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  1. For mef_57....we were just in Dubai in March. It is well lit, safe, easy to maneuver. The airport is so close to town you could drop your luggage and come back in pretty easily. We used public transportation, the metro is immaculate. But a taxi would probably be your quickest in your limited half day. You could sightsee till 9 or 9:30 PM and then go to airport. You say you’re not much for shopping, but Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates world be open and is great for people watching, checking out the indoor aquarium or ski area, depending on which mall. Or a trip to top of Burj Al Khalifa, then on to airport.
  2. Regarding taxis at the cruise port: there is a surcharge. My examples here are from Abu Dhabi, which I remember best from our March cruise, but I am pretty sure that Dubai is the same. When you step into a taxi at the cruise port, the meter reads 25. When you start with a taxi outside the cruise port area, it starts at 5 dirhams. There is a minimum taxi fare of 12 dirhams for any trip. Note that 25 dirhams is about $US 6.81. You cannot walk around in the Dubai cruise port, some sort of transport is necessary. Also note that there are choices of taxi sizes. If you choose a larger taxi (for more passengers) the minimum charge is a little higher. Also, yes, the Big Bus is at both cruise ports and the tours started from there. In addition, in Abu Dhabi, the Big Bus was used to free shuttle passengers to a mall when the ship docked on our last afternoon. You could then continue on a Big Bus for an overall city tour. Of course, any of this could change:)
  3. I’m adding real-time information to what Anne has posted as we are now at Millennium Plaza in Dubai. It was a great suggestion by Anne to stay here as the location has many advantages. Standard taxi from airport was 41.50 dirhams at 4 PM Friday, took about 15 minutes. There are numerous restaurants and services around the hotel within 3 blocks, as far as we have explored. There is a Lifco Grocery 1/2 block on SZR and a pharmacy the other way on SZR. Inside the grocery is a laundry/cleaners. They are washing hubby’s jeans and will deliver to hotel within 24 hours for 10 dirhams... significantly less than hotel and faster. Other items were similar pricing. Across SZR (via the footpath bridge to metro) there are a multitude of restaurants (as well as up and down SZR). Starbucks, Wendy’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, coffee and pastry shops, numerous more upscale, Mexican even! Our booking was for a standard room , we were supposedly upgraded to a king.. it is enormous with a sitting area ant two full size windows overlooking the city. On the the other hand, the concierge does not seem very knowledgeable and wants mostly to sell his hotel taxis and in house eateries. They forgot to bring an adapter 3 times. The hotel is more than adequate but not over-the-top, more LaQuinta than Ritz Carlton, perhaps. We are happy and appreciate Anne’s suggestions.
  4. Anne, a new question, I am narrowing down my itinerary for our days in Dubai, and can't get comfortable with what I have lined out. Which days makes most sense to do what? If you could offer some suggestions on how I have this listed, I would appreciate your input. Will the weekend crowds make Burj over crowded? Is there a better way to do this using metro mostly, some taxi...….should I change up anything, or need to add something? (I know it's all whatever a person thinks is important, but I am dithering:) Friday March 1: Arrive Dubai mid afternoon, to Millennium Plaza hotel, following two weeks in India. Tired. Saturday: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall, Aquarium Sunday: Mall of the Emirates, Miracle Gardens, maybe the new water ferry? Which route is best for this ferry? Monday: transport to Abu Dhabi to board cruise ship which docks next day in....Dubai! Tuesday: Deira area (starting from Port Rashid) Wednesday: ...what to do?.....we have a half day, ship leaves at 2 PM.
  5. Anne, a new question, perhaps you know....I have heard that some of the malls offer a free shuttle from cruise port to their mall. I am thinking of using this option if it is available for our day in port at Dubai. We will have already been in Dubai on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, then board a cruise ship on Monday in Abu Dhabi, which comes back to Dubai on Tuesday for its first stop. So we should be slightly familiar with getting around, and could maybe start from a mall on that Tuesday. Any thoughts?
