A Travellerspoint blog

United Arab Emirates

Dubai - Day One

'Monday, 17 October 2016

View 2016-09 Southampton to Sydney on greynomadm's travel map.

We drifted into Port Rashid in the city of Dubai, arriving along with a procession of heavy aircraft landing through the mist and early sun. We have until 08:00 to rendezvous in the Wheelhouse Bar for our shore excursion. We left the ship and walked a red carpet into an extensive terminal building. The passport check was friendly and brief and we were soon on our coach.

Despite a log-jam of traffic we were taken to a location where we had a view of the impressive Burj Al Arab Hotel, the view was largely uninterrupted and the air relatively clear. I managed a reasonable image of this iconic symbol of the UAE.

Back on the coach for a drive to view the Jumeirah Mosque, reputed to be the largest of the many mosques in the country. Our next destination was the Dubai Museum in the grounds of the historic Al Fahidi Fort. An extensive and impressive museum but the experience was marred by many coincidental tour coaches and a number of school excursions crowding the space. A short walk brought us to the Abra (water taxi) Station on the bank of the creek in the heart of the old city.

Crossing the Dubai Creek delivered us to a maze of stalls, shops any alleyways that makes up the Spice Souk and an amazing Gold Souk. There are a number of malls and complexes that claim a Gold Souk but can't imagine this precinct which claims aver 270 separate gold sellers being surpassed. Another stroll in the hot sun brought us back to our coach for a convoluted route back to Port Rashid. The approaches to the Port is an endless construction zone with many detours and road blocks. The commercial cargo port is located well away from this congested area.

We were thankful for the air conditioned comfort of the ship and a refreshing shower. Lunch of some fruit and lots of iced water was followed by an hour or two relaxed in the cabin. Yes, I was horizontal AND my eyes were closed.

A relaxed dinner with the crew in the dining room and then off to the Theatre for an amazing Folkloric Show. Exquisitely gowned dancers and dizzying whirling dervishes delighted the audience. Two very tall and scantily clad belly dancers drew some gasps from the audience in response to some of their contortions.

Need to get some rest so that we can do justice to tomorrow's tour. I've used a view of the impressive Burj Al Arab Hotel for today's image, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 18:48 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Sea Day 6 of 6 - Happy Birthday Jenny

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Another peaceful night and some promise of a reasonable sunrise. The ship's direction has changed as we proceed towards Dubai. Yesterday the sun rose off the the Starboard Bow, this morning it was to Starboard off the Stern. Keeps me on the move looking for that best vantage point. With the ever present sea haze, the sky and the sea there isn't a lot of character in this morning's captures.

Visited the Internet Cafe to post yesterday's journal and image and scanned the Emails. There were Birthday Greeting for Jenny but not much else. Not a lot happening and the response was even slower than normal. Will spend some time responding while in port tomorrow, communications should be better.

Normal routine, after breakfast, Jenny to the Knitters and me to the Theatre. Peter Anderson tackled the question of Global Warming and the activity of man as a contributor. He assaulted us with a barrage of graphs, tables and statistics and concluded that the selection and interpretation of the base data could hint to a direction one way or another.

Evon Anderson followed with a detailed examination of the 9/11 event and came to the conclusion that the one conspiracy theory that has credibility is that the Administration's mishandling of the event on the day and immediately after has been whitewashed and covered up.

A simple lunch in the cabin, Jenny's ladies had organised a chocolate cake for her. I contributed pies from the International Cafe. Afterwards Jenny returned to her group, I turned on the Kindle to continue my book and dozed off for an hour or two.

Jenny failed to win a prize at the jewelry raffle but made the best pick for the main course at dinner. She was most pleased with her lamb shanks, I had a jerked chicken dish. Two drumsticks almost as big as the lamb shanks. Decided to give the entertainment a miss and returned to the cabin to continue the activities of the afternoon.

Dubai tomorrow and Tuesday, it will be the first day ashore in 11 days.

The sun rose to a featureless sky and I've included the silhouette of a crewman, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the sunrise.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 18:47 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Sea Day 5 of 6 Oooops !!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

It happens on these long voyages, I miss a day or two when I'm checking the itinerary. There were six sea days from Aqaba to Dubai, not five so the titles are wrong.

I'm somewhat recovered after yesterday's relapse, in fact I was well enough to notice that the Patter was forecasting a 05:08 sunrise for this morning being an extraordinary advance on yesterday when it occurred at 06:30. A 90 minute jump in sunrise time only occurs when the timezone has changed. So I rang the Front Desk and the conversation went like this at about 21:00 last night:

She : How may I help you ?
Me : Can you confirm the time for the sunrise tomorrow ?
She : It says in the Patter, it will be 05:08.
Me : I suspect it is incorrect, who inserts it in the Patter ?
She : The printer sir.
Me : But who provides the information to the printer ?
She : I don't know sir. Is there anything else sir ?
Me : No thank you, good night.
She : Thank you sir.

