Nautica diary: Wrapping up our 26-day South Asia cruise

Days 1-26: Wrapping-up the South Asia Cruise Why did you take this cruise? For most passengers we asked the response was “the ports-of-call.” The majority (58 percent) of passengers on this Bangkok to Dubai cruise were repeat Oceania customers — for many of them it was a question of which Oceania cruise to take this year, so where the ship was sailing was obviously of critical importance. Even those first timers we asked mostly mentioned the itinerary …

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Nautica diary: A bittersweet farewell after so many days exploring Southeast Asia on this cruise

Day 26: Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — Today is disembarkation day and it’s bittersweet. We shared dinner and conversation last evening with a Kiwi couple from Christchurch — for the second time on the cruise — and lingered over coffee, reluctant to return to packing. We all agreed on the success of the voyage from Bangkok — most enthusiastically about the quality of the crew, who not only executed their duties with proficiency, …

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Nautica diary: A look at Sharjah, Dubai’s neighboring emirate to the north

Day 25: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — The saga of the mosques continued as we began a tour of Sharjah, Dubai’s neighboring emirate to the north. Nautica put into Dubai by 8 a.m., and as we had arranged our own tour of Dubai for the following day when we disembark, we took advantage of the ship’s excursion to nearby Sharjah upon our arrival. It’s something we might not have thought of on our …

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Nautica diary: Abu Dhabi gaining on its sister emirate Dubai with ambitious plans for the future

Day 24: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — Perhaps we should call it the battle of the mosques, no disrespect intended. We thought we had seen the ultimate mosque in Muscat where we toured the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Yesterday we toured the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and now we don’t know what to think. Both mosques are modern — completed this century — and both were constructed by the …

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Nautica diary: Our first visit to the United Arab Emirates turns out to be an exploration of the dramatic Hajjar mountains of Oman

Day 23: Fujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — When we sailed out of Muscat last evening with the setting sun we thought we were saying farewell to Oman. It turned out otherwise. We booked all our Oceania-offered shore excursions weeks before we left home in order to take advantage of advance purchase discounts. We selected the “Mountain Safari” excursion to take during our 8-hour port call at Fujairah, because it sounded like a mini …

Read moreNautica diary: Our first visit to the United Arab Emirates turns out to be an exploration of the dramatic Hajjar mountains of Oman

Nautica diary: A day visiting the sultanate of Oman

Day 22: Muscat, Oman ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — Probably not on many bucket lists, this ancient port city on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula actually was on our “if we can get there list,” and so, was a factor in deciding to take this cruise. Stu did a report on Oman in 7th grade and has been intrigued with the place ever since. Today, a half-century later, he finally got there. Oman today is a completely …

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Nautica diary: Two days at sea, traveling from Bombay to Muscat

Day 20 & 21: Indian Ocean ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — Bombay to Muscat — it’s a long voyage, 850 nautical miles across the Arabian Sea. Here, Nautica may be most vulnerable to pirates, at least until after she leaves Dubai, where we will have disembarked. But while the captain and crew take this threat seriously, it’s also clear that the risk is quite low. Guest lecturer Don Campbell spoke on board the other day about 21st century …

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Nautica diary: Our second day in Bombay gives us a much more thorough look at a fascinating city

Day 19: Bombay (Mumbai), India (Part 2) ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — We joined an all-day Oceania excursion on day two in Bombay and gained a new perspective on the city even with some overlap of sights. First, it was a work day and what seemed like a busy but manageable city on Sunday was monumentally congested with people and vehicles on Monday. Second, our guide, Silpa, a wise and well-traveled woman, offered some additional insights. She started …

Read moreNautica diary: Our second day in Bombay gives us a much more thorough look at a fascinating city

Nautica diary: Our first day in Bombay/Mumbai is a quiet Sunday and we see key sights

Day 18: Bombay (Mumbai), India (Part 1) ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — Three taxis. Three taxis within ¼ mile. The first one didn’t even get us out of the port before it stopped, the driver flagging down an incoming taxi and, after a brief conversation saying, “get-in, he’ll take you.” So, we climbed into cab #2 and exited through the port security gate, then stopped again within 50 yards. Our driver exited and held a brief, heated discussion …

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Nautica diary: A fascinating day in Cochin, India…by bus and by boat

Day 16: Cochin (Kochi), India ABOARD OCEANIA’S NAUTICA — We docked early this morning in Cochin, a historic trading port in Kerala state, on India’s southwest coast. Indian immigration officials boarded the ship so they could check passengers’ papers. This is the first time officials have come aboard ship, although in Singapore they were set up in the terminal ashore. Here there are no shore facilities — it’s just an industrial port. In other countries we’ve visited, …

Read moreNautica diary: A fascinating day in Cochin, India…by bus and by boat

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