Jump to content

First time cruise to Middle East


Recommended Posts

My family and I are cruising in March 2020 and would welcome any tips or advice about visiting the following ports independently as we do not want to book the ships tours. 

We are visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi , Sir Bani Yas Island, Muscat and Khasab. We have 4 year olds with us so child centred ideas also welcome . Thanks ....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Hillswood, just FYI, in Sir Bani Yas, you'll tender to a private beach dedicated to cruise ships. (If you're on Royal Caribbean, it's like Labadee and CocoCay). There are no independent excursion operators, and as long as your family likes beach days, you'll love it. There's a lot of detail in other threads, but the most important thing I'd suggest is water shoes or at least flip flops, as the beach is a mix of sand, little rocks and shells. Kinda rough on tender feet!

 

Khasab is a very small place, and THE thing to do there is take a small boat cruise out into the fjords to see dolphins. You can also snorkel, but the water will be pretty chilly. You may find it most convenient to take the cruise line's excursion here, but you can certainly review all of your options under "Things to Do" in Khasab on TripAdvisor. Note that it takes 30-45 minutes for the boat to transit from the port dock to the fjord, and if the water is rough, as it was the day I went, that can be a fairly challenging ride for anyone prone to motion sickness. Some folks lost their breakfast. So considering your little ones, you might want to investigate the larger boat options. 

 

I'll let others tell you about kid-friendly things to do in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat. 

 

Enjoy your trip!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry about the child being bored. 

Arabs are super child friendly, and if your kids are blond and blue eyed, they will be the Center of attention.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi especially have loads if indoor amusement parks inside the mega malls and Muscat has lovely beaches with shallow and warm waters.

Get them dressed up as sheik/sheika at a market and they'll have a ball

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

Hi,  I lived and worked in the Middle East for three years and traveled all around.  Oman was my favorite place, especially Muscat!  Yes, the locals are super friendly child friendly, as another entry mentioned.  Muscat is a beautiful place and there are some lovely beach resorts that you might want to look into for a day pass, if that is something you are interested in.  I have walked the local beaches with family friends before.  You might want to look into a boat ride along the coast?  Also, the souk (old market) is great fun and is one of the oldest in that part of the world--lots to see!  I have not traveled with kids but I am sure others will be able to provide more suggestions.  I knew other families with children who lived there and they loved the city and the country!  Have fun!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/15/2020 at 12:22 PM, hillswood said:

My family and I are cruising in March 2020 and would welcome any tips or advice about visiting the following ports independently as we do not want to book the ships tours. 

We are visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi , Sir Bani Yas Island, Muscat and Khasab. We have 4 year olds with us so child centred ideas also welcome . Thanks ....

I lived in Saudi Arabia for five years working for the Army Corps of Engineers.  Also, I have traveled to the ME a few times since then.  The gulf states like UAE and nearby Oman are good places for tourists.  Oman is probably my favorite of the area.  Of course, Egypt and Israel are even better.

 

Just remember that even though Oman and the UAE have more liberal policies than countries like Saudi Arabia, it is wise for women to dress conservatively, with no short skirts, tight paints or exposed upper torso skin.   In any event, due to the damage the sun can do to your skin, it pays to cover your body.   This is true for men as well.  A wide brimmed hat is nice.

 

Also, for children, make sure that you keep your children close to you and in sight at all times.  I would rather not have to explain why.

 

Further, no public displays of affection like kissing, etc.

 

The amazing mosque in Abu Dhabi is worth a visit.  Also, we did a wonderful tour of all the Emirates from Dubai.  I think they offer a similar tour now, but perhaps not including Abu Dhabi, since our tour was 18 hours long.

 

For Oman, we did a great tour that went out to see a desert  fort and other historical sites.

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • Cruise Critic's State of the Industry Report - Trends & Future Outlook
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...