We are looking forward to a new cruise. We have already cruised the Adriatic Sea with MSC Cruises this year. And now we decided us for a one-week cruise with the Mein Schiff 6 (TUI Cruises) in the Orient. Cruises are predestined to combine multiple destinations in a convenient and stress-free way. You always have the hotel with you, there is no daily packing and unpacking of suitcases, you don’t have to worry about food, you have a great entertainment program every day – and that in the rule at a mostly super price-performance ratio. Simply perfect!
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Our cruise with Mein Schiff 6
We booked this trip just four weeks before departure. The colder the temperatures became in Germany, the more the anticipation of escaping the cold winter for a short time increased. We have taken a few cruises in the past – both sea and river – so this trip with Mein Schiff was our 11th cruise!
This cruise was actually our first trip with TUI Cruises. And we very consciously chose this shipping company because we really wanted to try out a ship from the Mein Schiff fleet. So far, we had only heard good things about the ships and what they had to offer, so we wanted to see for ourselves. And one thing we can say in advance: We were totally thrilled! Both from the ship as a whole, the modern ambience, the range of restaurants & bars, the premium inclusive services, our balcony cabin and the Christmas feeling in the pre-Christmas period.
The route “Dubai to Oman
Since we really wanted to fly to the warm, our choice fell very quickly on the one-week trip “Dubai to Oman”. We already knew the United Arab Emirates from our past visits to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but Oman was completely unknown to us until this trip. So we also went to the Orient and we were very curious about the strong contrast between tradition and modernity: Glass skyscrapers and luxurious shopping malls exist here next to magnificent mosques, lively markets and rich traditions.
We were able to experience five eventful and varied days ashore: Our journey took us from the city of superlatives – Dubai – to Abu Dhabi, where the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates is located. We continued to the oriental Khasab (Oman) with its breathtaking fjord landscape and to Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, which is surrounded by mountains and desert. The last stop on our trip, after a relaxing day at sea, was Sir Bani Yas Island (UAE), which offers a mile-long sandy beach and a nature reserve with 10,000 animals. With beautiful memories in the luggage the disembarkation took place then again in Dubai.
For the one-week cruise, we paid EUR 599 per person in the balcony cabin (booked directly through TUI Cruises); we only had to pay EUR 79 for our 2-year-old daughter. We booked the flight to Dubai separately, because we wanted to spend a few days in Dubai before the cruise (travel report RIU Dubai) and the transfer on site to the hotel/ship we organized ourselves. The direct flights from Frankfurt with Emirates cost about 600 EUR per person. The comparable package flight & cruise would have cost about EUR 300 more in total via TUI Cruises. So it’s always worth comparing prices.
The “Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal” in Dubai
From our hotel RIU Dubai we took an UBER in the early afternoon to the cruise terminal “Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal 3” in Dubai. The ride cost 66 AED in an UBER XL (17 EUR). The Cruise Terminal is very large and very modern; there are many stores and free wifi.
Important to know: In Dubai there are 2 different cruise ports! The old port “Port Rashid”, to which we had to go (location in Google Maps), and the new port “Dubai Harbour”, near the Palm Jumeirah (location in Google Maps). These two cruise ports are about 26 kilometers apart. Therefore, when taking a cruise from Dubai, it is essential to check in advance from which cruise port the trip will depart. This is also important if you plan to stay in Dubai beforehand (like us) or perhaps afterwards.
It is also only 11 kilometers (20 minutes) from the Port Rashid cruise port and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal to Dubai Airport, and around 35 kilometers (45 minutes) from the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal.
The check in
In the run-up to our cruise, we already had to deposit all relevant data in the ship manifest online in the Mein Schiff portal (master data, answering a health questionnaire, adding means of payment, etc.), so that everything was optimally prepared for check-in. In addition, we were able to decide on a check-in time beforehand and chose the earliest possible (3pm). We then also received a text message relatively early in the afternoon that our cabin was ready for occupancy – what a great service. The check-in on site was then also super fast and smooth. Our passports were withheld and not returned to us until the end of our trip. The background is that on the journey the passports are checked by the local authorities and stamped if necessary. It was not necessary to carry the passport in any port. By the way, we did not receive our cabin cards at check-in, but they were stuck on the cabin door.
It is important to mention that it was required for us to present a negative antigen covid test (“rapid test”) at check-in. We researched for a while beforehand where to do such a test in Dubai, but almost everywhere only PCR tests are offered. Therefore, we opted for a video-guided self-test from TestiFly for EUR 9.95, whose certificate is also officially accepted by TUI Cruises. We had brought the test kit with us from home.
