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View Poll Results: Should Crystal include Iran on its 2010 world cruise itinerary?
Yes -- Cruise travelers should be allowed to explore new destinations, regardless of politics. 105 33.44%
Yes -- But I would not leave the ship in Bandar Abbas. 14 4.46%
No -- Cruise lines should boycott countries whose governments are hostile to us. 171 54.46%
Maybe -- Only if the cruise line can prove its passengers will be safe in port. 21 6.69%
Something else -- which I'll post below. 3 0.96%
Voters: 314. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old October 6th, 2008, 06:12 PM
Erica@cruisecritic Erica@cruisecritic is offline
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Default What do you think about Crystal visiting Iran?

Crystal recently announced its 2010 world cruise would include a visit to Bandar Abbas, Iran. (Click here for our news coverage.)

What do you think about Crystal including Iran on this itinerary? Please vote in our poll and post your comments below.

Last edited by melissa@cruisecritic; October 6th, 2008 at 08:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old October 6th, 2008, 08:03 PM
AR 4030 AR 4030 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erica@cruisecritic View Post
Crystal recently announced its 2010 world cruise would include a visit to Bandar Abbas, Iran. What do you think about Crystal including Iran on this itinerary? Please vote in our poll and post your comments below.
No. I would NOT feel safe. As a female vet, I would not want Iran to make any money at all from me.
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  #3  
Old October 6th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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I am all for the inclusion of new and unusual ports of call on cruise itineraries. Cruise lines should stay out of intergovernmental politics. We all need to be aware of the fact that Crystals, as well as other cruise lines, passengers are more than just Americans. There are many European and Asian nations than have open relations with countries such as Iran and Cuba. Part of travel is opening up to new cultures and ways of life. Travel allows us to create direct cultural dialogue between individuals, not governments posturing for political power. If the cruise line feels that any port represents a physical security risk to passengers or the vessel then they will, and many have, pull the port from the itinerary. If a port is safe to visit but a certain portion of passengers have ideological differences with that country then so be it - they are free to book any other number of travel options.
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  #4  
Old October 6th, 2008, 10:08 PM
billyjeff billyjeff is offline
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think it has already been discussed thoroughly
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  #5  
Old October 6th, 2008, 10:15 PM
floridatravelersforlife floridatravelersforlife is offline
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Absolutely not. It's dispicable

Like visiting Germany during Hitler's reign.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:33 PM
sacarr sacarr is offline
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I think that it would be interesting to visit Iran. As long as it is safe, I would like to meet the people. This weekend I had the opportunity to talk at length to a professional woman living and working in the US, but born and raised in Iran. Among many other things, she said that most of the Iranian people do not support the government. She said that the elections that made Mahmoud Ahmadinejad president ware hardly fair.

The travel writer Rick Steves visited Iran in May. You can read his blog on the trip at:
http://www.ricksteves.com/blog/index...ry&entryID=239

Following is an article from Reuters quoting US Defense Secretary Robert Gates as saying that more non-governmental contact with Iran would be good.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/middle...51969220080515

I kind of doubt that Crystal would go to Iran if they didn’t feel that it was very safe. After all if things did not go smoothly it could be very bad for their business.

I agree with Scott. Those who do not want to visit Iran need not, but those who would like to visit should have the freedom to do so. That is kinda what this wonderful country is all about isn't it?

Steve
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  #7  
Old October 6th, 2008, 11:11 PM
NaturalLove NaturalLove is offline
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Where's the choice for "Hell No!".

Iran is on the OFAC list. Why would any American want to go there? I would not feel safe. But hey, we all have a choice and if someone wants to go there, by all means go. I'm not going.
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  #8  
Old October 6th, 2008, 11:11 PM
booboo4031 booboo4031 is offline
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I believe that any cruise line has the right that they deem safe for their passengers. It is up to each individual if they choose to either select that sailing or remain on ship while in that particular. I personally will not go to a country where the US State Department has issued a do not travel advisory and our embassy no longer exists. Essentially, you get into trouble in such a region.. you're on your own and given US/Iran tensions, it's not really a place I would care to be without diplomatic assistance. IMHO.
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  #9  
Old October 6th, 2008, 11:21 PM
JTL11968 JTL11968 is offline
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Default open your minds

If we're going to restrict ourselves to visiting only countries who are friendly to the US, the list will become shorter and shorter as time goes on. Should the cruiselines no longer stop in St. Petersburg on a Baltic itinerary? No more stops in Beijing and tours of the Great Wall?

Do as the Iranians do and separate the policies of our governments from your personal opinions. Islamic culture prides itself on hospitality. An Iranian citizen would welcome us with the same curiosity as we have for them and, hopefully, we each learn something about one another while leaving the foreign policy chat at the door.
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  #10  
Old October 7th, 2008, 12:15 AM
booboo4031 booboo4031 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL11968 View Post
If we're going to restrict ourselves to visiting only countries who are friendly to the US, the list will become shorter and shorter as time goes on. Should the cruiselines no longer stop in St. Petersburg on a Baltic itinerary? No more stops in Beijing and tours of the Great Wall?

