Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Guest Post: Update on Royal Caribbean’s Relief Efforts Taking Place in Port-au-Prince

I am proud of what our people and our ships are doing and below John Weis gives some very specific examples of great contributions being made by great Royal Caribbean people and their family members

The ships going back to Labadee, including Navigator of the Seas today, are obviously making a very valuable contribution to the relief effort by offloading supplies at Labadee. The media understand this and generally have written and spoken about the relief effort in positive terms. But in the last 24 hours, sparked by an article in the Guardian in the UK, a different and more critical view has emerged that questions how our guests can justify having a good time in Labadee when there is such misery less than 100 miles away.

My view is this — it isn’t better to replace a visit to Labadee (or for that matter, to stay on the ship while it’s docked in Labadee) with a visit to another destination for a vacation. Why? Because being on the island and generating economic activity for the straw market vendors, the hair-braiders and our 230 employees helps with relief while being somewhere else does not help. These 500 people are going to need to support a much larger network of family and friends, including many who are in (or are missing in) the earthquake zone. Also, the north is going to bear a good part of the burden of the agony of the south, and the more economic support there is to the north, the better able the north will be to bear this burden. People enjoying themselves is what we do. People enjoying themselves in Labadee helps with relief. We support our guests who choose to help in this way which is consistent with our nearly 30 year history in Haiti.

To John:

The team has been working through this holiday weekend and has been in contact with several people on the ground in Port Au Prince so I wanted to focus this blog on the efforts that are taking place there. We have all come to appreciate the resilience of the Haitian people and I think its important to share with you some of the positive things that are happening on the ground that are being coordinated by regular people like you and I.

Maryse Kedar, the President SOLANO, which is our company in Haiti, is an incredible woman. Despite some of their own losses, her and her team have started organizing their own relief efforts in Petionville by coordinating a water distribution process. She obtained access to a large water truck and found a safe water source for consumption and has orchestrated the distribution of this critical resource.

Fritz Montlaifir who is the brother of our close colleague Martine Pasquet is working with businesses in Port Au Prince to organize all available trucks to carry supplies from Labadee to Port Au Prince. He is also using his hotel as a first aid station and a central point to distribute supplies.

Also we have received a flood of inquires from the Haitian community in the US and Florida asking how they can help and what they can do to coordinate relief efforts in partnership with Royal Caribbean.

These are the types of people that are going to make the difference and help in Haiti’s recovery over the long term.

Finally, I want to again ask for you support by donating to one of the charities we have partnered with. Cash donations to the Food for the Poor or PADF is still the best way to show your support. I encourage you to make a financial contribution at www.foodforthepoor.org/royalcaribbean. Again, no matter how small, every contribution counts towards helping Haiti through this horrendous time.

221 responses to:
“Guest Post: Update on Royal Caribbean’s Relief Efforts Taking Place in Port-au-Prince”

  1. Laura Breier

    I just wanted to mention that through my travels with Royal Caribbean, I have learned that quite a few of the islands in the Caribbean come to rely on the passengers of your cruise ships for an income. My family and I sailed last year right around the time of the H1N1 outbreak. We were on the first Caribbean cruise to make a stop in Cozumel after everything had been shut down for at least a week, maybe more…I don’t quite remember. The residents of Cozumel that lived and worked there were so happy to see us because they had lost so much money (that they relied on heavily)while no stops were being made at their port! While some people out there may think it is heartless and tacky for your ships to continue to stop in Labadee while such tragic events are playing out in Haiti, I commend you. I have been to Labadee twice now. It is a beautiful place to be. However, you are correct when you say that the people who live in Haiti do rely on the income that your ships provide them with. By skipping that stop on your itinerary you will be doing more harm than good. I hope to see you continuing your hard work and efforts in regards to Haiti.

  2. Steve buch

    I was very disturbed to hear MSNBC question the wisdom of continuing to call at Labadee today on the air and then to read that ABC did the same on their web site. I congratulate RCCL for their courage in doing the right thing for the right reasons. I appreciate the continuing flow of information on the subject. It is obvious that the writers for those networks do not read this blog because they do not have all the information needed to make a judgement. As a long time customer and a recent stockholder I fully support what you are doing. Thank you.

  3. Ellen A. Zoccola

    We have sailed with RCCL for 20+ years and will be sailing on the Liberty of the Seas for back to back March 1st. I am glad that you will be calling in Labadee and all passengers in a small way will help to contribute to their economy. I went right back to NYC after 9-11 and I am sure many folks went to New Orleans after their disaster, it certainly doesn’t help to stay away. Having said this, This trip we won’t step on Labadee with fun fun fun expectations, we will have a great deal of sadness for what has occurred and will still be recurring, say a few prayers, visit the shops, enjoy the meal, see the beauty and hope against hope that this Beautiful Spot in the Caribbean will become a Better place for the Haitian People and future visitors.

  4. LYNN jOHNSON

    The Guardian may feel it is inappropriate to have fun within 100 miles of so much suffering however is it ok to have fun within 1000 miles or 3000 miles? The distance does not matter, the only difference is that those that are having fun within 100 miles are also benefiting those that have been impacted by this horrible earthquake. Those having fun in other areas are not so painfully confronted by the tragedy and therefore may not be contributing to the benefit of Haiti as Royal Caribbean and their passengers are.

  5. Amatullah

    it wasn’t like those who were already set to sail a year ago or more had any idea that there would be an earthquake there. Are those patrons expected to forfeit the thousands they’ve paid for the vacay in advance???? Not forfeiting it doesn’t make them shallow or uncaring. How do you know that they haven’t… See More aided the rest of Haiti in some way that’s not openly visible to you or me? Try to give others the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they feel horrible that they are so close and refuse to enjoy their vacay with a clear conscience because they feel bad about what’s going on.

    In addition, if you’ve ever been to Labadee and purchased goods from the markets, you’ll see that the wonderful people of Haiti that reside, vend and entertain there are benefitting greatly from the patrons that come through there on various ships. The rest of the world does not have to stop because of the suffering elsewhere, whether it’s 60 miles from tragedy or thousands of miles, like we are. If that was the case, the whole world would have to just stop and never continue on with life as usual bc tragedy is not isolated in any one part of the globe. It’s everywhere. Instead we have to do our part to help them in any way we can.

  6. Diane

    I commend Royal Caribbean for your efforts in Haiti! Don’t let the negative nellies tell you otherwise. You are keeping the current employees who are Haitian employed with money to feed their families. You are keeping the straw market workers employed.

    You have donated so much of your net profits to the island which no one can say you are profiting from that stop especially when you pay to stop there.

