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Old 04-02-2013, 12:25 PM   #31
Pinkocto
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What a fun day!
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:02 AM   #32
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The Aquaventure looks like fun! Is it connected with the Atlantis in Nassau?
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:36 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
The Aquaventure looks like fun! Is it connected with the Atlantis in Nassau?
Yes, they are both owned by the same company. At some stage I am hoping to get to visit the one in Nassau, too.

Corinna
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:44 PM   #34
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OK, Just finished day 2. Sounds like a lot of walking and stuff but some neat adventures. The fountains seem similar to what they have in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas, have you been there? The fountain show looked very pretty.

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Wow, the shopping looks amazing! I'm always a little surprised (and a little dismayed!) about the proliferation of American shopping and restaurants all over the world. Reminds of the time I found a Chi Chi's Mexican restaurant in Luxembourg City.

Jill in CO
This is what struck me too. The few American chain restaurants that you mentioned led me to believe that they have invaded the world with prepackaged American cooking!

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:09 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
OK, Just finished day 2. Sounds like a lot of walking and stuff but some neat adventures. The fountains seem similar to what they have in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas, have you been there? The fountain show looked very pretty.



This is what struck me too. The few American chain restaurants that you mentioned led me to believe that they have invaded the world with prepackaged American cooking!

Back to read more...
I have been to Las Vegas, but have not seen the fountains at the Bellagio in action. As far as I know the same company that is behind the fountains at the Bellagio also created the Dubai Fountains. I like them, but of course World of Color is much more impressive.

We did a fair bit of walking this time round, but that was entirely out of choice and we only did this as the temperatures were so lovely. If it had been later in the spring, we probably would have taken a taxi from the hotel straight to Festival city. By late April/ early May it is really too hot in Dubai to walk any distance.

As far as American restaurant chains in Dubai are concerned, all the usual suspects seem to be there: Chili's, TGI Friday's, Red Lobster, Rainforest Cafe, Cheesecake Factory, Ponderosa, Applebee's, Bennigans, California Pizza Kitchen, IHOP, Macaroni Grill, P.F. Chang's, Outback Steakhouse, Shake Shack and Texas Roadhouse. I am sure I may have forgotten a few. On top of that a lot of the coffee and fastfood chains are there, too. The Dubai Mall alone has two outlets of Tim Hortons that a lot of my American friends rave about.

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Old 04-04-2013, 08:05 AM   #36
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Another busy day. It was very interesting to hear about Atlantis there. I just took classes on Atlantis in the Bahamas, but I haven't found any for Dubai.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:38 PM   #37
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Very interesting day at the Aquaventure, as you know from reading my PTR, we won't be doing anything like that soon, but a water park does sound fun eventually. That's weird that you can only go into the lobby of Atlantis as a guest, but I suppose nice for the guests.

It's all very interesting hearing about the city itself. I don't think it is a place that we would ever travel to, but very nice to hear about a "forbidden place".
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:42 PM   #38
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Day 4

Even though we had gone to bed nice and early the previous evening, getting up at 4:30 AM was painful. We got up, got dressed and packed the last bits and pieces. Our swim stuff had dried over night. We went downstairs and sat down outside to wait for the shuttle. Just before 5:00 AM, it was already 25C. The shuttle arrived shortly afterwards and once everybody was on, we were on our way to the airport.

At Dubai, they have a separate check in area for people travelling on staff tickets. I had been there a few times before, but we came in from a slightly different direction and I had to double-check where I needed to go. Normally this area is very busy and by the very nature of flying standby, you normally end up having to run for your plane. This time round, the area was pretty empty. As we approached the check in desks, one of my colleagues who was also on the way back from Dubai, spotted me and told me that we would be OK. Indeed, our names already had green lights next to them. We were just getting in line for the economy class check in when we were waved over to the business class check in. A couple of minutes later we had our boarding passes and were on our way. Security and passport control also went very smoothly and I very quickly had a second stamp in my new passport.

