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Dive Review of Delphis/Royal Island in
Maldives/Baa Atoll

Delphis/Royal Island, Dec, 2009,

by Sherri Dullingham, Singapore, Singapore (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5318.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Florida Keys, Cozumel, Fiji, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 30M limit mandated by gov't.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Its hard to be objective about our trip to Royal Island, because we paid absolute top dollar to go during the high season, and it rained 50% of the time, including 36 hours of torrential rain that commenced on Christmas Eve. The 4 sunny days out of our 8 day trip were incredibly windy, preventing our 6 year old from snorkeling most of the time. This weather is either pretty common for this time of year, or totally uncommon, depending on whom you ask. The resort was only 20% full, leading to a sort of ho-hum atmosphere. That being said, the villa was very nice, the food was good, and the beach was much nicer than Bandos, where we went last year. When I say the food was good, I dont mean it was perfectlike most resorts in the Maldives, they serve buffet style, with some offerings being better than others. Probably obvious to mostthe Western food is iffy, but the Indian/Maldivian dishes are pretty good.

The dive operation took some getting used to. One thing Americans need to remember is that we are in the minority here. Most resorts are heavily occupied by citizens from one European country or anotherso, do your research carefully prior to traveling here for the best chance of finding a congenial environment.

As for the dive operation, their largely European clientele and influence means that they use steel tanks with DIN fittings. They accurately point out that steel tanks are not as buoyant as aluminum at the end of a dive, but they are heavy and take some getting used to. The other weird thing about this resort is that they do a ONE tank morning dive and a one tank afternoon dive, which we were not expecting. I went back and checked their website, and this news is buried on one the pages. It turned out OK, but it threw us off our game initially, since we planned to hire a babysitter, dive from about 8 a.m. to about noon, and spend the rest of the day with our 6 year old. So, if you want to get in two dives per day, you spend most of your day either preparing to dive, diving, or cleaning up from a dive. Also, you assemble your own gear each and every dive. I know some of you cowboys dont like anyone to touch your rig, but for those of us who dive once or twice a year, a little more service is appreciated, especially on a resort that purports to be 5 star. I should add though, that the diving was really good, and most of the dive staff very knowledgeable and helpful, with Igino, Alessendre and Junko being the stand-out divemasters. I should also mention that the rental gear is really old and outdated. On the good side: we saw all manner of fish, large and small. Lots of sharks, lots of eagle rays, lots of turtles. Dozens of eels. Lobsters. Nudibranchs. Frog fish. All the beautiful tropical fish in glorious abundance. Mantas on the house reef several days in a row, which we snorkeled with once, but none on dives.
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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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