Monday was to be a special day for the Dubai Cruise Terminal in Port Rashid, with three cruise ships in port simultaneously, including the luxury cruise liner Pacific Princess on her only Dubai stopover of the year.
Instead, the port call for all three ships was marred by unexpectedly bad weather.
Vision of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean International, Mein Schiff 3, operated by TUI Cruises and Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess, were all forced to cancel, amend at the last minute or delay shore excursions Monday due to the strong winds that at times reached more than 70kph.
An official at the port in charge of organising the shore excursions on behalf of the cruise lines described the weather conditions as challenging. “This year we were affected by the bad weather more than any other season,” he said. “All desert safari and beach activities had to be converted to guided city tours.”
The official at one of the leading destination management companies at Port Rashid said that the company’s ability to respond to the unexpected weather was put to the test. “It takes an expert and dedicated shore operator to come up with a plan B and even C as the situation develops,” he said.
On social media, cruise tourists visiting the city have had nothing but praise for the facilities at Dubai Cruise Terminal as well as the activities arranged on shore.
Cruise Arabia & Africa has reached out to Royal Caribbean, TUI and Princess Cruises for comment.