Sir Bani Yas Island resembles a private Caribbean beach, so offers an excellent chance to relax and top up your tan. The island is also a nature reserve home to 13,000 animals. You are not allowed to explore the island independently. If you want to explore, then you will have to book an excursion on the cruise. Everything on this island is run by the cruise line so you don’t need to pay for anything except drinks, which can be put on your cruise card.
This island is a tender port which, for those who don’t know, it’s when the ship cannot dock, so it has to drop the anchor in the middle of the ocean, and then Crew and guests get ferried across to the island on little boats called tender boats. The ride from the ship to the island is about 10 minutes.
As you get off the tender boat and walk up the path, you have all the main facilities right in front of you, like toilets, a medial centre, an excursions sales desk and a prayer room. Immediately to the left, you have a large undercover area where the ship will prepare sandwiches for you and you can sit and eat. Directly on the right, there is another undercover lounge where you can smoke shisha for £15. There is also a large sign that reads #sirbaniyasisland, and it is for pictures.
If you walk to the right of the entrance, there are wooden sun loungers that are positioned in perfect diagonal lines all along the beach, with umbrellas perched over each set of beds.
The left of the entrance there are more activities aimed at families. Amongst the sun loungers, there is an undercover child play area and a blow-up obstacle course in the sea, which is lots of fun.
So right, adults and left, family.
There are toilet facilities all along the beach, so don’t worry if you get a bed down the far end of the beach, you won’t have far to walk to your nearest toilet. The island offers free wifi that is actually very fast considering how many people will be using it. The signal is strongest in the dining area.
Food and drink will all be provided by the ship, so all you will need to take with you is your cruise card. Early in the morning, the food and beverage crew will bring everything across to the island. There are bars located along the beach that you can order drinks from, or there are waiters that wander around the beds, so if you can catch one, you may not even have to move.
The sea is so calm and just the right temperature. About 13 meters back from the beach there is a barrier that you are not allowed to swim past. There weren’t any fish around me when I went for a swim, however, when lay on the beach we did spot dolphins swim past behind the barrier a few times. As you get in and out of the sea it becomes quite rocky, so its best to swim in and out or if you have sea shoes, that would be great.
If you’re not a beach person then you could opt to do a wildlife excursion. This tour lasts for approximately 2 hours in which you will be taken all around the magical island to see the animals it has to offer, from giraffe, flamingos, deer, cranes, and many more. I didn’t manage to get on this tour but everyone who did raved about it.
Activities include kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and a blow-up aqua park.
Things you should take
Headphones, if you want to listen to your music
Clothes to eat in
A bottle of water