Do as the Iranians do and separate the policies of our governments from your personal opinions. Islamic culture prides itself on hospitality. An Iranian citizen would welcome us with the same curiosity as we have for them and, hopefully, we each learn something about one another while leaving the foreign policy chat at the door.
I would go to these places as I have others with "un-American" sentiment, with a local guide and not by coming in with a cruise ship with 2000 people on it. I have travelled in this type of environment with a constant local guide for a week solid for several of us. He knew were to take us and were not to take us or when not to take us somewhere. I believe that there are safer ways to travel to these locales than a cruiseship. It just seems that a cruiseship is too much of an easy target for these extremist nations.
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  #11  
Old October 7th, 2008, 02:43 AM
papabf papabf is offline
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I am not interested in supporting any country that uses my tourist dollars to do us harm. US Navy Veteran
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  #12  
Old October 7th, 2008, 04:23 AM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Default Visiting Yemen

A couple of years back I was planning a cruise on Hapag Lloyd's Europa. It's a German ship that does the occasional "english speakers' voyages" and this one was intriguing; the ship would sail around the Arabian peninsula, from Oman up through the Suez Canal.

One tricky bit (well, two) -- the ship called at Yemen. That country is most definitely on the U.S. (and UK) State Department "DO NOT GO" list (not a problem then for Germans, I guess) and I was worried about that. I called the State Department several times to find out what that meant in case there was trouble (never got a call back -- my tax dollars, hard at work) and so...I took the cruise.

The two calls in Yemen (one was Aden) were incredibly powerful, a little bit scary (we were accompanied at all times by armed guards and a year later a German family was kidnapped while touring there), and I'll never forget it. I trusted that the cruise line would keep us safe and knew it was a place I wouldn't venture to otherwise. Definitely wouldn't go on a land stay. I will never forget the visits and am glad I went.

I agree with those who say cruise lines should, as is reasonable, stay out of governmental conflicts. I'd go on that Crystal cruise in a New York minute. I'd like to see Iran, even if briefly....

Carolyn

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  #13  
Old October 7th, 2008, 04:38 AM
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Sirwinston Sirwinston is offline
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I would go. I think we all need to try and understand other's viewpoints just a little. I would however most likely not wander off on my own... I might even pretend to be Canadian for the day..... (half kidding)

I went to high school with some people from Iran. They were nice.....
and Hey I do not agree with a lot of politics in my own country...

BTW Crystal is Japanese owned not U.S. owned...

Be a traveller not a tourist....

Tom in Long Beach
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  #14  
Old October 7th, 2008, 10:25 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erica@cruisecritic View Post
Crystal recently announced its 2010 world cruise would include a visit to Bandar Abbas, Iran. (Click here for our news coverage.)

What do you think about Crystal including Iran on this itinerary? Please vote in our poll and post your comments below.

Erica/Melissa, it is not often that someone from cruise critic takes a poll on this board. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but there has been a very extensive thread on this very subject. Please click on the following URL for details:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=847400

Speaking for myself, there is nothing more that I can add that has not been said on the previous thread. You'll find that almost all of those who posted on that thread cruise Crystal either from time to time, regularly cruise on Crystal, or have an upcoming cruise booked with Crystal. I think in the end those views are probably what matters the most.

You see, in my humble opinion, if you ask me what do I think about x cruise line sailing to y nation that I do not have plans to sail on I am not sure what value that adds except just to know what some people think.

Based on what I have read from this thread, some who have posted either have never sailed with Crystal and have no plans to sail on Crystal or likely would not be considering an itinerary involving this area of the world.

The reason I bring all of this up, is that the topic is obviously controversial, it's already been thoroughly discussed, and I do not believe that rehashing all of this will add any value at least in my humble opinion.

I truly believe that you will not find many more points of view, if any, that have not already been covered on that other thread.

Anyway, just thought I would add my two cents on this.

Keith
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  #15  
Old October 7th, 2008, 05:44 PM
billyjeff billyjeff is offline
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Weapons made in Iran and furnished to insurgents in Iraq were used to kill our finest young people in Iraq. Some may not care -- I do.
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  #16  
Old October 7th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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Out2See Out2See is offline
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Keith, You are a font of knowledge and wisdom and the voice of reason as always, my friend. I think YOU should run for President. AM would make a fantastic first lady. In regards to the controversy, and to quote a politician friend of mine, "Everything that can be said about the subject has been said but not everyone has said it."
Jim
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  #17  
Old October 7th, 2008, 09:15 PM
bettymc100 bettymc100 is offline
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Default As An American, I Say No!!!! I Wouldn't Go!!!

As An American, I Say No I Won't Go!!!

