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7 Middle East Romantic Cruise Reviews

Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning ... Read More
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone. Ship docks at Port Rashid. Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening. Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum. Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24). At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid. QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid. Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online. Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined. Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship. No charge for the beach visit. Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony. UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News. Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner. Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early. Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best. Staff very friendly and helpful. Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware! Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists. In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the price. What we have come to realize is that what comes with lower cost is terrible customer service. Basically, when you have an issue that needs to be addressed, they really don’t care. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the price. What we have come to realize is that what comes with lower cost is terrible customer service. Basically, when you have an issue that needs to be addressed, they really don’t care. I have to say the cabin stuard and dinning staff were excellent, as well as Bruno, the buffet manager. But to the rest, we felt like we were an inconvenience, including the customer service desk, which is an oxymoron. They even tried to convince us that it’s normal for the toilet not to flush. Maybe she assumed this was our first cruise and wouldn’t know any better. They promised to have someone look into it but never did. So it was basically press the button 5 or 6 times and pray. The food varied from day to day; sometimes ok, other times not really. The itinerary is awesome and Oman is easily the best stop. Make sure to explore here as much as possible. We rented an SUV and stayed ashore overnight and were so glad we did. Do not miss driving up Wadi Arbaeen starting from Dibab. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We choose.this cruise in hopes of seeing all that Egypt has to offer and its amazing history and culture. We flew from the US thus the flight time and time difference leave you a little out of sync. Getting test is critical and being ... Read More
We choose.this cruise in hopes of seeing all that Egypt has to offer and its amazing history and culture. We flew from the US thus the flight time and time difference leave you a little out of sync. Getting test is critical and being organized is a priority. We felt safe during our travels as many safety features are in place. We were able to visit many ket sites that are simply amazing. The Egyptian people are very friendly and want to see a smile on your face. The River Cruise has and outdated ship but very clean. Our main gaol on the ship was to rest and dine. We did not go to Egypt to party and stay up late. The Kitchen Staff goes out of their way all the time on every meal this was surprising the food was good. My only request was that they would offer a package of beverages for free outside of water, tea, or coffee. All drinks are very expensive a small coke cost over 2 dollars. Forget the minibar just water. The rooms were very clean and the service was great. The Bus Rides to destination only offered water traffic was and issue. The 4 seasons Hotel is amazing great rooms make sure you get a high floor to avoid the street noise the Italian restaurant is the best. Pick up to the airport and back was good except for departure you have to leave 4 hours prior to flight. My concern with this trip is we made 4 stops to visit local stores with 30 people on the bus this was a waste of time as we did not travel this far to go to stores they should make this optional I would have rather been at the hotel resting. My biggest concern was when we had locals attached their boat outside our rooms screaming out our window for 45 minutes to buy stuff which was a little to much and concerning. This was on our first day and it happened twice with 2 different boats. I called the front desk multiple times and they told me both time it would take 5 minutes which was not the case. Being upset and concerned about our safety, privacy, and lack of sleep having someone attached to your boat outside your room I was hoping for a more proactive response. The Hotel Manager spoke to me during dinner but his response left a lot to be desired. I mentioned we had flown over 15 hours and the last thing we need is to have someone screaming outside our room latched on to the boat. The Boat crew was over the top nice we had no issues with any one for lack of service. After the first day we had no more issues with the small boats attaching to our Ship. I tried to share in a diplomatic way that we did not travel this far to go into 4 stores with 30 people having to waste about 4 hours time when there is so much more you can be doing that is much more logical. Most of the folks buying stuff was trinkets for friends or