Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

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Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 24 Mar 2019, 12:49

We are just back from our latest adventure on Oceana around the United Arab Emirates.

Precruise
We found out that many of Julie's medications are banned in the UAE unless you fill in a personal import form. Just be aware of this. We completed the form, which required specific numbers of tablets, but one thing that gave us a headache was that they wanted a copy of the prescription. Since Julie's medication is automatically renewed and picked up by the chemist we do not get prescriptions - so we had to get the chemist to hold the prescription so that we could scan it in and complete the application. Once done a form was issued with the appropriate documentation. In the end this was not actually asked for.

Transfer Flights
The holiday started in a bit of a panic since we were having to fly into Gatwick on the day of very strong winds. There was 4.5 hours between our transfer flights and the flight out of Gatwick which I thought was plenty. However on arriving at the airport we found our transfer flight had been delayed by an hour - no problem, I thought, we still have plenty of time. The delay turned into 1.5 hours before they started boarding us, I was still calm. Then after a further 15 minutes the captain came out of the cockpit to announce that Gatwick was backed up and, at that point of time, his current departure time would be delayed by a further 2 hours - that is when the laxatives kicked in, there was no way that we could possibly catch the flight to Dubai - so the mind starts going into overtime about what to do. Fortunately the captain managed to negotiate a slot after about 20 minutes. We arrived in Gatwick about 2 hours late but 2.5 hours was still plenty of time to transfer. Pheww!

On the way back I wasn't sure if we would make the last flight out of Gatwick so we booked the Hampton by Hilton and caught the first flight out the following morning. In the end we could have actually made the last flight, but we had a nice meal and a bit of rest before heading home the next day.

The Main flight
We flew with Emirates, our first encounter with them. I rate them as the best airline I have ever flown with. Both flights were on the fantastic Airbus A380. On booking seats I thought 'oh no' it is a 3-4-3 configuration (I hate those), but booked a middle and window seat. In the end there was actually plenty of leg room and elbow room. The IFE screen was also one of the biggest I have come across with lots of films and other options (including camera that give the view from the cockpit and below the plane - was cool when taking off and landing). On the way back we paid £60 each extra to get a window and aisle seat on the upper deck which had a 2-4-2 configuration - the window seat even had a small luggage compartment/shelf between it and the window - very useful. Food and service were both excellent. Even the toilets were a good size (I am pretty sure that I could have squeezed a double bed into one of the toilets - had I been inclined to join the mile high club).

Arrival
After an overnight flight we collected our baggage, went through immigration, took the bags to the bus and were onboard the ship before 11am. The bags were taken directly from the bus to the cabin by early afternoon. Our cabin was ready by about noon so after a drink, or two, we went down to get changed. The cabin had been nicely prepared by our cabin steward - Sudesh (he did a good job maintaining it throughout the cruise). It was then a quick change and out on decks.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 24 Mar 2019, 12:50

Oceana
Our ship was Oceana, it has been about 8 years since we have been on her. Overall she was in great condition but did show some signs of wear-and-tear in a few places (what can you expect for a ship of that age). We were in an inside cabin on B deck. it is an adequate size with reasonable storage in the form of a wardrobe, a couple of cupboards, and about 12 drawers. it also included a safe, fridge and some useful cage shelves in the wardrobe - good for final drying of clothes. Apart from that it was the good old Oceana that we loved last time we were on board.

Each ship has its own character but we have always found Oceana to be friendly with happy staff offering an excellent service (more so than some of the newer larger ships).

The Captain was Robert Camby (Bob to his friends, so I called him Captain Camby. We never met or saw him but enjoyed his announcements and he was meticulous in explaining reasons for some decisions taken by the bridge crew (e.g. docking outside of Kahsab harbor due to winds). He didn't crash the ship or ever have to make it do an emergency stop, so that was good for us.

The cruise director was Leon de sainte Croix, another first for us, thought he was quite good and comical. He also did a couple of astronomy talks - which we attended (although Julie fell asleep in both). The chap on the Art desk was Dave who was very informative and great to talk to - but we did not actually buy anything this time.