Next up was uncharted territory. At the beginning of January the new Concourse A opened at Dubai International Airport. This is a dedicated terminal for the A380s. As we were flying back on an A380, we had to make our way over to Concourse A. Straight after security there is now a train that links the departure level of terminal 3 with the ground floor level of Concourse A. By the time we got off the train, we were both ready for a coffee and there just happened to be a handy Costa Coffee cart just as you got off the train, but unfortunately due to some technical issue they were not able to serve coffee at the time. We asked if they had another outlet upstairs and he said they did, but we never found it. To get to the level from which the access to the gates is and where all the shops and food outlets are, we had to go up seemingly endless escalators. Eventually we got to the right level. The new concourse is truly stunning. We had a bit of look around, but soon they were calling our flight. Once they checked our boarding passes, we had to go downstairs again to the gate seating area. I finally got my hands on a copy of the Gulf News, the local newspaper. I am normally not a fan of newspapers, but I have always enjoyed reading the Gulf News when I am in Dubai.



I had just finished my paper when they called our boarding zone. We were right at the back of the aircraft. The whole process was very smooth and soon we were on our way. Shortly after take off we got a nice view of The World. Once we were at cruising altitude, they came round with hot flannels and the menus. Shortly afterwards they started to serve breakfast. On this flight, there was the choice between two breakfast platters: Traditional Arabian Morning Mezze or a Breakfast Deli Platter. Both came with Orange Juice, Fresh Fruit and a Croissant with Butter and Marmalade. We both went with the Breakfast Deli Platter, which consisted of thinly sliced Smoked Turkey, Cured Beef, Gouda Cheese, Mixed Vegetable Salad and Crudités. We both had some Mango Juice, which this time round got drunk rather than worn and we finally got our coffee.

After breakfast I decided to watch some films. Before breakfast, I had checked out the games, but they did not have my favourites on that flight. So I ended up watching three films: Hope Springs, Anna Karenina and People Like Us. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. About halfway through the flight, they came round with drinks and some snacks. I ended up having some Coke. They also frequently came round with water and juice. About 90 minutes or so before we were due to land, they served lunch. Lunch started with a Smoked Turkey Salad served on a bed of Celery, Carrots and Raisins. I gave mine to Graham as I don't like Celery or Raisins. For the hot meal, we had a choice between Chicken Curry, which was Asian-style Marinated Chicken cooked in a Creamy Curry Sauce served with Coconut-favoured Rice and Seasoned Vegetables or Steamed Cod Fillet with Creamy Parsley Sauce, Organo Potatoes, Green Beans, Mushrooms and Carrots. I went with the Curry and Graham had the fish. For dessert, we Chocolate Coconut Cake with Mango Coulis. As Graham can't eat chocolate, I got a double helping. We also got a Roll, a snack box with Cream Crackers, Cheese Spread, Bruchetta Bites and Sweet Chilli Sauce and a piece of Chocolate. Pretty much as soon as they tidied away the lunch trays, we were descending into Manchester.

As we landed, I could not believe my eyes. When we left the hotel in the morning, it had been 25C. In Manchester, we were treated to a blizzard. Considering the size of the plane, it did not take long to get off the plane. The line for passport control was very manageable as well. I was kind of curious about the self service gates for chipped passports, but decided to stick with Graham. Once we had gone through customs, I checked with lost property if my neck pillow had been handed in, but no such luck. We took the train back home and then had a nap.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:24 PM   #39
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Sounds like a fantastic mini trip! The service on the plane sounds so much better than American airlines. Too bad you had to come home to a blizzard!

Jill in CO
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:41 PM   #40
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Thanks so much for sharing your adventure, what a fun weekend!
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #41
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What a lovely trip! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:45 AM   #42
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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Sounds like a fantastic mini trip! The service on the plane sounds so much better than American airlines. Too bad you had to come home to a blizzard!

Jill in CO
Funny enough, Delta is our favourite airline and we also loved our transatlantic flight on United. They are both fantastic airlines for long-haul flights.

Corinna
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