Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

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Guest Post: Royal Caribbean Heading to Labadee

Today was the first day of real progress from our standpoint. We loaded Independence of the Seas with relief supplies today at San Juan, Puerto Rico, which included 60 cases of badly needed water and other dry goods.

We have also started to receive additional provisions, including four truckloads of drinking water, from our suppliers at our logistic center, which we are preparing to load on to Navigator of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, to arrive on Monday and Tuesday.

On the home front, we have our link set up for contributions to Food For The Poor ( for our customers and our employees.

And, we’ve agreed to commit 100 percent of the net proceeds from tomorrow’s tours and shore excursions during Independence of the Seas’ call to the Haitian relief effort.

These are just some of the initial things that Royal Caribbean is undertaking, and they will be followed by more. We just need to set down some more details before we put the rest of our plan to action.

As I mentioned before this will be a marathon that will continue for the foreseeable future.

We’ve had a few comments saying that we should not go back to Labadee, considering the suffering and destruction at Port-Au-Prince. Again, we feel this is the worst thing to do, which is essentially abandoning our 30-year partnership with Haiti, our employees on the ground and the surrounding communities.

Continuing to call at Labadee helps more than 500 people – direct employees and straw market vendors that rely on our port calls for their livelihood. These people, who we call our colleagues and friends, have been impacted by this event and have families to support in this time of crisis. This money earned will no doubt assist displaced family members and friends and help Haiti recover from this horrible tragedy.

On a more personal note, it’s very frustrating to see so much suffering in a country that has seen so many challenges over the years. It’s paralyzing to know that there is no way you can go and help immediately. Hopefully things will improve over the days and weeks to come.

- John Weis, Associate Vice President, Private Destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Interested in helping? Royal Caribbean International is working with Food For The Poor and the Pan American Development Foundation. We encourage guests to make monetary donations to either of these organizations which are currently engaged in the relief effort. For even more information on Royal Caribbean’s humanitarian relief to Haiti, click HERE.

64 responses to:
“Guest Post: Royal Caribbean Heading to Labadee”

  1. Anthony dIfilippo

    I was wondering about Labadee – and happy to see you are supporting the relief and continuing the support to the people!! Great Work!

  2. Denise

    Well done RC! We’re proud to be your customers; great job at helping Haiti and keeping your guests informed!

  3. Bonita layfield

    I think this is an amazing gesture on Royal Caribbean’s part & now I’m even more thankful that I have always been loyal to Royal & never sailed on any other cruise line. I have been to Labadee a few times & I find Haiti a BEAUTIFUL country & my heart & prayers go out to them.

  4. Jim dwyer

    Bravo! I was waiting for your response and am very pleased with your decision. Instead of avoiding or abandoning your “partner” you stepped up and saw the broader picture and chose the right path. I hope everyone can feel for the poorest coutry in the western hemisphere and open their hearts and help in any way they can.

  5. Paola Roy

    I agree, you should continue to sail to Labadee–those people need that income now more than ever. I am a Haitian-American who wants to thank you for any contributions/donations you make to Haiti. Your efforts are not going unnoticed this letter came to my attention because it is being circulated by other Haitians and Haitian-Americans on Facebook. On a side note, I hear that the capital’s port is severely damaged–is there any way for RCI to allow the use of its port in Labadee for other supply ships?

  6. Mike

    Hope you have a team of security personal. Cause there going to need it. It a bad idea and not safe.

  7. Nancy Kerr

    Thank you so much!!! I immediately wondered about RCCL and your accessibility to Haiti. It’s curious that we’ve not heard anything in the news about your helping. We Love RCCL!!! It is so awesome that helping Haiti is more important than recognition and the Press. Sure hope you are seeing very ‘generous passengers’ in Labadee!!

    Can’t wait to cruise w/you again!!1

  8. Sharon Cato

    Four of us just booked a cruise for September on the Liberty that will stop at Labadee. We appreciate your support in this poverty stricken region. You can believe we will patronize the local vendors so they can work to support their families. Don’t abandon this area!

  9. tony

    This was exactly the suggestion I gave yesterday. I am proud to be a loyal C&A member now. If you have ships going there, you can be part of the relief effort by stocking up those ships and dropping off those much needed cases of water and non-perishable goods. You already carry tons of water and food for your guests, whats a few more to you? Especially for the cause.

    Thank you for getting on track to help Haiti. They really need help from all of us around the globe.

  10. Rick and Deirdra

    We made a contribution to the charity earlier today. We are spreading the word to all our friends. We will do what we can to help this cause for the people of Haiti.

  11. Joshua wurtzel

    John, thank you so much for the update. I’m sure that all of your RCCL passengers’ hearts and minds are with the Haitian people, and I think it is great that Royal Caribbean is doing so much to help. This really shows that RCI is a company that cares about the people it interacts with.

  12. Chris

    We really appreciate the help from RCI given to Haiti and we really can understand that this help is needed more than everything else.
    What we still can’t understand is the fact how RCI ignores the warnings by experts saying that there might be a few more really hard aftershocks at Haiti.
    Is it the right way to call Labadee considering the fact that RCI tourists are exposed to dangers??
    We are your guests in a few weeks and Labadee will be the 1st isle to call. We must admit that we are scared about that and isn’t it ironic to spend “vacancies” & “a good time” in a place where people are fighting for their lifes and are suffering a big pain?
    RCI should at least consider, that there are other ways to help Haiti and at the same time having the guarantee that the cruising guests will be not exposured to any kind of risk.
    Labadee could be entered for less time just for giving out the supplies and guests could give their help by partecipating with a fund (can be set up on board the whole week) so that the total amount of money can be donated to Haiti.

  13. Leigh nelson

    What you are already doing is so wonderful and heart felt for those of us who are so touched by this tragedy. I have a niece and nephew at an orphanage in Haiti. See the attached post: H
    It may be a long shot but since you will have a cruise ship in Labadee, is there some way that you could assist in getting the 150 kids to the US as soon as the paperwork in order.
    As I mentioned there are 150 children with provisions running low and being cared for by these two angels.
    Please help if you can!
    Thank you for your time,
    Leigh Nelson

  14. ken wilson

    Thanks John for updating everyone. I’m very pleased that RCL will continue to stop at Labadee and I agree that it is important to continue to support those who rely on cruise ship passengers for their livelihood. But more importantly I am encouraged by the beginning of relief supplies being delivered to Labadee en route to Port Au Prince or wherever they are needed most. Thank you for becoming involved in the relief effort and may you continue to find ways to help these people who are in such desperate need.

  15. Sharon

    I absoultely loved going to Haiti on our cruise a couple years ago..I disagree with the comment about you guys not going there anymore. just because a disaster like this happens dosn’t mean you should stop going there. My prayers go out to all the family and friends of all those who suffered. I know this is a hard time but they will come through and the residents on that island are very kind and thoughtful and it’s people like them that make us all come together.

  16. Lisa sheldon

    Thank you for your effort in taking supplies to Haiti and committing the proceeds from the excursions. My family will be on our cruise departing the 18th of April, Freedom of the Seas. We would like to volunteer our time in Labadee in the disaster relief effort and hope that Royal Caribbean will have something in place by then so we may do so. I am sure that you will have many vacationeers happy to volunteer their time during the stop at Labadee.

  17. Jack and Kathie Abbott

    In no way would I endorse abandoning the people of Haiti. Add $5.00 to the price of a cruise ticket or $.50 a drink and pay the “employees” that service Labadee. Not forever, maybe for a six month period, until things have setteled down and RCCL can return there.

    We lost our home in Fl. in 2004 during Charlie. I would have never forgiven some tourist that came here to sun themselves on our beaches during our time of need. I know what it is like to eat at a Red Cross Station. (The police/ National Guard would not have let them in here either!) I survived off the good well of aid organizations for a short period. We had Homeowners Insurance. We got electricity after 16 days. The people of Haiti will not have that Luxery. I still believe the Hatian people do not need or want us there. I agree they need our money.