Entertainment
Generally speaking we were probably at the younger end of the age group of passengers on board - and we are in our 50's (apart from Julie who is 22 - I was forced to add this). Much of the entertainment was geared to that age group. Maurice Grumbleweed did a couple of shows - corny and non-PC so right up my street. There was also a brace of magicians who did a good set and the usual Headliner shows - we only went to see one (a 50's music show) which was very good - first time we had seen it. The usual quizzes took place in the Yacht and Compass and, for the rugby fans, the matches were broadcast in Winners.

There was an incarnation of 'Pulse' on board. I was a great fan of Pulse on the Britannia. On Oceana though I am not quite sure what it was, they were all obviously talented musicians and the singer was good but I just didn't get the same vibe or buzz that I got from the Britannia line up.

Each day they also showed a movie in the Footlights or Starlights venue.

Food
We were on freedom dining in the Ligurian. We both thought the food was very good with a decent variety every night - for the first time ever, Julie did not have to resort to the 'safe' steak or chicken options. The service in the Ligurian was excellent, as good as on any ship we have been on.

For breakfast we usually used Cafe Jardin which rotated a couple of menus around. It had a limited choice but helped to save my waistline from the belly busters I partook in when we breakfasted in the buffet. We also used the main dining room on a couple of occasions for the P&O breakfast (still not as good as an ulster fry but very enjoyable).

For lunch we used either the buffet or Cafe Jardin. Food in the buffet was generally warm and there was always something to enjoy. Cafe Jardin again had a couple of limited menus offering some very nice choices.

We chose not to participate in the formal nights which meant we did not have access to the Adriatic or Ligurian dining rooms or the Magnums bar. Apart from that we had full access to all other areas of the ship. These were the nights we generally chose to dine in the Beach House and we thoroughly enjoyed the excellent service and our meals there (especially the lava rock fillet steak and apple/pecan pie dessert).

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 24 Mar 2019, 12:52

Port - Dubai
On our first day we just lounged around the ship. On the second day in Dubai we did the tour that took us to the marina to see some of the sky srapers (e.g. Cayan Tower) and then onto Palm Jumeirah for the monorail ride out to the atlantis hotel. The tour then took us to a Souk from where we could also see the Burj Al Arab and then the scenic route back to the ship. The tour cost was £29pp and I thought it was good value. The guide was very good.

A free bus was available to take you to the Dubai Mall (about 30 minutes away).

Port - Bahrain
Sorry, can't tell you much. We did not go ashore today we decided to just take it easy on the ship. There was a free bus to the local Souk.

Port - Abu Dhabi
We had booked the trip to the new Warner Bothers attraction which is right besdie Ferrari World and the Waterpark (and they are building more attractions in the area). Sadly the ship tour got cancelled. We went down to the shore excursion desk to check if we could visit Warner Brothers ourselves. The chap behind the desk was very helpful and gave us good solid advice. We got a taxi which was about £20 each way and then paid about £65 each for a day pass - the ship tour was about £75 which shows what good value it would have been.

The Warner Brothers theme park is totally indoors with a simulated sky - which was still night time when we arrived (at about 10:15am) but brightened up to day time at about 11am when the main areas opened. it is made up of a central park area with 4 main areas off it (metropolis, Gotham City, Cartoon land and Bedrock. I think it is geared towards children but we were there from 10:00 to about 16:00 and got to go on all the rides - however I would say that there were only a few hyndred people there on the day, iany other day it could be much fuller with long queues for the rides - we never waited more than 10 minutes.

There were lots of restaurants but after all the rich food on board we opted for a simple burger at Bronto Burgers in the Bedrock attraction area. The birger came in anything from 6oz to 24oz (I think). A couple of burgers including chips and coke (free top ups) cost £25. I didn't think this was bad because it was honestly the best burger I have ever had - maybe we were just hungry or maybe it was the mixture of sauces but boy was it good.

