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View Full Version : Political sitiuation Septmeber Israel/Palestine


57thny
August 9th, 2011, 09:34 AM
To all our cc friends in Israel...Do you know anything about the planned protests around the UN vote in September? Our New York papers say Israel is calling in reserves. Should we cancel? Thanks!

Fblack
August 9th, 2011, 10:21 AM
The big protests in Israel lately are due to economic issues rather than the UN vote. A million person protest is planned on September 3rd. They plan to block roads again as they did last week when 300,000 turned out. I personally would not be afraid to visit Israel. Just plan for some possible delays and road blocks.


"An estimated 300,000 people took to the streets on Saturday to press their demands for social justice and lower living costs in the largest demonstrations over social issues ever seen in the country.... A loose alliance of activists behind the protests called for a million-strong march on 3 September.".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/07/israelis-march-protesters-social-justice

57thny
August 9th, 2011, 10:32 AM
I read September 20th is going to be a day of protest in Israel because of the UN vote in regards to Palestine. Of course, that is one of the days we are there. Here is the link...


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_next_intifada_WBUo5FD19xSpyZrrPYAnkL[/URL]

rosie#1
August 9th, 2011, 08:45 PM
I read September 20th is going to be a day of protest in Israel because of the UN vote in regards to Palestine. Of course, that is one of the days we are there. Here is the link...


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_next_intifada_WBUo5FD19xSpyZrrPYAnkL[/url]

I am guessing you are on the same cruise as me, Silhouette 9/15. If so you should join our roll call. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1179590&page=39

I am sure the cruise line will be monitoring the situation and if it is bad they will not stop at the port. I tell my friends we are going on a mystery cruise since there is also a chance that we will skip Athens.

Karennella
August 10th, 2011, 06:12 AM
Our Mystery Cruise has now unfortunately become a Mystery Cruise to the Warzones! We leave Italy late September and are supposed to go to Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Athens. Then we are flying to London to stay with our daughter. Italy and Turkey are fine at the moment, but the only really safe place we are going, according to our Australian government advisory, is Hong Kong on the way over.

Fblack
August 19th, 2011, 11:41 PM
Today there are reports that Rockets were fired at Ashdod. If this new conflict does not stop soon, or escalates, I suspect the cruise lines may consider cancelling parts of Israel too.

19 August 2011: Israel strikes Gaza after Palestinian rockets in Ashdod

"...Several Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza launched in response to militant rockets that have struck the Israeli town of Ashdod. The militants fired more than 20 rockets at southern Israel on Friday, wounding several people....Israeli media said rockets had been fired at Ashkelon, Beersheva, Kiryat Gat and Ashdod on Friday morning. ...Another hit an industrial park on the outskirts of Ashdod, injuring six, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported,...".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14587101

jj69rr
August 20th, 2011, 12:57 AM
Today there are reports that Rockets were fired at Ashdod. If this new conflict does not stop soon, or escalates, I suspect the cruise lines may consider cancelling parts of Israel too.

19 August 2011: Israel strikes Gaza after Palestinian rockets in Ashdod

"...Several Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza launched in response to militant rockets that have struck the Israeli town of Ashdod. The militants fired more than 20 rockets at southern Israel on Friday, wounding several people....Israeli media said rockets had been fired at Ashkelon, Beersheva, Kiryat Gat and Ashdod on Friday morning. ...Another hit an industrial park on the outskirts of Ashdod, injuring six, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported,...".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14587101

The situation isn't quite as bad as it may seem. Yes, there have been some rocket attacks over the last 2 days, and yes a couple of them landed near Ashdod, but believe me, life is going on absolutely the same as it has in 99.9% of the country.

The city of Ashdod is a big city (by Israeli standards) and just because a missile or two landed in the outskirts of the city, doesn't mean that cruise ship passengers are in any real danger. The vast majority of you will be sleeping on the ship, not walking around Ashdod, and taking transportation straight out of there to either Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea where there is absolutely no danger.

Now, having said all that, its possible the cruise lines wil overreact, but I can't imagine that happening very easily since they have already had to disappoint some people by canceling Egypt (where there is real instability in a more general sense) and to now turn around and cancel up to 4 days in ports in Israel on cruises that are marketed as "Holy Land Cruises" is to me highly, highly unlikely unless the situation takes a real turn for bad. Imagine how many disappointed people would be asking for some kind of compensation as their cruise itinerary turns into a completely different cruise.

Cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity doubled down on Israel, while MSC and Costa decided months ago to be over cautious and cancel or completely rework all "Holy Land" cruises. I have a hunch they'll be paying very close attention to the situation, but will in all probability still be docking here.

Karennella
August 20th, 2011, 08:30 AM
I am sure what we see here in the media may exaggerate the danger, but I am an Australian who simply wants to see a part of the world I haven't seen. I have no family, friends or heritage ties to Israel, nor to Egypt either. Much as I have been looking forward to seeing both countries, I am going on my holiday for the purpose of enjoyment and I do not want to have to be in riskier than usual situations. Had I not booked this upcoming cruise last year, I would not consider going to either place at this time. So I watch what is going on with some anxiety. The cruise lines will have to weigh the risks up very carefully.
Our TA expected that if the itinerary should be substantially changed, as some were after the Japanese earthquake, that they may give us 72 hours to pull out without cancellation fees.
Time will tell.

greatam
August 21st, 2011, 11:14 AM
I posted this in May on the "Would you go to Egypt in November thread".

"This is where you are wrong. The less friendly, Iran leaning new Egyptian government is the REAL biggie when it comes to future security. They can't control their own people. How do you think that will bring security for tourists? Do you think they even care?? Opening the crossing into Gaza and the very, very great potential of the Mid East peace treaty being overturned/abandoned by the new government opens up some very, very nasty possibilities. It is pretty well a given the Muslim Brotherhood (banned for well over 30 years in most of the MidEast) will control the government when they have the elections in September. If they have their way, Egypt will become an Islamist country and it is not exactly their mode of operation to have 1000's of Westerners (the infidels-the apostates) running around their country."

This is all coming true now. So sorry for the Israeli people who will take the brunt of unrest between Egypt/Israel. The Arab League is condemning Israel, Egypt pulled their Ambassador to Israel out this morning. I am currently working in Iraq and the tension with an additional HUGE potential problem is palpable (total breakdown of Egyptian/Israeli relations, an unstable government and another war in the Middle East).

Speaking to a senior military officer at breakfast this morning, he did point out a bright side. Iran is influencing some things in Iraq currently (Shia vs Sunni violence is increasing). But Iraqis as a general rule HATE Iranians. And with Iran HEAVILY influencing what is going on in Gaza and Egypt, the Israeli's may have a new ally with Iraq. I'm sure this was said with a wink, although I didn't see the wink.

The US military is pulling out of Iraq BUT instead of the massive amount of military going home to the USA, quite a lot of them (regular Army, not Reserves or National Guard units) are being moved only to Kuwait. This is a recent change order and in response to the escalating violence in Egypt and in the Sinai/Gaza.

