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Arabian peninsula cruise: newbie questions

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My partner and I will be leaving mid-December on an Arabian peninsula cruise (Costa cruises) from Dubai to Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Khasab. This will be our first cruise.

I have looked at the cruise company's excursions schedule and the prices are insane! EUR 70-90 (USD 95 - 125) per person per excursion to load you on a bus, go to a local mosque and market, some lunch and drop you at the cruise port again.

We are used to travelling independently, so we don't have a problem to arrange our own day trips, however as this will be our first cruise (and our first time in that part of the world), I have some questions:

1) are taxis normally available in the ports mentioned above? Do people have experience taking these taxis, and how much should I expect to pay if I want to hire a taxi for 4 or 5 hours? Or better just take a one-way into town, and take a taxi back at the end of the day?

2) Or would it be better to reserve a taxi/tour with a local company before we leave for Dubai? Any recommendations for reliable companies in the places mentioned above?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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