    I commend you for comming here and updating us. I hope you do not find this offensive. It is not ment to be. I Thank you. Please contine to support the people of Haiti.

    We are cruising 1/21/10 (not to Labadee) but, I would gladly give up our cruise if I thought it would somehow help the people of Haiti

  18. ron gross

    That is so wonderful, to hear that Royal Caribbean will continue it’s port calls to Labadee! I know that all of RCI’s friends, employees & vendors, there, will be thrilled to see you returning! I’m praying for their safety, and that relief and provisions can get there quickly! And again, THANK YOU, Royal Caribbean, for all that you’re doing to help! You are truly a Blessing to the people affected by this horrible tragedy! You get a Standing O from me!

  19. JOHN

    I’d like to thank the whole RCCL for leading the way as they/us try to help the people of Haiti.

    In particular President and CEO Adam Goldstein for leading the way.

    I know my wife and i are proud to be your customers too.


  20. Brett Critchley

    I to was in two minds….. We are due to tour with RC on Feb 28th 2010 and due to land in Labadee, Haiti on the 2nd of March on Liberty of the Seas. Does not feel wright at all to be sunning ourselves, eating and drinking cocktails etc on the beach whilst people no doubt will be dieing of starvation/dehydration in the south part of the country. Also totally agree that pulling out would be wrong to as the country needs all the revenue channels possible.

  21. Jim

    Excellent and courageous decision to continue to call at Labadee. I’ll be a guest on Liberty on her Jan. 31 sailing and it’s good to know I’ll be able to help in some small way. God bless the people of Haiti and everyone involved in this situation.

  22. Daniel Rodriguez

    This is why I stand by this company through thick and thin! Labadee is one of my if not favorite ports of call. My wife and I went there for our honeymoon and fell in love with it’s beautiful landscape. I hope all is well at labadee and will continue to pray for them.

  23. rebecca

    Well done with the support – as a previous visitor to Labadee I must admit if I was visiting there at the moment I would refuse to get off the ship, how could I possibly sit there enjoying myself on the beach knowing what was going on not too many miles away. Im all for the support but Im sorry RCI still visiting at the moment is rubbing it in their noses.

  24. Mike K

    We will be on the Feb 6th Independence OTS trip. Are you planning an on board fund raising? If not, please consider that, Connect it to the ship pass, One of the things they do where I live is to sell coupons that donate to charities around the holidays, usually $5-$10 coupons that are charged to your bill are available at registers. I very often give, and in the smaller doses spread out over time I find that I give more than I might if I just decided on a fixed figure.Maybe that would be a way to organize fund raising onboard?

    I don’t know what the best thing to do is, my wife and I think that enjoying beautiful Labadee is a wrong thing to do in light of their tragedies, at the same time we want to help in some way.
    I’ll be checking this blog for suggestions over the next few weeks.

  25. Janet Cozza

    One of the most peaceful days of my life was spent on the beach in Labadee. It is truly so sad to watch on tv what has happened to this already struggling nation. Thank you for doing what you are doing for the country of Haiti. I was glad to donate on the link to Food for the Poor. It is wonderful how much RCCL is helping in the relief effort. We are proud to be your customers.
    Most sincerely,
    The Cozza Family
    Janet, John, and Emily
    Meford, NY

  26. Ellen Zoccola

    We will be sailing back to back with you on the Liberty of the Seas, been with RCCL many times to Labadee this beautiful place and see how it helps the economy, I look forward to returning and will be glad wein a small way can add to helping. Even on the Ship if there is anything organized, we will take part. Bravo to RCCL for all their ongoing efforts God Bless the People of Haiti

  27. SANDY

    The efforts are wonderful, but NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF PASSENGER SAFETY.

    Remember the relief after 9/11 and how many first responders are ill now becuase the area was contaminated and people not properly informed.

    Haiti will likely have dire health concerns, some airborne, that may affect passangers.

