The Arabian Gulf has really taken off as cruising's newest destination, and for me, the itinerary on offer, to see such a beautiful place as Muscat (the capital of Oman), Kasbah Oman, and Abu Dhabi was a real bonus. As I have visited Dubai many times on holidays (and love Dubai) and I have cruised extensively in the Caribbean this was my ideal opportunity to get my husband to experience cruising for the first time and combine it with a stay in Dubai afterwards.
We flew direct from Dublin to Dubai with Emirates and transferred directly to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship for embarkation. You have many options here for a twin holiday. You can opt to travel to Dubai for a few nights prior to the cruise. We choose to cruise first and then we stayed for a fabulous 7 nights in Dubai after our cruise, so I would recommend a twin centre holiday here.
Discover a desert oasis when you visit Muscat. Magnificent mountains and rolling dunes stand against cool, sandstone-lined streets, which are host to several culture-soaked spots. Muscat, Oman, Souks, my God did I love the Souks of Arabia! I didn’t know what to expect with the souks, but they were truly incredible. They had endless goods including scarves, trinkets, dresses, shoes, bags, lanterns. The list just goes on. I love scarves and I purchased seven of them on my trip! Souks are all about haggling so don’t be afraid to do this with the stall owners. They also take any currency you have and don’t worry – they are incredibly safe – as is the whole of the UAE and Oman.
Built on the banks of breath-taking Fjords, Khasab is widely known as the ‘Norway of Arabia’. Here you will discover the Arabian Gulf’s natural grandeur, with traditional boats in the water, surrounded by local souks which are alive with the buzz of locals haggling. We took an excursion out to sea on a traditional dow ship to meet Khasab’s original settlers. Well worth a visit. Crystal clear waters meets vast mountains and cliffs and as you sail through the fjords you’re joined by wild dolphins! It was just magical. We also get to swim, and the water is a beautiful temperature. We booked this excursion through the excursion desk on the Cruise and I couldn’t recommend it enough – a must do!
The capital and largest city in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi was for me the highlight of the trip. So much so that we have holidayed there twice since. (Please see my Abu Dhabi Blog).