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anthp

Honeymoon - HELP??

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Hey folks,

 

Michaela and I are getting married this coming January and we are thinking about our honeymoon. ;)

 

We are both divers and Michaela is a talented underwater videographer. We are thinking about a 3 week trip at this stage. :ninja:

 

I'm looking for suggestions that combine the following:

  • decent diving conditions in January/February (either cool critters or great viz - both would be a bonus)
  • beautiful topside accommodation (we both fell in love with the Kapalai over-water bungalows. They were the most beautiful place we have ever stayed - mainly because they were over the beautiful ocean)
  • private secluded balcony for romantic afternoons
  • not crazy expensive - we'd like to buy a house one day and some of the prices we've seen for Tahiti and Maldives would blow our deposit in a few nights
  • perhaps other activities available in addition to diving?

So far we have come up with the following options:

  • Maldives - looks superb - we have always wanted to go, but prices seem out of this world to us. Sounds like mantas would be around in Jan/Feb.
  • Rangiroa or Fakarva? in Tahiti - prices look similar to above and mixed reports on value for money have us worried. Hammerheads might be around in Jan/Feb?
  • Fiji - whalesharks? No idea where in the country to go. Also sounds kinda rainy and a bit like a cyclone in Feb?
  • Micronesia - Yap/Palau - Mantas and possibly other very cool stuff? Looking for beautiful accommodation - not sure of options. Bonus would be we get to visit Mike V.
  • Galapagos, Seychelles, Cayman, Domenican Republic, Sudan, Mexico - all for really cool stuff and maybe whales. All SUPER expensive to get to from Australia.

Perhaps we have been spoiled by accommodation at Kapalai, Ubud and Sanur. Is it too unrealistic to hope for something like these options anywhere else. ;)

 

I'll be extraordinarily grateful if someone can help us out with this. We're really at a loss. :guiness:

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Hehe :guiness: You'd know mate!! ;) Kidding also of course! :ninja:

 

Thanks for the suggestion of Bali. We actually stayed at that very place last year! Kinda looking for somewhere different for the honeymoon if we can. Not sure about the diving weather in Bali in January. Also really like the idea of over-water accommodation.

 

Should also mention some other things I thought of on the train to work:

  • vegetarian food options are important
  • we really like warm water ;)

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Anthony,

 

Congratulations to you and Michaela. Have you thought about the Philippines. Had a lovely trip there in March/April and there are a number of different destination where you can relax on the beach and dive your heart out (great critter dives) - all generally inexpensive.

 

The two places we stayed and could recommend are Sogod Bay - Sogod Bay Scuba Resort & Puerto Galera - La Laguna Beach Club and Dive Resort

 

Sogod Bay is a lovely spot with great critters and whale sharks (Nov-April), while Puerto Galera has a fantastic variety of critters. Also plenty do when not diving and great shopping in Manila. Flight have also come down from Oz in the last few months since we went.

 

All the best

 

Nigel

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We picked our honeymoon (& wedding) destination around diving :guiness:

 

Matt & I got married at Erakor Island in Vanuatu. Beautiful place. Great, stylish, big bungalows with decks a few meters from the water. Nice over water bar & restaraunt. Friendly, extremely helpful staff. Nice diving around Vila (not wow). Beautiful beaches, hammock under the coconuts, day spa. Good value - I would say it was comparable in comfort to our recent 5 star "deluxe" experience the Maldives (that we couldn't have afforded !) and waaaaaay less stress and time getting there. There are others too we heard good things about (our photographer was good for the goss ;) )

 

Just a thought anyway :ninja: Not quite as big and polished operation as in the Maldives, but I'd have to say smaller and less people felt more welcoming and way more secluded (plus no kids at all!).

 

We followed up a week at Erakor with a trip to Santo for some "real" diving. Stayed at Aore Island. Great relaxed resort where we did loads of diving (not just the Coolidge). Not as swish as the resorts around Vila, but quiet, private and relaxed.

 

Dealt with a great travel agent specialising in the island-type honeymoon holiday who was happy to work in the diving - and around the stuff we had oragnised well. Thought of things we didn't B)

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Congratulations BTW :guiness:

 

(been married too long ;):ninja:;) )

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Hi Anthony,

 

we choose British Columbia as aour honeymoon destination this year.

Real great diving spots out there but alos quite "chilly"...