I would certainly feel much safer going to Israel than Egypt right now (I would feel that way any time). Would I go there? The US military has leisure travel (R & R) to Egypt still on the DO NOT GO list and I would be unable to continue my job. So no, I would not go to Egypt at this point in time. And I truly believe the closer to the elections in Egypt, there will be more violence and unrest in Gaza and the Sinai, which will effect Israel.

I feel very sorry for those who have cruises booked in the near future to Middle Eastern points where there is tremendous uncertainty. I have lived and worked on and off for the last 3 years in the Middle East. I have seen how rapidly "flash mob" mentality can take over and place lots of people in danger. Throw in a few militants/terrorists/radicals and you have a recipe for disaster. I wish you all safe and happy travels.

Karennella
August 22nd, 2011, 02:26 AM
Regardless of whether we get to Egypt and or Israel, I would certainly not book a cruise so far in advance again. I think it extremely likely that they will pull some ports very close, giving us more sea days, which will be cheaper for them than if they substitute ports. If they do decide to substitute ports, by announcing it late, it will increase the likelihood of people being forced to book ship's excursions rather than arrange private ones. We are going to be touring for the three weeks prior to the start of our cruise and will not have time or inclination to be arranging private tours.
Rightly or wrongly, we are getting an impression that their main concerns are commercial and we are unimpressed. It is only fortunate that our Aussie dollar is so high and the cruise is relatively cheap. Even though the high dollar looks like finally sending our country into or near recession, it is a bit comforting that we wont be wasting too much money!

Fblack
August 22nd, 2011, 04:18 PM
Personally I would not be worried about a trip to Ashdod and other parts of Israel. But a cruise line has a huge investment to protect along with their passengers. I suspect their Insurance companies also have some "covenants" concerning cruising to certain areas prone to riots or military conflicts. For now, it is a little better in Ashdod. But one lucky rocket hit near a port or mall may change the cruise lines position on calling to stops in Israel.

Latest update Monday 21:20 22.08.11: Two Gaza rockets fired into Israel, breaking ceasefire

...Two rockets from Gaza fell in Israel's South on Monday evening, just after the IDF's Home Front Command informed local authorities that the threat level was now reduced. One of the two rockets, which fell in the coastal region near Ashkelon led to a brush fire... The rockets fell four days after coordinated terror attacks in Israel’s South,...The streets of Ashdod were also filled with people Monday. “We understand the the ceasefire is temporary, but we finally were are to take the children to the malls today and breathe fresh air after two difficult days in Ashdod,” ... .


http://www.haaretz.com/news/escalation-in-south/two-gaza-rockets-fired-into-israel-breaking-ceasefire-1.380095

SLB TONY
August 23rd, 2011, 01:35 AM
We are scheduled to go on Sept 15th cruise. Having served many years in law enforcement we feel that going on vacation with rockets and demonstrations scheduled is equivalent to high stress conditions exposing passengers to unnecessary risk. Celebrity needs to step up to the plate and recognize the current conditions are an escalation of the June state department warnings, and advise what alternate ports they will offer. How safe is a tour in the holy land when state department advisories state avoid crowds and special religious sights? Unless the ship has navy seals as tour guides it cannot protect passengers on roads and tourist stops. The Israel paper stated today there is an elevated threat of a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and have brought in additional security. We would like to see celebrity give passengers options before sailing

Fblack
August 23rd, 2011, 10:52 AM
We are scheduled to go on Sept 15th cruise. Having served many years in law enforcement we feel that going on vacation with rockets and demonstrations scheduled is equivalent to high stress conditions exposing passengers to unnecessary risk. Celebrity needs to step up to the plate and recognize the current conditions are an escalation of the June state department warnings, and advise what alternate ports they will offer. How safe is a tour in the holy land when state department advisories state avoid crowds and special religious sights? Unless the ship has navy seals as tour guides it cannot protect passengers on roads and tourist stops. The Israel paper stated today there is an elevated threat of a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and have brought in additional security. We would like to see celebrity give passengers options before sailing


I believe this news story of 8/21/2011 is more on the warning you mentioned.

"Jerusalem police raises alert level after warnings of terror attack
Roadblocks put up throughout the city, security forces carry out security checks on passing cars in fear of terror attack."... Israeli security forces raised their alert level in Jerusalem on Sunday, following warnings that a terror attack may occur in the city in the near future.... " Israel police raised its alert level and stationed additional security throughout Jerusalem.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/jerusalem-police-raises-alert-level-after-warnings-of-terror-attack-1.379864

greatam
August 23rd, 2011, 12:56 PM
How safe is a tour in the holy land when state department advisories state avoid crowds and special religious sights? Unless the ship has navy seals as tour guides it cannot protect passengers on roads and tourist stops.

You hit the nail on the head.

I have been preaching since the "Arab Spring" started to MAKE SURE you can fend for yourself and NOT rely on a tour guide or cruise line. That means being able to get yourself out of a country WITHOUT going to a very, very crowded airport or trying to make your way back to a cruise ship. That means money (cash) in your pocket and the KNOWLEDGE on where to go and how to get there.

I have been here in the Middle East on and off for going on 4 years. When the mortars fly overhead and IED's explode, it is NOT fun. Even when you have heard it numerous times, it is still spooky and unnerving. People running and screaming creates sheer panic. Gunfire in the air (and it seems like EVERYONE in the Middle East has a gun and fires into the air) can cause major terror. And this is the situation tourists MAY find themselves in, particularly in Egypt.

About the only ones who don't freak out are the seasoned military. As you pointed out, unless the tour guides are Navy Seals or other Special Forces, I sure wouldn't count on them in a panic situation.

I wish everyone safe and happy travels but believe as you do-the cruise lines should totally rethink these Holy Land tours for the time being. It IS getting worse over here and US/North American news just doesn't paint the situation as it REALLY is.

SLB TONY
August 23rd, 2011, 03:52 PM
Just got off phone with Myaoa (refused to give last name). Customer resolutions dept she basically refused to allow me to speak to anyone who could advise what alternate options could be available due to escalating violence in Israel. When informed about articles and warnings from Israel she stated Are you threatening me? I told her passengers had a right to be informed that Israel had reported imminent terror alert and planned demonstrations in addition to ongoing rocket assaults in the port city celebrity has planned to stop at. We as passengers had a right to know ahead of our sailing what alternate plans they would provide and then we could see if we still wanted to sail. The resolutions person was antagonistic and rude refusing to assist at all. I told her we were experienced cruisers and only wanted info on options she still would not help. If anyone has contact information on a professional who can assist in giving help so we can know options before flying to Rome (expensive tickets) what alternate ports they would consider please advise

zwho
August 23rd, 2011, 08:49 PM
Tony & Great am, I think the 2 of you are talking about entirely different things. I believe that there is much anti american feelings in Egypt and that there are (mostly) young people walking around with weapons and they may shoot them in the air. I don't know. The media leads you to believe the Middle East is this centuries answer to the Wild West. If you are really concerned, I hope you purchased travel insurance and if there is a terror incident, you should be able to get your money back (I hope).

