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Old September 15th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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Default Mercury scraps Seattle for 2007 Alaska

Celebrity cruises yesterday announced that the Mercury will switch from Seattle to Vancouver for her 7 day Alaska cruises for 2007.
I'll miss the easy fight connections into Seattle vs Vancouver but I understand Mercury has had problems making port calls on time. (perhaps some mechanical issues should be resolved onboard her too).
The last two times we sailed her from Seattle to Alaska she did just fine.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 12:24 AM
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Good evening,

Celebrity had to do that in order to stick to their overall target itinerary for MV MERCURY;; originating Seattle, and yet going all the way to Hubbard Glacier ( 1 hour inland from Yakutat Bay, almost dead middle Gulf Of Alaska ), and still doing this in 7 days with Juneau, Skagway,the obligatory stop in Canada once for the infamous ''act'', Ketchikan, one way via the BC Inside Passage...and allowing decent times in port....all of that became a bit challenging.
Celebrity insisting on keeping that product on offer meant only one thing: start off further North, In Vancouver. Mechanically, imo, the ship is in ''normal''shape.

Cheers
Claude G
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Old September 16th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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As I previously stated we sailed her twice on the Seattle iten to Hubbard glacier and all port calls were done on time and speeds were not not close to full speed. Perhaps Celebrity is just saving fuel(money)?
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Old September 17th, 2006, 08:57 PM
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cookie1207,

As I previously stated we sailed her twice on the Seattle iten to Hubbard glacier and all port calls were done on time and speeds were not not close to full speed. Perhaps Celebrity is just saving fuel(money)?

I suspect that several factors influenced the decision.

>> 1. The major airlines are now offering more capacity to Vancouver, at reasonable prices, to accommodate cruise passengers. (I'll confess that I may be partly responsible for this. A couple years ago, I asked a fairly pointed question about scheduling flights to accommodate passengers on cruise ships that carry a couple thousand passengers each, pointing out that Vancouver is one of the ports where cruise ships turn around throughout the summer, at the annual stockholder's meeting of a major airline. The airline's chairman, obviously caught off guard, said that they had not looked at cruise ship schedules but that he hoped that the executives seated in the front row were taking careful notes of what I had said.) In any case, the number of passengers requiring transfers to/from Seattle when ships turn around in Vancouver is greatly diminished because flights to/from Vancouver are now readily available.

>> 2. Departures from Vancouver do facilitate disembarkation of passengers who have to leave a cruise early due to family emergencies. The U. S. government levies a fairly stiff fine ($2,000 per disembarked passenger IIRC) for disembarkations in violation of the Passenger Services Act. Since Canadian ports are not "distant" within the meaning of that act, this fine normally applies for every passenger who leavea s cruise that originated in Seattle anywhere in Alaska. The cruise line may pass the fine through to the passenger, but even that is an awkward situation when somebody has a death in the family or whatever.

>> 3. It's also possible that a terminal was not available in Seattle when the line wanted it.

In any case, it's pretty much a wash for most passengers.

Norm.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 09:40 PM
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We enjoyed our mini inside passage from Seattle--a very easy port to cruise from for air connections, hotel & getting onto the ship...but Vancouver also sounds lke a nice experience so we would try that as well--harder for us to get to from our local airport sice it would involve flights from JFK...
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