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  1. Vision of the Seas – 7 Night Arabian Sea cruise from Dubai Day 1 – Embarkation Day We left Glasgow at 8:50 pm on Sunday, 5 February on our way to Dubai on Emirates Airways. The flight was an overnighter so was uneventful. We were due to land at 8:05 am. The plane landed at about 7:40, which the pilot sounded so proud of, until we heard that in order to land so early we had to land on a runway on the other side of the airport from where we needed to be, which took about 30 minutes of taxiing. The result, we got there right on time. The walk from the plane to baggage claim was ridiculously long. Seemed like we walked for 30 minutes to get there. Passport control was slow also. There were two agents to service the 400 or so passengers that got off that plane. I must say at this point that nothing up to now was any reflection on Royal Caribbean. Once we got our baggage we went to the lobby where we found someone with a RCCL sign. She pointed us to the far end of the lobby to join a long line of people. We made it through that line to check in with someone who gave us a piece of paper and a number and then put us into another line. Still not out of the airport. Apparently, the busses weren’t there yet. The piece of paper gave a rundown of the process of check-in that we would be going through. In a nutshell: The busses will take us to a hotel, where we will do our check-in and then we will have a buffet breakfast. Busses will then take us to the cruise port to meet the ship. RCCL Dubai Welcome Letter.pdf We were on-board a bus at 9:45 to go to the hotel where we found a row of tables where we could check in. Something about the immigration policies in the UAE require them to hold all passports so be prepared to exchange yours for your Sea Pass card. Breakfast was standard buffet food, but not quite as good as the windjammer. Tolerable though. Busses were loaded and we headed to the port at 10:45. The ride to the port was about 30 minutes. Once at the port, it was a matter of going through security and walking right on-board. If you wonder when you get your passports back, we were given the schedule for that as well. RCCL Immigration Information.pdf If you have followed my previous posts about this cruise, you will know that I paid for the Deluxe drink package on the Cruise Planner page of RCCL website. The price that I paid was about USD $55.00. That price was the same price from the date that I booked the cruise until I bought it. No sale was ever offered. Everyone has said, and I had believed that it is cheaper to buy it before the cruise so I didn’t take any chances and I bought it before we sailed. Once on-board, I noticed that they were selling the drink packages for the same price. No difference in prices. Drink Packages Onboard.pdf Drink prices on-board, at various venues can be seen in the following documents. No drink card was ever offered on this cruise, although the Cruise Planner had a coffee card available that was not available on-board. Lattetudes Menu.pdf Pool Bar Beer Special.pdf Pool Bar Menu.pdf R Bar Menu.pdf Windjammer Drink Menu Once we got to our stateroom at 1:00 I found our soda cups waiting on our bed with a statement of what was included with the drink package. Beverage Package Receipt.pdf Also a listing of Platinum benefits Platinum Benefits.pdf We just spent the rest of the day exploring the ship, drinking drinks, and relaxing. Dinner was in the Main Dining Room. We had a table of 6. One couple (Stuart & Barbera) were quite old (I think he was 86). A Yorkshire man who was a veteran of the Korean war as well as the Viet Nam war. He was a test pilot in the RAF. Every story seemed to relate to one of these wars or just his service in general. The other couple was a bit younger (Richard & Sheila). He was a retired police Officer from the London area. All in all, the group was well mixed and we had a good time with them, but I certainly felt young at 53. Our servers were Jose, from the Philippines and Lilia, from Croatia. They took very good care of us throughout the cruise. I think the day would not be complete without the drink counts: Coffee = 3; Wine = 3; Beer = 1; Cocktails = 4; Mixed Drinks = 4; Bottled Water = 2 – Which put us about USD $20pp over what we spent. Getting our money’s worth. Can we keep it up? Keep reading to find out. Cruise Compass - Boarding Day Edition
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