 

 

On our trip a great guy (Dynamike) explained to us the three rings of marriage

1) engagement ring

2) wedding ring

3) suffering

 

:guiness:;):ninja:

Edited by mexwell

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Congrats!

 

My wife and I were married last year and we honeymooned at www.peterisland.com in the BVI

 

I HIGHLY recommend it! Hopefully that's not crazy expensive? I saved up frequent flyer miles to cut into airfare cost. Relative to cost of weddings these days, honeymoon is drop in bucket...

 

I set up their diving package. We had 4, two tank dives each.

 

http://www.peterisland.com/aquaadventure.html

 

Privacy is top notch. By day 2 into day 3 staff knew both of our names. Room, oh my goodness! PM me for more details. :guiness:;):ninja:

 

...and not to forget the RMS Rhone

 

--Chris

Edited by dawktah

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Hi All and thanks for the congratulations!

 

Chris - Peter Island looks like a lovely place. ;) I checked their website and unfortunately the only rooms they have available during the time we are planning are $1000/night which is over our budget really. ;) Still - thanks for the suggestion.

 

Mexell - BC probably doesn't fit our criteria for warm water as you pointed out yourself, but thanks for the suggestion.

 

Leander - it seems like we are following you around the world. :guiness: Vanuatu would normally have been one of our top picks, but I was worried about the level of rain which apparently falls at that time of year. I wonder what the visibility would be like? This quote from another website also raised a few eyebrows...

 

Cyclones average about one per year, occurring generally between December and March, with the peak month being January.

 

What time of year did you go? I'm not saying we are averse to going, just looking for experiences from folks who have gone in Jan/Feb.

 

Keep the comments on Maldives, Rangiroa, Fiji, Yap or Palau in Jan/Feb? Other suggestions welcome too! :ninja:

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Congratulations to you and Michaela. Have you thought about the Philippines. Had a lovely trip there in March/April and there are a number of different destination where you can relax on the beach and dive your heart out (great critter dives) - all generally inexpensive.

Nigel

Hey Nigel - thanks for the Philippines idea. We hadn't really considered that option. Critters and diving look great, but I'm also hoping to lavish my wife with luxury. :guiness: I had a look at the resorts suggested and I think I may have set the standard for accommodation with the water bungalows at Kapalai which she fell in love with. For the honeymoon, I really think I need to top that and I'm not sure either of the places you suggested (although very nice) would do the trick. Are there any super luxury acccommodation places in the Philippines that people can suggest?

 

Thanks again.

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Ok, so I might ahve found some fancy accomodation in Palawan.

 

Has anybody stayed and or dived at Palawan in Jan/Feb?

 

I was thinking that this looked like a pretty nice place to treat my new wife to:

http://www.elnidoresorts.com/accommodation.htm

 

Any experiences or other recommendations would be extremely useful.

 

What is the visibility like?

 

Thanks everyone.

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hey Anth, Sorry I didn't get right back to ya, we've had a big wildfire in the NP where I work and been a tad busy :o

 

I'm looking for suggestions that combine the following:
  • decent diving conditions in January/February (either cool critters or great viz - both would be a bonus)
  • beautiful topside accommodation (we both fell in love with the Kapalai over-water bungalows. They were the most beautiful place we have ever stayed - mainly because they were over the beautiful ocean)
  • private secluded balcony for romantic afternoons
  • not crazy expensive - we'd like to buy a house one day and some of the prices we've seen for Tahiti and
  • perhaps other activities available in addition to diving?

 

  • vegetarian food options are important
  • we really like warm water :)

 

I suggested Erakor because it did all the things on your list :)

 

There are other resorts that have over-water bungalows. I liked the beach front, the nice looking out on the water, but a bit more secluded (never saw a boat load of divers from my bed!). Wearing my "girly" hat I reckon seclusion and style are spot on for honeymoons - wherever you choose :D

 

I heard from our photographer Breakers was really nice, but a bit more remote.

 

Leander - it seems like we are following you around the world. ;) Vanuatu would normally have been one of our top picks, but I was worried about the level of rain which apparently falls at that time of year. I wonder what the visibility would be like? This quote from another website also raised a few eyebrows...

 

Cyclones average about one per year, occurring generally between December and March, with the peak month being January.

 

What time of year did you go? I'm not saying we are averse to going, just looking for experiences from folks who have gone in Jan/Feb.

We had a buch of friends who went to Vanuatu in Jan last year. They had great weather and diving ...

