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DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: BarryLincoln on August 07, 2016, 09:27:04 PM

Title: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 07, 2016, 09:27:04 PM
First off, I'd like to extend my hakaras hatov to the many dedicated DDFers who contributed valuable insights to the planning of this trip.  The purpose of the trip was to celebrate a milestone anniversary and it certainly did not disappoint.  Planning for the tip started in earnest in January 2016 when we conceived the idea to visit the Maldives as a once in a lifetime experience and plan a short stopover in Venice on the way out there.  While MLE was our destination, my wife had always wanted to visit Venice and if there was a way to make it all work, we would try.  Travel is generally a bit easier for us in the summer as our kids are spoken for between sleepaway camp and in-laws.

Flights
With that said, in mid-February I was able to secure EY-F (pre-devaluation) using 90k AA miles per ticket for our return trip MLE - AUH - JFK.  With EY-F serving as my anchor, in March I used some leftover Delta Skymiles (that I really had no intention of using) to book DL-Y from JFK to VCE for 30k per ticket (was upgraded at the gate to exit row seats so had sufficient room to stretch out).  Booked in April, our VCE-MLE flight took us through Istanbul on TK-J booked using 45k UA miles per ticket.  Our trip took us through IST about two weeks after the attempted coup in Turkey and needless to say, that made us somewhat nervous. 

Hotels
Our first night (Sunday night) was spent on a DL 764 putting us in Venice the following morning (Monday).  Booked using 20k SPG points per night, our home for the next two nights was the Westin Europa and Regina in Venice.  We were booked into a Deluxe Double room which was sufficient for our needs.  More on the room later.  Wednesday night would be spent on-board a combination of TK flights (A321 and A333) on the way to MLE, arriving on Thursday midday.  The combination of TK's lounge in IST and business class accommodations on-board made the long trip bearable.  Beginning Thursday night, the next five nights would be spent at the Conrad, booked into their basic Beach Villa using a combination of 3 weekend night certificates and 190k HHonors points.  I accumulated the certificates and points over a 3 month period and was anxiously awaiting for everything to post.  Six weeks out and I was still waiting for my certs to hit.  They eventually hit my HHonors account and I quickly turned around and made the reservations.  [Sidenote: I had 4 of my 5 nights booked while waiting for a weekend certificate to hit my account.  When it finally hit, the last night was no longer available.  After several repeated attempts, Hilton still refused to help me, even though the night had been available.  I then called the Conrad Rangali directly and they were able to open a revenue room for me for that day which I immediately booked.  Over the following week, award availability opened up so I snagged the room for my last night and cancelled the revenue reservation so it all worked out in the end.]  Immediately after making my reservations with Conrad Rangali, I reached out to their reservations team to ask about paid upgrades to an OWV and was advised that there weren't any paid upgrades available for my stay. They would keep an eye out for me but couldn't guarantee anything.  Needless to say, I was somewhat disappointed but what more could I really do.  I wasn't about to postpone the trip although I did consider it at one point. 

Food
In addition to our canvas cooler (more on that shortly), we brought a separate suit case for non-perishable foods.  Yes, maybe we went a bit overboard, but better safe than sorry.  In the suitcase, we had our non-perishable items (breakfast bars, protein bars, Trader Joe snacks, chips, Horizon shelf-stable milk, packages of tuna, mayo, challah rolls for Shabbos, box of matzos, grape juice, Pam spray olive oil, plastic silverware, paper plates, etc.).  Our plan in Venice was to make sure of places like Gam Gam, Gam Gam Goodies and Ghimmel Garden.  We are generally OK with a coffee/protein bar for breakfast, small snacks and either a late lunch or early dinner.  We also ordered 12 Pom meals mostly for dinner in MLE.  We transported the Pom meals in our 48-pack AO Canvas Cooler (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002YKQC56/ref=twister_B01HG5KTAC?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1) and three Cooler Shock freeze packs (https://www.amazon.com/Lg-Cooler-Freeze-Packs-x14/dp/B00V9ITMYC/ref=pd_sim_468_3?ie=UTF8&dpID=51srLPizjgL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&psc=1&refRID=SN9B9YPDYRB8GX1Q7FNS).  In Venice, the folks at the Westin were happy to store our Pom meals in their freezer.  Upon our arrival at the Conrad, our meals were still frozen nearly 24 hours after leaving Venice.  We also brought a couple of packages of vacuum-packed deli and cheese.  I had connected with the Conrad in advance and they were happy to store and reheat our Pom meals.  They also provided, at our request, a brand new frying pan, chef’s knife, spatula and cutting board, primarily so that we could take advantage of the Conrad’s “free” breakfast.

To be continued with more details and pictures (hopefully sooner than later...)
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ual902 on August 07, 2016, 09:47:21 PM
sounds good so far.. keep going..
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ar on August 07, 2016, 10:05:04 PM
Looks great! Looking forward for the rest....
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 07, 2016, 11:00:48 PM
Awesome start and looking forward to the rest since we're heading out in less than a month!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Luvtotravel on August 08, 2016, 12:41:40 AM
looking forward to the rest! never too many MLE tr's!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 09, 2016, 07:28:19 PM
Venice
We landed in Venice around 11:30am, went through passport control and then to baggage claim.  We had checked a suitcase and our cooler, and took two carry-ons onboard, computer bag and another bag for my wife’s chatchkes.  It was a lot of luggage.  We ended up buying RT Alilaguna tickets from the airport to San Marcos for 54 euros (had some issues with my credit card and the ticket machine – ultimately changed some dollars to euros and used cash for two RT tickets).  After the 10+ minute walk from the terminal to the waterfront, we waited a few minutes and then boarded the boat for the trip to San Marcos.  Now, I’m all for saving money (water taxi was 100+ euros) but taking the Alilaguna was a mistake.  It was the hottest part of the day, there was little to no ventilation on the boat (read no A/C) and it was a 90+ minute ride.  It must’ve been 90+ degrees outside and probably 20+ degrees warmer in the boat.  They would only store our two largest bags, forcing us to find space for our carry-ons etc. on the seats next to us.  It was a rough 90 minutes, particularly after DL-Y.  If you’re traveling with few bags and its 60-70 degrees outside, the Alilaguna isn’t a bad option – would not recommend otherwise.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ClEvLE0yXysidXQRC7GBT_UzQ4zKO7SLoyzTvvQ6OWeEukzKBNaQX0j2xPwsTi0XiphpYHN0cVbMCOuGJBw_a0hyyPERWXalXdGamUfP84giPjEYtXiwEehuzbzeIEAHZPzhuTUAMkiSS1ROR5NowEafyutk0RQPlhua-UakNcHtFF0hzkRV7AbYuPHy25Z8KSxP5U6f7yWzZl7UtbfhLLpB6jrtckFtXiev5VfQ6odvFjgnRy-peagqkySb-UwULanDN8DI2iFJYjWyiVXXvNpNM2p4RR4wrai3ZUSCIrlOtyZD5fA2--gCM8B42NQV9m9WwtRX_9t2lEHYWuPVIRd5ro1PV9AU2GZopdBA9hKrHLvZ11du-8mhxV7SFgY3-vhtmgyaHWNvyu97V-KaTOiiNCX4U5o6th3GoW4QbaaQjD6WBgExvfYsNe7C-yT7gXaGrOOGYZ13VcJUY0Me310qi0dn_jwcCoFbV6Nbr91U_i3wjQozS8nhHbZgii5cKDkgl1VRaSWG3ETVHzd94NJyoKivXCv_fKQ0aLTsx3zI6M59GJHPAXX2WlyBrQD--HowMqWz7cECWdTnioT2AnDcpncRqbnF=w1496-h955-no)


[Little side note here – had some issues with my memory card and lost several pictures from the flight and first few hours in Venice so no picture of the room or airplane]

Getting from the Alilaguna stop in San Marcos to the Westin was a royal pain but we made it (barely).  We checked into the Westin and it appeared that it was at or near capacity.  I asked about a Gold upgrade and the check-in agent made it sound as if we had already been upgraded to the Double Deluxe room.  The concierge put our cooler into the freezer (he kept on saying refrigerator and I kept on saying freezer - had to confirm with three people that it was in fact destined for the freezer and not refrigerator).  Up to our room we went.  There was no real circulation in the hallways which made the hallway stink.  The A/C in our room was weak but we weren’t about to let than derail the trip.  After chilling in the room and checking our email over the hotel’s wifi, we got directions from the concierge and made our way to the Ghetto for some dinner.  The walk was about 30 minutes and took us through San Marcos square and the streets of Venice.

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Needless to say, it was mega-HOT outside.  I stoped at a TIM mobile store to pickup a SIM card which for 35 euros you really can’t go wrong.  (35 euros gets you 100 minutes of talk time and 4GB of data which can be used over 30 days – you’ll need your passport to get the sim card)  It was worth it just for Google Maps – super easy to get lost in Venice.  Once at Gam Gam, we ordered some Israeli salads, schnitzel, grilled chicken, etc.  We sat inside thinking it would be cooler than outside – the difference was barely noticeable.  But it was nice to have fresh food.  It was a bit cooler on the way back to the hotel. Ad kan day 1.

Got a bit of a late start on Day 2.  Made our way back to the Ghetto for a tour of the Jewish community.  We toured several shuls that each date back several hundred years.  The level of detail in the shuls is truly exquisite. 

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(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/60xPKQRhQ_DTJ8ftODR68sp2x8NI7FXgxRhhFRl5iBP7IeCM85g7eZpkIZHthMchBAg-5jWLDQyKN_JddoTZzdzz4GcnnsiEVeqxjcwworITEtTyFL8nkrUEPPZ6uPOfl4FW0KwBwD-fI_swNQbbY_welUtV_gDEM33OljjL_KK_CLfDqmQWvdfFpHWsz6luf7DD6xv0DtygNtaVSBL-TdnPjyGhyTNbNvUfF28JVRrh9Kb70YUXqzZQCRmK-EbAzXYgH6odjBaBRvE4Xwt5KbkxvV6sQMnQ7BPmfQbCCB2jC8b2jRqPieDmrOrRyTc9NUN2MLzdA9zfDnGYbPFjulyv1GPDBRT29Cky4giwcOPxlTojn5zocfCSBuOCVFeRQ3vLviAAcq7-FoA9CWXLRCelbXd4XW3fCi8-EJzPvUYWbwn4DHduIW0ZCQE8ylvV8o1Z9BV687YYrf_9MGdd6YR6zveS-l2bQa-6ottQ9h_LA7ML2t3sxIGzVFuQSRIPs5m_ek8jf_Izl3yWjLNFme3n5naokCymi584enzUll0cb_BAoaJMv10_ypUXbZCetjR7cPMTCFKxE6Ri7Zaiw9MHU5om7yc7=w1274-h955-no)

A tzedakah box in the wall…

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/bMQeYxj5U8fVozV3lpzGoPk45zgCy02YqzdtG2EUiw-cSz9K0ycCdlowv3LCRoP8Axv8EwU28o_eUpE37Nwse7VnYuFsyv7J_ax558V-4TNJAlApMbiZPan2goIIzZU0ASFXVh5ndVN9I4Upy9sakUOVPs2wRq-Vn4iQCIk-gQt0EcARg9xXG74Gss5gzyKLT6n-2sYBh9bUxuBhUalrsVbIGl0tlb67hBGcj_O-egqircm4cLo9POKmW8gMbNSF0P79xC7ogP5WgKJ2J2zVNMkuSTrziamufmsFSrHCnxWmFAaFoIaeYJr2s9puy93iIfkLCvx6KTVnYYHjrWWbzKmB2cYDCXFPcX4gv2OM_LGsTC60_q_1GzdpeJBYJ_UDXsJ0I6OLXJ2iEExjjbrjaNYErd7CagkjU-dExAC6DFVXJNB4R5t52wLUcs_1Zhgj9lwgs6lN6ZOSYKRlMThOrhpzJB5Nc1WyRUBwuuPbM50QTsDaFWMqTI49Ktd59f-K4HJA6ZYoLLzD6CJGM675SXJ7FXfCyIF_UcXCMVTvi0BxnHfCPSf_hsU1gHjAzGI66q6TauKPq-WDSJtd44lSVD9qv77alg3E=w717-h955-no)

We did a quick tour of the museum which was cool and then went to Ghimel Garden for lunch.  Sitting outside in the shade at Ghimel Garden was a pleasure.  Nice breeze and menu looked delicious.  My wife ordered eggplant parm (6/10) and I had a Mari Mote pizza (lox, mushrooms, etc.) (10/10).

