Best of the Maldives: Biggest Pirate Ship – Kandima

Kandima - pirate kids play ship

Talk Like A Pirate Day! Maybe one of the best celebrations on the calendar of esoteric days. The remote tropical patches of sand that are the Maldives are something out of a Robert Lewis Stevenson novel. And there is no bigger pirate treasure for active apprentice pirates than Kandima’s towering galleon at its “Kandiland” kids club.  The clipper ship complex comes complete with sun-screen netting, water cannons as well as a rabbit warren of climbing walls and slides.

Shiver me timbers!

Kandima - pirate kids play ship 2

Best of the Maldives: Holiday Pirate Treasure – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - pirate treasure

International Talk Like A Pirate Day today, but if you want to act like a pirate then avast ye’ these special programmes at Six Senses Laamu

  • “Twice a year during Easter and Christmas break we have many families with children visiting Six Senses Laamu. So twice a year we offer this excursion. It is a pirate themed trip that leaves at 10:00 in the morning and returns about 15:30. We have some scarfs, eye patches, foam swords, water guns, a treasure map and we make up a story. We take snorkel equipment along as well as children’s lunch. At the end the excursion leads to a “treasure” of sweets for the children. We usually have boys and girls between 6 and 13 years old and sometimes a parent comes along too. The price is USD 150++ (10% service charge & 12% GST)”

Blow me down and shiver me timbers!

Six Senses Laamu - pirate treasure 2

Best of the Maldives: Kids Door – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - The Den - door

On the heels of all that pirate talk, I just had to do another post on Soneva Fushi’s kids club which has its very own pirate ship inside (see photo below). My feature of the day capture’s the “The Den’s” Alice in Wonderland fantastical quality with its nested front doors (photo above) inviting you into a Lewis Carrol world of wonder and amusement.

“Curiouser and curiouser!”

Soneva Fushi - The Den - pirate ship

Best of the Maldives: Pirate Cruise – Anantara Kihavah

Anantara Kihavah Villas - pirate cruise

Ahoy me Hearties! Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen for an Anantara Kihavah Villas pirate cruise in honour of Speak Like A Pirate Day today…

“The Pirate Cruise is a weekly activity offered in the kids club priced at USD 30 per kid. This includes a 45 minute cruise in a speed boat around Baa Atoll and it’s possible to see the dolphins. All the kids are face painted like pirates and are given a Pirate Hat to wear on the cruise. One of kids club team members is also dress up in pirate costume – which is the photo you saw on Instagram [see photo above]. After the trip, an edited video of the excursion will be given to the parents. During the festive season this is elaborated to become a Pirate Picnic on a private island with fun beach games, treasure hunt and snorkeling.”

Avast ye landlubbers!

Best of the Maldives: Dine Around Tour – Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - culinary treasures

Happy Easter! If the Easter Bunny didn’t bring you enough eggs, then maybe you need to go hunt for them. When our kids were younger, we not only organised treasure hunts on our Maldives visits, but we organised Easter egg hunts at our house or church before we tucked into our traditional Easter dinner of roast lamb and Lori’s famous carrot cake.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa offers a gastronomic treasure hunt every day (including eggs, though not the chocolate version), with their “Culinary Indulgence”. For $670 per couple, you are treated to 5 meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening cocktails with canapés, and dinner) at assorted special locations around the island.

Fortunately, I pilfered a treasure map about from a scallywag rogue indicating where the culinary treats and treasures can be found.

Happy hunting.

Best of the Maldives: Pirate Shoot – Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi - La Carmina pirate shoot

What’s a pirate’s fashion nightmare?
A sunken chest with no booty.

Today’s “Speak Like a Pirate Day” illustration carries on the Fashion Week theme with Japan’s La Carmina (featured in yesterday’s post). Her own posts from Gili Lankanfushi also included the swashbuckling gem above.

I always do a post on this special occasion. The exotic and remote Maldives isles evoke so many images of pirate treasure islands. We used to hold treasure hunts for our kids when they were younger (and now many resorts offer this activity themselves). As it happens, La Carmina is channeling our kids a bit – our daughter Isley was the pirate princess in her Leaver’s Day parade, and our son is himself an aficionado and chronicler of Japanese culture.

Well, blow me down!

9 Tips for Travelling with Children in the Maldives

Maldives pirate treasure hunt

First comes honeymoon, then comes babymoon, and then comes familymoon. Kids don’t have to be the end of romance when romantic paradise is a great destination for them too. Our own Maldives history was years of family holidays to various resorts there so we’ve amassed a fair number of tip and tricks for enjoying a week on some remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

I was inspired to jot our favourite advice down after reading Constance’s fine blog post “5 tips for taking kids on a luxury holiday

  1. Tips on packing for a luxury family holiday
  2. Encourage them to keep a travel journal
  3. Get to know your hotel concierge
  4. Book a trip to celebrate a special occasion
  5. Make travel an educational as well as a fun experience for kids

Our own Maldives-specific recommendations centre on two key dimensions of distinctive entertainment and excitement – snorkelling and adventure.

