Cruising to the Middle East in 2013-2014.

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#1
2,033 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
We mostly cruise with Celebrity. I just checked itineraries for 2013-2014 for RCC and Celebrity and couldn't find a single cruise that would stop at Israel or Egypt (besides the small 7 nights cruises that go from/to Dubai). I know Celebrity changed all its "Holy Land" and "Egyptian" cruises for Immersive Wine cruises and I understand the reason, but looks like major cruise lines will abandon that region for over 2 years. Am I wrong? If you have any knowledge of any cruise line that still goes to that region in 2013-2014 please let me know.
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2004_May - Costa - Fortuna (Mediterranean)
2005_January - Celebrity - Constellation (Caribbean)
2005_April - Celebrity - Horizon (Caribbean)
2006_January - Princess - Grand Princess (Caribbean)
2007_January - Celebrity - Constellation (Caribbean)
2009_January - Celebrity - Solstice (Caribbean)
2009_January - Celebrity - Solstice
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2009_July - Celebrity - Century (Baltic - N. Europe)
2010_January - Celebrity - Millennium (Caribbean)
2011_January - Celebrity - Millennium (Caribbean)
2011_May - Celebrity - Constellation (Transatlantic)
2011_September - Celebrity - Silhouette (Holy Land)
2012_January - Celebrity - Constellation (Caribbean)
2012_December - Celebrity - Reflection (Caribbean)
2013_June - Celebrity - Silhouette (Italy and Adriatic)
2013_November - Celebrity - Constellation (Transatlantic)
2014_October - Celebrity - Reflection (Mediterranean)
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2015_June - Celebrity - Equinox (Mediterranean)
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2016_April - Celebrity - Reflection (Transatlantic)
2016_November - Celebrity - Constellation (Suez Canal cruise)

2017_June - Windstar - Wind Surf (French and Italian Riviera)
#2
Greenville, SC, USA
52,226 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We will be on the Ocean Princess in September 2013. Stops will include Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Dubai. I believe the Pacific Princess is doing Holy Land cruises.
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Paul
#3
Atlanta, GA
36 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I am signed up for a 14-night Royal Caribbean repositioning cruise departing Barcelona January 14, 2013 with an overnight stop in Alexandria, passage through the Suez Canal, then stops in Safaga and Muscat before disembarking in Dubai January 28.

I just signed up onboard an RCI Serenade of the Seas Med cruise last week; I'm not sure the above itinerary is even posted on their Web site yet. The ship will be a refurbished Serenade of the Seas (which will be dry docked for refurbishment in December).

Originally posted by TroubleT
We mostly cruise with Celebrity. I just checked itineraries for 2013-2014 for RCC and Celebrity and couldn't find a single cruise that would stop at Israel or Egypt (besides the small 7 nights cruises that go from/to Dubai). I know Celebrity changed all its "Holy Land" and "Egyptian" cruises for Immersive Wine cruises and I understand the reason, but looks like major cruise lines will abandon that region for over 2 years. Am I wrong? If you have any knowledge of any cruise line that still goes to that region in 2013-2014 please let me know.
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#4
Land of 10,000 lakes
5,085 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
We are booked on NCL Jade departing Rome on February 2, 2013, with ports of calls in both Israel and Egypt.


Betty
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Past cruises: Splendour OTS (Med) 11/01, Voyager OTS (Caribbean) 11/02, Majesty OTS (Bahamas) 1/03, Nordic Empress (Caribbean) 3/03, Noordam (Baltic) 7/03, Horizon (W Caribbean) 12/03, Horizon (E Caribbean) 2/04, Jasmine (Nile) 5/04, Empress OTS (S Caribbean) 12/04, Opera (E Med) 4/05, Maasdam (St Lawrence) 6/05, Sapphire Princess (Mexico) 12/05, Regal Princess (Amazon) 4/06, Rotterdam (Black Sea) 10/06, Rotterdam (Med) 10/06, Sun Princess (Caribbean) 1/07, Magica (TA) 5/07, Island Princess (Panama Canal east) 10/07, Mercury (So Pacific) 3/08 , Mercury (Hawaii) 3/08, Century (W Med) 11/08; Legend OTS (Asia) 4/09; Legend OTS (Asia) 5/09; Legend OTS (Mid East) 5/09; Rotterdam (Baltic) 8/09; Volendam (Japan) 10/09; Poesia (Caribbean) 1/10; Summit (Bermuda) 5/10; Concordia (W Med) 10/10; Century (TA) 10/10; Oasis OTS (W. Caribbean) 9/11; Carnival Valor (E. Caribbean) 9/11; Carnival Valor (W. Caribbean) 9/11; NCL Sky (Bahamas) 9/11; Majesty OTS (Bahamas) 9/11; Carnival Imagination (W. Caribbean)10/11; NCL Spirit (W. Caribbean) 10/11; Maasdam (Atlantic Coast/St. Lawrence) 4/12; NCL Jade (Med/Holy Land) 2/13; Infinity 10/13 (Western Europe); Liberty OTS 10/13 (Transatlantic); Maasdam 1/14 (S Caribbean), NCL Gem 9/14(Bahamas); Carnival Splendor 9/14 (New England); Carnival Pride 9/14 (Bahamas); Carnival Paradise 10/14 (Caribbean); NCL Star 10/14 (Panama Canal west); Equinox 1/15 (Caribbean); Constellation 2/15 (Caribbean);Serenade OTS 1/16 (Eastern Caribbean); Serenade OTS 1/16 (East/Southern Caribbean); Serenade OTS 4/16 (Transatlantic); Serenade OTS 5/16 (Norway); Enchantment OTS 1/17 (Bahamas); Navigator OTS 1/17 (Western Caribbean); Navigator OTS 1/17 (Caribbean); Eurodam 1/17 (Caribbean); Getaway 2/17 (Caribbean)
#6
Melbourne, Australia
5,249 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
I'm on Norweign Jade 16 November 2013 and it has stops in Israel and Egypt.
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Sarah (icat2000)

