Day Eight – Modern Wonders of Dubai

Fantasia docks back in Dubai a little after 8am today. Luckily we don’t have to get off until tomorrow. True our coach pick up time is 4am on Saturday morning for our 7.30 flight to Manchester but we won’t worry about that now.

We have an excursion planned for this morning and so we shower breakfast and head down to the theatre. Tickets in hand we head outside to meet our coach and tour guide Miriam. She is slightly bonkers but a great guide nonetheless.

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We leave the port and head southwards to the Jumeirah area (Jumeriah means flame in Arabic). Our first stop is the worlds first 7-star hotel the Burj Al Arab with its iconic and world famous sail design. Miriam regales with details of its construction and other gems of information. From there we head to The Palm and Atlantis Resort which is a sister resort to the one in the Bahamas. We are told it’s practically identical. Again Miriam goes into detail on the Palms incredible construction process and the cost of living there (eye-watering).

Heading back north we arrive at the Dubai Mall. Miriam warned us about its size and the myriad of things inside but we weren’t quite prepared. It was pretty jaw-dropping. There is a zoo and an aquarium contained within. The real reason for our visit was to ascend to the top of the Burj Kalifa. Currently the world tallest building. After waiting in line for a short while we cram into the elevator which ascends the 124 floors in 57 seconds. We emerge into the viewing platform for glorious views over Dubai and the distant desert landscape to the east and the Persian Gulf to the west. I cajole Peter into some selfies even though he is feeling some vertigo and gingerly approaches the glass windows.

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After purchasing a souvenir photo we descend as quickly as we went up. We could have stayed on to look around the mall but we opt to return to the ship and come back on our own late afternoon to see the mall and the fountain show.

Once back we lunch and then started the dreaded packing. It’s doesn’t take long as we are not as careful folding everything. We snooze for an hour or so knowing we won’t get much sleep as will need to be up at 3am to leave ship.We head back into Dubai centre a little after 5pm and have time to explore the Mall a little more. Following a tip from Miriam earlier in the day we head outside to a spot she says has less tourists. We find a nice area without so many people and as evening descends and the Burj twinkles into life the fountain show starts. It’s very similar to Bellagio fountains in Vegas.

Returning to the Mall I wonder if they have a Bath and Body works here. They do. When we visit the US it’s one of our favourite shops. Prices as reasonable so we are able to stock up on shower gels and hand wash.

Back at the ship we finish the last of the packing and push our cases out into the corridor. Some cocktails in Il’Transatlantico and then dinner. Maureen and Graham don’t eat with us as they went into Dubai although they do stop by and we all swap emails etc to keep in touch post cruise.

Compared to last night I enjoy the food much better this evening. Salmon Timbale to start (gorgeous) and then cannelloni for 2nd and Pork Escalopes for main. We round of with a white/dark chocolate parfait.

We say goodbye to our table mates for the week and enjoy one more glass of wine before retiring for our very early start tomorrow. The end of a fabulous cruise. Must admit felt some trepidation before this trip due to the location and the local customs, rules and laws but have been pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of people, the exotic nature of the destination and the fact we have never cruised anywhere quite like this. We would definitely come back here.

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Patrick O'Halloran

Cruisers, Bloggers, Cocktail Drinkers.

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