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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 3rd, 2001, 11:17 PM
paradocs
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Default change of ports in Mid east due to safety

I would like to ask the experts where they think the cruise lines would move the ports of Alexandria, Haifa and Ashdod if saftey is an issue.

I have booked HAL's Rotterdam on June 26. The ports above are the main reason I booked this cruise. How can I find out exactly what HAL's plans are in case I decide to back out in time for a refund? I have emailed the cruise agent with no satisfactory answers (I know it may be way too early to have an answer). When are these decisions made and publicized?

Thanks so very much!
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Old February 4th, 2001, 08:41 AM
Tim Rubacky
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Default Re: change of ports in Mid east due to safety

Paradocs,

The cruise lines will be relctant to cancel/change the ports far in advance due to the fact that things may calm down. Anyone who books a cruise in this region, for the ports alone, is taking a great risk.

Should HAL decide to change the ports, they will probaby do so close to departure date. Most of the cruise lines are operating on a "day by day", "case by case" basis in this region.

Unless something dramatic happens at this point, I would deem it foolsih to book a cruise to the middle east and fully expect that you're itinerary will not be altered. Additionally, should HAL change the itinerary, you should not expect a refund or for them to waive penalites.

You may want to refer to my "The Devil is in the Disclaimers" feature.

Tim Rubacky
Consumer Affairs Editor
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Old February 4th, 2001, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: change of ports in Mid east due to safety

Hi Paradocs,
Yes, the cruiselines always have safety in mind first. If for some reason its not safe to stop at a specific port, they don't. Sometimes you don't know ahead of time, so it could be hard to plan. The same goes for any bad weather, the captain will keep the ship well away from danger, so don't worry and have a great cruise.

Donnassei
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Old February 4th, 2001, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: change of ports in Mid east due to safety

I've noticed that Celebrity has already removed the port of Haifa from its May itinerary for the Millennium. They've replaced it with Limassol, Cyprus.
Somewhat surprisingly they still list Alexandria, Eygpt.

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Kuki
Features Editor
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Old February 4th, 2001, 06:00 PM
paradocs
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Default Re: change of ports in Mid east due to safety

Thanks Kuki for the info about Celebrity. Maybe HAL will divulge its plans
soon. Why do you say Egypt is a problem now? US state dept. does not say
not to go at this point as far as I know. Is Limassol a very interesting
port?

I did a little reading on it in Stern's guide and learned that there is not much to do and the beaches are not very desireable.

Would you imagine the port of Ashdad (Tel Aviv) is avoided if Haifa is?

Thanks to all of you! You guys are so helpful!
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Old February 5th, 2001, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: change of ports in Mid east due to safety

Going on Royal Princess from Rome to Athens in April. If they should take out Egypt what do you think they will substitute? Thanks - misstefi@aol.com
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