We have done this itinerary twice with Costa in Feb 2007 and Feb 2008. The Feb 2007 cruise was on Costa Classica and last year was on Costa Europa. It is a FANTASTIC itinerary. We had never been to the Middle East before and this cruise is a great way to see the likes of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat. We absolutely throroughly enjoyed both cruises even though they were the same itinerary. The first year we did organised trips, the second year we did our own thing.
We also sailed on Costa Victoria on a med cruise last October. Unfortunately we didn't enjoy this cruise or ship. Mainly because the cabin which was a basic inside cabin was so small you could hardly move. So, if you are thinking of this ship, I would say go for one of the more expensive cabins. There was literally six inches either side of the bed and about 12 inches at the foot of the bed and that was it!! Apart from the corridor bit to the bathroom and exit door.
We are non smokers and someone in nearby cabins were heavy smokers which filtered through the vents constantly into our cabin.
Its a great price for Dubai as flights alone from the UK are expensive.
Where does the ship dock in Dubai?Is it near the hotel Al Burj or is it in the center of the town so I can walk out of the ship or do I need a taxi? Is there anything else to so except safari and shoping? What is a must in the ports that ship stops? Is it better to go on your own or with the ship tour?
The ship docks in Port Rashid. It is too far to walk into town. There are courtesy buses which drop you at Burjaman shopping Centre. Taxis are extremely cheap though in Dubai. We went to the shopping centre and bought the "Big Bus" tickets where you can hop on and off as you like. there is a City bus and Beach bus. The Burj Al Arab is quite a distance (it is at Jumeraih Beach) but you do go near it on the Big Bus Tour.
In Oman we did the grand mosque tour which is excellent. In Abu Dhabi the first year we did Sheiks shopping but to be honest it is a bit of a rip off as there is a courtesy bus to the Marina Mall. In Fujeraih I wouldn't bother doing anything, have a relaxing day on the ship!
In Bahrain (we found it very dirty we did a tour again of a mosque and heritage centre. Didn't really enjoy that though. This year we took the courtesy bus and had a walk about but to be honest it is dirty and horrible so we went back to the ship.
If you want to see anything in particular the taxis are very inexpensive in Dubai.
Can you swimm in most of the ports on the beaches with chairs and umbrelas or not ? Are they far away and is it expensive? Do you maybe know if the snow skiing is expensive ? Is it possible to swim with dolphins somewhere ?
You cannot swim at Port Rashid, it is an industrial port area. I am not sure re the beaches as we didn't go to the beaches. Not sure neither re the cost of skiing or whether you can swim with dolphins. Sorry.
So what is so special that makes this cruise good?
Most of the ports are the saim, there is not much to visit or do.The outside cabin doesn't look very big to me( I was on my first cruise on this ship in inside cabin on meditteran. This would be my eight cruise.I got a good deal and cheap flight tickets but I just can't decide if it is worth going.
Have you been to Dubai, dejan? It sounds like a fantastic itinerary because I've never been there. I guess if you have it wouldn't be a thrill, but there's a whole lot more than just beaches. If you want to swim, you can always use the pools on board the ship. To me, a cruise is always worth it, no matter where it goes, but it's even more exciting if it is to somewhere I haven't been before.
Well it depends what you like. For us we had never seen that part of the world so it was an adventure. I also like shopping so Dubai is the best for that. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the most fascinating Cities. We all like different things so as I say depends on what you like.
Personally I do not like Costa Victora and would not sail on her again.
No I haven't been in Dubai jet. I can't find some pictures so I can see how it looks like.I like to see infront what am I getting for my money. Looks nice but just to go there and to say I was there.I don't know. Would be nice to se pictures from the ports and citties that you visit. I like diferent thing too. I was in the Caribbean 3 times, did the Transatlantic from Italy to Miami ( got even married there) and did the most of the meditteran. Always like to try different things. I just can't find enaugh information to do the Dubai.