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Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

East Sussex, United...
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Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

We will be spending our ususal 3 months in India this winter and en-route back to the UK have booked our first cruise leaving Dubai on 1st March calling at Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Fujairah and back to Dubai. For 20 years I've been flying out to India via different Middle East countries, and all I've ever seen is Bahrain airport, Dubai airport, Abu Dhabi airport and Doha airport. I've never been interested in spending a holiday in any of those countries but would be interested just to see them so the cruise opportunity came at just the right time. My question to anyone familiar with these destinations is; to get the best out of each port of call, should we book the shore trips that the cruise line offer or would it be easy, and probably cheaper, to find a local taxi to take us around for the day which of course I would have no hesitation in doing in India which I am so familiar with? Thanks in advance for any advice which would be greatly appreciated.

Here and there
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1. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

The cruise line will tell you that you will only get the best from each port of call if you use their organised tours and they will also play on the insecurity of their passenegers when it comes to visiting unfamiliar destinations - this works especially well with any cruise that has a predominance of American passengers. I've been on several cruises and seen this work like a dream in many destinations.

They will also play on the 'you might not get back to the ship on time and we'll sail without you' card - if you do your own thing this is a matter of being sensible and making sure you get back to the ship on time. My only experience of being late back was being on an organised tour once when the ship we were on called at Naples, we took a tour purely because of the things we wanted to see and guess what, it was late back - the ship waited for the organised tour.

If you are well travelled and used to travelling in destinations where most folk would think twice about 'doing their own thing' then doing your own thing via taxis in the UAE and any of the other destinations you mention called at by the cruise, will pose no problem for you.

The taxis are officially run, metered, safe and cheap. They will be lined up outside the port and will offer tours like you describe of all the points of interest. A 6 hour taxi tour in Dubai for example will cost about 300 dirham - £51 on today's exchange rate - if there is only 2 of you then perhaps another couple will share making it even more reasonable.

My recommendation would be to take local taxis, unless there is a particular thing which takes your fancy and it can only be done on an orgainsed tour

East Sussex, United...
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2. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

Thanks so much Latimer for your reply. The cruise will be predominately Americans and the cruise line's organised day trips are around £60-£70 per person. There are four of us so we can save a fortune. Appreciate your comprehensive response.

Staffordshire...
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3. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

Yes I'd back up what Latimer has said. We too are cruising the Emirates this year and will be planning on using taxis. Having done 9 previous cruises I can confirm that the cruise line will want you to book their own tours which are normally expensive. On one occasion (in Istanbul) we did our own thing, taxi from ship to the centre and then walked back to the ship (arggggh can remember the heat even now and the aching feet, lol) and while we were in the centre of Istanbul we met up with people who were on organised tours. Also had the same thing happen in Stockholm. They paid a small fortune, we didn't and we each saw the same thing. Just don't be late getting back to the ship and use common sense.

Dubai, United Arab...
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4. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

Hi

There is a halfway house which is to take half day city tour from one of the many tour companies (ie.Arabian Adventures) They run small mini-buses around a well planned route.

They are around $40 pp. The benefit is that you will get to see a lot in a short space and mix with a small group of others. The only rip off is they take you to an Islamic Culture centre (a posh shop) There's no pressure to buy but if you know India you know the score.

The taxi option is also excellent. Just giving the option.

Best of luck.

Mark

Yorkshire, England
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5. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

I can quite feel for you there as we also did a ship's tour in the Panama Canal which was really really delayed getting through the locks due to our small boats following an oil tanker through. We were at the Pacific end of the canal when our ship was due to be sailing out at the Caribbean end. Fortunately P&O had a fleet of buses, 13 of them,waiting with a Police escort to get us back in safety (as by now it was getting dark). They stopped all the traffic for us at road junctions and the sped us along in convoy to get to the ship. To our horror our bus broke down half way back and then to our amazement a spare bus came along side, took us all off the broken down bus and off we went all in about 10 minutes. The captain was having a blue fit on the ship (my daughter was the tours escort on the ship at the time and was getting phone calls from the staff Captain that the ship would be heavily fined if they left the port late. We made it back but were 2 hours late so dinner was delayed which gave the kitchen staff a nightmare time. The moral of this tale is that if we had done this trip on our own we would have been left stranded and the ship would have sailed without us but as there were 13 buses full of passengers they had to wait for us.

My husband is now terrified when I suggest doing things on our own and insists we are back way before the time stipulated for return.

I do love cruising and we do like to do our own thing if possible but if you are venturing a long way from the town then its a bit of a nervous day until you get back on board ok.

Really looking forward to this trip now its coming closer.

Yorkshire, England
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6. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

I can quite feel for you there as we also did a ship's tour in the Panama Canal which was really really delayed getting through the locks due to our small boats following an oil tanker through. We were at the Pacific end of the canal when our ship was due to be sailing out at the Caribbean end. Fortunately P&O had a fleet of buses, 13 of them,waiting with a Police escort to get us back in safety (as by now it was getting dark). They stopped all the traffic for us at road junctions and the sped us along in convoy to get to the ship. To our horror our bus broke down half way back and then to our amazement a spare bus came along side, took us all off the broken down bus and off we went all in about 10 minutes. The captain was having a blue fit on the ship (my daughter was the tours escort on the ship at the time and was getting phone calls from the staff Captain that the ship would be heavily fined if they left the port late. We made it back but were 2 hours late so dinner was delayed which gave the kitchen staff a nightmare time. The moral of this tale is that if we had done this trip on our own we would have been left stranded and the ship would have sailed without us but as there were 13 buses full of passengers they had to wait for us.

My husband is now terrified when I suggest doing things on our own and insists we are back way before the time stipulated for return.

I do love cruising and we do like to do our own thing if possible but if you are venturing a long way from the town then its a bit of a nervous day until you get back on board ok.

Really looking forward to this trip now its coming closer.

bjb

Yorkshire, England
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7. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

ooops! the blooming computer went on a go-slow which makes my mouse finger go all twitchy so I see my message was sent twice. Sorry about that.

bjb

8. Re: Emirates via a cruise - independent or organised day trips??

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