Author Archives: Rick Deutsch

ByRick Deutsch

Middle East cruising is a “no more” disappointment

It’s very very sad what humans can do to each other. In the name of religion, hundreds have been killed and antiquities destroyed.

Now the world cannot visit spots in the Middle East to meet the people and see the sights.

To protect their passengers and their investment, most cruise lines are no longer stopping in Turkey. The list is now: Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Disney, MSC Cruises and Holland America Line. ALL have all pulled Turkey from itineraries this year.

On my speaking gigs, I’ve been to Istanbul three times. Beautiful City.  The mosques and heritage are spectacular. Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul – three evolving names for this city on the border to Asia and Europe. We resisted buying a carpet on the semi-mandatory stop after tours…but it was fun to see how they are made.  Bargains? I dunno. Plus you can’t return it!

Istanbul is a popular stop between Greece and Venice. Toss Dubrovnik in also.

The only major line still hitting Turkey is Silversea. They are planning to stop in  Kusadasi, Marmaris and Canakkale. This actually surprises me. I’ve spoken on a Silversea Caribbean trip and it is first class. There is just too much risk to passengers with all the terrorist actions going on. The Istanbul airport and the downtown city center have all been hit.  ISIS would love to harm American tourists.  Sad.

LEARN about the Istanbul bombings.

There you have it. More news from SpeakOnCruises.  We have the time to keep up on all this…get your news blips here.  Let’s cruise!!

man on segway

Istanbul cop on a Segway

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ByRick Deutsch

Celebrity Equinox almost wipes out a Florida home!

You gotta take two minutes and watch this video.   In Ft. Lauderdale a million dollar home nearly had a giant cruise ship in their living room.

Looks like the Captain needs a bit of Driving School.   Stay until the end of the video – it shows the ship heading straight at them before turning.

To see the whole story on CBS local news, watch this.

The Coast Guard is determining if an investigation is needed.   Especially if they hit bottom.

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ByRick Deutsch

Is business class really worth the extra expense?

The wife and I recently had a cruise assignment from Chili to Antarctica then Argentina. It was a 23-dayer.  6 sea days in a row around the continent. Plus many others. We did not touch the “land” but if you are below 60 degrees, it counts as having been. We were down to 65 – yeah! So now I have been to all 7 continents.

We even saw penguins on the Falkland islands.

King Penguin

King Penguin

My wife decided that for this L O N G flight, she was NOT going to fly coach. We flew AeroMexico.  The routing was from SFO to LA to Mexico City to Valparaiso. Add them all up and you get close to 18  hours in the air. Plus the in-terminal connection time.

It’s pretty expensive. I said “no way” we’re spending that much.  I even suggested that she go business and I go coach. Then every 4 hours we swap. Dunno if the carriers allow that…but I’d do it.

Well, we went ahead and paid for business. Seems that planes are made now with Economy…. Economy PLUS… then a single “Premium” class that merges the old First and Business classes.

First the obvious.  Huge seats, way better food, small area for all the “rich people,” away form the rabble in the back, A/C outlets, big TV screens, USB charging slots, free “goodie bag” – BUT the big carrot is LAY FLAT seats.

I’m 6-2 and I fit. My head touched one end, and my soles the other….but it was heaven. I actually dreamt and soundly fell asleep. They even give you a hug blanket. Man, with earplugs, I was OUT.  I didn’t use my laptop and all, nor did I watch any of the zillion movies.

See some common destinations – these are old, but you will get the idea.

When we arrived, we were fully rested. We had a touch of jet lag but only because of the 5-hour time difference.  AND we are the first ones off the plane, so at the head of the Customs line.

We also got to use the Airline Lounge at the airports. Wow, free food, wifi, drinks..and in LAX – SHOWERS!!! Yup, with towels and boy did that make us feel alive.

As we finally got home, we both said we’ll do it again.

Nice.

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