Sabina and Saleem June 1999 - How did you meet? We met in the Summer of 1996, when she was over here on a holiday, she came back and we…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 7, 2006
I booked it online. We were very lucky as Tony’s parents paid for the honeymoon as a wedding gift! We could never have afforded it otherwise.
We were married on the Saturday and flew out of Heathrow on the Monday. We stayed overnight at a Heathrow hotel as we wanted to make sure we didn’t have problems getting to the airport. We weren’t going to miss this flight!
We went to Coco Palm Resort in the Maldives. It is the most beautiful place we’ve ever been to!
We stayed for 14 nights, so to include travel time we were away for 16 days. It felt more like a month though -time passed so slowly it was fantastic!
It cost just under £5500. That included seaplane transfers to and from the island, a Deluxe Beach Villa, and full board.
We did spent the entire holiday there, but we did visit a local island too for an afternoon.
The first week was spent scuba diving! We had both always wanted to learn to scuba dive so this was the best place and also a lot less expensive than learning in the UK. We completed the PADI course – probably the only couple to study on their honeymoon! We also went to the Mandara Spa a few time (OK, more than just a few times, but it’s just so fantastic!). Snorkeling was also amazing as there are so many types of marine life to see on the reef. The rest of our time was spent lazing around our private pergola and pool, or lying out on the sunbeds on the beach – all sunbeds are numbered for each villa so there’s no rush to bag a bed!
We’d get up about 8 and, depending on whether or not we were diving that morning, we’d either head for the jetty to jump on the boat and set up our gear, or we’d have a bit of breakfast and take a stroll around the island. Then we’d head back to our villa for a cuppa and a chat with our wonderful roomboy, Rashid. He was so helpful, friendly and knowledgeable! We spent the rest of the morning reading, chilling by the pool or on the beach, or perhaps just getting back from scuba diving, before heading off for lunch. Afternoons not spent diving were spent either relaxing, at the spa, or snorkeling. We had dinner at around 8pm and then went back to our villa at around 10-11pm.
We got on very well. We’ve lived together for 5 years so there were no surprise’s!
One day, we hired a dhoni boat to take us to the local island as we were invited by our roomboy to meet his wife, baby and family, and also by one of our waiters to meet his family too. So off we set, the only ones on the boat aside from the boat crew, to meet Hassan our guide at Hithadhoo. He took us to see almost everything on the island, from the school to the cemetary. We went to his house and were given the cutomary coconut, with a straw in it, for refreshment. There were plenty of souvenirs to buy – the women set up little tables in the street to show their products. We met our waiter’s and roomboy’s families, took lots of pictures, and were invited into their homes for drinks (coconut again!). It was a humbling experience to be honest, like seeing the flip side. Life on the local islands is a far cry from the luxury of the resorts. Life is basic for the Maldivian people but they are happy people. That’s the best life lesson we could learn at the beginning of our married life! Material things were irrelevant to us for the entire two weeks, and we really did start to realize that life is about so much more than designer clothes, and smart cars etc. Life is for living, loving and sharing. I hope everyone has as wonderful a honeymoon as we did!