On the second day in Abu Dhabi we woke up to a down pour of rain. This lasted most of the morning but did clear to cloudy skies in the afternoon. We opted to watch the movie that day (and I am damned if I can remember what it was). I think this was also the first astronomy lecture from Leon.

At Sea
This was also Julie's birthday. We had breakfast in the main dining room, lunch in Cafe Jardin and dinner in the Beach House. Several passengers that we had chatted to bought her a drink in the Yacht and Compass. A lovely touch was that, for the first time, P&O sent her a card and some sweets. Another passenger sent a basket of fruit of choclates toour cabin - again wasn't that nice. We lay up on deck for much of the day - it was a lovely day.


Port - Muscat
We chose the resort day tour at this venue. The bus took us to the International Hotel (I think). After a welcome drink there were plenty of padded loungers and umbrellas for everyone around a lovely pool. You could also go throguh a gate to a large beach. The tour cost £40pp and obviously there have been some misunderstandings in the past with people thinking it included food - but there was no food supplied. For £40 I think a few light snacks could have beedn included. Very nice day out

Port - Kahsab
Due to the threat of strong winds the captain decided to berth the ship outside of the harbour and use tenders to take passengers ashore. The captin gave a very detailedreasoning for this decision based on the narrowness of the harbour entry and weather forecasts. We did not actually go ashore but spent the day subathing and reading on the upper decks.

Port - Sir Bani Yas
This is an island that has mostly been turned over as a nature reserve. The ship anchors off the island and then tenders passnegers to what is basically a sand spit to the south east of the island. The ship brought various snacks over and set up several bars along the spit. There is a central bricked walkway (also used by golf buggies to transport bar and food to the various bars) and there are plenty of loungers and umbrellas for everyone. There are also some cabanas that could be purchased for the day (I think they were about £60 per cabana through the cruise ship).

There were various tours here that would take you to the main island and through the park.

We lay on the beach for a while, grabbed a snack, and had a few drinks - there was a full waiter service for the passengers - before taking the last tender back to the ship.

Port - Dubai
On our last full day we took the free bus to the Mall - it is huge. We walked the whole way through to the fountains at the foot of the Burj Khalifa - boy is it a tall building. We were going to go up it but saw the queue and decided against it - we will be back.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 24 Mar 2019, 12:55

Conclusion
Overall it was a great holiday and a great new destination for P&O to operate in giving a real choice between the Caribbean or Arabian Gulf. Oceana and its crew were brilliant as ever and a real credit to the company. With the launch of the 2021 cruise schedule we were torn on whether to go to the Caribbean again (we are already booked for 2020) or maybe try the Arabian Gulf again. We attended one of the excursions talks and realised there was so much more we wanted to see in the UAE so we took the opportunity to pre-register for the Arabian Gulf in 2021 - we are both really looking forward to it.

The Sad bits
This holiday was always going to be a bitter sweet. We have been holidaying with our best friends for many years but last year my mate took ill and missed out on our Baltic cruise. Everything looked good however for this cruise up until 2 weeks before we were due to leave and he got more bad news meaning they had to cancel. P&O were very good though and they managed to give the cruise away with just an admin charge to transfer the names. We really missed them on the cruise.

We also found out on return that one of our dogs, Tess, had taken very seriously ill (severe pancreatitis). The girl that looks after them for us was brilliant and took her to the vet on a daily basis so that she could be kept on a drip. On return the vet told us that at first she did not think Tess was going to make it, being almost 17 years old, but she is a real fighter and is no back on her feet, although she still will not eat (so not out of the woods yet ... and I still have no idea of the bill :EEK:).
Last edited by Kendhni on 24 Mar 2019, 12:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kenmo1 » 24 Mar 2019, 13:59

Thanks for the review, Ken and very sorry to hear about the sad bits but pleased that you had a good time. I know people say it shouldn't matter who the entertainments manager is but I do find it makes a difference to our enjoyment and we really like having Leon as the director. Mind you, I'm still waiting to come across this Captain Robert Camby having sat with a group of women on a cruise recently who were positively swooning about him.

