We wanted a local cruise since we live in the Middle East and saw that a lot of cruises start in Dubai. After some research, we saw that Pullmantur was by far the cheapest option and, after further digging, couldn't really find out a lot about the ship, her cabins, onboard food, etc. What we did find sounded discouraging but, being the unfussy folks that we are, we thought, "Let's give them a try".
I'm glad we did. It was an excellent cruise. We arrived at DXB and took a taxi straight to the Port Rashid cruise terminal. We hopped out and found virtually no one there. It transpires that Pullmantur keep the Horizon in port between cruises for two whole days, meaning, statistically, half of the cruisers embark/disembark on one day and half on the other. You can rock up virtually any time. For us, it took about 10 minutes from taxi to being on board. It may be longer if you arrive with a plane load of Spaniards from Madrid, but we were locals so it was very pleasant. We wandered around the ship for about half an hour and then went to our cabin. Our bags were already there. Best embarkation we have ever experienced.
We were very pleased by the quality of food. Both the main dining room and buffet offerings were tasty and varied with only a few, small misses. The free drinks package definitely makes you feel like you're getting good value and we found the wait staff invariably friendly and helpful.
The only staff that we didn't feel the joy from were the cabin staff, which is quite unusual from our experience. We can only think that they were overworked since we rarely saw them, they couldn't/wouldn't tidy the room at the same time each day and sometimes said they would come at a particular time and simply didn't.
We didn't make use of the excursions as we knew the area well. We found the gym adequate but small. Fortunately, our fellow cruisers didn't seem to like exercise all that much so we had the run of the place.
Can't comment on the entertainment as we found the timings good for Spaniards (i.e. late 2300!!) but not good for our sleeping patterns.
All in all, a great but short outing for us. As I indicated, it's not a luxury ship but you certainly get your value and it is by no means a third rate line/ship. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Very spacious, with huge amounts of storage space around the cabin. Bathroom a good size, clean with good toiletries. This particular cabin is on the port side just behind the bridge wing and gave us great sights for the entire cruise. No problems with plumbing or smells apart from some paint fumes one day in port while routine maintenance was being conducted.