Emperor Leo Real Time Review, March 21-28, 2021, The Best of Maldives

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
This is a 2nd part of real time review of liveaboard diving in Maldives. The first part was in Deep South route with Carpe Vita, as reported here:
Carpe Vita Real Time Review: March 7-18, 2021 Trip to Maldives Deep South

On this second part, we started from Male on Mar 21 going counterclockwise westwards to Rasdhoo Atoll, southwards to Ari Atoll, eastwards to Vaavu Atoll and northwards back to Male by Mar. 28.
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
We had this trip planned about a year ago, but due to pandemic situation, it was rescheduled to now. A couple of us were already made it to Male, the day the country shutdown & had to fly back home.

In this current trip there were 18 guests (6 couples and 6 singles) for 12 cabins. So, each single persons got lucky to be able to stay in double occupancy cabin for himself / herself.
 

drrich2

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
10,099
Reaction score
8,522
Location
Southwestern Kentucky
# of dives
500 - 999
When you get to the end, I hope you'll share some thoughts on which live-aboard and which itinerary you'd recommend to people who will only make one lifetime trip to the Maldives.
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
When you get to the end, I hope you'll share some thoughts on which live-aboard and which itinerary you'd recommend to people who will only make one lifetime trip to the Maldives.

I have been to The Best of Maldives before on Maldives Aggressor II, Trip Report - Maldives 9 - 16 December 2018 TripReport so I can make the comparison now. If you only have one lifetime trip to the Maldives, go on this one.

The Best of Maldives route (Male to Male) even though it is shorter (6 days of diving, 17 dives) vs. The Deep South (10 days of diving, 29 dives), it’s considerably cheaper (about at least half of the cost, Emperor Leo was 36% of that of Carpe Vita, due to more supply than demand for this route). You don’t have to fly domestic from Male to Gan (save another $200 flight fare). You may missed seeing Tiger Sharks in Fuvahmulah & wall of Gray Reef Sharks in Huvadhoo Atoll, but you would still experience other incredible diving like:
1. Fish Factory near Male. A must do dive!
2. Dusk dive in Alimathaa in Vaavu Atoll.
3. Manta night diving in Mayaa Lagoon (Ari Atoll).
4. Manta diving at Manta Cleaning Station in Rasdhoo Atoll.
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Food wise, Emperor Leo has a better cook than that of Carpe Vita. Dinner last night was great!

The guests are pretty international group of people like in my last week trip on Carpe Vita:
7 divers from USA (Miami group)
7 divers from Spain
2 divers from Switzerland
1 diver from The Nederland
1 diver from Germany
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Day 1
We sailed for 5 hrs to Rasdhoo Atoll yesterday afternoon, arrived in Rasdhoo ~ 10pm. Right time for a quiet & good night sleep.

Dive 1 was at Rasdhoo Maldivaru, 102 ft, 48 min, started @ 6:58am. Channel diving. Guided by Rippon, who guided me back in December 2018 on Maldives Aggressor II (MA2). What a coincidence! Currently MA2 was not in operation. We saw Reef Sharks, big NapolWrasse, Leaf Scorpionfish, Black Cheek Moray which bit my right elbow as I got too closed to it and I did not see it when I was trying to take the picture of the Leaf Scorpionfish.
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Dive 2 was at Kuramathi Kandu, Rasdhoo Atoll, 84 ft, 46 min. It’s another channel diving. Great visibility. ~ 100 ft at the beginning then 20 min later it turned murky, ~ 50 ft. Saw Grey Reef Sharks.

Dive 3 was in BMK (Bathala Malaga Kan) Thila, S. Rasdhoo Atoll, 96 ft, 51 min. It’s another channel diving. Saw Dogtooth Tunas really closed to us, Gray Reef Sharks, lots of neon fusiliers.
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Typical daily schedule:
05:45 Wake up
06:15 Brief + Dive 1
08:15 Breakfast
10:00 Brief + Dive 2
12:00 Lunch
14:00 Brief + Dive 3
19:30 Dinner
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Miami group managed to have an extra day of diving before boarding Emperor Leo yesterday, hosted by Emperor Voyager & Nemo Dhoni, guided by Russ & Issey. We made 3 dives around Male in (1) Kurumba, (2) Lankan Finolhu, (3) Kanduoily Giri or more known as Fish Factory. The last one was such an incredible diving so we requested to Chris, Emperor Leo’s Cruise Director to redo this dive at the of the trip, when we would be back to Male.
 
OP
Dan

Dan

Contributor
Messages
8,631
Reaction score
6,380
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
# of dives
1000 - 2499
From the last week trip on Carpe Vita, we learned that it’s better to get local Simcard at Male airport than using the liveaboard Wi-Fi (cheaper & just as fast, 4G signal). So, that’s what I did for the current trip on Emperor Leo. I bought one for $30 including 16GB data usage. Emperor Leo charges $30 for 5GB.

If you want to get local simcard, just make sure your mobil phone is unlocked. I have an old unlocked iPhone 6+ that I’m using as personal Hotspot for my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
 

Top Bottom