Maureen


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Silkworm » 24 Mar 2019, 16:23

Thank you so much for this report, really interested reading it as we are doing this cruise
in November.

I was a bit concerned as to the overnight flight, how was it? Also, with the flights being
scheduled how and when were you able to book seats? When I booked the cruise P and O
told me there were no premium seats, which seats were the upstairs ones?

Have never cruised on Oceana before but sailed many times with Capt Cambey and hope he is
still in charge in November!

Once again, thanks for the report and sorry I have so many questions.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Gill W » 24 Mar 2019, 16:26

Thanks for your report, Ken.

It sounds like a good cruise, but sorry to hear about the sad bits.

In theory I'd be up for this cruise, as I like to visit ports that are new to me, and I like Oceana. However, I'm really not keen on flying these days. It's not the flying that bothers me, but all the hassle that goes with it.

If they did a cruise that went to the Gulf, from Southampton and back again, I'd probably go for it.

I agree with Maureen about Leon. A couple of years I was on two legs of Aurora's world cruise and Leon was CD for the second leg, and things definitely perked up for the second leg

We haven't 'had' Robert Camby yet, but I understand he's a bit of a heart throb!
Gill

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 24 Mar 2019, 17:21

Gill, Kenmo, can I just say that Captain Camby did not float my boat on the looks front - and hearing these reports I am glad that I kept Julie away from him - however after the last embarrassing incident I try my best to keep Julie well away from Captains.

Gill if you could hack a flight one way then there is the re-positioning cruises were Oceana goes from the Arabian gulf to the med (or vice versa). Would mean a shorter flight to the Med and only a single long haul. We did this in 2012 on RCI. You get the fun of having to do 'pirate drill' and, in our case, visiting stops for the likes of Aqaba (for Petra), Luxor and Alexandria

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 24 Mar 2019, 18:31

Hi Silkworm, it really is a great itinerary.
The overnight flight on Emirates was fine. The IFE system had loads of choices for films, TV programs, games etc. The seats were surprisingly comfortable and most people seemed to want to doze after they darkened the cabin. The seats reclined well with the base pushing forward and there were 'wings' that folded forward to provide a head rest.

Exactly 30 days before we were due to fly we were able to phone P&O to get the group booking reference and our individual reference numbers. You can then enter these into the emirates site and select seats. I found though that we could only book economy seats and all the front row seats had already been taken. However despite the 3-4-3 configuration there was a good amount of leg and lateral space.

On the flight out from Gatwick (EK010) it appears the A380 used the upper deck for first class only and the lower deck for economy so we had to book the lower deck. On the way back to Gatwick (EK009) the lower deck was economy (in a 3-4-3 configuration) and half the upper deck was also economy but in a 2-4-2 configuration. The two seaters were £60pp extra.

Based on the layouts I would say the configuration was as per the links below (scroll down to see the upper deck layout)
Flight to UAE - https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Emira ... s_A380.php
Return flight - https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Emira ... _Class.php

We really like Oceana and it was great getting back on her again. Suffice to say we are cruising the Med later in the year on her and hope to be back on her again in 2021. It only has two specialty restaurants, The Beach House and Cafe Jardin (so no Glass House, Epicurean or Sindhus).
Last edited by Kendhni on 24 Mar 2019, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Silkworm » 24 Mar 2019, 19:23

That is really helpful, were you able to book both outward and inward flights at the same time or did you do the incoming flight back to UK whilst you were on cruise?

We fly from Birmingham and it is a 10 day cruise with two days at end of cruise in Dubai. So glad you enjoyed it, really makes me feel less apprehensive of the night flight. Just a couple of weeks ago came back from Caribbean on night flight and seemed to take days to get over it so was beginning to think at the START of the cruise it would be even worse!

Thanks again.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by GillD46 » 25 Mar 2019, 01:40

A great review.

We are currently in Mauritius having flown with Emirates. They have several configurations on their A280s: we flew on a 3 class aircraft (First/Business/Economy, when First and Business only are upstairs)but they have 2 class aircraft too - Business/Economy, then it also depends if long haul or medium haul such as your flight.

