Jump to content
little britain

Live from Splendour of the Seas - Dubai

Recommended Posts

As the cruise is drawing to a close I thought I would put down some thoughts and observations for those taking this cruise in the following weeks; as there does not seem to be much information or feedback on this itinerary.

 

Firstly if you are on the RCI package with flights that arrive early in the morning, you are taken from the airport to Le Meridian hotel ( which is practically opposite the airport) to have breakfast and to complete checkin formalities. You luggage is taken straight to the ship so remember to pack your swimming stuff etc into your hand luggage. There is a full breakfast laid on, with pastries, fruit and even an omelette chef, so don't bother with the plane breakfast! We were at the hotel by 9am and on the ship by 11:20. Hotel also has free wifi.

 

The drinks prices on board include the tip. Some sample prices:

Diet Coke $3

Corona beer $6.50

Pint /20oz draft beer $7.50

Cocktail of the day and keep the glass $10

Baileys $9

Sauvignon blanc $9

Strawberry margarita $12

 

They offer a 3-meal deal (Chefs table, Chops and Izumi) for $120pp. However as I never saw any restaurant full I suspect you could have haggled a discounted price.

 

Dining room was open for lunch Brasserie 30 most days including port days.

They also had a poolside bbq on the sea day and a big pasta lunch on the Khasab day which was not advertised!!

 

The ship does not carry Omani currency.

Tip: I recommend loading xe.com onto your phone so you can quickly convert between the various currencies accepted in the souk. In Muscat they even were taking Euros.

 

Formal nights are Khasab and Abu Dhabi ( and not the sea day which is unusual ). Very high standard of dress with at least 65% of men in tuxedo!

 

Not able to see your balance on the cabin tv. Many trips to guest relations needed to ensure that my bill was kept in $$$ and not converted to £££ which was annoying.

 

First ship I have been on where the lift does not show the day of the week in the floor!

 

The ship is in excellent condition, the crew are very good, and food is to a good standard. They seem to be very relaxed, almost laid back. No hard sells of drinks packages and only a few announcements. It has a great atmosphere.

They offered the 10 drinks card for $70 on a few days.

 

We have not seen the Captain.

 

 

Khasab: not a lot here to be honest. A free shuttle bus takes you from the port to the fort and then on to the town. Totally underdeveloped and a taste of the real Oman. The little fort though is charming. $1.50pp entrance fee and they accept $$. For this you get a guide book, a map and a souvenir dvd!!!!.

 

Muscat: there was a horrid smell of gas from the refineries but this soon cleared. You have to take a little shuttle to the terminal, where you put your things through the X-ray and then you get back on the little bus that takes you to the port gates. Walking is not allowed inside the port.

It is a simple 10 minute stroll along the from to the souk. From the gate walk to your left, up to,the roundabout and then go loft along the sea front.

As we had been here before we wanted to see more of the interior so we had booked a private tour with Marktoursoman ..... And we had the same guide as 6 years ago. A long 8 hr day but great to see the forts and the spectacular mountain ranges.

That night we went out to dinner in Muscat, a little restaurant very close, It was just as the corniche started, big palm trees with lights, great food and free wifi!

Tip: do not buy a fridge magnet shaped like the dagger as they think you are bringing weapons onboard!

 

That night was White nights party which was a bit lame IMHO.

The top tier event was held in the aft decks as we sailed away from Muscat which was a stunning location. No speeches or any visible senior crew members there.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad mini 4 using Tapatalk

Edited by little britain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update, just finished organising our paperwork as we are " taking over from you" on Monday

 

All useful information

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Thanks for the review.

 

My wife and I are considering doing the same cruise sometime in the future but as I take that many tablets I rattle, I have tried to research if I would have a problem with some or any of them. Does anyone who reads this have any idea where I can find anything out.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just working in the next bit.....I know with importing tablets they are very strict.....anything with codeine is not allowed.

 

 

Next up: Abu Dhabi .....

 

So, the last time we were here the cab driver ripped us off! Although cabs are metered, with a modern digital display screen showing their photo and licence number; he had a little pop up box carefully placed over the area where the fare shows. So this time we were determined not to get caught out. Low and behold, we got into a cab at the terminal and the same thing....he wanted 150AED to take us to the Mosque. A fare that should be around 50AED. He refused to use the meter so we insisted he stopped and we got out. Hailed another cab which took us to the Mosque for 40AED! Don't be caught out.

 

The Mosque is amazing. There are FREE guided tours at 10, 11, 2, 5 and 7 on a Saturday. Tours last around an hour and you are given an audio headset. Ladies need to cover their heads, and wear long trousers and long sleeves, otherwise they will lend you an abaya. Men should wear trousers and long sleeves. Security are pretty hot in spotting those who do not conform. No touching, or putting your arms around each other whilst posing for photos either.

