Tropic Breeze Caribbean & Maldives Holidays

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Maldives -> Maldives Travel Notes

Travel Notes for travelling to the Maldives

Introduction

Thank you for booking a Tropic Breeze holiday.  We hope that you will enjoy a fantastic break and that the following notes & tips will help you to make the most of your holiday.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Passports & visas

Check your passport now.  We recommend that your passport should be valid for a period of 6 months after your scheduled return.  Remember that children now need their own passport.  Passengers must carry a machine readable passport; those travelling on non-machine readable passports will not be accepted for entry into and transit through the Maldives.  If you do not hold a full British passport it is essential that you check if you need a visa with the relevant consulate.

Flight tickets

Your tickets will be sent as soon as we receive them from the airline. Tickets are not issued until about 2 weeks prior to departure in case there are any last minute changes to the schedule. We will post them immediately by first class mail to the address of the party leader on the booking form.

Please check the attached confirmation invoice and remember to check your tickets as soon as they arrive.  Contact us immediately in the unlikely event that there is a mistake.  The surname and first initial or first name will be as advised on your booking form and must be the same as they appear on your passport.  Also check the departure time and airport terminal of all flights – occasionally this will vary from the confirmation invoice.

Photocopy your tickets, insurance certificate and passports

We recommend that you photocopy your tickets, insurance certificate and passports and keep this copy separately in your luggage/hand luggage.  If you are unlucky enough to lose any of these documents, this could save you a lot of time.

Vaccinations & health advice

Whilst at the time of writing there are no mandatory jabs, there are a number of vaccinations that are recommended.  We strongly suggest that you check now with your GP, as most vaccinations need to be administered at least 4 weeks before departure (some require several boosters). There have been cases of Dengue Fever in the Maldives, please speak to your GP if you are concerned about this.  There have also been reported cases of Chikungunya disease.  Chikungunya symptoms include sudden onset of flu like illness with fever, muscle pain, headache and a rash, it can also cause joint pain for several months.  The mosquitos that spread chikungunya bite in the day.  To minimise the risk of being bitten, use insect repellents, wear appropriate clothing and mosquito nets where provided.

What to Pack

Cash or Travellers Cheques?

US dollars are accepted everywhere, but expect to be given change in the local currency, Rufiyaa.  There are about Rf 12.5 to $1 or Rf20 to £1. We suggest you take US$ cash, but not more than the limit on your insurance policy. There are no ATM’s in the resorts, (and only one in Male, at HSBC opposite the ferry dock – cash will be in Rufiyaa) but you can charge everything to your room (except perhaps for incidentals at the shop) and pay at the end of your holiday. Most resorts charge a 10% service charge on all purchases and some will pass on bank charges of 5% for using a credit card. Travellers cheques are no longer accepted. All major credit cards are widely accepted.

Luggage

Most people pack more than they will wear on the basis that it’s better to be safe than sorry!  Whilst allowance is normally 23kg in international flights (varies by carrier and class) luggage allowance on seaplanes is 20kg and this is strictly enforced, even if you have travelled business or first class with a greater allowance.  Excess baggage may be carried, subject to there being sufficient space available, but you will be charged.

Dress in the Maldives is generally very informal.  Most people change for dinner, but casual wear is still very much the order of the day.

Most holiday items, such as sun cream, etc are widely available, but you may not be able to purchase your favourite brand. 

Electrical - Most hotels run off the UK240 volts style plugs.

Travel to the Maldives

Departure planning

Flights to the Maldives usually last at least 10½ hours direct and 12-13 hours if indirect.  Maldives time is 5 hours ahead of GMT, (4 hours in our summer time).  Many resorts operate on ‘Island Time’, which is 1 hour ahead of Male time.  Outbound flights are normally overnight; return (inbound) flights are usually daytime, arriving back into the UK in the evening.  You will therefore be arriving back into the UK about 2100 UK time, but 0100 to 0300 local time.  Unless you live within 1 hour’s drive of your departure airport we strongly suggest that you book a hotel on the evening of your arrival back to the UK and drive home the next morning.

DVT

Recent press reports have highlighted the dangers of sitting still on aircraft for long periods, which can cause blot clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis).  If you are worried about this you are advised to consult your GP.

On arrival in the Maldives

You will feel the heat and humidity. It is a good idea to save a bottle of water on the plane, which will be very welcome whilst you are queuing to clear immigration.  Once through immigration, your bags will be scanned for alcohol and pork products.  Do not attempt to import these products – the penalties are severe.  Alcoholic drinks are available in all the resorts, but are strictly forbidden in Male and local islands. 

Once you are through customs, you will be met by our representative from Hummingbird Travel, who are our ground handlers in the Maldives or by the hotel’s own representatives.  They will take you to the speedboat or seaplane departure lounge or domestic flight terminal for your transfer to your hotel.  If you cannot find the representative, go to the Hummingbird desk (number 50) in the arrivals hall.  Hummingbird’s telephone no is +960 791 4400 and their airport mobile no is +960 978 1055.

