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Maldive Dhoni Cruise MC

Visiting: Maldives
Trip Duration 8 Days

Reviews for Maldive Dhoni Cruise

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Maldive Dhoni Cruise reviews verified by Reevoo

44 reviews

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Maldive Dhoni CruiseScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 44 reviews
(9 out of 10)


Marcus Beach, Qld, Australia
Easy to see why this is one of Explore's most popular tours. The colour of the sea just had to be seen to be believed. The snorkelling was fabulous with plenty of colourful coral and a vast array of fish. Our boat was escorted by a pod of some 20 to 30 dolphins one day. The evening BBQ on a deserted coral island was a highlight. The food provided by the crew was amazing. Definitely one of Explore's great tours. Go while you can!

My only negative comment is that having two boats travel together can cause a bit of a "them" and "us" situation. It kind of split the group.
Confirmed traveller: 17 April 2016
Published on: 19 May 2016
(7 out of 10)


Overall this tour was amazing and very relaxing. We had one boat for 6 of us, so we had plenty of space. I have listed below some of the pros, cons and some tips, but in general I would really recommend this trip.

- The snorkelling was amazing. It was so relaxing as we just swam around with the fishes. Our guide was quite relaxed about us snorkelling on our own around the boat as well, so we had a lot of fun
- We didn't have to worry or think about a thing the whole time we were on the boat. Generally our time was spent waking up, eating cooked breakfast, cruising around for a bit while we sat on deck and read books or chatted, snorkelled, ate lunch, cruised a bit more, snorkelled a bit more etc.! All in beautiful scenery!
- The cabins are functional and very well equipped considering we were at sea for 6 nights. They have a shower and flushing toilet in each cabin, along with a bunk bed and a fan. They also provided showering towels and beach towels (clean ones were provided mid-week). Our beds were made daily while we were eating breakfast. The de-salination unit meant we always had water for a shower and the generator meant that we almost always had electricity
- Meals were cooked 3 times a day. Again all meals were very impressive considering we were on a boat
- Our guide (Teddie) was fun and is very passionate about what he does and the Maldives in general. He was constantly updating the map so we knew where we were and was good on the guided snorkels he took us on
- The crew were helpful, nice and professional. I felt like we were in safe hands all the way through the trip. If we went out snorkelling on our own, they always had an eye on us
- The meal we had on the beach of a deserted island was a real highlight. Two members of our group had their birthday on the same day while on the boat, so for that night the crew arranged dinner on an uninhabited island. I won't spoil the surprise for others going on this trip, but it was absolutely amazing and took the crew hours to prepare!

- Our 'welcome' at the airport was ok. Similar story to other reviews…We arrived and were told to sit and wait for everyone else, which we did for nearly an hour (despite the fact that we later found out everyone else was already at the hotel) before a briefcase arrived that had to be taken to Male and we went with him.
- As others have said, the walking tour on the first day was awful. Our tour leader introduced someone else as our guide (Saleem) and said he would take us around the city. This surly character barely spoke a word to us unless we asked him a question, at which point he rolled his eyes. Not only this, Male doesn’t really have much to offer, so he didn’t have much to talk about to be honest. We then ended up in a souvenir shop where he clearly had a deal with the owner (something I thought was quite ‘un-Explore’), at which point he suddenly became very talkative, telling us what things in the shop were, how much they were and how we should all buy something etc. If at all possible, I would suggest dropping this from the trip as it really didn’t set the scene well at all.
- I personally did not enjoy visiting the inhabited islands. We only visited one due to poor weather when we reached another island. To be honest there was not a lot to see. We aimlessly wandered around a tiny island while our tour leader pointed out the de-salination plant and ‘local’ concrete housing. Everyone got bitten all over by mosquitos and then we ended up sat outside the little shop while our tour leader bought phone cards and cigarettes. When we came out, the local women had suddenly decided to start working on a reed tapestry. I may just be really cynical, but the timing for tourist photographs seemed a bit too good.

