Effectively another day at sea as far as routine and activities but with an evening arrival at Dubai with an overnight stop, we informally got 14 people to agree to go ashore as soon as we had docked, but before then there as important stuff such as indoor bowls, (we were knocked out in round 1 – but so were Mal and Meg who are keen outdoor players), eating, dancing and quizzing. At lunchtime after Alana’s revision of the rumba, cha-cha and rock and roll, we opted to try the pizzeria for the first time. Grandson Lucas would be in his element here – FREE pizza, freshly baked to order with your own choice of toppings. I had a calzone and Paula had a regular pepperoni plus avocado. Thin crust of course – perfect!
At 3pm there was a repeat of the ragtime/jazz piano concert during the afternoon. Basically the same performance as before, but this time, banjo player Michael Young joined in for a couple of numbers.
We all opted out of the dining room and some grabbed a bite at the buffet before we saw the misty (heat haze) of Dubai. Steaming hot on deck and many had taken heed about covering up in Dubai so we were soaked before we’d even got ashore.
No real formality here. You grabbed a pink pre-stamped landing card on the way out and showed it if asked. The terminal trade was closed and we grabbed three cabs and told them we wanted to go to the Dubai Mall to see the dancing waters display. Quite why our cab had a 20DHS (Dirham) charge on the meter we are not too sure but the traffic was very busy and it cost us 48DHS. At about 4 to the AUD, between 4 of us, that was cheap enough.
Dubai at night and at the mall that opens late and closes late plus the spectacular and popular water was a great evening.
For 2012 cruisers: The ship warns you about the strict dress code and certainly we felt somewhat over-dressed for outdoors, but inside, it was distinctly chilly. We saw plenty of people wearing clothing that we were warned not to wear.
Peter led us to the Cafe Blanc where 14 of us decided we would have a drink – and Ros and Arnold had a light refreshment. Now as you know, alcohol is not really allowed in Dubai, so choosing cocktail was safe enough. Paula opted for a concoction of chocolate, blackcurrant, banana and ice. Mine was an appealing mixture of peach, passion-fruit, lemon, liquorice syrup and topped with a scoop of fragrant ice cream. Large glass and an instant headache as it was so cold! Delicious. This is a massive shopping centre yet many prices are not high on food for example. Those flash cocktails were good value at a total of 51DHS for two.
We caught a six-seater cab back and this time it was much cheaper. About 31DHS. Most will take US Dollars.
Back on board about 11pm and a quick cold drink at the buffet. First impressions of Dubai? Magic! So clean and modern (so far) and such a contrast with India. Not as overpriced as we expected.