I've just returned from back-to-back Noordam cruises, Rome-Istanbul-Rome. HAL caneled the two Israel stops, substituting Kusadai and Malta. For those of us doing the double voyage, this meant a second Kusadasi visit, so they laid on a free day long trip into the interior of Turkey to Pamukkale - a splendid tour and a nice gesture, in addition to shipboard credits. A number of passengers were on pilgrimages, so the loss of the Holy Land was difficult, but most seemed understanding of the situation and grateful not to be put at risk. Overall, the whole trip was so rich that I was more than content to just enjoy it, and happy to save Israel for a more peaceful time. And, after eight cruises on other HAL ships, I have to say that the food, the service and the friendliness of the Noordam's crew easily matches any other ship we have sailed on - nice to see her aging gracefully!