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It’s Thursday morning – Valentine’s Day – and we’re at Sir Bani Yas island (I’m going to refer to it as ‘SBYi’ from now on. This is a tender port , and Oceana is anchored a few hundred metres off-shore. The sky is clear blue and the sun is shining; what more could we ask for?

Er….. something to do, perhaps? Here’s what Horizon says about SBYi:

“The island exists as a nature reserve that is only accessible to Guests who have booked a P&O Cruises shore excursion. You can go ashore independently, however be mindful that it’s just a strip of beach with loungers. There will be a limited Food & Beverage offering.” That food & beverage offering will be operated by Oceana’s F&B team. Food will be “a small selection of cold grab & go snacks” (which will be complimentary), while drinks will be “a great range of refreshing beverages from the ships bars”. These won’t be complimentary – they’ll be charged to the cabin.

Tendering is by numbered ticket obtainable from a desk set up in deck 7 in the atrium. Horizon talks darkly about possible delays because of congestion between 9 o’clock and noon, but there don’t seem to be many takers so far – a steady stream rather than a queue. However, it’s still early. Oh, the ticket desk is also performing a ‘Tender Safety Mobility Assessment’; basically, you’ve got to step over an 18″ gap.

I shall go ashore later (it’s only 9:15 as I write this) and see what it looks like.

Update: an hour later (10:15) there is a lengthy queue both to collect a ticket and then for the actual tender.

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