A couple of days ago, we got a note saying “if you’re doing the city tour of Abu Dhabi, you must observe a strict dress code for entrance to the mosque.” Most of the requirements weren’t surprising: loose-fitting clothing that covers the leg down to the ankle and the arm down to the wrist, nothing transparent, head coverings for women. I was surprised, though, that you’re not allowed to wear white or animal prints. I hadn’t heard that before, and it meant that I had to re-think my original outfit, which involved short sleeves and then an oversized white shirt. It also means that I will spend the day in a hot country wearing all black. What could go wrong?
Today is another Gala evening, this one Roaring 20s themed. We dressed for the first couple of gala evenings, but by the third one, getting dressed up to have our pictures taken and then going to a giant party where 2700 people are competing for 1000 seats lost its allure.
I’ve never been one for parties, especially parties where I don’t know anyone, and sitting in a room with over a thousand other people and trying to have a conversation is more stress than I find enjoyable. I finally realized that this is just like any other party. I can NOT GO! And I don’t even have to feel bad about it! So the Pirate and I had a lovely dinner where we didn’t have to talk to anyone else, then were back in our room by 8.
After Southampton, the ship collected our passports so they could arrange all the customs stuff for us, but not every country will allow us to enter with just our cruise ID. In Egypt, while the customs officials stamped our passports before we got them back the day before, we still had to show them to a customs official as we got off the ship.
Today, we have to collect our passports in advance of being in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. And it’s not just the people getting off the ship who have to show their passports to the officials – every single person on the ship has to get off, show their passport, and then those that don’t have shore excursions booked can get back on.
We also found out that we have to secure our own visas for Singapore, but that you can’t apply for the visa more than 3 days before you arrive. I anticipate that the ship’s limited wifi is going to be strained past its limit in the 3 days leading up to Singapore. We have to get our own visas for Australia too, but at least we can do those any old time.