Having said that, Israel has been on the State Dept's. travel warning list for years! Yet, people who visit and people who live there, go about their lives knowing that there are tons of young kids everywhere with weapons in plain site, and I've never heard of shooting their weapons off in the air, unless they are told to, or there is a reason. I also know that if a young soldier asks you to do something, it's for your safety. This is not a biased opinion either. Just facts.

I made plans to cruise to Israel & Turkey and that's where I want to go. I don't want an alternate stop. And since only a deaf, dumb, blind and totally solitary person wouldn't have an idea about Middle East unrest, it would make no sense to plan a cruise there if you are worried. Think of it as being a witness to history!

jj69rr
August 24th, 2011, 10:10 AM
You hit the nail on the head.

I have been preaching since the "Arab Spring" started to MAKE SURE you can fend for yourself and NOT rely on a tour guide or cruise line. That means being able to get yourself out of a country WITHOUT going to a very, very crowded airport or trying to make your way back to a cruise ship. That means money (cash) in your pocket and the KNOWLEDGE on where to go and how to get there.

I have been here in the Middle East on and off for going on 4 years. When the mortars fly overhead and IED's explode, it is NOT fun. Even when you have heard it numerous times, it is still spooky and unnerving. People running and screaming creates sheer panic. Gunfire in the air (and it seems like EVERYONE in the Middle East has a gun and fires into the air) can cause major terror. And this is the situation tourists MAY find themselves in, particularly in Egypt.

About the only ones who don't freak out are the seasoned military. As you pointed out, unless the tour guides are Navy Seals or other Special Forces, I sure wouldn't count on them in a panic situation.

I wish everyone safe and happy travels but believe as you do-the cruise lines should totally rethink these Holy Land tours for the time being. It IS getting worse over here and US/North American news just doesn't paint the situation as it REALLY is.

Sorry, but Israel really doesn't qualify as the type of "Mid East" country that you are describing. Israel is not Egypt or Syria or Libya or even Tunisia for that matter. To say the situation on the ground in Israel is "getting worse" is nonsense. Its FAR FAR BETTER than it was before. The situation MAY DECLINE given any event, but between events it has never been safer. We had one of those events last week, but the situation has gotten back to normal. And tourists are ALWAYS aware of the risk of terrorism in Israel, or at least they should be.

Violence in Israel comes in 2 forms. The random act of terrorism that even New York, London, Madrid, Athens, Rome etc. have been subject to (if perhaps less frequently) and the type that we had a couple of days ago where a certain radius around the Gaza strip was subject to rocket attacks. If you are that worried about random terrorist attacks, go on vacation to Australia or New Zealand. In the case of the rocket attacks, it is possible to simply avoid these areas. A solution would be perhaps for the ships to simply dock in Haifa instead. You could still visit all the tourist sites you wanted to, since I sincerely doubt anyone planned to visit Beer Sheva, Ofakim or Ashkelon.

How many of you have been on cruises to the Caribbean or Mexico and walked around in the more seedy areas of Jamaica or Acapulco (or Miami for that matter)? Personally I think that would qualify as a far greater risk than walking around in Jerusalem or Nazareth.

greatam
August 24th, 2011, 06:51 PM
Sorry, but Israel really doesn't qualify as the type of "Mid East" country that you are describing. Israel is not Egypt or Syria or Libya or even Tunisia for that matter. To say the situation on the ground in Israel is "getting worse" is nonsense.



I have no idea what you are referring to. Did you even read my posts or just JUMP???. I SPECIFICALLY stated in previous posts that I would go to Israel but NOT to Egypt at this point in time.

The Middle East IS getting worse. Is Israel part of the Middle East as is commonly thought of? Not by a long stretch, IMHO. In fact, I SPECIFICALLY mentioned the ARAB SPRING (NOT exactly something Israel is part of).

The HolyLand tours generally have a stop in EGYPT and a stop in ISRAEL. Bad combination if you ask me. Stop in Israel, where there IS security. Forget going to Egypt for the time being.

If I was worried about random attacks, I certainly wouldn't be working in Iraq and Afghanistan. There's a lot of stuff flying overhead and the random gunfire in the air (which you won't find in Israel) is almost an everyday occurrence once you get away from Baghdad and Kabul.

I have no desire to go on a cruise to see places I travel to frequently in the Middle East-Oman, Qatar, Dubai, Bahrain etc. etc. Easier, IMHO, to just fly in, stay in a luxury hotel and leave in a couple of days when I have seen what I want to see. But I would like to go back to Israel for an extended period of time. Don't know if that will ever happen but maybe one day. Would I go to Israel tomorrow??? Yes. Would I go to Egypt tomorrow? Not if YOU paid for the trip.

jj69rr
August 25th, 2011, 01:31 AM
I have no idea what you are referring to. Did you even read my posts or just JUMP???. I SPECIFICALLY stated in previous posts that I would go to Israel but NOT to Egypt at this point in time.

The post I quoted doesn't mention Israel at all, just goes on about the Middle East. I don't think I'm the only person that can misconstrue what you wrote to be generalizing about the whole region INCLUDING Israel, and I wanted to clarify that.

aussie cruzer
August 25th, 2011, 05:25 AM
Regardless of whether we get to Egypt and or Israel, I would certainly not book a cruise so far in advance again. I think it extremely likely that they will pull some ports very close, giving us more sea days, which will be cheaper for them than if they substitute ports. If they do decide to substitute ports, by announcing it late, it will increase the likelihood of people being forced to book ship's excursions rather than arrange private ones. We are going to be touring for the three weeks prior to the start of our cruise and will not have time or inclination to be arranging private tours.
Rightly or wrongly, we are getting an impression that their main concerns are commercial and we are unimpressed. It is only fortunate that our Aussie dollar is so high and the cruise is relatively cheap. Even though the high dollar looks like finally sending our country into or near recession, it is a bit comforting that we wont be wasting too much money!


They will only pull the ports if it is unsafe to travel there,to suggest the cruise lines have a motive to cancel is unfair,as far as Egypt goes as long as there is no US travel warning for Egypt,which was withdrawn months ago..you are all good to go.

Thousands of tourists are visiting Egypt every day,why are we cruisers any different to them.

Fblack
August 25th, 2011, 10:48 AM
I believe that as long as rockets are being fired at Israel, and then Israel retaliates, the cruise lines will be more inclined to cancel port calls in Israel. And rockets were fired again yesterday. Haifa is pretty far from the danger zone so they might cancel Ashdod and do 2 nights in Haifa. But, remember that the "Scud Mall" is in Haifa.

August 25, 2011 : Lull over, rockets from Gaza again strike Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Terrorists in Gaza renewed rocket attacks on Israel, ending a brief lull.
More than 20 rockets were fired at Israel overnight Wednesday through afternoon Thursday. A nine-month-old baby was wounded when a rocket hit a home near Ashkelon. ...The attacks followed a day of quiet, which came after five days in which southern Israel was struck by more than 100 rockets and shells fired from Gaza. ..."The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will not hesitate to respond with strength and determination to any element that uses terror against the State of Israel".

