Often (ok not always) when we fall in love it is at first sight. We remain "in love" when we get to know someone better and see the inner beauty of that person. With aliveaboard something similar happens. First you notice the outside and you're just eager to get to know her better and enjoy time with her. Sometimes that is a disillusion as things have a way of looking better from far away. With the Emperor Serenity we cannot even say she "had to grow on us", no from the moment we stepped aboard we felt her spaciousness, cleanness, organisation, style and pleasantness. Here is why . . .
The boat is made of wood as so many boats in Maldives, but the owners used a good combination of materials that give it a luxurious feeling. In relation to older generation liveaboards in Maldives the Emperor Serenity is super spacious wherever you go. The lounge area is of course fully airconditioned and is a great place to be. The choice of chairs is very good as some could almost double as a bed. Of course there are flatscreens televisions which also serve for the briefings and you find you standard corner with coffee, tea and snacks. Emperor is supplying you with a refillable bottle for drinking water, which is handy, good for the environment and makes a great souvenir. The lounge also double as the dinning room, but space is more than plentiful and it is never crowded. This trip is almost full but we did not feel it is too busy anywhere.
The boat has a lot of spaces where you can relax outside and pretty much you can always find your privacy if you wish. On the front deck there is a cosy sitting place for two, but on the back top deck you can sit with a larger company, if you wish in comfortable sitting bags (Fatboy types). the topdeck is for sunbathers and as you can see from the pictures there was not yet a lot of interest in that with the cloudy weather. Anyway it is more than sufficiently big with quality sunbeds that can easily moved in the shade as the deck is half covered. On the main deck of course there is also a back deck which, being just behind the lounge , is an easy place to access to drink a cold beer in the evening. Great dividing and everything is easily reachable without ever getting lost.
Technically it is also in tiptop shape as Shareef, the captain, was more than proud to show to us. We visited the bridge with all the necessary equipment to keep us and others safe. Shareef room is just behind the bridge and as such even when we are on anchor or in the middle of the night he is standby in case necessary. Finally we visited the engine room, which was probably one of the best we saw so far. Ok, it is clear the boat is just making it's 6th trip only, and perhaps not fair to compare with liveaboards operating already for many years, but . . . everything is well placed, there is sufficient place for monitoring and or maintenance and we feel confident this place will remain in good order for years to come.
Well, again it is pretty late and I should still tell you about the most important room onboard (your future bedroom) and about the dives , but I guess we leave that one for another day. The days starts again at 6:00 hours in the morning so time to sleep . . . well, ok a small preview on diving with some diving moments of today! Blacktip reefsharks during the checkdive, a second dive on the mantapoint with great showup and a sunset dive on Alimatha with the nursesharks. Not too bad for a first day.
See you tomorrow
Be safe, but ... dive!