Nevertheless, we also thought Emirates pretty good. We had individual 32” screens which we thought anazing, such a clear picture. We fly back on Tuesday and are looking forward to another two great flights.
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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by GillD46 » 25 Mar 2019, 02:27

Sorry, that should of course say A380s.
Gill

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 25 Mar 2019, 04:51

Silkworm wrote:
24 Mar 2019, 19:23
That is really helpful, were you able to book both outward and inward flights at the same time or did you do the incoming flight back to UK whilst you were on cruise?

We fly from Birmingham and it is a 10 day cruise with two days at end of cruise in Dubai. So glad you enjoyed it, really makes me feel less apprehensive of the night flight. Just a couple of weeks ago came back from Caribbean on night flight and seemed to take days to get over it so was beginning to think at the START of the cruise it would be even worse!

Thanks again.
I fly back and forwards to America regularly and I can suffer jet lag very badly. My own tip is to set your watch to the destination time as soon as you get on the flight and then try to adhere to that time. Also on the first night after a long flight get as much sleep as possible - I have found that seems to reset my body clock and I am ready to go.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 25 Mar 2019, 04:54

GillD46 wrote:
25 Mar 2019, 01:40
A great review.

We are currently in Mauritius having flown with Emirates. They have several configurations on their A280s: we flew on a 3 class aircraft (First/Business/Economy, when First and Business only are upstairs)but they have 2 class aircraft too - Business/Economy, then it also depends if long haul or medium haul such as your flight.

Nevertheless, we also thought Emirates pretty good. We had individual 32” screens which we thought anazing, such a clear picture. We fly back on Tuesday and are looking forward to another two great flights.
Julie has informed me that Mauritius is on our to do list - but we have to do Thailand first :)
Wow 32" screens - ours weren't quite that size maybe 10-12 inch but certainly much bigger than on other flights.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Gill W » 25 Mar 2019, 16:15

Kendhni wrote:
24 Mar 2019, 17:21


Gill if you could hack a flight one way then there is the re-positioning cruises were Oceana goes from the Arabian gulf to the med (or vice versa). Would mean a shorter flight to the Med and only a single long haul. We did this in 2012 on RCI. You get the fun of having to do 'pirate drill' and, in our case, visiting stops for the likes of Aqaba (for Petra), Luxor and Alexandria
That's a good idea, I could probably put up with a shorter flight for the return journey. as I'd get the longest flight out of the way at the beginning. Also, Petra, the Suez Canal and pirate drill are all on my bucket list
Gill


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by cruisin_duo » 27 Mar 2019, 17:48

Thank you for posting your report.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 28 Mar 2019, 05:44

I got an email the other day from P&O saying that, due to a systems issue, the third party they use for payments may have taken a duplicate payment for the onboard account. Sure enough the charge was applied twice to my card on the 25th.

Mistakes can happen, and to P&Os credit the duplicate charge was reversed last night (on the 27th).


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Ilovemygarden » 05 Apr 2019, 10:49

Kendhni - thank you so much for posting this informative review which I have just read. I am booked on this cruise in November. Did you notice if there were many solo passengers on board and how easy (or difficult) you consider it would be for someone on their own to access the ports via shuttle buses etc? Any more info you can give me would be great. Like you I would imagine I would be spending some days on board so don’t necessarily want to go ashore every day.


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Silkworm » 05 Apr 2019, 16:40

Hi ilovemygarden, like you we are on board in November, and I really appreciated this review.

If you google tomscruiseblogs you will find a day by day report on this cruise which Tom recently undertook solo. It is very interesting and worth reading.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Librarian » 05 Apr 2019, 17:31

I have just returned from the repositioning cruise Dubai to Malta via the Suez Canal.I was going to do a review but as most of my comments would just repeat what Kendhni has said I will just add a few additional comments. I was on the EmIrates flight from Birmingham and it was the best overnight flight I have ever done, I booked an economy seat on the upper deck in the hope that it would be quieter, and it was, the seats are comfortable and I was lucky enough to have an empty seat beside me (one of the advantages of solo travel). I think this cost me £30 extra but was well worth it as I was able to get several hours sleep. Return flight was with Tui and was fine, typical holiday charter.

