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We chose Dubai for our first cruise as we had never been there and hoped for calm seas and warm sun, my wife is not a good sailor! Our party 3 couples started off with a 3 night pre cruise stay at the 5* Hilton Resort and Spa at RAK 1 1/2 hours from Dubai which was terrific, and perhaps spoilt our initial cruise experience!Instead of the bus from the Hotel to the ship, we took a private tour of Dubai for the day, dropping us off at the ship at 7.30pm, as I had read about delays boarding. It worked well, and I would recommend anyone doing the same stay/cruise holiday to do likewise, as you have very little time to explore Dubai any other time! Embarkation was smooth (we were the only ones in the terminal) and we soon found our cabin. (7580 balcony)1st shock. you could have fitted our cabin in the bathroom of the hotel (6'2" big build does not fit very well in small double bed with rounded end!)Dinner in main restaurant - great food and service. My Time Dining working well. Shock no2 The price of wine! cheapest $33 per bottle! - 6 people 1 White 1 Red (Jacobs Creek $45!) $80 per night incl the dreaded "graturity"! Still the food was good. 1st morning still in port; Breakfast Windjammer self serve - Great, no problem, everything you want incl "British Bar" with proper bacon and Black pudding! One exception, trying to force orange juice out of the bar staff. Most sunbeds round pool "toweled up" Found 6 and did the same! Explored the ship. BOS is a great ship. Clean,tidy well run and something for everyone. Not sure about the "bellyflop competition" when we returned to our beds. Run by an overweight Sheffield man who constantly asked if you were from Scotland, Wales, England or Sheffield! (there were 33 different nationalities on the ship. Very UK holiday camp. God what did they think!) Fell foul of the sunbed police, and lost our beds! (can't complain, fair cop, pity it did not cover every sunbed on the ship, as some were reserved early morning, for those going on trips, that returned in the afternoon, either to sunbath, or collect their belongings!) It got better. Over the next 6 days we warmed to the ship and cruising, once we had got used to it. The Ports of call are pretty disappointing. Not RCL fault, but the Middle East is made up of sand, Mosques and high rise new buildings, not alot else! The excursions were very expensive, so we didn't bother. The 2 I wanted, Sunbath and snorkel at a hotel in Fujairah ($89 each) No swimming in sea as jellyfish. and a visit to the BIC in Bahrain (the £280m F1 racetrack) cancelled because of the impending F1 race on March 14th! Summary; The BOS is good. Food, service superb. Gordon the Cruise Director, brilliant hard worker, was ever present at every event, Clientele. a true mix between hardened cruisers, and people lured by cheap offers who really shouldn't be there! RCL. Extract money at every available opportunity. Once on board they have you. Food,accommodation water, tea coffee included. Everything else charge charge charge! Will we cruise again? NO,sorry,a big disappointment. Not our idea of a relaxing holiday. too many people (2500 on 1 ship. God knows what its like on the bigger ships!)too cramped AND A RIP OFF! Pity

Dubai 22nd Feb 2010 Fisrt Cruise - Mixed feelings

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by MarcoPolo Northants UK

Trip Details
We chose Dubai for our first cruise as we had never been there and hoped for calm seas and warm sun, my wife is not a good sailor! Our party 3 couples started off with a 3 night pre cruise stay at the 5* Hilton Resort and Spa at RAK 1 1/2 hours from Dubai which was terrific, and perhaps spoilt our initial cruise experience!Instead of the bus from the Hotel to the ship, we took a private tour of Dubai for the day, dropping us off at the ship at 7.30pm, as I had read about delays boarding. It worked well, and I would recommend anyone doing the same stay/cruise holiday to do likewise, as you have very little time to explore Dubai any other time! Embarkation was smooth (we were the only ones in the terminal) and we soon found our cabin. (7580 balcony)1st shock. you could have fitted our cabin in the bathroom of the hotel (6'2" big build does not fit very well in small double bed with rounded end!)Dinner in main restaurant - great food and service. My Time Dining working well. Shock no2 The price of wine! cheapest $33 per bottle! - 6 people 1 White 1 Red (Jacobs Creek $45!) $80 per night incl the dreaded "graturity"! Still the food was good.
1st morning still in port; Breakfast Windjammer self serve - Great, no problem, everything you want incl "British Bar" with proper bacon and Black pudding! One exception, trying to force orange juice out of the bar staff.
Most sunbeds round pool "toweled up" Found 6 and did the same! Explored the ship. BOS is a great ship. Clean,tidy well run and something for everyone. Not sure about the "bellyflop competition" when we returned to our beds. Run by an overweight Sheffield man who constantly asked if you were from Scotland, Wales, England or Sheffield! (there were 33 different nationalities on the ship. Very UK holiday camp. God what did they think!) Fell foul of the sunbed police, and lost our beds! (can't complain, fair cop, pity it did not cover every sunbed on the ship, as some were reserved early morning, for those going on trips, that returned in the afternoon, either to sunbath, or collect their belongings!)
It got better. Over the next 6 days we warmed to the ship and cruising, once we had got used to it.
The Ports of call are pretty disappointing. Not RCL fault, but the Middle East is made up of sand, Mosques and high rise new buildings, not alot else! The excursions were very expensive, so we didn't bother. The 2 I wanted, Sunbath and snorkel at a hotel in Fujairah ($89 each) No swimming in sea as jellyfish. and a visit to the BIC in Bahrain (the £280m F1 racetrack) cancelled because of the impending F1 race on March 14th!
Summary; The BOS is good. Food, service superb. Gordon the Cruise Director, brilliant hard worker, was ever present at every event, Clientele. a true mix between hardened cruisers, and people lured by cheap offers who really shouldn't be there! RCL. Extract money at every available opportunity. Once on board they have you. Food,accommodation water, tea coffee included. Everything else charge charge charge!
Will we cruise again? NO,sorry,a big disappointment. Not our idea of a relaxing holiday. too many people (2500 on 1 ship. God knows what its like on the bigger ships!)too cramped AND A RIP OFF! Pity
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