I've had this knack of striking typhoons and recent cyclones no matter what time of year I travel :D maybe just make sure we're not going there! We were there in May and a cyclone Ivy had hit 28th Feb. We also saw fallout from a cyclone in the Solomons June 2003 - we travelled in September :)

 

I wouldn't think you'd have to go all the way to the Maldives for a nice honeymoon destination ... but if you do I have a liveaboard trip going cheap *grin*

 

cheers

Leander

 

BTW quit following us!! :P;):lol:

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Gangga Island is quite the honeymoon resort northwest of Sulawesi.

 

The rooms are VERY nice, great private beach great food and....

Diving!

 

From 1 resort your can dive

the walls of Bunaken (extra charge and about 90 min boat ride)

Pinnacles of Banka

Talise

Lembeh Strait (extra charge and about 90 min boat ride)

 

However, I would suggest at least 5 days at a Lembeh resort to maximize critter watching

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I would save a few extra bucks and head out to tha Maldives. There are plenty of places to suit every budget there. Of course there are the £1000 a night islands but there also a lot of £130 a night islands. I have been 3 times and absolutely love it there. Kuredu is a very nice island with beautiful waterbungalows. They also have jaccuzzi villas which are very nice. The dive operator there Pro Divers are very good.

 

Villamendhoo is another great place to go. Excellent house reef, Werner Lau are the dive operator there.

 

Just save the extra few bucks and go for it. You only live once.

post-5742-1194216797_thumb.jpg

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Hey Anth, your PM box is full !

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I suggested Erakor because it did all the things on your list

Thanks Leander - we'll definitely look in to that. Had a look at the Breakas as well - beautiful. And yes, we'll try to quit stalking you! :D

 

Gangga Island is quite the honeymoon resort northwest of Sulawesi.

Thanks Rick - Gannga looks like a great spot! We are actually already planning a trip to Bunaken later in the year and will certainly consider your recommendations then.

 

I would save a few extra bucks and head out to tha Maldives.

Thanks Stew - we still haven't given up on the Maldives. It was just that our initial research indicated we were in for some hefty bills if we decided to go there.

 

We're still investigating packages to the Maldives with a couple of different agents at the moment. Unlike just about everywhere else we have been in the world, it appears that for once it is cheaper/better value to go on a package trip. :P

 

Wherever we decide, I'll keep you all posted and then hopefully have some pics to show for it when we return. :P

 

Thanks again and don't hold back if you still have comments to make. This ain't over yet! :D

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Congrats Anthony on your coming wedding! :P

 

A little more food for thought...

 

As already mentioned Kuredu, Maldives is a great place. Me and Zoe were staying in their water bungalows when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit and we still didn't want to go home!

 

I'd also second the Philippines, although there are so many options that it's hard to narrow them down. I wouldn't overlook Exotic Resort on Malapascua though. It's not top end, but I was pleasantly surprised and it could be really nice tied in with another more top end location in the Philippines.

 

Another option could be Thailand? A beautiful country with beautiful islands and Jan/Feb should be right in the middle of the high season for Andaman Sea diving. We got married in Thailand and were lucky enough to see a whaleshark the day before the ceremony. I still joke that I'm not sure what was my highlight of the trip!! :P

 

Cheers, Simon

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Probably the most exclusive resort in the Philippines is this:

 

http://www.amanresorts.com/home.aspx?id=398

 

but El Nido comes close.

 

While you won't be going out to Tubbataha Reefs at that time of year, there is decent diving at those resorts. Maybe try a week there then a week in Puerto Galera. A top notch operation I've used for the last 8 years is http://www.scubaplus.com. The owner, Martin, can set you up at a couple of different places for accomodation, ask about the Portofino but make sure to eat at his restaurant...best food anywhere on the 3 beaches of Puerto.

 

My 2 cents.

 

s.

Edited by scubastu

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Big congrats...I always thought that there was nothing wrong with marriage that divorce can't cure. Actually, I

got married this time last year, no complaints yet.

Steve B)

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Unfortunately, good diving and luxury resorts in the philippines don't go hand in hand...

 

If you're looking for luxury, I would rule out Sogod... Nice place, amazing diving (not just the whale sharks), but the resorts around there including Sogod Bay Scuba are bit basic. It's a great diving location but not sure I'd put that high on the list as a place to spend a honeymoon. Same with Malapascua, but at least it has a nicer beach (if you don't mind brackish water). Just my humble opinion...

