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Karachi – Dubai ‘A Cruise to Hell’

Shattered Dreams aboard Gulf Dream Cruise

To follow up on my initial report of the Karachi – Dubai Cruise liner which I posted a week back practically a day before it set sail for its first maiden voyage from Karachi to Dubai. The ship left the berth with the cruise management and Geo.TV (Jang) promoters literally patting themselves on the back for this remarkable feat.

During the five days on the sea, no news filtered through from any of the passengers but upon its return, I amongst many, were surprised of a strange hushed silence on Geo which should have been prancing with joy, it seemed to suggest that something was amiss. Little do these old-school media moguls realize the power of the Internet especially with the emerging concept of Citizen Journalism (blogging) where individuals can speak out and be heard, no more hidden agenda, no more governmental control, its the time of being brave to speak out, this is the true power of Citizen Journalism, commonly referred to as blogging.

A concerned individual ‘Tanveer’ chooses to speak out and I sincerely hope his voice is heard far and wide, enough to warn people so as not to take the trip to Dubai aboard the ‘Hell [Dream] Cruise Liner’. I quote here the email in its entirety.

My brother in law along with his family took that maiden voyage of so called “Dream” cruise. The journey started on 07/11/06 and the ACs were not working since the time the cruise left birth at Karachi port, as per the information I have the cruise reached back Karachi in same condition. The cruised reach Dubai, with delay of 12 hours and visas were not arranged by the cruise liner’s management in time, more that 150 passengers were not allowed to put their step on UAE’s soil.

To begin with, the allocation of cabins were total messed up many many passengers were not provided the cabins they opted & paid for. There was a newly wed Pakistani-American couple on board. The groom left the whole world to take the cruise out of patriotism or love of land. They were promised by the management that a suite with view of sea and sun deck will be provided, flower bouquet will await at port of departure & destination along with a limo, but they were only given a cabin and lower deck and as expected the management denied any promise regarding limo & bouquet, once they were on board, last but not least the bride’s visa got rejected as her name was listed on the passengers manifest handed over to Port Saeed’s Immigration authorities.

Further. cruise management had also arranged ladies for entertainment of guest from Russia, Azerbaijan, Philippines, China and of course LAHORE. the mujras were performed all night in name of dance parties / disco. I haven’t been to European / American cruise lines, but have spent couple of days on Star – Virgo during my trip to Singapore, they also provide such “facilities”, but in very discretely. I have been told that people who were half drunk, were even misbehaving at the time of serving breakfast at 10 am and were loudly discussing their experiences with Russian last night. mind you there were families present in the restaurant for breakfast.

The broadband Internet, Casino and GYM facilities were also advertised but none was provided, as full dues were not paid to the ship chartered company. Be it a poker room or a casino room the credit goes to the entrepreneur will to pitch in the money and take this tour

Half of the leisure staff, including ladies in spa, waitresses and house keeping guys were not able to speak fluent English, let along Urdu. Porters were not arranged at Dubai, the passengers were left with option to take their luggage through a thin gangplank, as the cruise parked at a cargo birth.

The swimming pool was filled with sea water, by the way, no one took a swim during the voyage to Dubai. Mr. Mohiuddin the front man for this operation was also on board and was threatening some of the the drunk tourist of serious consequences once they arrive at Karachi port

The cruise liner is a joint venture of Geo TV’s Managing Director & Mr. Babur Ghouri MQM Minister for Ports & Shipping, while Mr. Moinuddin is simply the front man for this operation. Personally I feel it could be a major set back provided some serious damage control is made to set things straight before the remaining sailing dates go to waste due to a dearth of passengers as I doubt anyone would want to be at the receiving end of a shady deal.

Until then all future cruise faring passengers must be forewarned. It would be interesting to hear more reports from other passengers as to the conditions of the first maiden voyage of the Gulf Dream Cruise Liner


17 Comments

  • shobz |

    tsk tsk tsk. when will we all ever learn? all that glitters isnt gold. i knew it was too good to be true even before the first journey took place.they say that if you hype something up then there is something wrong. somehow a person does get a bad feeling about it. i feel sorry for everyone who was duped into this trip. it was an obvious fact that serial philanderers would use this trip to get some action. the cruise line promoter may have marketed it well but then at the end of the day people decide.