From there we took a cab to the Souk Qayrat Al Beri which has a nice outlook across the water over to the Mosque. A modern pretty little souk, we had a great Lebanese lunch washed down with a Lebanese beer. Taxi back to the port cost 45AED.

Free wifi in the port terminal and a few shops. No idea of prices but one lady was buying an iPhone there!

The ship was running free shuttles to the World Trade Centre mall, but these only seemed to go every hour.

 

Passports were taken from you on checkin at the hotel and returned to you the evening of Abu Dhabi , make sure you take a copy of the ID page beforehand. We had also been advised that you needed ID for the mosque but we were never asked. We took our driving licences just in case.

 

There were many more children on board than I expected.

There were also many nationalities, from Estonia to Brazil.

 

There is a steam room in the ladies locker room in the spa area. I assume that the gents have one too.

 

For those on deck 8 portside and aft don't forget the Secret Staircase that goes from opposite 8070 up to the Spa and the Solarium, and Park cafe. Very useful for that morning cuppa or for a sneaky drink whilst you change for dinner.

The Park Cafe served an expanded breakfast selection, including bacon and eggs: then lunch, scones and cream tea, and cookies and wraps. No need to eat anywhere else!

 

We never went to the theatre shows, and we only ate in the dining room twice.

 

To be honest, we were not expecting much from this ship: our recent travels have been on the big ships, but Splendour far exceeded our expectations. There was something we couldn't put our finger on, a nice ambiance, a relaxed atmosphere.....perhaps because she is being sold in a few months the crew are in wind down mode, but we loved this little cruise. If you are in a position to snap up one of her future sailings at the bargain prices they are currently at; I'd say jump at the opportunity.

Edited by little britain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so glad you're enjoying yourselves! I think we may keep our eyes peeled for this itinerary next year. Your report has piqued our interest. I'm glad the atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing on board. Given the circumstances of the ship leaving the fleet soon, the crew could have had an indifferent or apathetic attitude. Kudos to the crew!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With regards to Khasab, I thoroughly recommend that you take a dhow trip. You will get a trip on an authentic dhow and the highlight of the trip will be close up sightings of Dolphins, which frequent the fjord like inlets. The scenery is beautiful.

 

I concur regarding the taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi, having lived there, we were well aware of the scam. If they try it on, refuse to pay the higher rate and take their number and walk off. Just pay what is reasonable, the earlier poster has given excellent advice about fares.

 

If visiting the Grand Mosque on a Friday, access will be restricted as is is the Holy Day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review! The cruise from Dubai has piqued my interest. I'd love to see more pictures. How is the weather this time of the year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

e2052dbb7e6239ab258079012afdbe35.jpg

 

Unmistakable Dubai skyline

 

In Muscat it was hot, around 85, and they said it was unseasonably warm, khasab was high 70s, the sea day was very windy with choppy seas, Abu Dhabi was chilly, mid 60s and today in Dubai it is around 75

 

 

Sent from my iPhone 6s using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. I will be on the last cruise to Venice so nice to read about the condition of the ship and the crew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

...They offered the 10 drinks card for $70 on a few days.

 

 

That's good to know.

I have read about the drinks cards on other ships. Splendour did not have these last October on the Greek isles itinerary.

With the price of cocktails $12+, $7 is a more reasonable price.

 

Were the cards prominently on sale?

 

Regarding the formal nights, thanks for the info. Abu Dhabi evening was 'Smart casual 50s and 60s' according to the cruise compass of an earlier cruise.

 

I was expecting more at the White Party with more of an Arabian theme.

Edited by icsys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With regards to Khasab, I thoroughly recommend that you take a dhow trip. You will get a trip on an authentic dhow and the highlight of the trip will be close up sightings of Dolphins, which frequent the fjord like inlets. The scenery is beautiful.

 

I concur regarding the taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi, having lived there, we were well aware of the scam. If they try it on, refuse to pay the higher rate and take their number and walk off. Just pay what is reasonable, the earlier poster has given excellent advice about fares.

 

If visiting the Grand Mosque on a Friday, access will be restricted as is is the Holy Day.

 

I've booked a Dhow cruise for Khasab during our visit. Did you swim off the back the Dhow and if so, were you allowed to wear ordinary swimming costumes or did you have to be more covered up? I'd be grateful for any information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've booked a Dhow cruise for Khasab during our visit. Did you swim off the back the Dhow and if so, were you allowed to wear ordinary swimming costumes or did you have to be more covered up? I'd be grateful for any information.

