After seeing the advert on TV (Planet cruise channel #22 freeview), we were impressed on the 5* trip from Singapore to Mid-East via India.From flight to transfer, from the Hotel to the cruise itself there were just mishaps, problems, issues and more of the same.
The issues started form the flight to Dubai, stewardess were very rude, short of food choices, offered lamb was given chicken instead, the excuse given was; too many people on the plane.
What kind of excuse is that?
At Singapore airport there was no taxi booked for us, we had to make our way to Hotel and cost us $25.00, contrary to other guest we met on the way, they had the sign with their name on it, and the driver waiting at the airport.
At the Hotel, they couldn't find our reservation, as time was getting on, I got a bit irate and demanded to move hotel because we were far too tired. They offered me a smoking room which stunk and later somehow they manage to find a room suitable.
On board, I experienced a catalogue of mishaps,
-starting with cabin toilet blocked in 3 occasion,
-coffee machine in buffet areas not working properly,
-coffee served coldish,
-Shortages of mugs,
-At all occasion when I asked for a stronger coffee in sachet, it took nearly 15 minutes to locate the key of cupboard to enable waiter to get them,
-asked for a bottle of still water, was given room temperature bottle with no glasses or ice,
-in the restaurant we chose a 3 courses meal, was served 2 courses at the same time.
Got so stressed out that I resulted to have a 1 course only at dinner time to avoid arguments with catering staff.
-The gluten free bread was a disgrace,
-Portions in restaurant were very mean rather on the smaller side of it,
-Portion on buffet extremely poor, constantly asking servers to add more and more,
-Asked for a single espresso was given in numerous times the double shot, in two occasion the cup had a sharp chip which I remind the bar person to discard before it will cut the lips of some guests.
-Asked for non alcoholic cocktails, was given 2 Mojito and charged 4 cocktails.
-Asked for sparkling water, was given perrier water and charged accordingly for it; contrary to the explanation given when I bought the soft drink package which later on I found out it was not included, just the still water.
-On buffet style we found a row fish amongst the fish & chip offered on the day, complained to manager & chef, which they apologised but personally it's not good enough.
-Found in two occasion members of buffet team server using toilets and not washing their hands, contrary to international Health & Safety rule for food server. Yet there were waiting staff distributing fluid jell at main entrance, what a waste of manpower.
-All machine distributing the hand jell were not working, I gather someone ordered the wrong size for the distributor.
Got in touch with "Marco" the restaurant manager, Daniele Bar Manager, Dimitri, Buffet Manager, Kostas, Breakfast supervisor, and told them all to take actions, which I hope they did, but couldn't guarantee the end was satisfactorily.
-Arrival in Dubai, waiting for the transfer to airport, again my name not on the list, and in fact there must have being at least another 20 couple who they were arguing with the representative of the taxi firm, which he advised me to take a taxi because he had no notification of my name.
Again $25.00 paid by me.
How would you say all these problems can arise to one individuals alone? I wasn't even looking for problems, even though I work in 5 Stars establishments in London I know what to look for when it came to standards.
Just average cabin, which didn't bothered me too much, except the toilet was blocked in 3 different occasion.
Great city, we cancel the tour because my son was living there and he have better knowledge to were we would like to go and see!!! We found the tour very long, no food was given and it lasted 7 hours which was far too much to enjoy on a coach with such heat intensity. However having spoken to some other passenger on the same cruise, they informed me it was not what they expected to say the least!
Tours were very very very expensive for what they were offering, we chose the TUC TUC as transport to go around and got a superb tour of the city, far better than the coach would have offered!
I do believe to be a great city in it's own right, although filth all over, I enjoy the ride in tuc tuc, which at times was like gambling with your life!!! Ha, Ha, Ha,. I enjoy mingling with the locals, trading the prices before attempting to jump on board and method of transportation and the view is almost spectacular.
Very efficient method of transportations, coach tour very expensive for what they were going to show. I took a local taxi with A/C and see much more than the tour itself. A great way to see the local amenities...
We had two taxis booked at different times, to see the day and night activities and both were impressive, although far too much of new, new, & new building at American style scale. The Al Khalifa was impressive as all the other amenities advertised on the cruise tour, which was way past our budget. We sow more with the taxis than the coach and in a much cheaper way!!