Author Topic: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE  (Read 30769 times)

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #300 on: March 28, 2016, 09:10:35 PM »
Wow, thanks for that.  Can't believe I've never heard believe I've never heard of it before!
I've only done it when sitting in Y so plastic cups. Wonder if it works as good/better with the glass cups that they'll give you in F/J. Something to include on ur TR :P. Maybe even include a picture.

Offline Denverite

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #301 on: March 28, 2016, 09:12:38 PM »
I've only done it when sitting in Y so plastic cups. Wonder if it works as good/better with the glass cups that they'll give you in F/J. Something to include on ur TR :P. Maybe even include a picture.

Lol.  I'm technical idiot compared to most of you guys so gotta read the thread about posting pics before I go too!

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #302 on: March 28, 2016, 09:13:46 PM »
Lol.  I'm technical idiot compared to most of you guys so gotta read the thread about posting pics before I go too!
Here's the link to the thread: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46084.0 . SF wrote out the instructions VERY clearly.

Offline Denverite

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #303 on: March 28, 2016, 09:21:40 PM »
Here's the link to the thread: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46084.0 . SF wrote out the instructions VERY clearly.

Thanks again, now I don't have to search!

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #304 on: March 30, 2016, 10:49:53 AM »
Wednesday

After breakfast on Wednesday morning, we spent a couple of hours relaxing at the beach and then went to hang out at the spa pool for about an hour. The spa pool is nice but itís in a shady area so it doesnít really get an sun. Nobody else was there though so it was quieter than sitting at the main pool (not that the main pool is busy or noisy at all; maybe two or three couples there at a time, max).





We told Ameez in the morning that we had one more POM meal left in the hotel freezer and that we wanted to eat it for lunch because it would be a while before we ate dinner on the plane. At 1pm we went to The Dining Room to have our Penne Vodka. We both thought it was really good. Unexpectedly, as we were getting ready to leave The Dining Room, our waiter brought us a bill for the water that we drank while eating lunch. He told us that for lunch and dinner there is always a charge for water ($9 for a 1L bottle!). It sounded incorrect to us because after most of the other meals, our waiter told us that thereís nothing to sign because the only thing that we had was water/sparkling water which is free, but I didnít want to argue so I just signed the bill and figured Iíd wait and see what shows up on my bill when I check out.



After lunch, we went back to our villa to wash up and pack up because the hotel told us that theyíd be picking up our bags at 2:45pm. Once they picked up our bags to take them to the jetty, we went to the main hotel reception to checkout. I was given my bill and saw that I was only charged that one time for the water (proving that the waiter was indeed incorrect), but I decided not to fight over $9 and just left it alone. After settling the bill, we were driven to the jetty on a golf cart, took some last pictures on the jetty, said goodbye and thank you to Ameez who came to see us off, and boarded the boat with two other couples. After a brief safety demonstration, we pulled away from the jetty and were on our way to Koddoo Airport. About 5 or 6 hotel staff members that were at the jetty to see us off lined up at the edge of the jetty to waive goodbye to us as we pulled away. Unfortunately, I didnít get a picture, but it was a nice gesture to send us off.





Up next: GKK-MLE-DOH-PHL and overall last thoughts.

Offline eliteflyer

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #305 on: March 30, 2016, 11:32:46 AM »
Excellent! From what I've read in reviews, it seems they generally charge for water at lunch and dinner (and some reviewers mentioned just carrying along the water bottles provided in-room (which are the same house-purified bottles served in the restaurants) to their meals to save on the cost.

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #306 on: March 30, 2016, 11:35:21 AM »
Excellent! From what I've read in reviews, it seems they generally charge for water at lunch and dinner (and some reviewers mentioned just carrying along the water bottles provided in-room (which are the same house-purified bottles served in the restaurants) to their meals to save on the cost.
Really? If that's really the policy, that's pretty ridiculous. I've never been to a restaurant that charges for water. Even more ridiculous because like you said, they give it to you in your room/beach/pool for free and you can keep requesting as much as you want. I guess I was lucky that I only got charged for it once. Would've had a water bill for ~$120.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #307 on: March 30, 2016, 01:23:52 PM »
Really? If that's really the policy, that's pretty ridiculous. I've never been to a restaurant that charges for water. Even more ridiculous because like you said, they give it to you in your room/beach/pool for free and you can keep requesting as much as you want. I guess I was lucky that I only got charged for it once. Would've had a water bill for ~$120.
It's indeed a crazy policy, but loads of restaurants charge for water, even if it's still water, and even if all they do is fill up a carafe from the tap.

Offline tzifanya54

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #308 on: March 30, 2016, 02:13:43 PM »
It's indeed a crazy policy, but loads of restaurants charge for water, even if it's still water, and even if all they do is fill up a carafe from the tap.
Really? I have never seen a kosher Resturant (including RC, PG, Mike's...) charge for tap water....

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #309 on: March 30, 2016, 02:14:53 PM »
Really? I have never seen a kosher Resturant (including RC, PG, Mike's...) charge for tap water....
I've seen that mainly in Europe. In Argentina and Brazil they charge you for plates, bowls and cutlery too.