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4RcaZKAEkP0zOwGIqe2p6zwSDfKyIJwc-o8kF2q2T9vwKTLgqXCREFYGY_HrSozgJKccYAAloi0b-ZQA3q_OxBl0a2H95qDKdhizUG8nMnKVrDBJphGRSJ67pawIZ0-4sTaG-FzNEhlIxU5wAwePVI_59NQo2uxsAsVRGWcRZluEo8dblCVswQsxW5VpuQckjrOA7LmDMW4oy3iBU95kmjwDepqYRT9yZRvMg712DozurJ_NPnf0EijPxOiwS0pc32D-sjpD5fWFoITwI10DoDqGwNianibq61U_5e-iOcgIaodK1g_qgde6wEW0GILhX-0vHljWmAMiuMaPaKNzsKsVfUZikk_bR504mDs2DpCpfP_JzIWsI6zPTP9jOq3CGHp6qIfvWTIM7px8UiJRWK7FYT_ogQwpoV1QvVpZediXId48bfVbtVnfD91h0_Mj_4XnrQygDFUOYA6RwV0FZq-_k52kLTmHZ0besaaKCN-x4j_u8_uxr_b--vTUe0A2PzhbcsnjfQfmTRASRaAUH-6ZKAFNjpmecgkw2OOwfsbtk9ZtZFIfdWCadmGtJikk7bJtzArQP9U2qiXhREOgAbU63piwZf-W=w717-h955-no)

We then chilled around the new section of the Ghetto for a while.  This year is the 500th anniversary of the Ghetto and there was a production of The Merchant in Venice taking place that evening so there was a rather large police presence in the area.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/kKVKvNr7f8DlUPIKr-2b5YaICeBRxQi6nea3K5E-PLornIhA1ojI38vGo3myIkHj-ZfzhGrX6BqoSGUh9jQsVfSEelOfjx6WwcpKgiiLeVkW9XVQoItsu0_GWnqTfO6_Eil__HOJ6DvYuHXL2Z0gtPvASjiriLEvsA3qRkdIcx9GhzQMdj4DLsKkWyrjiT0a9h9se0yujXwMTHWp_-cqTInlr8aw-ye9t1hi5lwOf5gO5aTUH7v5-yRdNhIOXdTO2vNT9e4X8NsWIpks2DX3asn0jcgOZFEEAk4fqPQVvFeXeek_zEbMtXKh6z7nb_Ua5uglQqy42WvTL2eUggJvXOSJbRCCYZlvXN8MpJkfjDRlsfY6RdQIJcj9sL_e_at-jQPH4yAZv9IYGLAXX0ud3Ti-VX7cwYeXgBKG4mUzDcWjy3xRid1j55UybdHvHyrwa2VXv-JZt9ZkLzoTZCsCEnVBhqLgqpzARup6MGyBGNXT6_XTe-YOD87FcH4yJmXW9m7FX40EtxaG9lkzqTwhWcz2x64w19VvEUofKPg-XTuOtsU4UHBBll-l0EEab4Y66rTlY5zT7p1oz9-UhHI6UAkgVwG2gOV4=w1274-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/eftn_ozaTqA7c9vcyB_oR5D7qsDYkcYNJ6IO9jDDNoXSCHVLEq4XJ1lrzNLZ-1N7eL6jzRF2SAxFaXTfM-JNUY08OGdsBo8LVdFruZNO1ghw5BfYL-jyzaNCrcAZRCVL-7Y992CppyOTEIDMs7s5Y9y-Us4KEJVVlspi4ow3ZOb1mGGgJdFDAGgUNLlICIg_dtKkBvfweyMb-3QzIP80LBEqPumOKXzsu-_dYZUZnSQKXJxxTJ_9svQ_HGeMLlGFxYI8f3PEIsh_fVI8E83SSrtETCN1G8_yClmAFKUJ6mzhwIKMlsbsK4pte-H29iveLVvurRXc-1GY9pfmT3A9tYne0k4sVLWuUZg8y_-sKb3IoUG3yer2klhhHWOttmfhyEncF4JPW4fpyeZeVIEm24js6YiMSYk5AgHZk9YfyYN12hWVoCbdhTLlNTIUTNim5GaJWNwss29DCHQPp7QY7snTFL7wB_3fF2dIUU1W5RRZjXv51kiWXXphdSSJ81tcwsib4yHzpPyDnYQHcWcyHXBL1ZawiOUFLslBcLMZYRCWVDPVQoUt9VO8IXBr4Z7LSwWjlq2q5MoEA-lASpIIe4NTGO-ZgKj9=w717-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/57LWBNH36mx3aQUMAncHOWA4b7m9fT4OZ2XiBr4qaVIeNyi9wERQyiL5lDb5aPFKHDgCqFVJCPBcbJIXvH3qetyR4CXEQq-t7iS9d6T-IQgoZ5SUUeXR87nGs-sDspZNwWHwUyi-8k1WKfWflm2wbG-fLjIFMLiwv0BdTJg5jUg3l_CSqs-EhZNqC40MFPLyZFQ6v1pLzF2wC7QmeqE3NFFDSA1SGO9k7yh_d5rifpu-SqQoJ2Y9Y5qOnudggnzCRmHilGU4bGhC8wfUo1M-p_7Lx9uVUxwn9lyqcl3iVr5aMeNWwPxVYCUCZaYp5KYGn1z3TALUz6uoeB75BHuMOqpnjOinWFUZmPR5nD6uX1xBqtXqzXcGA3QGj8Cr48PAGhFixZLSPzA_uV0OAg2AtQ8sIHnD_thGaoD4hbJpEccWM-VGSi6Siztq-mqtozkt45DMrhP83br8f7Bzo8IFxVIcHvv9WVDB-sLgZ3CAiOrk6ev-q3j-Gv4gumC6uZiujHSigFPNyS1g8lik2qFhpfG7_H7qyAzPg69J7NEJ1k2F3GnY_7GX4aTa4SGaPnvDAO0Y-nObQnTMr_eUP-SAkqQNLGI38exG=w717-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/3OjrqmvpcxzCw3D9KBBlQc1kQmttmtK87EU1mRh9ziwJHrP9mNpUOiktCL8KJzoByqos-Bx8pg2sOE5i8Dc3rRdYIu63QddqIiXYviYx9E09KPi4UKDxmaLDQrTrIMO7Dm06aB4SSHPt5CHGtrHMPN1puGOySWQjDZY9FThc2WzvlEJWClzfP7ybznypZOU4rRv_dkfWkt61HLi0RqiBfSWtF9ikF097dQ3LVyBBEqvHi8zQueHQ5rd2ubOAr1ZIhVMXpW5-TuArdSqPqqX_2IMFRWhO4a3WBzB9_ZTmZt6L4mowmzwrNZklV_mBIl5Qb_X5QVNyUCVVf9RFFi9wE_uJG6iGViNJegzuP3AnPX-9mIaXwZ9ZPmvPuIWT69MQEw-oG71w8eASbhZNyvOElSlEBGE3GqbaZ4fhel-GTraKy6E1JXb_ZqNOmYjM3bXxUFaeTsSxQ90nPatj9C1OX8Ydt4JqcmObTaa-9crBigkZriNfJKYuie3TmDI2H1vEXGgimYqGsg8v6LW1b2GNWwpSg3m2HYu-wBmjqCuQQtQYsoPk8m-109QwFbEq9IC5kyXdPP4RPFmfymwe9q381fPXFT63P2_I=w1274-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/bx2WQAf_1PmRiE-MOq2rBKLysvR8E_tFim-1FuQGiqFfFaRTGy5Ks0syZNz9Zij_BiVUuPXaIA9aBDqj2uQfIdx7EXGtu2Ik3oiKttj2Ih9uP6KlsIdpq15y6qE8GlJ7Ra2CRts-hqitK6-iK-3OXkxSPajjpJkKFluzpYyKGawO73-uALAaHVEPEFNvXyBBBHFWTWca1p5t6KwzP2Nm__656g03eRVvk-5kCTA8kRbpA0I9DrpqDgROBvrtri_biCXDKXU1dfctK27ulvcgj28SzqzNEbdTnzRZAgpkeF2RDWea4-6N5m1qJdP15FNfuCVY28-zeG5RWTI3IYnE4YUsYzTjClGTsn7it3yfDeoTK5yWLovaSVXFuzeXRMOSHBoKFVhZVNHrvIN5BgKQHtaBnTkCjD7NZkAkemizmdde1sK7NhvvdI6RRI9uIJhu3A_FucYs0Kqu_xmGBQ0kF0IVf1Vd9lp_A98lacqXVYWoia_8i7-_wu57R4WGy1gEINvvYM4e1sfcvXgPj1s3wz9aZ3x2O-stev2MGadyw5NcPsK7WwdmzRIJlzoRTq5yWpu0RCT-Td-8nKDj3IcJE_JN8bUKtNvy=w1274-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ilx0trX5CS-XO-184sKS-AI-QTEL8_qOpMS6BgQ38gfFs6wtooCRVBALgBeWC6zhx9BzN50iAKC3Uwt-F0R6gqB5nzuWfx5Js976IYYI0svNYElLInlil0f-9YQzsjgu6_Is43dYdEYVJ77ueA3Xv1_0UTpv4PYKR-AglXgIgyS02ww_Yo8IoWo889-bUGErG3umnop4TVsgsMdZhA0xhrCHgdFetgE3NUBAGlMsghiKEB-teiD116NnPtrTn6w-6rlmxG5tOQd6Ci5GcIZ1SAUoXRRrGcaf--_VEkmdUKkT5eZHDHW3L2cSCuFko6wuUdumFoJMdrafvVI1vQfMz31H7hivsq76rUfTpaa8NxXr0_49BqnZQu6QE75PBdrbqg16HPvo4RqwQx4_pt1tVvyO-NbFcXwxnGkRlE0_oxVD0evMxkRFE_czyHfPr0xzB1O2yeB0XBMMYasitt2P6a2HcBM5T08eaqZZ8o02Ifksuor3EqNJKipHslgVd3FPlZxyyTBbQVM8Aa7GvdXjxc8-7iCGoqORXfr4kmrKbBWXrTB4PNk1d706wjARl9AGyFzh8xU4HrCW-b86WSKtCORn9xBR6eC2=w1274-h955-no)

