Friday, 9 August 2019

Dubai (UAE) to Mumbai (India) to Cape Town (South Africa) December 12, 2019 - January 24, 2020

We met a low key but effective cruise salesperson onboard Azamara Pursuit in January, 2019 who wetted our whistle for another ship board adventure. That's this one, or rather two going back to back from Dubai UAE to Mumbai India to Cape Town South Africa in 35 days. We'll spend several days in Dubai and then visit Doha Qatar, Sir Bani Yas, Muscat Oman, Abu Dhabi UAE and dock in Mumbai. We'll be overnight in Mumbai and then visit Cochin India, Victoria Seychelles, Praslin Seychelles, Mombasa Kenya, Zanzibar Tanzania, Maputo Mozambique, Richards Bay South Africa, Durban South Africa, Port Elizabeth South Africa and Cape Town South Africa. In total, if all goes well we will be away from our beloved Port Credit for 42 days.

This is one of Azamara's three identical ships
August 15, 2019 The plan has begun, not the least of this is preparing to pay for it. One third of that is done and we wait for final numbers that may come this month for the second leg from Mumbai to Cape Town. We've looked at hotels in Dubai and believe we'll use Fairmont Dubai at 50% increase to the normal but with plenty to recommend it for the three days pre-cruise from December 14 - 17, 2019. We'll need a visa for anything in India and I have a website for an online purchase. We've selected several shore excursions from Dubai to Mumbai and they are in the basket at this point because Terryl will have some quality advice provided by Tony Taylor, an Air Canada friend, whose knowledge is legendary.
August 27, 2019 I visited three websites to purchase an e-visa for our four days in India. On the first one the application was thorough in that they wanted one's parents detail as well as the traveler. I thought that was a trifle overkill but I proceeded to complete the document and submit it. There's the rub; and I needed to call them if I needed help. After the usual 25 minute wait Mike picked up my call. I thought his manner was rough but he reluctantly walked me through his company's process.  The form didn't reveal the cost so I asked what it was; he didn't know and put me on hold. Another long pause without the elevator music and he reappeared saying $360.00 for my application (he didn't even know about Terryl's) which would have followed. With that information I thanked him and hung up. I looked at the other two companies and went with iVisa.com for $235.00 for the two of us. They tell me that I'll have my visas in two weeks. Additionally the next confirmation came through and the money has been spent.
September 26, 2019 and the Visas are in hand. Azamara Cruise Line has sent the check-in link for the Dubai - Mumbai cruise and we have completed that process (which is decidedly more customer-friendly than some others we've observed on theirs as well as other companies). Terryl's suggestion that the crew hotel in Dubai could be our best bet. She may have a point; so we wait to get the hotel name from friends who have enjoyed that experience. We plan to be in Dubai at least four days before the ship embarks her customers on December 17, 2019.

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