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Back To The Yasawa Princess (Maldives) - 21Jan - 04Feb 2013 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:41 pm Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
Return To The Yasawa Princess (Maldives) - 21st Jan - 4th Feb 2013

The Background
Dates - 21st Jan - 4th Feb 2012
Booked With - Deep Blue Holidays & flights booked with Southall Travel
Flights - Emirates from Heathrow (via Dubai)
Camera's used - Canon 650d & for underwater pictures I used Canon S100 with Ikelite Housing & Light & Motion 1200 LED Photo Light.

This was my 6th trip to the Maldives (previously stayed on Meeru, Bandos, Kuramathi & Biyadhoo). Last Feb 2012 I booked 2 weeks stay on the Yasawa Princess & had such an amazing time that I had to book to return.


The Journey



After a couple of nervous weeks of monitoring the weather, it just so happened that the weekend I had planned to fly was plagued with flight cancellations due to the adverse weather conditions in the UK. Thankfully, luck was on my side and the delays were mainly UK & European flight. International flights from Heathrow seemed unaffected & flight EK002 A380 airbus took off on time with no delays. Although many people prefer a direct flight to the Maldives, I still think that the A380 is the ultimate way to fly. Plenty of legroom, the ultimate in entertainment & excellent food & drink. There was a 45min delay on my transfer due to the late arrival of some flights from Gatwick but this was not a problem. The new Concourse A terminal in Dubai (which is a purpose-built facility for the A380) is very impressive.



After a wonder around, I spent an hour in the Jack Daniels Bar and before you know it, it was time for the second leg of the flight.



The second leg is always known as the sleeper flight & before you new it we were approaching Male. Immigration was the usual process depending on which queue you were, you either moved quickly or very slowly. Guess which queue I ended up in again. The luggage was waiting for me once I got through & upon exit to the arrivals area I found the new customer relations person Faya was waiting for me holding up the Yasawa Princess sign. I quickly popped into the phone shop to top up my Dhigguru Data Sim (3gb for $20) which I purchased last year. Then it was a short 15 minute Dhoni ride to the Yasawa Princess.


The Yasawa Princess
The Yasawa Princess cruised the Yasawa Islands in Fiji for many years before eventually being transferred to the Maldives. She was built in Fiji as a bespoke boutique cruise ship for a maximum of 66 guests and 25 Crew.





She is now under new management & has also had some refurbishment work done. The whole ship has been painted and the rooms have been redecorated. The main deck has had extensive work completed including a new bar, a new serving area & new lighting. During my stay on board, there was always something new being installed including Draft Beer & a new Espresso Coffee Machine.







As this was only the 3rd week since the Yasawa started to sail again, numbers were low. We had 9 the first week followed by 11 on the second week. The result, a free upgrade to the Bridge Deck.




The Staff
Along with the new owners comes a new crew and I'm pleased to report that all of the them are as friendly & enthusiastic as the previous staff. Nothing is too much trouble & they will go out of there way to accommodate you. The current guest relations manager is Faya. Although a little shy in the first week (which is understandable as he had only started at the beginning of Jan 2013), he soon came out of his shell & started to let his hair down.



The new bar staff (Janaka & Ali) are brilliant. They were always filling up my glass & made some pretty cool cocktails. If you are going to be on the Yasawa Princess soon, ask Janaka to make you a Sweet Dreams cocktail. It's like a strawberry milkshake with kick.




The Food
Even though the food last year was good, they have new chefs on board this year & the food was even better.



For those of you that know me, you know that I love spicy food. This was no problem for the chef & on nearly every meal, chef would bring me a little extra dish of extra hot fish or chicken curry, or a plate of extra hot Maldivian chillies.


The Itinerary & Desert Islands
I'm pleased to report that the itinerary is virtually unchanged & we did the South cruise on week 1 followed by the North on week 2. I didn't get a chance to go to many sandbanks or islands as I was mostly diving.







Sunrise & Sunsets
As usual there were amazing sunsets .... all in HD. This is the only holiday were I was happy to wake up at 6am just to see the sun rise.






The Night BBQ
Every Friday, the Yasawa would organise a evening BBQ on a Picnic Island. The staff work hard setting up tables, chairs, a bar, lighting & music. They even create these amazing sand sculptures.



On the first week, we were lucky enough to have a full moon on our evening BBQ.



Night Fishing
We went night fishing on 3 occasions. I was very unlucky on the first 2 sessions but the 3rd was my lucky night (although I did feel guilty catching not one but two beautiful Coral Groupers).



The end result was good




The Diving
This was the main reason for my holiday & I was not dissapointed. As numbers were low on the weeks I was visiting, I was practically spoilt when it came to diving with just me on the majority of dives. E-as & Irey became my personal guides & took me to some amazing sites.



















































Summary
Due to the small number of guests on both weeks, the whole holiday felt intimate, informal and very relaxed. Whether you're a diver, a snorkeler or just some one who wants to chill & relax on a different desert island on a daily basis, a cruise aboard the Yasawa Princess is the best way to see and experience Maldivian Islands of the Indian Ocean.

Will I return for a 3rd helping???? .... as long as the prices don't rise anymore ..... most definitely.

Thank you for reading & feel free ask any questions or leave a comment.


Last edited by Chas & Maxi on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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Chas & Maxi
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:44 pm Reply with quote
karyn
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
Posts: 397
Location: Derbyshire
Oh wow! Those photographs are jaw-droppingly magnificent! Hats off to you! I don't dive but think I could quite happily bob around on such a beautiful boat for a couple of weeks in the Indian Ocean.

How did it feel to be in such close proximity to sharks that size? Shocked

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
Reef Sharks are harmless .... we're not their source of food so nothing to worry about. The movie Jaws has tainted all Sharks. It's about knowing which ones are safe to be in the water with.

But to answer your question ..... yes, I was crapping in my wetsuit Wink

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Trips Reports
Kuramathi - http://www.meeru.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8512&highlight=
Meeru/Bandos - http://www.meeru.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5622&highlight=
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:27 pm Reply with quote
ivorfatarse
Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 795
Wow some amazing photo's. It sounds like you had a fantastic experience. Loving the sand sculptures!!
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:35 pm Reply with quote
1983_Sarah
Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 1040
Location: Southampton
Wow - amazing photos! Looks like a really good way to see the Maldives!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 pm Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1455
Location: Cumbria
Beautifully captured Chas..awesome underwater photography!!
A very personal experience aboard Yasawa Princess it seems, an excellent read.

Thanks for posting Very Happy

Casey Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:49 pm Reply with quote
sams
Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1629
Location: Scotland
Amazing underwater photos Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:21 pm Reply with quote
Humble Jim
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 6177
Location: Leeds, UK
Totally awesome photography, the underwater stuff is some of the best I've ever seen salut.

Some brilliant captures there, Chas Very Happy
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Back To The Yasawa Princess (Maldives) - 21Jan - 04Feb 2013 
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