We had 5 days in Dubai before we sailed and this is truly an amazing city. Loved the old city and marvelled at the buildings in the new part. One day was spent in Abu Dhabi and that too is another city I will never forget. The Grand Mosque should not be missed. 1 night spent at the Burj Al Arab where we were totally spoilt and I can now say "I have stayed there" when I see it on TV.
The boarding process was the only let down of the whole trip...3hours to get on the ship standing in a large tent with air conditioning that could not cope. I am lucky that we are reasonably young, fit and healthy and while I was frustrated at not moving (4 meters in an hour in a priority queue)I just had to look at those who were a deal older than us and from cooler climes who are not used to the heat and I thought..the ship can't go without us...so no big deal.
Our cabin was an aft balcony cabin and our steward Agi was awesome, as was Noel who looked after the cabins along the corridor that was always saying hello to us. I love the friendly staff on RCL!!
We did MTD for the first time and this worked well for us. We had dinner a few times with the same people (If Joyce and Mickey from South Carolina or their family read this, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We had so many lovely evenings with you and missed seeing you the last couple of days and just want to say thank you for your company). Everyone we had dinner with was so friendly and we thoroughly enjoyed every meal we had even more due to the company.Again, the staff in the dining room are fantastic and nothing is too much trouble for them. Willemina was such a sweetie and Claudio always had a cheese plate waiting for us.
We had dinner in the dining room every night bar 1 and every night it was spot on and delicious. The other night we had dinner in the Windjammer and it too was lovely.
We had breakfast in either the main dining room or WJ. All OK except for one day everyone on the table who had ordered eggs benedict received cold hard eggs. These were promptly returned and replaced. Never got to the dining room for lunch unfortunately as we know they have lovely lunches there, but the BBQ's on deck on sea days smelt so good that we ate these instead. WJ seemed to be always busy but we never had to wait too long to find a table and the food was always good.
We went to every show except for the first night as we were at dinner and really enjoyed the entertainment. Ok, the harmonica player was not really my type of entertainment, but he was so extremely talented.The ice show was fantastic( we have not been on a cruise with ice rink before)and we enjoyed going to the 3D movies and the Dreamworks parade was great fun for us "big kids".
We were up every night until after midnight either at the parties on deck or at the Pig and Whistle pub. We loved the entertainment and sing-a-longs there.
We are non smokers and this was a non smoking venue, although that being said, apart from the odd waft of smoke here and there we never really noticed any smoke.
We loved the ports as well. Suzy from CC organised a fantastic tour in Goa, where we visited two old Portugese churches followed by a lovely lunch and tour at a spice plantation.
Cochin was amazing. We did a ships tour here to the backwaters where we travelled on rice barges which have been turned into houseboats. Here we saw the locals going about their normal lives along the lakes and canals. Another lovely lunch at a resort. Great value for a ships tour as it was an almost private tour with only 7 of us and a guide in the mini bus and houseboat.
Penang we got lucky and had the most amazing taxi driver, Jenny, that took us to all the major sights. Snake temple, reclining buddha,Penang Hill, Kek Loh Si temple, Fort Cornwallis. She bought t-shirts for our two boys when we her about our family. She bought mangoes for us to eat along the way and also some hawker food of yummy pancakes with a peanut topping.
KL was fun, we caught a ships coach to the city then found a taxi to take us to the Batu caves and some photo stops including the Petronas towers. We then walked around the shops a little before catching our coach back.
Finally Singapore...we were the first ship to dock at the brand new passenger terminal. We had two wonderful nights at the Marina Bay Sands, allowing us to swim in the infinity pool 57 floors up overlooking the amazing Singapore skyline