    Keep going with your efforts & to those putting down RCI, well, what are you doing to help????? How do you think much needed supplies are getting to these islands! Royal and Celebrity have a unique opportunity for humanitarian work because that is their private destination. They delivered some of the first needed supplies on Friday, 3 days after the quake. Most organizations we are giving to can’t even say they got food over there that quickly.

    You want to help the Haitians, then give and when you take your vacation, take a RCI cruise! Then you can give first hand to the people of Haiti!

    God Bless Royal Caribbean Internation for their help there! Don’t give up…..

  7. Tom alcorn

    I just think it is so interesting that some “journalists” always find fault with what people do. Would they give all their money to charity if they won the lottery, nope. But they can find fault with delivering needed supplies to Haiti whne you could have made the decision to skip the port. NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED. There are a lot of “sick” people in this world who can only criticise those such as you who create. Gold bless you and your efforts to provide economic security in Haiti.

  8. Audrey sonneveldt

    We appreciate all RCCL is doing. We are sure that the Haitians do too. We agree with you, that by stopping at Labadee and investing in the economy there is the best thing for the Haitians. Even if those working at Labadee have suriving family,they will need all the resources to support them since there is no work to be found in Port Au Prince. It’s heartbreaking to hear that there would be people critizing your efforts or the extra efforts of your cruise guests who will gladly spend a little more to help. Again thank you.

  9. Dave

    I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Goldstein. Cruisers help Haiti by visiting Labadee and not by sitting on the ship wringing their hands in misdirected guilt, or by skipping the port entirely. Life goes on. To skip Labadee is to essentially punish the employees and vendors at the facility. I don’t think anyone would want to do that.

  10. jandemartino

    i,m sorry you cannot justify Lording it up on labadee
    while others suffer there suffering no mtter how much good and self gratifiyng comments you make about yoursleves !!!

  11. jandemartino

    read previous

  12. Joan Cook

    I applaud Mr Goldstein and RCCL for their support of Food for the Poor and the people of Haiti. By the ships still going to Labadee, even though it might be a little uncomfortable for us all to think about having fun in Haiti right now, it is the best thing for the people that have jobs in Labadee and for the economy of this poor nation. As a diamond member of RCCL’s Crown and Anchor Club, my husband and I want to say that we both are supportive of Mr. Goldstein’s decisions and those of RCCL.

  13. Scott bechtel

    In this rare situation where the true character of leadership surfaces, you and your team have demonstrated the courage to make the right decision and the ingenuity to make the most of every resource you have available to help. Thank you for posting the links to the two aid organizations.

    The easy thing would be to sail to a different island, but the better decision was to load up with food and emergency supplies and stay the course to Labadee.

    Kudos to you and everyone at Royal Caribbean. Job well done! Our prayers are with your wonderful people in Labadee and the others in need in Haiti.

  14. JD Miller

    I am a regular cruiser with Celebrity and Azamara. I am also an RCCL Stockholder.

    I agree 100% with continuing to dock in Haiti and generate economic activity while delivering supplies. In fact, I believe RCCL should advertise the fact that it’s continuing to dock there in order to help the people of Haiti.

    Please keep up the good work and please continue to do whatever you can to support the people of Haiti.

    Thanks…JD

  15. jo anne

    I think you’d receive a TON of donations to the rccl charity if you matched donations up to $25 in the form of OBC. That way, I donate $25 and receive $25 in OBC. Or $50 and so on.

  16. Alice edwards

    I hope everybody understands now !!!!!! It is so important right now and always it get of the ship and buy buy buy. And SMILE!

  17. Sheryl lambert

    RC Management and Staff
    As I sit at home wondering what I can do to help all in Haiti. After seeing what RC has provided immediate relief, it makes me proud to be part of the Crown and Anchor society. Keep up the good work of helping people to create happy memories in this hard world we live in!

  18. Karen Muehlberger

    Adam, what you’re saying makes some economic sense, but still – how can people enjoy themselves when close by there is almost an apocalyptic level of human agony? Wouldn’t it make sense to suspend the money making for a month and use the ships strictly to get supplies to the affected areas?

  19. Colleen Reynolds

    Dear Mr Goldstein,
    If members of your family were missing or injured due to a natural disaster, would your priority be to make a very small amount of money, from tourists who are in your area temporarily, or would you be out physically searching for the missing and attending to the needs of the injured.
    I do believe the Haitian economy will need the support of businesses like yours in the long-term to get back on its feet. But do you really believe that what your currently doing is appropriate at this time.
    Why not suspend your trips to Haiti at this time, make financial contributions to the immediate effort to save lives, and then return to participating in the Haitian economy at a later date?

  20. Christine Johnson

    This is simply the wrong response. I’m sorry but this was a major disaster in the major region that the Royal Caribbean covers and my first thought was that they should offer passengers a refund and use at least one of their ships as a mobile housing/triage center, at least for the children, who could get clean water and medical care there. The amount of money they are making on the ship is massive compared to the small amount of money the Haitian people will see from selling souvenirs, leasing land, and doing things like ziplines. I agree that diverting economic stimulus is the wrong response however we are still in the very early days of this emergency and I think the ship itself could have been put to better use. I hope they will consider the way they are able to make a major, really spectacular impact in the way that planes (now being diverted) cannot.

  21. Andrew Sambrook

    I just heard you on NPR. You did yourself NO favors. The interview was a complete disaster. The listener would take away the following 1. Royal Carribbean would not have given the humanitarian aid UNLESS it continued to somehow be able to use Haiti as a “resort” — needed to pay your “generosity” through a a tit for tat if you like. 2. That the “earthquake” will be, in the long term, a real “opportunity” for Haiti to rebuild and we should look on the bright side here.
    I know you did not mean to be so stark but this is how it came across to me. My burning question, I had through your interview was why not drop your passengers off at some alternative and use the “whole” ship — not just 4o pallets — and provide it as a hospital ship or a supply ship == and why does everything have to be a tit for tat — why do you need to have the humanitarian aid be a “commercial” venture. Unbelievable. I know this posting wont see the light of day, but I hope that Mr Goldstein will read this and next time choose just to be silent and just do the right thing.

  22. Peg Woltz

    We have received questions from clients regarding any plans which Royal Caribbean International might have regarding the continuation of support to the earthquake victims in Haiti. Will the cruise line take further action on an indefinite basis to provide above baseline assistance to the Haitians once the initial disaster relief has been provided?

  23. Brett Critchley

    Regarding the article in the Guardian/UK. We have had the same sort of thoughts and will be visiting Labadee with RC on March 2nd 2010. I have come to terms with visiting as a way of helping out the economy but my thoughts now turn to safty. It is turning in to chaos and as I see images of gangs toting knives and guns in the streets, very few if any police and the fact that Labadee is less than 100 miles away my concerns are born. In desperate times people do desperate things and thefore the risk factor must increase in my mind. Will it be safe to continue on the Haitian cultural tour or any other excersion that takes you inland?

