We are avid divers and the week exceed our expectations
We did 20 dives and visited 4 atolls (North and South Male Atoll, Ari Atoll and Felidhe Vaavu Atoll). The diving was nothing short of amazing. Every dive there was something we'd never seen before. Between the two of us, we've logged over 1,000 dives and we couldn't get enough of the underwater eye candy. From the big stuff (grey, white tip and black tip reef sharks) to the little stuff (gobies, blennys, and all kinds of juvenile fish), we were never bored with all their was to see. Some firsts for us were stonefish, Madive anemones, ghost pipefish and leaf fish. Of course there were also many new species in the familiar fish families that we had never seen before (butterfly, damfisel, pufferfish, etc) so we spent plenty of time in the fish identification book after every dive. Eels were plentiful on every dive, many free swimming and in their holes. We snorkeled and dove with Manta Rays, snorkeled with whale sharks, enjoyed frolicking dolphins off the bow of the boat and watched marlin free jumping. Franky..there was so much to see that this review is difficult to keep short.
Yasir guided us around the reefs.
Our Dive Master, Yasir, showed us hiding places of many of the less common species and skillfully landed us on the dive sites... we would have surely been unable to accomplish this on our own.
The crew of the Dhoni Stella 2 was amazing.
The steward (Niyaz) nearly anticipated your every need and graciously delivered service with care and a genuine desire to please his guests. He served your meals, turned down your cabin bed and helped you gear up for the dive. What a wonderful person. He will be missed! Barey, the Captain, skillfully navigated the many reefs of the Maldivian waters and tucked us into protected waters to ensure a restful night sleep, Areef, the Chef, turned out amazing (mostly Maldivian and Italian) with lots of fresh seafood that the crew would catch along the way. The food was delicious!!! The sweetest mango and papaya we've ever tasted (local from the Maldives) Lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish prepared with amazing spices and care...Maldivian curries, freshly made breads and nans, pastries, etc. We all looked forward to the beautifully presented and tasteful meals.
We'll never forget this amazing magical Maldives trip!
In summary, it was a magical trip and we will highly recommend it to our friends. We were celebrating our retirement in grand style and the Dhoni crew and their coordinator, Max Molteni, delivered with excellence! Thank you! Photos from the trip can be seen here. And this is our underwater videos part 1 & part 2.