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Alicia and Paul's Trip report 13th - 28th Oct 2010 PHOTOS 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:07 am Reply with quote
Alicia and Paul
Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 144
Location: Sheffield
I will try to keep words to a minimum and use photos as they will tell you much more. I also have some HD videos but they have not been sorted and put together yet.


We woke up early on the Wednesday morning excited that the day was finally here. We booked to go to Meeru 15 months before the departure date so we had a good amount of time for you guys to help us out with all our questions and find out all about the island.



We flew direct from Manchester on the Thomson/FC flight. The flight out was delayed by around 1 hour while they checked the engines. This was almost made back due to some good tail winds most of the way.

The flight itself was good, the staff, food and entertainment were also good. The only small downside was that you had to pay an extra £5 to upgrade the entertainment service so you could start the movies/tv shows on demand rather than hope you catch the start of something.


We had pre-booked window seats so coming into sight of the Maldives was awesome, luckily it was a clear day so we could see them in all their glory. Something I recommend you wake up for during the flight!









The speed boat transfer was fine due to the good weather. Once arrived we were led to the Kakuni bar to await our fate. Room or no room? We were prepared to haggle should we be downgraded or pushed towards a cruise.


Luckily Peter (First Choice/Thomson rep) came over with the key for beach villa 203. Just what we had paid for and requested via email a week or so earlier. We did see a few people pulled to one side to advise they do not have the room they paid for. I think this issue is not so bad if you are prepared for it as you can then use it to gain further upgrades/perks. However not great if you are not aware this could happen.

The room was in a great location very close to the Asian Wok and relatively quiet in terms of passers by. Having checked out the other beach villas we would say low 200's and high 200s would be our preference. High 200's benefiting from being close to the Pavillion and new pool. However in our opinion the beach villas occupy the most picturesque part of the island so which ever room you are in you wont be disappointed.



Once in the room it was time for lunch so it was a quick change then off to the Farivalhu restaurant. Our waiter was Waseem, he tells us he is famous on trip advisor. We can see why, a funny funny guy. A real happy chappy as he liked to say. He kept us entertained with his napkin folding skills.

The food over the two weeks was overall very very good. Id say the best food I have had from a hotel. I had something different 90% of the evenings. I think fussy eaters may find it repetitive but for me it was great. We especially loved the Friday curry night. One tip... the mango chutney is amazing! It did seem to be available most nights not just Friday. The deserts always had a good selection especially the warm chocolate sponge with chocolate custard on top! yum! A large variety of fruit was also available at every meal time.




Our days were spent either relaxing on the beach, or by the Pavillion pool followed by some snorkeling or a walk around parts of the island stopping off at a bar for a refreshment. The first week there was a constant strong breeze on the western side of the island. It was amazing how one side could be so windy and the other, walking only a few feet past the Wok was calm and still.






Some other shots mainly down the Eastern shoreline...







The best area we found for snorkeling was up at the northern tip under the 700's and overwater spa. Some huge rays and much larger black tip reef sharks than you see around the shoreline.

Some pics from under and around 700's...









We did the house reef snorkeling trip - this is worth the $6 each but because it was so choppy and a strong current we found it difficult to get close to the coral without being in danger of being pushed onto it.

The house reef is still impressive but you cannot get as close to the coral and fish as you can elsewhere closer to the island.







Some other pics from around the island shoreline











The strangest fish ive ever seen, it was so tiny and pretended to be a piece of drifting green weed. It took about 50 shots to capture it so you could see it.




On the first Sunday it was time to put on my football kit, I was really looking forward to playing in the staff vs guests matches whilst there. I knew it would be hot and hard work but wow it seemed like playing in a sauna! Plus the fact that I had been eating and drinking so much didn't help.
The first Sunday we played the bar and restaurant staff and I am proud to have played my part in the heaviest defeat the guests have ever had at Meeru. It finished 17 - 2 ...... oh dear



The 2nd week we played Guest Transport, having spoken to a few of the bar staff including Mirfan at Hotrocks/Pavillion and Naseem in the Kakuni bar (both played in the first match and were brilliant footballers) they told us they were one of the weaker department teams. It was a much closer game finishing 8 - 7 to the staff. All good fun and the pitch is fantastic.





