It's A Small World - A Never-ending Pre-trip Report

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
That's great that you can change your mind about the photo package that late and still get a refund.
I thought so.

Considering each soda is a couple dollars each, maybe even $3-$4, the $8 a day would be worth it.
You are right. I have just ordered this.

For us the soda issue would be no question. Yes for Fran, no for me.
In our family it is the same. I like my soda and Graham does not really drink it. He will be perfectly happy with water and ice tea.

I am so behind on my own packing. I need to go to bed early so I can get up early and do something. I've been so busy lately that it's been killing me!
I hope that you managed to get your packing done without too much hassle. If I don't see you again before you leave, have a magical trip.

Corinna
 

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
What an exciting trip! I know it's not what you originally planned, but it seems like it will be magical in its own way.
This seems to have been a bit of the story of this year that nothing went according to plan, but I had a fantastic time on the trips I did instead. Next year seems to pan out the same way, but again, if those trips do come off, I will be very happy.

I have more than just a little soft spot for the Arabic culture and I am very excited to see a little more of the Middle East.

Corinna
 

franandaj

I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
I hope that you managed to get your packing done without too much hassle. If I don't see you again before you leave, have a magical trip.
Well I'm guessing you didn't "see" me before I left! We're in port and I'm in line waiting for my photo CD. They're still sorting them and we have quite a queue. Then it's on to the next phase of vacation. I'm hoping to catch up a bit on the DIS since we have a laid back trip planned and Fran has needed a lot of sleep.

I don't know if you've left on your cruise yet. If so, I hope you're having a fabulous time!
 
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Well, I have been on leave for over a week, but still don't seem to get caught up on here. I spent the last week in Birmingham and had a day in London as part of this. Now I am back home for one night and then tomorrow we have our Winter Ball from work at the airport and then we will stay at one of the airport hotels as we are on the morning flight to Dubai on Sunday.

    I had a manicure and pedicure today and I have now officially finished my Christmas shopping. Better still, everything is wrapped. So when we get back, we only need to get some food and drink for Christmas and we are all set.

    I have started to pack and this is proving to be interesting. I found something that will do as a headscarf as we are intending to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. However, I have no tops that are lightweight and have long sleeves. Oman is a little more conservative than the UAE where a t-shirt that covers the shoulders is perfectly acceptable for a woman. I see a quick shopping trip in my future. I can't believe how quickly this trip is coming up now.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I am off. I am all packed and this morning I managed to get a bunch of lightweight long-sleeved tops in my local supermarket. I never did get around to doing an update about Muscat and Abu Dhabi. There is a good reason for this though. We only booked an excursion for our first day in Muscat relatively late and have not done anything at all about the first afternoon in Muscat, our second day there and our day in Abu Dhabi. We are leaning towards just wandering around Old Town in Muscat after our snorkeling excursion on the first day. For the second day, we will either book an excursion in port or do the Hop On Hop Off bus. For Abu Dhabi we are leaning towards a city tour, but we definitely want the see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We will see how everything pans out, but I am just glad that I do get a cruise after all this year and get to see more of the Middle East. The rest will wait for the trip report.

    Corinna
     

    PrincessInOz

    Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    I am off. I am all packed and this morning I managed to get a bunch of lightweight long-sleeved tops in my local supermarket. I never did get around to doing an update about Muscat and Abu Dhabi. There is a good reason for this though. We only booked an excursion for our first day in Muscat relatively late and have not done anything at all about the first afternoon in Muscat, our second day there and our day in Abu Dhabi. We are leaning towards just wandering around Old Town in Muscat after our snorkeling excursion on the first day. For the second day, we will either book an excursion in port or do the Hop On Hop Off bus. For Abu Dhabi we are leaning towards a city tour, but we definitely want the see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We will see how everything pans out, but I am just glad that I do get a cruise after all this year and get to see more of the Middle East. The rest will wait for the trip report.

    Corinna
    Enjoy and have a safe trip.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!
     
  • Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    You are probably in the air already, but I still wanted to wish you a wonderful trip!! Have fun!
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    Catching back up...Bon Voyage! I'm living vicariously through your FB pics!

    Jill in CO
     
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Enjoy and have a safe trip.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!
    I did. I have tons of photos and will start downloading and organising them after Christmas.

