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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:12 PM
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Default Middle Eastern Ports of Call

Middle Eastern Ports of Call
by Paul Motter

With Anti-American sentiment growing, the question is whether local authorities can keep us safeE
09.17.12

Sept. 11 protestors in Cairo

Two cruise lines have already canceled calls in Middle East port - Holland America's Ryndam was scheduled to call in the site of ancient Carthage, La Goulette, near Tunis in Tunisia last week, but the stop was called off and substituted with a visit to the island of Sardinia instead.


Royal Caribbean cancelled an overnight stop in Alexandria, Egypt, last week as well.

However, Royal Caribbean has future port stops scheduled for Alexandria, Egypt in the coming weeks and those arrivals have not yet been canceled. So far these two cruise lines are the only lines to specifically cancel stops in any Middle Eastern ports, but they are also the only major cruise lines who had calls scheduled there since the violence broke out on September 11th.

These cruise lines are also in "wait and see" mode and plan to continue to monitor the situation and make decisions accordingly: The Pacific Princess (Princess Cruise Line) is scheduled to start a cruise from Rome on September 21st that will call in Israel and spend two days in Egypt on September 29th.



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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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I wouldn't go now. I'm not American but I am white and I'm sure these people are too ignorant to see any difference - if they are specifically targeting Americans, any white tourist would do. There are many fabulous places to go in the world that I'd be just as keen to see.

On the other hand, if I was in my 70s rather than my 40s I might be more inclined to take the risk. One place I'm determined to see before I die is Kashmir. I'm still waiting for it to look safe enough, and if I still haven't been when I'm "getting on" I'll go regardless (unless there's a full-scale war going on).
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Old September 17th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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This too will pass.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Yes, this too shall pass, but, call me chicken...I would not go, and,rebook for another date. To be fearful is for me, not the way I want to enjoy, or remember my cruise. It doesn't take a crowd to make one fearful. One disgruntled person, can create chaos. This is a personal decision, and each crusier needs to make the one that makes them comfortable, so far from home.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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I've been to Cairo several times. Each time (and times were "calm") the tour buses each carried an armed guard (oddly and Uzzi under their coats ), and the guards escorted the tours off the bus as well.

Cairo is really a "hole". 18 million people, and pretty much the only buildings in good condition were the government buildings. But, that doesn't condem the people. It was the "state" of their government.

In Alexandria, on one visit, I walked alone through many side streets, of dirt, to get more of a feel for the local area, and I had no problems at all, though I wouldn't repeat that experience after dark.

With the current situation, there may be only 2000 or so of the 18 million citizens involved in the demonstrations... and you have to feel for the rest of the population.

But the 2000 or so are enough to create a danger for tourists! And it's not likely any ships will expose their passengers to that exaggerated potential danger.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Yes, this too shall pass, but, call me chicken...I would not go, and,rebook for another date. To be fearful is for me, not the way I want to enjoy, or remember my cruise. It doesn't take a crowd to make one fearful. One disgruntled person, can create chaos. This is a personal decision, and each crusier needs to make the one that makes them comfortable, so far from home.
Cruise lines err on the side of chicken. If some are still stopping, I wouldn't have a problem. If they all stopped, well, the issue is moot.

Mob/herd mentality can be extremely dangerous and something to avoid. The cruise lines won't risk their ships and passengers and especially won't chance the lawsuits for taking people to an area with unreasonable risk.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 09:36 PM
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I believe that there are some bargains available in Middle East tours at this time.

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Old September 17th, 2012, 09:38 PM
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So Manuel, would you go?
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Old September 17th, 2012, 09:44 PM
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I have plans to go to Hawaii and Portugal in the next couple of years. That plus a few cruises will be the extent of my distant travels.
We also have several states that we want to visit. And of course there is a lot to see in my home state of Florida.
I do have friends who are planning a trip to Egypt in the near future.

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Old September 17th, 2012, 10:52 PM
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Greece and Turkey are on our cruise plans for next year. No worries currently, and I don't expect that to change.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Default Cancelled ports question

I am actually booked on a Royal Caribbean cruise that is to stop in Egypt mid-October. This is my second attempt to visit the pyramids. A trip I booked some 7-8 years ago was cancelled by the tour operator due to similar circumstances. So if it happens to me twice, I will be very disappointed But if the violence continues, clearly it is not a good idea to go.

On that note, can anyone tell me from past experience what happens if the ship decides to change ports at the last minute? Will they offer shore excursions? And will priority for those be given to the people who pre-booked tours for the cancelled port? I am not comfortable docking somewhere and just winging it on my own with no prior planning. I prefer the group tours less stress and I do not have to worry about how to get to and from the boat.

Any advice is appreciated
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Old September 18th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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So sorry to hear about the bad timing TWICE for you. That is really too bad.

Yes, the ship should offer shore excursions wherever they go. Keep in mind that Royal Caribbean goesd all over the Mediterranean, so they already have relationships with tour operators everywhere.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Thanks, Paul. I appreciate the info :O)
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Old September 18th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Default Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by zydecocruiser View Post
Greece and Turkey are on our cruise plans for next year. No worries currently, and I don't expect that to change.

One of my daughters and her husband just returned from 15 days in Turkey . They felt safe but would not go back at this time.
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