    We should not abandon Haiti, but should not use that port for recreation until the area is stable.

  28. Mandy

    I’m so impressed with Royal Caribbean’s reaction to this horrible disaster in Haiti. Makes me proud to be a Loyal Royal.

    Thank you!

  29. David Ratner

    Unfortunately,Labadee is a tender port, not a deep water port, necessary to dock large ships. Maybe RCL could plan to dredge and build a deep water port at this location?

  30. Linda

    We’ll be on the Independence of the Seas when it arrives at Haiti on Jan 29th. Are there any items we can bring as passengers to donate to the people of Haiti?

  31. Ralph Gengo

    My daughter is currently on your ship with a group of Lynn University students embarked in labadee,Haiti. They are the other half of Lynn University’s mission to help the poor. The other half of Lynn students have just left Haiti with six still missing and unaccounted for. Why dont you ask that group if Royal Caribbean passengers should be bathing the sun having a picnic while the rest of Haiti is under concrete. As requested by Lynn University and myself you should have stayed out at sea and donated the picinic food to the people of Haiti. The ship’s tenders could have taken the supplies into Labadee. SHOW SO RESPECT

  32. Bonnie Kagan

    This is a great effort on your part. Thank you!
    Has there been any coordination between various cruise lines to collaborate to make a grander effort?

    Also, is there any hope of getting some unused ships down there to serve as shelters for these poor people? Since the roads are blocked, maybe ships( like during the 9/11) disaster, might be better able to rescue folks and bring them to a safer haven.

  33. Edita C

    Thank you for all you are doing for the people of Haiti and thank you for not abandoning Labadee during this hour of need. We are proud to be affiliated with such a fine company and such great leadership. Not only for what you are doing now but especially for having been there even before this terrible earthquake ; when very few were building and investing in Haiti, RCCL was willing to bring guests to the island and share the culture of the Haitian people with the world.


    Thank you RCCL for this wonderful effort. Yes, you should continue to sail to Labadee. The people there will need the income more now as most probably have family members in Port-au-Prince who will be in desperate need of help. They cannot and should not be abandonned at their hour of need.

    Thank you, thank you.

  35. Bobbi b

    I am scheduled to go on the Navigator of the Seas and spend a day in Labadee. I fully expected RCL to change their itinerary in light of the disaster in Haiti, and the recurrent aftershocks throughout the island. RCL now reports that they will not change. What a slap in the face to the people of Haiti and the world to witness! It is expected that we all support those in need in Haiti. But it is absurd to think that our beach experience there will enhance the lives of the millions of Haitians.

    In addition, there have been reported aftershocks, which affect the passengers safety as well. Your 500 employees may be positively affected, but the other 9.7 million Haitians may not consider our visit an act of kindness.


  36. profess

    I grew antsy and concerned when I hadn’t heard anything about RCL. I decided to look for myself (vs. waiting for the media). I’m THRILLED to find this information and learn of RCL’s efforts, particularly given its presence there (I was wondering if I’d have to swear RCL off)! Kudos, especially for hunkering down for the long haul. I love a company that steps up and inserts itself as a solution in times of trouble. Thank you!

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  38. Anthony

    I do agree whole heartedly with RCCL decisions regarding Labadee. For the few nay sayers, please realize that Labadee is no where near the quake zone, so please brush up onthe area, before making assumptions.

  39. shelly stammis

    Agree with Abbotts. I do think it is FABULOUS and I am thrilled to hear that you are loaded up with supplies for Haiti … I am praying u dont leave them at this private area but that you make effort to get things south to where they need them most (PAP area). I have 2 children I am adopting at an orph in PAP as well as a few more orphanages down there that I am associated with. I have many dear friends in the PAP area, amongst other areas who are missionaries there … who have been working day and night setting up clinics, finding people, etc … I lived in Haiti this past summer, running an orphanage… I’ve seen the REAL HAITI not the picture the cruiseships get in stopping there … the the real Haiti is devastating WITHOUT an earthquake of such magnitude. The connection goes deep and as the other couple said … I cannot FATHOM the fact that people will go there and LIE ON A BEACH vacationing at all, let alone ON HAITI’S beach when a few short miles away, there is such devastation.

