Fair Oak, Eastleigh
- The tour was very enjoyable. It had a good ratio of guests to staff and the itinerary was paced fairly well. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the staff in their respective areas of expertise was very, very good. The chefs on both boats deserve special praise here, for what seems like non stop food production of excellent quality, although fussy eaters beware! You must show the 'Explore' attitude to trying all things to get the best out of the catering. The exceptional knowledge of the local reefs by the captains and tour leaders, (we were fortunate and had an additional Explore tour leader volunteering to make up crew numbers for this trip) made every snorkel magical, and more than me expectations of sea creature viewings and safe reef and island exploration. As always, the organisation of Explore trips from the airport meet, to the airport goodbye was faultless. We would suggest that the walking tour of Male could be dropped, as those with a penchant to walk around a very small, busy area could do so unaccompanied, but generally we all felt that booking us into a hotel with a nice pool or lounge - in order that we could all spend the initial hours there recovering from various long haul flights, before the organised taxis whisked us off for the first group Maldivian meal in a small local cafe, which was a very nice way to mix all the guests together. There were a couple of days where we all became restless and needed to move on, so feel that the itinerary could be tweaked allowing perhaps another snorkel at a different location- especially for the final sailing day and final night's stopover which we felt was more about convenient logistics to the staff rather than experience for the passengers. That said, this didn't spoil what has been an amazing trip and the best way to enjoy the various atolls by far, rather than sitting on one resort.
Published on: 16 April 2016