Offline tzifanya54

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #310 on: March 30, 2016, 02:20:10 PM »
I've seen that mainly in Europe. In Argentina and Brazil they charge you for plates, bowls and cutlery too.
Wow, that's nuts. Disposable or real?

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #311 on: March 30, 2016, 02:24:20 PM »
Wow, that's nuts. Disposable or real?
Real. It's a separate item on the bill. And it's per person.

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #312 on: March 30, 2016, 05:58:12 PM »
Boat ride, GKK-MLE-DOH-PHL and Final Thoughts!

This time, the boat ride was much more enjoyable because it was light outside so we were able to look out at the water and see some islands that we passed. We were sitting across from another couple so we started talking to them about how they enjoyed their stay and turns out they were staying at the hotel on points too (and he also status matched to Diamond)! He wasnít as big of a points person as me (didnít really sound like he MSs or signs up for as many cards as a lot of us do), but he said he was slowly starting to learn some tricks. They were actually continuing on to Thailand so they werenít as sad to be leaving MLE as we were.

After about a half an hour ride, we pulled up to Kooddoo Airport Island and were greeted by other Hyatt representatives who took our bags and checked us in for our flight. After about a 20 minute wait at the gate (the whole airport is like one check-in counter and one gate), we boarded the flight.



The Hyatt representative that checked us in saw us talking to the other couple that we met on the boat so he sat us next to each other on the plane, which was nice. We continued talking for most of the flight while looking at some of the beautiful views that were outside. I wasnít able to get such good pictures because our window was VERY dirty (Maldivian Air planes seem to all be pretty old), but here are a few of the better ones.



Male:


We saw our next plane waiting for us as soon as we landed in MLE:


Upon landing in MLE, we were greeted by one last Hyatt rep who once again took our bags for us and help us check-in. The other couple had about 5 hours until their flight and they werenít flying J/F so the hotel arranged for them to have lounge access at the lounge that all the guests get access to when originally landing in MLE and waiting for their domestic flight. Because we were flying J, the Hyatt rep told us that heíd be taking us directly to international check in (the airport has two buildings Ė one for domestic and one for international) so we said goodbye to the couple that we met on the boat, I exchanged emails with the guy (nothing wrong with doing a little networking while on vacation ;) ), and we headed over to the international part of the airport. MLE has double security, so everything is screened as soon as you walk into the airport, and then after check-in, you go through regular security that weíre all accustomed to. (I actually turned to DW as we were going through the first round of security and mentioned how I thought every airport should have security right when you walk into the airport. Then after seeing what happened in BRU, itís really beyond me how other airports arenít making immediate plans to have security like we saw in MLE.) Once we were all checked in, the Hyatt rep said goodbye to us and we headed over to security, customs and then went straight to the lounge. Leeli Lounge is for any F/J passengers. The wifi was solid, the lounge had a decent sitting area, and the food (though we obviously couldnít eat it) actually looked really good. By the time we were all checked in and settled in the lounge, we only had about an hour to kill before it was time to board so the timing actually worked out pretty well.

Check-in:


Duty Free:


Before we knew it, it was time to board our flight to DOH. MLE is a tiny airport so the walk from the lounge to the gate was about 30 seconds and within minutes, we were settled in seats 2A and 2B and being offered drinks and hot/cold towels. The only alcohol that they serve before takeoff is champagne so I settled for some Pellegrino while watching Messi and Neymar give the safety demonstration.



Safety video featuring Lionel Messi:


And Neymar too:


They told us that dinner would be served right after takeoff so I decided to start a movie. After going through what must have been 150 choices, I decided on The Big Short. Great movie and I highly recommend seeing it. Dinner was chicken and olives, which I thought was pretty good (DW didnít like it because she doesnít like olives and the chicken had an olivy taste). There were also a couple of small jars of salmon spread that were pretty good. The service on the flight was great; I basically had Glenfiddich 15 on tap until I finished the movie, at which point I was in a pretty good zone and fell right to sleep for about 2 hours until several minutes before landing.

Dinner:


One of the many drinks:


All comfy, watching The Big Short:


After landing in DOH, we took a bus to the terminal, walked around the airport for a bit to see some of the shops and then went to Al Mourjan. Unfortunately all the quiet rooms were taken and the lounge attendant told me that nobody that had a room had a flight out of DOH before 1am (our flight was at 1:40am) so they probably wouldnít open up at all. Though it would have been nice to get a quiet room to hang out, the lounge has a lot of nice areas to sit so we just relaxed in the main sitting area, I had a couple of beers, caught up on some DDF ;) and went to take a shower about 35 minutes before it was time to board our last (longest) flight. Even though it would be a 14 hour flight, we were both looking forward to getting back on an A350 and getting a good nightís sleep.