I Won't Give Them A Penny More Than They
Have Already Gotten From Us.
Also, Our Military Have Given Their Life
And Time Away From Family, Fighting Over There.
I Think There Are A Lot Of Other Places To Go On A Cruise.
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  #18  
Old October 7th, 2008, 09:37 PM
sssyco sssyco is offline
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I dont see any reason why it shouldnt be. You have to remember that not everyone who cruises is from the US and not everyone has a problem with visiting Iran. If you dont want to support Iran then dont go on the cruise, but dont assume everyone should think the same way as the US government.

Personally I would not go, but i have no problem with people who want to go.
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  #19  
Old October 7th, 2008, 09:38 PM
hctkbt hctkbt is offline
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Angry Cruise To Iran

I must say that it seems that most people are missing the point in relation to cruising to Iran. Did you know that it's Iran's OFFICIAL policy to not allow anyone into the country who is Jewish, Israeli or even if they're not Jewish but have an Israeli stamp on their passport? This is outright discrimination. Now, as someone who is both Jewish and also happens to have an Israeli stamp or two on my passport I can tell you that I have no desire WHATSOEVER to visit Iran (the country that would like to erase Israel off the map). Given this, the mere notion that anyone from a deocratic nation such as, say, the USA, Canada, UK, AUstralia (and of course Israel) would even want to support Iran and visit is repugnant to me. Of course, I inquired from Crystal and the assured me that they don't discriminate... all you have to do is get a new passport without an Israeli stamp! What an incredibly assinine and reprehensible suggestion and shame on Crystal cruises.
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  #20  
Old October 7th, 2008, 09:38 PM
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BadBoysDriveAudi BadBoysDriveAudi is offline
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Default Re: Open your minds

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL11968 View Post
If we're going to restrict ourselves to visiting only countries who are friendly to the US, the list will become shorter and shorter as time goes on. Should the cruiselines no longer stop in St. Petersburg on a Baltic itinerary? No more stops in Beijing and tours of the Great Wall?

Do as the Iranians do and separate the policies of our governments from your personal opinions. Islamic culture prides itself on hospitality. An Iranian citizen would welcome us with the same curiosity as we have for them and, hopefully, we each learn something about one another while leaving the foreign policy chat at the door.
On a fundamental level, I'd agree with you. In fact, I think most people here who are voting "no" would change their views if it were an Iranian based ship stopping in the U.S. The vast majority of Iranians are just citizens, no different than we are. We're all troubled by our governments; we're all frustrated with the political tensions.

On a logical level, you and I part company. There are too many situations where this could be troubling. Let me list out some situations in order of greatest chance to least chance of happening:

1. Citizens or groups with ties to terrorist organizations can set up shop in port and sell things to tourists, and then funnel that money back to the organization. This one is a gimme.

2. You could be unjustly detained and not allowed to reboard the ship. This happens to some extent all the time anyway (shall I find the latest "I'll never go to Jamaica again thread"?), as I've seen it first hand. While in the Bahamas, I saw a couple return a scooter and then were harassed by the merchants. I initially thought it was a payment dispute, but as it turns out, the couple most likely wrecked and damaged the scooter (male had bandages all over the place and had blood on his shorts and socks). I'm thinking he damaged the scooter (dent or scratches) and didn't pay for the damages.

The merchants ran to the pier ahead of the couple and talked with security. Long story short, they were detained and not allowed to reboard the ship (at least as long as I was around). I would hope that the gentleman would've talked it over and made sure that the girl was able to board the ship while he remained and did whatever he needed to do to get money wired down to him to pay for the damage to the scooter. What I heard him telling the officials was that they didn't have enough money to pay.

Anyway, the point is that if one were detained justly or unjustly in Iran, what would be your recourse? As I understand it, there isn't an American Embassy in Iran. Things are vastly superior in Jamaica, but people have written how frightened they were when their children were detained and the parents forced to proceed through the gates, or a DH/DW/DBF/DGF was detained and they were forced to proceed on - not able to stay with the loved one and make sure things will be ok. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be detained in Jamaica than in Iran.

3. Extremist group kidnapping. Let's play guess how many countries does this already happen in? Seriously. Your tour guide could take you into the wrong area at the wrong time. Your tour guide could take you in what is thought to be a good area, but on the way a trap is laid out and you're ambushed. So many scenarios.

4. Iranian forces seize the boat. This is a stretch, but as long as we're throwing out scenarios, it's a valid case. I highly doubt this would ever happen, but the boat is in dock and it wouldn't be too hard for a military to force its way on if given orders. So for anyone who says "I'll go with that itinerary but won't leave the ship", this one's your concern.

5. Terrorists strike the boat while in port. I would want to believe this wouldn't turn into a Yemen type deal, but again, we're throwing out scenarios and I've placed this one as least likely to occur.

Now that we've gone over all that, I essentially say "let the marketplace decide" and will let people vote with their dollars. If Crystal decides this project is a go, then it'll be up to worldwide demand to justify the itinerary. If most people stay away, it won't be long before the company reevaluates its stance.

As for me, I'd at least like an American Embassy over there before I ship off, but that's just me.
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