While I missed going up into the Burj Khalifa, I did not miss seeing it in a way most people don’t: at eye level in the middle.
Day 1 of Dubai was spent resting; day 2 started out with breakfast and exiting the ship to the terminal where I was picked up by a driver arranged by SeaWings, the operator of the sea plane that would take me around Dubai. Thought it was interesting that since Samoa we’ve had nothing but right-hand driving on the “wrong” side of the road but in the UAE the US left-hand drive was the standard. It almost felt wrong after so many days experiencing the right-hand drive.
Despite being a bit late for pickup due to traffic we got to the launch area in plenty of time. The plane is based at the Dubai Country Club; a particularly nice area as you might expect. After a safety briefing we went out to the plane, had the mandatory photo in front of the plane, and then boarded. I boarded first as I had been assigned the co-pilot’s seat up front and had to make my way past the other six seats in the plane. We flew in the smaller of the two planes they have. While waiting, another couple from the ship who had been on the India adventure also came in but they were on the larger plane, scheduled for a less extensive 25 minute flight instead of our 45 minute flight.
The route around Dubai was well planned to go over and past the major features of the city so that both sides of the aircraft got good views of everything. I’ve included a map below that shows the route we flew in yellow starting where the circled aircraft is in the bottom left.
Taking off we flew right over the port so you can see in the photo the Princess on the left and another much larger ship on the right. I knew our ship was small as cruise ships go but until I saw others in Hawaii, Dubai, and a few other places I did not realize just how small it was.
We followed the route and I kept the camera going all the way. That evening I selected some 92 photos to edit (all photos had to be edited due to the dust). One was the map and one the port; the other two I’m showing here are of the Atlantis resort at the top of the palm and the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa. These are attached. The Burj photo is rather unique as the viewpoint is about half way up the tower and is a viewpoint you can only get from an aircraft. I wanted to get closer but, as you might understand, there are restrictions on how close an aircraft can get and we followed those restrictions.
The UVTO August Photo Club will have more of the Dubai photos as part of the Indian Ocean portion of the world tour.
Yesterday we were in Abu Dhabi. I had a tour planned but did not feel up to it and was glad I did not go. Right about the middle of that tour India came back to visit me more than once. Today I went to the doctor’s office, got chewed out for not coming in yesterday, got some Loperamide (Imodium) and am back to being restricted to the cabin for a few days until things settle down. Fortunately, we are now in day one of six days at sea as we retrace our steps from Abu Dhabi and then pass the Horn of Africa into the Red Sea for the stop in Aquaba before going through the Suez Canal and into the most intense portion of the trip: the Mediterranean Sea.
We had a piracy drill today before we enter into the most dangerous zone of the trip. We got instructions in case the ship had to do something to avoid being boarded but there is little danger of that happening. For one, reported activity level in the area is presently very low. For another we have some ways of fending off boarding attempts; mostly using high-pressure hoses and other disturbance devices short of actual weapons which we don’t have. Finally, historically no cruise ship has ever been boarded and no ship going over 15 knots has ever been boarded. We will be going through the area at our full speed of 18-19 knots. As to cruise ships; they really are not a good target. Consider that maybe five people (armed to be certain) would have to control a thousand or more passengers and crew; a virtually impossible task and the take from such a boarding would be a few jewels and some cash. Not worth the economic effort I’d say; it’s easier to catch a cargo ship and much easier to just ask for ransom against the cargo. While we’ll be diligent nobody is particularly worried. Given my situation I’ll probably be locked in my bullet-proof bathroom. 🙂 As I type this we’re in day 52 of the 111 days; almost at the half-way point time-wise. I’ve now sailed enough days that I got my Captain’s Circle status upgraded from Gold, when I started, through Ruby and am now a Platinum member. Best perk of that is some free Internet time. Won’t make Elite by the end of this cruise; would have to sail another 32 days to get that and all the benefits the come with it. Who knows….. 🙂
More after India leaves me.