Today's blog posting is taken directly from Saturday's Gulf Daily News, the English language newspaper in Bahrain:
"Royal Caribbean International, a leading company in cruise tourism, has expressed dissatisfaction as its largest cruise ship, Brilliance of the Seas, docked at the Khalifa bin Salman Port yesterday.
Royal Caribbean officials said there was a big melee as taxi drivers rushed madly upon tourists as they reached the port's main gate. They demanded exorbitant fares ranging between $300 and $400 ~it takes 10 minutes~ to take them to Manama for shopping, reports Akhbar Al Khaleej.
Company administrative director Abdulaziz Al Oshban said more than 50 tourists went back to the ship and refused to visit Manama for fear of being exploited.
Bahrain-based company agent Ali Al Qaidi said the incident had created a bad impression about Bahrain, particularly after the captain and crew were denied entry to Bahrain like tourists, a common practice in all Gulf countries the ship had visited.
What made things worse was the way Culture and Information Ministry's Tourism Sector Under-Secretary Ahmed Al Nawakhida welcomed the management of the world's largest cruise tourism company, dressed casually in jeans and T-shirt, reflecting carelessness and indifference, adds Akhbar Al Khaleej.