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Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related This is is my favorite!
March 13, 2020, 02:57:34 PM
Re: TPG Master Thread
March 14, 2020, 09:55:40 PM
Re: How much is COVID-19 affecting your life now?
You trust them?
From the email they sent today:
"Make it easier to adjust travel plans. We know customers trying to contact us are experiencing extremely long wait times, and we are continuing to do everything possible to address your needs as we work through a solution. Our teams are currently focused on helping customers whose travel is scheduled within the next 72 hours. If your travel is further out, you may cancel or change your flight anytime before your travel date using My Trips on To allow even more flexibility, any Delta ticket expiring in March or April is being extended to enable rebooking and travel until Dec. 31, 2020. Whenever your travel may be, rest assured that all changes will be processed and applicable credits will be issued; if you donít take your flight, your ticket number automatically becomes an unused eCredit within 24 hours. We promise to resolve your issues and sincerely appreciate your patience."

March 15, 2020, 11:00:41 PM
Have point/mileage values gone down? Or is the "market" in shutdown mode?
The latter

March 16, 2020, 08:42:50 PM
Re: How much is COVID-19 affecting your life now?
March 18, 2020, 08:26:06 AM
Re: Canada closing borders to most travellers who are not citizens
Quoting from someone in Montreal who spoke to border control and said that even US citizens in Canada are not allowed to come into America and are stuck there. As for Canadian citizens, they are being allowed into Canada for now. A minor who is a US citizen can go into Canada with a parent who is a Canadian citizen. However, a spouse who is not a Canadian citizen is not able to come into Canada even with proof of marriage.
Sounds very strange that a country wouldn't allow a person to go back to his home country. Especially that they announced it to be effective the same day without prior notice. DROBC and use common sense.

March 18, 2020, 05:03:43 PM
Re: Corona virus and your shull
If I'll manage I will post later on a video that is going around on WhatsApp of the bochurim that arrived in Israel being told their status. They are basically all being moved to isolation at a hotel in Jerusalem. Each getting their own room. Anyone presenting symptoms will be moved to a medical facility. Health ministry is assuming anyone arriving from Crown Heights is positive.

All videos with the hotel tour...

March 19, 2020, 11:33:49 AM
Re: Corona virus and your shull
@dealfinder11 will tell you that it's because they closed the shuls and yeshivas...

March 19, 2020, 12:40:05 PM
Re: Shop Local!! (When it's safe to do so) So my local supermarket doesn't do delivery to "new customers" meaning ppl that never ordered online before. Yes, I always go shop myself there and never used their free service, now I can't use it when I need!
I don't feel sorry for them and I'll not shop there when it's over.

March 20, 2020, 10:45:39 AM
Re: Flights still operating (USA-Canada)?
How is my flight not cancelled between USA and Canada if border is closed? Trying to get money back from AA but they say flights is operating as scheduled.
If you're Canadian you're allowed to enter.
Border is not closed, there are restrictions to enter.

March 25, 2020, 12:00:05 PM
Re: Flights still operating (USA-Canada)?
I am a USA citizen who was supposed to travel for wedding but not going for obvious reasons. To my knowledge, the border is closed to people like me.
Yes you're denied entry if you don't have immediate family or can't quarantine.
You can also receive a travel credit regardless if you can fly or not, because all airline issued a waiver (usually only free change or future travel credit).
Now look back at your question, you asked how the flight is not cancelled since the border is closed?
The border is not closed and your flight might still fly. If you want a refund to the original payment, you'll need better than that.

March 25, 2020, 12:10:10 PM
Re: Flights still operating (USA-Canada)?
didn't realize is still open if able to self-quarantine. have any suggestions on getting a refund?
I was banking on fact that "border was closed" to get my money back.
You can definitely get a credit for future travel.

All of that assuming your flight is in the next 2-3 days, otherwise wait a bit, it will be probably cancelled.

March 25, 2020, 02:00:47 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related .
March 25, 2020, 11:03:30 PM
Re: Corona virus and your shull
Can anyone show me where R' Chaim said not to have minyanim? All I saw that he said was about people who are either sick, or in contact with someone sick or who is supposed to be in quarantine by the health ministry. It doesn't seem that he has changed his opinion.
He didn't. Or to be more clear, no one asked him...