Hotel rooms

Your hotel room will have been booked for you at the time you made your booking with us and any special requests such as for specific rooms, twin beds etc will have been sent to the hotel.  Whilst the hotel will do its utmost to accommodate these requests, these requests are not guaranteed.

Etiquette & local culture

Most Maldivians are charming, laid back people who give tourists a very warm welcome and enjoy talking about their home.

Religion

The majority of Maldivians are strict Moslems.

Nudity/topless sunbathing

Please be discreet!  Topless sunbathing is illegal on all the islands, and this is enforced on some islands. If you visit Male or local islands, please cover up and wear shorts/skirt and a shirt with sleeves.

Drugs

There is a zero tolerance policy.

Tipping & tax

It is customary to tip your room boy and waiter at the end of your stay.  Any meals, drinks or extras that you have charged to your room will be subject to a service charge of 10%, which is distributed to the staff.  In some resorts payments by credit card will be subject to a 5% surcharge and 1% for US dollar traveller’s cheques.

Telephone calls

Calls to the UK from your room are $6-$10 per minute. Collect (reverse charge) calls are not normally permitted.  There is excellent mobile coverage throughout the Maldives and if your mobile is registered for global roaming you should have no difficulty.  Many hotels have internet/e-mail access for guests.

To dial the UK from the Maldives, dial the international access code   (00) followed by the Country code (44 for the UK) followed by the number you wish to call in the UK omitting the 0 from the area code, e.g. Tropic Breeze would be 00 44 1752 880 880.  However, if your mobile is switched to global roaming you just need to dial the UK dialling code and number, as if you were in the UK.

Excursions

There are many excursions available and your hotel manager will have full details.  Always check that your insurance covers you for the intended activity.  If you have an accident and you are not covered you would have to meet all the medical, repatriation and other costs yourself.  In particular this applies to waterskiing, parasailing, kiteboarding and scuba diving which are generally not included in a standard holiday insurance policy.

Health & Safety

Swimming

None of the hotels that we feature employs a pool attendant or lifeguard, so never permit your children to swim in a hotel pool without adult supervision.  Remember, always check the depth of a pool before entering it and never dive into a pool unless you are absolutely certain it is sufficiently deep.  When swimming or snorkelling in the sea, always check local conditions.  There are many dangerous currents and uneven sea beds in the Maldives and there are no warning signs or lifeguards.  Never stand on coral or break off a bit as a souvenir.
Slippery tiles
Many tiles in bedrooms, bathrooms, pool surrounds and public areas may become very slippery when wet.

Sunburn & dehydration

In a tropical environment you are much closer to the sun than in Mediterranean latitudes.  It is extremely easy to get seriously burnt.  Exercise extreme caution and wear a sunhat. Similarly, dehydration is a common problem, drink plenty of water!

Re-confirming flights

If you have travelled to Maldives on a scheduled flight with Sri Lankan or Emirates, it is not normally necessary to reconfirm your flights, unless you are returning via India.  If your flights do require reconfirmation, our agents, Hummingbird Travel, will collect your tickets upon arrival and reconfirm flights on your behalf, returning your tickets to you at departure.  This is normal practice in Male when flights require reconfirmation.

What to do if things go wrong

Due to the unique nature of the Maldives, where every hotel is on a separate island, it is not possible to employ a representative on every island.  We are represented in the Maldives by Hummingbird Travel who will do their utmost to resolve any issues you may have.  Their 24 hour telephone number is (960) 978 1055.  If you have an emergency which cannot be dealt with locally and is out of normal UK office hours, please call one of our emergency mobile numbers, +44 7966 583 555 or +44 7966 500 684.

If you miss your flight

Hummingbird Travel will look after you and will liaise with the airlines to ensure you are rebooked on the earliest available flight.

If your luggage does not arrive

Report the loss to the airline together with the name of the hotel.  Your luggage will usually arrive on the next flight and will be delivered to you.

If you have an accident

Check the wording of your travel insurance policy and follow the instructions.  For minor accidents and injuries it is often sufficient to obtain a receipt for the treatment and make a claim on your return to the UK.

If you need to return home urgently

The tickets included in our package are only valid for travel on the appropriate day.  Airlines will do their best to accommodate passengers at short notice in compassionate circumstances.  Ring Hummingbird Travel, or contact us by email, fax or telephone and we will do our best to obtain seats for you.

Finally...

We hope that you will have a superb holiday.  If there is anything else that you would like to have known in advance please let us know so that we can update these notes.  We would be very pleased to hear from you on your return and learn how your holiday went and anything that we could do to improve our service. 

Updated 22 May 2018
 

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