We went on a beautiful Gondola ride in the late afternoon taking us through some of the smaller canals and the finally onto the Grand Canal.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pq5UWhe8ROXaXUU0Czjk277Vhmoj25hBO5I5T33bvSqKrwDW1DTbPR6YfDvBY_GIM1gE2w4cTofzCPOHoy3RDKAyDrLYgiK4wyDtxr3orhpiXZKEo01eTu-2oO6j0OjGln0qe3VJPbgxELomjT_L1uYppEQ1WPEYiIpvEK4aFrlbvWW8tKP6ZEXlhOfK6zU3_pfCgJJ6g7C4Hu2y8TeXbqhV8BQ-2jXYYWalwXE3cRUgdE_ClEQlZ37E3ye62cC6tTbCJ1TwF1JyDkQzmh9etImJHJIhg9J1mygebxwYgj9C5b-b4Eoj6rZ3Nhr-h0c1_ZbGutYwa116WVyX1yIvHXVUetxkw3W6TujxmasDCyq5Cwzx2c1kymf-4aYnpTk61n1ZZ_ctxzFt8J4AST4AxDN2P_5YOyvDzPoU9_xNFf-krt6v9aFFiOihYZdAoZhSGXffDhFc5tp1nfz5WqJ9ugMePgqBhlL8ngOQIryD-N8lfHoVOnpQXpBAJ2-SLRJW1oL1ABkOVOM3550HNL1JX4zNAriugAVh9B10UGIFHiIVkOalbhxac4FTUJ5sSl9t4dGKbcJri5S8qV_doGCq33nlD1y-g7bt=w1274-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jJUK7ybWOAmTcjVIKhklMoWZvueiNRK814BZTB8ue8XA9fEzj_IFW2Y0FpbAC8C5JfU4qZlkCUzrsvIkIWSUafSPIXVc_qQLZiTyKu2tonjNuF4coL6uQEqiXmgBlgl5BvKB83TxLg7O0WQBQ0Hceo_JMtQ49bhko4riiIb1eScL8Vm9I0ayqDa-OB8DGO1SCSj0TqnXjU9roj0yJyCvngZa0T7-514lB_BnRzgJXpyqs91dz8UHTWkaGcic6KPVkYx2oLjWeWYw-4GTsvr1zzyqU_7KOKj-yPu_OCtMAyneNdhj82I9p9aemaOK3OXuJLyt1sHoJroYWhmdWfAspEEyB83IIyjXnQiuqYQwaeil_DFNI87PrBJUvTWlhI4UstvAThVHP9fs1aNDcizCOW9qyUBrN62rQpQAMmHAwmFO4s3qMQphZ0cdxaL6EXrjoYNe41facDeXm5af6H50Gp60SBLG8wCNQXxgFW-WqwHpvGRzF0ZIAxwBuB-yF2RffYmIB6E-V-uImSBXu2woL4PwhK_3xPeyYF-BAuc_PQcHA_ehG3FsHNiVXKz2ggB53VQzLML2G-tLjlxNV8mp2bofvm3SbRt_=w1274-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0di9Z-oMvW8sN-N8XrM6PJM4O9C73G-4ST2YHMoJ_zfTH9jHCz67QmKTBg2Twt_rkEMZu4RSHN9EGayS6YMw17FHRlCYaY93U7KihIY5V4Bm_wdiofHzloCxs6VXv1klv_35NWU19vVS7Z1Ksh2FzihojIySVDMfAV8ffJGhyQVgUozTF5_wB3jB8kqzW9mg2D0WfdV4uS9ijFrJi3swMQz_poSaXgSDnsxziGp9znUMemmIE5sW3ODr1HTX76uLcQhCddFCLF8DugNIbj3SNRnVwohRPUvTpJ-DbiNSMPG_ZZldYFUb9k--aJTheB5M2aRVT1uNvyeJodTNfFbfgwZa5ZXQ3_UnH-sRUH8hERgr-ljI0RqpHRKEIVxKGanRgyP7zuJoC33KbrZNlg8Zm19cVksSjtdp3M4KH3oySafNCDwFWgEnOBT5MnzLp827FMGM_9C8mai96n_tqxaSpLG7fs9yxvK_C99o3Sd72FK8mguuZe9g7Cg2_ltk5Gv1IvS9tIbw5UdCl7lwIxZ_537VMhp8cPFw0LPc1Dcu9ew46gjAGSyKrFfJmn7RagSQrghW1pkCZDCuAmUM1rJi3xxV1HwfbQET=w1274-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/M-m-nU6Tt7eWaqwTRED5ewa1-JC6-RmG0Pxmv0rupL8G-irWT1CFXa1Sj_qYKQe6T_5M0ImvaWYDVAlmkniy-4lqyXNaNRopTAXvEgMy1Xweiy-f5jOFCYyprM9fAzamGqs3VTks2N7Y7QtsZq7efgdO3245Stj4wh0XJq79tHP5iNK6N5E-8vu7fQYYJwYR9F1vUlr7yDQsuj7KjrnHmlxpZzPRGVrlu4PGyuXtVS36h2dAqBDj1oMDRPPDSO9642V4Hd1uEI3vFPJtgmZtZbxvmBrzujKwQF4BgXSbMkyH3fYKwipuBUTAb3EfEF-i7qoc0k1UGFFnvWypx0eb6mfIptNLgu639NiJ6fknGCsB9nuU1aE3u7mJOLGC0Pv452ueJHbKlCpZPBvR27GZsMoiHa9_iibNHDNfbsr4LyP27LhUyQM7RY47uY9AiXKVhSqQE6KYeZNZBhd9NLWisXJTFxhUAEQ3DIxaw97kQwh_YYZXcfJUv-BHLlgWPqNKAslXmfGs2MBozY7ZYS-4NiR0WB8M-rc9VWHaMkevyG63mB0xnw6aJYo5yP39iXYYQjTynbG-3mOJIODI4jV-lRfQwKmTXEWA=w1274-h955-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mWn0JY2b-feeT4zKQSg0OhtXw-i8F43zIELGWMtldtDHythb-L_8mobh68z0rWMAAm1HrNw_FZ-BH2nZY9r3KcdLpvBMsAoRA6MLLnnQcnFWHRSSqag-qRc586YVOklo_N8W2XP2oHfEOrFvQlUBOYIumP0guW40BBGIu_hkn3Lnd2ffcOZIOqkwkALc_WBl-czwOxHYaxo08-4pSgifHHBpeUrJuGuCWlk4hn8AU4WzVaXOy_jk5ak_hlyOhI_aNq7ebrH1rtEIHevXmI5qA4dbXofiFCNQQCWmnStFUFNfwaw2lNjShd___QBGGBBelhQjP2Nox0RL0lwrrSZuE0xth9bZaa1LuQpnj07U9EhdkOzoPNYYUdGIqriKVPZHeTX1gbTufq9mL2Hhbdzf74Wg5OCb0fhKiXGRf7LGvGmUr1kIIGkljgHV8TL31Wo1ohKT7F91Sov6vnbKyIoHqCCNbHw9ioAvDcZnlCHcop32RSj_7SUibgg7CW83OSqGwi9GwmpmLW2ksuy-ER9tb-wxv7zaYnQti4K2CXqrw2dA750HVNntfj9eq91MVD52gz3Z1AATG9oM6cUrtIRK6okmsW2rIKlh=w1496-h955-no)

Back to Gam Gam for dinner.  Not sure what the consensus is, but in our view the food at Gam Gam was mediocre (maybe we are just used to tri-state cuisine…)

Walking back after Gam Gam, we stopped at Dr. Kiss Fish for a very unusual experience.  Had read about DKF on a TR Yehoshua DDF and sounded intriguing.  It's a foot spa with unique fish that eat the dead skin from your feet.  Tickles a bit but you get used to it pretty quick.  After reading online about it, this type of foot spa is banned in 15 states because of hygienic reasons - the water isn't cleaned between customers... I feel bad for whoever dunked their feet after me...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jtPfG2wYyhOLdgSlD32b-9OBltaF1PKPdKrws7a63g4IRDTzxAtzbDKC5nFxI_kKmpl_d8wdX4kdLONnqxAjLZsdt__4jzOmZfWfxt8_L3rFCdQBdBmDB_VhZWGD8IXt-JlYrj9RxDG1NmZkThzVl95PxJPsZYjeuxF7BdnD1W_u9Arm6DqFqdxc8t-cLS0j-jyeUiLL17kzBlmw6mZZz3t-5lCLXKyYa4G7R2YbhT63_qe2hZCrxBxF-5euhM-DAs2cmos3NmNg-OG4VtcFfEes2guVVKt4Aal5LxmUuZXeRaqU8X5P-wdIzh29Zjqt1itLGynCB_R_XE0gax-p-IrBSW5ht9aKrRolg5cw7-ObNk4EP6tvSX0VdsK8fqC5GK7RLrtLPrWlvnnqftPxMvRcC8y60mMI7LCICAgO8RZz1I4oOMLOwhwDNQEr5LJJZwtHzYddvjp3mm2Hfay866dQGwDZU19X6zKwGy10NYN289Qnbutt3N5ZXNFoGUWL7VXHOQ6CrmU_ZFhPEDE1y3XXyo-ODM01BXMl1RaHbcoWgYbqoVNtd0vgezeshpyRnVcmFd1Jhif6Cie3w1r1FrvOnm4tKNyi=w1274-h955-no)

More on our last day in Venice to come...  then onto MLE...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ar on August 09, 2016, 09:56:16 PM
Nice - but I cannot see any pics... Is it just my browser??
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: AROCKS1 on August 09, 2016, 09:59:55 PM
I cant see them either  :(
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: moisheyb on August 09, 2016, 10:00:19 PM
Wow sounds really nice, I'm doing your trip in 2 weeks in the reverse order
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 09, 2016, 10:06:01 PM
I cant see them either  :(

Well I can see the one pic of the feet and the fish!  ;D
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: @Yehuda on August 10, 2016, 09:54:44 AM
I want to see your picssssss.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 10, 2016, 10:13:28 AM
I'll relink the pics tonight b"n...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Luvtotravel on August 10, 2016, 12:15:26 PM
nice! i saw the fish pedi at the dead sea but was afraid to try. did u enjoy it?
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 10, 2016, 12:49:14 PM
nice! i saw the fish pedi at the dead sea but was afraid to try. did u enjoy it?
I thought it was fun.  Tingly at first but very quick to get used to it.  My feet "felt" cleaner.  It was definitely something we would not have done at home... glad we tried it out...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 10, 2016, 04:02:52 PM
Reposted using Flickr... hopefully it works this time...

Venice
We landed in Venice around 11:30am, went through passport control and then to baggage claim.  We had checked a suitcase and our cooler, and took two carry-ons onboard, computer bag and another bag for my wife’s chatchkes.  It was a lot of luggage.  We ended up buying RT Alilaguna tickets from the airport to San Marcos for 54 euros (had some issues with my credit card and the ticket machine – ultimately changed some dollars to euros and used cash for two RT tickets).  After the 10+ minute walk from the terminal to the waterfront, we waited a few minutes and then boarded the boat for the trip to San Marcos.  Now, I’m all for saving money (water taxi was 100+ euros) but taking the Alilaguna was a mistake.  It was the hottest part of the day, there was little to no ventilation on the boat (read no A/C) and it was a 90+ minute ride.  It must’ve been 90+ degrees outside and probably 20+ degrees warmer in the boat.  They would only store our two largest bags, forcing us to find space for our carry-ons etc. on the seats next to us.  It was a rough 90 minutes, particularly after DL-Y.  If you’re traveling with few bags and its 60-70 degrees outside, the Alilaguna isn’t a bad option – would not recommend otherwise.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8709/28789195002_96e6832ceb_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS19F5)
VCE-alilaguna (https://flic.kr/p/KS19F5) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

[Little side note here – had some issues with my memory card and lost several pictures from the flight and first few hours in Venice so no picture of the room or airplane]

Getting from the Alilaguna stop in San Marcos to the Westin was a royal pain but we made it (barely).  We checked into the Westin and it appeared that it was at or near capacity.  I asked about a Gold upgrade and the check-in agent made it sound as if we had already been upgraded to the Double Deluxe room.  Up to our room we went.  There was no real circulation in the hallways which made the hallway stink.  The A/C in our room was weak but we weren’t about to let than derail the trip.  After chilling in the room and checking our email over the hotel’s wifi, we got directions from the concierge and made our way to the Ghetto for some dinner.  The walk was about 30 minutes and took us through San Marcos square and the streets of Venice.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7771/28894552825_a743ea02bc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2j8Tg)
Venice: San Marcos Sq (https://flic.kr/p/L2j8Tg) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8406/28894544605_89f9a74899_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2j6rx)
Venice: San Marcos Sq (https://flic.kr/p/L2j6rx) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8159/28819401641_5db4cb2b69_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUEY4c)
Venice: San Marcos Sq (https://flic.kr/p/KUEY4c) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8747/28277163864_0889ec15de_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KRE1)
Venice: Canals (https://flic.kr/p/K5KRE1) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8886/28609899140_0524a1ce3c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KAadg7)
Venice: Canals (https://flic.kr/p/KAadg7) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8716/28609899340_b67b2fd556_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KAadjy)
Venice: Poor guy carrying a ridiculous load of water (https://flic.kr/p/KAadjy) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8842/28279553753_7d1c72f9bd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Y75Z)
Venice (https://flic.kr/p/K5Y75Z) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Needless to say, it was mega-HOT outside.  I stoped at a TIM mobile store to pickup a SIM card which for 35 euros you really can’t go wrong.  (35 euros gets you 100 minutes of talk time and 4GB of data which can be used over 30 days – you’ll need your passport to get the sim card)  It was worth it just for Google Maps – super easy to get lost in Venice.  Once at Gam Gam, we ordered some Israeli salads, schnitzel, grilled chicken, etc.  We sat inside thinking it would be cooler than outside – the difference was barely noticeable.  But it was nice to have fresh food.  It was a bit cooler on the way back to the hotel. Ad kan day 1.