Another part of Al Mourjan that we didn't see last time:


When our flight took off at 1:40am it was really 4:40am PH MLE time so we were pretty exhausted because we each only slept for two hours on the first flight (purposely so that weíd be able to sleep on the longer flight). After take off, I went to change into my pajamas and we both went straight to sleep for about four and a half hours. We both decided to have a meal when we woke up which was salmon and once again pretty solid. This time I watched J. Edgar while eating dinner. I thought it was pretty good but Iím also biased because Iím a big Leo fan.

After the movie was over (and my body had its refill of scotch), I went back to sleep for about another four and a half hours. DW and I still canít get over how much easier it is to sleep on a flight when flying J, and it makes the time pass so much faster. Though it is harder to sleep, I was never one who minded flying in Y but DW usually hates flying and is never able to sleep on a plane and she loved every minute of our flights on this trip. After waking up and asking the flight attendant what the available meal was, she told us that she had another salmon meal for us. It was a little odd because our body was expecting breakfast, but honestly, the salmon was pretty good and definitely better than the rubbery omelets that airlines serve for breakfast. As the flight attendant was setting my table, I went back to the movie list to choose one last movie that would take me to the end of the flight. This time I chose Black Mass, which was also a pretty good movie. The movie ended with about 20 minutes left in the flight so after changing back into my regular clothes, I turned on the A350 tailwing camera to watch our descent into PHL. I was able to spot the runway from about a mile out so it was cool to watch us approach the airport head on and eventually land in PHL.

Approach into PHL:


After pulling up to the gate, we got off the plane, were through customs within 10 minutes (Global Entry FTW!) and after collecting our bags, we went outside to meet our friend who generously offered to pick us up and give us a ride home.

Overall Thoughts
I tried being as detailed as possible throughout the TR in the hopes that it would be helpful to any of you planning a trip to PH MLE (or MLE in general). I know Iíve gained a lot (and enjoyed too, of course) from reading other TRs so I just wanted to return the favor. To end off my TR, here are some overall thoughts on both PH MLE and our QR J experience.

QR J
Just a disclaimer Ė this was my first *real* premium cabin experience, so keep that in mind as you read this. Once September comes around, the plan is to have experienced UA J, KE F, KE J and CX J (or F if it opens) so by then, my opinion will carry some more weight :). Anyways, our experience with QR J was great from start to finish. The service was amazing, having on demand meals was much better than either missing a meal or being woken up to eat it (as is standard in Y), and the planes were all very nice. We both thought the beds were pretty comfortable (like I said before, DW usually has a very hard time sleeping on planes) and the pajamas and amenity kits were great (pajamas were very comfortable and as for the amenity kits, nothing wrong with some free Armani cologne/perfume and cream). We of course hope to one day be fortunate enough to fly on an A380, but weíd both definitely love to fly on an A350 again Ė by far the quietest plane Iíve ever been on. Actually doesnít sound or feel like youíre on a plane at all.

As for connecting in DOH, as others have said here before, nothing to worry about. I obviously didnít walk around wearing a kippa but my middle name on my passport is clearly Jewish and anyone that looked at it didnít even flinch or react. The same goes for being served Kosher meals on the flights Ė nobody paid attention at all. I could have honestly put on Tefillin on the plane too. DW, who I had to convince to fly on QR and connect in DOH turned to me when we landed back in PHL and said that sheíd fly with QR again in a heartbeat, so for all of you who are trying to convince your wives to fly EY/EK/QR, PM me and Iíll get my wife to give yours a call ;). Just all in all a great experience and it made travelling for basically 24 hours in each direction a breeze.

PH MLE
Oh, PH MLE, you set such a high standard for every other hotel that Iíll ever stay at. From the minute we landed in MLE until the minute we left, PH MLE provided 5-star, A+, first class service. You would think that as good as the service was that Iíd be able to at least find something that could be improved. But nope Ė nothing. Zilch. The villas were beautiful and spacious, the main hotel areas (pools, beach, restaurants etc.) were all really nice and clean, and the staff was welcoming, courteous, thoughtful and overall just incredible. They had the right balance of being helpful but not too overbearing. The hotel as a whole was very accommodating and understanding about us bringing our own food and kept asking if there was anything that they could do for us to further improve our experience. Iíve been to 5-star hotels where the service was great but you could tell that the staff was being nice because it was their job to do so. Not at PH MLE; everyone was just genuinely nice and helpful (either that or Hyatt staffs a hell of a group of actors :P). From the moment we arrived, many of the staff members knew us by name (no idea how). I know Iím being repetitive but PH MLE is just an incredible place to stay and I highly, highly recommend it for any of you planning a trip to MLE.

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my trip, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask away! Iíll do my best to answer all of them.

THE END

Next up: Hawaii (OGG) in 35 days!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #313 on: March 30, 2016, 06:16:03 PM »
👏👏 Well done! Thanks for sharing!

Offline tageed-lee

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Re: CS91's Bucket List Trip to MLE
« Reply #314 on: March 30, 2016, 06:18:01 PM »
Thanks for the excellent write up! Amazing pics throughout! Really enjoyed reading the whole TR!