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  #1  
Old August 9th, 2011, 10:34 AM
57thny 57thny is offline
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Default Political sitiuation Septmeber Israel/Palestine

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!
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  #2  
Old August 9th, 2011, 11:21 AM
Fblack Fblack is offline
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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...social-justice
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  #3  
Old August 9th, 2011, 11:32 AM
57thny 57thny is offline
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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]
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:45 PM
rosie#1 rosie#1 is offline
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Originally Posted by 57thny View Post
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/showt...179590&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.

Last edited by rosie#1; August 9th, 2011 at 09:48 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 07:12 AM
Karennella Karennella is offline
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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.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 12:41 AM
Fblack Fblack is offline
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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
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  #7  
Old August 20th, 2011, 01:57 AM
jj69rr jj69rr is offline
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Originally Posted by Fblack View Post
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.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 09:30 AM
Karennella Karennella is offline
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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.
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  #9  
Old August 21st, 2011, 12:14 PM
greatam greatam is offline
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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.
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  #10  
Old August 22nd, 2011, 03:26 AM
Karennella Karennella is offline
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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!
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 05:18 PM
Fblack Fblack is offline
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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/escalati...efire-1.380095
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  #12  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 02:35 AM
SLB TONY SLB TONY is offline
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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
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 11:52 AM
Fblack Fblack is offline
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Originally Posted by SLB TONY View Post
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/diplomac...ttack-1.379864
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  #14  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 01:56 PM
greatam greatam is offline
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Originally Posted by SLB TONY View Post
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.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 04:52 PM
SLB TONY SLB TONY is offline
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Default Celebrity cruise resolution?????

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
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 09:49 PM
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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!
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Old August 24th, 2011, 11:10 AM
jj69rr jj69rr is offline
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Originally Posted by greatam View Post
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.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 07:51 PM
greatam greatam is offline
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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.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 02:31 AM
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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.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Karennella View Post
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.
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