Our three stay in Dubai was certainly interesting. Everything in Dubai
seemed surreal and too big. When we saw resort development such as
Atlantis on the Palm (the artificial jetties and islands in the shape of
a palm tree in the sea) they all had (or would have) 500 godzillion
hotels with 100 godzillion restaurants and 50 godzillion water parks. It
was all very interesting but at the same time unreal. It prides itself
on becoming THE tourist center of the Middle East . . . and I suppose
would like to include Europe. Every building is unique such as the
hotel in the shape of a sail boat shown in the picture.
This morning after breakfast and reading the newspapers we checked out
the hotel and took a cab to the cruise port. I don't know how many folks
were joining the cruise here in Dubai but there did not to seem very
many. This is our third time on the m/s Amsterdam and everything seems
the same. Later on at dinner we should find from our table partners how
well the cruise has gone. Yesterday while waiting for a dhow cruise on
the Dubai Creek we met a couple from Tampa who have been on the cruise
from the beginning in January. According to them folks were not pleased
with some of the itinerary changes and dropping the Egyptian ports. We
will have to see how it turns out.
One of the ports added to the itinerary is Ashdod in Israel. There we
planned to take a ship's tour to include stops in Jerusalem and
Bethlehem. Unfortunately, there was a bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday
so we will see what if anything changes because of that. Also this
morning I read in the International Herald Tribune that there were
rockets launched from the Gaza Strip and they flew over Ashdod. It seems
that the entire Middle East is going to hell. I'm sure that the Captain
of the Amsterdam will only stop at that locations that are safe.
Tomorrow, Saturday, we will again be in Dubai (we have been here since
Wednesday) until 10:00 AM when we leave here and head for Muscat in Oman.