March 29, 2020, 01:04:16 PM
Re: Corona virus and your shull There are 2 main differences between the FAKE 'Mesirus Nefesh' of today's Minyonim and the mesirus nefesh in Russia and the Holocaust (besides the fact that it's against the Rabbonim and so against the torah).
1. Back then it was שעת השמד where the Gemara says אפי' ערקתא דמסאנא (Google it).
2. They weren't putting other ppl in danger without their knowledge (today they spread the virus beyond the Minyan)

March 30, 2020, 03:23:15 PM
Re: Maimonidies
My brother's neighbor dressed up as a doctor to check on his father. Saw patient lying on the floor. Asked the nurse what's going on? She said he didn't want to drink his water, he can stay there until lunch! Scary stuff! I hope someone has some evidence and people are held accountable.

March 30, 2020, 09:52:20 PM
Re: Corona virus and your shull

Some are making the argument,
from the day the Schools and Synagogues  were shut ,
Deaths in the religious community have heartbreakingly soared.
Because people are not learning and praying,
they are no longer protected . !
posting stupidity

March 31, 2020, 09:19:36 AM
Re: COVID-19 (Wuhan Novel Coronavirus) Pandemic Master Thread
Please post the entire article. There is a paywall. Thanks
.בשם אומרו

April 03, 2020, 11:54:55 AM
Re: Why are men passing away at a higher rate than women? Both my parents got it, my father was in bed for 2 weeks +hospitalization (now out BH), my mother was sick just for 2 days.
Usually when it's the flu, my mother is sicker than my father (by far). There's for sure something about this virus and men.

April 06, 2020, 12:01:00 PM
Re: COL video about Maimonidies, a must watch
Can someone post links?
I don't twitter.  :)
Video #2

Video #3

April 13, 2020, 09:52:55 AM
Re: COL video about Maimonidies, a must watch Ok it was on YT.

April 13, 2020, 10:19:19 AM
Re: Corona virus and your shul
They rely on the comment
All you need is a keyboard and a printer...
There's no signature so it's worthless.

April 14, 2020, 12:18:55 AM
Re: Corona virus and your shul
Did you read it? Its a psak from X years ago related to the only answer to a mageifah. X being I dont know how many years ago R' Chaim Palagi lived or for that matter who that is.
Sure, then there's that Gmara etc etc. The question is not about bringing sources but rather from a rav that give a psak for the current situation.

April 14, 2020, 12:25:24 AM
Re: Corona virus and your shul
Every one should seek their own halachik guidance from their posek. Even in Lakewood their are some that differ in pesak.

Imagine someone would force you to listen to their rabbi or church leader.

Why is it so hard for some to live with the fact that others will make decisions in life [even life threatening] that you don't necessarily agree with.
The guy had ppl in his front yard coming. He can at least have a say on his property...

April 14, 2020, 06:06:47 PM
Re: Halachik Status of Illegitimate Minyanim
Lakewood Psak was NOT because of safety. It clearly states because of איבה.

Why do we read stories of people who sacrificed their lives not to eat horse meat in the Holocaust. We call them heroes. Nobody says ahhh but וחי בהם......

Follow your Rabbi and stop knocking other rabonim period. We will never have the geula with all this hate.
It was already explained before the difference; שעת השמד

April 16, 2020, 09:36:39 PM
Re: Mazel Tov!!! Mazel tov @jj1000 for the triplets!
April 16, 2020, 09:50:38 PM
Re: Air routes suspended due to virus
Anyone know what's considered a "significant schedule change" that the DoT requires a refund?  My Air Canada CAN-US flight was changed by 12 hours from Sunday evening to Sunday morning. (They are not canceling flight)

My flight was changed by 12 hours.
Is that considered a significant schedule change that requires them to refund?


April 17, 2020, 01:46:10 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
not at all. Didnít see that part
Yea... I wonder what bothers him more, the business going down or people offering him money...
There are videos going around, ppl are buying from him meals for soldiers to give him some business but he used to give for free for IDF so it's a big pain for him too.
In one video you can see a full parking lot with ppl coming to buy a falafel (with social distancing), that's what he really aimed to.

