Monday, May 30, 2016

Meanwhile, what is happening on board?

 Sea days are not that boring 
as some people might imagine.

Cruise director and his team are trying very hard 
to please almost all the passengers on board 
through numerous activities, lectures
 and parties on daily programme.

Tonight, one of the biggest parties is held in
the Crows Nest Bar on board and it is packed.

It is themed under April Fools Day party
with interesting funny costumes.
Winners with elaborate costume get
a bottle of champagne each.

It is me in disguise...

Our dear friend Pam and
on board cruise tour consultant 
Barbara in bumble bee outfit

Manny the wine man is the most popular amongst
the passengers as he is really switched on what we need
and his charming smile...

One of the happy winners with their prize.

Martha we have known for more than a decade

One of crew in pink onesie
is adding more fun to the party.


Champagne brunch in the main dinning room
 with our dear friends
Sharyn from Sydney and 
Marcia and Jules from Denver.


Daily pre dinner cocktail gathering
before one of the gala nights 
with sisters from Canada.
Lovely Kathy and Anne.

Margaret and Don are originally from Scotland
and now call Canada home.

One of new nice friends we met on this cruise.
Michael and Susan.

Long time cruise friends,
Jeff who almost lives on the cruise ship year round
 and Allan from Colorado.

Greg with our dear friend Sandra, Allan's wife.


With Bob and Ron from Fort Lauderdale
behind Sharyn and Martha 
are waiting for tonight's entertainment
in the ship's theatre.

 Sharing a great time with friends
is priceless.

Greg and me.

They don't call it a formal night anymore
as less and less people want to be bothered
 to dress up for it.
So it is called a gala night.

Lovely gift from the ship tonight.


There is a big BBQ party going on the Lido pool deck
as the ship sailed out of Aqaba port, Jordan.

Tons of middle Eastern food are presented.
They are all delicious.

 Kebabs galore!

Life is still good on board..

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Salalah la la, Oman

Salalah is another port of Oman 
our cruise ship arrived
on our next day from Muscat.

We teamed up with two other American friends
and got on the complimentary shuttle bus from the port.

When we got off the shuttle bus,
we were swarmed by a mob of taxi drivers 
who were fighting on us.
It was so bad that we were quite scared of the scene.
We chose one of them after intervene 
by a couple of local tourist police.

We were happy with the driver we were lead by the man.
A polite and nice young man he was.

We left our daily itinerary to our driver for few hours.

First we were taken to Crown Plaza hotel
after driving around the old and new part of Salalah.

Last visit to this port, all we did was having
lunch at the Hilton hotel for few hours with
another passenger friends and came back to the ship.

Felt sort of guilt then 
as it was my virgin visit but
did not do anything as a tourist.

Crown Plaza hotel lobby

^^ Bedouin tent found in the corner of the hotel lobby

Outdoor pool and a beach are 
behind the hotel

 Four of us decided to share a mezze plate as a lunch
in the hotel restaurant and they were very nice.

There are some interesting looking building around.

Quite a big shopping mall 

One of our friends wanted to have 
a haircut with a good massage
which we were just told while in town
but we couldn't find the one 
without proper previous information.

He ended up having a haircut in this barber 
without the proper massage.
He only paid $1.oo for the haircut, though.
Must have been the cheapest, ever!

Beautiful Al Bustan Ritz Carlton Hotel Muscat, Oman

There was a compliment shuttle bus 
running every half an hour
from the port to the town centre
where Mutrah Souq is located.

Lovely half moon shape harbour 

Around the souq

Inside the souq

After short sighting of the souq,
we were negotiating a taxi to hire for few hours.

We bumped into a nice Canadian couple 
we shared a taxi with
when we were in Phuket, Thailand.
They were also looking for a taxi 
so here we are again to share 
a nice day together in Muscat!

Beautiful mosque that 
 closed just few minutes before
when we arrived by taxi.
We should have known it before!

 Other unfortunate tourists 
who tried to get in to the mosque.

Grand Hyatt Muscat that our taxi driver wanted us to view

Beautiful inside the hotel lobby.

Out door pool leads to a nice beach

Very modern looking piano in the lobby

 Opera house is the next stop

Our taxi driver

We really wanted to come to this hotel 
as there were so many people 
strongly recommended to visit.
Al Bustan Ritz Carlton Hotel Muscat!

There is a ship's tour that passengers can have
high tea in this elegant hotel lobby.

Al Bustan hotel outdoor pool and beach area

We, four of us, had light lunch here in this 
gorgeous setting with palm trees alongside a beach.
It was like a dream.

 The palace for the president

Incence burner is the nickname for this interesting building

Party on board was just about to start when
we came back to the cruise ship.
A belly dancer looked very extotic!