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Our Cruise to Israel and Egypt Diverted due to War

in September, 2022, Shelly and I planned a cruise with dear friends, Pat and Lani Morrissey, from Athens to Israel, Egypt, and Turkey.  The Celebrity cruise was scheduled for October 6, 2023, and we would join Pat and Lani, and 8 of their family members.  We were so excited for this cruise!  The Holy Land and the pyramids were at the top of our bucket lists!  

We boarded our cruise ship, the Celebrity Apex, along with 2000 other passengers on the 6th, and prepared for our adventures.  We were scheduled for a sea day on October 7th, and we heard news early in the day that the terror organization, Hamas, had brutally attacked Israel.  Not immediately knowing the seriousness of the attack, we awaited word on whether we would dock in Haifa, Israel.  As more news came in, we were horrified, and figured we would not see Israel, and this was confirmed later in the day when the ship's captain announced we would visit Cypress instead.  We were sad and prayed for the innocent Israeli citizens who lost their lives and were kidnapped, but relieved we had not docked a day earlier.  There was a well-attended prayer service at the theater that night on the ship led by a rabbi and priest.  The theater was nearly full with people of all faiths, offering prayers to the innocents and for peace.  

The next day, October 8th, we docked in Cypress.  We kept checking our phones for the latest news reports, and learned that two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian tour guide were murdered in Alexandria, Egypt, which is where we were to dock in two days.  After this news, we figured we wouldn't be visiting Egypt either.  At dinner that night, the ship's captain announced our visit to Egypt was cancelled and we would instead tour three Greek Islands, Rhodes, Mykonos, and Santorini, and an extra stop in Bodrum, Turkey.  We were quite sad for the world events, and that our cruise was disrupted, but amazed at how Celebrity had quickly altered our itinerary and gave us beautiful, safe places to dock.  We were happy we were safe, and were ready to set off a new set of adventures!

More to Come - Will be completed soon!

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