Security through the Mideast

This item appears on page 28 of the August 2011 issue.
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I have some observations about the security we experienced during our May 4-24, 2011, cruise from Dubai to Italy, including a transit of the Suez Canal and port calls in Oman, Jordan, Egypt and Israel. My husband and I were on the “Three Seas Adventure” aboard Seven Seas Voyager of Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Ft. Lauderdale, FL; 877/505-5370).

While going through the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, the captain announced that we would be in convoy with some warships but that if we heard an alarm, we were to get out to the corridor and lay flat on the floor so that any bullets or shattered glass would not injure us. Luckily, no such event happened; the only other vessel we saw was a lonely fishing boat.

In Egypt, all the tour buses and private cars had to leave the port at the same time with police vehicles in front and behind, but, again, everything was peaceful.

Going through the Suez Canal, we noticed military watchtowers every one to two miles on either side of the canal, and sometimes we passed military camps with soldiers exercising. Both sides of the canal belong to Egypt.

In Israel, after our sightseeing in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, about a half mile before the Israel/Palestine border our Israeli guide had to get off the bus. After going through the checkpoint, we got a Palestinian guide. The procedure was reversed on our way back.

There was a wall along the border about 15 to 20 feet high (worse than the one-time Berlin Wall). When crossing the border, police/military with machine guns came into our bus. We also noticed many fully armed police/military in all of the tourist areas of Jerusalem, including at the Wailing Wall.

In all of these places, we did not sense any danger or feel unsafe. We surely enjoyed our cruise.

MIYAKO STORCH
Santa Barbara, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I have some observations about the security we experienced during our May 4-24, 2011, cruise from Dubai to Italy, including a transit of the Suez Canal and port calls in Oman, Jordan, Egypt and Israel. My husband and I were on the “Three Seas Adventure” aboard Seven Seas Voyager of Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Ft. Lauderdale, FL; 877/505-5370).

While going through the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, the captain announced that we would be in convoy with some warships but that if we heard an alarm, we were to get out to the corridor and lay flat on the floor so that any bullets or shattered glass would not injure us. Luckily, no such event happened; the only other vessel we saw was a lonely fishing boat.

In Egypt, all the tour buses and private cars had to leave the port at the same time with police vehicles in front and behind, but, again, everything was peaceful.

Going through the Suez Canal, we noticed military watchtowers every one to two miles on either side of the canal, and sometimes we passed military camps with soldiers exercising. Both sides of the canal belong to Egypt.

In Israel, after our sightseeing in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, about a half mile before the Israel/Palestine border our Israeli guide had to get off the bus. After going through the checkpoint, we got a Palestinian guide. The procedure was reversed on our way back.

There was a wall along the border about 15 to 20 feet high (worse than the one-time Berlin Wall). When crossing the border, police/military with machine guns came into our bus. We also noticed many fully armed police/military in all of the tourist areas of Jerusalem, including at the Wailing Wall.

In all of these places, we did not sense any danger or feel unsafe. We surely enjoyed our cruise.

MIYAKO STORCH
Santa Barbara, CA