    You are probably in the air already, but I still wanted to wish you a wonderful trip!! Have fun!
    Thanks. We had an amazing trip

    Catching back up...Bon Voyage! I'm living vicariously through your FB pics!

    Jill in CO
    Thanks. Unfortunately I was not able to post many photos this time. Internet access was a bit of an issue.

    I'm sorry I missed your send off. I hope you have a magnificent trip!!!
    It was truly amazing.

    Welcome back :) I hope you had a fabulous cruise!!!
    We did. Let's just say Captain Mickey needs to be very worried.

    Corinna
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    So......

    I'm interested now that you posted something on my TR, you have something planned! :hyper:
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    After the wild rush to get ready for Christmas and having worked pretty much through from the time I returned to work to Christmas Eve, I finally have some downtime and some time for an update here. I am bursting with excitement. I did not want to say anything until the leave was confirmed as I did not want to jinx us, but this got sorted out on Christmas Eve.

    I think you probably realised by now that Royal Caribbean was a huge success for us. We loved the ship, the service and just about everything else about this cruise. This has opened up a whole new world for us. With Royal Caribbean having a fleet of 25 or so ships and itineraries covering just about every desirable corner of the world, the world was suddenly our oyster.

    There was one thing that caught our eye straightaway. When we were discussing our trips for 2016, we decided on the Panama Canal cruise on the Wonder for May, but we also decided we would do something completely different in the second half of the year. We essentially came up with three options: Seychellest, Mauritius or Far East. In all honesty, I believed this to be between the Seychelles or Mauritius and I started to gather information on those. However, we have now decided on the Far East.

    I had noticed even before our cruise that Royal Caribbean had an itinerary from Shanghai to Singapore in October. Shanghai made my heart jump as Shanghai Disneyland should be open by then and Graham lived in Singapore as a child and this has been on our to do list ever since I have known Graham. So I decided that if we liked Royal Caribbean, this may be worth looking into. Looking into it we did and I liked the itinerary. One of the main drawing points for me was an overnight stop in Hong Kong and more specifically the chance that this would present me to see something of the city, but also to go to Disneyland Hong Kong. We were not in the position to do something about this on the cruise as I did not know how leave would pan out and this turned out to be a blessing.

    When I looked at this again at home, I noticed that the itinerary had changed from that in the brochure. Instead of 2 days in Hong Kong, it was now just a little over half a day. I also read some reviews about the ship operating this cruise and there was not a single positive one. So I went back to the drawing board. I did find something that ticked all the boxes. This cruise was actually two days longer, left just over a month later and from Beijing. The ports of call are Shanghai, Okinawa, Hong Kong (overnight) and Ho Chi Minh before ending in Singapore. So this ticks all the boxes. I am not sure if I can squeeze in Disneyland Shanghai during this visit, but I will definitely look if this is possible once the park is open and more information is available.

    The big pull however is Beijing. I am getting really excited about being able to visit The Great Wall of China, the Ming tombs, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven (a replica of which is at Epcot) and Tiananmen Square. I am sure we will find plenty more that will take our fancy. The idea is that we will fly out on Saturday morning, which gets us into Beijing at about 7:00 AM local time on the Sunday. The flight is only 10.5 hours, but Beijing is 8 hours ahead of the UK. So most of Sunday will probably be spent asleep and then we will have 4 full days to explore and enjoy before heading to the port on the Friday.

    There is one element missing and that is the ship. This aspect is slight scary. We now have sailed on 4 different ships, but size-wise they were all very similar and this is a size we are comfortable with. It is big enough to have a good range of facilities, but small enough to feel quite intimate. This time we will be on the Ovation of the Seas. The Ovation of the Seas is currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany and is due to enter service in spring. She is a Quantum class ship so she is not quite as big as the Oasis of the Seas, which is the largest cruise ship in the world, but in size and capacity she is twice as big as the ships we are used to. I have to admit that this scares me a little. It will also be a brave new world in terms of facilities. The Ovation of the Seas will have an observation capsule, ice rink, bumper cars, flowrider and skydiving simulator. The whole concept just blows my mind. Whichever way I look at it, it will be an experience.

    Corinna
     

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