Our last stop in the Maldives was the Westin, another hotel where we used points. They gave us a room all the way at the end of a boardwalk. 10 villas were between us and the next villa with guests (The hotel was doing renovations.) so we could have had a wild party and no one would have heard us! The staff was great and we learned a few tidbits about the hospitality industry in the Maldives:
- 60% of resort employees have to be Maldivian citizens
- $519 is minimum monthly wage; working over 8 hours per day requires OT pay
- The 10% mandatory service charge is pooled together and shared by all employees at the resort except for management.
The Westin has their own desalination and filtration plant for water so we could drink the water if we wanted – we did!
Singapore was the next stop – flew there on Christmas Eve. Singapore goes all out for Christmas with decorations everywhere – streets, shops, hotels. We even got a short visit with Ana who we met in Split during our RTW trip.
We flew to French Polynesia via Frankfurt and NYC and San Francisco. Susan’s bucket list included flying Singapore Air first class one time and this was it. Mark’s research found their “best” first class are suites on the A380 and that routing to the U.S. only goes to NYC. Since we were going to fly through NYC, Susan suggested we stay for New Year’s Eve – why not? We didn’t spend any travel money in 2022!
Then it was on to Tahiti via San Francisco.