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Change to itinerary - Ancient Affair

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I have just noticed that Marella Dream is currently docked in Haifa.  The itinerary plan was to dock in Ashdod.  Does any know the reason for this change?  We are on this cruise over Christmas and would like to know how this change of port would affect excursions, as Haifa is a fair bit further from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

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We've done the 2 day itinerary with an overnight hotel stay previously it was fantastic and you didn't lose time travelling back and forth to the ship we'll be beaching it this time weather permitting on the same cruise as you as well as looking around Haifa 

Edited by Vitalsign
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just returned from 4th of December cruise docking in Haifa which added travel time to the excursions Jerusalem and Bethlehem was a 7am until 7.40 pm experience. Reception on the Dream however told me that they were resuming docking in Ashdod on the 11th December cruise.

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On 12/3/2019 at 5:32 PM, Vitalsign said:

Dream has docked in Haifa for the last four weeks due to the firing of rockets from Gaza which is near to Ashdod but the trips are still on



On 22nd November we booked a late bargain for the 4th Dec cruise.

Ashdod was quoted on Marella's website and we booked a  rental car for two days.

We knew that Ashdod was unreliable so we opted for the "cancellable" rental option and decided to late-book a hotel after we'd ported.

We weren't told of the switch to Haifa until we were on the coach from Paphos airport to ship, and staff at the purser's office told us (untruthfully, it seems) that it was a very late switch due to rockets being lobbed at Ashod.

By now we had no internet access except our I-Pad in wifi cafes in ports. With great difficulty we managed to cancel the Ashdod car, but figuring agencies in Haifa & booking from there was so fraught that we gave up on the idea.

Had a pleasant but unexceptional couple of days in Haifa.

Disappointing, but c'est la vie.


Folk who took the Jerusalem tours (yes, a very long day) met passengers from American ships - they had docked in Ashdod.

And I always reckoned that American ships were the ones that were over-cautious :classic_rolleyes:


Seriously grieved to read your post that the ports were switched a couple of weeks before we booked.:classic_angry:

Had Marella's website been up-dated - or even if we'd been texted / e-mailed the day before we travelled, we could have simply  switched to a Haifa rental on my trusty  old desk-top.


A great cruise, excellent food, service, entertainment, and the friendly laid-back atmosphere for which Marella / Thomson are well known. :classic_smile:

But the shine taken off it by Marella's bumbling head office :classic_sad:


JB :classic_smile:

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My sister is on the final cruise 25th December and as she has been to Israel a number of times opted to book her own trips from Ashdod however before she confirmed she discovered the ship was now docking in Haifa so she booked with another tour operator She is furious now she's heard that the ship this coming Monday and going forward will be docked in Ashdod again but accepts that itineries can be changed without notice it's in the terms and conditions and moving to Haifa was for safety. I look at Marine Traffic every day and haven't seen any cruise ships in Ashdod over the last few weeks - so strange to hear an American ship has docked there.

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What will be, will be.  We are on the cruise departing 25 December too.  Hopefully, we will dock in Ashdod, but if it turns out to be Haifa will just have to accept the longer journeys for our booked excursions and suck it up.  On this occasion, I am glad I booked through Marella and not independently (as we have done on numerous occasions), as cancelling those could have proven to be quite stressful.  We will make the most of our time there, no matter what.

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Looking forward to this cruise wherever it docks as long as we get to see Jerusalem. Just a query on behalf of my in-laws. We fly on 25th December; does any one know if they will be serving Christmas ‘lunch’ in the evening? My father-in-law is a bit concerned that he won’t get any turkey and his annual sprout this year! 

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