Please forgive the delay in posts. The internet on the Mariner is almost unusable for most things. But to write, edit and post with my blog provider is impossible.
We are now a few nights out from Dubai, making our way through the pirate infested waters of the Gulf of Aden. This is another story.
Back in Dubai we shared the cruise port with our sister companies ship the Celebrity Constellation.
The Constellation is a very similar size to us, and many on board both ships decided to the Dune Dinner Safari. Combined with the guests staying in hotels there were about 400 of us enjoying the sand dunes, entertainment and views in the desert 🐪 outside Dubai. Far more than I expected. I thought it would be a more intimate experience, around 40 people (which my driver Rasheed said was a more standard number of guests).
Apart from waiting in the car park at the cruise terminal for too long, the whole excursion was fantastic. It was a beautiful afternoon as we drove out from Dubai. Taking in the views of the Burj Khalifa and other amazing buildings.
On the outskirts of town we drove past a camel race track, a camel market, and a camel hospital. The Dubai freeway system had minimum and a generalist maximum speed limit of 120 km/h but I was told that you could do 140 without incurring too much of a penalty.
After arriving at the entry to the desert all the land cruiser is pulled over to air down. many of us took this opportunity to stretch our legs and climb the nearest dune. The more sensible of us removed footwear and climbed in bare feet. Many of us, including myself expected the sand to be scorching hot, But we were happy to find the sand was not just comfortably warm but it also had an amazingly fine texture that was wonderful to walk in.
After the four wheel drives had aired down, all the guests bordered the vehicles and we had out to the dunes. It was very clear that the drivers were very comfortable and confident in themselves, their vehicles and the other drivers. With all the drivers performing daredevil manoveuvers to entertain the guests.
Along the way some of the 4WDs had to pull over to allow for the more motion sick prone traveler an opportunity to relieve themselves of their afternoon meal. (I was going to insert the “puking emoji” but you got the idea).
Close to sunset we pulled over once again to allow everyone the chance to enjoy the sunset over the desert. however it was very close to sunset and we all have to scramble to the top of the nearest dunes to get to see the sunset in time.
It was very much worth it.
Arriving at the “Bedouin camp" aka tourist trap in the desert, many guests joined the queue to ride the camels. I headed straight to the camp to find my position to enjoy my dinner and the belly dancing.
The belly dancer was fantastic, they should r The belly dancer was fantastic, I should really be called hip dancers, wow could she move them.
Beer and wine were included in the package, And it all went rather well the simple and traditional meal. Considering the large number the catering was quite well done and the food was reasonably tasty.
After dinner I headed to the hookah lounge, for an apple flavoured smoke. Unfortunately my vehicle companions wished to return to the ship so I couldn’t fully enjoy my time in the lounge, staring at the stars ⭐️.
The drive back to the ship would’ve been quite uneventful if it had not been for the alcohol fuelled conversation in the car. Had me blushing for most of the kilometres.
Overall it was an excellent excursion and a try highlight of this journey. If you have a chance, do it.