Got a bit of a late start on Day 2.  Made our way back to the Ghetto for a tour of the Jewish community.  We toured several shuls that each date back several hundred years.  The level of detail in the shuls is truly exquisite.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/8/7628/28277166724_0b07b0ef4e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KSvj)
Venice: The Ashkenazi Shul (https://flic.kr/p/K5KSvj) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8614/28277167744_d51a0d604d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KSNU)
Venice: The Canton Shul (https://flic.kr/p/K5KSNU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8567/28277168604_80e2ece5d6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KT4J)
Venice: Canton Shul (https://flic.kr/p/K5KT4J) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8650/28894562455_af796f35c2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2jbKi)
Venice: Canton Shul (https://flic.kr/p/L2jbKi) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8727/28894564305_ba17e2caf0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2jcic)
Venice: Levantine Shul (https://flic.kr/p/L2jcic) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8701/28609905620_0aca54f6c7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KAafbQ)
Venice: Levantine Shul (https://flic.kr/p/KAafbQ) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8719/28819414851_c89b8e20d2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF2YX)
Venice: Levantine Shul (https://flic.kr/p/KUF2YX) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

A tzedakah box in the wall…

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8174/28277172724_afec772400_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KUhL)
Venice: Tzedakah box in the wall (https://flic.kr/p/K5KUhL) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We did a quick tour of the museum which was cool and then went to Ghimel Garden for lunch.  Sitting outside in the shade at Ghimel Garden was a pleasure.  Nice breeze and menu looked delicious.  My wife ordered eggplant parm (6/10) and I had a Mari Mote pizza (lox, mushrooms, etc.) (10/10).

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8362/28277173084_00a78182f4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KUoY)
Venice: Ghimel Garden Mari Mote Pizza (https://flic.kr/p/K5KUoY) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We then chilled around the new section of the Ghetto for a while.  This year is the 500th anniversary of the Ghetto and there was a production of The Merchant in Venice taking place that evening so there was a rather large police presence in the area.

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8274/28819406461_950171a390_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUEZui)
Venice: Ghetto (https://flic.kr/p/KUEZui) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8818/28894551365_01a4d5560b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2j8s6)
Venice: Ghetto (https://flic.kr/p/L2j8s6) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8619/28894563165_16f23c54f4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2jbXx)
Venice: Ghetto (https://flic.kr/p/L2jbXx) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8888/28277161094_5f90cd138e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KQQf)
Venice: Ghetto (https://flic.kr/p/K5KQQf) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8215/28790053762_3f712d21a3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS5xXh)
Venice: Ghetto (https://flic.kr/p/KS5xXh) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8790/28819419761_b025b4233f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF4rB)
Venice: Ghetto (https://flic.kr/p/KUF4rB) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We went on a beautiful Gondola ride in the late afternoon taking us through some of the smaller canals and the finally onto the Grand Canal.

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8546/28894547615_be5fecafd1_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2j7kr)
Venice: Gondola Ride (canals) (https://flic.kr/p/L2j7kr) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8872/28279559233_c91b84d2df_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Y8Ht)
Venice: Gondola Ride (canals) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Y8Ht) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8535/28277177164_666edfc3ce_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KVBj)
Venice: Gondola Ride (canals) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KVBj) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8851/28279559623_4cefb2fbdd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Y8Qc)
Venice: Gondola Ride (canals) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Y8Qc) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8581/28277177844_6bdc8908dc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KVP3)
Venice: Gondola Ride (canals) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KVP3) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8764/28277158224_e2f547369f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KPYL)
Venice: Gondola Ride (canals) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KPYL) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8115/28819423761_5f4f616fdc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF5Cz)
Venice: Gondola Ride (Grand Canal) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF5Cz) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8782/28819425031_c9604e64cc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF61t)
Venice: Gondola Ride (Grand Canal) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF61t) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8362/28819425571_de57a1b50f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF6aM)
Venice: Gondola Ride (Grand Canal) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF6aM) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8319/28819426161_a6173a0c43_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF6kX)
Venice: Gondola Ride (Grand Canal) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF6kX) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8592/28609038060_e5a5e8e02b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA5NhU)
Venice: Grand Canal (https://flic.kr/p/KA5NhU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Back to Gam Gam for dinner.  Not sure what the consensus is, but in our view the food at Gam Gam was mediocre (maybe we are just used to tri-state cuisine…)

Walking back after Gam Gam, we stopped at Dr. Kiss Fish for a very unusual experience.  Had read about DKF on a TR Yehoshua DDF and sounded intriguing.  It's a foot spa with unique fish that eat the dead skin from your feet.  Tickles a bit but you get used to it pretty quick.  After reading online about it, this type of foot spa is banned in 15 states because of hygienic reasons - the water isn't cleaned between customers... I feel bad for whoever dunked their feet after me...

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8709/28819429841_6d12c567e8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF7rp)
Venice: Dr. Kiss Fish (https://flic.kr/p/KUF7rp) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/8/7766/28819428701_d94fc0588b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF76K)
Venice: Dr. Kiss Fish (https://flic.kr/p/KUF76K) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Return to the Westin via San Marcos.  Sqaure was full of street vendors selling the light up mini-helicopters (may be hard to see in the pictures)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8886/28277183384_ce0580396d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KXsy)
Venice: San Marcos Sq (night) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KXsy) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/8/7499/28819431861_979260f5c9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF83e)
Venice: San Marcos Sq (night) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF83e) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

More on our last day in Venice to come...  then onto MLE...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: tageed-lee on August 10, 2016, 04:13:12 PM
Pics!! Nice TR so far!! Looking forward to the rest!! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: shulem92 on August 10, 2016, 04:13:24 PM
I thought it was fun.  Tingly at first but very quick to get used to it.  My feet "felt" cleaner.  It was definitely something we would not have done at home... glad we tried it out...
Did it in Eilat...still had my dead skin/calluses when the fish finished. In my belief ur feet will feel cleaner anywhere after soaking them for a half hour. Lol
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 10, 2016, 05:31:19 PM
Awesome pics!  Thanks for re-posting and can't wait for the MLE segment!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 10, 2016, 06:55:32 PM
Part III

Heading back to our hotel, we confirmed 4pm late checkout the following day.  After another late start, we debated visiting the palace or Murano to check out the glassmaking factory and gallery.  We elected to visit Murano (although we had no intention of buying anything given what I read and heard about on DDF). 

The Westin concierge arranged for a complementary water taxi to pick us up and we were on our way to Murano.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8210/28277184964_de7c118e96_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KXVN)
Venice: Water taxi ride to Murano (https://flic.kr/p/K5KXVN) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8775/28894549945_5fa72b898b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2j82B)
Venice: Water taxi ride to Murano (https://flic.kr/p/L2j82B) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

At Murano, we were escorted by a really nice "guide" (aka "salesperson”) who took us through one of the many factory floors on the island.  As it was the middle of summer, only one or two of the factories were operational given the extreme heat emitted by the ovens.  At the factory we visited, the artisans were making various components for a chandelier.  Many of the workers have been there for 10+ years going through apprenticeships until finally becoming a glass blower.

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8775/28819405021_397f6babd7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUEZ4t)
Venice: Murano glass factory (https://flic.kr/p/KUEZ4t) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7632/28819433691_5fd1a0e540_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF8zM)
Venice: Murano glass factory (https://flic.kr/p/KUF8zM) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7539/28609920280_ddfb1c9814_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KAajxA)
Venice: Murano glass factory (https://flic.kr/p/KAajxA) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

The tour of the gallery was uneventful, trying to show interest even though we had no intention of buying anything.  Unfortunately they didn't let us take picture in the gallery.  The salesperson did show us a set of 6 shot glasses… with a retail price of 450 euros.  That said, many of the pieces in the gallery were truly beautiful, between the colors, shapes and types of glassware… I personally found it fascinating.

Taking the water taxi back, we decided to grab some food at Gam Gam Goodies.  Once we got there, the combination of the heat and not having a place to sit made us rethink our decision.  So we elected to return to Ghimel Garden for the late lunch.  I enjoyed a mushroom pizza (9/10) and my wife ordered gnocchi which was delicious (10/10).

Back to the hotel we went to repack and get our cooler from the hotel freezer.  After the Alilaguna debacle a few days earlier, we decided to take a water taxi back to the airport.  Having some time to spare before our 8:30pm flight, we took advantage of some complementary drinks at the hotel bar before hopping into the taxi at 5pm.  A short 30 minute ride to the airport and 120 euros (for us and our ~5 bags) we were back at VCE and awaiting our Turkish Airlines flight to IST.  The Marco Polo lounge is pretty functional, although not much to write home about.  In advance of what was going to be 11 hours of flying and 3 hours of transit time, I did manage to take a quick shower in which felt good.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8404/28819405321_ef38f24dc9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUEZ9D)
Venice: Marco Polo Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KUEZ9D) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Now, the daytime weather for our entire stay in Venice was sunny, hot and humid.  Very few clouds and absolutely no rain.  While sitting in the lounge, the sky darkened and unleashed some of the strongest rains I had seen in a while.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8594/28277185464_89bf4cfdeb_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5KY5q)
Venice: Torrential rain at VCE (https://flic.kr/p/K5KY5q) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8678/28819435381_471521cd3f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF95V)
Venice: Torrential rain at VCE (https://flic.kr/p/KUF95V) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We were a bit nervous that the rain would cause an outbound delay, everything remained on schedule.  We boarded our Turkish Airlines flight to IST and enjoyed our kosher meals provided by an Istanbul-based caterer with an OK hashgacha as well as the local rabbinate.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8401/28819435761_5d3ebda016_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUF9ct)
Turkish A321 Business Class (https://flic.kr/p/KUF9ct) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Onboard, FAs provided some English reading materials, the local Istanbul newspaper.  I availed myself to the paper and read through what was clearly a pro-Erdogan newspaper.  Now, that should come as no surprise since Turkish Airlines is a state-owned enterprise.  From cover-to-cover, the paper squarely lay blame for the recent coup on the exiled Turkish cleric living in PA. 

Given what had occurred in the weeks and months before at IST, I was a little nervous but figured after an explosion and coup, the security must be airtight.  After deplaning at about midnight loc, we aimed ourselves towards the Turkish Airlines lounge which I had read a lot about.  It was one of the biggest, most impressive lounges I’ve ever been to.  Covering an area of about 60k square feet, there are multiple self-serve alcohol stations, beverage and food stations, in addition to the golf simulator, several PS4s throughout and expansive seating areas.  The place was hopping at 1am.  The pictures below don’t do it justice at all…

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8259/28609774770_5b8b0ef62b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zhN)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zhN) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8727/28789945972_ec22323937_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZUQ)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZUQ) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8235/28863614236_31de9d238b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzyVj)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KYzyVj) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8876/28609775540_b1d57130c0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zw5)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zw5) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8741/28609767800_f4456cf624_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xdC)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xdC) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8635/28863614396_1cf8cc5edf_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzyY5)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KYzyY5) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8801/28609775880_61d27a4f31_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zBW)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zBW) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8643/28863614486_38b6d65d55_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzyZC)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KYzyZC) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8826/28609776260_b1c8c51214_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zJu)
Istanbul: Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zJu) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Stay tuned for the next installment...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ar on August 10, 2016, 10:00:54 PM
Great report, really enjoying it.. keep it up!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 10, 2016, 10:11:20 PM
Great report, really enjoying it.. keep it up!

Thanks.  Hope to finish next segment soon... 

i now understand why some TRs can take forever to finish...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: @Yehuda on August 10, 2016, 10:19:24 PM
Yay pics! Great job, keep going!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Luvtotravel on August 10, 2016, 10:32:16 PM
impressive lounge. never seen those lockers before.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 10, 2016, 10:44:24 PM
impressive lounge. never seen those lockers before.

+1. Always been hesitant to go through IST but that lounge looks amazing.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 16, 2016, 06:11:28 PM
Part IV

After an hour or so of exploring the impressive TK lounge, we were about ready for our 2am departure to MLE.  Truth be told, I was sorta anxious to finally depart IST given the instability of the prior month or so.  Walking through the terminal, you would never in a million years know what happened in the prior month or two.  The boarding process had already begun at the gate when we arrived.  We bypassed the main line and headed towards the J-priority line to quickly boarded the A333.  Without boring anyone with the details, the A333 business section has seats arranged in a 2-2-2 format.  We were seating in 4J and 4K in the second to last row.  The lie flat seats had a pretty large footwell that offered more than enough space for my feet.  Since we had been up for 15 hours or so, we were mostly interested in sleeping, despite the 13 or 14 inch IFE system that had a huge movie selection.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8655/28609804360_3f63bd6f15_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9J5Y)
TK A333 Business Class (https://flic.kr/p/KA9J5Y) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8834/28609776890_18d11e21c9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zVm)
TK A333 Business Class (https://flic.kr/p/KA9zVm) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8678/28819289781_9df567ec12_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUEoNz)
Leaving IST... (https://flic.kr/p/KUEoNz) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8825/28609768350_b56de1bb70_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xo7)
Leaving IST... (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xo7) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We fell asleep within 10 or 15 minutes of take-off and enjoyed some much needed rest.  We woke up a couple of hours before landing and were served breakfast (Star-K from kosher caterer in IST).  Wasn't much to write home about but was definitely filling.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8846/28863615546_5a876226e6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzziU)
Airshow - Approaching MLE... (https://flic.kr/p/KYzziU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Landing at MLE is a unique experience that I imagine has been discussed before on DDF.  Ibrahim Nasir airport is tiny, has one runway and no taxiways.  Airplanes land, taxi to the end of the runway and make a U-turn to taxi down the same runway to get to the terminal.  As J passengers, we deplaned first down the mobile stairs into the terminal.  Before departing IST, we were provided with fast-track immigration cards that allowed us to use the special fast-track line.  Immigration took no more than 5 minutes, a couple of passport stamps later we were waiting for our luggage to emerge  from the primitive looking baggage carousel.  While waiting, it was hard not to notice the list of items that are prohibited from import into the country.  Those items include alcohol, pork and pork-related items, porn, materials contrary to Islam, etc.  Outside of my talis, tefillin, siddur and and random sefer I wasn't too worried.  But given others' experiences, I knew that even those items were harmless.  After about 15 or 20 minutes, our luggage finally emerged.  We gathered our bags and proceeded through customs to the arrival hall. 