In Dubai I took the shuttle bus to the Mall and then went up the Burj Kaliefa, then watched the fountain display. Second day I had booked the Big Bus tour which picks up from the port. I booked this for both Dubai and Abu Dhabi before I travelled and got a discount for booking two days. A great way to see lots in each port with the option to hop on and off as you please.
Our next stop was Muscat, a shuttle bus was provided to the Souk which was an experience but not at all threatening for a lady alone. It was very hot so I returned to the ship and decided to do another Big Bus tour hopping off at a beautiful practically deserted beach and later the Mall for coffee and a bit of retail therapy. Our final port was Salalah and I had booked a P&O excursion in a 4x4, a great trip which I enjoyed and would fully recommend.

We then should have had seven Sea days back to Malta to fly home, unfortunately we had a serious medical emergency which meant we had to divert to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the first time a cruise ship has ever entered this port. Once we had entered Saudi waters the casino and shops were closed and no alcohol could be served, not a problem for the majority but there were a few people who couldn't accept this and made a fuss, some were quite abusive to the staff!! I hope they never need urgent medical attention!

Transit of the Suez Canal was interesting with commentary on the open decks from both Capt Camby and the port presenter.

As Kendhni said Oceana is a lovely friendly ship and the food and service were excellent, the medical diversion was handled very professionally by all the crew and the Captain kept us fully informed.

Ilovemygarden - I was travelling solo and it was fine, there seemed to be a lot of solos of all ages. I was second sitting dinner on a table for 9 and we were all solo travellers. I found the local people and guides to be very friendly in all our ports of call and never felt nervous or threatened in any way. Shuttles were very easy with good drop of points. Please let me know if you have any questions. My tip would be to plan what you want to do in advance and do some research.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Manoverboard » 05 Apr 2019, 17:57

Re Muscat … I would like to add that the time allocated to the Souk was excessive and it isn't a patch on the spice market in Istanbul or even the market in Marmaris or Izmir. Hardly worth getting off the ship or so we thought.


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Silkworm » 05 Apr 2019, 18:35

Thank you so much Librarian for your input, greatly appreciated.

Would you please let me know when it was you were able to book your Emirate seat as P and O flights info in their advice centre is not very clear. We already have flight times etc.

Glad you enjoyed your cruise, last month we were in Caribbean and also had an emergency heli evacuation with US coastguard coming to us from Puerto Rico.
You would not believe the muttering because we had to have a change of itinerary.
As you say, I hope they never need such emergency treatment!

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Librarian » 05 Apr 2019, 19:17

Silkworm
To book your seat you needed a ticket number and a flight locator. I phoned P&O flights department about three weeks before I was due to fly and they gave be both. Many people on Facebooks were unable to get this information and I think that was because they were trying too early. Once I had these I was able to log in to Emirates, I had already been allocated a seat but it was really easy to change it and pay using a credit or debit cards.


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Librarian » 05 Apr 2019, 19:25

I agree that you only need a short time in the souk, I went early, it was quiet and some stall holders were still setting up. I suppose I may have been there about an hour but that was more than enough time, I was glad I wasn't on a tour with an allocated amount of time. It couldn't have been easier to do independently anyway, the shuttle bus stop was at the entrance.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 06 Apr 2019, 12:03

Ilovemygarden wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 10:49
Kendhni - thank you so much for posting this informative review which I have just read. I am booked on this cruise in November. Did you notice if there were many solo passengers on board and how easy (or difficult) you consider it would be for someone on their own to access the ports via shuttle buses etc? Any more info you can give me would be great. Like you I would imagine I would be spending some days on board so don’t necessarily want to go ashore every day.
I am afraid I don't know how many solo passengers there were. However it was mentioned on many occasions that the UAE was a very safe place for tourists and we never felt concerned at any point.

