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Back To The Yasawa Princess March 2015 (with Pics) 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:15 pm Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
Dates - 9th Mar - 23rd Mar 2015
Flights with Emirates via Dubai from Heathrow

Camera's used - Canon 650d. For underwater pictures I used a Go-Pro Hero 4 Black & Canon S100.

Some of these photos were also taken using a Sony RX100 courtesy of my dive buddy Chris C.

This is a late trip report on my 5th holiday on board the Yasawa Princess. It has been really hectic since I returned due to more responsibility in my day job & also DJ-ing 3 nights as well as presenting my own radio show. Many of you have read my past reports so there nothing new to really report but itís still a good excuse to post some of the photos of the holiday as well as all the marine live we come across during ours dives.

Family & friends keep asking why I keep going back. Funny thing is, I actually remember taking the mick out of a friend who kept going back to the same holiday in Greece. I constantly argued with him stating that there is a whole world out there to explore so why keep going back to the same place.

Iím now eating my own words. Iíve had the pleasure of staying on a few Maldivian resorts (Meeru, Bandos, Kuramathi, Biyadhoo) before I discovered the Yasawa Princess. Donít get me wrong, the resorts are beautiful as are the sunsets, the food, etc. but at the same time, holidays on a resort island can become a bit repetitive. For all those who have been on the 3 day cruise whilst staying on Meeru & enjoyed it, then imagine the same but for 2 weeks. It really is an amazing experience.

Flight on Emirates was fine. Food was great and I went for the curry option (even for breakfast). Even though they have one of the best entertainment systems, I still prefer to take my iPad & managed to get through 9 episodes of Game Of Thrones Season 4. Transfer was in Dubai (3 hours) so had a good look around, purchased a few bits, but no alcohol as Maldivian law does not allow you to bring alcohol in to the Maldives. Also managed to grab 40 winks by the connecting gate.

Landing was fine & the stunning view of the atolls on approach to Male is always a great experience. Note to anyone thinking of going, always try & book window seats where the view is to your left (if that makes sense) if you want to see the atolls from the sky. It really is breath taking.

Fayaz (Customer Relations for the YP) was present to meet us at the arrivals gate and within 15 minutes we were on a Dhoni (traditional small Maldivian boat) & on our way to the YP as she was only moored only 15 minutes away.



So here she is. She was built in Fiji as a bespoke boutique cruise ship for a maximum of 66 guests and 25 Crew. A holiday on here offers a close up and intimate view of the Ďrealí Maldives with a itinerary that caters for both divers and non-divers. You have the choice to Snorkel and swim in the most pristine of blue lagoons, experience unspoiled dive sites or go fishing. You can meet the locals and enjoy genuine Maldivian culture, BBQ on the beach, sunbathe on an uninhabited island or simply relax and relish the views of some of the worldís most stunning sandbanks. It really is the ultimate way to see the Maldives. OK, that's my salesman ship over & done with .... let's move to my trip report.

Week 1 starts of cruising the best of the South Atolls & week 2 cruising the best of the North Atolls. She spends the whole day parked up next to a Picnic or Desert Island or a large sandbank. Lunch & dinner is served on board but sometimes the staff bring the lunch to you on the island. There is also a Night BBQ Beach party held once a week where the staff go above & beyond with a set up that will leave you literally gobsmacked. And remember, the Yasawa Princes is ALL INCLUSIVE so the drinks are always flowing.

Day 1 was spent on Kudos Bandos which is the sister island to Bandos. Lots of snorkeling & the staff bring lunch to the island.



The Yasawa sets sail to her new destination every morning (normally departing at around 6am & arriving at her new location anytime between 7:30am Ė 9:30am (she never sails at night).



Every day is a new destination where she will park next to a desert or picnic island. The staff will be first on the island where they will set up parasols before the guests are transferred to the island via Dhoni.



Pristine beaches with sand like chalk dust. No need for flip flops ... it's all about no shoes for the whole 2 weeks.



