The itinerary was changed 3 weeks before we sailed and we were given the option to cancel. However, having made a variety of arrangements (hotels. car park, house-sitters) we decided to stick with it and accept the OBC, although with it being an All Inclusive cruise this wasn't really much use.
A week before we travelled we received notification that we would be flying back to East Midlands, rather than Birmingham, since the runway was undergoing works at night. This added an hour on our homeward journey, not what you want at 1.30am when you've been up for over 20 hours already and still have almost 5 hours to drive home. As the runway works had been published much earlier in the year, they were clearly aware of this at the time we booked (September) and should have made us aware. Had they done so, we would not have booked the cruise.
The outbound flight had about 125 empty seats, presumably due to passengers who had cancelled. Cabin crew did move a few people so as to ease the congested areas. We did only have one meal going out, rather than the promised two for long-haul.
The cabin was as expected with regards to cleanliness/size etc. It was well located on the ship but it appears that deck 6 inside cabins adjoin fan rooms or similar, having looked at the deck plan since returning. There was a lot of vibration coming up through the pillow each night which woke me up and prevented me from getting back to sleep, not what I expected from a cabin quite high up on the ship and above the shops. This was more noticeable when we were in port. There was also considerable noise when they were launching tenders, luckily there was only one tender port on this cruise.
We did this independently, walking from the port gates. Other than having to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers and Dhow boat operators, it was quite easy to see the Museum of Islamic Art and the Souk Waif.
It's worth knowing that you can get a free golf buggy ride from the port gate car park out around the MIA Park.
We couldn't get ashore due to swell so this was cancelled
We took a taxi from the WTC Mall as it was cheaper than from the port. We went to the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. This cost about £10 each way. It is worth noting that you can borrow cover-up clothing at the mosque. I wish I had known this before I went. There is also a shopping area there with cafes etc.
The mosque is beautiful and well worth a visit. It is also free of charge. Why pay for a ships tour at about £50 each?!