As we proceeded through customs, an official-looking officer motioned to us and pointed to the secondary inspection line.  Throngs of people are passing through and we were singled out for some odd reason.  I got mega nervous - not because of my talis etc, but because of our cooler and frozen pom meals.  I didn't want to have to begin explaining why we needed to bring in our own food and open up a mega can of worms.  That said, the officer was not the least bit interested in our cooler (which incidentally looks kinda like a square duffel bag).  He wanted to inspect our Samsonite hard suitcase.  I'm thinking to myself, what could we possibly have in our suitcase that could get us into trouble.  I was baffled.  They only scanned the suitcase and when it emerged from the xray scanner, they made me open it on the table for everyone to see.  They rifled through our suitcase and found..... a bottle of grape juice that I had packed in a ziploc surrounded by our clothes.  After several minutes inspecting the bottle, he let us through.  The only thing I can imagine is that when the bags were removed from the planes cargo hold, they were scanned and any bags requiring secondary inspection were tagged with a red sticker (subsequent review of our suitcase showed a red sticker).  As we were about to leave baggage claim, the officer saw the sticker and motioned for us to the secondary inspection station... 

With that said, we were immediately met by two Conrad reps as soon as we entered the arrival hall.  They led us to a quiet corner and introduced themselves.  They asked for our passports to expedite the seaplane transfer and took our luggage to the seaplane desk.  They emerged a few minutes later, returned our passports and said that our luggage was a bit overweight.  We'd have to pay an overweight fee of ~$50 - no big deal really.  They then escorted us to a waiting van that would take us to the Conrad lounge until our seaplane ride was ready.  We were joined in the van by a single guy that turned out to the the Conrad's in-house revenue manager returning from some time off in Male.  While I don't have pictures of the lounge, it's a great respite after such a long journey.  The staff all recognize that pretty much everyone has had a long trip and they try to accommodate everyone's needs, from drinks to food to a free massage!!  It felt like the lounge was at 70% capacity - a ton of Asians there with what looked like their extended families.  We were offered a 15 minute complementary massage that we took advantage of.  Felt great, especially after the long trip.  In addition, the spa staff on-hand said that if we were to book a spa appointment at the Retreat Spa or Overwater Spa now, they would include a facial at no extra charge.  Not a hard sell at all but still good to know.

An hour or so later, our names were called as the seaplane transfer was about ready.  We boarded the same shuttle for the five minute drive to the seaplane terminal where we were directed to a room that was showing a pre-flight safety video.  15 minutes or so later, we were finally escorted outside to the waiting seaplane...

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8882/28609768840_0739d352e8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xwy)
TMA Seaplane (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xwy) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

It was our first time on a seaplane and the experience did not disappoint.  While the flight was incredible, it wasn't worth the $1100 we paid for it but alas...

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8570/28789947922_b40f8965fc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS51us)
TMA Seaplane (https://flic.kr/p/KS51us) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Views from the Seaplane...

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8695/28863615916_52ef4c58df_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzqh)
MLE Airport (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzqh) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8877/28908949746_0212430c19_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L3zVA3)
Male, Maldives (TMA Seaplane) (https://flic.kr/p/L3zVA3) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

After reading up a bit on Male, it is apparently one of the most densely populated places on the planet, with 150,000 people living in 6 square kilometers... crazy.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8234/28609769130_f555f6cc34_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xBy)
Seaplane Pic (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xBy) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

More to come on our Conrad arrival, accommodations etc...

Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: @Yehuda on August 16, 2016, 06:59:37 PM
Nice installment! Thanks for the pics of TK J.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Yehoshua on August 16, 2016, 07:30:26 PM
Nice write up so far. Glad you enjoyd DKF in Venice. Nice to see that some of the things I write in my TRs get used.  ;) Looking forward to the rest.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ual902 on August 16, 2016, 08:11:22 PM
WOW nice report, keep going, I always wondered what type of crowds travel to the resorts of MLE, besides the free loader crowd!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 16, 2016, 10:45:24 PM
Awesome installment, with very useful info that actually I haven't seen on DDF before.  Can't wait for the rest!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: HBERG on August 17, 2016, 08:25:04 AM
WOW nice report, keep going, I always wondered what type of crowds travel to the resorts of MLE, besides the free loader crowd!
Mostly Asians Russians and Europeans too far for Americans
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: E-MAN on August 17, 2016, 05:28:19 PM
Wow! Can't wait for the rest. Thanks for such an enjoyable read.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 17, 2016, 06:40:42 PM
Wow! Can't wait for the rest. Thanks for such an enjoyable read.
No problem... look forward to completing it soon...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: moisheyb on August 18, 2016, 03:42:10 AM
Wow epic sounding so far
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: AJK on August 19, 2016, 12:21:22 AM
Great stuff. Love these reports that make reminiscing so fun.

Glad it worked out for you.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 22, 2016, 09:57:32 PM
No problem... look forward to completing it soon...

Any Koach to give us another installment?  :P
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 24, 2016, 11:43:46 PM
Part V

Our seaplane took off around 2:00pm or so...



... and arrived at the Conrad at about 3:30pm.  While the flight was only 30 minutes, Conrad operates on "island time" which is an hour later than Male.  The landing was awesome.



Took about 2 minutes to taxi to the seaplane platform where we were greeted by Conrad's host, hostesses and some general staff.  We noticed that our luggage was already waiting for us upon arrival - they must have sent it in advance on an earlier seaplane.  We were quickly escorted into an air conditioned room near the jetty where we were offered ices, cold water, and cold towels - super refreshing after the hot seaplane ride.

Our hostess, Stephanie, walked us over to the main reception area where she checked us in.  She advised us that we were confirmed for a Beach Villa and noted our request for an upgrade.  She said the resort was operating at capacity (~300 ppl) but she would keep an eye out for any cancellations and/or openings.  She also introduced us to one of the chefs at the resort who took our Pom meals and food schedule.  He committed to defrosting the meals in advance, heating them up and serving them to us at our venue of choice (at no additional cost).  He felt really bad that we couldn't enjoy any of their restaurants or fresh foods.  We asked him about the procuring a new skillet, spatula, cutting knife, cutting board, silverware and plates, all of which he indicated were not a problem and he would have them ready for us the next morning.  Stephanie then showed us to our room - one of the newly renovated beach villas.


(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8697/28609799210_c807e31615_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gyb)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gyb) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We were no more than 15 feet from the beach.
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8887/28609799690_d695ed6e06_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9GGs)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9GGs) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Hot water kettle, fully stocked nespresso machine along with several bottles of water (that would be restocked 2 or 3 times daily).
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7475/28609774190_cb3687077e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9z7N)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9z7N) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8898/28609799150_ce401726a2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gx9)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gx9) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Outdoor bathtub.
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8883/28609799030_b3b388eb5f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gv5)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gv5) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Outdoor shower.
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8346/28609798900_ecca65eeb9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9GsQ)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9GsQ) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Indoor double sink vanity.
(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8331/28279444093_ac659c6635_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Xxui)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/K5Xxui) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Lots of closet space.
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8768/28609798630_63ff97b771_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gob)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gob) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8769/28279443943_24f972fa97_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5XxrH)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/K5XxrH) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8859/28609798350_f10f7fe4a9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gim)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Gim) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8496/28789945512_3fec6f13ea_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZLU)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZLU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Big room...
(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8863/28279443733_339b14173d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Xxo6)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/K5Xxo6) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Sitting area.
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8836/28609798150_92668960ce_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9GeU)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9GeU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8760/28279443553_32ac1a1fdd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5XxjZ)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/K5XxjZ) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8709/28609773740_9979867612_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yZ3)
Conrad Rangali Beach Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yZ3) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

After relaxing for a bit in our villa, we started hearing screaming and crying kids, from what seemed like both of our neighbors (on either side).  It was a bit annoying but we figured that we'd deal with it and they'd quiet down.  At about 5pm or so, we decided to stroll over to the Vilu restaurant where Diamond and Gold HHonors guests were invited for some drinks.  As a HHonors Diamond (thank you status match), we visiting Vilu each night to enjoy some drinks and good company.  We ended up meeting eli5757 at the Happy Hour and had what was probably the first DO in the Maldives (it sounds like there may be a few in the coming year at the St. Regis...)

At Vilu, we bumped into the Conrad's general manager, Lyle Lewis.  Lyle is a really nice guy from Australia (I think) who came out of retirement to run the Conrad Rangali.  He's been there for two years.  We mentioned to him in passing that our villa was sandwiched between two families with loud kids.  He took an immediate interest and made a few calls.  While he couldn't do anything for us that evening, he did say we would be switched out to a new villa the next day.  In exchange for having to dealing with our situation that evening, he said we could have dinner at Vilu or Mandhoo on him.  That wasn't going to do us much good, or so we thought... more on that later.

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8831/28863616486_5dc6ebedcd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzA7)
Conrad Footbridge (Seaplane platform in the distance) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzA7) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8675/28609769270_15d16eec77_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xDY)
Conrad Rangali Sunset (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xDY) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Rasheed from in-room dining brought our dinner to the room at about 8pm, just after this beautiful sunset.

We went to breakfast at the Atoll restaurant Friday morning bringing with us some pastries, rugulach and small tetrapak of shelf-stable milk for coffee.  I took a walk around the breakfast buffet and saw some pretty impressive shehechiyanu-type fruits (dragonfruit, starfuit and prickly fruit with black seeds) along with some other basic fruits.  They also carried cereals from what appeared to be Australia along with Chobani yogurts.  We had the Autralian kosher app on our phones and were able to check some of the foods.  The cereals appeared to be kosher (but wasn't totally sure) and the Chobani's were definitely fine.  Our chef eventually came out and inquired if we wanted omelettes for breakfast and we agreed to try it out.  He then brought out the skillet and other utensils (which he proudly took out of their respective new boxes and plastics) along with his cutting board and proceeded to dice some vegetables for us in one of the adjacent outdoor kitchens.  I cracked the eggs and inspected them.  We provided him with olive oil spray which we brought with us, and then he mysteriously asked me if I wanted to light the flame, which I of course obliged.  And then we had fresh eggs for breakfast that morning and every subsequent morning (except for Shabbos of course).  We even brought our own cheese for the omelettes.  The chef (and staff) knew much more about kashrus than we expected.  After some discussions with the GM several days later, we learned that the kitchen staff had met before our arrival to discuss our needs.  He also said that they've been seeing more and more kosher guests and were becoming accustomed to everyone's needs.  [I debated including this level of detail on the food situation out of fear that it could somehow be abused and cause a chillul Hashem.  Am hoping that it won't be ruined for future guests.  If people feel otherwise, I'd be happy to modify/remove this paragraph.]

That said, we spent most of Friday relaxing on the beach, strolling the resort and taking in all the sights and sounds the place had to offer.

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8377/28863616526_703d2f247e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzAN)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzAN) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8721/28863616706_3d5dc573b8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzDU)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzDU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8596/28819293211_d53e2834df_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUEpPH)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KUEpPH) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8709/28789943722_c380f60326_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4Zf3)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KS4Zf3) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8771/28819293751_053b1ab22d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUEpZ2)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KUEpZ2) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8680/28609769630_4bb1ef3a4b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xLb)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KA9xLb) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8749/28863617136_5828db96bc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzMj)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KYzzMj) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8867/28789943802_7bdd336f92_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4Zgq)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KS4Zgq) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Exploring the island further, we heard some strange sounds coming from a loudspeaker.  We eventually came to the source of these sounds...  There was no minyan there...  We eventually found out that the Mosque was primarily used by Conrad's employees of the Muslim faith.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8868/28863621416_83a1a9868a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzB47)
Conrad Rangali: Mosque (https://flic.kr/p/KYzB47) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Bad shot of the Quiet Zone infinity pool...