  24. george

    SHAME on you!!!!

    will never be one of your customers.

  25. gerorge

    SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

    I will never be your customer.

  26. tom young

    First and foremost let me again say thanks to your corporation for what you have done. While you must respond to people that write foolish comments sometimes those comments speak for themselves. While others have run from Haiti, over the years Royal Caribbean has been steadfast in its support of this poor island. You know the island and its needs possibly better than any other major corporation. While I have said in a past blog that it must be tough on your guests to get into a party spirit that typifies a cruise,with what happened, that is between you and your guests. If those guests feel they are positively contributing to Haiti with a visit and spending a few dollars then so be it. Long after everyone leaves you and your fellow loyal royals will be there standing with the people of Haiti. Keep up doing what you do best and everything else will fall into place.

  27. Randy Shrewsberry

    I doubt very seriously that the media has skewed this. I am sure that as you arrived in Haiti, that there have been needed supplies you offered. But to stay docked and still have schedule excursions or have any of your guests continue with any aspect of their vacation is absolutely vile.

    Your justification that the 500 people offered some economic relief is also flatly absurd. Why doesn’t Royal Caribbean offer further donations that would have covered this revenue? This was absolute arrogance and insensitive.

    I would ask, if your visit to Labadee (which sounds so much better than explaining why you visited Haiti), was for humanitarian in nature, how many residence did you welcome onto the ship? How many left when the cruise line left on the ship? Which ships will return empty to provide free relief to families? I suspect the answer is none, but I hope that RC has a change of heart.

    I will never cruise with RC again. I wasn’t a regular customer, as I have preferred Holland in the past but I have chosen RC in the past. Further, I will do everything in my power as an individual to dissuade anyone from using RC.

    This was another example of how corporate greed and the bottom line has altered the good decision making of humans.

  28. Gabriela Barretto Ribeiro

    Hello
    a few years ago I have been on the “navigator of the seas”. Exactly on the route which leads the passengers to Labadee.
    I cannot image that your guests are going to enjoy themselves riding motorboots, swiming, sunbathing, buying handy-crafts, etc. knowing that a few kilometers away is a disaster.
    They would be served by people who may lost their families, friends. And these people are going to bring me a cocktail? And the guests should forget what happened so near a week ago?
    If your guests want to help Haiti they must not stay on the island. All over the world people donate money to help Haiti and none of them is on a little private beach in Labadee.
    Why not stay a day longer in Puerto Rico?
    When your ships arriving Labadee your guests might stand outside with camcordes and digi-cams like “watching the disaster” as a part of their vacation, like yellow-press fotografers.
    My holiday a few years ago was perfect, I love your ships and crew. But now I am sad that especially your company and the US who helps so much are not having a better option for your journeys.
    Gabriela Barretto Ribeiro
    Vienna

  29. Drew Tasch

    Dear Mr. Goldstein,
    Although food and supplies from your ship were donated to the relief efforts, and on one hand I see your logic in supporting the local economy at this crucial time, did anyone working aboard your ship make any suggest to organize passengers interested in donating time to help, as opposed to enjoying a barbeque?

  30. Daniel Fink

    I have been an RCL passenger a dozen times over the years, and I heard of the continued stops for recreation at Labadee (somewhere I’ve been three or four times), then your subsequent interview on NPR. I have to say, that despite RCL’s relief palates and your described efforts this morning, I find it repugnant for you to continue to stop there for recreation, frolic and good times, while suffering beyond imagination lies over the fence at the top of that hill.

    If you truly want to be dedicated to rebuilding and relief, temporarily dedicate the port as a supply port to help overcome the challenges of people like Maryse Kedar and Fritz Montlaifir; continue your relief efforts in Haiti, but please reroute that recreational itinerary stop until such a time as Port au Prince has at least been given the dignity of finding their suffering injured, and burying their lost loved ones.

    I applaud RCL’s intention to contribute to ease Haiti’s loss and challenges on a financial level. I am dismayed, to say the least however, at the horrifying juxtaposition of intertubes and jet skis on “this side” of the fence, mourning and devastation on “the other side.” One report yesterday was of a mass burial of hundreds of children. Consider the juxtaposition.

    Please. You have the power. Though every little thing helps… do more.
    Respectfully,
    Daniel Fink

  31. Les Royle

    I think you got it wrong allowing the ships to call at Haiti. You will end up with more negative publicity than you can imagine. At least you should have explained, especially to the press (not only in the US), your reasons behind the decision.
    If I was in your place I would not have sanctioned it.
    Whoever runs your PR dropped the ball.

  32. Dennis Mc comb

    I think you have made the correct decision to continue to stop at Labadee. There will always be people who criticize no matter what you do. You know Hati and its people far better than the writers for a paper in the UK. Far more support for Hati and its people is coming from Royal Caribbean than from The Guardian. keep up the good work,

  33. Brian O'Connor

    I’m just listened to Mr. Goldstein on NPR’s morning news and I had to write. Bravo, Mr. Goldstein, and all of Royal Caribbean’s efforts to provide assistance to those suffering in Haiti. I share in your agreement to continue daily operations in areas unaffected. Indeed, this helps your company help people who really need it. I’ve never been on a cruise and have had some interest. When the time comes, Royal Caribbean will be top on my list.

  34. Bob Lorrey

    RCCL provides jobs and much needed income to the residents of Haiti. Eliminating stops at Labadee would put Haitians out of work and further weaken the devastated Haitian economy.
    RCCL has already contributed both money & materials to Haitian relief. The only way RCCL can continue its charitable donations is by earning revenue from cash paying cruise passengers who want to visit Caribbean islands (including Labadee).
    Stopping visits to Labadee would be counterproductive.

  35. GEORGE mAXWELL

    I am very surprised that you have decided to continue your cruises to Haiti despite the suffering and death that is occurring there. You may make all the justifications and rationalizations you choose but as always the $$$ is more important to the corporation than the “right thing to do.”

    George Maxwell
    (Now) Former customer of Royal Caribbean

  36. Ralph Gengo

    Sir,
    I would like to re-post my comments from last week and thank the corporate officer, Lauren for not calling me back when I raised my concerns about going to Haiti. In addition, I would like for you to know the Lynn University students did not disembark to the beaches of labadee.The students simply made a donation of the money they would have spent in Labadee and out of respect did not BBQ or sit in the sun. Again, donate the food, give the money, stay off the beach and show some respect. 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 SOME RESPECT

  37. Kati

    Hi RC, I’ve been on one of your cruises that stopped at Labadee. It’s a beautiful beach, and I had a really good time. But I honestly think that this is a terrible thing that you’re doing. Yes, your PR rationale makes some level of sense, but how about this: instead of off loading passengers and 40 pallets of supplies, you open up your port to emergency workers and supply ships. I’m sure you’ve read that the ports in Port au Prince have all been pretty much destroyed. Getting supplies in by sea is very important right now, and you can have those 500 Haitians that are working at your beach retrained to off load supplies from the recovery ships.