One afternoon we hired a kayak to paddle around the island, this turned out to be a bit of a mistake, that day was one of the most windy days possible. The current was also really strong around some parts it was a battle to not go backwards.


Alot of evenings started with sunset at the Asian Wok, we were treated to some amazing sunsets during the two weeks. Its a must for anyone to go to the Wok at least once for sunset even if you are the other end of the island.







One evening Alicia even spotted a chicken in the sunset...




After dinner we would go for a few drinks and relax. We enjoyed the pavillion bar the most. Very relaxed atmosphere but lively at the same time.




We checked out a few of the other evenings like the crab racing night, divers night, Maldivian cultural evening, and the live band nights etc. Often we would stay in the Kakuni bar for one or two drinks then head off elsewhere.


Some other evening shots...


300's by star and moonlight


The Asian Wok at night


The Pavillion pool by night



Before we went we knew we would be there for the full moon dinner so we signed up as soon as we could. It was a really nice evening and the food was brilliant. If you are there for a full moon dinner just do it, you will not regret it Smile






Around the island you will spot lots of wildlife, below are a few we found, the hermit crab wanted to give me a hug












We had almost perfect weather for the duration of the 2 weeks. The first week and half was wall to wall sunshine with hardly a cloud in the sky during the day. However we think it rained in the middle of the night once as we were woken up by the noise. The final 2-3 days were a little more cloudy during the day, and again there was the odd shower overnight. Only on the final day did we see daytime rain. The morning was mainly overcast with a couple of 5 minute showers. The afternoon brought more sunshine just in time to top up the tan before we left the next morning.



Some other snaps


The windy side



Seeking shade



Pavillion pool at sunrise



First light





Sunrise on the eastern coast




Views from the Wok





Sand



I am struggling to find any negatives with Meeru, rather than negatives here are things that I think would improve the island:

A house reef accessible from the beach - There is plenty to see around the island but the house reef would really top it off

More sand on the inner paths of the island - While we were there we saw guys replacing sand on numerous paths but because of the use of vehicles to transport items and other machinery the paths tend to get compacted and sand displaced. This is not really avoidable with the size that Meeru is but again if I had a magic wand this is something I would improve.


Often people have mentioned the fact you have to sign for every drink even on AI. We didn't find this to be the case, most bars would allow the room tab to build up over days and then sign for it all in one go. So this was never an issue for us. I think if we had had more non-AI drinks this might have been different but for us no problem at all.


Tips

Like people have mentioned before always take a couple of extra bottles of water from the bar/restaurant for your room
Go All Inclusive - I think we drank the cost of the upgrade in water alone.
Snorkel under the 700's
If you have delicate feet then beach shoes are advised as some of the coral is very sharp
Watch the sunset from the Asian Wok with the drink of your choice
Get up early to see the sunrise


Would we go again? Yes in a heartbeat! It would be tempting to try another island, however I have a feeling we would not be able to top Meeru without having a much, much higher budget. Vilamendhoo would definitely be a possibility as it looks like it will become a smaller more intimate version of Meeru. We have already been pricing up in the hope we can go again.






The End

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:54 am Reply with quote
nannamaggs
Joined: 16 Jan 2009
Posts: 134
Location: wirral
wow that took me back tyvm , you really captured meeru in both word and pictures, we would love to return but the prices are getting silly and there are a few more places to visit that are reasonable priced, but in the mean time i pop onto here to get a subtle reminder of our great time on meeru
thank you again for a great trip report
Marg

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Alicia & Paul's Report 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:00 pm Reply with quote
desandjackie
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 13
What a fantastic trip report, very accurate in all ways, and your photos are amazing, brought back all our wonderfuly memories, lovely meeting you both, we are the couple that showed you our Water Villa - even though we were only in it for 1 night.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:05 pm Reply with quote
Humble Jim
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 6234
Location: Leeds, UK
Awesome report, beautifully illustrated Very Happy .

Really great photo work. Huge range of subject material there too.

I also remember some of those very sunsets!
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1497
Location: Cumbria
Many thanks for taking the time to do such a fabulous report Very Happy
Really enjoyed reading it and the photography was top notch. thumleft

One evening Alicia even spotted a chicken in the sunset...



