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Old March 9th, 2006, 05:33 PM
Rev22:17 Rev22:17 is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770


I must say that I too am tiring of the Caribbean routes the mega (70+K Tons) ships are taking, especially the Eastern and Western Routes. I'd love to see more of the smaller islands...and bring back Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Grenada. Seems that many of the lines have reduced or eliminated their sailings there. Also St. Kitts, St. Barts, Saba, Nevis, etc. I know X goes to some of those on their smaller ships (Zenith...).

There are several factors at work here.

>> 1. Some of the smaller islands simply cannot accommodate the numbers of passengers that the larger ships would bring due to lack of infrastructure and personnel. IIRC, Celebrity now offers excursions to some of these islands from their larger neighbors, though.

>> 2. St. George's, Granada, is a great port of call (I make it a point to book a cruise that stops there every few years so I can stock up on spices), but a hurricane nailed the island pretty badly in 2004, IIRC, so lines had to redeploy ships. It probably affected scheduling for the 2005-2006 Caribbean season.

>> 3. Celebrity has fewer ships in the Caribbean than most of the other lines because Celebrity has fewer ships, and it appears that the new Solstice class will merely replace MV Horizon and MV Zenith in Celebrity's fleet of nine vessels. Fewer vessels obviously means fewer itineriaries.

>> 4. Celebrity decided to deploy MV Century on a two-week cycle of short (one four-night and two five-night) itineraries operating from Miami. I really don't think that short itineraries make much sense for a "premium" cruise line, whose passengers are a lot less price-sensitive than Carnival's or Royal Caribbean International's, but such is life.

That said, it's not practical for seven-night cruises operating from Florida to reach the more southerly islands like Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad, Barbados, and Granada. The cruises that reach these islands either operate from San Juan or are ten nights or longer. Celebrity does offer several itineraries that reach these islands, and has announced more extensive choices aboard MV Galaxy and GTS Constellation for the 2006-2007 season.

You also might want to check out the non-transit "Panama Canal" itineraries, which really are extended western Caribbean cruises.

Happy cruising!

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