    Even better! Justify bringing those huge cruise ships down to the island by loading them full of supplies and canceling your cruises to Haiti for a couple of weeks and turn them into disaster supply ships. If you want people to take you seriously, and honestly believe that you care about the island nation that you’re visiting, you’ll need to step it up quite a bit. Letting passengers play while others are dying just makes you look horribly insensitive.

  38. JACQUELINE dEELY

    While I think your contribution to the relief efforts is commendable, I find it sickening to think people are wallowing in luxury while only a short distance away there is incredible suffering. I strongly disagree with your decision to bring vacationers to this location. Yes, use your vessels to bring much needed supplies, but please don’t use that or your reasoning that docking there is generating revenue to explain why Royal Caribbean is being so insensitive to the people of Haiti.

  39. Julie lacombe

    I applaud Royal Caribbean for the help and supplies that you are taking to Haiti. We were there in July on Freedom of the Seas and I can’t think of a better way to help the Haitians than by brining people to Labadee. We saw the vendors in the straw market and the hair braiders they need the support that comes from the cruise ships!

  40. NOELL Leiby

    I am a big fan of this cruise line and was also concerned about how they might handle this situation. I have to say that I am very, very proud of Royal Caribbean for standing up in the hard times. They will take a lot of heat for this decision, but I hope the media can cushion this by pointing out all the good work they are doing. Docking somewhere else would be like deserting a good friend in need. Instead of criticizing them, we should be praising them for bringing in supplies and encouraging donations on board. Haiti needs to have continued business in order to recover and all those employees with family there need to know that they can make a difference too! Thank you Royal Caribbean for being strong! I personally will chose to cruise with you over all other cruise lines for your choices made in this crisis!

  41. stuartr newman

    Having visited Haiti more than 120 times, I am quite familiar with that country and the continuing needs of
    its people, even prior to the present catastrophe. While some might feel the concept of ship’s guests enjoying the
    Haiti experience at this time may be morally incorrect, the extra boost to the country’s economy provided by these visits overwhelmingly trumps that position..

  42. Judith Coposky

    I know that RC has taken some heat over the decision to return to Labadee, Haiti in the aftermath of this horrible natural disaster. I am writing because I think you need to hear from those of us supporting your decision to return as expediently as possible too!

    Not only does this enable the delivery of desperately needed supplies but it also continues the inflow of cash to an impoverished area.

    Yes, it is difficult to fathom this suffering after such a disaster, but would it go away to be on a different island a few hundred miles further away? Better unseen and unheard?

    I’m in PA and the missing, injured, and dead are never far from my thoughts and prayers whether I be enjoying a moment with friends, doing laundry or other menial tasks, or taking a moment in prayer.

    I encourage others to please channel their energy and fervor at making a positive impact rather than lashing out at those attemping to do what they can to return Haiti to some level of normalcy in these unprecidented times.

  43. Judith Coposky

    I know that RC has taken some heat over the decision to return to Labadee, Haiti in the aftermath of this horrible natural disaster. I am writing because I think you need to hear from those of us supporting your decision to return as expediently as possible too!

    Not only does this enable the delivery of desperately needed supplies but it also continues the inflow of cash to an impoverished area.

    Yes, it is difficult to fathom this suffering after such a disaster, but would it go away to be on a different island a few hundred miles further away? Better unseen and unheard?

    I’m in PA and the missing, injured, and dead are never far from my thoughts and prayers whether I be enjoying a moment with friends, doing laundry or other menial tasks, or taking a moment in prayer.

    I encourage others to please channel their energy and fervor at making a positive impact rather than lashing out at those attempting to do what they can to return Haiti to some level of normalcy in these unprecedented times.

  44. Sandra

    While I understand what you are saying and agree, there is also something called TOO SOON. It is too soon for tourism in Haiti. It is TOO SOON for people to be having cocktails on the beach while two hundred thousand dead bodies rot close by. Your economic ideals are sound, but your social skills and understanding of peoples perceptions are in serious question.
    ITS TOO SOON DUDE! I and many others are embarrassed for you.

  45. Michael

    I applaud Royal Carribean in their effort to help all Haitians and not just the ones affected by the disaster. My prayers will definately continue to go out for the injured, the lost and the families. I disagree that this is in some way insulting to those suffering from this tragedy. When Katrina struck New Orleans it did not stop tourists from Europe and around the world from enjoying Disney World and they brought no relief. Maybe when we put together the mission trips we plan for Haiti we can catch a ride on one of your ships. Keep up the good work.
    Michael

  46. cindy

    What difference would it make if you are enjoying yourself on the beaches of Haiti, spending your money there to increase their income there, v.s. you enjoying yourself anywhere else and not supporting Haiti – in other words – HOW DARE ANYONE BE ENJOYING LIFE ANYWHERE WHILE PEOPLE ARE DYING IN HAITI – GIVE ME A BREAK.

    THE CRUISE SHIPS ARE TAKING NEEDS TO HAITI AS WELL AS BRINGING INCOME INTO THE AREA BY THOSE THAT ARE VACATIONING – THEY ARE GOING TO SPEND THEIR MONEY SOMEWHERE – WHY NOT IN HAITI!

  47. James Cullen

    Adam:
    I completely agree with your decision to continue to stop at Labadee.The shallow people that are yappin ‘most likely haven’t done anything else for these poor souls so just ignore ‘em and continue your tangible support to the Haitians.

  48. Margaret S.

    How would skipping the Haiti stop help those who few who are able to work there? The stop should become a major opportunity to support the Haitians. Keeping this cruise stop there can give some needed monetary infusion. It does sound “callous”, however I bet you the people that work there are not concerned about “callous appearance” and would rather have their paychecks – and be able to be among the few to still work and help their relatives.

  49. Greg Oates

    I can see how it might be strange to frolic on the beach in Labadee right now, but I wholly support RC docking there to deliver supplies and contribute to the economic base. If perhaps, there was some way that passengers who wished to do so could assist in some manner, even for a short time, that would be inspiring to hear about.

  50. BRAD

    YOU SHOULD HAVE FILLED THE ENTIRE BOAT WITH SUPPLIES INSTEAD OF PASSENGERS. AFTER 30 YEARS PROFITING FROM HAITI YOU OWED IT TO THEM.