April 20, 2020, 08:05:01 PM
Re: American Express SPG Luxury
can you put up a link for the g.c. On their website, I canít find it

April 21, 2020, 07:39:21 PM
Re: American Express SPG Luxury

any data if this triggers the $300 marriot credit?

I bought online and got the credit (9/25).

April 21, 2020, 07:51:03 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
Something like this:

April 21, 2020, 09:34:01 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 23, 2020, 11:59:10 AM
Re: Food Shortage Coming?
Any way to bypass the paywall?

April 23, 2020, 09:07:37 PM
Re: Corona virus and your shul
Many of the minyan haters are people that were lax about minyan before this started so they have no appreciation for the importance of minyan.
Stop accusing

April 24, 2020, 12:33:49 AM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 24, 2020, 12:07:00 PM
Re: Things to read Shabbos on lockdown
for those of us that were not around then

April 25, 2020, 09:43:50 PM
Re: Vaccine Discussion Master Thread I don't want to go into the whole discussion of vaccines but if I can change the mind of one person/family then it's worth it:
My young brother wasn't vaccinated for the measles and he got it when he was a young baby. He was then completely healthy until the age of 9 when we realized something was wrong. After many tests, scans & MRI, the doctor found that it was a rare complication of the measles that comes out only years later and no one till that day recovered from it. The body just stop functioning in many stages and people were able to stay alive for a maximum of 8 years with an average of 4 years. This happens 1 in 10M measles cases.
I don't remember all the details, the name of this complication, and why my brother wasn't vaccinated for the measles (although we were all vaccinated in my family), and I don't want to ask my parents any questions about it.
Someone called me a few months ago after there was a big controversy in CH about vaccines and ask me; "is it true your brother had complications because he got vaccinated?" I was shocked from this question but I still had to verify to be 100% sure. My only question to my mother was if my brother was vaccinated or not and she confirmed he wasn't.
My brother past away 3 years later at the age of 12. It was 3 painful years with a hospital bed at home with many machines and a surgery or visit at the hospital every few months.
If he just had the damn vaccine...

April 26, 2020, 11:27:11 AM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 26, 2020, 02:59:25 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
corona + sefirah =

Can't be Sefirah... The mustache!

April 26, 2020, 07:04:10 PM
Re: Master List Of Unofficial Chabad Houses Rabbi Lazar, chief Rabbi of Russia took yesterday the initiative to bring Achdout in Chabad following the passing of the Shliach Binyomin Wolff in Germany.
Just a few hours ago Rabbi Bentolila, the head Shliach of Central Africa, decided to make the 2 unofficial Shluchim in Central Africa, official. This is Rabbi Notik from Kenya and Rabby Chaviv from Ethiopia.
For all the Chabad Chsidim in this forum, please say L'chaim! Let's hope that this bring us closer to Moshiach.
See the Whatsapp screenshot attached.
(I spent myself more than 6 months in Central Africa and this is a huge deal, Shluchim are really trying to bring more people together and hopefully, this will encourage others to do the same).

April 26, 2020, 08:55:53 PM
Re: Vaccine Discussion Master Thread
Okay. You wrote young baby.....
Yea... He was always my little baby... :'(

April 26, 2020, 11:21:39 PM
Re: Master List Of Unofficial Chabad Houses Now Mexico!
If it continues like this, this thread will have to change name...

April 27, 2020, 09:21:59 AM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 27, 2020, 01:55:46 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related

April 28, 2020, 11:18:48 PM
Re: Denmark and Sweden: An apples to apples comparison Invalid Tweet ID
April 30, 2020, 07:49:35 PM
Re: Credit Card Retention Bonuses
Yes I had the fee waived on the Platinum card.

May 01, 2020, 09:00:58 AM
Re: Free night Hilton Certificates
Night rewards as of May 1, 2020 and new Free Weekend Night Rewards issued until December 31,
2020 on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card can now be used any night of the week
(not just on weekends). New Free Weekend Night Rewards issued from May 1 through December 31,
2020 will be valid for 24 months (rather than 12 months) from the date of issuance. Free Weekend
Night Rewards must be redeemed on or before the expiration date.

