It’s 5:30 am and the alarm has gone off, reminding me that I have a full day ahead. We’re jetting off to the Maldives!🙂 As usual my princess insists I’m that one who has to go use the bathroom first…as apparently, I take too long… but who’s she kidding she just wants an extra lie in!
Sweet chilli sauce on streamed rice with the option of fried fish heads and sausage filled spring rolls, this is apparently breakfast 👀 Tried and failed… Jam and toast it is then.
Bags packed, room cleared and ready for the hours journey to Manila Ninoy international airport.
As we arrive at the doors of terminal 3, we’re asked by security for our boarding passes, once shown we were then instructed to put all our cases on the waist high baggage scanner. Are they for real?! Can’t they see that our cases are heavy! Also, my princess has her hand in a splint, so can’t lift anything! 🙄 Looking back and forth from the cases to the scanner then to security, he quickly realised that I didn’t want to accept this challenge. With a look of defeat on his face, he offers a helping hand. 😏
Once through baggage drop, and enroute to our departure gate we were stopped by another member of security who asked to check the weight of our hand luggage… happy for her to do so, I hand over my case. She promptly picks it up in one hand and tells me it’s okay 👀 so I assume she’s playing… ‘Guess the weight’ 🤷🏽
Sitting at gate 101 waiting for boarding, two boarding clerks appear and display a sign to let everyone know the gate has now changed! Yep, we all have to head to gate 106, where we sat for another 40 mins. Departure is now delayed.
Once in the air our four-hour flight to KL went very smoothly. The inflight meal was a nice vegetarian dish, vegetable stew and pilau rice with green peas. Nope, I’m not a vegetarian, but when travelling I rarely sample the meat. Word of advice, pre-book your meals as this is faster and a lot more convenient.
On landing in KL, we all line up ready to disembark the plane. An old Chinese gentleman about ten rows in front of us has other ideas… he can’t find his bag! They’ve been moved and stored three rows down in our direction and so he’s now trying to make his way to his belongings. This is causing a big delay, but with his slow calm persona we can’t be mad at him. That’s like being mad at your Granddad… you just can’t do it.
The flight had landed late, so we briskly walked towards the transfer gate. Did I say briskly? I mean my Princess was running to the next gate, she’s clearly learned well from the Chinese. As we approached the security scanners, I note the panic on her face as she realises she’s left my camera under seat 19B of flight AK583 from Manila. Seriously?! 👀 Next thing I knew; our baggage is going through the scanner and she’s taken of running in the opposite direction. I’m now left with 2 cabin cases, 2 rucksacks, a bag full of snacks and my laptop, which seems to be getting heavier everyday. Dread has now begun to set in. All the photos of my last 3 trips have gone. Once given the all clear from security, I stand to one side and wait.
All I could now think of was that she’s now gotten herself lost and didn’t know where she was. After what felt like hours, I see my child glowing of sweat, having later found out that she had ran all the way back to the gate and then back to security. SHE HAD MY CAMERA IN TOW 💃🏽 💃🏽💃🏽
She later explains her story of having to run down one-way corridors and bang on the arrivals door to get the attention of departures staff. She continues by saying a kind member of staff came to her assistance asking, ‘are you okay Ma’am?’ She runs with the poor lady back to the gate K8 where, the lady tries to catch her breath to ask what the seat number was? She watches the lady run down to the plane through the tunnel and whilst waiting anxiously for her return. The lady runs back up, passes over the camera and runs back to her gate to continue assisting with boarding. We never got her name… but @asiaairsupport, please thank her on our behalf. She has allowed our holiday to continue with peace.
We go through to our next gate, thankfully being on time and it’s finally off to Male (pronounced Mali). We checked and triple checked we had everything this time 😉
8:10pm and we’ve finally arrived in the Maldives, we board our speedboat and head across to Vadoo Island. We’re met by the team and introduced to our butler Midhun; and shown to our luxurious water villa. What a beauty! A pool, jacuzzi and the open sea; what more can you ask for. 😌 time to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.
We stayed at this 5* villa/island on a B&B basis. The half board option, which excluded drinks, was an additional $80 US Dollars per person per day! 👀 However, based on previous experience we knew there was a chance that the A la carte would be cheaper. We were certainly correct. 🙄
Our first morning in the breakfast room and we were met by our waiter Nalake… a very jovial person. We were given the menus and quickly decided that we’d have an egg omelette. I requested an omelette with bell peppers, cheese and onion; and the princess asked for an omelette with cheese, onion, tomatoes and mushrooms. Both omelettes were with flake potatoes, baked beans and salmon steak with a garlic sauce. Whilst placing our order, we noticed that Nalake wasn’t writing anything down 🤔 he was confident that he’d remember our request… what can I say… breakfast was an interesting variation of our request 🤦🏽🤣
As previously said, dinner was done on an a la carte basis. With Nalake in charge of taking our orders, we felt a bit apprehensive as to what would arrive on our plates. As expected, the order didn’t go to plan, but we were pleasantly surprised with what arrived. We had ordered vegetable samosas as part of our starters. Unfortunately, the kitchen didn’t have any, so Nalake kindly added additional items to our order throughout the meal… all complimentary!! By the end of the night, we were so full that our walk back to the villa was a very VERY slow one.
After the second morning, it began to feel as if Nalake had taken a shine to us, the princess thought it was an interest in me😳. The complimentary and extra food was beginning to mount up, service was exceptional, and we were beginning to feel like royalty. Nalake’s attentive manor meant we were seated and served before others, we hands down had the best waiter. Considering we’re picky eaters, Nalake quickly learnt the thing we would and would not eat and began to arrange our meals without us looking at the menu – customer service at it’s best. Knowing your client and providing what they want. What a talent! Our meals were always delicious with generous portion sizes, thanks Nalake 👍🏽
As part of our holiday package we had a complimentary massage. The spa is at the other end of the island by the restaurant and so we called a buggy to take us down. It is quite small and more like cubicles rather than rooms. When others therefore come in for their treatments it became very distracting and loud. Thoroughly enjoyed the massage though and they even remembered not to massage the princess’s wrist.
After two days of rest, it’s time to take to the sea, for our city tour of Male. The crossing was made on a local ferry (a diesel choker) 🤢. 45mins and we were on Male island. Male is a very small and crowded island, approx. 5.8km2 from end to end with a population of 537,000 people. The streets are narrow and the most buildings are in desperate need of repair. The traffic is horrendous, but the local people just get on with it. As part of the city tour you visit the fish market, well shall we say tuna market. I’ve never seen tuna fish so big. The princess is 5’2” and some of these were easily bigger than her.. MAD!!
Watching the hustle and bustle of the Maldivians going about their daily business, reminds me that, although I’m on vacation their daily lives continue.
There’s not much to see and do on Male island and true Maldivian life is not the relaxing and tranquil experience that tourists see, but I’m grateful to have walked the streets and learn about the culture. Time to head back to Vadoo Island.
With everything we had experienced and taken part in, somehow, we had only spent 35USD on checkout. Totally unexpected on a 5* luxury resort in the Maldives. There’s not much to do and I’m so glad we didn’t stay in Male city. If you ever get a chance to visit, make sure you stay on an island in a water villa with a pool, so you can watch the ocean, see the dolphins and sealife and watch the sunsets each night. Hopefully you’ll have a waiter like Nalake and a butler like Midhun that just makes the whole experience one to remember ☺
It’s goodbye from the Maldives and onto Bali…
See you then there ✈