- The snorkelling equipment is ok. I wish I had brought my own kit though (even just the snorkel and mask), so I might suggest bringing your own if you have it.
- Don’t bother taking too many ‘proper clothes’, we spent most of the time in swimming costumes etc. on the boat and only got dressed for about 2 hours in the evening. There isn’t a huge amount of space in the cabins, so bringing only clothes you will use is a plus!
Confirmed traveller: 24 April 2016
Published on: 09 May 2016
(9 out of 10)


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.
Confirmed traveller: 03 April 2016
Published on: 16 April 2016
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

An incredibly relaxing week. The first night in Malé was interesting to see a bit of 'normal' Maldivian life and the city was certainly an incredible contrast to the dreamscapes of the atolls. The rest of the week was fantastic - beautiful snorkelling, a manta by the boat all night, turtles, fish, dolphins, sharks, rays - and the delicious food topped off with a wonderful beach banquet! A special shout out to Captain Mo and the crew of the Sea Coral.
Confirmed traveller: 12 December 2015
Published on: 15 April 2016
(10 out of 10)


Neath, Wales
The tour guide and crew were outstanding, food was excellent, freshly made by our on board chef, we even managed to catch some fish from the boat for a BBQ on the beach. Teddy the tour guide was excellent with the children, full of fun, a real big brother to them both. A holiday to remember.
Confirmed traveller: 10 April 2016
Published on: 14 April 2016
(6 out of 10)


The boat was very cramped for 6 people plus the crew. The food was outstanding, every single meal.
The leader acted unprofessionally on several occasions (play fighting with the crew, which after a while gets annoying). I don't think it sets a good impression for him or the company. I was disappointed with his leadership.
Confirmed traveller: 27 March 2016
Published on: 06 April 2016

We’re sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your Explore Leader – he has been leading our trips since 2015 and usually receives great feedback, so it’s a shame that you found him to be unprofessional on occasions. Although we are happy for our leaders to relax with the group, we do ask that they always stay professional and we have made sure to address this with him. We really appreciate your feedback and we do hope you enjoyed your overall experience.

Jasmine, Customer Relations

(8 out of 10)


Wow, where do I start....what an amazing holiday experience.

From start to finish Explore managed the holiday very well. The crew of the boat were friendly and had excellent local knowledge.

The cruise around the Maldive atolls was full of breathtaking views, turquoise seas, sandy beaches, amazing snorkelling (corals, plenty of brightly coloured fish, sharks, turtles and also a sight of the elusive manta ray!) and throughout the day there was tasty freshly prepared food available.
Confirmed traveller: 03 April 2016
Published on: 04 April 2016
(8 out of 10)


Vancouver Canada
Snorkeling was great! Crew were great! Food was great! Cabin too small for two people, top bunk very small with poor ventilation, deck chairs long past their comfort zone. But it was a really good trip, we guests were very well looked after by the crew, both in the water and out. We were not informed until we received the final itinerary that the first day would be spent in Male - for me it was a wasted day that would have been much better sailing and snorkeling.
Confirmed traveller: 28 March 2016
Published on: 31 March 2016
(9 out of 10)