May 01, 2020, 09:06:42 AM
Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR Our flight to Singapore was scheduled at 9:50 AM, with an hour drive we were scheduled to leave the Conrad after 7:30 AM. We heated the breakfast and got juices from the breakfast (Zest). The bellman came to take our luggage and we went to the lobby. Our butler, Natt,  was waiting for us there with a new pair of monogrammed slippers (after housekeeping took them out of the room for cleaningÖ). They gave us again a small star, a lizard and a turtle plush for our daughter. The nice Toyota SUV was waiting for us but we had to wait for them to bring a car seat.

Last morning at the Conrad:


The stay at the Conrad was really amazing! Besides the fact that they gave us a 2 nights free upgrade to the 2 bedroom villa, they were extremely helpful for everything we needed throughout the stay. Our butler Natt was always here to help us with anything we needed with just a WhatsApp message. She brought us a big case of water bottles at the beginning of the stay and always made sure we have everything we need (I tipped her nicely that day). The staff were always very nice to us and especially with our daughter, sometimes going out of their way to bend and smile at her. The staff at the Turtle (kids) club were really amazing and so kind, although we didnít take much advantage of their free service.
I also forgot to mention that on the 2nd of our stay I bought Diapers and beers from the Tops App, it was very easy to buy (with a US CC) with free delivery and the hotel staff brought it to the room. I knew about this app before leaving the US and was planning on buying diapers locally instead of schlepping them.
We drove about 50 minutes to the airport. This day (February 2nd) was the first day that Singapore banned all travelers that were in China in the past 14 days and the hotel sent me an email to make sure we werenít in China previously. The terminal is open to the outside (a bit like in Kauai) and they have a nice rest area outside between the baggage drop and security.

I asked the lady at the counter to check through our luggage to our final destination (MLE). We had 2 separate tickets to fly to Singapore and then to MLE with 2 different airlines, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines. Since SilkAir is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines I figured it would be easy to check through and we wonít have to take our luggage for our 8 hours layover. Nevertheless, the lady had to make 2 phone calls and another 15 minutes on her computer to get it done.

On the way to security:

After we finished with our luggage I had to exchange all the Bahts I got from the Hotel to USD. The exchange bureau had a really good rate but they were missing some bills so I had to mix some USD and EUR, then I checked the XE app and realized I got the exact exchange rate, go figure.

After security, we went to the Blue Ribbon lounge (Bangkok airways) with our PP card. Since we were a bit late because of the car seat, check through process, and the exchange bureau procedure, we had only 10 minutes to grab fruit and juices and to head to the airplane.

Our flight was half empty and we were seated in the first economy row (bassinet) with 3 seats. The crew were really nice and brought us a plush airplane with their logo. On our short 2 hours flight, we were seated next to a German couple with a toddler, they were the previous months in China working for a german company and spent the past few weeks in Thailand for vacation, now they had to go back to Germany because of the virus.

Approaching SIN airport:

It took only 20 minutes from the time we landed till we were in the Taxi. The army was screening everyone for fever at the airport and someone came to check the temperature of the baby in the stroller.

We booked a cab through Grab, and this time I was able to pay with my US CC (unlike Thailande). We drove 20 minutes to the Jacob Ballas center for SGD $17 (USD $12), to meet my young brother and eat lunch at Awafi restaurant. My brother arrived in Singapore 2 weeks earlier, he came for Shlicus for the year. Although we were planning anyway to transit through Singapore, it was another good reason to be there.

On the way:

At the entrance, someone came to take our temperature and we passed security easily because they knew my brother.

We went to the restaurant upstairs and ordered a Falafel plate (comes with a few Pitas), a chicken salad and Fries. The menu is very limited and the chicken is not so fresh usually, but the Falafel and salad were good and affordable prices. Since we also ordered meals for our Maldives trip through the restaurant, I paid all the balance at once, I paid USD $107 for 4 meals and what we ordered that day.

After lunch we were headed to the Gardens by the bay we had to pay by cash only for the Subway so I withdrew money with my SoFi money card and paid about $5 for 2 tickets RT.

Marina Bay:

#futuretogether exhibition: (very nice at night)

Since it was raining a bit (for 5 minutes), they closed temporarily the Supertree grove. We decided to buy tickets for the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, we paid SGD $58 for both of us for the admission in both places. It was really worth it to visit them. They have beautiful sculptures and flowers but Iíll let the picture speak for themselves.