    IT IS WRONG FOR A COMPANY TO PROFIT AND TOURISTS TO PARTY AT THE SITE OF A CATASTROPHE WHERE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO DIE. I’M ASSUMING IF THE PEOPLE OF HAITI FELT AS YOU DO YOU WOULDN’T NEED ARMED GUARDS TO PROTECT YOUR TOURISTS, WOULD YOU? WHAT’S NEXT A DAY TRIP EXCURSION TO SEE WHAT THE LOCALS ARE UP TO? I HOPE YOU’RE LEADING THE TRIP. YOUR WALLET, CLOTHES AND GOLD TEETH SHOULD ALSO HELP THE LOCAL ECONOMY. HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT, REALLY?

  51. wryly

    I am sorry that some people are giving your company grief for docking in Haiti. It doesn’t surprise me, the tunnel vision that is, but it’s nevertheless disappointing. Glad that you are staying strong and supporting a good decison instead of caving or backtracking against the clamors of entitled simpletons.

  52. Felix mendigutia

    Dear Mr. Goldstein. My wife and I have cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean for many years and have always found both companies to be caring when it comes not only to guests but to members of their staff and the ports they visit. I wholeheartedly support your company’s decision to dock in Haiti. I agree with you, your ship’s financial support is needed by the Haitian people now more than ever. It would have been easier to just go somewhere else, but I applaud your efforts to help this devastated people.

  53. Ken

    This is disgusting as is your plan to host a “Cougars” trip. How depraved can you get?!

  54. Tricia Wynne

    I visited Labadee on a Royal Caribbean Cruise several years ago and the Haitian people have been in my heart and prayers ever since. I am glad that Royal Caribbean has made the decision to help with relief efforts and to help economically by continuing to visit Labadee. I have two suggestions that might help with media and public opinion. One would be to offer passengers the opportunity to make a donation to Haitian relief efforts each time they land at Labadee. My second suggestion would be to ask the priest who does mass each morning on the ship to hold a prayer service in Labadee, with the Royal Caribbean passengers who would like to participate, to pray for the needs of the Haitian people during this crisis. Donations and prayers would show that the passengers are not just there to merely enjoy themselves, but also to help.

  55. Les Hartness

    Sirs,

    I commend you on your decision to dock in Haiti. You will be inundated by people saying that you are insensitive to the plight of the country. But please do not listen to the kneejerk reactions of the politically correct whiners. Your ships do a great service, in times of need, and in ordinary times, by supporting an economy that cannot support itself without tourism. I doubt that your activities directors are shuttling vacationers through the devastated areas as tourist attractions. That might be considered insensitive. But I’m sure there are dollars being left behind, and jobs saved by your continuing to dock on your regular schedule. Thank you for standing up for what is right, not caving in to the ignorant.

    Les Hartness

  56. Kelli London

    I am outraged that your company would resume docking in Haiti so soon after a major disaster. It shows no compassion what so ever. Your company can spin it any way it wants. If your company truly wanted to help the people of Haiti you would go with a ship loaded with food and supplies and not with paying passengers. I will be sure to inform all of my friends and relatives and people I don’t even know of how uncaring you are. Man up and admit a mistake was made or is it all about the $$$’s. I really don’t expect you to post this on your company blog because it paints your company in an unflattering light.

  57. Laurence Frank

    I listened to Adam Goldstein on NPR this morning and I just wanted to congratulate him and Royal Caribbean on handling this issue so well.
    I am someone who a) has never been a fan of cruises, and b) was offended by the opening of Labadee as a destination right from the start, so I was not too favorably inclined about post-earthquake stopovers so soon when the NPR story came on. However, Mr. Goldstein’s calm and reasoned presentation ultimately convinced me (and I think may have even won over his interviewer). I may still personally not be interested in landing at Labadee, but I don’t think I have any moral authority to complain about or condemn others for doing so.

  58. Roger Gordon

    Dear Mr. Goldstein-

    Good for you and good for Royal Caribbean for not abandoning Labadee. I have family throughout the Caribbean and have worked extensively on community economic development matters in the United States. The outrage your decision has engendered stems not from a realistic fact-based assessment of the situation but from the public’s desire to be insulated from — and certainly not to be juxtaposed with — the every day realities that Haitians and other unfortunates face.

    Hold your course.

    Roger Gordon
    Washington, D.C.

  59. Carla May

    I read and discussed this article with my grandsons age 10 & 13, whom I home school, and after giving them all the details I could regarding the “good” and “bad” on Haiti with its history, government, economy, and wealth along with the moral and ethics of a passenger on a cruise ship (which they have experienced), THEY HAVE CONCLUDED THAT YOU WERE RIGHT IN YOUR DECISION! Natural disasters happen every day, people die every day, sometimes naturally, sometimes by the hands of others, and no one ever gets upset or helps these people.

  60. Cindy

    I agree with Mr. Goldstein’s decision. While I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one to make and it would naturally generate much criticism, there are many people in Haiti who rely on those cruise ships and tourists for their livelihood, and bypassing them due to PR or passenger sensitivities would only make a terrible situation much worse.

  61. JERRY Pullen

    I respect and admire a CEO that is looking out not only for his own people, but his customers as well. If the customers did not want to go to Haiti, I’m sure they would not have boarded this cruise. Keep up the good work!

  62. Scott Aarons, MD

    I agree with Mr. Goldstein completely. Where were all these self righteous bleeding hearts for the poor people of Haiti prior to the earthquake? My family and I had an excellent time with Royal Caribbean last year on a Spain-Canary Island cruise and look forward to more cruises with Royal Caribbean in the future.

  63. Wayne Vaughn

    To the person/persons on the cruise complaining about being 100 miles from the disaster zone. I think what the cruise line is doing is great. It doesn’t matter if you are 100 or 1000 miles away you are still enjoying yourself and if you were so concerned about the people in Hati you would forfit your luxurious vacation and donate the money to help with the relief.

  64. LeA

    You guys continue to be a piece of work. First it was, let’s cruise even though we’ve been advised against it because of swine flu, so what do you do, cruise then hold your passengers captive, because they can’t get off the ship. So, now your bird-brained CEO, has decided to dock in Haiti, so more passengers can be held captive again? I know after you hired this piece of work your cruise share has to be falling through the floor. He seems to come up with one stupid idea after another.

  65. KINDKESEY@HOTMAIL.COM

    You guys are sick and wrong…. lets see how much revenue this brings you! Think i’ll opp outta a cruse with you sick and wrong people!!

  66. Chantal M Woodyard

    I was on the Hogs on the High Seas Cruise November of 2008 and we spent a day in Haiti. The Cruise and the tourists on the ship provide much needed INCOME for the people of Haiti. At this a time of GREAT need it does not make any sense to stop commererce that is providing income for this nation! Maybe the cruise line could organize humanitairian efforts for those who have happened to book the cruise since this tragedy; giving people a vlounteer opportunity along with the normal excursions offered.

