Let loose in Dubai on my own!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2012
Trip End Jan 19, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hyatt Regency, Deira, Dubai

Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday 16th Dubai off the ship

6.15, morning dawned bright and sunny again, although I hadn't slept that well – bit anxious about what will occur with transfers today.

First task, down to Customer Services – on board account delivered overnight, and guess what, I had been charged $43 for the transfer from the airport to the hotel and then to the ship because I wasn’t on the list. They weren’t keen to refund it, but I stood my ground, and they did so reluctantly – although it will be a refund to my credit card – which had apparently been charged already – so much for asking you to check and query your account before 7 am – I was there at 6.15 and it had already been charged as was. I was not happy! For someone who doesn’t like complaining, I’m getting quite good at it – they must hate the sight of me at that desk! Denise, be glad you are no longer working – I feel a letter coming on! I won’t be going on Royal Caribbean again.

Didn’t feel like breakfast but forced some toast down (am such a sensitive soul!) and some tea, and went back for a wash and quick check of cabin, and was in the pre debark lounge by 8am even though my time was 9.05 – with my dodgy labels! I chatted to the staff there and they said 35 labels were for those with independent transfer arrangements – as I thought – not worth the labels they were written on! At least I could see the Hyatt Regency from the ship, so if necessary I could get a taxi. I got my voucher out ready!

Had a good laugh at the people wandering in – one man said to the crew member – 'what do you do if you cant remember what number is on your luggage?’ – you really can’t believe some people can you – they are told in the instructions to detach the end bit of the label and retain it. I had a good excuse, but still had my ‘end’ even though my ‘end bit’ had 3 on it – fat lot of good when the rest of the label said 35.

Anyway, I wont keep you in suspense, called down at 9.05, debarked no problem, found suitcase no problem (boy it looks small compared with the gargantuan cases some people have!) – found bus going to Hyatt Regency and gave suitcase to driver and voucher and got on! Noone was going to move me! Before we set off, man with clipboard came round checking our names off list – no prizes for guessing whose name was missing – ME! He asked for my voucher, I said I’d given it to the driver, who shrugged his shoulders and denied it. I refused to move, so off we went!

On the way, saw the driver stuffing the voucher into his ashtray! I didn’t care – I was on the bus!

Only 5 mins to Hyatt Regency, and I was off the bus almost as soon as the door was open, and into Reception. Queue at the desk, but a very helpful young lady who apologised for the delay, and asked if there was anything she could do – I asked her to check my reservation as the suspense was killing me! Great relief, it was there – so at least I had a bed for the night – or 3! Surprise surprise, no welcome pack from the transfer company and no information about the transfer to the airport, but will worry about that tomorrow – at least hotel can organise one!

Nice man checking me in, apologised room wasn’t ready – I wasn’t really expecting it to be  - it was only 10am! Would I like a complimentary coffee while I waited? This was more like it! Had a comfy seat, and the nice girl (Heba) said she would bring the key over when the room was ready. Coffee didn’t materialise, so when she was passing I told her – profuse apologies and it appeared lickety split – gorgeous cappuccino. Rapidly followed by the Reception man with my key and a bottle of water – apologising for keeping me waiting – and arranging for my luggage to be sent up.

Wow is all I can say – what a room! Gorgeous – totally luxurious and superb view – massive bed, squishy pillows - I hope you will agree from the photos! Every mod con, huge bathroom with bath and shower and all the products you could want – including cotton buds and body lotion, slippers, robe, tea coffee, pens, and 2 free bottles of water per day! Great finish to my holiday!

Luggage brought up by porter who showed me all the features of the room and said he could help with any local information, just to call at his desk. Didn’t accept a tip – said it was his pleasure to serve! I suppose with so many hotels competing for business, they have to stand out from the rest, and Hyatt have obviously done that by upping the staff service approach. Lovely!

Had a quick wash and sorted my bag and off I went to explore Dubai on my own.  Decided my sleeveless top was a bit revealing in the cleavage area, even underneath the overshirt, so had a brainwave, put it on back to front – perfect! It doesn’t have a label, just a printed one, so no problem and noone will ever know!  Had a little smile to myself though – I can hear Mam saying ‘what if you get run over’ – don’t think they would have time to notice my top was back to front if I was in an RTA.

I decided to start where I had been,  but not experienced – the Mall of the Emirates. Mr Bellman said it was easy and safe on the Metro – about 400 yds away from hotel – gave me a map and marked the stations and told me how to get tickets and how much. It was 8 dirham (1.50) by Metro as opposed to 60 dirham (nearly 12) by taxi – if the traffic wasn’t too bad – no contest!

And it was indeed easy – beautifully clean and perfectly easy to work out where to go. In fact the whole of the Dubai I have seen is immaculate – no litter, no graffiti, no loitering, no Macdonalds cartons, no coke cans. I suppose people behave if they are threatened with having their hands cut off if they steal. Headlines in local paper was how parents are letting their children run round in the food courts of shopping malls unsupervised, and letting them stare at other people when they are eating, which is very disrespectful. Quite right too!

On the Metro, they have ladies only carriages, with women guards who come out at every station stopping men from even walking on to walk through to the general carriages – and everyone obeys the rule! Amazing. All the women head for this carriage and it is fascinating looking at all the various outfits and ornaments – from the fully covered in black to the ones with elaborate decorations on the sleeves and edging, and those with fancy hairdos under their headcoverings, making their heads look huge. Amazing eye make up too – most have heavy kohl outlined eyes – I suppose if that is all that you have showing, you are bound to make the most of them! Lots and lots and lots of Philippino girls –they obviously flock here to work and everyone glued to their mobiles of course – even the most covered up traditionally dressed Arab girls!.

The men have a wonderful assortment of head gear as well – there seem to be no end of ways you can wear the red and white headscarf Yasser Arafat made famous - flung around the back, flipped over the top, or piled up willy nilly in a heap on top – but whatever, they all look stylish – and they don’t seem to fall down either! Lots of the men wear the traditional white robes – I want to know do they wear anything underneath – I mean trousers! Have tried surreptitiously looking, but cant really tell!

An Italian speaking couple from Buenos Aires (I know, it only happens to me!)   caused chaos by getting into the women’s carriage, and not understanding the guard’s instructions to move out. They eventually got the message and he stood in the men’s carriage next door, whilst she tried to get instructions of how to get to the Marina – she didn’t speak English only Italian, he spoke a bit of French and Spanish, there was a Philipino who knew a bit of Spanish but little English, a local girl who knew where the Marina was but didn’t speak much English, and me with a bit of French but not knowing where the Marina was. Anyway, with lots of sign language and some laughs, we got them on their way – I was sorry to get off at the Mall of the Emirates – I would have suggested they did the same – but too complicated. Could have done with you Margaret!

Decided to have lunch first. Ordered ‘Chicken bites’ – described as ‘mini chicken sandwiches with home fries and salad’. See photo! It was like 4 Chicken Burgers on a family plate of chips, bacon, cheese, salad, you name it! OMG it was enough for 4! Very nice, but I hardly made any impression on it! Never order a main course in an American restaurant – even in Dubai!

Had a great wander around, didn’t buy much, a couple of bits and pieces, but sussing out for tomorrow.

Then back to hotel and decided to eat in the restaurant here – convenient – blow the expense! Tasty tomato soup and Indonesian Noodles with chicken and prawns –and a fried egg on top! Meen Goreng I think it was called.

Back upstairs, lovely shower using all products, and fell into king size bed a happy bunny! I like Dubai!
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