DAY 19, DATELINE ABU DHABI – The QM2 makes its maiden call and is greeted by fireboats, ceremonial food and (the best part) dancing men with camel whips. That squawk behind the women in the bazaar: Hawks? That falcon?
DAY 18 DATELINE DUBAI – It’s as over the top as they say. Vegas with more money. Not all the women wear veils. (When they do it’s with a designer handbag and fabulous make up).
Also the world’s tallest building and luxury malls with chic W.C. signage.
Stew note: ah, a change is gonna come.
Oh, btw, yes, that IS the tower Tom Cruise was climbing in the latest Mission Impossible movie: Mission Impossible 4 Ghost Protocol. Check out the link. If you have a strong heart. Gulp.
This is a meeting of the Titans. The boat Kiki rode in on, the Queen Mary 2 is the largest Cruise Liner in the world. And the building Tom Cruise is climbing is the tallest in the world.
We did clear Dubai and I’m going to send pix as soon as I can. I agree with you on pirates and the QM2. In fact there’s a journalist here from Reuters who asked if he could quote me on not being worried about pirates. My logic was the same as yours but I’m sure it will come out dumb because all I managed to say was ‘It’s … a … big … ship’ Kathleen O’Connell, 66, Portland, Maine, USA.
Hey! I was forgetting you might be still up. We’re now 10 hours ahead of you! I’m having coffee and juice. Heading offline now — it’s expensive!
DAY 17, DATELINE DUBAI – We did a roller coaster 4-wheel drive through the dunes then lounged in tents eating dates and sipping Arabic coffee. Stew, you asked about coffee on the cruise: The QM2 does tea much better. Every afternoon with scones and cream.
Day 13 Gulf of Aden – Hors d’oeuvres …. a chef talks about the thousands of lobsters they’ll serve tomorrow night … cupcakes … and me. I was a total groupie.
Yes, to hiding Diarmuid in the dinghies to avoid getting tossed in Singapore vs Shanghai. Great strategy. I’ll let him know.
We are at sea three more days before arriving Dubai. Sea days are when all the formal nights and full-on entertainment happen. Three nights ago there was an Egyptian ball and people really did it up all Cleopatra. Tomorrow is Burns Night. Expect lots of kilts on the gents (with nothing under, they say) and tartan on the ladies. I’ll let you know.
I was up at 7 this morning and absolutely no one else was. Rare to see empty decks. We’re not supposed to bother the guys manning the sound guns but a chatty one found me. He said we have two warships escorting us, that they ‘hide’ during the day and come in close at night. A naval commander has also boarded (almost as good an assignment as someone we know, ahem, who had Naples, Italy duty during Vietnam!) along with three ‘shooters.’
Interestingly, we also had armed protection on our buses in Egypt. At one point we had to travel later than expected at night and did it in a convoy along with an extra vehicle with added armed guards. Once we hit Dubai everything relaxes again.
Actually, everything’s already relaxed as you could hear in the commodore’s report.
Off to sun. Too bad about the weather in Maine.