Why go to Bahrain?
A less-frequented, thus less-crowded port, Bahrain offers several historic attractions including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites
This port isn't as scenic or dazzling as other Middle Eastern ports and does have a history of civil unrest
There are more interesting ports in the region, but most travelers will find some form of diversion in Bahrain
Bahrain Cruise Port Facilities?
The cruise terminal has restrooms and a small duty-free shop where you can buy candy, perfume and some alcohol, as well as souvenirs. Excursions purchased from the cruise line leave directly from port.
Because the port is in a restricted cargo area, you'll need to take a complimentary shuttle bus to the port exit, where you can find taxis or meet previously arranged private transport. Cruise lines do offer a bus transfer into Manama's city center, where taxis are also available.
Good to Know?
As a Muslim country, Bahrain is conservative, so women should dress accordingly. That means no strapless or tank-style tops, no short skirts or shorts. If you're going to visit a mosque, bring a shawl or sweater to cover your shoulders and wear capris to cover your knees.
Displays of affection in public are forbidden, especially between unmarried or same-sex couples. (Unlike in the UAE, homosexuality is not illegal, but it is not condoned.) Also avoid photographing Arabs or Bahrainis in their native dress without asking permission. It's also illegal to say anything negative against the king or royal family, so think twice before you joke about their photos, seen everywhere.
On Foot: The ship shuttle bus drops you within Manama's city center, within walking distance of the Bab el-Bahrain souk. Bahrain's other tourist locations are not close together, so if you want to see more than one attraction, it's best to take a ship excursion or prepare to pay for taxis.
By Taxi: Taxis are available at the port gate, as well as at the shuttle bus drop-off point. While most are metered, make sure your driver has the meter on, and if you're going to sights farther afield, such as the Bahrain International Circuit, it's best to agree on a price ahead of time.
By Bus: The cruise ship shuttle bus drops passengers off in downtown Manama, for a fee. There is no hop on, hop off tour bus.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Bahrain's currency is the dinar, but many currencies are widely accepted, including the dirhams from the United Arab Emirates and the riyal from neighboring Saudi Arabia. Euros, dollars and U.K. pounds are also accepted, which is good, as there is no ATM in the cruise terminal; if you're on a ship excursion, you won't need local currency. One dinar equals 1,000 fils. Visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com for current exchange rates.