16 independent reviews for Maldives holidays, Dhoni cruise

Reviews for Maldives holidays, Dhoni cruise

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review 9 Feb 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The size of the boat the crew and natural beauty of the Maldives was a win win situation.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring swim shoes. The coral and rocks are sharp.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes but unfortunately ocean garbage was everywhere and impossible to keep clean.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A 10!

review 31 Mar 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The snorkeling was great - saw many beautiful fish, turtles, sharks, dolphins,

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be sure that you can manage two people in a very small cabin - or be prepared to sleep on deck. Take something to do, eg, books, games, etc for the down time. The boat had a small bookshelf but no games. Take very little clothes beyond a swimsuit - but do bring clothes to cover knees and shoulders as this is a Muslim country and you must dress appropriately to visit the island towns. Bring a health appetite as the food was fabulous.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Some souvenier shopping on the small islands would benefit the people. Our crew were very careful to retain all plastic, glass, paper for apprpriate disposal in port.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I really enjoyed this vacation.

review 18 Feb 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing a dolphin chasing a flying fish was extraordinary...and one of so many fantastic sights and experiences on board.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't take too many clothes - you just don't need them! Changes of swim suits are a must.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It provided employment for local people. There did not appear to be much waste generated. We only stopped at one inhabited island where there were shops and so our money went to a small local community. The downside was the holiday involved diesel fuel to power the boat which moved each day and small plastic bottles of water were used quite a lot.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It exceeded my expectations and the description of the holiday from the web site was pretty accurate.

review 7 Jan 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So many wonderful memories of this holiday, the great group of people I met, the dolphins swimming in their natural environment and releasing a turtle back into the sea after having found it caught up in a fishing net. The beautiful sandy beaches and clear waters, my first attempt at snorkling, the list could just go on and on.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go with an open mind to the basic accommodation, it will not spoil your holiday. If you are travelling from the North make sure you get the correct information about the transfer, the only downfall to this holiday for me was that Explore do not seem to cater well for the flights that land early from northern airports. Dont just think about it book it you wont regret it I am sure

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local people benefited from the night they performed a local drumming and dancing session. I was however concerned about some of the rubbish we saw on the uninhabited Islands, the Maldives does not seem to have any recycling in place so I question how our rubbish from the boat was disposed off, a concern about these beautiful Islands and preservation for the future

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Basic accommodation, fabulous food and crew, sailing around is simply the best way to see the Maldives and experience local life The best holiday I have ever been on.

review 3 Dec 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The multiple shades of blue, and the clear underwater views of the Maldivian coral and fish. A great team on the boat (Captain Mog, Super Chef Bablu, Waiter Ahmed and Room boy Yoonus). Not forgetting our guide Bongo. And the other passengers were a load of fun. This was our first holiday with this operator, and will not be our last.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

A great deal and well worth it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

A little BUT the trash in the Maldives is getting worse and spoils the islands and the sea.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent value for money.

review 7 Mar 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Everything!! Being in a boat with only a handful of people around, visiting remote areas that most other tourists don't get to see. Our companions were really great fun to be with. The crew of the Gulfaam (Captain Moe, chef Babloo and Bidde and Yoonus), as well as our guide Bongo looked after us all the time and made the trip really amazing. And the snorkeling ... it felt like being inside an aquarium. Lots of fish swimming around you.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Lots of sun cream! The sun is stronger than you think, especially when you are in the water. Make sure you have an underwater camera (waterproof is not enough as some of our companions found out a bit too late. Don't expect luxury; the boat is very basic and cabins very simple, but that was perfect for us. Finally, just relax ... that's the whole point!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. The crew, most of them Maldivians, seemed very happy with their job, and as the company is a Maldivian company, you know the money will stay there and not go to some hotel shareholders. The crew kept the rubbish on the boat till we reached the end of the trip.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The best holiday ever!

review 5 Feb 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Snorkelling with turtles!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take very few clothes, do take long sleeved top and long shorts to snorkel in.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, all the boat crew were Maldivian and when we did visit an inhabited island that actually had a shop we bought gifts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was truly an amazing holiday, the beautiful blue sea, fantastic snorkelling, wonderful food, friendly crew. This was the best holiday I have had.