Flower Dome:

Cloud Forest:

We spent about 45 minutes in each place and walked back to the subway.
We went back to the Jewish center to pick up our frozen meals and took a Grab to the airport. We checked in the carry on with our meals and went to shower at the Ambassador Transit Lounge. The lounge is not of the nicest but was enough to be refreshed from the long day.

Sunflower Garden at Terminal 2:

(our original plan was to spend the night at the Four Season in Singapore and fly Monday morning to MLE. Since we had already a short stay in the Maldives, we decided to spend the night also at the Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives and just tour a bit during the layover. We used a free weekend night for that Sunday night at the hotel and arranged the boat transfer to the hotel at 10:30 PM since they do the Yacht transfer for any flight at any time. I changed our flight and got refunded 50% of the miles and also the change fees were refunded).

We boarded the flight, a few months earlier they changed this route to the Dreamliner instead of the A330, we got again bassinet seats. The crew are really the nicest in the air, even in coach, and they brought us a big amenity bag for our daughter (diapers, Lion kingís plush and a baby bib), itís interesting that on the way back, on Business we didnít get this amenity bag.
The flight of 4 hours went very smoothly, they have lots of programs and a rich selection for kids, and again we got an extra seat next to us.
When we landed, I saw a China Southern aircraft (probably CZ3059/3060 to CMB and then CAN). At the immigration, they handed a paper to everyone about the Coronavirus. It had medical questions and also questions about recent travel to China. It seems to me that they began to ask to fill up this form that same day and maybe we were from the first. The next day (2/3) it was announced in the media that Maldives bans all travelers from China. (I donít know if the travelers from Guangzhou, China were allowed in or were sent back, from what the hotel staff told me later, I believed they werenít allowed in).

While we waited for our luggage to come, 2 guys that didnít speak English approached me to offer some help, I asked them if they were from the hotel and they said yes, although I knew they werenít, I let them help me for a $2 tip. After we passed the customs there was a guy waiting for us with the hotel sign and told us that weíll be the only ones on the Yacht so we are not gonna have any wait time.

After going out of the airport to the fresh air, we waited less than 5 minutes and the Yacht approached the dock. Itís a beautiful large Princess Yacht about 55 ft long with 2 rooms downstairs we sat on the couch on the main deck and they served us fruits and juices.

The bedroom downstairs:

They also took our passports to send a picture to the hotel to make it faster for the check-in. The crew (4) onboard was really nice, they put the Baby Shark music for the baby. It was an hour boat ride, a bit longer than usual because of the rough waves during the night. When we approached the deck there were 5 people from the hotel waiting and waiving from the deck, a warm welcome.
The original price for the boat transfer was $700 (+23%) /P RT and free for children (in 2020 they reduced it to $600 RT++ for new reservations). Because there was an old language in their website until February 15th 2019 (the exact date we reserved 2 of our nights) for $370++ RT, they honored this price for us.
We arrived at midnight to the hotel and the only thing we wanted was to get to our room as soon as possible, we were tired from that long day and it was time to have a good sleep. From the dozens of requests I sent the hotel prior to my arrival was to get an overwater villa in the 100ís, for many reasons that Iíll explain later it was important for me to not be in the 700ís in the north but in the 100ís in the south.

Our butler Shiam brought us to the reception which is next to Peacock Alley and told me that we got a Villa in the 700ísÖ Although the hotel upgraded/downgraded us to the Overwater villa from the standard beach villa for the whole stay, I wasnít happy that they didnít allocate us to the south side. We had to wait for another 40 minutes until we got a room in the 100ís and made it ready. Because it wasnít the room they prepared originally, it was missing the crib, amenity kits, the Kosher wine and welcome fruit basket (they brought all of it later on and the next day). We went to sleep around 2 AM in the gorgeous Villa, more of it in the next installment. When we woke up in the morning we already forgot all about it.