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8789/28609783250_95d0d66c17_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9BP1)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KA9BP1) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8113/28277081234_8186256738_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Kr6m)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/K5Kr6m) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8080/28609784620_55516a0fe4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9CdC)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KA9CdC) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Vilu
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8148/28609785030_0098e4ba66_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9CkG)
Conrad Rangali (https://flic.kr/p/KA9CkG) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

More on our Premier Water Villa upgrade, snorkeling pics etc. to come...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: tageed-lee on August 25, 2016, 12:21:23 AM
Amazing installment!!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 25, 2016, 01:54:53 AM
Amazing installment!!

+1 and Wow, wow, wow!  I still can't believe you scored an upgrade to a Premier Villa!  That fact that they were so prepared to help you have kosher food, knew you needed to light the flame and offered to do so is also truly amazing. We're leaving in a little over a week and I promise to try to be extra grateful to them for all their efforts to provide kosher food for us so they'll keep doing it!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: LoLo on August 25, 2016, 01:59:02 AM
Amazing installment!!
+1, awesome.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: moisheyb on August 25, 2016, 09:12:19 AM
Ha they really are an amazing staff! Just left the hotel now and thanks for the shop rite ou cooking spray!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 25, 2016, 10:16:45 AM
Ha they really are an amazing staff! Just left the hotel now and thanks for the shop rite ou cooking spray!
You're welcome!!
Title: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: moisheyb on August 25, 2016, 10:18:33 AM
You're welcome!!


I'm sure it'll last awhile , but they really knew exactly what to do and offered us everything that was available to them to the best that they could.

On to Venice now....
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ual902 on August 25, 2016, 11:10:59 AM
WOW nice trip report thanks for sharing, loved how everyone sounds so happy upon landing @ the conrad.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 25, 2016, 12:34:38 PM
Part VI

(As you can probably tell, I really want to finish this TR because I know that once Labor Day rolls around, there's probably zero change I finish it... so here goes the next installment...)

A few interesting points that I think are relevant.  We were told upon arrival and continuously during our stay that the resort was operating at capacity (~300).  Combined with 600+ staff, that could make for a very chaotic and busy stay.  That couldn't have been farther from the truth.  Given the size of the island, you barely see anyone - certainly nowhere near the 300 people they claimed were there.  As someone mentioned above, guests were primarily Asian, European and Russian - very few, if any other North Americas.

We learned that the Asians generally don't go outside during the day.  They don't like the sun and if they are outside during the day, are typically covered up from head-to-toe.  The reason they don't like the sun is that being tanned/dark-skinned is a sign of poverty in certain cultures in Asia (because poor people work outdoors during the day).  So during the day, you won't really bump into Asians.  They start appearing late afternoon-ish. 

That said, we spent Sunday lounging around, my wife got a massage which was somewhat reasonably priced (we found a $25 GC in our mailbox one day, which brought the cost down even further).  My wife also able to get a facial included as well (based on the initial offer we were provided with at the Conrad lounge at MLE).  I borrowed snorkeling equipment from the Dive Center and a life jacket from the water sports area and spent some time snorkeling - best time to go snorkeling was 10am - 12pm or so during low tide - water is clearest then.  The fish were incredible - tough to find any videos or photos that truly do them justice.  Some of the most colorful and unique fish out there.  Brought along a GoPro camera which worked like charm, although I was somewhat disappointed with the quality of the underwater images...

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8618/28609771480_8c8c25d676_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yj5)
Snorkeling near the Conrad house reef (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yj5) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8663/28279436263_12e813471f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5Xvai)
Snorkeling near the Conrad house reef (https://flic.kr/p/K5Xvai) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8519/28894432585_a9092e4615_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2iw9a)
Snorkeling near the Conrad house reef (https://flic.kr/p/L2iw9a) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7747/28609771650_d5d2f992b5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yn1)
Snorkeling near the Conrad house reef (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yn1) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8718/28863445846_b25d0bfb22_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyGS3)
More snorkeling pics (https://flic.kr/p/KYyGS3) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8852/28863448356_27fdf1beda_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyHBj)
More snorkeling pics (https://flic.kr/p/KYyHBj) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8582/28819136611_f1ef14cbb2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUDBgH)
More snorkeling pics (https://flic.kr/p/KUDBgH) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8860/28819137371_a29cb76026_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUDBuP)
More snorkeling pics (https://flic.kr/p/KUDBuP) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8330/28863458306_ee8a4cefe3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyLyS)
More snorkeling pics (https://flic.kr/p/KYyLyS) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7504/28863458616_c014a4dd98_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyLEd)
More snorkeling pics (https://flic.kr/p/KYyLEd) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8262/28609788480_c508aeb2be_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Dnb)
Baby Shark (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Dnb) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8126/28894437255_390ac79077_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2ixwF)
Baby Sharks (https://flic.kr/p/L2ixwF) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

There were also tons of baby sharks although I did not see any while snorkeling, nor did I see any manta rays.  One of the lifeguards (Abdullah) sent me this video from a few weeks back when they fed the sharks and manta rays - incredible video.  He mentioned that at about 1:30pm every afternoon (except for Monday I think) - they feed the sharks and rays out of the Mandhoo restaurant.



One of the other unique things we saw were bats.  Very unusual to see them during the day but they would fly between the two resort islands every so often.  We did manage to catch a picture of one a palm tree near us.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8761/28863622196_e072a0d878_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzBhy)
Bats (https://flic.kr/p/KYzBhy) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8669/28863622076_e591e042c7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzBfu)
Bats (https://flic.kr/p/KYzBfu) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8571/28863621496_2846c93969_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzB5u)
Bats (https://flic.kr/p/KYzB5u) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

At about 8pm on Sunday, we got a call from our island hostess advising us that there was a cancellation for one of the OWV and that we should pack our bags to have them ready for a porter for pickup.  She said we would be super-happy as she was going to put us into one of their nicest OWV - wasn't totally sure what to expect but knew that it was going to be awesome.  Took us about 20 minutes to pack-up.  She picked us up in one of the resorts buggies to take the (long) trip to the other island to our new accommodations.  We motored through the reception area, over the long footrbridge, passed the Quite Zone infinity pool and Vilu restaurant towards the Sunset Villas... but at the very end she made a quick turn to Villa 314 - and we arrived at our home for the next two nights - a Premier Water Villa!  She did a great job showing us around.  I thanked her profusely considering we did not pay for the upgrade and quickly snapped some photos that I hope you will enjoy!! (sorry there are so many...)

Walkway...
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8797/28789945712_c63d0787a5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZQm)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZQm) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Huge bedroom...
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8617/28863622756_af32bc6a54_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzBsd)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KYzBsd) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7654/28609773160_4a49654a61_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yP3)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9yP3) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8727/28894439175_58178b3ce7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2iy6M)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/L2iy6M) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8568/28609794420_3282555c53_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9F8A)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9F8A) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8812/28863441166_a1af1702ed_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyFtm)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KYyFtm) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Huge bathroom with multi-person jacuzzi, rainshower, separate bathroom and double vanity sink...
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8102/28609794530_cb486d71df_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Fau)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Fau) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8094/28609794710_82c32c07ac_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9FdA)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9FdA) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Huge closet...
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8137/28609795310_547f2168cd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9FoW)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9FoW) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7776/28789945302_85298a284e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZHh)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ZHh) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Hot water, coffee and water bar...
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8899/28609795570_0ae5db16af_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Ftq)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9Ftq) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8847/28609796150_5c3a9defe5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA9FDq)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KA9FDq) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8629/28894440395_e4150a45c8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2iysP)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/L2iysP) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Outdoor infinity pool...
(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8575/28894440495_7c047687b5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2iyux)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/L2iyux) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8487/28279443203_32f1b36b62_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5XxdX)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/K5XxdX) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8090/28276950334_a618961c55_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JLbs)20160802_095951 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JLbs) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8585/28279265953_fa818600fb_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WCwV)20160802_120843 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WCwV) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8567/28279266523_547e74bef1_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WCGK)20160802_120946 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WCGK) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr
Daybed...
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8768/28863625106_e5b1186919_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzC9J)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KYzC9J) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8724/28894285695_713729f541_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2hLtz)20160802_100004 (https://flic.kr/p/L2hLtz) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Sitting area...
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8094/28863625336_2a10378146_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYzCdG)
Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/KYzCdG) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8355/28894285305_6debf8c84c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L2hLmR)20160802_100000 (https://flic.kr/p/L2hLmR) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Steps to snorkel at the foot of your villa in the Indian ocean...
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8815/28863441716_c15be0e70e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyFCQ)20160802_100029 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyFCQ) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8618/28279262083_af28b1b7ee_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WBoc)20160802_100210 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WBoc) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

More to come on our last day at the Conrad and our trip home on EY-F...

Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: mgoldhammer18 on August 25, 2016, 12:52:36 PM
WOW!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: mgoldhammer18 on August 25, 2016, 01:01:35 PM
Is the Conrad Maldives the resort with the underwater restaurant?
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ual902 on August 25, 2016, 01:06:37 PM
Is the Conrad Maldives the resort with the underwater restaurant?

Yes, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: mgoldhammer18 on August 25, 2016, 01:13:17 PM
Yes, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Cool.  @BarryLincoln, do you have any pictures in that restaurant?
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 25, 2016, 01:31:06 PM
Cool.  @BarryLincoln, do you have any pictures in that restaurant?

I know that I will unleash a firestorm here by saying that I don't have any pictures of Ithaa, nor did I have any interest in visitng Ithaa for $150+ for drinks... 

Looks like a cool place but not something that I would shell out $$ for - just my two cents.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: coralsnake on August 25, 2016, 02:32:09 PM
You have very nice feet and I love the guy in the speedo. Nicely done!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 25, 2016, 02:48:59 PM
You have very nice feet and I love the guy in the speedo. Nicely done!

Thank you for the wonderful complement...  ;D
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: mgoldhammer18 on August 25, 2016, 02:50:02 PM
I know that I will unleash a firestorm here by saying that I don't have any pictures of Ithaa, nor did I have any interest in visitng Ithaa for $150+ for drinks... 

Looks like a cool place but not something that I would shell out $$ for - just my two cents.

They charge you just to go in?
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: ual902 on August 25, 2016, 03:31:44 PM
 Just wondering if all the North Americans that go to MLE are freeloaders FT\DDF etc..?!!

You always hear celebrities going more to BOB then MLE!!

Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: tageed-lee on August 25, 2016, 03:34:52 PM
Freaken Awesome OWV! Did not mind all the pics!  :D
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 25, 2016, 05:24:31 PM
Freaken Awesome OWV! Did not mind all the pics!  :D

Seriously,  he scored an insane upgrade.  Just to really appreciate what he got for those of you that haven't stalked the Conrad website like me, there are only two Premier Villas in the whole resort, run about $2500-4500 a night depending on the season and the only unit above it is the Sunset Villa which runs 5-10k a night.  Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: tov hashem on August 25, 2016, 07:21:59 PM
Unbelievable!!! Don't let us wait to long for the rest.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: AROCKS1 on August 25, 2016, 07:58:12 PM
This is unreal!..I think this deserves a DDMS link, talk about aspirational reward redemption!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 25, 2016, 09:27:42 PM
This is unreal!..I think this deserves a DDMS link, talk about aspirational reward redemption!

It IS amazing but if it was on the main page but then you'd have all these goofballs demanding the Conrad cook them kosher food and this upgrade and thinking they deserve compensation if they don't get them!  He was worried to even post this stuff here...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: LoLo on August 25, 2016, 09:41:38 PM
It IS amazing but if it was on the main page but then you'd have all these goofballs demanding the Conrad cook them kosher food and this upgrade and thinking they deserve compensation if they don't get them!  He was worried to even post this stuff here...
I don't think these goofballs will ever get to maldives.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: AROCKS1 on August 25, 2016, 09:43:27 PM
It IS amazing but if it was on the main page but then you'd have all these goofballs demanding the Conrad cook them kosher food and this upgrade and thinking they deserve compensation if they don't get them!  He was worried to even post this stuff here...
Dan could edit that out, BL already allowed for that...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 25, 2016, 10:32:06 PM
I don't think these goofballs will ever get to maldives.

