March 28, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 83

Day 83 – Dubai, UAE. The sky is cloudy and/or just hazy from the sand and moisture. High temperatures are expected in the low 80's and there is a nice breeze. Visibility is lower than yesterday. The temperature is great especially when we are reminded that it can be 125 here in the summer months.

My tour today first takes me to the Sharjah Aquarium. An excellent facility showing all the marine and coral life that exists in the nearby sea from lobster to sharks, rays, and eels, to common fish like grouper and clown fish. Not the largest aquarium I have ever seen, but very modern and very well done. We make a quick stop at a local mosque. Being honest, by now they all look the same.

We travel across part of the desert, spot a few wild camels and stop at the Arabian Wildlife Center. Again a very modern facility that houses all the wildlife that is native to UAE. The neatest was the arabian leopard, an endangered species. Nearly everyone was disappointed as pictures were not permitted at all. Another detail that HAL failed to mention.

There were several other stops, and overall it was a good tour. Our guide was the best. He went to London to finish his college education where he earned his Phd in zoology, and has spent his entire career working with and studying the wildlife in the UAE. He is still a consultant for the Wildlife Center. He didn't say that he was a citizen, I doubt it, but he has spent nearly his entire life here. His name is over 20 words long, with his permission, we just called him "Doc".

I had considered taking the shuttle bus back into town this afternoon, but our tour was about an hour late returning and I just didn't have the energy. I grab a hamburger for lunch/dinner. In the future I will book fewer tours and spend more time utilizing the Hop On Hop Off Bus service that is available in many larger ports.

Rudy, one of the beverage servers, and part time bartender had some time yesterday to go ashore and meet a friend, Cookie (sp?) from the Philippines, that works here in Dubai. He met her at the mall and then went to the restaurant where she works near the end of the light rail line. Today she was on the ship as a guest in the Piano Bar where he works each night.

It appears that we took on about the same number of passengers that got off, about 60 attended the farewell party the other night, and about 80 were at the muster drill this afternoon for all the new passengers and entertainers.

Today also was a day for new provisions, six containers worth at least. The port here has some activity, but not a lot. Maybe one of two small ships in the last two days. Recently there was a car carrier from Japan as the pier is covered with about 5000 new cars. None from the US.

The Splendour of The Seas leaves port about 6:00 PM. We are scheduled to leave about 11:00. There is no show tonight, just a movie. There isn't even a sail away party tonight. I guess HAL knows their passengers well enough to realize that most of us will be asleep by 11:00. Cruising for months traveling from country to country and sightseeing is tiring work and just wears us out.

Tomorrow is a sea day as we head Southeast about 300 miles to Muscat, Oman.