Today I received a message from a passenger aboard the Celebrity Equinox that the Equinox was skipping the port of Istanbul because of the threat of terrorism.

Gabriele Giambrone commented that "Celebrity Equinox canceled our planned stop in Istanbul tomorrow due to terrorist fears and high security alerts. We will be having a day at sea instead."

He states on his Facebook page that "this is an announcement from your Captain: due to high security Celebrity Equinox risks and an increased risk of terrorist attacks, we won’t be going to Istanbul tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your holiday."

The Wall Street Journal recently mentioned "a spate of attacks across Turkey that targeted security forces and a U.S. consulate killed six people." 

"A recent surge in violence on Turkish soil has largely been blamed on the domestic conflict with Kurdish separatist group PKK, not Islamic State . . . Turkey is now battling a chaotic mix of the PKK, Marxist militants and Islamic State while dealing with a huge influx of Syrian refugees." 

Costa recently canceled all stops in Turkey.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have a Global Security Team headed by former FBI senior official Gary Bald. Foreign port safety assessment is a function of every cruise line. It’s good to see cruise lines taking affirmative steps to keep passengers and crew members safe, rather than Costa and MSC sailing their guests blindly into a danger spot like Tunis earlier this year. 

Have a thought? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.


Photo Credit: Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) via Wikipedia Creative Commons 3.0

  • Monique

    It’s always upsetting to me to see comments without logic or respect for others. I was on one of those ships in Tunisia as a crew member and no “company” or people with respect for human life would as you put it “blindly” take their crew or guests to a dangerous place. I am from North America, and as you know we are all victims to some sort of insanity or in this case terrorism, as you well know, they can be anywhere, in your theaters, schools, and even planes!! To insinuate that the company or crew knew this was going to happen is illogical. Some of the nicest and friendliest people I ever met are Tunisian. They did the best they could and saved lives in this case. They are all affected as we are by this cowardly ruthless act. Before you blame others, please respect the fact that people were hurt, killed and forever touched by this. I watched a captain address a ship full of people with tears in his eves, holding back sobs, how dare you insinuate that the “companies” did not care and took guests there without consideration. You obviously live n a little caccoon and do not travel much because you would know that stepping outside of your front door can be dangerous. Please respect the people that died there and the ones that were forever touched by these acts. It’s like insinuating that your American government did nothing to protect you from 9/11. Come on, have some respect

  • Dr Trefor Roscoe

    We were due to join the ship on Monday afternoon and then have a day ashore before sailing on Tuesday evening. We are sailing on Monday so they have shortened our stay here too

  • Monique:

    You are naive. It was well known that ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups presented a danger to tourists in Tunisia. They had attacked other tourist locations and resorts. It was reckless for Costa and MSC to sail there and provide absolutely no security and no warnings for their guests.

    I hardly live in a cocoon as you suggest. I lived in the adjacent country Libya for 15 years and traveled across North Africa, including Tunisia, and throughout the southern Mediterranean. I intend to continue travel internationally. I don’t trust the cruise lines for a second to provide accurate information. It is refreshing to see warnings before an incident breaks out and innocents are hurt or killed.

    Cruise passengers and crew members don’t need after-the-fact teary-eyed captains. They deserve accurate risk assessments by professional security experts who undestand that some countries present far greater dangers than other locations.

  • Mim

    I think you are being a bit unfair Jim, Monique is not naive to have these views. Cruise companies and travel companies are providing a service, unless the FCO (in the case of the UK) or your government advise against travel to a certain place you should be able to travel there. Tourists are at risk of terrorist attack in many countries but I for one am not going to let that stop me visiting places I want to see, if the government says don’t go then I won’t but until then we are all adults and are quite capable of keeping abreast of the news and making an informed decision as to whether we feel it is safe to visit a certain country.

  • Michelle

    I mean honestly I’m pretty angry about this. We are set to leave to cruise on this ship at the end of the month and we get our vacation cut short for basically no reason? I mean unrest in a country is something that is always happening. It’s a little stupid for a cruise ship to offer to take people places if they aren’t going to follow through. We’ve paid for excursions for our two days in Istanbul as well and have yet to be refunded. So thanks cruise lines for ripping people off.

  • Kevin

    I have a bigger issue. I’m on a cruise ending there in 13 days. They booked our airfare to leave the next day after disembarking. Now to find out they canceled the overnight stay and will nust drop the passengers off the following day in Turkey. So the issue us if it’s not safe to go there why is it safe for us to get off there at the end. Worst part is they booked my airfare and I bought their insurance and then want over one thousand dollars to change it so we can fly out the same day instead of staying overnight in a hotel. I agree it’s a good decision to not go there but why is it safe to drop us there and let us figure it out on our own. Very poor customer service from celebrity.

  • Linda

    If following appropriate risk assessment on ports a cruise line decides to change the itinerary, then I for one would be extremely grateful to them. Cruise lines cannot win in these situations sadly but I would much prefer them to exercise caution in the current climate of terrorism. We returned to Istanbul on Sunday for our journey home on Monday. We made a decision to remain on board due to various safety warnings issued, across various websites, on Istanbul. We had also previously visited. Just our horrible experience with Police, security & our taxi agent at the cruise terminal brandishing guns, arguing, shouting & taking the agent away, ( we never saw him again,)reinforced our decision to skip Istanbul sight-seeing and we enjoyed a lovely 24 hours on board a beautiful ship.

  • Albert

    Royal Caribbean has cancelled all stops, both overnight and day stops to Istanbul, but Princess and Norwegian have not. Can’t seem to get a straight answer what’s going.

  • Rhonda Cohen

    I am sailing on the Celebrity Reflection on 6/17 out of Rome. One of our ports is Ephesus, Turkey. This area must also be unsafe. Do you think they will cancel this port? I hope so. Feel like a sitting duck in the harbor. They will not give me an answer. Please advise.