The check out
After our return to Dubai (around 1 p.m.), an entry check of all passengers by the local authorities took place at the port terminal. This control was obligatory for all guests and had to be done by 2:30 p.m. at the latest. Only afterwards were they allowed to go on their shore leave. We got our passports back from TUI Cruises employees right before the entry control.
Since our return flight with Emirates left very early the next morning (8:40 a.m.), we opted for a pre-dinner check-in directly at the cruise terminal. Emirates has several check-in desks here and offers this service free of charge to all cruise passengers who have booked an Emirates flight. We were able to drop off our suitcases here in the evening, were checked in and could then drive to the airport with hand luggage the next morning. For this transfer we had again booked an UBER, for which we paid 57 AED (15 EUR) from the Cruise Terminal.
Our cruise ship: Mein Schiff 6
The “Mein Schiff” fleet of TUI Cruises consists of a total of 7 cruise ships. Mein Schiff 6 is the shipping company’s fourth newbuilding. She was christened and put into service in the Port of Hamburg in June 2017. The ship has 15 decks with 1,267 cabins that can accommodate 2,534 passengers.
The deck plan
Mein Schiff 6 is divided into 15 decks. What you can find where on which deck, you can see on the following deck plan. You can also download the full-size PDF version here.
Our balcony cabin
When booking the cruise, we didn’t think twice about whether to take an inside cabin or a balcony cabin. The choice fell on a balcony cabin! The reasons were many: The balcony cabin is larger and equipped with an additional sofa bed, we can permanently enjoy the beautiful view of the sea and are awakened in the morning by daylight. In addition, we also find it much more pleasant with a child to have a little more comfort and view.
Our balcony cabin was on deck 8 port side. In our booked rate, we could not choose the location of the cabin ourselves when booking, but it was communicated to us shortly before the trip. However, we must say that we were more than satisfied with the location of the cabin. It was just perfectly located in the middle aisle near the elevators, so we were super quick everywhere. That was just great!
Our cabin had a living area of 17 m² and a balcony of about 5-7 m². We really liked the color scheme and the furnishings and immediately felt at home. Our daughter, by the way, too, because she spread out her toys only a few minutes after moving in and certainly wanted to tell us directly with it “I like it here and here I stay” 😉 The cabin was equipped with a comfortable double bed, a sitting area with sofa bed, a desk, TV, telephone, safe, bathrobes & slippers, an espresso machine, a hairdryer and air conditioning. The bathroom with shower was – as everywhere on ships – quite compact and functionally furnished. On the balcony there was a table with two chairs.
We were really thrilled with the baby/child equipment in the room: When we moved into the cabin, the freshly made travel cot with a really good mattress was already ready, as well as a diaper pail, a changing mat and a baby bathtub. We have not experienced this before – not even in a hotel. What a great service for families ❤
Interior on board
Our travel period was in mid-December, so of course it fell perfectly into the pre-Christmas season. On the ship, a lot of effort has been made to create a Christmas atmosphere through elaborate decorations and some activities. For example, there were several festively decorated Christmas trees, garlands, large gingerbread houses, always well-filled cookie plates at various locations on the ship, as well as individual activities such as a Christmas market on the outside deck or a cookie-baking class for children.
During our trip there were also two VIP guests on board: On the one hand the soccer expert Reiner Calmund who could be experienced live during an interview and Q&A session in the theater as well as the star chef Tim Raue under whose name the speciality restaurant ‘Hanami – By Tim Raue’ is operated on board Mein Schiff 6.
We love exploring the different decks of a ship. And Mein Schiff 6 really has a lot to offer: in addition to the very inviting area around the reception with Thalia reading lounge and café bar, there is a comprehensive entertainment program with the theater, casino, studio and art gallery from the areas of music, show, pleasure, sports, art & culture. In addition, you can stroll through the various stores of the Neuer Wall and store here to your heart’s content.
Relaxation and activity are available in the ship’s approximately 1,800-square-foot spa and fitness area: whether it’s a sauna session, body and beauty treatments, or a visit to the gym, there’s something for everyone. All walking and running enthusiasts have access to a jogging track on the outside deck at certain times.
Mein Schiff 6 has 17,895 m² of outdoor decks: various sun decks and pool decks invite you to unwind and relax with a view of the sea. The large outdoor pool is certainly the highlight on the outdoor deck, as here you can swim 25-meter lanes and refresh yourself. Around the pool are two whirlpools and sun decks with ample sun loungers. On the Aqua Deck there is another pool, the Lagoon, which is a bit smaller but also offers two more whirlpools.
We especially liked that both pools have larger areas on the outer edges where the water is only ankle deep. This was perfect for our little daughter, who could play and splash around wonderfully here. There is no separate children’s pool on board. By the way, if you want to have a completely relaxed retreat, you can reserve and book one of the so-called relaxation boxes.