family members that you could buy all over the streets of Egypt. Coming from the states were we could buy almost anything from Amazon delivered to your doorstep this was the opposite experience wait fore ever for people to get in and off a bus to go into a store were you are flooded around not having a clue what you are looking at or what it is worth and why the heck do you need it. Everywhere you go in on the Tour you have people trying to sell you stuff our tour guide even thought it was a good idea to have some of the folks come on some mini cruises with us amazing. As far as Egypt is concerned we felt very safe except for the cruise having the boat attached to us. The People are very nice there is a lot of poverty thus they try there best to make a living selling tourist trinkets, garments, it is a rich culture with and amazing history. The River Cruise is well balanced the meals are amazing and the guest blended in well with the crew. The Guides should probably do powerpoint presentations or have in room videos of your daily events for preparation and learning. Having a lecture outside for 30 minuets in the Egypt heat is not good a couple of people passed out. Some of the tours are challenging the guide does not let you know until the day you are there. I do not know if we are spoiled or just take things for granted but with a little coaching this great group of people can have a much more positive outcome for folks who traveled so far to see there great country. the sites were amazing we were blessed with great guest from all over the US and Australia. I only wish we did not waste so much time doing things like leaving 4 hours early to the Airport at Midnight with no traffic or stopping at stores. I am hoping this review helps the folks at UNIWORLD Develop a better game plan as I thing we wasted 2 days of time which is 20 percent of our vacation doing things that could have been avoided. I also heard other guest mentioned that a uniform tip would be helpful rather than having to make multiple stops at banks to pay the Bus driver, Tour guide, Hotel staff etc. Yes we also spent over 1 hour stoping at banks for people to get off the bus to go to a ATM. In summary Egypt is a great place to visit we felt the people were great we only wish that the organization four this amazing country for a tourist to visit had more detail prior to tours and less shopping. I also thing the guides should be more helpful telling the street vendors to give us some space. Prior to leaving get some rest bring lots of small bills and make sure you make time to rest when you get back home. I hope this was helpful and I want to thank all the great people who made a difference in our trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We choose this cruise to see India. The ship is very tied and rusting , worn carpet , wooden seats in the dinning room with joints coming apart. The crew do try very hard and give u 110% in effort. The entertainment director is getting ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see India. The ship is very tied and rusting , worn carpet , wooden seats in the dinning room with joints coming apart. The crew do try very hard and give u 110% in effort. The entertainment director is getting away with being payed for sitting on his backside all day. the onboard day time entertainment was non exsistant compared to other cruise lines.There was more entertainment to be found in the casino than over the whole of the boat. The nightly shows in the theatre where great if u where in a nursing home and had not seen any entertainment for a while, really who do they think they are giving us a acrobat show which a 11 year old could perform. Every night at dinner it was a toss of a coin to see if ur drink order would arrive in 30 minutes or under or would arrive at all. The cabin steward did a fantastic job and congratulations to him cabin 9131. The food was the same day in and day out, the quality of food okay but not outstanding. When u travel aqua class and have your own designated dinning room u don't expect to have to wait up to 3/4 hour for a table.The cruise would have been excellent if I had traveled in a inside room, but having table for aquas class I was very disappointed and will never cruise with celebrity again. No one even wants to listen on board when u are offering constructive criticism. Felt very let down and ripped off. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Chose this cruise for the unusual ports and had a super cruise with Celebrity last year. The cruise was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Joining the ship was smooth and easy. Dubai was the first stop and good to visit the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the unusual ports and had a super cruise with Celebrity last year. The cruise was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Joining the ship was smooth and easy. Dubai was the first stop and good to visit the one time, enjoyed the hop on hop off bus and visited the mall, marina and the Burj Khalifa. The water fountain show at night and the tower lighting show were impressive. Arrived in New Mangalore, India and Celebrity did not manage the disembarkation at all well. A queue that stretched throughout the ship and it took an age to get off. Then to find that this was a coal port, and very dirty. To combat this water wagons were driving up and down the roads dropping water which had little effect other than to make