For the last decade, Dubai’s growth as a tourist and business hub can only be described as phenomenal. The impetus for such rapid growth stemmed from the deliberate divergence of its oil-dependent economy towards development of other sectors – namely hospitality, tourism, and the infrastructure industries – in a bid to reduce reliance on oil-generated income.
In the last decade, Dubai’s immense popularity as a tourist destination is equally impressive as its incredible economic growth. Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has put in enormous funding and effort to boost tourism-related activities.
It therefore comes as no surprise that Dubai cruises have also come into the limelight as one of the premiere forms of holiday-based travel to and from the shores of Dubai.
Dubai’s strategic location on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the southwest corner of the Arabian Gulf, together with its world class international airports, ensures that the emirate is connected to most other parts of the world either by sea or by air.
This also means that the port can offer tourists long luxury cruises to other parts of the Middle East, South-East Asia, India, Africa, and Europe. Cruise season is generally from October through to May, and Dubai is a popular port of embarkation for those who wish to explore the Middle East through the Arabian Gulf or around the Arabian Peninsula to the Red Sea and Suez Canal.
Cruises are the perfect vacation getaways, providing the ultimate in comfort, luxury, amenities, and entertainment for that special occasion – or just to get away from the humdrum of everyday life and experience travel on the ocean!
Below, we have put together our top cruises from Dubai, selected for fantastic service and the ultimate in entertainment to keep the whole family in the throes of fun from the minute you set sail.
Pacific Princess Cruises
The Pacific Princess is a relatively small cruise ship with plush wooden, offering more exotic cruises in Europe, South America, and Asia. Offering the intimacy, comfort, and style of a country inn, the more compact Pacific Princess delivers fabulous service by an excellently trained, highly efficient, and friendly crew.
Owing to its modest size, there are only five categories of accommodation, but with significant differences within each category – so consult deck plans and cabin reviews before you book to ensure you get the accommodation you are looking for.
The ship has fixed dining shifts at 6:15 pm and 8:15 pm, or guests can opt for one of the two alternate restaurants on board. Keep in mind that the restaurants are open on alternate nights. Evening entertainment includes live music, first-run movies, and variety shows at the Cabaret Lounge, as well as slot machines and table games at the Casino Bar.
For detailed itineraries and departure dates click here. For help with booking a cruise, it is recommended to go through a cruise agency such as Cruise Master, which can help plan your trip based on your preferences.
Crystal Serenity Cruise
A luxury line cruise, the Crystal Serenity provides guests with the black-tie elegance associated with traditional cruises, emerging from an extensive makeover that commenced in mid 2011.
A modern cruise liner with plenty of classic elements that keep guests coming back for more, the Crystal Serenity is more glamorous than before, with spacious outer decks, redesigned cabins with plush carpeting, new furniture, and plenty of public areas (like the two paddle tennis courts) to keep the guests entertained.
Well known for its friendly formal dining experience, the Crystal allows guests to tell the maitre d’ when and with whom they plan to dine so that they can enjoy their dining experience. The Crystal dining room is an elegantly furnished, no-fuss restaurant offering a mix of classic and modern cuisine, and is the backbone of the cruise liner’s dining operations.
Fun is plentiful, with live music providing the bulk of the entertainment. Dancing, comedy shows, Broadway-style productions, and the slot machines and table games at the Crystal Casino also keep guests busy into the wee hours of the morning. For detailed itineraries and departure dates click here.
Azamara Club Cruises
The Azamara Club Cruises’ fleet comprises the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, both smaller cruise ships that have a passenger capacity of 686. The two ships offer superb service, a host of amenities such as a choice of dining venues, cabins with balconies, a casino, and a generously sized fitness facility.
Both ships were acquired by their parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which invested a good deal of money to refurbish the elegant ships, keeping the ambience fresh and contemporary by adding soft furnishings to public spaces, new paint job on the hulls, and upgrading the amenities available to guests.
One of Azamara’s outstanding features is plentiful dining options. Each ship has four restaurants with open seating and a variety of menu options, including healthy food options, grill menus, afternoon tea and coffee, and a variety of fine dining options.
Entertainment options are plentiful as well with music, theater, live bands, and the all-famous, once-a-journey pool party with a resort casual dress code.
The cruise brand focuses on destination-intensive itineraries that translate into more overnight stays with a focus on art, culture, history, food and wine, and small group tours that visit homes, estates, and farms at their port of call. For detailed itineraries and departure times for cruises departing from Dubai click here.
Oceania Nautica Cruises
The Nautica is a very popular luxury cruise ship for a variety of reasons. The crew is highly efficient and friendly, and will often remember returning passengers’ names. The food is outstanding and the cruise liner offers a varied itinerary that keeps customers coming back for more.
Oceania cruises tend to be longer at sea than many other liners, and also tend to offer longer onshore stays. The Nautica experience is a great balance of luxury defined by customer-centered service, fantastic cuisine, and all the bells and whistles of a luxury cruise ship – all priced to appeal to a range of travelers.
For those who feel butler service and luxury suites are a necessity rather than a luxury, the cruise liner offers these options as well without catering only to the very rich. For detailed itineraries and departure times for cruises departing from Dubai click here.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruises
The Sojourn is a charming 450-passenger vessel akin to a boutique hotel at sea. It boasts the largest Luxe Spa at sea with a happily informal, yet elegant ambience that makes for a splendid cruise experience.
90% of the suites on the ship have large balconies, and the suites themselves are beautifully furnished with all the modern amenities including separate living and sleeping areas, flatscreen TVs, classic marble-clad bathrooms with shower and bathing areas, and balconies with dining tables overlooking the ocean.
The dining options are equally charming: the aptly named Colonnade restaurant is surrounded by a wraparound terrace offering al fresco dining, while the cozier Seabourn Square is a more casual coffee/internet café with a lovely library.
One of the distinct features of this ship that sets it apart from other cruise liners is the amount of outdoor space dedicated to lounging. This includes the main pool area as well as several nooks and crannies designed along the ship with their own mini pools, inviting people to get out and enjoy the lovely outdoors aboard this outstanding ship.
For detailed itineraries and departure times for cruises departing from Dubai click here.