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/08/25/3089119/lull-over-rockets-from-gaza-again-strike-israel

jj69rr
August 26th, 2011, 04:19 AM
I believe that as long as rockets are being fired at Israel, and then Israel retaliates, the cruise lines will be more inclined to cancel port calls in Israel. And rockets were fired again yesterday. Haifa is pretty far from the danger zone so they might cancel Ashdod and do 2 nights in Haifa. But, remember that the "Scud Mall" is in Haifa.

August 25, 2011 : Lull over, rockets from Gaza again strike Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Terrorists in Gaza renewed rocket attacks on Israel, ending a brief lull.
More than 20 rockets were fired at Israel overnight Wednesday through afternoon Thursday. A nine-month-old baby was wounded when a rocket hit a home near Ashkelon. ...The attacks followed a day of quiet, which came after five days in which southern Israel was struck by more than 100 rockets and shells fired from Gaza. ..."The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will not hesitate to respond with strength and determination to any element that uses terror against the State of Israel".

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/08/25/3089119/lull-over-rockets-from-gaza-again-strike-israel

We shall see this weekend! The Celebrity Silhouette is docking in Haifa on Saturday and Sunday, then it will be in Ashdod on Monday and Tuesday, And the Pacific Princess will also be in Ashdod on Tuesday. I really don't think they are going to skip Ashdod unless there is some kind of escalation, and there are reports that the truce is desired by both sides.

jj69rr
August 26th, 2011, 03:07 PM
I had contact with a passenger on the Celebrity Silhouette this afternoon that is due to dock in Haifa tomorrow and Ashdod on Monday, and they seem to be proceeding as planned. Absolutely no suggestion that Ashdod would be skipped.

CathyK2
August 26th, 2011, 03:32 PM
This is great news. Thank you for keeping us updated on this situation, jj69rr. We aren't scheduled to be there on our cruise until Oct 1, 2, and 3 (Vision of the Seas), so I have been following this thread. Be safe!

Cathy from New Hampshire

jj69rr
August 28th, 2011, 08:19 AM
We just spoke to the port, Celebrity Silhouette is still scheduled to dock as planned in Ashdod tomorrow.

celyvabeach
August 28th, 2011, 09:17 AM
I have been following this thread too. We are scheduled for Ashdod Nov 13-14 and Haifa Nov 15 on Celebrity Constellation. Thanks for keeping us updated jj69rr.

Deckhandoug
August 28th, 2011, 09:42 AM
Thanks for the updates, we will be there soon too and appreciate your keeping everyone informed.

jj69rr
August 28th, 2011, 01:43 PM
Celebrity Silhouette is staying in Haifa, not docking in Ashdod. Makes tours to the Dead Sea more or less impossible unless done without an overnight in Jerusalem, or perhaps at the Dead Sea. Tours to Jerusalem are still possible from Haifa, it just adds about 100 miles to the driving for the day.

Fblack
August 28th, 2011, 04:12 PM
Celebrity Silhouette is staying in Haifa, not docking in Ashdod. Makes tours to the Dead Sea more or less impossible unless done without an overnight in Jerusalem, or perhaps at the Dead Sea. Tours to Jerusalem are still possible from Haifa, it just adds about 100 miles to the driving for the day.


Sorry to hear about this but as I suspected, Celebrity is taking the safe position for a while. For those looking for something to do out of Haifa, consider some time in Acre. It's an old Crusader City and Fortress and the Knights Templar were based there. It's about 10 to 12 miles from Haifa.

Gracie115
August 28th, 2011, 05:32 PM
Celebrity Silhouette is staying in Haifa, not docking in Ashdod. Makes tours to the Dead Sea more or less impossible unless done without an overnight in Jerusalem, or perhaps at the Dead Sea. Tours to Jerusalem are still possible from Haifa, it just adds about 100 miles to the driving for the day.


Very upsetting...we cruise on Silhouette on 9/15...with 3 days scheduled in Ashdod....hope this doesn't happen then....:(

eman845
August 28th, 2011, 08:49 PM
Very upsetting...we cruise on Silhouette on 9/15...with 3 days scheduled in Ashdod....hope this doesn't happen then....:(
Ashdod to Jerusalem is 70 KM ( 42 miles) by car. Haifa to Ashdod is 164 KM ( abit over 100 miles) all highway. ( Source is Google maps) Difference is 94 km or one hour of driving.

Ashdod to Tel Aviv is 40 km, Haifa to Tel Aviv isa 96 Km, a difference of 56 km, or about 45 minutes.

Not the end of the world if you have planned to tour these places out of Ashdod. You should be able to have tour companies reroute

Gracie115
August 29th, 2011, 05:19 AM
Ashdod to Jerusalem is 70 KM ( 42 miles) by car. Haifa to Ashdod is 164 KM ( abit over 100 miles) all highway. ( Source is Google maps) Difference is 94 km or one hour of driving.

Ashdod to Tel Aviv is 40 km, Haifa to Tel Aviv isa 96 Km, a difference of 56 km, or about 45 minutes.

Not the end of the world if you have planned to tour these places out of Ashdod. You should be able to have tour companies reroute


Thank you...the Dead Sea and Masada a bit farther but we will work it out....

CathyK2
August 29th, 2011, 02:58 PM
Although I know this change in port plan wouldn't be what any of us are looking for, I did contact our guide that is taking us to Jerusalem and Dead Sea our first day in Ashdod and have been told that if we spend the time in Haifa instead, that they will just come pick us up there. It may be about 10 dollars extra per person for the further distance, but it wouldn't be as earth shaking as it sounds like at first.

Hopefully for Israel's sake, life can settle down. I know many of us will continue to follow this thread, so hope that ship updates will continue to be posted.

Cathy in New Hampshire

jj69rr
August 30th, 2011, 08:13 AM
Hopefully for Israel's sake, life can settle down. I know many of us will continue to follow this thread, so hope that ship updates will continue to be posted.



Life has pretty much settled down, thats why the decision in the case of the Silhouette this week to stay in Haifa was a bit surprising.

The issue with running tours of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea from Haifa is the extra mileage involved. Driving from Haifa to Masada is AT LEAST a 3 hour drive, and its close to 300 km each way. Most tour companies base a standard day of touring on 200km of driving, so as you can see, you're talking about 400km of extra mileage. Now, add to that the fact that the guides reserved for the tours are most likely based nearer to Ashdod than Haifa, and in some cases that guide will need to travel up to 100km just to get to the port, then drive a further 600km for the tour, and then at the end of the day, they will likely need to drive another 100km to get home for the night.