SNORKELING – The main event in the Maldives is snorkelling. Part of its appeal is its easy accessibility to people of all ages and abilities. Even poking around the coral croppings in the 2 feet deep lagoon shallows can be a delightful experience watching a menagerie of sea life. Still, even for kids comfortable with water and swimming, the activity of snorkelling throws in a few more variables which can frustrate. And if kids get too frustrated right off the bat, then their whole attitude can be turned adverse and they can balk at the participating the entire holiday.

  1. Practice Snorkeling –The biggest thing to get used to is snorkelling itself. The notion of the nose being covered and breathing through the mouth can be awkward for not just kids but neophyte adults. If you have the opportunity to try out a mask and snorkel in the familiar confines of a local pool or even a bath tub, it can get your child ready for this contraption before the holiday itself.
  2. Try Goggles – If snorkelling is, for whatever reason, too difficult or daunting for your young one, then try swim goggles. Our first couple of days, our young son preferred just using his familiar swim goggles for the underwater explorations in the lagoon. He had to hold his breath underwater, but he was okay with that. Eventually, he got so entranced by what he saw, it gave him to motivation to figure out the snorkel gear so he could keep his head under water longer.
  3. Prepare them for Salt Water – If your child has not had a lot of experience in the ocean itself, then before snorkelling be sure to just have a play in the water. This frolic will get your child introduced to two irritations of the sea – salt and sand. If they jump right into snorkelling and they have some difficulty with it, then the added irritations of salt and sand can tip them over the edge in terms of frustration with the whole thing.
  4. Prime their curiosity – Take a trip to the aquarium or show them a video like “Blue Planet” to pique their curiosity and interest (and definitely don’t have them watch “Jaws”). There is always something magical to see a picture of something and then later to find yourself in and amongst the real thing.
  5. No touching – Remember…no touching. Especially young children may be tempted to reach out and “pet” one of these lovely sea creatures. Most fish will just be startled away, but some (eg. Trigger Fish) can take an extended finger very near to them as an invitation to have a chomp (and since these fish have jaws designed to crush coral, they can do some pretty good damage to a little finger).
  6. Share your sightings – One of the most common phrases heard around the resort is “What did you see snorkelling today?” The Maldives Complete Snorkel Spotter gives your kids a way to log their special spottings with the whole world.


HIGH SEAS ADVENTURE. The mystique of tropical paradise is most colourfully portrayed through the extensive oeuvre of “pirate” tales of exotic adventure. Tapping into the swashbuckling vibe can be a fun way to spice up the trip…

  1. Read books of tropical adventure – In fact, a great way to pass the long haul flight or have some quiet family time. The classics include “Treasure Island” and ‘Robinson Crusoe”, but I would also recommend “Island of Blue Dolphins” and “The Map to Everywhere”.
  2. Do a treasure hunt – Some resorts like Jumeirah Vittaveli and LUX Maldives have their own special treasure hunts set up for young guests. But you can always DIY your own (the photo above was taken from our very first trip in 1998 to “Laguna Beach” resort, now Velassaru, and the treasure hunt we concocted with two other boys our kids befriended that trip). A small bag of sweeties as a treasure and a few imaginative clues posted around the island is all that is required.
  3. Play Pirateer – A bit of swashbuckling parrying over a post-prandial night cap, “Pirateer” was our family’s favourite after dinner board game during our Maldives’ trips. It is very simple and the board and piece (removed from the box and put in a small bag) take up very little space or weight. Suitable for quite young ages and fun for adults.

Best of the Maldives: Educational Treasure Hunt – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli treasure hunt

The exotic tropical islands of the archipelago just scream out the fables of “buried treasure” from pirate lore. A number of resorts now feature the sorts of treasure hunts that we used to concoct for our kids during our visits. But Jumeirah Vittaveli has made the treasure a bit more edifying than the sweeties I used to leave at the X-marks-the-spot. Each specially sequestered box, like “Fenesse Point” above, includes an educational tidbit about the island and life there. Knowledge is indeed riches worthy of a prince or princess.

Best of the Maldives: Pirate Day – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah pirate play

Ahoy there maties!

Happy ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’! And at One & Only Reethi Rah, you can act like a pirate too. Their Kids Club features a “Pirate Cruise” every Wednesday afternoon…

“We take a Maldivian Dhoni and dress it like the Black Pearl Pirate Ship, the Kids Only Guests make their own Pirate hats and T-shirts and we take them on a Cruise around the Island where they can pretend to be Pirates and push our lifeguards into the ocean – there is a special island atmosphere every Wednesday that is for sure.”

The tiny plots of sand with a few pond trees that are the Maldives are the very caricature of a pirate island so the setting is complete.

Every Wednesday is “Talk Like a Pirate Day’ on Reethi.

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! Heave ho all the scallywags to Davey Jones’ locker!