That is a freaky shot..well spotted Laughing Laughing

Alicia and Paul wrote:

The first Sunday we played the bar and restaurant staff and I am proud to have played my part in the heaviest defeat the guests have ever had at Meeru. It finished 17 - 2 ...... oh dear


Are you sure that was football & not rugby you were playing Laughing

Thanks again...

Casey

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:43 pm Reply with quote
sid407
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 90
Location: Doncaster
Paul/Alicia

Fantastic trip report and photos.... i now think we did see each other...one evening we were on the beach watching the sun set and you were sat on the sunbeds next to us.... i think you have a camera on a tripod?????

Think i would say ditto to everything you said.... however i am still working on mine

Regards

Glen

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Re: trip report 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:13 pm Reply with quote
Alicia and Paul
Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 144
Location: Sheffield
Thanks everyone, I have been putting this trip report together bit by bit over the last week in any spare time ive had Smile

Despite the heavy defeat the football match was great, i'd recommend anyone that likes to play to take their boots.


sid407 wrote:
Paul/Alicia

Fantastic trip report and photos.... i now think we did see each other...one evening we were on the beach watching the sun set and you were sat on the sunbeds next to us.... i think you have a camera on a tripod?????

Think i would say ditto to everything you said.... however i am still working on mine

Regards

Glen


Thanks Glen,

Yeah it possibly was us, I did have a Gorillapod tripod out a few times on the beach sun lounges in front of our room. Shame we didnt realise it was you guys

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:43 pm Reply with quote
helenpea
Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 1133
Location: Cleveland
Thanks for your report, superb pics too thumright

Helen Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:44 pm Reply with quote
shazdav
Joined: 09 Feb 2010
Posts: 7
Hi Alicia & Paul

Fantastic pictures! Would be interested to know what camera you used particularly for the underwater pics. Really enjoyed looking at them.

We were in room 203 the 2 weeks before you (30 September to 14 October) - it was our 30th wedding anniversary!

Meeru is definitely addictive and we're totally hooked!
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:36 pm Reply with quote
1983_Sarah
Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 1040
Location: Southampton
Hello Alicia and Paul

Many thanks for the trip report and glad you had such a brilliant time on Meeru and it was all you had hoped for your honeymoon!

I LOVED your photos - the hermit one was cute Very Happy Looks like you had some amazing sunsets too you lucky things

We are booked to go to Villamendhoo next July for 2 weeks for our honeymoon

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:16 pm Reply with quote
helen m
Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 633
Location: Liverpool
Thanks for taking the time to prepare and post such a great report and fantastic photos
Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:32 pm Reply with quote
Alicia and Paul
Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 144
Location: Sheffield
shazdav wrote:
Hi Alicia & Paul

Fantastic pictures! Would be interested to know what camera you used particularly for the underwater pics. Really enjoyed looking at them.

We were in room 203 the 2 weeks before you (30 September to 14 October) - it was our 30th wedding anniversary!

Meeru is definitely addictive and we're totally hooked!


Hi shazdav, thank you very much. Ah we must have moved into 203 very soon after you left
All pics were taken with a Panasonic TZ7 and for the underwater ones I had purchased the official Panasonic marine case (MCTZ7E). I was impressed with the underwater mode on the camera, I thought it did a good job reducing the blue haze and bringing out the colours of the fish and coral.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:39 pm Reply with quote
Alicia and Paul
Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 144
Location: Sheffield
1983_Sarah wrote:


We are booked to go to Villamendhoo next July for 2 weeks for our honeymoon



Thanks Sarah, we're looking forward to seeing the trip reports coming in from Vilamendhoo in the coming months to see how it is Cool Cool

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Mark
Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 1212
Location: Midsomer Norton
A lovely read, and some of the best underwater photos I have seen on this forum.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:30 am Reply with quote
shazdav
Joined: 09 Feb 2010
Posts: 7
Hi Alicia & Paul

So impressed with your pics, wondered if you mind us sending the link to a couple of friends we met while on Meeru. Sure they would love to see them too! Many thanks for the information on the camera and underwater case, we are going to look into this!
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Alicia and Paul's Trip report 13th - 28th Oct 2010 PHOTOS 
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