I understand that the ship tours on the Silhouette to the Dead Sea/Masada went ahead as planned, but they can probably get around this problem by using 2 drivers, and of course they could absorb the extra mileage among the 50 or so passengers. But for a private tour company, or an independent guide, you can imagine that its just not possible for them to absorb the cost. Remember, some of these guides will have rented a vehicle that they will need to pay over mileage on, plus if you figure in Gas prices of $8 per gallon.... Thats a huge additional expense for a 1 day tour. If the private tour companies agree to go to the Dead Sea as planned, you can be sure that there will be considerable extra costs involved.

Now having said all that, there is still PLENTY of stuff to see in Israel without going to the Dead Sea. It might actually give people the opportunity to go and tour Tel Aviv - a city that definitely deserves more consideration that it tends to get from cruise passengers.

I would STRONGLY recommend you discuss this with your Tour Operator so that these issues will not come as a surprise should they eventuate.

CathyK2
August 30th, 2011, 01:13 PM
jj68rr,

Thank you for your wealth of information. Since I have never been to Israel, as many of us going there for the first time, we are depedant on the information of others like yourself.

I was only passing on the information that I was given from our tour company when I asked what would need to happen to get to our original tour of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea that is scheduled to go out of Ashdod. I had said that we would be willing to spend a night in a hotel. His comment back was :

*****************

The tour will go as planned even if it is coming from Haifa. However, we might charge a $10 surcharge per person for the long drive. I do not suggest to plan for an overnight at the moment due to the unpredictability situation in Israel right now. So for our guest’ security we suggest an overnight in the ship each day. If by any chance, the situation get better you can always make the last minute plan on staying overnight. Just advise your guide or send us an email.

****************

At this point, I haven't given hope that we won't still make it in to Ashdod in which case none of this will matter. I am NOT doubting your informatin and for now, I think I'll see if the ships still to come will be also dropping Ashdod. Do you know if the Pacific Princess made it in to port today?

As far as Tel Aviv, that is our travel destination plan for the second day we were to be docked in Ashdod. Yes, some juggling may need to be done if we encounter the change, but for now, I think we just need to stay aware of the possibilities and take it as it comes.

Again, thank you so much for keeping us up to date as to how things are over there as well as the change of ports on various cruise ships.

Cathy in New Hampshire

TroubleT
August 30th, 2011, 01:31 PM
I received an email from our Tour Operator "Moti Bar-Tuv". In case the ship stays in Haifa and doesn't go to Ashdod all scheduled tours will be rerouted and will start from Haifa for no additional charge. The price won't be increased and will stay the same.

Fblack
August 30th, 2011, 02:35 PM
"Life has pretty much settled down....". I am not so sure. In addition to one crazy Palestinian guy attacking people in Tel Aviv, the Israeli military is arming some citizens because of concerns about unrest and the UN Vote.

8/30/2011: "Israeli army arms Jewish settlers in preparation for Palestinian unrest "

Jewish settlers across the West Bank are being armed and trained by the Israeli military in anticipation of unrest and violence leading up to a Palestinian demand for statehood at the United Nations in three weeks.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8731272/Israeli-army-arms-Jewish-settlers-in-preparation-for-Palestinian-unrest.html

Gracie115
August 30th, 2011, 08:11 PM
*****************

The tour will go as planned even if it is coming from Haifa. However, we might charge a $10 surcharge per person for the long drive. I do not suggest to plan for an overnight at the moment due to the unpredictability situation in Israel right now. So for our guest’ security we suggest an overnight in the ship each day. If by any chance, the situation get better you can always make the last minute plan on staying overnight. Just advise your guide or send us an email.

****************

Cathy in New Hampshire


This is exactly what our tour operator said too. We have never been to Israel and the Dead Sea is something we want to see, so I am happy they are trying to accommodate us.

jj69rr
August 31st, 2011, 03:13 AM
"Life has pretty much settled down....". I am not so sure. In addition to one crazy Palestinian guy attacking people in Tel Aviv, the Israeli military is arming some citizens because of concerns about unrest and the UN Vote.

8/30/2011: "Israeli army arms Jewish settlers in preparation for Palestinian unrest "

Jewish settlers across the West Bank are being armed and trained by the Israeli military in anticipation of unrest and violence leading up to a Palestinian demand for statehood at the United Nations in three weeks.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8731272/Israeli-army-arms-Jewish-settlers-in-preparation-for-Palestinian-unrest.html

I'm just trying to give you a sense of what is happening in daily life. Its very much business as usual for 99.999% of the country. That doesn't really take into account risk which is of course pretty much always there.

CathyK2
August 31st, 2011, 09:29 AM
I just wanted to say that I'm appreciating ALL of the news on this thread. Whether it is from someone living in Israel with their perspective or what the news is printing. Nothing any of us can change, but I think it is good that we stay aware.

jj69rr, Do you know if Princess was able to get their ship in to Ashdod yesterday?

Cathy

greatam
August 31st, 2011, 11:31 AM
I am working in Iraq and will be leaving Friday. Last night, email went out from the Public Affairs office that contractors leaving Iraq and Afghanistan via their own or contractor booked transport are NOT allowed to go into Israel at this current time if they want to come back under US government contracts. And most skilled tradespeople (electricians, HVAC, plumbers, etc) are planning to come back as the jobs pay well over here and there are few trades jobs in the USA that pay anything.

Very disappointing to quite a few. After 9-12 months in the "sandbox" with only 30 days total off duty, quite a few were planning a little vacation before they went home to the USA which would include Dubai, Egypt and Israel. Egypt has been off the table since last winter (Arab Spring uprising) but Israel sure hasn't been. It came as a shock to them and they are scrambling to redo airline tickets as most were leaving within 10 days. Quite a few were having wives/family fly to Dubai or Israel to meet them and enjoy a little vacation.

Overly cautious on the part of the US-probably. But I know the Navy is pulling a couple of ships (one carrier group) out of Qatar and sending them closer to the Suez/Sinai. Israel is moving ships closer to the Sinai in anticipation of trouble there BUT SO IS IRAN.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jsmPI38DssN9PQEC9oaRsk7NKzMA?docId=f6a73ab66 78644c69591b69794120faf

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/press-tv-iran-sending-submarine-warship-to-gulf-o

I just hope the additional military presence around Israel keeps the terrorists at bay. I feel very sorry for some of my colleagues who were anticipating a little fun with their families and are now spending the time trying to rearrange vacations.

Fblack
August 31st, 2011, 09:22 PM
This does not sound good.

8/30/2011: IDF boosts presence in south based on terror warnings

"The Israel Defense Forces has significantly bolstered its forces along the border with Egypt, the Gulf of Eilat and near the Gaza Strip as a result of solid intelligence that militants belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group are planning an attack in southern Israel. The warning has been described as "real." ...Defensive preparations are also being made to counter a scenario which sees militants attacking from the Gaza Strip via a tunnel, as well as the firing of rockets against Eilat and other Israeli communities..." .

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-boosts-presence-in-south-based-on-terror-warnings-1.381464


And the good news.

8/31/2011: Israel deploys third Iron Dome anti-rocket battery near Ashdod

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday deployed a third Iron Dome anti-rocket battery outside the city of Ashdod.

