After reading all the awful reviews of this ship before we left on our cruise, we were worried, but we had a great time. It almost seemed like all those other people were on a completely different ship.
We did get off to a little bit of a rocky start. We had signed up for an embarkation city tour of Dubai. We had been to Dubai before but our flight landed first thing in the morning and we wanted something to do before we could board the ship. Just before we left home, I received a bunch of emails suggesting that some change had been made to the tour, but none of the emails was very clear. I think they were just trying to remind us that the tour would only work if our flight arrived before a certain time in the morning, but they already had our flight info, so it wasn’t clear why they sent me so many confusing emails. Anyway, they greeted us and took us to the bus, where we sat for 45 minutes without any explanation. I think they were waiting for more people from other flights, but no one told us that. There were already a bunch of people on the bus, and we could see the hotel they were taking us to from the bus, so it seemed like they could have taken us to the hotel and come back for the rest of the people. Eventually, we got to the hotel, where we were told we could have a nice, relaxing hot breakfast before our tour, but relaxing it wasn’t. We had less than half an hour to wait in line and check in for the cruise, go to another desk to check in for the tour, and have breakfast (it was a nice buffet). We were still trying to gobble down some food when they announced that we needed to get on the bus for the city tour. In the future, they should get people to the hotel faster or adjust the departure time of the tour so it isn’t so hectic. The tour itself was great, with a couple photo stops, a short visit in the bastakiya quarter, and a longer stop near the souks. We thought it was a nice overview for anyone who hasn’t been to Dubai before. We got to the pier around 2:00 and the only thing we had to do was have our pictures taken. Then we were able to get on and the cabin was ready. The bags went straight from the bus to the cabin, arriving around 4:00.
Great cabin, but quite a bit of noise from the pool deck above.
We had about a one hour city tour with a photo stop before going to Zafiro. There, we had cooking demonstrations and were shown how they used to make flour and olive oil. There was live music and dancing and a really great meal.
This was a tour in Padua on the way to the airport. There was not enough time to do a lot, but we had a short walking tour and saw the basilica and then had some free time. For something to do before an afternoon flight, it was fine.