a black slush underfoot. New Mangalore did not have much to see other than a market and some temples. I don't think this port is suitable for a cruise ship! Goa was a little better with some nice beaches around 50 mins drive in a taxi, beach bars supplied beds free if you bought food or drink and the locals were quickly roused to sell us the usual Indian wear. Slightly intense and annoying but expected. Mumbai was a complete farce with Celebrity messing up the immigration by missing off a vital stamp from the card. It took just under 2 hours to sort which was stressful and in one case upsetting for those concerned. We missed our trip and after considerable lobbying they finally agreed to put a further coach on for the 13 people concerned. No guide only a 'stand in' local chap who tried his very best. The trip meant we missed a few sights and a train trip and being we had looked forward to it as the highlight, it was a big disappointment. After further discussion Celebrity refunded the trip cost and offered a free meal in the Tuscan Grill restaurant. A fair offer but it could not take away the disappointment of a missed opportunity. As one passenger has already pointed out, we could not enter Oman due to 30 mph winds. The captain had delighted in telling passengers earlier that he could maneuver the ship in winds of 30 mph...a shot in the foot :>). Sad to miss the Oman stop altogether. Then the fun and games started again with Celebrity messing up the immigration one last time. An announcement out of the blue at 10pm that all passengers would have to leave the ship immediately to collect their passport and hand in person to Abu Dhabi immigration. Then they announced that there was no need to proceed immediately and it was ok to watch the show and visit afterwards. So we proceeded from our meal to the show and as we arrived a further announcement said all those on deck 2 must proceed to immigration immediately. So off we went and queued once again with those who had woken up with children and the infirm etc. We got back just before the end of the show only to here that we need not have gone to immigration until after the show!!! So you see it was a real farce, you couldn't make it up. Some people were shouting at officers looking down on the queue from the deck and there was some loud booing and shouting at the end of the show when the cruise director said 'these things happen sometimes' not the best choice of words and he left the stage rather quickly. The cabin, dining, bar and other staff as always were excellent and could not do enough. The shows I have to say were of west end theatre quality in my opinion which was why it was so annoying to miss the last one, I am told it was superb. We did enjoy the cruising and the staff, food and shows were great. On a 30th wedding anniversary it was just so disappointing with the repeated immigration faux pas. This was due to the handling of disembarkation which has to be attributed to Celebrity I am afraid. This was not the high standard that we enjoyed last year on the 'Reflection' and I have written to Celebrity who replied and told me of their concern and how sorry they were. Celebrity said they were sorry for the experience and that was all. I might try PO cruises for the next one then as they may appreciate our custom a little more :>) Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I am a very, very experienced cruise traveler. I enjoyed this cruise, had a good time. There are some big BUT's though which unnerved me. Here my opinions, which will most likely resonate more with fellow Europeans: + Ship ... Read More
I am a very, very experienced cruise traveler. I enjoyed this cruise, had a good time. There are some big BUT's though which unnerved me. Here my opinions, which will most likely resonate more with fellow Europeans: + Ship beautiful, (if you like modern ship design, which I do), looking new. It did not look full, although it must have been at 90% of capacity. Except the pool deckchairs of course. Staff very good, dining staff exceptional (incl. remembering preferences and satisfying special wishes). Entertainment program very good (important on a cruise with many sea days). Guest lecturers were knowledgable and interesting. I like that they include also off-mainstream subjects, like cave exploration. Dining was good and variable at the dining rooms, no variety at the casual buffet any time of the day, and day after day the same items. Nothing to eat after 10pm. MINUS Cabins small relative to other cruise lines, but nothing was missing. I knew that from earlier cruises and was traveling solo anyway, so I had enough space. Nice touch: Night light in the bathroom. Only small tubes for generic shampoo, conditioner, body lotion. Constant music, too loud, everywhere. Including the main pool area, which is probably desired by the guests during a Carnival Caribbean cruise but not on this cruise with more mature passengers. Not one quiet place where you could read a book without having to order a drink or without loud music or with some sales event going on there (gym courses, wine tasting and selling, art selling, adult coloring class, bingo etc. etc). Library is a minimal room with 4 seats (on a 2000+ passengers' ship) burried in the interior, with probably less than 200 books. One thing I really disliked: There is an extensive and detailed "code of conduct" for passengers which lays out a regime I did not sign up for when I booked this cruise