"The deployment [near Ashdod] is part of a national emergency plan which I announced several weeks ago and is a concrete expression of defending Israel's residents from rockets and missiles," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.


http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-deploys-third-iron-dome-anti-rocket-battery-near-ashdod-1.381781

Gracie115
September 1st, 2011, 03:54 PM
Does anyone here know if the Pacific Princess docked as scheduled in Ashdod on Aug 30? Thanks

CathyK2
September 2nd, 2011, 01:50 PM
Gracie,

From my understanding, the Pacific Princess didn't make it to Ashdod, but they did dock in Haifa. I think at this point with everything going on, any of our cruises will be lucky to get to spend the entire time in Haifa instead of not making it to Israel at all.

A lot has the potential of getting ugly over the next several weeks, so we can just keep an ear to the ground and hope for the best.

Cathy in New Hampshire

Gracie115
September 3rd, 2011, 05:56 AM
Gracie,

From my understanding, the Pacific Princess didn't make it to Ashdod, but they did dock in Haifa. I think at this point with everything going on, any of our cruises will be lucky to get to spend the entire time in Haifa instead of not making it to Israel at all.

A lot has the potential of getting ugly over the next several weeks, so we can just keep an ear to the ground and hope for the best.

Cathy in New Hampshire

Thanks...I couldn't get an answer anywhere...no one on Princess board's responded at all... I agree about the Haifa stop...sort of expect that's where we will be instead of Ashdod.

Jade13
September 3rd, 2011, 07:23 PM
Celebrity Silhouette is staying in Haifa, not docking in Ashdod. Makes tours to the Dead Sea more or less impossible unless done without an overnight in Jerusalem, or perhaps at the Dead Sea. Tours to Jerusalem are still possible from Haifa, it just adds about 100 miles to the driving for the day.


Was the Dead Sea and Massada tour with the cruise line canceled? We are scheduled for two days in Ashdod and one day in Haifa (after Ashdod) on Azamara Quest (also owned by RCCL) at the end of October and first week of November. Egypt was canceled and we ended up with extra time in Israel.

greybeard65
September 3rd, 2011, 07:44 PM
Not sure of the source, but for those going to be in Israel on or about September 20th, this doesn't look too good... (from a couple of days ago).

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/08/201181185654921787.html

greybeard65
September 3rd, 2011, 08:50 PM
A more detailed account of politics behind the Sept. 20th protests:

http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=25102&docId=l:1492175491&isRss=true&Em=4

Gracie115
September 4th, 2011, 07:11 AM
A more detailed account of politics behind the Sept. 20th protests:

http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=25102&docId=l:1492175491&isRss=true&Em=4


Yes, this protest is why we have switiched our Jerusalem tour to the 19th and going to the Dead Sea/Masada on the 20th.

epixx
September 4th, 2011, 10:04 AM
Was the Dead Sea and Massada tour with the cruise line canceled? We are scheduled for two days in Ashdod and one day in Haifa (after Ashdod) on Azamara Quest (also owned by RCCL) at the end of October and first week of November. Egypt was canceled and we ended up with extra time in Israel.

We just returned from the 22 August Silhouette. We did not take the ship's excursion, but after announcement of the itinerary change, the daily Silhouette paper stated that all ship's tours would continue as scheduled, with minor modifications to the timing at the sights and return to ship times. We spoke to some people who took the ship's tours on the following two days, and most of them stated that the day was very long and that time at some of the locations was limited.

Jade13
September 4th, 2011, 11:00 AM
We just returned from the 22 August Silhouette. We did not take the ship's excursion, but after announcement of the itinerary change, the daily Silhouette paper stated that all ship's tours would continue as scheduled, with minor modifications to the timing at the sights and return to ship times. We spoke to some people who took the ship's tours on the following two days, and most of them stated that the day was very long and that time at some of the locations was limited.

I wonder how long the drive from Haifa to the Dead Sea & Masada would be? I know it is about 2 hours from Ashdod.

Although we have always done mostly private tours this time there is no one on my roll call who wants to join us. Everyone seems to have their own agenda or private guide in Israel, so we are scheduled on mostly ships tours (private guide to Jerusalem but cost will be $600 plus for 2 people). In any event the ships tours were 50% off, so Masada & Dead Sea about $100.00 per person with lunch, so not bad. But, it is already scheduled as a 10 hour tour so I wonder what would be missed.

epixx
September 4th, 2011, 03:03 PM
I wonder how long the drive from Haifa to the Dead Sea & Masada would be? I know it is about 2 hours from Ashdod.

Although we have always done mostly private tours this time there is no one on my roll call who wants to join us. Everyone seems to have their own agenda or private guide in Israel, so we are scheduled on mostly ships tours (private guide to Jerusalem but cost will be $600 plus for 2 people). In any event the ships tours were 50% off, so Masada & Dead Sea about $100.00 per person with lunch, so not bad. But, it is already scheduled as a 10 hour tour so I wonder what would be missed.

I cannot provide first hand experience, but some people on our ship who took the Dead Sea/Masada ship's excursion from Haifa told me that the drive took about 3 hours. They indicated that the excursion included all sights described, but that they felt "rushed" much of the time and returned significantly later than scheduled.

I definitely don't blame you for taking the ship's excursion, especially given the recent sudden Silhouette change in itinerary and potential logistical challenges for independent travel. That's a super fantastic price! Have a wonderful time.

Fblack
September 4th, 2011, 05:40 PM
Haifa to Jerusalem is not too far for a nice day trip. Under 2 hours. But I heard that the Dead Sea is a nearly 3.5 to 4 hour drive from Haifa. I probably would not go as far as the Dead Sea with so much else to see closer to Haifa.

Bookloversd
September 5th, 2011, 03:06 AM
I cannot provide first hand experience, but some people on our ship who took the Dead Sea/Masada ship's excursion from Haifa told me that the drive took about 3 hours. They indicated that the excursion included all sights described, but that they felt "rushed" much of the time and returned significantly later than scheduled.

I definitely don't blame you for taking the ship's excursion, especially given the recent sudden Silhouette change in itinerary and potential logistical challenges for independent travel. That's a super fantastic price! Have a wonderful time.

We are on the Silhouette Sept. 15th sailing and keep hearing so many different stories-were your ships diverted to Haifa for your whole stay? When were you informed of any changes? We still have no idea where we are going to wind up!

epixx
September 5th, 2011, 05:52 AM
We are on the Silhouette Sept. 15th sailing and keep hearing so many different stories-were your ships diverted to Haifa for your whole stay? When were you informed of any changes? We still have no idea where we are going to wind up!