 

Hi there,

 

Yes you will be able to swim off the back of the dhow. They should have snorkelling equipment onboard as well. A normal swim costume will be fine. If I remember correctly, the sea bed was a little sharp, so if you have any swim shoes, they might be useful. We loved the trip we did and saw lots of Dolphins close up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We disembarked from deck 1. Our flight was at 10;05 but Rci had put us in a transfer at 6! We took a cab at 7:20 and we were at the airport by 7;45 so still in plenty of time. Cab cost 55AED ( there is a 20AED surcharge to leave the port).

 

Dubai at sunrise Monday February 1, 2016

ea88bdfbbb2bca0689db46719bda361a.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone 6s using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your interesting review. I'm on Splendour next month and so feel very reassured that she is in good shape and that the crew are doing a good job. I sailed on Splendour around the Greek Islands a few years ago and had a wonderful time, love the smaller ships.This will be my 3rd Royal Caribbean cruise ex Dubai, love the Middle East and at this time of year it is a perfect cruise destination with blue skies and flat seas. Just hoping they open up a balcony guarantee category for single occupancy so that I can upgrade from an ocean view stateroom. The current cost for a single occupancy balcony cabin is £2090 which is outrageous considering all the wonderful offers that have been available for these cruises. Perhaps the Diamond + upgrade fairy will visit or at least call me with an upsell offer.

Thanks for the information about the dhow cruise in Khasab, sounds wonderful - must go and book it now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the Review. We will do the Cruise in Two weeks. May you probably have the cruise Compass for the last two days in Dubai?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the terrific review. It's a part of the world I have yet to have the opportunity to explore. We were on Splendour for a Greek Isle/Turkey cruise in 2012 and found the ship and crew delightful back then too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this. We sail 15th Feb, so all info appreciated. Glad the food was good as I felt it was below par when I was on Splendour in November.

 

Our flight is not until mid afternoon, so hope they don't send us to the airport too early.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Imagine you were in the D+ Lounge, but do you know who the concierge is in the D lounge? Was it busy? In November they opened the back door and used a section of the large lounge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Imagine you were in the D+ Lounge, but do you know who the concierge is in the D lounge? Was it busy? In November they opened the back door and used a section of the large lounge.

The concierge in the DL was Eliana Garcia. Attentive service from Francis who made sure we never went without an empty glass (hic). Yes it was pretty crowded and they opened up the doors into a corner of the Top Hat Lounge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Little Britain

 

Thanks for the review, we were on the same cruise as you 6 yrs ago, our first Dubai cruise, and shared the Marks Tour in Muscat with you! He was a very good guide :) We will be on the Splendour at the beginning of April for her final cruise up to Venice so its good to hear that she is still in good condition.

 

Happy Cruising :)

 

Pam & Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Little Britain

 

Thanks for the review, we were on the same cruise as you 6 yrs ago, our first Dubai cruise, and shared the Marks Tour in Muscat with you! He was a very good guide :) We will be on the Splendour at the beginning of April for her final cruise up to Venice so its good to hear that she is still in good condition.

 

Happy Cruising :)

 

Pam & Chris

How nice to hear from you again! Yes that city tour we did with Don was great so imagine my surprise when he was standing at the bottom of the steps waiting for us again! Hope you are both well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Little Britain!

 

Thanks for your great review. It is very helpfull. We will be on Splendour in March and it will be our first time in the Arabian Gulf. 40 days to go - can't wait :)

Edited by krümel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

 

Thanks for the review.

 

My wife and I are considering doing the same cruise sometime in the future but as I take that many tablets I rattle, I have tried to research if I would have a problem with some or any of them. Does anyone who reads this have any idea where I can find anything out.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

Hi Pete,

 

This link will give you more information about restricted medications. Always take the prescription with you, whatever the medication is.

 

http://www.uaeinteract.com/travel/drug.asp

 

Hope this helps,

Cheers

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are currently on the cruise that started on February 1st, totally agree with comments made by Little Britain, the ship us in good shape, the crew are fantastic and we are very pleased with the food in the windjammer. We are Diamond, through our Celebrity status, and believe the food is better than on our most recent Celebrity cruise.

 

The weather so far has been warm to hot and very sunny.

 

We are using our 24 hour internet today and Friday so if you have any questions ai will do my best to answer.

 

Finally, if you are thinking about Ho Ho buses, the Muscat one is vey expensive, 24 Rhial per adult but you can get combined tickets for Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai if you are interested.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Pete,

 

This link will give you more information about restricted medications. Always take the prescription with you, whatever the medication is.

 

http://www.uaeinteract.com/travel/drug.asp

 

Hope this helps,

Cheers

Steve

 

Hi Steve,

 

That was so helpfull, I have been looking for that for ages. It seems as though I will have to have a trip to the doctors to discuss some different tablets that I take.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi thinking of doing the tour from the ship in Abu Dhabi but there are 2 of them ... City tour with grand mosque and a panoramic tour ?? Does anyone know what's good?? Thanks

Was going to do the yellow boats, but not so sure now ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×