Great trip with friends sightseeing parts of the world that we hadn't considered before, especially the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Although a small sample, the various visits gave a good appreciation of Arab culture and Middle East politics. The smaller ship certainly allows for docking without using tenders saving time to visit the wonders of Luxor and Petra, which were incredible. Comparing and contrasting the wonders of the old world(Luxor and Petra) to those of the new world(Dubai) are just one of the reasons to take this cruise. Dining options are varied with upscale Prime and Aqualina restaurants top notch. Crew are well trained and extremely capable and versatile. Entertainment and lectures were very well done especially cruise director Eric de Gray, who not only is an extremely capable director but also an amazing performer. Lecturer John and his passion for the universe drew me to his daily lectures while at sea. Excursions were well organized except for some confusion regarding the hop on hop off bus in Dubai with length(1 day or 2 day), where to embark, outdated maps available on the ship. Otherwise the bus provided a good overview of Dubai. A trip I would definitely recommend.
Clean and comfortable. Veranda room at the front of the ship provided a great view although since the primary direction of the cruise was south, the overhead sun made sitting on the veranda during the day tough. This was often offset by the wind and the great sunsets. Definitely a consideration for future trips. Two separate problems with the toilet facilities made for some unpleasantness however they were remedied in a timely manner. Service provided by Luis and Jose were consistent and prompt.