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    Storms and strikes alter cruise itineraries


    Some cruise lines had to reconfigure itineraries this week as city workers in Athens went on strike, with a threat of further protests next week. Meanwhile, stormy weather in the Caribbean caused lines to miss calls in Grand Cayman and elsewhere.The Greek strikes, to protest new government austerity measures, caused Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas to flip ports of call, with the ship visiting Rhodes yesterday and Athens (Piraeus) today. The Celebrity Constellation called at Athens today as scheduled.

    Oceania Cruises sent its Insigna to tiny Patmos rather than Rhodes. But sister line Regent Seven Seas Cruises was able to sail its Seven Seas Voyager from Piraeus without incident.

    "At Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises the safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. We are constantly monitoring the situation in Greece and making adjustments as needed," said spokesman Gary Gerbino.

    MSC Cruises replaced a call at Piraeus with a visit to Heraklion (Crete) on Thursday. The MSC Melody also altered its itineraries to visit Heraklion this week and Athens next Monday. A spokeswoman said the moves were "due to current events in Athens and to assure passengers' full safety and comfort."

    Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, inclement weather caused Carnival to change itineraries for five ships.

    On a six-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale, the Carnival Freedom skipped Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and instead visited Montego Bay, Jamaica, and was calling at Key West twice.

    The Carnival Imagination skipped Key West and Cozumel and instead did an overnight in Nassau and was calling today at Freeport, on a four-night cruise from Miami.

    The Carnival Inspiration, from Tampa, skipped Grand Cayman in favor of an overnight in Cozumel, on a five-night cruise. Passengers on the Carnival Ecstasy's five-night cruise from New Orleans, meanwhile, missed a call at Progresso, Mexico, spending an extra day at sea.

    The Carnival Conquest out of Galveston and Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas from Port Canaveral also both missed Grand Cayman on their weeklong Western Caribbean itineraries, instead spending yesterday at sea.

    A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman said the weather made it "unsafe to tender."

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