 

Aman... $$$$

 

El Nido and Club Paradise on Palawan are more high end, but not sure about the diving there (never been there, but have heard mixed reports). As stu mentioned, maybe a week there and then spend the rest of the time traveling around the Philippines.

 

Nice romantic high end resorts can be found on Boracay, but again the diving is supposedly so so... Beautiful beach though...

 

PG could be interesting but going there on your honeymoon and having dinner surrounded by old men and their young filipina dates might not be the most romantic thing :) ... But at least it has a bit more social life and variety of restaurants. There are some real nice private villas/rooms at Out of Blue Villas above Action Divers.

http://www.actiondivers.com/out_of_the_blue.html

 

 

Gah... seeing Mike V during your honeymoon :( ... I'd keep your new wife a good distance from him... plus last I heard, he's gone MIA from Yap...

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AmanPulo is not the best Aman resort to be at. The amenities were limited, the spa service was below the other Aman resorts. There were sandflies on parts of the beaches except at the tip where the sandbars are gorgeous. Plus the diving around Pamalican is no better than Boracay. Great plane ride from Manila too.

The Mandala Spa in Boracay is excellent. We enjoyed it more than the Aman or even the Begawan Giri in Ubud. Not as private, but more comfortable and excellent service. We were at both in Jan this year and preferred the Mandala.

I personally wouldn't go to PG for a honeymoon... being that close to the cesspool of Sabang just isn't conducive to romance, but then again a lot of the guys at Sabang think their activity is "romantic" :)

Palau has 2 nice options, I prefer the seclusion of Carolines. The rooms are basic but the views are great and you can still use the facilities of PPR. Sam's or Fish N' Fins are both excellent dive ops, can be a bit crowded.

Yap, Trader's Ridge Hotel has nice views and better rooms than Manta Ray. It is farther away from the sea but a little walking is good for you. Pathways is also nice in the jungle backdrop sorta way. Food was excellent. I dived with Manta Ray Bay and Beyond the Reef's Dave. Dave is less crowded and goes to other places (read non manta dives!).

I think if you want awesome land based diving, try PNG or Vanuatu. Port Moresby has some awesome dive sites and Jan/Feb is a good time. Besides Loloata, there's the Airways Hotel and the Dive Center. I liked diving from Moresby proper as I could go around PM. John from the Dive Center is a great guy and knows a few plane wrecks which is always great fun to dive.

Fiji has a plethora of dive resorts. Land based I liked the diving in SomoSomo. I liked Vanua Levu as an island but Taveuni has easier access to SomoSomo and 2 nice resorts which I can't remember the name of now. :(

Anyhow, just go somewhere and have fun. Congrats!

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As already mentioned Kuredu, Maldives is a great place. Me and Zoe were staying in their water bungalows when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit and we still didn't want to go home!

Thanks Simon for the Keredu, Malapascua and Andaman suggestions. I'll look into them.

 

Probably the most exclusive resort in the Philippines is this:

http://www.amanresorts.com/home.aspx?id=398

Wow Stu! Those Aman resorts look incredible. I think that would be up to the standard Michaela is hoping for. Also thanks for the tip about Martin. He could come in very handy on this or even future trips :)

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Anthony

Also consider Mozambique. Awesome diving and one resort stands out... Quilalea

The Quirimbas area is as frontier as you can get. The St Lazarus channel has been hit by illegal longliners but still some great stuff out there.

Ilhambane/Tofo are also known for macro and big stuff like whalesharks and mantas. Just choose the proper moonphase to go for the mantas. Then there are the sharks!:)

 

I would not consider diving in the Andaman during Jan/Feb. 200 divers at the best sites will remind you of the inner reefs of GBR plus the best sites are mostly accessable by liveaboards only. I've had a few friends honeymoon at the Rayavadee on Railay Beach. Very private areas but not the beach. There are some nice resorts on Phuket and the surrounds though. Plus after the diving in Indonesia, you'll be wishing for more in the East Andamans.

 

I also agree with Pakman's assessment of Malapascua. It's a nice place and has some decent food... but the accomodations on the entire island are mostly pretentious shacks and definitely not much privacy. :(

 

If you want good diving and privacy, I suggest Anilao/Batangas. Most of the resorts are empty during the weekdays and busy during weekends. A few of them have "villas" but the food is pretty basic. Contact me via email if you want more info.

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If you are going to The phillipines. Consider Dumaguette. the new La vida resort is very nice. Good macro diving and daily trips to Apo Island

 

Thanks Lasse - will do!

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