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Celebrity Cruises have withdrawn Celebrity Equinox from Europe for 2017. The ship was due to do a season of cruises in the Mediterranean during next summer, but plans have changed and she will instead be based in Miami and will do Caribbean cruises. Indeed, Celebrity Equinox will be based in Miami all year round, and as a result Celebrity Cruises will be offering their first year-round programme of Caribbean cruises. In previous years they have offered Caribbean cruises in the winter, but have generally dispersed their ships to other areas (northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Alaska) for the summer. Here’s a link to a news page about the change to Celebrity Equinox’s programme on the Celebrity Cruises web site.

Celebrity are explaining this as a positive response to many requests from their customers for year-round cruises in the Caribean. However, many commentators are suggesting that the ongoing turmoil in Europe, with terrorist attacks occurring in many countries, is a major contributory factor. The recent attacks and ongoing uncertainty in Turkey may be especially relevant, and it is believed that bookings from US passengers both for this summer and next are lower than expected. The redeployment of Celebrity Equinox to the Caribbean for next year will reduce Celebrity Cruise’s risk of over-capacity in the region.

I haven’t seen anything as to what is being done for passengers who had already booked a cruise on Celebrity Equinox’s previously announced Mediterranean itineraries. (We had looked at them, in fact, before choosing Norway and Iceland with P&O). But I expect any such passengers – and there won’t be many – will have been made a generous offer.

(In fact, does anyone have any information about that?)

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