Upcoming Cruise
Carnival Spirit - 8 nights South Pacific, 9 October 2017. Feels good to cruise again.

Completed Cruises
Ruby Princess TA October 2012| Dawn Princess New Zealand December 2012 | Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean | Celebrity Equinox TA April 2013 | Sea Princess Auckland to Sydney August 2013| Dawn Princess Sydney - Hobart - Melbourne November 2013 |Diamond Princess Tasmania December 2013 | Rhapsody of Seas South Pacific January 2014 | PO UK Arcadia - Sydney to Melbourne February 2014 | Dawn Princess - Melbourne to Auckland March 2014 |Carnival Spirit South Pacific August 2014|Dawn Princess - Melbourne to Auckland October 2014 | Sun Princess - Fiji & New Caledonia December 2014 |Diamond Princess - Sydney to Singapore March 2015 |Caribbean Princess - Iceland TA September 2015 |PO UK Oceana - Mediterranean September 2015 |Pacific Jewel - Eden December 2015 |Golden Princess - Tasmania January 2016 |Diamond Princess - Perth to Singapore March 2016 |Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands April 2016
#7
Central
53 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Hello, we are looking at a 7 da Thomson cruise on 3/13/13 that makes stops at Alexandria, Port Said and 2 nights at Ashdod. Heard all the bad news about Thomson, but figure the great port stops would be worth it.
#8
Central
53 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by TroubleT
We mostly cruise with Celebrity. I just checked itineraries for 2013-2014 for RCC and Celebrity and couldn't find a single cruise that would stop at Israel or Egypt (besides the small 7 nights cruises that go from/to Dubai). I know Celebrity changed all its "Holy Land" and "Egyptian" cruises for Immersive Wine cruises and I understand the reason, but looks like major cruise lines will abandon that region for over 2 years. Am I wrong? If you have any knowledge of any cruise line that still goes to that region in 2013-2014 please let me know.
Hello, we are looking at a 7 day Thomson cruise on 3/13/13 that makes stops at Alexandria, Port Said and 2 nights at Ashdod. Heard all the bad news about Thomson, but figure the great port stops would be worth it.
#10
Melbourne Beach FL; Steamboat Springs CO
1,758 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
The Ocean Princess is scheduled to transit the Suez Canal on May 8, 2013 and call in Port Said on May 9.
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1962 Yarmouth, 1963 Bahama Star, 1967 Queen Mary, 4/1983 Carnival Carnivale, 1988 Chandris Galileo, 1989 NCL Seaward, 1993 Chandris Amerikanis, 1994 Chandris Britannis, 7/1994 Carnival Holiday, 12/1994 Regency Regent Sun, 10/1996 NCL Leeward, 12/1996 Premier Ocean Breeze, 3/1997 NCL Windward, 12/1998 Premier Seabreeze, 4/1999 Windjammer Yankee Clipper, 12/1999 NCL Norwegian Wind, 7/2000 Dawn Princess, 9/2000 Celebrity Zenith, 1/2001 NCL Norwegian Dream, 2002 Yangtse River (Victoria Prince), 1/2004 RCL Grandeur of the Seas, 10/2004 RCL Mariner of the Seas, 8/2005 RCL Sovereign of the Seas, 10/2005 Captain Cook Reef Endeavor, 7/22/2006 Carnival Fantasy, 10/2006 NCLA Pride of America, 4/22/2007 Carnival Legend, 4/14/2008 Royal Princess, 10/2008 Nile River (Norma & Prince Abbas), 11/10/2008 Emerald Princess, 5/17/2009 Carnival Legend; 10/2009 Paul Gauguin, 5/16/2010 Carnival Valor, 3/12/2011 Crown Princess, 10/29/2011 Carnival Dream, 11/12/2011 Crown Princess; 4/6/12 Ocean Princess; 8/26/2012 Carnival Legend; Ocean Princess Mar-May 2013; Diamond Princess July 2014, Carnival Liberty 10/18/14, Pacific Princess 4/28-5/19/2015,Star Princess June 6-13,2015, Pacific Princess 5/28-6/15/2016, Royal Princess 4/19-5/27/2017.
#12
Romsey England
11,484 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by cruizingondown
Hello, we are looking at a 7 da Thomson cruise on 3/13/13 that makes stops at Alexandria, Port Said and 2 nights at Ashdod. Heard all the bad news about Thomson, but figure the great port stops would be worth it.

