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About Pearl64

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Upstate South Carolina
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    only been on one other cruise

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  1. Thank you so much, Simon. Your information has been very helpful. We will be in Dubai next week so fingers crossed. I realize the flowers may be past prime. We have one full day and two half days before our ship sails. I read your previous posts about transportation. We will see how we cope with the heat. Patty
  2. Does anyone know if the Miracle Gardens are still open? I tried to find out from their website but no luck. I am interested in knowing about the last week in April this year. Also, is this worthwhile? Thanks.
  3. Thank you for verifying. We will make certain our wine is purchased before we hit Italian waters. This additional tax will come as a big surprise to many on our cruise. Is it just good and alcohol? Does it apply to services like the spa?
  4. Our cruise Dubai to Barcelona on the Nautica will have stops in Italy (Trapani) and end in Barcelona. As I recall on past cruises we had additional tax while we were in Spanish and Italian waters. Does anyone know if this is still true, the extra percentage, and if it includes anything besides alcohol? Thank you. Several of us on our roll call would like this information. I did try the search function but since the overhaul of this site, I have not figured everything out yet.
  5. Thank you, Simon. The reason I asked if there was a stop near the port we could walk to is this. We have an overnight in Dubai so we are thinking of dropping off our luggage, checking in, and then going back out to explore. The next day we have the morning until about 1 pm to explore. If we need to get a taxi to get to the Bigbus, we might as well not do the BigBus and just use taxis. I am trying to make the most of our time and money. I hope this sheds some light to your question. Patty
  6. I am trying to finalize our time in Dubai. Is there a BigBus stop close to the port and can one walk there? Do the tickets start when you first use them and the time on them moves forward from that time? Concerning the Night Tour, it is included in the 48 hour pass, correct? Does one need to line up way ahead of time as I read there are only a certain number of spots are available. I’ve been told there is a 20 AED surcharge on taxi pickup at the port. Does this also apply going to the port? What would the approximate taxi fare from Dubai International airport to 4 points on Sheik Zayed Road? From hotel to the port? What is the tipping policy in Dubai? Thank you so much as you have been extremely helpful. Patty
  7. Thank you, Anne. You have been most helpful. Patty
  8. Hi Anne, I have read a lot of your advice but I need some help in deciding what to do in Dubai prior to our cruise. We are staying at the Four Points Sheraton on Sheikh Zayed Road. We arrive on the evening of April 24. We have a tour to Abu Dabi on the 25th. We have Friday to explore as well as some time the next day Saturday before we board the ship. We overnight in Dubai and depart at 3 pm April 28 a Sunday. I think Ramadan will be going on at this time so that may impact what we are able to do. We want to see the Dubai Mall(I hope this is the right one) and the souqs especially the gold and the textile ones. We thought we could see the souqs and Deira on Friday but did not know how the Muslim Holy Day would affect this. The Dubai Museum is open later on a Friday. Is this worth while to see? I also saw a Sheikh Mohamed Centre for Cultural Understanding. I need to see when this is open. I understand they have 90 minute tours. If you had to choose between the Dubai Museum and the Cultural Centre, which one would be better for understanding Dubai? We will be seeing the mosque in Abu Dabi so is it essential to try to see the Jumeirah Mosque? If I understand correctly we could only see this from 10 to 11:15 am on Saturday. Lastly, when is best for seeing the Mall? Would two hours be enough time the day the ship departs? Or should we try later on Friday? Seeing the Burj Khalifa can be done anytime from the outside. Going inside is quite pricey--not sure if that is worth it. I apologize for the lengthy post but I cannot figure out logistics of getting to these places. I know time of day, traffic, all enters into the plan. Is the best way taxi to get around? I don't want to miss getting back to the ship. We are so looking forward to seeing Dubai. Thank you for any insight you have in our plans. Patty
  9. We were on the Marina TA Miami to Lisbon in 2017. Leslie Jon was also the CD. There was an Anglican priest onboard who helped Leslie with the service. We had the string quartet perform appropriate music. This was a full service with communion for those who wished. There was also a Good Friday service as well. For the Jewish passengers there was a Seder dinner. I was impressed that Oceania responded as they did. As far as the food goes I have little recollection of that. For me the services were more important to me.
  10. Disembarkation was easy easy. We were among the first group to disembark the Sirena around 8:15. Going through customs was very quick. There were cabs ready but we called Lyft which was very efficient. Security at MIA was reasonably quick since we had TSA preapproval. We were at our gate by 9:15. There were five other ships disembarking as well. Even with reports of blue flu, we had no issues. Just wanted to report our experience.
  11. I have been reading this thread with great interest. We will be disembarking the Sirena on the 13th. Our flight is a little before 2 pm. I thought that was a safe time until I read this thread. I checked the port schedule and there are 6 ships that day. I just roughly added up the passengers and got between 19,000 and 20,000! Granted some will have driven, some will be staying in Florida a few extra days, but not that many. We do have Global Entry with TSA. Will that help? I know Miami can be a zoo. I am trying to decide whether we should get off super early after the ship is cleared or wait a little. Also is Uber or Lyft the way to go to the airport? I tried my car service I used before but they do not go to MIA. We are flying Delta if that makes a difference. Will we be okay? Any special tactics to do? Thanks.
  12. We had an instance of flying from GSP to Newark and we were four hours late leaving. It was in a small United plane. Newark was giving priority to the bigger planes. The crew at GSP says it happens all the time. I was trying to avoid missing our connection. And, it made no difference whether we took the earlier flight or the later one, the same equipment is used. I don’t much care for this plane either but we really had no choice unless we used a different airline. Thanks.
  13. Thank you for all the responses. Unfortunately we are flying using miles so no access to the top lounge. Trucker Dave, we changed to the earlier flight for a number of reasons: never flown out of CLT or Toronto, flying in a CRJ200–small plane which may not get clearance to either take off or land, unfamiliar with the layout of Pearson, plus we are in our 70s. The earlier flight reduces a lot of stress. We don’t fly all that often so do not have the experience of others. I will look into a day room at the Sheraton and may consider going into the city dependent on what luggage we may have with us. I also appreciate the good comments on the long flight. Thank you all again.
  14. We are flying next April from CLT to Dubai on Air Canada. Originally we had almost three hours between flights but flight changes have whittled that down to two hours. We were afraid of that scenario as that was the shortest time allowed by the airline. One never knows if flights will be delayed and we would need some sort of passport check as well. The only other flight that would work leaves much earlier. I am not looking at going into Toronto. Are there any close hotels where we could get a day room? I know that would mean clearing security again. Anything of interest at the airport? We are flying business so am not sure if we would have access to the AC lounge. I also don’t know what that is like. We would like to have a nice leisurely dinner before we board at 10: 30 pm. That’s way too late for us to have dinner. Suggestions for places to eat at the airport? We have never flown through Toronto so are open to suggestions from those who have experience. Another question: do we need to have anything else besides our passports to fly from the US to Canada? We have done land many times but never by air. Thank you.
  15. How do you propose getting to the ship? Many cruises embark or disembark from Dubai. I would think one would need to go through customs at some point. I have asked for clarification from my TA. We still have time before our April cruise but we do need to get our ducks in a row!
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