Before the cruise we stayed five nights in Dubai on our own, so we had all the sightseeing there done in advance. Taxi from hotel to cruise terminal around 12.00 and embarkation procedure finished before 13.00. Cabin 1104, deck 10 aft, was waiting for us and we found a very nice-looking cabin with a really deep balcony with sunbeds and chairs. Our luggage arrived at 15.00. Lots of place for storage so our bags were soon empty. We could not get rid of them anywhere so they were with us in the cabin during the whole cruise. Our cabin attendant Esther gave us in a nice way the best service we could ask for.
We had chosen My time dining and table for two in our Pre-Cruise planning and there was hardly no waiting time any night. Our pre-ordered wine package worked well and we could always find wine to match what we choose to have for dinner. All meals were very well prepared, specially the sea-food. Waiter Christian and assistant waiter Ashok gave us all possible attention and the best service you could ask for. Windjammer for breakfast and lunch every day. Enough to choose from but the bread was the weak spot. Same roll every morning and only one kind of darker bread.
Two dinners in Portofino, first a Wine and dine experience, with a little argument with the waiter about possible smell of cork from the red wine. Eight people at the table were not convinced that it was the mix of grapes that caused the "corky" smell, but the waiter was. Second dinner in Portofino was for birthday celebration, extra cake with one candle and singing from the staff.
The ports of call and the excursions were very positive experiences. Both Goa and New Mangalore showed a different India than the chaotic city of Mumbai. Highly qualified guides, in New Mangalore a voluntary student with lots of examples from his own life. The tour to the Backwaters of Alappuzha by Houseboat was the top of the cruise. Muscat in Oman as the last stop before returning to Dubai showed how fast the development is in the Middle East. Norwegian architect company Snohetta are involved in building the new fish market.
This was really the most memorable cruise we have been on and compared to all Caribbean or Mediterranean cruises on the market it really gave new insights and memories. Therefore it is a pity if it is true that there will be no Dubai-India cruises next year.