This is the first port of call. You are here for 2 days. They do the trips to Petra from this port. They do put on a shuttle bus to the centre of Agaba and there is a public beach. We went to a hotel and asked if we could use their pool and private beach and they let us free of charge, much cheaper than the Thomson "tour" at £26 each which didnt include food or drink.
In Aqaba, the taxi drivers offer you special rates for tours of the attractions and a few from our ship did take them up on their offer..one guy had a full day out for £20.00. A party of 4 were taken to Petra, the taxi driver waited for them and then brought them back to the ship when they paid him for £80.00..they did have to pay £50 to enter Petra but the cost was only £70.00 per person rather than the price Thomson were charging..I would prefer to stay with Thomson in case something happened that delayed you getting back to the ship on time, but if you did it on the first day, wouldn't be a problem.
This was the worse port. We were berthed next to a cement factory for 2 days, luckily it wasn't working, but we were that close we could of jumped over the side and started work. We were very close to one of the buildings and it wasn't a nice outlook for two days. I will try and upload a photo for you to see how close.
Thomson tell you that there is nothing near by,there was a few taxi drivers on the port, but without any information from the thomson reps, we didnt know where we could go or see. We were told there was no beach and no shops.. I have since found out now I am home, there was a public beach and it has a tourist trade...the public beach was approx 45 mins walk from the port. I have read that the sea in this area is very good for aches and pains - nothing on cruise news about that!