A Travellerspoint blog

March 2019

Dubai - Sunday, 24 March 2019

Free day in Dubai

overcast 31 °C
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QE2 Floating Hotel - Room No 2075

We were both in bed and asleep by 9 pm, had a good night's sleep and woke naturally just before the alarm which was set for 7 am. The bed is a huge king sized bed and is very comfortable. So are the pillows.

Breakfast was held in The Lido, which is a huge room overlooking the port. Not many people around. Either they are all sleepy heads or don't eat breakfast! There is a group of 70 pommies staying here, who will be sailing with us on the Queen Mary 2 tomorrow. We met and chatted with some at breakfast. No name exchange yet.

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After breakfast we wandered around the ship. Most areas are deserted.

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The theatre has the most exquisite wall paper.

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This is the Queen's Grill Dining Room, the best restaurant on the QE2.

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We have met up with Paul, who will be on the Queen Mary 2 with us and has been on 32 Cunard cruises.

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Oh no, Phil is sailing the ship!

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Agi, our lovely friend from Greece, who worked at the Australian Embassy in Athens when Phil was on posting there in the seventies, flew over to Dubai from Muscat, Oman to have lunch with us today and left a few hours later to fly back to Muscat. Now THAT is friendship! We last saw Agi in Greece in 2014 and were planning to go to Greece in June of this year, but our trip to the Norwegian Fjords has been postponed until June 2020, so we will see her again following that trip when we call into Athens on our way to Croatia.

We had a buffet lunch in the Lido and there was every type of food imaginable there. But the same thing happened at lunch as it did at breakfast. About half way through meal they started playing loud rock and roll music through the speakers. Weird! You can hardly hear yourself think.

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We have had far too much food today and have decided to skip dinner this evening. Tomorrow is the big day - boarding the Queen Mary.

Posted by gaddingabout 09:50 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Singapore to Dubai - Saturday, 23 March 2019

On board QE2

overcast 31 °C
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QE2 Floating Hotel - Room No 2075

We had a one hour stopover in Singapore and were very pleased to see that our departure lounge for our flight to Dubai was right next to the door where we disembarked from our flight from Sydney. Sometimes at Changi Airport, you have to catch a train to get to your departure lounge.

The flight wasn't full and Phil and I were seated in the centre of the plane with two spare seats beside us. It's good to be able to spread out.

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We were offered two meals again during the seven hour flight but declined the last snack. We both watched "A Star is Born" and I thought Lady Gaga was very good in that movie.

I read more of my book and slept and in no time at all we landed in Dubai. Immigration was painless and we caught a taxi to our hotel for the next two nights - the QE2. Driving through Dubai is just wonderful. The roads are wide and clean and the traffic flows beautifully. The city lights are magic. It has changed a lot since we were last here which is more than 10 years ago.

The wharf is not far from the airport and the taxi fare was 54 dirhams, which was very reasonable.

We checked in and were then taken through some doors, onto the wharf where the QE2 is tied up. What a magnificent sight.

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Our room is on the second level and is huge. We have three portholes. While sitting here typing my blog, I can hear the ship "groaning". It is lovely, but I can't feel any movement but apparently it does move, depending on the tides.

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It is now about 16 hours since we left Sydney so it's time for a bath and off to bed.

There was a huge dust storm here today and the sky is very hazy. And my nose is running like a tap and I'm sneezing all over the place - non allergic rhinitis! Time for a tablet and off to bed.

Posted by gaddingabout 10:05 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Sydney to Singapore - Saturday, 23 March 2019

We're off to Dubai via Singapore


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We both had a reasonable sleep last night. The bed and pilows were great and a few champagnes certainly helped. We were planning to get up at 5.45 am, have breakfast at Rydges and then walk across the road and check in. What were we thinking? It is true that alcohol addles the brain!!

We just didn't have the time to do that so we showered and dressed and came straight to the airport, checked in, passed through security and as usual Phil got a red light and had to be processed at the counter. It happens every time! One of the staff told me it is his height or his beard.

Anyway we had a light breakfast in the Singapore Airlines Lounge with only an hour to spare!

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For weeks now, since I have been starting to pack, I have been worried about the weight of my bag. We are allowed 30 kgs. Phil's was 20 and mine was 24.4 kgs which wasn't too bad considering what I have jammed into it.

We boarded the flight and we were both seated in the exit aisle of Premium Economy but I was near the window and Phil was in the centre aisle section. So when a nice young man took up his seat next to me, Phil asked him to swap seats and he did. The only problem with sitting in that row, is that all your bags have to be in the overhead lockers ALL the time and they are so high I can't reach them, so it's a bit of a nuisance.

We had two meals on the flight which were okay and I slept a lot and read my book "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtney and Phil watched three movies. The plane was full.

After eight hours flying, we landed in Singapore with only one hour stopover before our flight to Dubai.

Posted by gaddingabout 09:26 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Canberra to Sydney - Friday, 22 March 2019

On the road again!

overcast 27 °C
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We had a very relaxed morning with plenty of time to do the last minute jobs of clearing out the fridge, checking the doors and windows, giving the neighbours the letterbox key and a quick snack before our lovely neighbour Gerry arrived in his truck to take us to the Jolimont Centre to catch our bus to Sydney.

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Bye bye Cook - hello Murray's Bus - our transport to Sydney for an overnight stay at Rydges Airport Hotel before our flight tomorrow morning. Getting excited!

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The bus trip was uneventful and arrived on time, 3 1/4 hours later. I slept most of the way. The bus pulled up at the departure lounge which meant that we had a bit of a hike to the far end of "departures", down in the lift and across the road to Rydges. But it was good to have a walk after three hours in the bus, albeit lugging our mountain of luggage.

Rydges Hotel - Room No 732 - we are in our very favourite room, right at the end of the hallway, overlooking the airport.

We decided to attend Happy Hour (with five minutes to spare), ordered our bubbly and Phil started chatting to this guy we met in the lift who was trying to get to the roof bar. He told us it was closed and he and his wife ended up at Happy Hour. After several more bubblies, we all had dinner together and now have some new lovely friends - who are just like us.

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Donna and Wayne are from Bundanoon, a couple of hours away from Canberra. They are on their way to South Africa but when we all return from our travels, we will meet up again, either in Bundanoon or Canberra. They think I look like a younger version of Judy Dench, which I love, but is not true. I can't see it.

We are now back in our room after severai glasses of bubbly - I can hardly type - making so many mistakes! Time for a shower and into bed. Up early tomorrow for our flight to Dubai. Feeling very happy and excited for what will hopefully be the trip of a lifetime!

The view from our room.

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Posted by gaddingabout 22:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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