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Old 09-04-2006, 07:18 PM
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There are rumours on other cruise review sites that Celebrity is cancelling the ports of call in Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey due to recent terrorist attacks which have killed several people in tourist areas.

Has anyone got any confirmation of this - and if so what Ports are replacing these?
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:34 AM
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I just returned from the Sept.04 sailing of Galaxy to the East Mediterranean. The short answer to your question is that I am not sure if Celebrity plans to cancel its visits to Istanbul/Ephesus indefinitely or whether they are planning to do it only in response to immediate news of political unrest in Turkey. As a result, I suspect Celebrity won't be giving you mich advance news of their decision. For the Sept. 04 sailing, my travel agent received a fax from Celebrity late Friday afternoon (Sept.01) announcing the Turkish port cancellations. Some people, who left the USA earlier to spend a few days at Rome, did not find out about the changed itinerary until they boarded the ship. FYI, Dubrovnik was the substitute for Istanbul and Messina was the substitute for Ephesus. Dubrovnik rocked!!! It was by far one of the favorite ports of call for most of the cruisers I spoke to. Unfortunately, Galaxy only spent one day at Dubrovnik instead of an overnight in the port as had been planned for Istanbul, and I really think most guests would have loved more time to explore Dubrovnik. Instead we felt rushed at the prettiest ( arguably) city on the itinerary and instead gained an extra day at sea going 11 knots an hour which was restful but boring. Messina as the substitute for Ephesus - knowing nothing about Ephesus at all, I can't tell how those 2 cities lined up to one another. In Messina took a short tour to Taormina ( beautiful historic city in the mountains) - our mistake on choice of tour. It was a long drive to Taormina ( windy roads) and no sooner did we arrive at the city then we found ourselves back on the tour bus returning to the boat. Taormina itself should be enjoyed for longer than 1 hour of free time if you can manage to find a tur that stays longer there. It takes 2 hours round trip to drive there. Some of our dinner mates took the wine tasting tour in Messina and said it was a marvelous tour with a great hostess ( a Baroness owned the winery)and the views were stupendous and they were not rushed and they loved it. However, whatever you decide to do in Messina, I'd suggest DEFINITELY book a tour. You don't want to wander around Messina, Sicily on your own.
 
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