē Hayes & Jarvis / Thomson Tailormade
ē Thomas Cook Signature


I would also contact Emirates Airline. They do whole package holidays to the Maldives inc Meeru. We've met a couple of people who've gone that route before now.

I hope the above assists Cool


HJ
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:49 pm Reply with quote
JoanneLorna
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 535
Location: stafford
Hi Sharon
HJ has posed some really good advice here

I would add a few things from my perspective:

I didnít fancy a stop off flight back in the past but having done it I would never want to fly direct these days- I need and want the stop over and now donít find the long distance travel such a bind.

Consider the extra days as the bulk of the cost is your flights so a day or two more is only adding room cost and AI. I personally love 7 nights and have just returned from a one week stay. I think if it was your first visit it may be too short as it always takes a few days to get your head around your location but if youíre familiar then you settle straight in. We also go for 12 nights and I have to admit I find this a little too long.

Children in over the water or jacuzzi rooms is an odd one. I have seen families from other countries with young children using these rooms and often wondered how. It canít be a Maldivian law or Meeru rule and it canít be a British tour operator rule as I have friends who take children to similar rooms in Mexico . That said I think the garden rooms now look superb and the money you save by booking these may free up a few pennies for an extra night

Good luck with your plans - itís so exciting to think youíll be going back

Jo x

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:43 pm Reply with quote
sharon&kevin
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 155
Location: East Yorkshire
Thank you both so much for your advice Smile

Although, after checking the prices for 7 nights on Meeru, it did seem to offer a full 7 days & nights on the island, however, 10 nights does sound a great option, & I didn't even think of it.

It's a shame Manchester have knocked off those direct flights, but I guess indirect could be an option for us, to be honest we are so happy to be going back, we are open to anything. I thought the reason was due to less people choosing to holiday in the Maldives, mainly down to cost. However our friend who works there, has confirmed the island is more often than not full. The children's facilities sound interesting, but I know my daughter will just love it, regardless!

This weekend will see us definitely making those calls, I shall let you know once booked Very Happy

Thanks again, Sharon xx

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:40 pm Reply with quote
Shanksy
Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 1442
Location: GLASGOW
I am so jealous, and I can't believe Jo said 12 nights is too long Wink

Contact one of the forum members Janster who now works as an Independent Travel Agent. Whilst our Meeru dream fell on it's knees this year for various reasons we fully intend to go back next year and she will be my first port of call.

We've been in February, October and May. May was the cheapest and the weather was more than OK, February was most expensive and in hindsight whilst we loved it at the time it was too hot, October would be my second choice but only because I've 10 months of the year to get to it.....

Enjoy!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:12 pm Reply with quote
sharon&kevin
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 155
Location: East Yorkshire
Thanks Shanksy

We are just putting some prices together now Smile

Indirect flights to Sri Lanka aren't too bad, your practically there Laughing

Don't be jealous, your time will come again. Believe me when I say I've waited 7 years for this, it's been a very long and painful wait. I cried when we first ever stepped foot on MEERU, and I've never found anywhere quite like it since x

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:47 pm Reply with quote
JoanneLorna
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 535
Location: stafford
Hi Shanksy
Good to hear from you again

My reasons for finding 12 nights a bit much ( donít get me wrong I really appreciate being there)

1) we re both fair skinned and the head to toe sun screen application everyday ( and the reaction I have) starts to become a pain
2) meeru seats - all so uncomfortable
3) no decent (real ale) beer
4) outside toilet at night

That said 12 nights there I would never say no to

Sharon - itís sounds like youíre getting a good plan together/ plenty of affordable options

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:07 pm Reply with quote
Shanksy
Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 1442
Location: GLASGOW
JoanneLorna wrote:
Hi Shanksy
Good to hear from you again

My reasons for finding 12 nights a bit much ( donít get me wrong I really appreciate being there)

1) we re both fair skinned and the head to toe sun screen application everyday ( and the reaction I have) starts to become a pain
2) meeru seats - all so uncomfortable
3) no decent (real ale) beer
4) outside toilet at night

That said 12 nights there I would never say no to

Sharon - itís sounds like youíre getting a good plan together/ plenty of affordable options


Oh I know all very valid reasons bit I personally think 7 nights is too short in case u don't get the weather unless of course u can go more than once a year lol X

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:51 pm Reply with quote
Janster
Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 273
Thanks for the recommendation Caroline. Always happy to help a fellow Meeru Lover x
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:58 pm Reply with quote
sharon&kevin
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 155
Location: East Yorkshire
Hi Shanksy

Thanks so much for your tip in contacting Jan. She did her absolute best for us and came back with a fab price. Were going back!! 21st March, 10 nights in a Beach Villa. We are sooooooo excited xx

Thanks HJ, it was good to have all the different options before we booked Smile

Thanks again Jan Smile

Sharon xx

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:36 pm Reply with quote
Janster
Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 273
It was my pleasure Sharon,

I totally know how excited you feel as it's now only 38 days til we head back. I think this is the most excited about going out of all the times I've been.

Jan x
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:40 am Reply with quote
Shanksy
Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 1442
Location: GLASGOW
That's great you got a good deal happy to recommend Jan, patience of a Saint that one Laughing

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OMG - Looking at a 3rd visit for my 50th ....advice please 
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