Inside the Gulf of Aden..All is well so far…Making final plans to arrive in Dubai in three days…

Due to poor internet connection we are unable to post photos today.

After another uneventful night at sea in the Gulf of Aden, we’re looking forward to nearing Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Its hard to believe that our seventh cruise is almost over, with the eight to begin on June 4th.

In three days, we’ll be in Dubai, settling into our condo, unpacking everything with the intent of further trimming our load and, much to our delight, doing our laundry.

As we get close to arriving at our next location, we find a fair amount of communication is necessary with the property manager or owner of the property to fine tune the details such as:

  1. How do we get a key?
  2. What time can we get in?
  3. If we arrive early, where can we wait, if waiting is necessary?
  4. What’s the situation with maid service, if, available.
  5. How will the security deposit of US $300, to be paid in cash be refunded to us?

In the case of Dubai, there is a glitch that we knew would transpire with little we can do about it.  The property, being a condo hotel, has a check-in time of 3:00 pm.  Our ship arrives in the port of Dubai at 6:00 am. 

We’ve found that we can take our time in order to disembark the ship approximately four hours after arriving in port eventually grabbing a cab to the property. At most, this will take us to 10:30 am. The property manager agreed to meet us at the Elite Residence Hotel at 2:00 pm, leaving us approximately 3 1/2 hours to kill.

At the moment, we’re awaiting a response from him as to the availability of a lobby at the property. Waiting there would be an ideal situation as long as we have access to a restroom and a place to sit.  We can easily entertain ourselves using our MiFi or reading books on our phones.

We’ll have breakfast on the ship before we disembark, so food during the waiting period is no issue for us since we only have two meals per day at most, breakfast and dinner.

As for the maid service for the 13 nights, we’ve asked the property manager to arrange a cleaning one week after we arrive at a cost of US $20 including tip. What a bargain! 

Yes, we certainly could have cleaned the condo ourselves, but we’ve decided that if maid service is available at our vacation homes for a reasonable cost, we will take advantage of it.  This avoids the necessity of purchasing cleaning supplies only to leave them behind and spending time cleaning and thinking about cleaning.  Of course, we clean up after ourselves daily, doing laundry, cooking and dishes.

This particular rental requires a US cash deposit of $300.  Most often, they prefer to snail mail a refund check after vacating the property, at times not until two weeks later.  This isn’t the easiest solution for us,  although our mailing service in Nevada will send the check to our bank at our request, using the addressed envelopes we left with them.

Last night, we attended a huge disco party on the Royal Promenade, the well designed “street” mid ship, lined with shops, bars and restaurants.  On the bridge over our heads, the ship’s professional singers and dancers performed many familiar songs of the 70’s while the crowd danced in the “street.”  Having arrived early for seats in the “outdoor café” we couldn’t have found a better spot.

The people watching was stupendous, the conversation loud and animated and we had a blast, reminiscing of earlier days in our lives.  Watching “old timers” many 10 to 20 years our senior, dancing along to the music warmed our hearts.  We couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces, staying until the music ended.

Actually, a smile on our faces has become a normal state of being for us.  No matter the hassles, the luggage, the comings and goings, every day we meet new people, experiencing new adventures as we learn more and more about our world, its cultures and its people.  We’re very grateful.