  67. Chantal M Woodyard

    I was on the Hogs on the High Seas Cruise November of 2008 and we spent a day in Haiti. The Cruise and the tourists on the ship provide much needed INCOME for the people of Haiti. At this a time of GREAT need it does not make any sense to stop commererce that is providing income for this nation! Maybe the cruise line could organize humanitairian efforts for those who have happened to book the cruise since this tragedy; giving people a volunteer opportunity along with the normal excursions offered.

  68. michael Maracci

    I support Mr. Goldstein’s decision to continue to visit Haiti. This is a very poor county with little industry. To cut off financial support to the people who need it most for the “appearance” of concerned would in this case be punitive for those folks in the North.

    If one extrapolates the logic of the criticism, then we should all stop any leisure activities as long as the Haiti crisis continues. The fact is that Haiti is getting support from all over the world by air and that is a bottleneck. The Cruise ships are another source of relief.

    What difference does it make if a ship docks 100 miles away from Port Au Price for leisure or 200 miles away in the Dominican Republic? The difference is that the people of Labadee would suffer an avoidable “economic” disaster if the cruise company listened to its critics and stopped the visits.

    The world would be better off if we all followed the example of Royal Caribbean by avoiding the shallow reactive “feel good” thinking and instead take an in-depth look at the situation. Lets all follow Mr. Goldstein’s example, what is the best way we can help and what is the maximum we can do.

    If the folks on the cruise ship feel guilty, compensate by tipping big and buying more souvenirs. That money will find its way to the Haitian people faster than aid sent to the Haitian Government.

  69. DAvid scott

    You made the right decision by docking in Labadee.Sleep good tonight my friend and thank you for using your valuable resources to transport and offload supplies at the docks to aid the desperate people of Haiti.Thanks again, David Scott

  70. thomas lamb

    I support you in your choice to keep calling at the port of Labadee. Keep up the good work for the people of Haiti.

  71. Gene Thompson

    Keep up the good work and ignore the U.K. b.s. The passengers can only contribute by helping the ecanomy through spending money. And your efforts to take aid to Haiti is to be commended. Keep up the good work and if the ocassion arises, I will book passage on your line because of your efforts.

  72. Briggidy

    Congratulations for taking on the hard responsibility of maintaining integrity and honor during such hard times. I appauld you for making the decision to go into the Haiti coast and dock. It will be very benificial to thier economy when the visitors spend money thier. The only reason for them not to want to visit this place in need, is they are too selfish and self absorbed to tolerate anothers misery.They want to hide away where the slightest thought of someone needing help does not exist and where sugar plumbs and champagne are on every corner. Why can’t those angry travlers see that there are more inportant things in life then them having cocktails by the sea and a massage?
    Thank you for your contribution to Haiti and your determination to keep with your plan. Kudos to you!!

  73. STunned

    I was surprised by the Royal Caribbean decision to continue sending people to the devastated island of Haiti to vacation in luxury as quake victims scramble for good and water and live under tarps, but I am positively dismayed by the attempt by the CEO to defend this decision. What an incredibly insensitve way to defend an incredibly insensitive decision.

    If you want to help Haiti, send ships laden with food and make large donations to the agencies that are working just 60 miles away to bring some relief to the poor.

    Mr. Goldstein has made a spectacle of himself and his company. I can’t imagine ever using this cruise line. The corporate attitude leaves me in doubt about how much concern there is for anything except the bottom line.

  74. patricia ahmad

    Did you ever have reality tours to Haiti, showing how the Haitians are trying to survive and the history of these poor people especially the last 10 years, people need to be educated especially Americans who do not have a clue about what our government has done and the full history of Haiti.? No you rather dock at a private beach and support a handful of Haitians who are stationed at Labadee who I am sure are more worried at this time about their friends and loved ones in Port au Prince. You said you had 40 pallets of relief supplies 70 miles from Port au Prince. Were the roads open to Port au Prince? Out of respect you should have just dropped your supplies and stayed docked without dropping the passengers or give the options to the few and letting them know it was a one way ticket if they landed on the beach. Shame on you. No need to brag about Maryse Kedar president of Solano helping the Haitians it is perfectly normal for her to do so. It is not a heroic gesture. I have some difficulties in understanding what you did therefore our next cruise will not be with your company.
    Kindly
    Patricia Ahmad
    (yes you can check we took a Caribbean cruise 2 years ago.?

  75. J. Lee

    Is Royal Caribbean seriously this tone deaf? The belief that dropping off some supplies will erase the stark contrast between your customers frolicking under the sun and a 100 mile away Haitians suffering and dying in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas? You can try to use any justification you want, but in the end this will blow up into a PR nightmare… which is just something brought upon yourselves.

  76. Deborah

    Your view makes perfect sense to me; a longtime traveler, businesswoman and non-profit volunteer.

    Withdrawing needed commercial activity from the island would clearly not be helpful. Kudos to you for staying the right course.

  77. Thomas

    Never apologize….your company sends a blast of economic power into each port you visit and I agree, your presence in Haiti allows life to go on….not to mention the aid you have provided. I am proud of the fact that you are “not afraid” to continue your work, employing hundreds from Haiti, and reminding us all of the beauty that Haiti has to offer….I am now saving for my next trip with you and I will make sure Haiti is on the agenda….I donate daily through my cell phone to the red cross but I think a trip there will provide a ripple effect of aid through supporto f the economy…BRAVO Royal C.

  78. Ken London

    I support your efforts to bring commerce to Haiti. Passengers who do not wish to have fun on the island should find other ways to pass their time while in port. Good Call.

  79. Sylvia Meszaros

    Adam…Your posting carries a couple of important messages. One suggestion, however…The TV news reports none of this, at least not in the Dallas area. As a matter of fact, I have heard television and radio criticism that the cruise lines aren’t doing a thing. Word needs to be impressed on the media and the message needs to be distributed. Also, a good recommendation from callers into a local radio station…it was suggested that idle cruise ships be sent to the area near Port au Prince to serve as temporary shelter for some of the people who lost their homes to this tragic event. That worked very well for the New Orleans disaster a few years ago. Thanks for your time.

  80. Angela

    As a parent of 4 adopted Haitian children we thank you and applaud you for your assitance to Haiti!!! However, as your customers… we need your help! Right now we are waiting on word that our 4th child from Haiti is getting an emergency visa to come home to us anytime now because of the quake leaving his orphanage devastated. We also have prepaid for a cruise with you that leaves in just 6 days. We tried to see if we could bring him on the cruise if he gets home befor then, but are being told the boat is full. We cannot get a refund either because it is less then a week to cruise date. We are wondering if there is anything you can do for us under these very unusual circumstances?? Thank you!

