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FOLLOWING OUR LATEST MEERU EXPERIENCE... 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:46 pm Reply with quote
rickc
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 331
...got back last night from our latest visit and thought we would share just a few thoughts and observations. And as a couple who have been there more than a few times since 2005, we have to say there is something different, but more of that later.

Firstly let me say that the staff all over the island, as usual, were absolutely superb. For the first couple of days we seemed to spend most of our time being greeted by many 'old 'friends' from previous visits who immediately remembered us and went out of their way to have a chat. Hassan looked after us in the Maalan as he has done for so many times now and was his usual cheeky and warm self, apart from the fact that his beloved Man U had recently lost to my lot, Chelsea. And the staff behind the Uthuru and Dhoni bars were brilliant - plenty of banter, warmth and laughs !

And of course, the beauty of the island and the vivid colours are unchanged. In one respect they are taking further steps to improve things even more - a team of around 6 fellas are painstakingly digging out by hand the sea grass which grows in large area of the sea in the area of the 600s JBVs so that eventually all of that stretch of water will be as beautifully turquoise and white as everywhere else.But what a back breaking job !

Pleased to report that, as others have said, there is now a much improved selection of cocktails on the AI list, together with the very drinkable red, white and rose wine which we enjoyed whilst dangling at the Wok at sunset. And of course the famous iced coffees for a dangle mid morning. ( Nice company with Ann and Forbes from here.We came, we saw, we dangled ! Cheers).

Can also confirm, for those who might be interested, that cruises on the Kamana were on offer while were there.

Free internet access now available in the rooms and is very user friendly. Much simpler than it used to be.

But, as mentioned above, 'now for something completely different'. This time last year we noted the number of Chinese visitors on the island and this time it appeared that their numbers were noticeably increased. Now don't misunderstand me. I have no problem with a diverse guest population. The problem is that the Chinese culture doesn't extend to co-existence with other guests after dinner - they prefer to stay in their rooms for the rest of the evening. The effect of this is that the evening entertainments were poorly attended. The band nights and the disco/glow party when we were there were very quiet despite some brilliant music from the Silhouette Band and DJ Umar. This was a common explanation from staff who often had little to do. Lots of waiters keen to work hard and keep the drinks flowing but not enough guests out to enjoy themselves. And it was also evident elsewhere - we often sat at the bar in the Dhoni later in the evening (perhaps around 11.00ish)and were the only ones there. Nice that we could chat to the guys there but not what you would expect. It will be interesting to see how this one develops....

But don't get me wrong. It will always have a special place in our hearts. And those going for the first time will have a fabulous experience. Meeru is absolutely beautiful, though the wretched birds which kept us awake for a couple of hours one night from around 3.00am, constantly 'whooping'to each other need to be culled !

Enjoy....
Rick and Lin
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:01 pm Reply with quote
sue&nige
Joined: 10 Mar 2013
Posts: 44
Yes Rick agree, the bars were quiet on an evening, the evening of the Chinese new year the staff were so busy by the Dhoni bar erecting a large screen on the beach to stream the live countdown, they moved seating onto the beach and provided refreshments, 7 Chinese people turned up, sad to see the staff's efforts not appreciated, you may have been there!
They seemed to like Mondays doing Karaoke which we avoided! Confused
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:14 pm Reply with quote
rickc
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 331
Hi Sue and Nige. Not there for New Years Eve as it happens. Given how hard they work on Meeru and how they go the extra mile, its such a shame if this is going to be the pattern in future. Glad to see from other feedback that the Christmas celebrations which were the subject of much effort on Meeru were apparently a great success.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:27 pm Reply with quote
sue&nige
Joined: 10 Mar 2013
Posts: 44
No Rick, Chinese New year (31/1/14) not our new year! Year of the horse.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:39 pm Reply with quote
rickc
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 331
Yes, my mistake !! There from 3 February.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:03 pm Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1495
Location: Cumbria
Great report Rick.
Indeed the East Asian market has exploded throughout the Maldives and the government have openly stated that this market is now catered for the most now after overtaking the Europeans in recent years. Like yourself I have not got a problem with this but some early reports from some resorts that repeat guests are seeing a definite increase in the the types of food that caters for this market. Food that is increasing of a spicy nature as opposed to some balanced western dishes.

Interesting to see the development over the coming years.

Casey Cool

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:39 am Reply with quote
karyn
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
Posts: 399
Location: Derbyshire
Wonderful trip report! It sounds like you've had another amazing holiday on Meeru. It's a shame that the evening entertainment was so poorly attended given the effort that the staff put in. I remember your last night last year when the band were playing in the Kakuni Bar - it was really busy wasn't it?

I hope you're not feeling the cold too much now you're back in the UK.

Hopefully we'll see you both there next year! bounce

Karyn & Roy x

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:39 am Reply with quote
Meeru Dreamer
Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Oxted, UK
Thank you for posting your trip report Rick. It was nice to read what you said. The staff are brilliant.
Pleased to know you had such a great time. Thanks again Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:22 pm Reply with quote
soobs
Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 765
Location: Cheshire
We noticed the move away from mainly UK holiday makers on our 2010 trip and a even bigger change in 2012, on our last trip the evening entertainment was really poorly attended which was a real shame as it did alter the atmosphere, on one evenings all the diving instructors and staff not on duty joined us and we had a fantastic evening.

It's not Meeru's fault and I am sure it will change again over the next couple of years and maybe it will be back in my budget again.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:52 pm Reply with quote
sams
Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1634
Location: Scotland
Really enjoyed reading your trip report, we haven't been since October 2011, so it is always good to read what other repeaters think of the changes on Meeru.
I'm glad they have started to tackle the sea grass as it has really spread over the years since our 1st visit in 2002...but what a huge job the workers have on there hands!

Good to hear the staff on the island are just as fantastic as ever Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:22 pm Reply with quote
Lee Frankham
Joined: 16 Apr 2008
Posts: 394
Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire
Many Thanks for the report.

We noticed last year somewhat of a change, but that's the economy for you.

However with the departure of Thomson it does appear the costs are coming down.

Looking at the same dates as last year the costs appear to have come down about 300.00.

Long may this continue.

Lee

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:28 pm Reply with quote
rickc
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 331
Casey - Yep, Meeru have now included a 'Chinese Corner' of selections on their mealtime menus.

Karyn - Yes, a lovely time except for the 'cultural' problem. Band night was almost embarassing in terms of numbers there, unlike the same time last year. Next year ? Well if we go it will be the same time...

Soobs - No its not Meeru's fault as such. You can't force guests to do what they don't want to do. The bigger question is where you choose to take your business from possibly.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:45 pm Reply with quote
rickc
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 331
Meeru dreamer - Cheers.

Sams - Saw those poor blokes everyday digging out the seagrass by hand under the water, then rinsing it of sand and then dragging it to shore. Back breaking ! I guess they drew the short straw to get that job.

Lee - I guess any drop in prices is a plus point !!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:21 am Reply with quote
gailmail65
Joined: 03 Sep 2012
Posts: 423
I did comment to Meeru that perhaps a duo providing music in either the Uthuru or Dhoni bar, more often would be nice after dinner.

Not all want a glow party, or karaoke night.

I know the waiters/bar staff are measured by how many cocktails they sell, as part of employee of month awards. So perhaps alternative entertainment aimed at adults may help?

The staff there are superb! Work hard.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:31 am Reply with quote
Ann & Forbes
Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Posts: 271
Location: Jersey
Great report Rick, sent you a PM.
Ann & Forbes

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