The sunrise, such as it was occurred at 06:10 give or take a minute. Had my regular breakfast and returned to the cabin to perform the weekly pill distribution, quite a task with the addition two prescriptions from yesterday's visit. Jenny is off to the Knit and Natter and I'm attending a series of lectures.

Lyndon Jolly provided an interesting background to the spread of mankind and the origins of the Middle East. Peter Anderson provided an interesting talk on the magnitude and frequency of asteroid impacts and the massive craters that are still visible today.

Had lunch back in the cabin with Jenny and found that she had a acquired an early Birthday Present. A beautiful gold and diamond necklace. She allowed me to finish my lunch so that I wouldn't choke on the price. It wasn't as bad as I'd expected and the discounts came to well over 50%.
I returned to the theatre for a talk by Evon Anderson tracing the evolution of the great ocean liners of the past to the cruise ships of today. Lots of interesting facts and wonderful old images.

Relaxing afternoon and dressed for dinner. We had also booked an appointment with the Future Cruise Consultant for 18:30 so we asked the waiters for a Quick service. No problem Senor !! We assisted by ordering the same main course and same dessert. We had our coffee just after 18:10, not bad for a 17:30 start. We've booked a cruise for April 2018, 35 days from Singapore to Vancouver with 20 ports of call aboard the Golden Princess.

At 19:15 we joined the long queue for the Captain's Circle cocktail party. The three winners of most cruised passengers had done fewer than we've hear of in the past, high number of cruises but relatively few nights at sea.

I've enjoyed a relatively good day and feel lots better than I have done for days.

Not a lot of colour but a good bit of drama at the time when the sunrise was well advanced, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Early Morning Cloud

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 19:15 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (1)

Sea Day 4 of 5 - Revisit the Medical Centre

Friday, 14 October 2016

Another restless night behind me and I struggled to be on the outside deck for the sunrise. The fog was there again and made any decent photographs impossible. My battle with the manual focus settings continue. Reluctantly faced up to some fruit for breakfast but could find no enthusiasm for it.

Back in the cabin succumbed to a severe bout of wracking coughs. That set the agenda for this morning. Forget about booking a cruise, get down to the Doctor.

The Doctor listened to my tale of woe and concluded that I'm suffering from the aftermath of the influenza. Not infectious therefore no isolation but another two sets of medication. Felt less than invigorated and decided to close the curtains and sleep away the day. Finally got up about 16:00 to catch up on the housekeeping. Feeling better but not great.

All through the day the ship has been thundering along at about 21 knots as we make our way through this troubled part of the world. Smaller merchant vessels sail in informal convoys to minimise their vulnerability we use our size and speed. I noticed yesterday that there were more security staff out and about and fire hoses are deployed in strategic locations on Deck 7. Subtle precautions for an unlikely event.

Ordered a Room Service meal as I still felt lethargic and couldn't be bothered getting dressed. Watched the BBC World News Service and caught up with the latest Trump scandal and the death of the Thai King.

As a last resort for today's image I've selected one of this morning's sunrise, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Foggy Sunrise

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 18:39 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Sea Day 3 of 6 - Formal Night

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Another unusual morning as far as the sunrise was concerned. The sun was obscured by the fog again but textured clouds gave an overall different feel to the photograph. The challenge being what amount of zoom to employ. The fog also defused the edges creating problems for the auto-focus.

There was hardy anyone about in the Horizon Court and we had a quiet breakfast before heading hack to the cabin to prepare for the day. Jenny was off to the knitting group in Skywalkers and I had three lectures lined up to take me through to the afternoon. First up Peter Anderson on the topic of "Auroras", what causes them and lots of images to show off their beauty. He was followed by his wife Evon who covered the history of Pirates through to the present time. The recent emphasis of pirates is moving towards hostages for ransom or cargo for quick sale on the black market.

Then my No1 favourite topic 'Future Cruise' Tiffanie rattled off a total of 28 Repositioning Cruises between April 2017 and April 2018. They all require flights to the start and from the finish but these are the trips with the unusual Ports of Call. Rather keen on a Singapore to Vancouver for 36 days in April 2018. Will see about availability and prices over the next few days

Had a picnic lunch in the cabin with Jenny, the balcony was already way too hot. Then I got caught up with a movie on the TV and before I knew it time to get ready for the formal Monkey Suite. Lovely dinner, Jenny braved the lamb again and this time was not disappointed. Both of us indulged in the special Chocolate Journey to round off the meal.

The entertainment in the Theatre tonight was the tribute singer David Kidd. His tribute was to the legionary Tom Jones. He had it all, the looks, the manners and the VOICE. He held nothing back and belted out one after another of the songs made famous by Sir Tom. Great night, great finish.

For today's image I've selected of this morning's sunrise you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Textured Sunrise

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.

Posted by greynomadm 18:44 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

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