P&O have made the difficult decision to pull the Oceana from her Winter 2019 and 202 Dubia and the Middle East Program amid concerns for British Flagged Ships in the region.
P&O Oceana was due to depart Malta at the end of October for Dubia and would remain there throughout the Winter and return to Malta just before the Summer Season.
The Oceana which is 2016 passengers will now be redeployed and will be based out of Southampton offering a long 35 night pre-Christmas Caribbean cruise, and an array of Canary Islands and Spain and Portugal Sailings.
Royal Caribbean, MSC, Costa, Celebrity and Aida have said they will continue to carry out the planned sailings they have for the Middle East giving those transfering from the Oceana the choice to stay in the Middle East.
Just days later, Celebrity has made the announcement that they will not be returning to Dubai in 2020 and 2021. Celebrity had various cruises from Dubai to Singapore taking in the Middle East. She had been a popular option due to her big refit due in May 2020 to make her more in keeping with the Edge and Solstice Class Ships.
The decision has been made due to the demand for cruises from Tampa so Celebrity Constellation will sail from Tampa around the Caribbean, Mexico and the Panama Canal leaving yet more holiday makers now without a cruise?
What with the problems with Independence of the Seas earlier in the year – more and more people are saying to me – ‘Should we book so far in advance’, and Okay the Oceana is due to safety concerns but Royal Caribbean and Celebrity don’t seem to mind changing itineraries even when they have been on sale for several months!
Would this put you off booking early?