  6. Anne, Simon, you are both so helpful. After hubby and I giggled about the US$ 1900 a night for one of the premier hotels, I'm looking at the Le Royal Meridien and found some postings about the Southern Sun....I'll put Holiday Inn in that mix, too.....it seems a few blocks away from the Corniche but still a good location...It seems Abu Dhabi is not so spread out, perhaps, will still need transportation but maybe not so far, do you think this is true? .
  7. Anne, a new question, just in case you have some insight....about Abu Dhabi......now I'm looking for a hotel there, probably in the downtown area. Do you have any experience there? I did book the Dubai Millennium Plaza that you suggested, and even discovered they have a laundry facility on premises. That will be nice so we can wash our clothes after two weeks in India on land.!
  8. Anne, don't worry about the unique hotel thought.....I think we will go with the Millennium Plaza suggestion...it certainly looks central, nice enough without being overly pricey....I think we will likely use metro to get to the hotel when we arrive, and then will need to figure out transportation on a Monday morning to Abu Dhabi cruise port. Any suggestions for that?
  9. Oh, disappointing! So, just to be clear, we were intrigued by the part about staying in an authentic house/B&B, interacting a bit with local innkeeper sort of idea, as opposed to a modern hotel....We do want to be efficient with our few days, however....Is the transportation an issue? It seems the area is near the green line metro. I looked for B&B or guesthouse in the Bastakiya area and got off on a VRBO/Airbnb tangent with modern apartments for rent. Do you know of any other suggestions, or should I go back to a traditional hotel? We will check in on a Friday, out on Monday, so time is limited. Thank you for being open with your thoughts. I appreciate your local input.
  10. Thanks to both Anne and ssdd….I nearly booked the Millennium Plaza as it looked fine....then I happened on a link to some guest houses....so I'm back! There are three different guest houses, all three apparently in the Historic District..one is close to Metro Ghubaiba, one near La Ras Metro, one close to the Abra Dock. We love the idea of old, authentic, historic...any thoughts before I move towards one of these?
  11. Anne, I've read this thread, picking up various bits of information. We will be in Dubai in March and I'm hoping to butt in with some new questions.... We will arrive on a Friday following a land tour of India, and will have Saturday and Sunday for a quick tour of Dubai. Then on Monday we board the ship in Abu Dhabi, and our first port on Tuesday/Wednesday is....Dubai!! I was thinking we would keep the Dubai sight seeing all in a close time frame. So, a couple of questions, if I may. I noted your approval of the Millennium Plaza Hotel on SZR, mentioned by the OP. What would be a good transport airport to hotel if we booked there? Could we take metro? We will have 22" luggage. Another hotel option would be the Novatel Al Barsha, also on SZR, supposedly a five minute walk to Sharaf DG metro. Can you comment between the two? Thanks in advance!
  12. Thanks to you both for the comments. I did find some options on HAL finally...and we booked. Maybe I’ll be the one to start the roll call!
  13. We are looking at a cruise tour package that includes a 3 night and a 7 night cruise, and a land package in between. Its Alaska based, on Holland America, on the Volendam and the Noordam. Only one TA has it, I can't find the individual cruises listed, I am wondering if anyone has ever done one of these? Maybe the agency books the entire ship? They apparently do a lot of business for American Express also. The price is good, not overwhelmingly great, but there are some nice perks and the itinerary is good. We would appreciate any input.
  14. Thanks to you both, I will keep watching....I really think prices will drop more, I am just excited about the thought of a bigger cabin. And yes, apologizes to Bruin Steve the OP, it was his interesting thread that got me thinking I would get some good insight. We've never done a bid as we always book via TA, but we have changed cabins before without a cancel and rebook scenario. Maybe it is something to do with not being at final dates yet.
  15. We would give up $450 in OBC, but gaining beverage package which isn't of much value, we have status for evening drinks. But we would keep $300 in OBC, which is enough for a couple of specialty dinners. I think we would love the bigger cabin, back balcony, etc. ….even though we have several ports, its always nice to have more room!
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