Guaranteed warm weather, smooth seas and exotic destinations – how could a cruise from Dubai fail to disappoint?!
In these uncertain times of regional conflicts and sweeping pandemics, a cruise following the Iranian coast seemed an interesting option! However, Dubai as a destination continues to please its audiences with an investment in its cruise industry a priority with every large cruise company offering an itinerary which includes the Arabian hub port.
Jewel of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s mid-sized offerings, designed for fans of real cruising where ‘Las Vegas style’ gimmicks and star attractions come second place to views of the ocean which are never far away. Add to that a wonderful wrap-around promenade deck, acres of glass, Jewel of the Seas delivers on many different levels. She sits at 90,000 tonnes. Delivered in 2004 with a comprehensive refit in 2016, she’s coping beautifully.
Our itinerary included Abu Dhabi, a cruise around the Straits of Hormuz (with distant views of a spectacular Iranian coastline) and the jewel in the crown, a visit to Oman and the countries exotic capital of Muscat.
Whilst the rest of the Gulf States are involved in a race to go bigger and better than their neighbours, Oman has embraced its cultural heritage and with strict building codes. Learning from the lessons of their neighbours, Oman is truly a magnificent destination with the warmest of welcomes.
A cruise on this sized ship is perfect for scenic coastlines and fascinating ports of call. Jewel of the Seas sits amongst 4 sister ships within the ‘Radiance Class’ of Royal Caribbean’s fleet. She has multiple bar, dining and speciality dining options, with a focus on good food and personable customer service.
The mix of guests was international with the majority being British followed by American and Canadians. We heard all sorts of languages being spoken from Russian to Brazilian and everywhere in between. I firmly believe the wider the mix of guests onboard the better a cruise experience you will have, as different nationalities have different likes and dislikes, meaning the ship is never over-used in any particular facility. Our entertainment onboard was varied with Broadway shows and reviews with some headline shows provided by talented vocalists and a more than competent ships cast.
This cruise was prior to the wider outbreak of Coronavirus and coped well with onboard hygiene and cleaning routines. Whilst the importance of personal hygiene was stressed throughout, at no time did we feel bullied or overwhelmed by the information, with the ship’s crew working exceptionally hard to maintain the extremely high standards guests come to expect.
In summary, we owe the cruise industry and the people it employs the chance to prove that cruising is still a safe and pleasurable holiday experience whilst expecting new and more thorough health screening checks prior to travelling.
Royal Caribbean and the Jewel of the Seas and other cruise lines WILL be returning to Europe and sailing destinations once more in 2020.