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I’ve just (at 8am!) done my face-to-face immigration check in Dubai and got my passport back.

Oceana docked at Dubai sometime around 7 am or so and the passport return and immigration check was the first order of business. Basically, passengers must go ashore and first collect their passport from a P&O desk on the quayside. There are actually two desks, split by cabin deck, and there are signs to direct passengers to the right desk. This does require a bit of thought and a decision, and at 8am after a good final black tie night, I for one found myself a little challenged by this. But I successfully recovered my passport.

Then it was into the terminal and up to one of several desks where an Emirati official gave my passport and me a quick scrutiny, stamped the passport, and gave it back to me. I was also given a “Dubai Immigration Cleared” card, which also reads “Carry this card with you at all times”. I had to show this to regain entry to the ship.

So that was it.

I’m not on a tour today so I had to do all the above independently. Passengers on morning excursions are being taken through the immigration process as part of the tour assembly, which means, I think, that tour assembly time is earlier than the time published on the tour ticket. Passengers going on afternoon tours (but not morning tours) have to go through the immigration process on their own this morning.

I gather that the immigration process has to be completed by 10:30 this morning, and it seems to be going well – there was an announcement at 8:45 to said that about half the passengers had completed the procedure by that time.

I have to say, this cruise has been Passport Stamp heaven! I have four stamps from Oman (entry and exit at both Muscat and Khasab), and five stamps so far from the UAE. None from Bahrain, however, which is a serious disappointment. Ah well – I shall just have to repeat the exercise next year.

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