Dan could edit that out, BL already allowed for that...

That's true, you could tweak it a little and I guess you do weed out a lot of the people because you have to make an effort to get the Hilton cards and points and even then most people that want the cheapest aspirational HHonors stay and to cause kashrut machlokes use their points at the WA Jerusalem!  :P
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: AJK on August 28, 2016, 10:48:18 AM
Great stuff!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 28, 2016, 12:53:40 PM
Great stuff!

+1!  Did you do any excursions?  We're leaving next week and I just reserved for intro snorkeling on the house reef and the turtle Safari.  Picked the turtle one because I'm not dying to swim with sharks and manta rays, the other ones were more expensive and this one it looked you didn't have to be such a strong swimmer.  Also based on your info, we reserved the Maldivian fishing expedition where they show you how to line fish like the locals and then they cook up your catch for the next night's dinner.  Looking forward to the rest of your TR!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 28, 2016, 10:10:36 PM
Great stuff!

Thank you!!

+1!  Did you do any excursions?  We're leaving next week and I just reserved for intro snorkeling on the house reef and the turtle Safari.  Picked the turtle one because I'm not dying to swim with sharks and manta rays, the other ones were more expensive and this one it looked you didn't have to be such a strong swimmer.  Also based on your info, we reserved the Maldivian fishing expedition where they show you how to line fish like the locals and then they cook up your catch for the next night's dinner.  Looking forward to the rest of your TR!

Didn't sign up for any excursions.  Spent a lot of time snorkeling near the house reef but didn't take any intros.  They provided equipment and life jacket.  Other than that, it was primarily R&R... Not sure what kind of fish you'll catch on the excursion - I can tell you that the salmon is shipped fresh weekly from Australia...  Enjoy - am sure you'll have a great time...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 29, 2016, 02:04:21 AM
Thank you!!

Didn't sign up for any excursions.  Spent a lot of time snorkeling near the house reef but didn't take any intros.  They provided equipment and life jacket.  Other than that, it was primarily R&R... Not sure what kind of fish you'll catch on the excursion - I can tell you that the salmon is shipped fresh weekly from Australia...  Enjoy - am sure you'll have a great time...

Thanks, all your info has been really helpful.  No idea what kind of fish they catch but someone posted a bunch of pics on TA and it looked cool.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 30, 2016, 02:28:51 PM
Thanks, all your info has been really helpful.  No idea what kind of fish they catch but someone posted a bunch of pics on TA and it looked cool.

Am sure it's going to be awesome... When are you leaving?
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 30, 2016, 07:03:36 PM
Am sure it's going to be awesome... When are you leaving?

B"H Sunday but doing a stopover in Singapore on the way.  I used to travel a ton but this is my first big trip, besides going to Israel, in almost 20 years (thank you Dan and DDF) so I'm really excited!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: @Yehuda on August 31, 2016, 04:24:32 PM
Wow, what a TR! What pics! Is it just me or do the TRs of the Conrad make it seem like it has the best service of the classic MLE hotels?
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: elya on August 31, 2016, 04:39:39 PM
Wow, what a TR! What pics! Is it just me or do the TRs of the Conrad make it seem like it has the best service of the classic MLE hotels?
With regard to upgrades definitely seems so.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: @Yehuda on August 31, 2016, 05:08:26 PM
With regard to upgrades definitely seems so.
And Kosher help. Can't believe he had eggs everyday.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: elya on August 31, 2016, 05:18:19 PM
And Kosher help. Can't believe he had eggs everyday.
PH service was by far the most outstanding service I have ever experienced!

I would be surprised if they would turn down a request to make eggs, judging by how accommodating the staff was with regard to our Kosher needs. But I don't think anyone has requested there as of yet.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: coralsnake on August 31, 2016, 05:26:42 PM
And Kosher help. Can't believe he had eggs everyday.
I have eggs EVERY day. Never been healthier.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 31, 2016, 07:18:12 PM
I have eggs EVERY day. Never been healthier.

LOL
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Luvtotravel on August 31, 2016, 07:27:04 PM
ridiculously beautiful pics!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on August 31, 2016, 09:18:05 PM
Wow, what a TR! What pics! Is it just me or do the TRs of the Conrad make it seem like it has the best service of the classic MLE hotels?

While i dont have a ton of personal experience at higher end hotel chains, i felt that the staff at the Conrad went way above and beyond to make sure we were totally satisfied...

 
With regard to upgrades definitely seems so.

Fortunately for us the stars were aligned... we didnt pay up for the upgrade... dont kniw how freqently that occurs at the Conrad...

And Kosher help. Can't believe he had eggs everyday.

Eggs were awesome...hopefully moisheb left the shoprite oil spray for Denverite...

ridiculously beautiful pics!

Thanks!!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 31, 2016, 09:44:31 PM
While i dont have a ton of personal experience at higher end hotel chains, i felt that the staff at the Conrad went way above and beyond to make sure we were totally satisfied...

 
Fortunately for us the stars were aligned... we didnt pay up for the upgrade... dont kniw how freqently that occurs at the Conrad...

Eggs were awesome...hopefully moisheb left the shoprite oil spray for Denverite...

Thanks!!

Based on FlyerTalk I think getting an upgrade to a Premier Villa is a literally almost never, although I want one now so I think I'm just gonna pony up and pay for a couple nights!  As far as the Shoprite spray I considered asking if you all left it for me but to be safe I'm gonna anyway bring some Wal-Mart GreatValue spray and then I can pay that forward to the next DDFer too! :P
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: Denverite on August 31, 2016, 09:48:43 PM
BarryLincoln's pictures of the Premier Villa were awesome but check out this video walk through.  The fact that he had to show all the toilet features because it was so cool cracked me up.  ;D

https://youtu.be/xFSP8N1FhYA (https://youtu.be/xFSP8N1FhYA)
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: eli5757 on September 04, 2016, 05:41:07 PM
Heck of a TR! Good job man! Thanx for the honorable mention....

Mine will come once I retire lol.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: eli5757 on September 04, 2016, 05:41:50 PM
Just wondering if all the North Americans that go to MLE are freeloaders FT\DDF etc..?!!

You always hear celebrities going more to BOB then MLE!!

Just my 2 cents.

The Kardashians were at The Conrad Maldives like 2 months ago
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on November 13, 2016, 07:11:06 PM
With fall in full swing, I couldn't help but reminisce about our trip to MLE in August.  In doing so, I realized that I did not finish the TR.  That said, for the benefit of all those considering the trip, here is the final installment to Barry Lincoln's Maldives TR...

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8676/28279268263_a22631f27c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WDdK)20160802_140059 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WDdK) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Waking up on our last day at the Conrad was a bittersweet event.  We enjoyed the view, sites and sounds for one last time on this trip.

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8090/28276950334_a618961c55_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JLbs)Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/K5JLbs) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8585/28279265953_fa818600fb_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WCwV)Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa (https://flic.kr/p/K5WCwV) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Since our return flight from MLE on EY was scheduled at 7:40pm, we asked for the latest seaplane transfer and were ultimately advised that our transfer would leave at about 5:30pm Conrad time (4:30pm MLE time).  Having the better part of our day ahead of us, we took full advantage of our Premier Villa's infinity pool one last time and also spent some more time snorkeling in the Indian Ocean.

As we has some issues we had with our original room a few days earlier, we had been comped a meal at either Vilu or Mandhoo.  Given our food restrictions, we weren't sure how we could take advantage of this offer but eventually settled on our chef's offer to cook us up some salmon and double-wrapped baked potato using the new pan/utensils/flatware and silverware he had procured for us. 

After cleaning ourselves up and packing up, we took a buggy over to Vilu for lunch.  It was a truly beautiful setting for our last meal on the trip...  While our Pom meals were great, lunch really hit the spot. 

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7502/28279246343_8686e12c21_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WwGP)20160802_143334 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WwGP) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

With a couple of hours before our transfer, we made our way to the beach for some final R&R before the 24 hour trip home...

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8368/28279269003_b1c92a6a18_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WDrv)IMG_0268 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WDrv) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

After settling our final bill and tipping our hostess and chef, we made our way to the seaplane platform to wait for our transfer.  While waiting, we befirended a family from Los Angeles who had been staying on an adjacent resort.  Earlier that morning, they took a boat over to Ithaa for lunch and were transiting back to Los Angeles via Dubai on EK.  They spent 2 weeks in Zambia on a safari and decided to relax in the Maldives on the way back home to LA...

(Despite leaving the Conrad, we were excited/anxious to experience the Apartments on our EY flight back to NYC.  Having never flown real F before, we were super excited for the experience.)

This picture was taken on takeoff from Conrad... not the best quality....

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8734/28325027933_3e098829da_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K9ZaYz)Conrad Rangali Maldives (TMA Seaplane) (https://flic.kr/p/K9ZaYz) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

For some reason that I don't remember, we had to make a mad dash from the seaplane transfer to the main terminal at MLE to catch our EY flight to AUH.  Conrad staff shlepped our luggage the entire way and escorted us through airport security at the entrance to the airport, then on to the relatively primitive check-in desk where we got our boarding passes.  The boarding process was near complete as we boarded and took our seats in J.  Within an hour or so of departing, we were provided with a Hermolis meal which we thoroughly enjoyed.  I imagine that the rest of the flight to AUH was uneventful as we passed out and woke up on final approach to AUH. 

Last part of the installment will focus on the EY-F experience back to JFK....
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: mmgfarb on November 13, 2016, 09:08:35 PM
Just read through this whole TR, wow! Every time I read a TR about MLE it makes me want to go even more. Can't wait for the final installment.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on November 13, 2016, 10:31:25 PM
Just read through this whole TR, wow! Every time I read a TR about MLE it makes me want to go even more. Can't wait for the final installment.

Final installment coming momentarily...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on November 13, 2016, 10:32:07 PM
Final Part of the TR - EY F Experience in AUH and On-board the A380 F Apartments

Immediately after deplaning, we tried to make our way to the F lounge.  Now that was easier said than done.  We landed in a different part of the terminal and the signs were super-confusing, or atleast they seems confusing.  Eventually we found our way and proudly displayed our boarding passes for access...

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/6/5521/30551429226_332520eb61_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NxJ4vL)20160802_232339reva (https://flic.kr/p/NxJ4vL) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

To be totally honest, we were exhausted but there was no way we were going to pass up the F experience at AUH. 

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8610/28863471926_cf70e94250_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQBG)20160803_005617 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQBG) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Our first stop was to make appointments for our complimentary massages.  The lounge was empty and we had ample choice of times. 

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8761/28863471706_8fd27fb515_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQxU)20160803_005508 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQxU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We had an hour to kill before our spa appointment so we had drinks and took some pictures of the lounge...

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8568/28863471456_901e9377b4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQtA)20160803_005428 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQtA) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8662/28279276243_38d0102a67_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WFAk)20160803_002258 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WFAk) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8659/28863470926_a45942abf4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQjs)20160803_002254 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQjs) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8548/28279275463_5a878d00f1_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WFmT)20160802_232311 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WFmT) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8790/28279275033_3fed28d986_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WFet)20160802_232248 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WFet) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8687/28279273563_8d544cf57c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WEN8)20160802_222338 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WEN8) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Made some small talk with the bartender (who had just arrived from Serbia - never been on a plane before until traveling to AUH for the job).  He mentioned that 80% of those employed in and around Abu Dhabi are foreigners.  They put him up in a newly built dorm with several roommates who all work for EY in different capacities.  They give them one free plane ticket home a year.  Turned into a super interesting discussion...

Now, I have to admit that I am not much of a massage person.  And the massage at AUH didn't change that.  I was in more pain when it was over than before it started.  Luis' dug his elbows into my back and I almost screamed in pain.  I thought maybe he somehow figured out I was a yid and decided to give me the royal AUH welcome... either way I was happy when it finally ended.

About 45 minutes before the flight, we were advised to proceed towards the USA pre-clearance facility to clear US immigration.  This is a HUGE timesaver because you do not have to clear customs in the US - you enter the US as a domestic passenger.  Process was pretty quick.  Once we cleared immigration, there's a second EY lounge on the other side (much smaller and no where near as nice as the F lounge).  At this point, we were anxious to finally board the A380 behemoth and head to our F Apt. 

