What was it like to live aboard 8 DAYS in MV Maldives Princess? What’s inside that awesome #lakasmakayaman yacht? How beautiful is it to scuba dive in Maldives? Isn’t Maldives for honeymooners? (Hehe, no.) How to be u po?
Bear with me a bit here, this is going to be the quickest 11-minutes of your life but definitely worth your time. (Hopefully!) I made the effort to squeeze all the beauty of my stay across the Indian Ocean to something more bite-sized for you. I hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed making it.
Video credits: Production & Editing c/o Cat | Drone shots c/o Oliver Ang
Now, about the trip…
How do I become a certified diver for Maldives?
Great question! Jump off a boat with a tank of air and fins and hope for the best. 🙂
Kidding aside, there are many Open Water Certification offerings in Manila. I took mine under PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) through Scuba Studio with Roger. Their regular rates are at P28,000 for the whole open water course (inclusive of dive gear rental, instructor’s fee, stay/check-out dives in Acacia Resort and Dive Center). Pool sessions are held in their shop at P. Guevarra, San Juan, Manila.
May or may not include drinks after dives.
Are there direct flights from the Philippines to Maldives? How much do flights usually cost? What are the VISA requirements?
There are no direct flights yet from the Philippines to Maldives. The usual route is Manila to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, then to Male, Maldives.
Our round-trip tickets MNL KLE MLE cost P25,000 with 30kg. check-in baggage (booked two months before). My friend Eka booked a week before and it cost her a little over P30,000. Not so bad, IMO.
And for Filipinos, no VISA requirements. Yay!
How much is the budget for a trip to the Maldives?
The Scuba Studio Philippines package price for the Maldives Central Route we took for April 1-8, 2017 aboard the MV Maldives Princess was at $2,200 (includes food/accommodation, max. 18 dives with free nitrox, excluding flight, taxes, and tip).
Other costs include:
- $40 Green Tax
- $70 – 100 Tip for the boat crew
- $21 for 5GB Internet (sim only, suggested for 1 pax use only)
- $50 – 100 for additional food / beverage orders, emergency dive gear rental onboard (should you still be hungry or thirsty after a heap of spicy meals, and should any of your dive gear fail or go missing)
What are the dive spots in the Maldives’ Central Route?
- Maagiri N-Ari
- Maaya Thila N-Ari
- Bathalaa Kan Thila N-Ari
- Hafza Thila N-Ari
- Bathalaa Kan Thila N-Ari
- Maaya Lagoon N-Ari (Manta Ray feeding)
- Moofushi N-Ari
- Moofushi N-Ari
- Maamigili S-Ari (Whale sharks spotted here)
- Kuda Rah Thila S-Ari
- Miyaru Kandu Vaavu Atoll (Miyaru means ‘shark’, Kandu means ‘channel’)
- Alimatha Vaavu Atoll (Nursing Shark and Sting Ray feeding)
- Miyaru Kandu Vaavu Atoll
- Fish Tank, Hulhumale, Male (Sting Ray Channel)
Where can I get the awesome scuba gear you’re all wearing?
For our dives, the squad sports FOURTH ELEMENT. (It’s available in the Philippines also via Scuba Studio)
What I particularly love about the swimwear of Fourth Element, specifically its Ocean Positive line is that it’s made out of regenerated nylon (from fishing nets recovered from the sea)!
Every year, thousands of tons of fishing gear are lost when nets and lines get snagged on shipwrecks and reef. As part of the global initiatives to clean up our oceans, scuba divers remove these nets to be recycled and made into the fabric (that are even better at UV and chlorine resistance than competitive fabrics)!
As part of the global initiatives to clean up our oceans, scuba divers remove these nets to be recycled and made into the fabric (that are even better at UV and chlorine resistance than competitive fabrics)!
If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. 🙂
Shoutout to the #SSDiveTravel Maldives 2017 crew, the amazing hosts Oliver Ang, Cat Castro-Ang, Tofer Morales (Chrissy, thank you for lending your gear!), Eka Gomez (my dive buddy who promises to never leave me), Gail Nicolas, Marion and Gio Raagas, Ed Hernandez and Raymond Mabasa, Vonkee Henson, BFFs Essa Santos and Jacq Tan-Sainz, Vinson Yap, Gabby Estrella, our patient dive masters, and our favorite Saman.
PS. Eka wrote about our 6-hr. lay-over in Kuala Lumpur >> https://ekagomez.com/2017/04/16/kuala-lumpur/