News

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

China issues nationwide smog alert |Read about any issues where you are traveling.

smog on streets

People ride along a street on a smoggy day in China

I’ve spoken on cruises going to China.  If you do, be sure read up on conditions at your destination. We all know that smog is bad in Beijing, Real bad.  Cars and the blowing sand particles off the desert to the west add to the cars and factory pollution of this megalopolis.

China: Emerging cruise center

The Maritime Executive (an industry trade rag) reported that a cruise ship could not dock on NY Eve. This was at the huge port of Tianjin. Apparently, the stuff was so thick they could not see to navigate and put the ship in. Wow.

2,000 passengers were delayed TWO days until it cleared enough to land.

Don’t forget the thousand passengers waiting to board for the next leg to South Korea. Ships weren’t alone. Roads were closed and air travel from Beijing was cancelled.

Tianjin, is a very busy port. It normally handles heavy industrial materials: coal, iron ore and other minerals. In early December, they shut down due to smog. Production from suppliers was curtailed. It’s now common to see people wearing masks as part of their outfits.

In other cities, smog reduced viz to about 150 feet. That’s half an America football field. China recently called a red-alert for the country.

It sure would help to scope out the situation wherever you are asked to go. Not just for smog…but terrorism, political unrest and Godzilla sightings. You might turn it down!

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