    Hands down to you for your efforts but I beg you to make the stop DIFFERENT this time … in any way you can. Involve them in unloading supplies, etc … anything … but dont make it be a vacation spot, a day of soaking up rays … it is NOT right and the thought of it kills me.

  40. MICHAEL c. mitchell

    Dear Mr.Goldstein;

    Royal Caribbean’s support of Haiti at this time is tremendous. However, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, to do anything less would be despicable.

    Your port of call is totally secure, as this Platinum Crown & Anchor member can attest, having visited Haiti twice with your cruise line. Passengers, as you know, will be totally safe.

    This action places your shipping line in the company of Cunard White Star when, during World War II, RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth were put into service.

    We Canadians can proudly say our Governor General and
    Commander-In-Chief is of Haitian birth. You will almost certainly have dealings with her. Michaelle Jean is a great lady and would doubtlessly applaud your efforts.

    Best Regards,

    Michael C. Mitchell

  41. John knowles

    Have you considered sending a cruise ship to PAP as a hospital ship? The cost could be initially shared among the different cruise lines. Retired doctors and nurses could help staff the ship and feel safe while there. I think some ships have helicopter pads and “landing craft” type boats, both of which would be useful. If there are no uncommitted ships at the moment then passengers could be landed at volunteer hotels for the balance of their cruise time, thus freeing up a ship.

  42. Ann

    What you are doing for the people in Haiti and still continue to make that one of your ports of call just solidifies even more that my husband and I chose the right cruise line for our vacation. We will be on the Freedom of the Seas in the near future and Haiti will be one of our stops. We are so excited.

  43. shelly stammis

    Interesting that if you put a comment making them question themselves a little bit, your post seems to disappear. Nice. Haiti does not need people lying in the sun on vacation … they need the supplies and again it is FABULOUS you are doing that … but think about limits … about where you are bringing the stuff and who is benefiting. it saddens me.

  44. shelly stammis

    and then it reappears ?!? odd

  45. Grace

    I’m so impressed. Always new that Royal Caribbean was a great cruise line…even more so now.
    God Bless you efforts

  46. Chuck

    I understand the dilemma given to you. It seems coldhearted to invite tourists to party on the beach while 100 miles away, people are under rubble, and it also seems coldhearted to shut off what I assume is a major part of theif economy, especially when it’s one that doesn’t seem to be affected by the quake.
    As someone who is deciding what to do on his honeymoon in April, I think I would feel sick going to the beach at Labadee, even knowing I was “supporting the economy.” However, if there was an “excursion” at Labadee that was service-oriented, I think I could justify the rest of my week. I’m sure it’s too soon and logistics would be impossible near-term, but by April, surely there could be some infrastructure to deliver some kind of aid on the ground. Admittedly, cruise travelers aren’t exactly trained emergency personnel, but I just have to think there would be something we could do for a day and be put to good use.

  47. denise

    Thank you RCCL. I have always been impressed with RCCL and this just reinforces what I already know.

  48. Scott

    I was wondering about Labadee. Had a great time when I was there with the Liberty a couple of years ago. It seems like it would feel inappriate to have a good time there now. But I applaud RCCL for not abandoning your thirty-year relationship with people who now need it more than ever.

  49. Anthony

    Stay the course RCCL, making the right call is never easy. A quick comment for anyone that has issue with RCCL decision to keep going to Labadee, why did no one have an issue when the Haitian people were suffering for so many years before this horrible tragedy brought their plight to the forefront of the news? RCCL has been and should continue to bring some much needed revenue into the economy of this impoverished country.

  50. Mark Albert

    If someone is worried about Labadee quakes or security they can stay inside the ship swiming on the empty pools because everyone is going to go to labadee. About the security I think it is safe because there are almost no buildings, the only danger to labadee is a tsunami but with all the technology on every cruise you are also safe. Royal Caribbean will not do anything that can affect their customers.

