Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Muscat and Khor Fakkan.

Life on the ocean wave over the last few days has been great fun (as always) with much going on both inside and out on deck.


The Champagne / cocktail parties just don’t stop – here’s Doug, at the Cunard World Club cocktail party with Henry Wasserfall, Guest Services Manager who, with Hazel Stewart, has made a host of special things happen for us on this cruise.


We were invited by friends to visit them in one of the Royal Suits which have a great view at the front of the ship ………


……. and while we were there we had a good view of one of the very impressive vessels which form part of the security cover and keep us safe in the dangerous waters.


Socialising goes on well after midnight usually.  Here’s Doug with one of the most glamorous and gracious ladies on the ship – Glenda, from Texas, a spritely, fun loving lady heading towards a major birthday with a very high number. 


We’ve been taking part in a decathlon event over the last week at the end of which we enjoyed a Champagne fuelled presentation ceremony.  Here’s the winning team and surprisingly (as with the recent “Olympics” event) we were in it!


Even more Champagne (well, it’s rude not to accept the invitations!) – this time for elite Cunard travellers (a club to which we do not belong but we had an invitation none-the-less). We’re with Chris Hamilton, the very talented guest pianist on this leg of the cruise. 


After 10 days at sea we eventually managed to get our feet on terra firma when we arrived at Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman on Tuesday. We had a very pleasant and relaxed mooch about this ancient port ……


……. visiting the huge Souk was a great experience with the most amazing array of things on offer.


Like always, we enjoy wandering away from the tourist areas a bit and into the areas where the locals do their shopping.


There was a lot of interesting architecture in the old city and the colours of some of the buildings were really beautiful.


We spent the day in Muscat with George McGhee, the ship’s guest speaker on films and film stars.


Doug decided he’d like to look more like one of the locals – so he had a head dress fitted!


Afternoon tea – and here’s George with “a local?”


We met up with fellow passenger Patrick Anthony, now retired but well known for his early presentation of “Ready Steady Cook” and reading the news.  Here we are,  George, Patrick, some local resident of Muscat(!) and James on the roof terrace of the Marina Hotel ………


……… with a wonderful panorama view of the harbour and city.


Zooming in a bit we got a good view of the Sultan of Oman’s new yacht.  His old one (just as nice!) is still in the harbour. The yacht came out to sea to greet us this morning and escorted us into port. We guess the Sultan knew about it!


The skyline of the city from the Marina Hotel terrace ………


…….. and – it’s not really a local of Muscat, it’s Doug.


Today (Wednesday) we arrived in Khor Fakkan, UAE.  The emirate of Sharjah imposes a total ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol but that didn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves.  We climbed aboard a bus laid on by the Oceanic Hotel and, for a very reasonable fee, had full use of the pool facilities and their beach ………


…….. and a splendid buffet lunch.  Here’s our little group of cruising friends - Fran, Geoff, Glenn, Pam and Doug having an air-conditioned break from the heat outside.


As we’re learning, everything in the UAE seems to be cleaned and polished to perfection and very nice everything is too.  We had a great day getting a good tan in the sunshine and swimming in the warm waters of the sea and the pool before returning to the ship.

We’re coming to the end of our cruise as we’ll be berthing in Dubai tomorrow.  It’s been a month since we embarked in New York and a lot of water has passed under the hull since then.  Hopefully we haven’t put on any weight but we have four days in Dubai before being able to weigh ourselves back home! 


  1. I see Doug succumbed and bought an Omani dishdasha and muzzar. I have an outfit just the same after our visits to Muscat. It's amazing how wearing it there allows one to blend in unnoticed :-)

  2. Such a shame we wont be able to meet. We fly home on Friday. Have a great stay in Dubai. We loved it apart from being called to prayer at 5.45am!