Chobham, Surrey
The dhoni crew on the GAHAA were excellent, particularly the chef (from Bangladesh name to us Noel (real name Nooy) As Explore said the chef was 'talented', he certainly was and even gave us a fish curry cooking demonstration. This was spontaneous and the finished tuna curry was first class. The waiter, who we called Victor was excellent too. The captain most helpful when snorkelling leading a less confident swimmer by the hand to show her things to see. The cabin boy was good too and always kept things clean, tidy and folded our sheets in a delightful fan shape every day.
The snorkelling sessions were very good - we saw lots of beautiful fish, turtles, sharks and lovely coral. The island visits were a little disappointing especially the uninhabited ones as they were virtually covered with plastic rubbish, old corrugated iron etc. I suspect it was dumped there.
The reason I have marked the Explore Leader at '5' is that I didn't feel that Teddie, or your Representative at Male Airport had your Clients best interests at heart. i.e. The Airport Rep. was ill informed of the arrival times of the Explore Clients, initially insisted we wait to join the rest of the group before taking us to the Hotel - we arrived at 0945, the rest in the afternoon from Colombo, whom she said would be arriving within the hour. When this did not materialise, we said we would make our own way to the hotel, assuming it was within walking distance from the airport, as implied in your Holiday Itinerary, 'Sun. 06 March -join tour in Male' (Page 4 of 9)- this was initially refused as it was pointed out to us we had to get a ferry from The Airport Island to Male and then find our way to the hotel, which she did not recommend. After another 1/2 hr another Voyage Maldive Rep. accompanied us to the hotel. I feel it would be more helpful if the Itinerary made it clear that the Airport is on a separate island to Male and would necessitate a ferry ride to the hotel.
As for our Tour Leader Teddie, we felt he was a bit immature in his approach to situations, and once more did not have your Clients' best interests at heart. As we were divided into two boats, a 'them and us' scenario tended to develop and felt that if a joint daily briefing was held on one boat, this would help us to 'gel' more.
I feel this explanation of a low mark for Tour Leader is for Explore benefit, but despite this we had a very enjoyable, lovely holiday and would recommend dhoni cruising to others.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 13 March 2016
Published on: 15 March 2016
(9 out of 10)


Last Sunday my wife and I returned from a Maldives Dhoni Cruise. Ref EX1038132.
I have the following observations:-
Although I received diabetic meals on the Emirates flights to Kochi and back to Manchester, the Sri Lankan Airways flights to Male via Colombo had nothing for me. I would also like to know why we could not have flown directly from Kochi to Male. There was a flight that day around midday.
The man from Voyages Maldives who met us at Male Airport seemed to be poorly advised about the people he was meeting. Firstly he annoyed us all by keeping us all waiting for about half an hour whilst he tried to find a package his boss wanted him to take to the town. He spoke very quietly to only one or two about what was going on, whilst the rest where left uninformed. When we got to the Mookai hotel, he was under the impression that we knew about details of the trip which in fact none of us did. i.e. who was sharing with whom, and who was on which boat. We did not even know that there were two boats for us. He then told us that we were not eating at the Mookai hotel, and that we would have to go somewhere else. He told us that our guide would meet us in the morning. We all felt uneasy about this and asked him to telephone our tour leader, and try to get him to come over A.S.A.P. This he did, and when Moosa appeared, he answered all our questions, and we all felt a lot better. We have done many Explore holidays, and this was the most chaotic start we have ever experienced.
The group was taken on a 1 hour walking tour of Male by a local guide. He was not very good. His English was poor, and he did not understand our questions. Additionally, at the end of the tour he took us to an expensive gift shop which he obviously had an arrangement with. I do not think that any of us purchased anything. We were not impressed.
Moosa then took us out for a meal to a very cheap local ‘fast food’ café. The ‘VIP’ room we were in was too small for the group, and the food was very poor quality. Overall, this was a very poor start to the holiday.
Although Rejanish V.S. had been aware of my diabetic condition on the previous week’s excellent trip to the Kerala Backwaters, Moosa Mohamed, our leader on the Maldives Cruise had not been informed. Apart from receiving sugar free pancakes one morning, no other provision was made for my condition.
I was agitated and annoyed when Moosa requested that we all fill in a blank personal details form when Explore had been given all these details months earlier.
On the day we left the boat, and went to the airport, I feel that we all got there much too late. We arrived at 7.30am, and were in 6 queues for the next hour and a half, and entered the aircraft 5 minutes after the official time for the gate to close. During this stressful time we were feeling very anxious. I had questioned our planned airport arrival time with Moosa the evening before we left the boat, and was assured that a 7.30am arrival at the airport would be adequate. It was not. The airport was chaotic. There were hundreds of people arriving around the same time, and we didn’t stop queuing or walking for one and a half hours. I would recommend a 6.30am arrival time at the airport for this holiday.
Confirmed traveller: 29 February 2016
Published on: 12 March 2016