There were free shuttle buses in Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Muscat (I didn't even here any mention of having to pay if you were on a saver fare) - just walk off the ship and one of the cruise staff will point you to them. There were also Hop-on-hop-off buses but I thought the one we looked at the information (Dubai) was quite expensive.

Sir Bani Yas is a sand-spit and I am not sure if there was anything in Kahsab. The only bus we used was the one in Dubai to the mall. In each of the ports the bus journey was about 20-40 minutes (although I think most of the time was waiting for innumerable traffic lights to change) :)
Last edited by Kendhni on 06 Apr 2019, 12:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 06 Apr 2019, 12:06

Silkworm wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 18:35
Thank you so much Librarian for your input, greatly appreciated.

Would you please let me know when it was you were able to book your Emirate seat as P and O flights info in their advice centre is not very clear. We already have flight times etc.
For us we were told to phone 30 days prior to the sail date - so we phoned exactly 30 days before and were given the locator and reference numbers.


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Silkworm » 06 Apr 2019, 14:42

Thank you all for the info. most appreciated.


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Ilovemygarden » 06 Apr 2019, 15:28

Thank you so much everyone who posted on this. It has been very helpful indeed. I was slightly apprehensive that I had made a mistake in booking this cruise but am now greatly reassured and looking forward to it. Silkworm - perhaps we are on the same sailing - I board on 18 November. Thanks for the heads up on Tomscruiseblogs which I found very informative albeit slightly daunted by the sound of all the passport checks!

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 07 Apr 2019, 07:58

No problems, if there is anything we can help with just ask. :)


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Ritamary » 01 Jul 2019, 17:43

Just found your very informative information. We are due to join Oceana in November in Dubai. A few questions , on booking your flight seats were you able to book inward and outward at the same time? and Monorail trip was that with P and O. Also can you pick up Hop on Hop off bus in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the cruise port and do they return to same pick up point at cruise port. Thanks

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Manoverboard » 01 Jul 2019, 18:14

Our visit to the region was part of a World Cruise Segment ( Bangkok to Dubai ) and the flights, with added days in Thailand, were both booked by P&O …. however ;

We wanted to fly BA's Economy Plus and to achieve this we had to reserve the seats and pay the excess via the BA Website.

ps …. Hello and welcome :wave:


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Silkworm » 01 Jul 2019, 19:44

Sorry, Ilovemygarden, I have just realised I did not respond to your last comment.
Yes, we join Oceana on 18 November, we have booked a few days in Dubai prior so will
be joining early on 18th. Have booked a dhow trip in Khasab with a private tour operator
and am waiting for P and O to list their excursions for other places.

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 02 Jul 2019, 08:24

Ritamary wrote:
01 Jul 2019, 17:43
Just found your very informative information. We are due to join Oceana in November in Dubai. A few questions , on booking your flight seats were you able to book inward and outward at the same time? and Monorail trip was that with P and O. Also can you pick up Hop on Hop off bus in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the cruise port and do they return to same pick up point at cruise port. Thanks
Hi RitaMary
Yes we booked our in and out flight seats at the same time. We had to wait until 30 days before the trip and then phoned P&O to get a reference and locator. The aircraft configuration was different, on the way out the entire upper deck was first class while on the way back some of the upper deck seats were economy.

We did the monorail trip through P&O - we both thought it was good value.

There were HoHo buses but, if memory serves me correctly, they looked a bit expensive. In most ports there was a free shuttle bus to take you to some central point in the town (in Dubai it was the Mall, not sure where it went to in Abu Dhabi (we did our own thing there)).