Areas for families & children
We were positively surprised by the offer for families with children. We received a flyer right at the beginning of our trip that listed and described the children’s program for the trip, so we were able to get a good overview of what was available for us. Since it was not a vacation season, the offer was rather designed for babies/children up to 6 years, which suited us wonderfully.
On board there are various facilities for children:
In the Kids-Club – Island of the buccaneers all children from 3 to 11 years are invited to discover, play and be creative. There is a varied program here adapted to two different age groups, full of adventures, stories and workshops, always accompanied by trained counselors. Here we attended the family free play time almost every day in the afternoon, where we played and made things together and exchanged ideas with other families. Another nice regular program item was the raving hour outside in the arena, where a course for toddlers was set up. The highlight of the trip for our daughter, however, was certainly the children’s bingo for the whole family, where the little buccaneer Capt’n Sharky was with us the whole time. He is the mascot for the children on board and entertained everyone properly during the bingo 😉
In the Sturmfrei – Teenslounge for young people aged 12 and over, the motto is: parents must stay outside. Workshops for teenagers, game consoles, and creative and sports programs are the focus here.
Plenty of nest warmth for parents with children under 3 years of age is offered by the Nest – Baby room on board Mein Schiff 6. The room is open throughout and perfectly equipped with toys.
When it comes to culinary catering, there is a great variety on board Mein Schiff 6: The 11 restaurants & bistros did not exactly make it easy for us to decide where to go every day. But luckily we were on board for a few days, so we could try another restaurant besides the buffet restaurant, like the Osteria or the Day & Night Bistro.
As part of the “Mein Schiff Inclusive Services”, meals and a variety of drinks are already included in the cruise price in many of the restaurants and bistros. In addition, there are several specialty restaurants on board where you can enjoy exclusive dining experiences for a fraction of the price a comparable restaurant visit would cost ashore. These include, for example, Hanami – By Tim Raue, Surf & Turf Steakhouse and the alpine restaurant Schmankerl.
If you’re thirsty, you’ll be spoilt for choice on Mein Schiff 6, as there are 16 bars & lounges offering a wide range of drinks: Soft drinks, beer, sparkling wine, a selection of wines, cocktails and long drinks, spirits, coffee specialties and much more. Thanks to the “Mein Schiff Inclusive Services”, most of the beverage selection is also included. There are only three exclusive bars on board (Café Bar, Diamant Bar, Champagne Treff), for which there is a charge.
Food & Drink
Culinary we were well catered for on board. Our main port of call was the buffet restaurant Anckelmannsplatz, where we could always put together our own meal from the national and international cuisine. We also thought the bakery in Anckelmannsplatz was really great: depending on the time of day, there were crispy rolls, pretzel sticks, delicious panini and tasty pastries.
We are big fans of buffet restaurants, because we have the largest selection there and can try our way through. Especially with a child, it is easier and less complicated for us to eat from the buffet, so we don’t have to wait long for food. In addition, there are no fixed meal times and no seating arrangements in the buffet restaurants of the Mein Schiff fleet – that’s perfect!
The ice cream bar on the Aqua Deck was also always well attended – and we were also there regularly in the queue 😉 The offer ranges from innovative ice cream creations according to the original Italian recipe (Bruno Gelato) to fresh waffles and crêpes with various toppings.
Our conclusion to the journey with Mein Schiff
All in all, we really had 7 wonderful days aboard Mein Schiff 6 and bagged many beautiful things on our trip. In the following travel reports you can get inspired by our stops in the Orient. Who got now desire on a cruise and would like to travel also once with my ship, can look gladly times at the offers on e-hoi.
All travel reports of our cruise with Mein SchiffOn our one-week cruise "Dubai to Oman" with the Mein Schiff 6 from TUI Cruises, we were able to experience five eventful and varied days ashore: Our journey took us from the city of superlatives - Dubai - to Abu Dhabi, where the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates is located. We continued to the oriental Khasab (Oman) with its breathtaking fjord landscape and to Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, which is surrounded by mountains and desert. The last stop of our trip was after a relaxing sea day the island Sir Bani Yas (UAE), which offers a kilometer-long sandy beach and a nature reserve with 10,000 animals. With beautiful memories in our luggage, disembarkation then took place back in Dubai.
Crusie Day 1 » Mein Schiff 6 - Check In, Cabin & Discover the Cruise Ship
Crusie Day 2 » Abu Dhabi - The Top 5 Sights on Your Own
Crusie Day 3 » Khasab - Boat trip through the fjord world & Khasab Castle
Crusie Day 4 » Muscat - Top 5 Sights & Photo Spots
Crusie Day 5 » Seetag
Crusie Day 6 » Sir Bani Yas (Beach, Safari & Island Tour)
Crusie Day 7 » Dubai (Day on board & Check Out)