We sailed 22 August and were scheduled for 2 days in Haifa followed by 2 days in Ashdod. The ship was scheduled to depart Haifa at 10 pm for Ashdod on the 2nd Haifa day, but at close to 9 pm (!!) the captain announced that the ship would spend the following 2 days in Haifa instead of continuing on to Ashdod. You will need to have flexible plans for your stay in Israel. Have a wonderful cruise.

jfbct
September 5th, 2011, 10:15 AM
We sailed 22 August and were scheduled for 2 days in Haifa followed by 2 days in Ashdod. The ship was scheduled to depart Haifa at 10 pm for Ashdod on the 2nd Haifa day, but at close to 9 pm (!!) the captain announced that the ship would spend the following 2 days in Haifa instead of continuing on to Ashdod. You will need to have flexible plans for your stay in Israel. Have a wonderful cruise.

Did you visit the Dead Sea and Masada? If so, was it worth the extra time in the vehicle? We're going to be in Israel in two weeks and it doesn't look like we will be stopping in Ashdod. They say the tours will continue out of Haifa, but we're debating if we want to spend 6-7 in a vehicle on our vacation. I appreciate any info you can provide and I thank you in advance.

Cruising-along
September 5th, 2011, 12:36 PM
Maybe I'm borrowing trouble here, but...
Our cruise is scheduled now for 2 days in Haifa and 2 days in Ashdod. We have ship excursions booked for all 4 days. One of them is the Dead Sea from Ashdod.

If our schedule is changed to all 4 days in Haifa, and especially if that change isn't made until after the start of the cruise, I worry that we won't be able to change to any other excursion (we don't want to sit in a bus all day to go to the Dead Sea). I worry that any other choices will be full by that time. :(

I imagine the shore excursion desk was a zoo if the change wasn't announced until 9pm the night before.

epixx
September 5th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Did you visit the Dead Sea and Masada? If so, was it worth the extra time in the vehicle? We're going to be in Israel in two weeks and it doesn't look like we will be stopping in Ashdod. They say the tours will continue out of Haifa, but we're debating if we want to spend 6-7 in a vehicle on our vacation. I appreciate any info you can provide and I thank you in advance.

We did not visit the Dead Sea and Masada because we had been there somewhat recently on a land vacation. I did speak to people who took the ship's excursion from Haifa to the Dead Sea and Masada. They told me that they saw all the planned sights but that they felt "rushed" for at least some of the day and that the excursion was (understandably) longer than the original description. Another family on a private tour for consecutive days of Jerusalem and Masada/Dead Sea opted at the last minute to stay overnight in a hotel in Jerusalem to reduce travel time.

epixx
September 5th, 2011, 02:03 PM
Maybe I'm borrowing trouble here, but...
Our cruise is scheduled now for 2 days in Haifa and 2 days in Ashdod. We have ship excursions booked for all 4 days. One of them is the Dead Sea from Ashdod.

If our schedule is changed to all 4 days in Haifa, and especially if that change isn't made until after the start of the cruise, I worry that we won't be able to change to any other excursion (we don't want to sit in a bus all day to go to the Dead Sea). I worry that any other choices will be full by that time. :(

I imagine the shore excursion desk was a zoo if the change wasn't announced until 9pm the night before.

We didn't take any of the ship's excursions, so I didn't see the shore excursion desk after the itinerary change was announced. I do not know whether the ship offered any new excursions based on the altered itinerary. Perhaps consider going on a private tour. We went with private guides who were extremely flexible and accommodating to the sudden change in port venue.

Fblack
September 7th, 2011, 09:25 PM
More problems in Israel.

9/7/2011: Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) nabs dozens of West Bank-based Hamas members

"Hamas is working to boost its military capabilities in the West Bank, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) warned on Wednesday, revealing that in recent months it had arrested dozens of Hamas terror suspects who belonged to 13 different terror cells operating in the West Bank and Jerusalem....The cells were planning a number of attacks against Israel, including the abduction of an IDF soldier and a suicide bombing in Jerusalem which was thwarted two weeks ago...The cell plotting the attack in Jerusalem was based in Hebron and had manufactured two explosive devices using fire extinguishers loaded with six kilograms of explosives..."

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=237053

badatz
September 8th, 2011, 05:42 AM
More problems in Israel.

9/7/2011: Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) nabs dozens of West Bank-based Hamas members

"Hamas is working to boost its military capabilities in the West Bank, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) warned on Wednesday, revealing that in recent months it had arrested dozens of Hamas terror suspects who belonged to 13 different terror cells operating in the West Bank and Jerusalem....The cells were planning a number of attacks against Israel, including the abduction of an IDF soldier and a suicide bombing in Jerusalem which was thwarted two weeks ago...The cell plotting the attack in Jerusalem was based in Hebron and had manufactured two explosive devices using fire extinguishers loaded with six kilograms of explosives..."

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=237053


Unfortunately there is nothing new here. This is an ongoing battle which has been going on for over 63 years. One day it Hamas, tommorrow PLO and the next day Hizbollah. It is a fact of life here in Israel that there are always terrorist groups trying to do damage.

Life goes on and we just trust the various security services to give us the possibility of a normal life

Don't let this stop you from enjoying your visit

badatz
September 8th, 2011, 05:49 AM
Haifa to Jerusalem is not too far for a nice day trip. Under 2 hours. But I heard that the Dead Sea is a nearly 3.5 to 4 hour drive from Haifa. I probably would not go as far as the Dead Sea with so much else to see closer to Haifa.

I would not plan on getting from Haifa to Jerusalem in under two hours. Depending on the time of day and road conditions (accidents etc) you should count on a minimum of 2 1/2 and up to 3 hours, depending on where you want to go in the city.

It is about an hour on Highway 1 from the entrance to Jerusalem to the northern part of the Dead Sea. It is another 45 -60 minutes to the hotel area at the southern end. You do not have to go into the city proper.

jfbct
September 8th, 2011, 09:26 AM
More problems in Israel.

9/7/2011: Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) nabs dozens of West Bank-based Hamas members

"Hamas is working to boost its military capabilities in the West Bank, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) warned on Wednesday, revealing that in recent months it had arrested dozens of Hamas terror suspects who belonged to 13 different terror cells operating in the West Bank and Jerusalem....The cells were planning a number of attacks against Israel, including the abduction of an IDF soldier and a suicide bombing in Jerusalem which was thwarted two weeks ago...The cell plotting the attack in Jerusalem was based in Hebron and had manufactured two explosive devices using fire extinguishers loaded with six kilograms of explosives..."

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=237053

That's actually good news...deter, disrupt, and/or dismantle...

Fblack
September 8th, 2011, 01:35 PM
That's actually good news...deter, disrupt, and/or dismantle...


I was actually thinking from the cruise lines perspective. While it's good that Israel is being proactive and doing what it can to arrest suspects and prevent attacks, it also says that terrorists are actively trying to bomb Jerusalem and other parts of Israel. What we don't want are the cruise lines so nervous that they cut out port stops.

greatam
September 11th, 2011, 11:57 AM
Just as I posted in other threads and the US Military is preparing for (they finally made public the announcement that soldiers are being taken out of Iraq but ONLY being sent to Kuwait), it is getting WORSE in the Middle East.