  81. Gordon Rohrbacher

    Adam, With the negative flak you are getting I want to say I strongly support your decision to resume cruise ship stops at Port Labadee in Haiti for the reasons you have stated: relief help and helping the local economy! Thanks for caring about these people.
    Awesome great job !!!

  82. Chris

    What a cheap ass excuse. I cannot believe this cruise line is actually using the devastation as an excuse to make your port their. Want my support PUBLISH the LIST of supplies you have transported. Otherwise be known as a piece of crap looking for more money while other suffer. You will never ever catch me on one of your ships.

  83. Ricardo

    Adam Goldstein doesn’t have a clue to what human tragedy is. Lately People in such positions of authority have just missed the whole message about human suffering, And Goldstein is putting another nail in the coffin of the Haitian peoples demise. “Hey… there goes Adam on a jet ski…what a great guy to remind us Haitians, as we walk around in a trance from hunger, lack of shelter, unclean conditions and the stench of death that he will have a grand old time so we can sell him a couple of trinkets for his kids and aristocracy back home. Blaahhh!!

    Adam Goldteins writes “People enjoying themselves is what we do. People enjoying themselves in Labadee helps with relief.” What school of disassociative reasoning did you go to Adam.

  84. Michael Murphy

    You people are SICK!!!!!!

    I will never go on a cruise with your company.

    I will tell everyone I talk to how sick your company is.

  85. Doug Woodell

    Keep up the fantastic job RCCL. You are doing more than anyone realizes with the relief efforts in Haiti. As a past multiple time cruiser on RCCL, your efforts are amazing and appreciated. I support your decisions to keep on cruising to Haiti. They need your resourses during these tough times.

  86. Aremsee

    Royal Caribbean and it’s employees should be proud of your continued efforts to assist the Hatian people, wheather directly or indirectly through tourism. It’s too bad that short sighted journalism from the UK tabloid, “The Guardian” is doing more harm by trying to negatively sensationalize a good deed.
    Keep up the good work!

  87. Steve Sinclair

    I’m booked on a cruise that stops in Labadee Feb 14th. I for one would appreciate RCL offering an option of spending time there helping with unloading supplies for the relief effort as an alternative to the usual activities. I agree – no need to stop visits and cruise passengers unloading supplies would make for good press.

  88. Elizabeth Robillard

    Royal Caribbean has already experienced a Labadee cancellation due to the situation on Haiti. I and my children were passengers who did not stop and shop with the local vendors. During my next visit to Labadee I expressed sadness at the missed stop and the local Haitian vendor passionately explained that people NEED RCL’s business. Their families depend on tourism and each vendor supports several family members so please COME TO LABADEE. I felt so bad now because, of course, Haitians want the opportunity to work and earn a living to support their families. RCL may states that about 730 people work at Labadee, but how many thousands does tourism indirectly support. Please do not abandon them.

  89. Bill Dinwiddie

    OK, I see that your president agrees with the need in Haiti. I sent you a proposal last week. It seems we are on the same page. I would like to hear from someone regarding my proposal.

  90. Sandy

    How interesting to note all these positive comments when most of the people watching the horrors play out in Haiti condemn your actions. If your passengers can in all good conscience bring themselves to parade around on the sands of an island so terribly stricken then you deserve one another. I would never take a cruise with your line and no citizen with a social conscience would commend these actions.

    The use of the word “obviously” in your statement says it all. Your argument lacks merit; you know it and expect the use of such words will sway people’s opinions. The few measly dollars spent through haggling in a craft market will help not one iota when millions of dollars are needed to help the people.

    Shameful!

  91. Pingback: Let's all go on vacation to Haiti! - Political Forum

  92. GARY

    It is better to continue the economic support of the Haitian’s, than not to support them. I assume the passengers who were so “sickened” by this, did not have any problems sipping their “fru-fru” drinks on the deck of the pool, with Haiti on the Horizon.

    What better way for people to help the people of Haiti than to stop on the island and spend money directly to the locals.

  93. susan

    Why don’t you really put your money where your mouth is and get a few mothballed cruise liners (surely you have some industry influence) over there to house some Hatians. Get yourselves down and dirty and I won’t be disgusted but until then, never again on RCL.

    Helping 500 people is nothing. Do some REAL work.

  94. Gail Bennett

    I have just returned from a cruise on the first ship to dock in Labadee, Haiti after the quake. All passengers on the ship were informed through several venues of what the reasoning behind docking there was. Safety of the ship and passengers is always the ultimate goal of the ship’s captain. If anyone actually read something other than the garbage written for this paper, they would know that the people that dote on the passengers are actually from the cruise ships crew, and not Haitian people.

    Second, all the “frolicking” the passengers did on the island was directly donated to the Haitian relief effort, not pocketed by Royal Caribbean. Just this first ship in raised over $50,000 for the relief effort.

    Third, The Haitian government has asked the cruise to continue to dock in Labaddee in order to ensure they received relief supplies (spelled F-O-O-D) and also provide income to the Haitian vendors.

    Last, has this paper or anyone nay-sayer blogging/commenting on this article bothered to support this effort, or are you just whining from the far left.

  95. Spaceley

    It’s deplorable that you stop in Labadee. To have islanders see your ships cruise through the area is disrespectful not only to those who are suffering but those who are risking their lives to provide security and safety. I hope the worldwide condemnation for this will dissuade you from doing something so insensitive anytime soon. To try and spin it as it being vital to the local population is disingenuous at best.

  96. WILLIAM

    I’d like to say how very wrong it is for you to say that you’d use your ship’s to bring supplies to the island..o.k. when i seen them unload the ship there i was appauled at how little was unloaded that was marked for relief..how very sad…
    if ur company wanted to be so humane how much would it have killed you to take JUST ONE OF UR SHIPS,JUST ONE..and filled it completely with supplies instead of people. then you could stand proudly and say i helped..
    but no..ur company is so fixed on the almighty dollar..for god sakes man ur a millionare…do the right thing dude..
    if i was in ur shoes believe me i would do it no matter what it cost me but no ur selfish..the dollar means more to u than the life of a human being…
    me and my family will NEVER step foot on ur ships again and i’m opening a website to protest ur company and i will try my best to get on the news to make this point clear to the world…YA’LL CARE ONLY FOR THE DOLLAR AND HUMAN LIFE MEANS LITTLE TO YA’LL..

    WAKE UP AND SHOW THE WORLD THAT YOU CARE AND UR NOT THIS HEARTLESS PERSON UR MAKING URSELF OUT TO BE..

