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 (http://foodforthepoor.org/royalcaribbean) 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.