We had cruised on the Brilliance before so we more or less knew what to expect onboard. We have also sailed on the Navigator and Freedom class ships before, but feel that the Radiance class ships are the most elegant of all.
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to see this part of the world but, on the other hand, we did not want Dubai to be our only destination, and this cruise offered a bird's eye look of several destinations.
We did not leave the ship in Fujairah, as we had read that this particular port had nothing interesting to offer.
In Muscat we found a local travel agent, www.mark-oman.com, and booked a half day tour through them. We highly recommend them, as they offer a half day tour in a private car for small groups of four people, at a price almost half than the price offered for the same tour onboard. The ship spends two days in Muscat, one has the opportunity to see a lot in this beautiful city of Oman.
Abu Dabi looks More
like a very modern European city located in the middle east, only much cleaner and quite beautiful. If one is interested in shopping, the Marina Mall is the best place to go.
The last two days spent in Dubai were he highlight of the cruise. We booked a half day city tour onboard and then spent the rest of time sightseeing and shopping. If one is interested in spending more days in Dubai, we recommend the Al Manzil hotel, a 4 star hotel with 5 star specifications, very conveniently located next to the Dubai Mall (one of the largest worldwide) as well as the Fountains, where one can watch a spectacular water show every evening starting at 6 p.m.
Boarding was swift and we were onboard within 15 minutes. Leaving the ship was just as well organised.
We had an outside cabin with balcony on the 9th floor. As usual, the cabin was always immaculately clean, our cabin attendant was very helpful and there was ample storing space.
Entairtainment: We were rather disappointed from the shows in the theatre. They were very poor and unimaginative, compared to previous cruises with Royal Caribbean. The cruise director was a disappointment too, we saw little of him and he could have done a much better job in making the ship look more lively.
Food: Royal Caribbean seems to have downgraded the food quality. Gone are the days when lobsters were served in the restaurant. Other than that, the various dishes were tasty and there was a reasonable variety of choices.
Compared to my previous cruises we would rate this particular cruise with an 8 on a scale of 10.
We have sailed with NCL and Celebrity in the past, but we find that Royal Caribbean will be our first choice in our next cruise. In this very competitive business of cruising, they offer a fair exchange on money paid to services offered and they know how to deal with problems onboard. For example, one of our suitcases was lost while leaving the ship (what a big problem this may be for a traveler), but it was found and sent to us to the airport, by a private car, withing half an hour, in time before we boarded the plane.
Will we sail with Royal Caribbean again ? Of course we will, it will always be our first choice. Less