Monday, March 7, 2011

An Update on Travel to Egypt: Things Are NOT Stabilizing As Quickly As Hoped: Perspective Please

Even with the best of intentions, the emotions and issues surrounding Mubarak's return to Cairo and his potential prosecution has tensions rising and giving fresh indications of a less settled than hoped situation.

So while there was some good news of cruise lines and river cruises returning to normal operations, the reality is that many, including Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, have opted to eliminate Alexandria, Egypt from its itineraries through early September 2011.

Meanwhile Oceania Cruises has made it very clear that the situation is "extremely fluid" and may well change its itineraries, but is still holding onto its Egypt intensive April 20, 2011 Nautica itinerary.

Any trip planned to stop  in Egypt must be taken with a "wait and see" attitude.  While this is extremely frustrating for guests who are within penalty periods since the cruise lines have the right to alter or eliminate ports and, as such, there are no good answers (and, let's face it, Egypt would be one of the primary reasons for taking any of these cruises), considering what is going on in the region: 

(A) Keeping things in perspective is important - You are worried about visiting an ancient culture today while those living there are worried about pretty much every aspect of their lives; and,

(B) Remembering you are taking a cruise for many reasons and enjoying the dozens of other ones should not be overwhelmed by the disappointment that today...not tomorrow or in a few years...but today you are going to suffer the disappointment of visiting somewhere else; a place that just might be pretty cool itself.

I remain hopeful that what is happening in Northern Africa is a sign of change for the better.  It is a difficult time with thousands and thousands crushing the Tunisian and Egyptian borders (while new governments are being formed in both countries) while Libya teeters on turning into a balancing of human spirit and human tragedy. 

As free individuals with disposable income we need to keep our disappointments in perspective, but our optimism out front and centered.