Another question I get asked is what kind of guests does the YP attract? The YP attracts all ages (note that there are no children allowed).

Anyway, back to the trip report. Every evening is a new different view of a sunset from a new location.







Once a week, the YP will hold a Night BBQ party on a desert island. The staff really put in the extra hours to make the evening extra spacial. They spend most of the afternoon transferring tables, chairs, lights, PA system, food & drinks to the island. The staff even set up lights around sand sculptures. The results are stunning.



And after the delicious BBQ (fresh fish caught from the ocean, chicken, beef, pork chops, sausages), then follows the party. And yes, I did end up DJ-ing from my iPAD and everyone had a great time ... well I think they did unless it was the alcohol talking.



We move on to the diving. Depending on where we are, the dive masters aboard the YP know all the best dive sites. Those that want to go the desert island for relaxing & snorkeling are transferred to the island & the divers go to their diving destination via dhoni.



But first a quick snooze



And down we go



The view under is stunning





Soft coral of all types & colors








And don't forget the amazing marine life.

You have to have a sharp eye to spot these. This particular sea slug is known as Phyllidia varicosa



You have to watch out for these. They are know as Titan Trigger Fish & most of the time they are very shy & swim off when approached .... however, come mating season, they will have a go at you & trust me when I tell you they have teeth. If that happens .... swim for your life!!!



Some fish play peek-a-boo







This Clown Fish (Nemo) has upgraded her nest



Not the easiest picture to take as the little buggers won't keep still





And let's not forget my moray friends. As nasty as they may look, they are very shy ... unless you stick your hand in their mouth.







Some amazing wrecks to explore















And turtles .... got to love turtles. This one was not bothered by us at all. It was chomping away at the coral and would look up & glance at us from time to time, then carry on chomping with not a care in the world.









Eventually it flew off .... literally!



I really admire Rays ... they are so elegant no matter how small or large.

These are known as Mobula Rays ... mini versions of the much large Manta Rays





And Sting Rays.





And the huge graceful Manta Ray



And finally, SHARKS!!!!

Silver Tip Sharks




Nurse Sharks




And the largest Shark found in the Maldives ... the amazing & very graceful Whale Shark. This one was just over 5 meters and we found him purely by accident. We jumped into the water for our dive and whilst we were doing out buddy checks, appeared out of no where.



Thank you for reading & hope you enjoyed my review. I'm hoping to go back in 2016.

If you would like to know more then feel free to send me a message on this forum or find me on FB here
https://www.facebook.com/chas.summers.9

For available dates & quotes, then please contact RTC Travel on 01924 283 803

http://www.rtctraveluk.com/yasawa-princess-cruise-holiday.htm


Last edited by Chas & Maxi on Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:17 am; edited 6 times in total

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:52 pm Reply with quote
sams
Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1629
Location: Scotland
Amazing photos, thanks for sharing them

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:58 pm Reply with quote
JoanneLorna
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 504
Location: stafford
Wow- what can I say....? Such a beautiful report. Having recently learnt to love the underwater world following our recent trip to Vila, this takes my breath away.
Thanks for taking the time to post during what is now being known as Twixmas. These have to be some of the best pics ever posted on our forum - thank you
Jo

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:58 pm Reply with quote
Ian & Jo
Joined: 31 Jan 2008
Posts: 320
Wow Wow Wow, what great pics well worth the wait, thanks for posting.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1455
Location: Cumbria
Just seen this post Chas on your recent livaboard adventure.
Absolutely stunning photography as usual and thanks for the under water ones, the turtle shots are my favourites and the wrecked boats seem to be doing a good job as artificial reefs. Something that I will never get to see as a non diver so thank you for sharing those unusual pics we dont see much of.

Casey Cool

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Ann & Forbes
Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Posts: 271
Location: Jersey
Stunning photos Chas, my favourites have got to be the Mantas........amazing and wonderful and I too wish I could dive.
Many thanks for a wonderful report.
Ann & Forbes Smile

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