review 6 Dec 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Snorkelling and seeing manta rays, dolphins and other wildlife. Relaxing and reading on the dhoni.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The cabin is small so do not take too much luggage. You need very little anyway... The sun is strong so take lots of sun protection. Take reading material as there is a lot of time to read.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All dhoni staff were local (very helpful)which provides employment opportunities. Local produce where possible was used for food.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Relaxing and enjoyable

review 21 Jun 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Living on a boat was great fun, good trip to Saklikent Gorge walking through the rapids, the sea kayaking at Kekova was fun too. My personal highlight was the Turkish Bath in Fethiye on the last day - such a lovely relaxing way to end the holiday!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take mossie spray for the evenings on deck, take lots of sun cream, take few clothes but lots of swimsuits and walking shoes you don't mind getting wet. Try sleeping on deck at least one night!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes; we supported local economies using fresh local food every day and "supported" the travelling pancake- and ice cream boats that cruise the coastline plying their wares.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, great guide and crew, relaxing time, no pressure to do lots of trips and we collectively elected to have a "day off" which was accommodated very well by mooring at a small cove for great swimming and snorkelling.

review 23 Apr 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Definitely the snorkeling, all of it even if some highlights like following the manta ray or spying on two octopuses gliding hand in hand were particularly exciting.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Absolutely book it if you're not the lie-on-the-beach type and don't care about luxury and entertainment.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I think it's a good holiday because it only uses local resources (local staff, boat, food). A bad thing is of course the huge amount of plastic implied by the use of bottled water. Big containers of treated water would surely be a better options. Unluckily you see all those lovely uninhabited islands crammed with plastic bottles.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wow!!

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Ms Palmucci Thank you for your feedback regarding the above holiday, forwarded to us by responsibletravel.com. We were very pleased to read how much you enjoyed the trip. We agree with you about the sad sight of plastic waste in the region; we work with all our local agents to try and reduce preferably avoid completely our own contribution to this issue. We are very much aware of the environmental issues at stake, quite apart from the unattractive sight. We will see what we can do about a better provision of water supplies for our customers so as to minimise the problems. I hope though that your overall memories will be the excellent ones it sounds as though they are and that you might choose to travel with us again at some point. Yours sincerely Teresa Mozley Customer Relations Executive

review 12 Apr 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Snorkeling twice a day with the colorful fish. Incredible! The water is crystal clear azure, the sun is strong, living on a boat was fantastic!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Pack a lot of high-factor sun block and a t-shirt to snorkel in.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I didn't see anything that would indicate that. The only time I saw any recycling was when the crew set up a beach bar-b-q for us, and used the plastic water bottles as "hurricane lamps" around candles. And then they burned the plastic bottles in their bonfire. Not exactly environmentally friendly!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Amazing. But what else would you expect in the Maldives?!

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback regarding the above tour. We were delighted to read that you enjoyed your trip, especially life on the boat and the snorkelling. It is always good to know our efforts are appreciated and therefore we are pleased to pass on your kind comments to all those involved with your tour arrangements. We were concerned to hear that the plastic bottles were burnt and not recycled and this most certainly is not in keeping with the responsible attitude to tourism that we always aim to practice. We would like to assure you that this has been addressed with our local agent and tour leader as we want to make sure that this practice is not repeated on our tours.

review 10 Jan 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I would like to commend our tour leader Yousourie (spelt wrong!). He is only 20 but was able to lead a group of (predominantly) decisive single women over the age of 38! I scored him 15/10 and I do hope you will pass my praise on to his boss. He is a highly intelligent, courteous and amendable young chap with a maturity and civility well beyond his years. He was very passionate about the rubbish in the Maldives and I hope that "responsible traveller" can somehow develop his initiative on this. We were thoroughly satisfied with the crew, our leader and the trip.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Understand that it is basic and that this is the joy.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I think Youserie showed us a facet of the local people, but if he could be supported in his rubbish campaign, that would benefit everyone.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, the best way to experience the Maldives, so glad I did not go the resort route. We benefited more because we spend the night before the trip in Male itself and that made us more aware of the local culture.

review 17 Feb 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The snorkelling. We never knew what we were going to see and the colours of the different fish were fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't pack too much its not needed. Spent most of the days in swimsuit and sarong. Always wear a t-shirt in the water to save getting back and shoulders getting burnt. Also a pair of cheap shorts to stop your 'cheeks' getting burnt too. And you don't need much money on this holiday as food all included and only stopped at one place where you could buy anything. Most money was spent on drinks bill.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes as tourism is the highest employment in The Maldives. The staff on board were all locals (Maldive, Indian or Sri Lankan) and all food was locally sourced.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic. First time I have snorkelled and would definitely do it again. Food was great and the fish was the freshest I have eaten.

