Update: More Cruise Lines Alter Mideast Itinerary

September 27, 2012
(Update, 8:30 a.m. EDT) -- Silversea and Oceania are the latest cruise lines to opt out of scheduled ports of call in Tunisia and Egypt.

Silversea has canceled Silver Cloud's September 30 visit to Tunis, Tunisia, replacing it with a stop at Gozo Island in the Maltese archipelago.

Oceania's Marina will no longer visit Alexandria on October 3 or Part Said on October 4. Instead the ship will add Antalya, Turkey, and spend an extra day in Ashdod, Israel, on October 4.

(September 25, 10:55 a.m. EDT) -- With anti-American protests continuing throughout the Middle East, Azamara Club Cruises has become the latest cruise line to alter a ship itinerary to avoid the region. The line's chief blogging officer Bill Leiber posted on Cruise Critic that Azamara Quest's scheduled stop in La Goulette (Carthage), Tunisia on October 31 will be replaced with a full-day visit to Minorca in the Balearic Islands on November 1.

Royal Caribbean, Cunard and Holland America have each altered itineraries over the past two weeks. Royal Caribbean and Cunard skipped scheduled stops in Alexandria, Egypt, while Holland American bypassed La Goulette.

In September, the U.S. State Department has issued a number of Travel Warnings, including those for Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, the Republic of South Sudan and Tunisia. The State Department issues warnings when an embassy or consulate closes or reduces its staff, thereby limiting the U.S. government's ability to assist American citizens traveling in these areas. Before After Shot 5: Parrot's Key Becomes Carioca's

Like a bad perm, some looks become painfully identifiable with their epoch of popularity. Case in point: Parrot's Key, one of three themed main dining rooms, features an ersatz tropicality that Lanzisero said was unfortunately gaining steam in the 90's. "Does dated mean tacky?" I asked. "Well..." Lanzisero said with a chuckle. "The best Disney spaces are timeless," he said. "In redesigning this space in a classic Art Deco motif, we're trying to make sure this," he said waving, "doesn't happen again."Jose Carioca is Donald Duck's parrot buddy in “The Three Caballeros." The ship's other restaurants are getting more modest refreshes, and Animator's Palate will launch the dinner show “Animation Magic,” which lets diners create a character that becomes part of the action through animation. The show debuted on Disney Fantasy.

Before After: StudioSea Becomes the D Lounge

"We gutted this one," Lanzisero said of StudioSea, the family-friendly activity space -- think all-ages dances, game shows, cooking demos -- that will become D Lounge. Lanzisero said they are dramatically opening up the design to make the space less "cave-like."

--Image appears courtesy of PeterPanFan and Character Central.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor