We embarked in Dubai. We arrived at the cruise terminal ~1200. We were allowed to enter the ship ~1500. The terminal is large with numerous shopping options, so we began souvenir shopping early! We were on the ship very quickly, and luggage arrived quickly.
Overall, very nice and efficient embarkation process.
We chose an inside cabin as we had a port-intensive itinerary. There was enough space for 2 people, with lots of closet space and drawers. Our cabin steward, Elder, was wonderful - very friendly and accommodating! The bed was very hard, but the cabin steward brought an extra douvet to lay on top of, to act as a mattress pad.