We chose the 20.25 flight from Birmingham. I was expecting attentive service from Emirates and we had been told how good they were. Whether it was because we were 2 hours late departing and the cabin crew was tired I dont know but the service from them was awful. They were curt and unhelpful. We had one alcholic drink on the flight and missed the tea/coffee as we were queing for the toilet. They didnt come back to us. Couldnt wait to get off.
Coming back was much better. However as we had paid Â£550 for the flight alone, (according to travel agent invoice) I did expect same service no matter which flight you are on.
We used our Airport Angel cards for the Exec Lounge at Birmingham and again at Dubai which was good as we were at Dubai airport quite early. Much nicer than Birmingham with hot food etc so well worth a trip to that.
Never before though have we had to collect our own bags from the conveyor and transport to the coach. This was a real pain. Before, with cheaper cruise liners our bags have never been seen by us again until outside our cabin so this was a surprise.
Breakfast at the Hyatt
Very good and very welcome after the rubbish flight service. We almost drank a litre of orange juice each as we were so thirsty from the flight. The breakfast was nice and a smooth, 15 minute transfer to Port Rashid.
Very organised. Allowed on ship at 12.30 and we had the fountain soda package so was able to have drinks immediately. Although we didnt use this much and thought x 1 for both of us would have sufficed. We also took a t shirt each in our hand luggage so we could sit around rather than feel uncomfortable with UK clothes on. Good idea as cases did not arrive till 7pm.
Didnt really jel with this. Food was mostly luke warm, although plenty of choice. Plastic plates, bowls and mugs not a good move for whatever reason RCI have chosen this.
We had second sitting, which we think is the best as the 6.30 pm sitting would have interferred with our days out and also having to rush to change for dinner not my idea of holidaying. The staff here were great. I loved Agus our assistant waiter. So attentive and pleasant. Our Waiter was also great - from Mumbai and a very nice chap. His nightly recommendations were spot on for the food. The food was lovely, plenty of choice. We did not have the wine package and wasnt sure if we wanted a whole bottle every night. It is 10 dollars a glass all over the ship so quite expensive.
Head Waiter abit of a joke. Pleasant enough but just came and chatted to you with a hidden agenda - his tip. We had pre paid ours so the vouchers were delivered to the cabin the night before last one of the trip for you to give out on your last night. He clearly came around on the last night for these and we thought a bit of a cheek, very Americanised and not English protocol.
We had x 2 formal nights and they were really nice. Photographers a bit of a pain though.
This is where we spent most of our nights, mainly due to the lovely Phillipino bar tender called Sharron. She was so pleasant, so attentive and remembered our names from the first night. We really enjoyed being in here, lovely atmosphere around the bar and made a few nice friends. Smoking at the one end allowed.
Be wary drinks are very expensive but we just thought hey ho we are on holiday so didnt linger on this issue.
Didnt go but plenty of shows on if thats what you wanted. Didnt really want to be rushed around on this holiday.
Double bed, very comfy, good pillows. Sofa, good tv on a swivel to watch in bed. Shower hot and good water pressure. Plenty of storage. Negatives - ugh paper cups - bad move. No nice little packets of biscuits like we have had before. Hairdryer rubbish - take your own. We didnt take shower gel as previous cruises have had complimentary Molton Brown hanging in shower - nothing here so we used soap. No shower cap but I took a disposable one I had from a hotel room. No little nice things like you get in a hotel room. They are obviously cutting back. Again no big deal real, just the little finishing touches that you expect that werent really there.
Sunbeds abit of an issue on sea day unless you are up mega early - we were - unusual for us but nothing worse than a sea day and you cant relax on a bed so we put the alarm on!!!
Played crazy golf. Used the Casino once - very good.
Ports of call ok.
Weather turned bad for us around midday Friday on way to Abu Dhabi and never got better.
We brought big bus tour in Abu for 2 days to use in Dubai as well. Well it was a good tour but weather was awful on top of open topped bus and we had a sand storm. Made me laugh though but I was froze. It was like a winter walk along Blackpool front.
Used the big bus ticket again in Dubai and did the blue route to see Burj Al Arab and palm island. Again marred by the weather and surprisingly the bad bad traffic jams in Dubai. We were on this for over 3 hours. When they dropped us back at the Mall (they seem to think everyone wants to shop and to be honest enough of this leading up to Xmas) we paid for a taxi to get back to the ship as we couldnt wait for another courtesy bus. The traffic is very very bad and you cant get anywhere fast.
The night you leave, cases have to be outside cabin between 7pm and 10pm and this is what we have done on other ships.
Negative point everyone off the ship by 9am. Not too bad for us as our flight was at 14.55 and we used the Emirates Exec lounge where we had free drinks and hot food and was able to relax prior to flight. Just finished the holiday off and had smoking lounge in there in separate area so hubby was happy. Other people must have been fed up waiting at the sirport for so long but this lounge really finished it off and again free with Barclays Additions bank account - Airport Angel - well worth it.
Never get your bags to you quickly. The conveyor kept stalling and we waited ages. Abit of a joke when you see how efficient Dubai airport is.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. We will do RCI again.