Face Check in Abu Dhabi, VAE


Almost on time, we disembark for the last face check of this trip. The authorities in Abu Dhabi want to see our passports in person, just like their Indian colleagues. The procedure is much simpler than before entering India: We leave the ship, walk a few steps to the terminal, past AIDAstella, which is moored opposite us with its red pout, take our passport in the building (it is issued according to deck and very quickly), walk another 10 meters and press our passport into the official’s hand again. He takes it without a recognizably more intensive facial control and sorts it into a similar plastic container, in which the passport was already sorted before. The white-robed man has the joy of having to stamp over 2,000 passports in the coming hours written all over his face (together with the sister ship that has just arrived, there must be that many). This conceivably short affair is only drawn out by the fact that the gangway at the stern cannot be attached, on which the passengers should actually have been able to get back on board.

Too steep, with no steps – after 20 minutes of trial and error and no “smooth flow,” as the captain put it, the crew then shifts to using the bow-side gangway. However, this does not happen until everyone is off the ship, so that we are not back on the AIDA until around 9:20 p.m., despite a speedy check.

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