May 01, 2020, 05:20:25 PM
Re: RIP/BDE Master Thread - COVID-19 related
Every one  of the tens of thousands of individuals in Lakewood who found a shoulder to cry on, advice for legal trouble, help for parnassa issues- both with eitzos and with money, solutions to countless Halacha and practical issues that affected the Tzibur, and on and on, should be crying now with the petira of Rav Zeev Rothchild Zecher Tzaddik Livracha. So much of Lakewood stood on his shoulders. There was so much that wasnít even known. There is no one who can replace him. A book can be written about his incredible works. Yehi Zichro Boruch.

May 05, 2020, 02:08:27 PM
Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi:

Since I'm the first one to review this hotel in this forum, I will also cover the booking process and other helpful information.
We booked 2 of our 3 nights long in advance (almost a year earlier). Not long after we booked, the hotel didn't have any availability for the month of January and February until a month before our arrival when I could've booked more nights before or after the stay. When the cancellation window comes closer, more room will be available since people are freeing up their reservations (even on peak seasons).
I began to email the hotel long in advance, first for the price mistake of the boat transfer and then to ask them an upgrade to an overwater villa.
From the 1 bedroom villas, the hotel has 3 categories, Beach, Reef (entrance from the ground and the other half Overwater), and the Overwater villa. We originally booked the base room which used to be the beach villa but since the hotel experienced a high demand for the beach villa after they had many families coming, the hotel changed the base room to be the Reef>Overwater>Beach. Because we had a reservation for the Beach Villa, we had basically the choice between the 3 of them. Beginning of 2020, the hotel changed the base room also for points redemption and it's possible to book directly an overwater villa with points (called ocean villa). Though, it's easier to find the 'Reef Villa' with points than the 'Ocean villa'.
The rate for the standard room award is 120k HH points with the 5th night free, or a free weekend night certificate.
We decided to spend more time at the Conrad USM than in the Maldives mainly because of the Kosher meals at the Conrad and also because we didn't want to be too long in an overwater villa with a toddler.

Arrival pier:

The Hotel was always very responsive to our emails and easy to communicate with. Before our arrival we already booked most of our activities and asked them for a Kosher wine bottle too. Like at the Conrad, I preloaded money to my portfolio before our arrival, they were sending me payment links without any question asked (I loaded $2000 prior arrival and $750 at the hotel, (my total cost price was $1220)).
As mentioned before, I asked the hotel to stay on the south side of the island in the 100's.

As you can see on the map, the Overwater villas are 101-145 (south), and 701-737 (north).
On the North side, there are Villas on both sides of the bridge, more crowded. It's also windier and the water is colder. There's also more boat traffic and at night there are lights from Male visible. Besides the reef next to the Dive center that is located on the north side of the resort, the snorkeling next to the 700's villas is less comfortable (more rocks and more shallow).
That's the reason that I waited for a room to be ready on the south side, although it was late and I almost gave up because DW and the baby just wanted to sleep... (they weren't the ones reading FlyerTalk for months... ).

When we came to the room, our butler showed us the room and explained to us how everything works. The room is controlled from an iPad, for the lighting, AC, fan, room service, etc. He also gave us a phone with his number to call him every time we need something.


Room tour:

Outside deck:

you can make a party with 15 ppl seating/lounging!


Outside Shower:

In the closet room:

The most comfortable slippers!

And this silk bathrobe...OMG! (I wanted to pay full price to bring one home but they were short in supply... If someone is going there one day, and they have enough of them... I'll QP you )

When we arrived on Sunday night we gave them our frozen meals to keep them in the freezer. The hotel charges $20++ per meal per person to heat up the food (we paid $12 for our meals from Awafi), and they don't provide microwaves in the room. I would've paid this price if the meals were decent, but my brother, that eats at Awafi's kitchen daily, told me that the chicken is dry and it will not be worth it. (I wanted to bring Pom meals but figured that it would be a bit complicated to schlep them for a week). We brought with us a pot and a burner and had rice, couscous and tons of snacks. We ate very well in Thailand but in the Maldives, it was at the minimum level.
(The hotel told me before that they can get meals from Australia but a week before they notified me that it will not be doable). Don't worry, we ate properly and we weren't hungry.
-Side note; any price mentioned here is before the service charge and taxes, there's 23% to add on top of it, as explained here.
Every morning we went to breakfast, they have a large variety of fruits, vegetables and juices. Anything that is not there can be asked and brought on-demand. They also have cereals with Kosher symbols, they brought me the boxes so I can check them. (Breakfast is free for Gold and Diamond HH members).
On our first day, they also brought us a Kosher wine bottle that I enjoyed a lot during the stay. I had confirmed with them for it before but they gave it to other Jewish guests without having to ask.

