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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet/Bandos Island Resort in
Maldives/S Male and S Ari Atolls

Aggressor Fleet/Bandos Island Resort: "Maldives March 2015", Mar, 2015,

by Janice Smith, MI, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 8170 has 7 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Maldives has been on my bucket list for some time. I am so glad I made it. First letís talk about Diving. I met the Aggressor crew at the Male airport on Sunday. The professionalism I have experienced before with other Aggressor trips, was evident from the beginning. They helped us wiht our luggage to their their Dive boat (Dhoni) and took us to the main boat, a large 115+ ft sailing vessel. They checked us into our rooms and helped us get our dive gear assembled to make sure we had everything needed. We had a safety briefing and tasty dinner on board. Next morning, we started the daily routine of 6:00 am wake up, coffee/light breakfast if desired, 6:30 dive briefing, first dive, return to boat for breakfast, 10:30 dive briefing, second dive, lunch, 2:30 dive briefing, third dive; 5:00 or 6:00 dive briefing/final dive. We did 4 dives a dive with exception of last two days where we did 3 and 2 to return on time to Male. Dive route and sites were selected based on conditions. Primarily dove the South Male and South Ari Atolls. The dive masters, Shume, Mif, Matt, provided drawing of site and concise briefing. Crew transferred cameras back and forth between main boat and dhoni. Additional staff, Ahmet, Mohammed and Rhana, were on boat to assist us with gear, water, cameras, and boarding. Divemasters checked current on every dive so we started at right spot and new what to expect. Most dives were drift dives with the current. Reef hooks were provided if needed. We saw everything from schools of eagle rays, sharks (white tip, black tips), tunas, jacks, sweet lips, snappers and of course Manta rays. Great variety of reef creatures including all types of eels(honeycomb, undulated, yellow, zebra moray) parrot fish, wrasses, and trigger fish. We were also treated to giant clams, anemones, anemone fish, and nudibranchs. Soft and hard corals were abundant and beautiful. We did spend one morning searching for Whale sharks. Unfortunately, we didnít see one. Ironically, had we stayed on the big boat, we would have seen one swim under it. Safety sausages are a must as you typically end dive drifing with the current away from the reef and in the blue. We did 3 dusk/night dives. One of which was a shark/ray dive. There is nothing like being body checked by an 8 ft nurse shark who isnít interested in you and just wants to get to the fish in the coral head. Water temps were low 80ís; a 3 mm was perfect. Air temps high 80s with humidity. Deck chairs available in the sun as well as a shaded area up front for enjoying breezes. Charging station on the back deck for camera/lights/other things. Computer on board for viewing photos and charging station internally for electronics (220 v Ė bring your converter/adaptor). Food and the boat was amazing. Chef Laksheeta and his assistant custom made eggs daily. Lunch was a buffet of salads, meat, sides and desert. Dinners were amazing. One night the crew organized a barbecue on a local beach with swaying palms trees, candle lights in the sand. Another evening the chef created a Maldivian dinner - great coconut salads and curry. All of the Aggressor trips I have experienced, have been outstanding. This was definitely one of the best Ė crew, boat, food, service and the other guests made it special.
A few other things. It is not easy to get to Maldives from from the USA. I flew Emirates (JetBlue code share DTW - BOS) through Boston/Dubai to reach Male. I arrived a day early and spent night at Bandos Island resort at Aggressor Travel Staff's recommendation. It was a short 15 min boat ride from the airport. As I was there for less than 36 hours I had a Garden room with a pool view. The Island has diving and great snorkeling right off shore (black tip reef sharks, anemones, giant clams). Different dining options, including nice Thai restaurant and a great spa. I highly recommend utilizing the spa. On the last night where dinner was on your own, you had a choice of going to Male or to an island resort, Karumba. Karumba was beautiful Ė I would check this place out for a longer stay. On the way back, I had a later airport departure and booked day package with Hulhule Island Hotel. This was well worth it. They have airport bus that runs every 15 min. The package gives you access to pool, beach, showers, and towels as well as lunch or dinner. They also have a spa as well.
The beauty of the Maldives was amazing. The atolls and depths create every shade of aqua imaginable. I would highly recommend this trip/boat. The Maldives and the Maldives Agressor will be on my list of places to return!
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Fiji, Sulawesi, Australia, Cocos, Galapagos, Caribbean
Closest Airport Male Getting There Jet Blue / Emirates (DTW-BOS-DBX-MLE) No issues, just a long flight and long layover in Dubai

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions All dives lead by multiple guides, but not required to stay with the guide. No dives over Nitrox limit or 100 ft. Most dives drift. Safety sausage with reel was needed. Reef hook needed for some dives as current in some areas strong (current = more sharks)
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Dedicated camera table and rinse tank on dhoni and dedicated table on main boat with towels. All divers where respectful of this. Would have been nice to have air hose on main boat table, but towels available.
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Report currently has 7 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Robert S Kuhn in IL, US at Apr 01, 2015 14:26 EST  
How many guests were on board? Where were they from? How was your room?
By Hal Shanis in PA, US at Apr 04, 2015 16:35 EST  
I am going in to weeks. what type of camera did you bring? Would you recommend bringing one? I have to shop for one quickly. Thanks for your review. I am looking forward more now than ever.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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