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About ShaunDxb

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Blogging, travelling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    MSC Cruises, Cunard, P&O, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Dubai, Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean
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  1. Yeah it definitely is ship-specific, Port Rashid isn't closed to cruise ships, as Anne said, there were 4 in port today
  2. You wont be allowed to walk from the ship to the nearest shopping areas, although all cruise lines will offer a free shuttle to the port entrance and others will offer shuttles into the nearby souqs. If you go to the port entrance to find a taxi brace yourself for the huge number of taxi drivers that will be there waiting for you, each vying for your attention 🙂
  3. In Dubai, if you're looking for something cultural/historical within the general vicinity of the cruise terminal, I would definitely recommend the Al Seef Dubai Creek area. It's a new retail/hotel development along the creek 10mins by taxi from the cruise terminal that has been designed to look like an old Arabian souq. I recommend it for the shopping (you can browse local crafts, clothes, jewelery etc but without the grittiness of the Gold Souq in Karama or the relentless hawking). Al Seef is also directly adjacent to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, home to the diwan (royal court) of the Ruler of Dubai and nearby to the Dubai Museum. It's a lovely little neighbourhood of around 50 20th century Arabian homes that have been fully restored and turned into coffee museums, perfume museums and boutique hotels and coffee shops. If you want to try out some Emirati cuisine the Arabian Tea House is also in this area and its famous amongst locals for its authenticity and quality. In terms of tourist sight-seeing, you should definitely go for an abra ride on the Dubai Creek and visit the Dubai Frame (from which you can get great shots of the Old Dubai and New Dubai in either direction on a clear day - $15 entrance). Then there's the Burj Khalifa, but instead of paying $100 to go up to the viewing platform, just go for a $5 coffee at Atmosphere, a restaurant and bar just a few levels below the viewing deck, but with floor-to-ceiling windows. If you want to do designer shopping, head to the Dubai Mall. It's the largest in the world by floor space and is home to the Dubai Aquarium, and of course the Dubai Fountains. If it's your thing, you could also go check out the indoor ski slope and snow park at the Mall of the Emirates ($100 entrance). In Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is definitely recommended, as is the Grand Mosque, the largest in the country and one of the grandest in the world (the persian carpet in the main hall is the largest continuous carpet ever made). If you enjoy the idea of a desert safari, it's better to do it in Abu Dhabi as the city is surrounded by desert sands that are more untouched than those around Dubai so the drive out of the city is shorter. Abu Dhabi is also home to the Emirates Palace, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world (if that's your thing) and also the Presidential Palace (Qasr Al Watan) which from March opened its doors to the public for tours for the first time. I live in Dubai so let me know if there's anything else I can help you with 🙂
  4. Yes there are several options for paid shuttles to the airport, almost every tour desk in the arrivals hall at the cruise terminal will offer an airport shuttle, but they're quite pricey (around $45 pp). There's also an airport shuttle provided by the RTA (the public bus operator) when a ship is in port. A bus departs from either the airport or cruise terminal every 20 to 30 minutes. It costs around $5 and you'll be able to spot them because they're big red busses with 'RTA' on the side. Alternatively, there'll be a long line of Dubai Taxi vehicles as well, which will cost around $25 to the airport.
  5. Yeah there's only a free shuttle to Mercato Mall and Dubai Mall now, I couldn't find the timetable for the Mercato Mall shuttle, but here's the one for Dubai Mall from Cruise Terminal 3.
  6. Unfortunately there isn’t any left luggage facility at the cruise terminal but there is at both terminals (1 and 3) at Dubai airport
  7. The seas around the Cape are only very rough between June and August, the rest of the year it’s (normally) okay with the occasional Buster (what the locals call the sudden gales that come up from the south)
  8. There’s a free shuttle to Dubai Mall and Mercato Mall. I believe there’s also one to Mall of the Emirates but I’d need to double check. I’ll be at the cruise terminal tomorrow so I’ll have a look for you
  9. According to the park itself they’re closed from May to November each year, so it should be open for you until the end of April.
  10. I wouldn't recommend the InterContinental or any other hotel in Festival City as it'll be a longish (30 mins+) and expensive taxi ride from the hotel to the cruise terminal in the morning traffic. There are several hotels just a few minutes from the Dubai Cruise Terminal, most of them for under US $50/60 per night. The City Max Bur Dubai is 15 mins from the airport and 10mins from the cruise terminal and has a nice bar and restaurant. I only mention it because I've stayed there, but there loads of hotels in the area as you'll see in the attached pic. The problem with staying anywhere near the airport itself is that you'll have to fight the rush hour traffic over the bridges in the morning. And as the others have mentioned, there is the QE2 right next to the terminal within the port itself, and she is awesome (although I'm biased in her favour!). Most hotels in Dubai that are 3-star and above will provide you with a pick-up from the airport, some are complimentary and for others there's a charge. The City Max will provide a pick-up after midnight for AED125 per person (US $34) - but if you're prepared to wait in the taxi queue it'll be around half the price.
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