Dubai. We stayed at Le Royal Meridien and it was so lovely – we partied, sunbathed and had lovely dinners. One of my friends was having a baby so that made it all the more special. I love Roberto’s, an Italian in the financial district, and Yuan, a Chinese restaurant at Atlantis The Palm.
Where’s the best place you’ve holidayed with the girls? Photo Gallery
The chief steward was there as a witness, along with a junior customs and immigration official, learning the protocol of how to greet the USA’s guests, no doubt. What’s your name? I stared at him. He had my name in the blog in front of him. He had called me over by my name. What’s your name? Even if we could, no one else would go ashore with us to be the third man; we were too low down the maritime chain to be seen with. My impression of New York on my first visit was a cold, dirty, grim docklands populated by cold, grim, dangerous-looking people; the most unfriendly I had ever seen. From the customs and immigration officials to the dockers who connected the pipes to the ship, to the wharf men who took the ships ropes, to the security guards on the gangway, everyone: everyone was unrepentantly miserable, hostile and unpleasant. Why would I ever want to miss my ship here? I couldn’t envisage the circumstances. New York came and went. We had sat at anchor for two days and were then were in port for a day-and-a-half, discharging our black oil cargo.