On the ground in Labadee, the word is that many people are traveling from Port Au Prince to Cap Haitian. For those of you that don’t know, Cap Haitian is about 15 miles from Labadee on the other side of the mountain. A gymnasium there is being used as a makeshift hospital as all the other medical facilities are full and there are thousands of people coming into Cap Haitian to seek shelter, food and water or medical attention. Despite this, the conditions in Cap Haitian are relatively calm at this point and the local authorities and the UN have the situation under control.
Through the good work of David Southby, the Labadee Site Manager and many others, all the supplies that were delivered by Independence of the Seas on Friday have been distributed. We’ve also gone through the site giving up any extra lounge chairs, bedding and mattresses which are now being used in the makeshift hospital. We have also heard from our close colleague and good friend, Maryse Kedar, President of SOLANO, who is in Port Au Prince taking on a leadership role with the recovery effort in her neighborhood. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and David.
From the Royal Caribbean side, the Haiti Relief Team has put together another 6 trucks of relief supplies which will be delivered via Navigator of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of next week. Our ships have really stepped up and have committed to fitting over 100 pallets of relief supplies on each voyage that calls on Labadee. This is equivalent to over three semi-trucks-full two to three times a week. Most importantly, we are getting these supplies to the people that need them, the same day that they are off-loaded.
Finally, we have made the decision to contribute all the net revenues earned on Labadee during Navigator and Liberty’s call on Monday and Tuesday. I will share those results as they come in. One other thing I ‘d like to mention is that we need as much help as possible from other companies to make sure the ships are going down loaded with relief supplies. Right now, we are looking for pallets of goods that have been sorted in homogeneous categories such as canned goods, clothing, water etc. We can guarantee they will get to the people that most need them in short order. Cash donations to the Food for the Poor or PADF would be great as well. For those who are not able to provide palleted supplies in large quantities, I encourage you to make a financial contribution at www.foodforthepoor.org/royalcaribbean. No matter how small, every contribution counts towards helping Haiti through this horrendous time.
- John Weis, Associate Vice President, Private Destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.