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Downtown Dubai from Port Rashid

So here I am at the beginning of my cruise around the Arabian Gulf on Oceana. Starting at Dubai, it features a total of three days in that port, plus two days at Sbu Dhabi, and then single days at Manama (Bahrain), Sir Bani Yas island (in the Abu Dhabi emirate, Khasab and Muscat (both in Oman). There’s just one sea day so that’s quite a busy cruise.

As is usual for these fly cruises, embarkation/disembarkation is spread over two days – that is, half the passengers disembark (and are replaced by new passengers) on the second of three days in Dubai, then the other half disembarks/embarks on the third day. Flights from the U.K. seem to have been arranged as a mixture of seats on scheduled flights (with Emirates) and charter flights (possibly with Virgin) – I’ll find out more as the cruise proceeds.

I don’t actually know this for myself because I haven’t arrived via P&O’s air arrangements. I made my own arrangements because I prefaced this cruise with a short holiday in Bangkok. So today I’ve flown to Dubai from Bangkok, with Emirates. They’re the obvious choice for long-haul flights to Asia from Manchester, with transfers at Dubai International to many destinations in Asia. This did mean that I had to get myself from the airport to the cruise terminal, which turned out to be a bit flappy – I think that at the end of the cruise I might try to cadge a lift on a P&O transfer coach!

Initial research (i.e. I’ve read Horizons…) reveals that there will be 3 Black Tie nights during the cruise, and on this iteration they will be on day 3 (after departing Manama), day 7 (the sea day), and day 9 (after leaving Khasab). Don’t take it as gospel that this is how it will be one all iterations of the cruise. For a start, for people embarking tomorrow (the second embarkation shift) the Black Tie nights will be on days 2, 6, and 8, because of course their cruise will be starting one day later. Another possible reason is that I believe that there are some iterations of the cruise that have slightly different itineraries – I think Sir Bani Yas island might be on a different day, and Khasab might be replaced by another port altogether.

Because this is a new itinerary for P&O, my main aim in these posts will be to cover the practicalities – what the arrangements are at each port, for example, what shuttle buses there are and where to, and so on. I hope that everyone will find this useful information.

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