review 29 Feb 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Highlands of Sri Lanka were particularly scenic and we loved exploring the busy market towns of Nuwara Eliya and Hatton. The train journey from Hatton to Bandarawela was a particular highlight on the tour, as was the excellent service provided by our tour leader and his team of helpers. It was also great to be travelling with a group of like minded people. The spicy Sri Lankan curries were also quite memorable!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for some long days travelling by minibus in Sri Lanka and lots of hassle from the souvenir hawkers on the beach and at tourist hot spots. In the Maldives, days are quite lazy with several hours spent motoring from island to island, so bring some good books to read.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Most definitely in Sri Lanka where we used local guides at certain attractions and stayed in local resthouses and often bought lunches in market towns etc. Sri Lanka is clearly suffering from a downturn in tourism since the Tsunami and this is having a significant impact on locals who rely on tourism. Huge increases in the cost of living in Sri Lanka is also taking its toll, so support this beautiful country and its friendly people by travelling here. In the Maldives, apart from the dhoni crew/boat operator, there was very little evidence of locals benefiting from our holiday. I was disappointed to see a lack of respect for the marine environment in the Maldives, considering this is their main attraction for visitors.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A very enjoyable trip with the Maldives making a nice relaxing contrast to the busy Sri Lanka itinerary.

Read the operator's response here:

We were delighted to read that you enjoyed your trip and your Tour Leader and his team contributed to the success of your holiday. It is always good to know our efforts are appreciated and therefore we are pleased to pass on your kind comments to all those involved with your tour arrangements. We appreciate you taking the trouble to give us such detailed feedback about your holiday. We were concerned to read your comments relating to the lack of respect for the marine environment in the Maldives, whilst we cannot comment on the behaviour of the locals, we wish to assure you that we follow up on all customer comments, therefore your correspondence has been brought to the attention of our local agents and our Operations Manager responsible for the smooth running of this trip. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Your thoughtful feedback was particularly welcome. Thank you, once again, for taking the time to write as it is only with such constructive comments that we are able to monitor and hopefully improve all aspects of the tours we offer. We sincerely hope to have the pleasure of your company on another trip in the not too distant future.

review 17 Feb 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole holiday was excellent. The most memorable bits were probably the snorkelling (which was as superb as we had expected) and the warmth of the welcome given by the boat crews and the people in the villages we visited. The crew and tour leader were brilliant - they were amiable, informative and helpful to a fault, particularly with the snorkelling. The food they conjured up on minimal cooking equipment was very good too (assuming you like fish!).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Tips: we really liked the boat (see the picture) but the cabin accommodation is ... basic. Not a problem for us, but could be for some, particularly anyone put in the twin cabin (as distinct from the doubles): not a good arrangement if a single traveller has to share with another single traveller. Don't take many clothes - they are redundant (especially shoes) - but do take snorkelling wear that will cover shoulders and thighs (T shirts and swimming shorts rather than trunks). You need very little cash but a lot of high factor sun tan lotion.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Apart from the crew, who presumably earned a living, we don't suppose it benefited the local people hugely, though they couldn't have been more welcoming. At least it felt like we were doing no harm. Likewise the environment - it minimised damage. We do feel that we have been given some insight into the way of life, the nature of the people, and the fragility of that environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It's a bit difficult to start saying it's the best holiday ever, when you're comparing unlike with unlike, but at the least it is up there with a very small number of holidays. We have come back feeling terrific. So certainly at the very top end of **** if not *****.

review 24 Mar 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part was the flight into Male, the atolls and the turquoise waters were every bit a beautiful as I hoped. The reefs/atolls were also full of fish and having snorkelled both in the Red Sea and Andaman Sea, this was definitely the best so far. That said, some of the other tour participants made the holiday particularly memorable!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take everything you'll need, i.e. high factor sun tan lotion, after sun etc. There will be nowhere to buy anything until the last day! If you tend to suffer from travel sickness (as I do), then sailing between the atolls may be a problem - stay in bed, it helped me! However whilst in the atoll, I had no problem at all.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

It did, from the point of view that the boats were owned by locals (rather than big conglomerates) and employed local people. However I was a bit concerned when we were told that the human waste from the toilets would be distributed into the sea while we were sailing. Is this environmentally friendly? I'm no eco-scientist, so perhaps that is acceptable and causes no problems?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I had a great time, but probably due to the nature of the holiday (i.e. very laid back) Id probably rate it ***.

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