and foresees severe consequences at the sole discretion of the ship's management. I think common sense, courtesy and if necessary the applicable laws are more than enough. And body cams on security staff at all times, in addition to the omnipresent fixed video cameras, obvious and hidden. A person I had met (a young lady in her first trip ever outside her home country) was forcibly disembarked in Muscat, Oman for climbing over a reeling. Another major objection is the prices of side services, which Celebrity describes as "reasonable" in their website but they don't publish detailed pricelists anywhere. Here below I will compare prices with Holland America because I was on a HAL ship just one week before this cruise: -Many items included in the price with other cruise lines are charged here, and handsomely: Certain drinks at breakfast-juices, more than half of items listed in the room service menu and even for the free items a delivery charge of $4.50! -Pay per view movies in the cabin at $13.50 each, compare with the extensive free library of HAL on dvds AND one new movie daily at the movie theater (versus one big screen movie in 16 days on Celebrity). -Prices for drinks and beverages are outrageous: Why is a cappucino priced $7 incl. 18% gratuity and Holland America charges $4 incl. 15% gratuity? Is it so much better? Similar with wines and cocktails. Small plastic bottle of water $3.50+18% gratuity? A scoop of ice cream $4+18%? It is forbidden to bring even a glass of wine on board, for no other reason than to consume their own overpriced items. -Prices for laundry are outrageous too (no self laundry possibility on Celebrity): A bag of laundry at $49 on "one time special offer"? A 2 piece suite for $19? A pair of socks $3? Double the price of HAL? They clean double as good? -Internet package for 16 days $299? Or $23.50 for 1 hour? Prices for one device only! Again almost double the price of HAL for the same satellite service. -"Optional" but automatic gratuity $13.50 per person per day? (HAL $10.50 for no worse service). No adjustment of the amount is possible, either nothing or the full amount. -Shore excursions similar, but in this Celebrity is no worse than other cruise lines and critically the consumer has alternative options with local tour operators. -Specialty dining for a charge and spa services: I didn't try, cannot compare. - Shops on board: I compared prices for items I had earmarked earlier for purchase such as alcohol and certain perfumes with other duty free outlets (airports and airlines). Don't bother, Celebrity's "duty free" price is 20-30% more expensive at every single one. Seems to me they reduce the state tax and add the difference directly into their sales margin. -Shoe shine service as on HAL? Let alone complimentary? Not here! So this cruise was only a good value if you restricted yourself to the absolute minimum of consumption, did not drink wine, cocktails, coffee, did not watch movies, did not use laundry or internet and checked if your conduct fits Celebrity's regulations at all times. But if you consumed all of the above, you could easily spend on board 3-4 times more than the price for the cruise. Hmmm... Quite the cheap trick of "get them on board first and sell them every little thing or service expensive"... not my idea of relaxed vacation or fair pricing policy folks and counterproductive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary - so this was a special cruise. We selected this cruise based on the ports of call. We knew most of the passengers would be retired folks. We first cruised with P&O in the late ... Read More
Wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary - so this was a special cruise. We selected this cruise based on the ports of call. We knew most of the passengers would be retired folks. We first cruised with P&O in the late 1980's and upto this cruise our favorite cruise line was Princess. So for folks reading this here is a brief summary: Ports of call fantastic Cabin stewards/bar staff/restaurant staff fantastic Evening entertainment was good Cabin faultless Given we have done so many Princess cruises it is very hard not to make comparisons between Princess and P&O - during the course of this cruise wife and I developed a saying BOP (better on Princess) So here is the list Drinks - on Princess you can buy an unlimited soft drink package approx $35 per 7 day cruise - not possible on P&O. Variety of drinks much better and also cheaper on Princess. Food - Princess is miles ahead. On Arcadia the food variety was incredibly boring and unimaginative. In fact we gave up eating in the main restaurants and paid supplements to eat in the specialty restaurants (the Orchid is fantastic). Excursions - Arcadia, expensive and not imaginative with many admin errors/mistakes leading to almost arrogance. My wife and I called it the 'Excuses Desk' as opposed to Excursion Desk. Open & below deck facilities - Arcadia isn't bad - but Princess is just better. In summary I cannot stress how bad the food was - boring, boring and more boring. I've eaten better in Tesco cafeteria. I think it is very possible P&O are deeply cutting costs and it is in the food and beverage area where this is most evident. I'd rather pay more for my ticket then eat what was served up - actually I did pay more by eating in the specialty restaurants. So next cruise back to Princess... Read Less
Sail Date March 2009

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