Cruising Halfway Around the World - Spring 2017 travel blog

Atlantis Hotel

Burj Al Arab


happy sailor

360º night club







more reclaimed land

restaurant in the sky

restaurant in the sky



more construction




marina area

at the port

at the port

someone important?

We were lucky to be able to spend almost a week in Dubai two years ago. For a more complete account of this amazing place and what to see there, you could look at my entries from that time beginning with the first entry:

Because we had been able to see almost everything we wanted to see when we were here before, we were challenged with how best to use our time here today. All the planned excursions we found both offered by the ship or independently, we had already done or weren’t of interest or were totally out of our price range. A helicopter flight over the city would have been nice, but we’d have to rob a bank first. One of the amazing features of this city is all the land it has reclaimed from the sea to build an exclusive island shaped like a palm tree and another which duplicates all the continents on the globe. We already had come to Palm Jumeirah for high tea at the Atlantis Hotel, but it was hard to recognize the shape of the land when you were standing on it. We’d read that you could take boat tours from the marina that provided views of these unique spots as well as the seven-star Palm Jumeirah hotel. But the marina was far away from the cruise port and we weren’t sure how to get there and back. We have no local currency and weren’t sure if a cab ride was affordable and if the drivers take credit cards.

Our first obstacle was UAE immigration. Most of our fellow passengers are getting off in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, which is also in the UAE. Each of us had to check in passport in hand with an official in the terminal and we were given tickets to regulate how many of us got off the ship at a time, so we wouldn’t all stand waiting in the hot sun. That plan worked efficiently but we waited over an hour before it was our turn to leave.

Taxis parked right outside the terminal and took credit cards, so that part of the problem was easily solved. When our driver dropped us off at the marina, we weren't sure where to find a boat tour, but there were many to choose from and one was heading out shortly after we arrived. Last time we were here the weather was hot and dry, but today a thick layer of humidity hid even the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world from view.

Today’s tour provided us with great views of the man-made islands and hotels that are near the shore. The power boat zipped from one great view to another and stopped for photographs. There were only six of us onboard and two were Russian women who looked for all the world like hookers. One had on a pants suit cut down to her naval and the other had a hair color unknown to Mother Nature. They couldn’t stop taking pictures of each other posed like high fashion models at the prow of the boat. They made all the right moves, but the hickeys on their necks detracted just a bit from their attempt at high fashion looks. And we really didn’t want them to be in our pictures at all! After a wander along the marina inlet which had many places to eat, we easily found another cab and made the trip back to the port. We could see the driver’s credit card reader so we all were surprised when he said it didn’t work and we said we had no local cash. After lots of calculations we paid with dollars. We would love to come here again in a few years to see what’s new. Construction is still ongoing big-time and the legs of the largest ferris wheel in the world can already be seen.

The other thing we wanted to do last time we were here, was to take a tour to Abu Dhabi. That goal will easily be met when we dock there tomorrow.

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