And the baby basket amenities.

There are bikes in the resort to move around and they now put the room number on the bike to ensure that no one mistakes others' for theirs, they even have bikes for children.

And for her too:

Our experience with the buggies was that they were slow to come (10-15 minutes) although the hotel was at half occupancy. If there's a certain time you know in advance that you'll need one, they are reliable to come on time. We used our 2 bikes all the time to go everywhere in the resort and I had the child with me on a baby carrier. We actually loved biking on the island on the firm sand and the creaking noise passing the wooden bridge. Passing by staff members greeting you with their right hand on their chest and a big smile that makes you feel so welcome... Since we were on the far end of the island we had to bike a lot to go to breakfast or to Peacock Alley for Happy hour, but for us, it was a real pleasure.

The lovely greeting, every time a guess passes them:

The occupancy at the hotel was pretty low, on our 2nd day they told me that it's at 40% only. The main reason is because the country banned Chinese visitors although it was right after the Chinese new year.
There are about 120 rooms/Villas in the resort so only 45 were occupied and 3 of them by Jewish couples (DDFrs too, more of that later). I wrote about it on the forum and @Dan reported it on DDMS (with some exaggeration... ;).
The hotel set the time one hour ahead of Male so the guests can enjoy one more hour of light during the day. When you're on an isolated island, it doesn't really matter what time it is...

During the day they prepared our bed for the 'special occasion'...

Although we were a bit upset on Sunday night that it took time to get our room, when we woke up Monday morning we were just thrilled to be there. This was the highlight of our trip and we waited so long for it. The villa was so perfect and everything smelt like a million $$. We were also glad that we booked that night although we were so tired. (truth is that I didn't sleep much during our 72 hours stay, I was in intensive adrenaline, I really felt like a dream ;D).

The first thing I wanted to do that morning (after a good Espresso and davening) was to go in the water, I brought with me a special guest...

And of course the huge swimming pool too:

Before going to breakfast, my daughter decided to drop her shoe to the water... Thanks to the huge skimmer net, found in one of the closet outside, we got it back.

Breakfast table:

The breakfast is served at the Tasting table, after the 500's Villas, (pretty much the opposite side of the island from our Villa).

After Breakfast, we went to the water sport (next to the 300's) to book the JetSki for the next day and we also took a paddleboat in the lagoon.

Right next to the water sport there's the kids' club. They get usually between 15 to 30 kids at a time but when we were there there was only the chef's daughter playing with her nanny. They have an indoor and outdoor space. The outdoor space is full of water games with slides and kids can have lots of fun there. Kids older than 4 can be left there at any time during the day for free. Younger than 4, parents can be with them or there's a babysitting option of $25++ /H. The babysitting fee is the same if it's in the Villa (We used this service too) or if it is in the kid's club. The staff in the kids club are from different countries, they all speak perfect English and are sooo nice! (Like all the staff actually, but even nicer, and very professional).

Early afternoon, after the baby had her nap we were seating at the main beach area of the hotel and then I got the so-much-waited email from Expert Flyer notifying me that there's available seats on the (long) last leg of our trip. We booked with AC but at the time of booking there was only 1 seat on Eva Air for J. I took the risk to book it hoping that they will open up award space. I was tracking the space availability and saw that there were many vacant seats on J 6 days out so I knew they will open up. When I got the email, it was the last drop to make this trip perfect. I waited for 7 AM EST and called AC to move that leg to J. (Other guests looking at me were probably raising an eyebrow why I jumped out of my lounger looking at my phone with so much Chayus...)

Main pool area:

I went snorkeling a few times next to the Villa, there are fish there, it's not rocky and very accessible. Since I went to 2 snorkeling next to the Dive center with a guide and a special camera, the next 2 days, I'll share these pictures on the next installments.

For sunset, we went to Amber (next to the Spa, on the west side). It was so calm and peaceful, no one was there.

May 06, 2020, 12:32:45 AM