Have a great trip

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Manoverboard » 02 Jul 2019, 08:56

When in Abu Dhabi go to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque … it is beautiful and an interesting experience :thumbup:

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by GillD46 » 02 Jul 2019, 10:03

We almost always book our own flights and then, with the exception of BA who are awkward so we try to avoid, can always select our seats as soon as we book.
Gill

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Jan Rosser » 02 Jul 2019, 11:41

Manoverboard wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 08:56
When in Abu Dhabi go to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque … it is beautiful and an interesting experience :thumbup:
I agree it was an amazing place - I always tell people to visit it if they go to Abu Dhabi. Only drawback the long dresses and head covering they make the women wear while the men only have to remove their shoes :roll:
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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Manoverboard » 02 Jul 2019, 13:04

Jan Rosser wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 11:41
Manoverboard wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 08:56
When in Abu Dhabi go to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque … it is beautiful and an interesting experience :thumbup:
I agree it was an amazing place - I always tell people to visit it if they go to Abu Dhabi. Only drawback the long dresses and head covering they make the women wear while the men only have to remove their shoes :roll:
I thought that the ladies dressing up traditionally was a highlight … when they were coming back I couldn't recognise Mobietta :lol:


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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Ritamary » 02 Jul 2019, 15:39

thanks you for the info. Another question (2) , was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque easy to get to from cruise port? It looks amazing! Also do you advise taking currency or just using credit card? Looking at HoHo buses on YouTube they look to spend quite a bit of time stuck in traffic , as you say shuttle buses are available to a central point. Sorry to keep asking questions but it's good to actually ask someone who has done this trip! Thanks again

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Jan Rosser » 02 Jul 2019, 16:21

Manoverboard wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 13:04
Jan Rosser wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 11:41
Manoverboard wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 08:56
When in Abu Dhabi go to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque … it is beautiful and an interesting experience :thumbup:
I agree it was an amazing place - I always tell people to visit it if they go to Abu Dhabi. Only drawback the long dresses and head covering they make the women wear while the men only have to remove their shoes :roll:
I thought that the ladies dressing up traditionally was a highlight … when they were coming back I couldn't recognise Mobietta :lol:
I travelled with my friend and her husband and he was panicking he couldn't find us - so many ladies looking exactly the same :lolno:
Janis

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 02 Jul 2019, 16:24

Ritamary wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 15:39
thanks you for the info. Another question (2) , was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque easy to get to from cruise port? It looks amazing! Also do you advise taking currency or just using credit card? Looking at HoHo buses on YouTube they look to spend quite a bit of time stuck in traffic , as you say shuttle buses are available to a central point. Sorry to keep asking questions but it's good to actually ask someone who has done this trip! Thanks again
We didn't visit the mosque on our last trip (although, due to chats with other passengers, it is most definitely on the cards for 2021).
There is a lot of traffic and lights in Dubai and they seem to take a long time to change - sitting at lights for 5 minutes was not uncommon.

I used my credit card for everything (there is something in the back of my mind that I used some US dollars as well - but can't remember where or why)

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Kendhni » 02 Jul 2019, 16:27

Jan Rosser wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 16:21
Manoverboard wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 13:04
Jan Rosser wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 11:41


I agree it was an amazing place - I always tell people to visit it if they go to Abu Dhabi. Only drawback the long dresses and head covering they make the women wear while the men only have to remove their shoes :roll:
I thought that the ladies dressing up traditionally was a highlight … when they were coming back I couldn't recognise Mobietta :lol:
I travelled with my friend and her husband and he was panicking he couldn't find us - so many ladies looking exactly the same :lolno:
I hope you didn't miss the opportunity for a family photo with everyone saying 'cheese'
Image

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Re: Oceana Arabian Gulf 2019

Post by Manoverboard » 02 Jul 2019, 17:17

Ritamary wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 15:39
thanks you for the info. Another question (2) , was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque easy to get to from cruise port? It looks amazing! Also do you advise taking currency or just using credit card? Looking at HoHo buses on YouTube they look to spend quite a bit of time stuck in traffic , as you say shuttle buses are available to a central point. Sorry to keep asking questions but it's good to actually ask someone who has done this trip! Thanks again
Entry into the Grand Mosque is, or can be, timed and because of this we opted for an air conditioned coach and a booking with P&O. Temperatures in Abu Dhabi and Dubai can reach the early fifties so it is deffo not a place to stand around waiting for Buses.

On another day we did a P&O trip to the Old Fort via the Creek … this is also a must see.

:thumbup:

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