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At last, a Sea Day!

I’m enjoying the first, and only, sea day of the cruise. This is during the passage from Sir Bani Yas island round the Kasandam peninsula, through the strait of Hormuz and and down the coast of Oman to Muscat. I’ve also triggered one of the three internet days that I booked before the cruise, so I can spend the day browsing and blogging. (Sad, I know.)

In fact, I might as well talk about how I’ve kept in touch during the cruise. I’ve used several different methods:

  • First, I bought some internet access in advance – three days of the ‘Browse’ package. This cost £10 per day which is an advance purchase price – it’s £12.50 a day if bought on board. I’m able to take the days separately from each other, so it’s not three successive days. Also, it’s not a calendar day, it’s actually 24 continuous hours, starting whenever I log in. So today, for example, I logged in and confirmed that I wanted to trigger one of my days at around 10:30 this morning, and that will last through till 10:30 tomorrow morning;
  • Secondly, I bought a tourist sim at Dubai airport when I arrived. That cost me 139 Dhs or something like that, from the UAE telecoms provider ‘du’. (The same sort of deal is available from the other provider, Etisalat, but it just so happened that the du booth was the less busy when I walked past them.) The sim included 2Gb of data, which for simple browsing on the phone, emails, and uploading text-only blog posts has worked whenever we’ve been in a UAE port. So that covered Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sir Bani Yas, and on occasions when we were sailing along the UAE coast;
  • The sim didn’t work in Manama, of course, since that was in Bahrain and not the UAE. I was hoping to do without connectivity that day, but in the event I found that I needed Google Maps so I switched back to my UK sim and bought a data package for the day – £5 for a whole 15Mb. (Yes, Megabytes and not Gigabytes!) Before I actually triggered that I turned off all my apps except Google Maps, then turned on roaming. (For those of you with iPhones, go to Settings -> Mobile Data, and look at ‘Mobile Data for Travel’; there, you can set individual apps to not use Mobile Data.) I may decide to do something similar tomorrow in Muscat.

One other thing – the sketch maps on the port information sheets are awful. That’s why I’ve been glad to have the on-line resources available. Of course, if you’re on an excursion it’s less important.

So now I’m off to carry on being lazy, and will continue to enjoy my sea day.

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