Just come back from Thomson's Red Sea Magic, & had a great time. My second time on Thomson.

Broadly they're older ships, classic lines (think "Love Boat"), with none of the glitz or toys.
Unashamedly 3-star.
Buffet food (the Lido) is ok, though the surroundings aren't plush, main dining room & food & service are good, evening entertainment is way better than any other line I've sailed - including much much larger ships.
Staff are happy, friendly & hard-working - you'll have no complaints there.
Currency is GBP (don't let the ship convert to USD cos I'm guessing that like all cruise lines the conversion rates are poor. Instead, leave the charge in GBP & allow your credit card supplier to convert to USD at much better rates)
Tips are included in the ticket price, though at the end of the cruise most cruisers put their hands in their pockets for a bonus of around £20 per cabin per week (totally different tipping culture to the USA).
And no service charges on drinks.
On-board prices are way way lower than you'll be used to. For instance a bottle of the very drinkable house red is £11.95. On RCI & Princess cheapest was equivalent to £20 incl service charge.
Ship's excursion prices are mebbe 20% lower than most cruise lines, for exactly the same excursion via the same local providers.
So you'll find your on-board spend is refreshingly economical.

The only seriously bad news you should have heard about Thomson was Thomson Dream's first season - she was bought from Costa & had big big plumbing & aircon problems. Great sympathy for the thousands who were affected, but that was a couple of years ago & its now ancient hisory.

Two very very important matters:
They're very friendly ships - yes you can keep your head down if thats what you want, but you'll not be short of folk to chat to.
And the clientele is almost 100% Britis, announcements etc only in english. Might create a bit of a language barrier for you - even I need an interpreter when talking to a Scotsman or a Geordie

Brit cruisers are perhaps a bit more stoic than our trans-Atlantic cousins. In places which are often un-settled, like Israel or Egypt, Brit cruise lines don't cancel months ahead - if neccessary, they change itinerary late-in-the-day. That weekly Red Sea Magic cruise has carried on throughout without problems though on at least one occasion when tensions were high, at short notice Eilat was substituted for Sokhna (Cairo)

BTW, Alex and Port Said seems a bit of a waste. Cairo is accessible from both, but Port Said itself is an absolute dump - so visit Cairo from there. Folk tell me that Alex isn't special but has a few places of interest. Possibly included for Brits who want to visit the WW2 Desert Rats battlefield of El Alamein (as Churchill said, before El Alamein we never won a battle, after El Alamein we never lost one)

JB
#13
20,455 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by John Bull

BTW, Alex and Port Said seems a bit of a waste. Cairo is accessible from both, but Port Said itself is an absolute dump - so visit Cairo from there. Folk tell me that Alex isn't special but has a few places of interest. Possibly included for Brits who want to visit the WW2 Desert Rats battlefield of El Alamein (as Churchill said, before El Alamein we never won a battle, after El Alamein we never lost one)

JB
I suspect ships stop at Alex and Port Said to allow folks to have an overnight in Cairo (which is about equidistant from both ports). That's what happened on my Princess cruise waaay back in 2006. But I agree Alex is much nicer.

Personally, I'm a bit tired of the "jumpy" American lines cancelling ports. I was on a Swan Hellenic cruise in October that was scheduled to stop in Tunis and Sousse in Tunisia. My parents were on a HAL cruise scheduled to stop at Sousse in nearly the same time frame. My cruise actually made it there; their cruise cancelled. (This was about 6-7 weeks after the protests against the American film and the attack on the Libyan US embassy.)

Folks on CC here kept insisting the ship was crazy to go, that the port would be cancelled, that I'd never get there.....

Well, we got there, we had absolutely no problems, and I enjoyed Tunisia so much that I'm going there for 2 weeks late fall of this year.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#14
Northbrook, illinois
2,368 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Regent Voyager has 2 cruises , one ending in Safaga, Egypt (4/18/13 departing from Mumbai) and one departing from there on 5/4/13. Safaga is the port nearest to Luxor and valley of the kings. Both cruises include a 3 day land tour which includes hotels , tours and meals with 1 night in Safaga, a flight to Cairo & 2 nights there. It had one cruise that departed there on 11/12.
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#15
South Australia
8,092 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Pacific Princess is doing several holy Land cruises this year calling on Egypt and Israel. Just hoping these ports remain as they are the reason for us doing the trip. I had planned on doing the ships tour but really prefer private ones so am organising that right now.
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#17
Israel
76 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Unfortunately indeed some cruise companies had pulled out from Israel and will not call the Israeli ports during 2013 (the biggest group that had pulled out is R.C.C).
Never the less there are stil lots of cruises that come along 2013!
So if you are looking for a cruise to the Holy Land use the attached file to find out which cruises are coming and when.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Port call 2013 - Jan 28 - copy.pdf (384.2 KB, 30 views)