  • Asma |

    Lolz here goes the Pakistan’s Cruising from dream to nightmare …. I guess I should stick to my plan of Carribean cruise :>

  • Checkmate |

    Wow! Now what are the other TV channels doing. They should be jumping at the oppurtunity to disclose this piece of news. I feel bad for the families who spent so much money to take this cruise adn ended up with such a bad deal.

    If this had happened in another country. The organizers would be getting sued but in Pakistan no such luck.

    This cruise, if managed well, would have opened up new opportunities for families looking for a decent holiday. MAybe other companies and investors would have joined in. But now even if there are better cruises arranged in future. people will be reluctant to try them.

    Truly a shame. Well I’ll be blowing my horn to alert people I know. Thank you Dr. for keeping us in the know.

  • Sahafi |

    I am glad to see the start of this service. It should continue because it will create many jobs for our fellow Pakistanis. It will also increase tourism between Pakistan and Dubai.

    We have recently heard some disturbing reports about the mistreatment of the asian workers in Dubai. It all appeared in the international press and also in the German press. If anybody knows more about it, please let us know. The details can be seen here :

    Workers are getting abused in UAE
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6141554.stm

    Discontent in Dubai
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4903794.stm

    Workers strike halts work in Dubai
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4836632.stm

    Sahafi
    Germany
    ( BBC tells lies )
    Lying_BBC1@yahoo.com

  • Solomon2 |

    It’s normal for the maiden voyage of any cruise ship to be full of mishaps. That is certainly true for established cruise lines, so it must be much worse for a new one.

    I think the common problems are feeding the passengers, fire drills, unsecured equipment, and mechanical failures. That the primary problem was cabin allocation is suspicious. (The bottom deck is usually crew quarters.)

    That the casino should be shut down is a shocker. Where is the cruise line supposed to get money from?

    It is normal for cruise ships to have one or more – and often all – swimming pools filled with seawater.

  • in2deep |

    hey, i dont know how else to contact you. i was wondering that i registered myself at the bloggers.pk website about 3 weeks ago atleast, but i still havent been added in the syndicated bloggers list.
    are you still trying to fix the problem there?

  • Yasir Bin Qaiser |

    This is really a shame, I was plannig for one 🙁

    I don’t know whats with us Pakitanis, they gave us a little leverage we are bound to misbehave and abuse.

    The concept of service is just not there, everyone wants your money (quick money).

    Pathetic!!! We are just F@#$ing Pakis

  • qaisar |

    kindly inform me the rates of tyickets for 1st class & economy class.

  • Baraka |

    How awful – I hope the company will arrange some sort of generous compensation for all the passengers.

  • wahabuddin khan |

    oh God, i can feel the problems faced by the cruise passengers.it is matter of shame for the organisers.

  • Ali |

    You all have to realize something … even though 80% of the stuff this guys written in his e-mail is true … we all do it and we want to. First time something like this has come to Karachi and you all chased it away like it was a bad thing.
    Furthermore, its the maiden voyage of a cruise ship … be a little more tolerant, hell you’d think living in Karachi has taught you guys more than that.
    Finally, theres no way in hell you can blame half the stuff that went wrong on the cruise line. 400 passengers and 1 decided to say something ? you’d hear more about the cruise from word of mouth than you would from the internet.

    “..but in very discretely.. ”
    “The cruised reach Dubai…”

    You’re complaining about their English ?

    Remember something, believe half of what u read and none of what u hear.

  • Jamal |

    When I saw the picture of cruise ship I knew it will be a disaster.

    People should just resist the urge to be first to try out anything here in Pakistan.

  • NOMAN. |

    After reading and imagining what people must have gone through, all i can say is that " WHAT ON EARTH WERE THESE PEOPLE THINKING AND EXPECTING." in a country where you are not even provided by clean water,clean washrooms, clean roads and clean air, what to expect off a Cruise.They have no idea what a CRUISE IS.

  • Afras |

    So……is this or any other Cruise service or Ferry Service available right now From Dubai to Karachi or vice-versa?