As we approached the boarding gate, an official looking gate agent made a b-line towards us and immediately asked us if we were Mr and Mrs Barry Lincoln.  I thought it was a little strange that he knew exactly who we were.  I thought he was going to escort us on board.  Nope... he explained to us that there was a family of 4 travelling in F and wanted to know if we'd be willing to part with our 3A and 4A seats for another pair of seats in F in order to accommodate the family to allow them to sit together.  To which I quickly responded no.  We had expressly booked these seats as these are one of two seat combos in F where you can lower the divider between seats and literally "share" the APT with the seatmate on the other side.  Once we said no, he didn't push us any further.  At the time, I thought about trying to extract some value in exchange for making the accommodation but ultimately decided that it wasn't worth the bother.

Within a minute or two, boarding began and we proceeded down to the F jetbridge.  While I won't go into extreme detail about the flight, I will post a ton of pictures for everyone to see.  The experience was totally incredible and in a totally different league than any experience offered by a US or European airline.  From your dedicated, well-trained hostess who makes your bed every time you get up to the on-board chef who made every accommodation possible to ensure we enjoyed our Hermolis meals, EY does not cut corners in serving their F passengers.  The privacy offered by the enclosed suite, to the onboard bar/lounge, to the shower, you truly feel like royalty on board EY-F.  We had two leftover Pom meals that we took with us - the staff offered to heat them up - and we ended up eating across from each other in one of our apartments. 

There is tons of storage space with every amenity well-planned and thought-out.  Before retiring for the night, I asked to hold a "reservation" for the shower 90 minutes before landing, giving me enough time to shower, change and daven so that I'd be ready to get to work after landing.  Showering at 38k feet was incredible, albeit a very short 5 minute shower.  But it made a huge difference getting off the plane reasonably rested and refreshed ready for a days work.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8365/28863472156_c7ae2f4e29_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQFE)20160803_020521 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQFE) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8840/28609666260_d166d2ff18_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA922W)20160803_020552 (https://flic.kr/p/KA922W) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8694/28276930384_98e68cfcbc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEfu)20160803_020602 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEfu) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8257/28276956704_c580686250_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JN5h)20160803_020631 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JN5h) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7564/28609666750_033bba800b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA92bo)20160803_020731 (https://flic.kr/p/KA92bo) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7577/28609666960_3e28442d16_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA92f1)20160803_020748 (https://flic.kr/p/KA92f1) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8784/28279246643_c490a3d5e5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WwMZ)20160803_020756 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WwMZ) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8397/28819162401_dfb05a194d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUDJWn)20160803_021228 (https://flic.kr/p/KUDJWn) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8610/28276930614_5bd8369a39_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEjs)20160803_022133 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEjs) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8657/28819163011_abac13d975_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUDK7T)20160803_022141 (https://flic.kr/p/KUDK7T) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8725/28819163961_cdd89eb48d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUDKpg)20160803_023236 (https://flic.kr/p/KUDKpg) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8620/28819164651_d451114e29_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KUDKBa)20160803_023240 (https://flic.kr/p/KUDKBa) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8794/28276931014_00b26e0367_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JErm)20160803_023453 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JErm) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8693/28276963054_5cb18e2390_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JPXL)20160803_025428 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JPXL) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8538/28276964504_4b8b4c5218_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JQoL)20160803_030428 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JQoL) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8018/28276931304_ca19e5c3df_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEwm)20160803_030526 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEwm) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7608/28863477626_d5f6393d0c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYySiY)20160803_041150 (https://flic.kr/p/KYySiY) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8630/28863443476_b9aa1ebc5a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyGab)20160803_041226 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyGab) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8751/28276931454_fa9d175848_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEyW)20160803_044510 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JEyW) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8678/28863479496_585484d9a8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYySSd)20160803_091006 (https://flic.kr/p/KYySSd) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8803/28863479906_0071e73783_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYySZh)20160803_095132 (https://flic.kr/p/KYySZh) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8684/28609672790_00e1206842_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA93Yw)20160803_095709 (https://flic.kr/p/KA93Yw) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8550/28609673270_bc3c1136b0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA947N)20160803_101309 (https://flic.kr/p/KA947N) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8756/28789802582_2e741b088e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ghA)20160803_123834 (https://flic.kr/p/KS4ghA) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8339/28276980284_bec8a59141_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JV5Q)20160803_123900 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JV5Q) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8776/28279247183_450385731f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5WwXi)20160803_133514 (https://flic.kr/p/K5WwXi) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8469/28276981284_3b6dc60384_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5JVo5)20160803_133517 (https://flic.kr/p/K5JVo5) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8719/28789803322_6f637ae166_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4gvm)20160803_150626 (https://flic.kr/p/KS4gvm) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

I chatted up one of the F attendants and learned that the Residence was empty this flight.  She said that the Residence is typically occupied by the members of the royal family or ultra-wealthly sheiks or entertainment personalities looking for more privacy.  She said that she's worked flights where the royal family took down all of F and J on a flight. 

After soaking in the experience during the first 2 or 3 hours (of the 13 hour flight), we decided it was time to sleep.  Our beds were made and shades were drawn. 

After a great shower schachris and breakfast, we were finally on approach to JFK...

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8869/28789803792_021b57400d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KS4gDs)20160803_161212 (https://flic.kr/p/KS4gDs) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr



Deplaning was quick.  On our way to baggage claim, I said goodbye to this enormous bird...

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8630/28609671870_7a20be8749_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KA93GE)20160803_093440 (https://flic.kr/p/KA93GE) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Straight to baggage claim we went where I was hoping a chauffeur would be holding a sign with our name on it.  Etihad had sent me several emails in the days leading up to the flight with my chauffeurs name but he was no where to be found (or didn't want to take us to NJ).  Turns out there were 15 or 20 drivers around a dispatcher near baggage claim.  They eventually assigned us a driver (Mohamed) who was very professional  and took us home...

All in all, it was a great trip.  Was great to be away for 10+ days.  Now it's time to plan the next trip...Am thinking Asia-Pacific... maybe Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong etc... 
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: moisheyb on November 14, 2016, 05:02:01 AM
Final Part of the TR - EY F Experience in AUH and On-board the A380 F Apartments

Immediately after deplaning, we tried to make our way to the F lounge.  Now that was easier said than done.  We landed in a different part of the terminal and the signs were super-confusing, or atleast they seems confusing.  Eventually we found our way and proudly displayed our boarding passes for access...

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/6/5521/30551429226_332520eb61_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NxJ4vL)20160802_232339reva (https://flic.kr/p/NxJ4vL) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

To be totally honest, we were exhausted but there was no way we were going to pass up the F experience at AUH. 

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8610/28863471926_cf70e94250_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQBG)20160803_005617 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQBG) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

Our first stop was to make appointments for our complimentary massages.  The lounge was empty and we had ample choice of times. 

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8761/28863471706_8fd27fb515_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQxU)20160803_005508 (https://flic.kr/p/KYyQxU) by Barry Lincoln (https://www.flickr.com/photos/142796454@N05/), on Flickr

We had an hour to kill before our spa appointment so we had drinks and took some pictures of the lounge...

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Made some small talk with the bartender (who had just arrived from Serbia - never been on a plane before until traveling to AUH for the job).  He mentioned that 80% of those employed in and around Abu Dhabi are foreigners.  They put him up in a newly built dorm with several roommates who all work for EY in different capacities.  They give them one free plane ticket home a year.  Turned into a super interesting discussion...

Now, I have to admit that I am not much of a massage person.  And the massage at AUH didn't change that.  I was in more pain when it was over than before it started.  Luis' dug his elbows into my back and I almost screamed in pain.  I thought maybe he somehow figured out I was a yid and decided to give me the royal AUH welcome... either way I was happy when it finally ended.

About 45 minutes before the flight, we were advised to proceed towards the USA pre-clearance facility to clear US immigration.  This is a HUGE timesaver because you do not have to clear customs in the US - you enter the US as a domestic passenger.  Process was pretty quick.  Once we cleared immigration, there's a second EY lounge on the other side (much smaller and no where near as nice as the F lounge).  At this point, we were anxious to finally board the A380 behemoth and head to our F Apt. 

As we approached the boarding gate, an official looking gate agent made a b-line towards us and immediately asked us if we were Mr and Mrs Barry Lincoln.  I thought it was a little strange that he knew exactly who we were.  I thought he was going to escort us on board.  Nope... he explained to us that there was a family of 4 travelling in F and wanted to know if we'd be willing to part with our 3A and 4A seats for another pair of seats in F in order to accommodate the family to allow them to sit together.  To which I quickly responded no.  We had expressly booked these seats as these are one of two seat combos in F where you can lower the divider between seats and literally "share" the APT with the seatmate on the other side.  Once we said no, he didn't push us any further.  At the time, I thought about trying to extract some value in exchange for making the accommodation but ultimately decided that it wasn't worth the bother.

Within a minute or two, boarding began and we proceeded down to the F jetbridge.  While I won't go into extreme detail about the flight, I will post a ton of pictures for everyone to see.  The experience was totally incredible and in a totally different league than any experience offered by a US or European airline.  From your dedicated, well-trained hostess who makes your bed every time you get up to the on-board chef who made every accommodation possible to ensure we enjoyed our Hermolis meals, EY does not cut corners in serving their F passengers.  The privacy offered by the enclosed suite, to the onboard bar/lounge, to the shower, you truly feel like royalty on board EY-F.  We had two leftover Pom meals that we took with us - the staff offered to heat them up - and we ended up eating across from each other in one of our apartments. 

There is tons of storage space with every amenity well-planned and thought-out.  Before retiring for the night, I asked to hold a "reservation" for the shower 90 minutes before landing, giving me enough time to shower, change and daven so that I'd be ready to get to work after landing.  Showering at 38k feet was incredible, albeit a very short 5 minute shower.  But it made a huge difference getting off the plane reasonably rested and refreshed ready for a days work.

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I chatted up one of the F attendants and learned that the Residence was empty this flight.  She said that the Residence is typically occupied by the members of the royal family or ultra-wealthly sheiks or entertainment personalities looking for more privacy.  She said that she's worked flights where the royal family took down all of F and J on a flight. 

After soaking in the experience during the first 2 or 3 hours (of the 13 hour flight), we decided it was time to sleep.  Our beds were made and shades were drawn. 

After a great shower schachris and breakfast, we were finally on approach to JFK...

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Deplaning was quick.  On our way to baggage claim, I said goodbye to this enormous bird...

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Straight to baggage claim we went where I was hoping a chauffeur would be holding a sign with our name on it.  Etihad had sent me several emails in the days leading up to the flight with my chauffeurs name but he was no where to be found (or didn't want to take us to NJ).  Turns out there were 15 or 20 drivers around a dispatcher near baggage claim.  They eventually assigned us a driver (Mohamed) who was very professional  and took us home...

All in all, it was a great trip.  Was great to be away for 10+ days.  Now it's time to plan the next trip...Am thinking Asia-Pacific... maybe Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong etc...


Wow sounds like a great trip!!

I'd love to hear about what you have in mind for the the next trip!!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: AJK on November 14, 2016, 07:50:18 AM
Fantastic TR.

Conrad, to me, looks head and shoulders above the PH.
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: maxmiles on December 14, 2016, 03:29:09 PM
Amazing TR!!!! Probably one of the best ever written!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on December 14, 2016, 06:18:25 PM
Amazing TR!!!! Probably one of the best ever written!

Thx!!
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: arye her on February 25, 2019, 06:01:53 PM
beautiful TR
how was the weather in Maldives, my understanding is that the summer is rainy
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: BarryLincoln on February 25, 2019, 06:05:13 PM
beautiful TR
how was the weather in Maldives, my understanding is that the summer is rainy

Thank you for reviving the thread... brings back some good memories!!!

Weather was incredible - for the 5 or 6 days we were there, it rained maybe 3 times for 15 minutes... usually at night...

Good times...
Title: Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
Post by: myi on February 26, 2019, 03:03:30 AM
Thank you for reviving the thread... brings back some good memories!!!

Weather was incredible - for the 5 or 6 days we were there, it rained maybe 3 times for 15 minutes... usually at night...

Good times...
Being that this was bumped, I couldn't resist from taking a peek into this thread. Skimmed through most or say half of the thread and loved it, really well done. Written beautifully and clear crisp pictures which are each worth a 1000 words.
 
 Making me wanna do such a trip, gatta get my act together.
 Thanks Barry L. And going to bookmark this thread and finish it later in the week hopefully.   
 A+ so far!

 When taking such flights and going to such destinations I would assume taking a J or Y fare ticket means comfort and no need to worry about baggage?