  51. Patti

    Please keep up the good work. I love the idea of a service excursion. You could even have one of these as a way to contribute money. It really doesn’t even have to be an excursion, it could just be a money donation excursio.

  52. Marian McGuire

    I have always bragged to all of my friends how great RCL is to sail with. Now I have even more acolades to bestow. Your corporate decision to continue to support this port of call is correct.
    RCL is nothing but 1ST CLASS.
    Keep the faith Haitian people.

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  54. Putney Swope

    60 cases of water? Seriously? I could fit that in the back of my truck. How much aid could the ship carry if it weren’t just making an already scheduled passenger recreation stop in Haiti? Extraordinary events like this call for extraordinary action, not just token efforts. Extra kudos for publicly patting yourselves on the back for making even a token effort.

  55. Eric Webber

    Love the comments about how safe people will be from the reality of Haiti behind the 12 ft. security fence. Maybe passengers can throw some cake over the fence to add to the meager help the cruise line is offering.

  56. Mac Howser

    In the past hour, two comments that were critical of the cruise line have been mysteriously deleted. I didn’t agree with either one, but maybe this shouldn’t be considered an open forum if only praising comments are allowed. RCL, you should be more transparent.

  57. Todd Beck

    I called our Rotary International Shelter Box office and asked them to get in touch with RC to deliver shelter boxes to Haiti. The lady who answered the phone said RC had already called them….Kudos to RC.

  58. Larry Tacker

    Why not give aid to Haiti AND skip the port of call? Seems like a win/win to me. It’s very hard to avoid the appearance of callousness if passengers are enjoying themselves with jet ski rides and expensive food and drink behind security fences, even given the generous amount of aid RCCL is giving.

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  60. Jesse

    I think it’s fine that RC continues to use their beach, but don’t you think that relaxing while Port-Au-Prince is in need of all the help it can get akin to watching a person drown?

  61. Peter katur

    Yes that’s very well and good BUT are you going to guarantee passenger safety on shore from looters and robbers as this get worse.?

  62. Lou

    I have been to Labadee many times and I can’t tell you how much money I have left there because they are in so much need. The hard work they do to produce the goods they sell at Labadee is incredible. These goods are hand-crafted and take a lot of time to make. These workers rely on the tourism to feed their families. One person on the ship said that they were appalled that the boat could stop there and people could have a good time. So, it’s okay for you to be on that ship having a good time and then go to a different Island instead of Labadee and have a good time? Get real. The people want and need these cruise ships to dock there especially now and people should be even more generous when they get there. And RCI bringing supplies in, is an awesome humanitarian effort. Go Royal Caribbean.



    • Adam

      Cathleen, thank you for your generous offer. We understand that you are interested in helping by bringing needed supplies onboard with you. Unfortunately, due to the challenges of collecting and distributing donated supplies we recommend that our guests donate money to relief organizations such as Food For the Poor or Pan American Development Foundation

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Royal Caribbean Expands Cruise Vacation Offerings in Asia

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:30 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. My latest travels brought me back to Asia the week of June 16 – 20.  As always, the pace and energy of the region are... Continue Here to Read More…

Personal Plans for the Second Half of 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:51 AM

Blog by Adam A quick update on my other doings as the “empty nest” approaches even faster than the delivery of Quantum of the Seas. Our family continues our involvement with many aspects of... Continue Here to Read More…

How Entertainment on Quantum & Anthem Will Transcend Anything You've Seen on Land or Sea

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:22 PM

Blog by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International Hello, everyone.  Last week I had the pleasure of being in Las Vegas where we announced the amazing... Continue Here to Read More…

Catching the Travel Bug: My Explorations through SEED

Friday, June 20, 2014 11:18 AM

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s community support efforts often focus on education and social services for underserved youth. Over the years I have written from time to time about my long term... Continue Here to Read More…