Even the NYC Times (which was a BIG supporter of "Arab Spring" in Egypt) is back tracking on the Egyptian situation. "Egypt is not going toward democracy but toward Islamicization,” said Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo who reflected the government’s view. “It is the same in Turkey and in Gaza. It is just like what happened in Iran in 1979.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/world/middleeast/11israel.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

I truly hope that everyone gets their cruise/vacation in Israel/Egypt. But I sure wouldn't go at this point in time. I have spent just entirely too much time in the Middle East the last almost 4 years and have seen how a few can incite a major confrontation/riot in a very short time. Stay safe, everyone.

cruisemom42
September 11th, 2011, 02:20 PM
Princess has just taken Egypt off of their October 10 "Holy Land" itinerary. Apparently they substituted Istanbul. It looks like they are considering what to do about some of the following cruises that include Egypt:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1480363

crabby apple
September 11th, 2011, 02:23 PM
Just as I posted in other threads and the US Military is preparing for (they finally made public the announcement that soldiers are being taken out of Iraq but ONLY being sent to Kuwait), it is getting WORSE in the Middle East.

Even the NYC Times (which was a BIG supporter of "Arab Spring" in Egypt) is back tracking on the Egyptian situation. "Egypt is not going toward democracy but toward Islamicization,” said Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo who reflected the government’s view. “It is the same in Turkey and in Gaza. It is just like what happened in Iran in 1979.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/world/middleeast/11israel.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

I truly hope that everyone gets their cruise/vacation in Israel/Egypt. But I sure wouldn't go at this point in time. I have spent just entirely too much time in the Middle East the last almost 4 years and have seen how a few can incite a major confrontation/riot in a very short time. Stay safe, everyone.


I need to have hubby check into this, they may end up cancelling his leave if this is the case. We cannot go there if the military won't allow it. As of 2 weeks ago Egypt was fine but if it has gotten worse they will not allow us to go.

greatam
September 11th, 2011, 03:56 PM
I need to have hubby check into this, they may end up cancelling his leave if this is the case. We cannot go there if the military won't allow it. As of 2 weeks ago Egypt was fine but if it has gotten worse they will not allow us to go.

If he is CONUS, he is OK. But if he is OCONUS and particularly in the war zones, please check.

The military has FORBIDDEN soldiers and contractors from going to Egypt if they were in the war zones as of March, 2011. And last week, just before I left Iraq, the Public Affairs office put out a memo that contractors with either contractor company booked or self booked transport to the USA for R & R or end of contract COULD NOT transit through Israel IF they wanted to come back to work on another contract or after R & R. Don't know how they could tell because Israel will gladly NOT stamp your passport and just give you a piece of paper for the entry stamp, but most sure aren't taking the chance.

Threw a bunch of my friends (all contractors-most KBR or DynCorp) into a big tizzy because they were planning to meet families in Dubai, Egypt or Israel on their way home.

They all spent the last days of their contracts trying to rearrange airline flights for themselves and families. MOST sent their families into Dubai and are just going to give up on a trip to Egypt or Israel. Those who want to come back to the war zones realize that there are so few jobs in the USA for tradespeople (plumbers, electricians, HVAC, carpenters, etc. etc) they better toe the line and do everything they can to get back to Iraq (State Dept contract) or Afghanistan (LogCapIV) to support their families.

I have spent almost the last 4 years transiting in and out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait helping with logistics planning for subsistence and believe me, I sure wouldn't go on an Egypt/Israel cruise right now (although I will state that I feel MUCH safer going to Israel than Egypt, being an American).

Good luck!!!

cruisemom42
September 11th, 2011, 04:18 PM
Princess has just taken Egypt off of their October 10 "Holy Land" itinerary. Apparently they substituted Istanbul. It looks like they are considering what to do about some of the following cruises that include Egypt:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1480363

Sorry.....apparently the poster was in error and was looking at old info before Egypt was reinstated by Princess.

Jade13
September 12th, 2011, 06:18 AM
deleted

travel_bug1
September 14th, 2011, 04:16 PM
It seems most people posting have been or are going to be leaving on a Celebrity cruise. I am wondering if there is anyone who has been on a RCCL cruise who could share their experience and thoughts.

Onelung
September 19th, 2011, 08:03 AM
We just did the celebrity cruise to the holy land with 2 days in haifa and 2 in ashdod. We experienced NO problems whatsoever. Life goes on as normal. Go and enjoy

Deckhandoug
September 20th, 2011, 06:18 AM
We just did the celebrity cruise to the holy land with 2 days in haifa and 2 in ashdod. We experienced NO problems whatsoever. Life goes on as normal. Go and enjoy

Thanks for the update, I hope our stops go smoothly as well!

CathyK2
September 21st, 2011, 09:23 AM
Just to keep this update going.....Vision of the Seas is in Ashdod today and tomorrow and yes, they are there. We are on the next sailing, so I'm hoping things remain settled down there.

Cathy of New Hampshire

travel_bug1
September 23rd, 2011, 09:42 PM
Hi Cathy,

Where in New Hampshire is Bow located?

Was Voyager scheduled to go to Egypt? If so did it? Did it do just Ashdod or go to another Israel port too?

Fblack
September 23rd, 2011, 09:46 PM
Here's an update following the UN speeches today. Let's hope things stay quiet.

9/23/2011: IDF braces for mass West Bank protests ahead of Palestinian statehood bid at UN

"While the IDF has no indication that violence will erupt, it worries that PA President Mahmoud Abbas' address at the UN General Assembly today could inflame tempers...The Islamist Hamas organization has declared today a "day of rage," but the IDF believes Hamas lacks the infrastructure to foment widespread disturbances in the West Bank. ...The police will also be on high alert today, especially in Jerusalem and the north and along the "seam" between Israel and the West Bank.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-braces-for-mass-west-bank-protests-ahead-of-palestinian-statehood-bid-at-un-1.386141

CathyK2
September 25th, 2011, 05:14 PM
Travel Bug,

Bow is just outside of Concord.

I don't know what the Voyager ports are at this time. I do know that the Vision had two days in Haifa and two in Ashdod with the cruise that is to return to Istanbul tomorrow and they DID make it to both ports. I'm not getting on the ship until tomorrow and our ports only include 1 Haifa and 2 Ashdod but obviously I'm hoping things will remain quiet so we will be able to make them.

Cathy in New Hampshire

travel_bug1
September 26th, 2011, 10:06 PM
Cathy - have a wonderful trip

Fblack
October 4th, 2011, 10:08 AM
More bad news is looming.

10/4/2011:Israel Police on high alert as clashes ensue following mosque arson

"Security forces disperse youth in Tuba-Zanghariyya after 'price tag' arson of local mosque; ...police bracing for Israeli Arab revenge attacks as well as acts of settler violence over holidays....Police are concerned that Israeli Arabs will carry out revenge attacks in the wake of the arson, and also fear acts by Jewish extremists will spark further agitation and violence during the upcoming holidays, particularly in cities with mixed Jewish-Arab populations. "

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-police-on-high-alert-as-clashes-ensue-following-mosque-arson-1.388057