    WILLIAM

  97. Joanne

    While on the surface it does seem heartless for a cruise line to stop in Haiti for fun in the sun while Port-au-Prince has streets lined with injured and deceased, I agree with your decision. Not only can the cruise guests keep the Haitian economy going with their local purchases, but more people will be exposed to the reality of the vast suffering. Hopefully the additional people who bear witness to the devestation will spread the word which will bring more help.

    Your million dollar donation and assistance which includes, but it not limited to, the delivery of supplies, shows your hearts are with the victims of this disaster.

  98. Terri

    Thank you CEO…. In fact, I had just made a statement to someone, that it’s times like these when I’m very upset when, because of money, I can’t just go to a cruise linner, like yourselves, and say I want to charter the ENTIRE ship, take a medical team, and other volunteers and HELP these people!!! Then take the people from that country, place “THEM” on the ship and allow them to stay until their country has been rebuilt to living condtions. But, you SIR, have just that opportunity. YOU… are the CEO.. and it’s YOUR decision!! Not the media’s, not the employees, not the customers.

    Thank you for allowing me to share my comments.

    Terri
    Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.

  99. Joanne

    A message to all the disgruntled passengers: get off the boat and donate some money to the locals who likely need it more than you. Then you should rest easy that the ship’s stop was not an abomination.

  100. Alex Pon

    Dear Mr. Goldstein,
    RCI is doing the right thing. Even a few days after 9/11 President Bush exorted people to get out, go about their business. The great tragedy in Haiti should not put a damper on the world’s activities.Americans are the most generous folks in the world and we are proving it once again. What good would it do to the Haitians if your ships skipped their country? Nothing.

  101. Pingback: Freedom of the Seas docks in Haiti « The Blitz

  102. Michelle

    I agree with RCL’s decision to dock on Labadee. Cash is king and by docking, RCL and its passengers are giving cash to the Haitians. In fact, I read that the Haitian government gets $6 per passenger – regardless if any passengers gets off the ship.

    The real question is, “What are passengers going to do while on Labadee?” Will they spend their time in the sun, getting drunk and focusing only on themselves? Or will they buy crafts and donate goods from home?

    As a passenger scheduled to visit Labadee on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, I will be bringing as many goods as my extra giant suitcase will hold. I don’t expect that my small donation will help the entire country. But I hope it will help at least one person. That’s all we can do: Help one person at a time.

    So I encourage all RCL passengers who will be in Labadee soon to fill a suitcase with shirts, bandaids, baby wipes, sanitary pads, etc.

  103. Arvid Olson

    I think Royal Caribbean is to be commended in its support of the Haitian people. I think stopping the ships from visiting Haiti sends the wrong message to the Haitians. I will continue to support Royal caribbean in its effort to improve conditions in Haiti. We just started to actively promote a fundraising cruise to help with Hait’s reconstruction.

  104. jaimee

    Here’s a novel thought: why not dock as planned on Labadee, distribute your pallets of food and supplies and a big CHECK to the workers/staff who needed the money, the equivalent amount as what could be expected to be made at such a stop, and THEN LEAVE. How anyone can justify getting a drink brought to them in a hammock while there are mass graves in the street just a few miles away is BEYOND ME. Don’t you think the workers at Labadee would rather get the money/supplies and then the chance to go back and help their neighbors and loved ones rather than wait on stupid tourists who want their hair braided. What is wrong with humanity these days? You will NEVER get a cent from me or my family ever again, Royal Caribbean. SHAME ON YOU.

  105. Lilia Williams

    Despite the fact that your ship provided some supplies…the following stated by you Mr. Goldstein is ridiculous…

    “Why? Because being on the island and generating economic activity for the straw market vendors, the hair-braiders and our 230 employees helps with relief while being somewhere else does not help.”

    The above quote may have been true in an area not currently devasted by a natural disaster…vendors aren’t really selling trinkets or wanting to braid hair while collecting the dead bodies of their loved ones…are they?

    Shocking that you are a CEO!

  106. Renato

    Adam Goldstein and you other self-serving, selfish posters should be ashamed of themselves. You may be successful in rationalizing your trip to Haiti in your own mind, but know this – the rest of the civilized world abhors your insensitivity to the catastrophe that has befallen Haiti. Has a single one of you doled out any significant monetary contributions to Haiti Relief Funds? Shame on you!!!

  107. George Diaz

    A shame a real shame Mr.Goldstein :
    Would you do the same at the Med Sea if the arabs are bombing Israel.

  108. George Diaz

    Mr. Goldstein your last name says everything about your desgusting attitude.

  109. Terri

    I’m not sure if my original comment went through or not. So I write again.. If these passengers have “NO” compassion on the people of Haiti, and can’t “FORGET ABOUT THEMSELVES” instead of being so self centered.

    I want to say THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!! CEO, for stepping up to the plate and helping these people. I just made the comment, yesterday, to a doctor friend of mine, who’s down there now helping, that it’s times like these when I get very upset, that I don’t have MONEY… because I wanted to charter (2) cruise ships, take food and a volunteer team down there to help these people. And when I got down there, we would not only help, but take the people on board, give them medical attention, and allow them to stay on board until they have decent living condtions. So I say again, THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! for helping….

  110. Ron Bleich

    Count me as a supporter of Royal Caribbean’s decision.
    Why pick on a company that…
    1. Is doing their best in a no win situation.
    2. Has an obligation to their guests and stockholders.
    3. Is bringing relief and supplies.
    4. Is helping the local economy.

    Here’s a better idea…
    1. Pick on the companies that have done nothing.
    2. Reach for your own checkbook before judging others.

    I’ve sent my check, and will continue to be a RC satisfied guest.

  111. Brenda

    I am sure that you are editing these posts because I find it hard to believe the most of these comments applaud you for the “relief” you are bringing to the community of Haiti. I second George’s comment, “SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!”. If you really want to help you could have loaded at least inONE of your cruise ships with medicine, water, food, etc., instead of passengers. It is absolutely distasteful and insensitive to have your passengers stay at the resorts while close to 200,000 dead PEOPLE are under the rubble and many more are living in complete chaos because of the lack of relief that they don’t have access to. I myself am insulted and outraged for the Haitian people. While they have no certainty of their immediate future, your passengers enjoy the experience “Haitian Culture” on their shores. I am going to spread this page around to my friends and coworkers to make sure they will no longer consider you for their future travels.

  112. Lin Welden

    To your CEO: You are disgusting, and the guests who agree with you are even more appalling. In this age of flagrant and prodigious corporate greed, it is reprehensible for someone to rationalize his company’s profits at the expense of the suffering of other human beings. You are despicable. And I would never take a vacation on your cruise line because it seems that all of your fans are just as immoral and depraved as you are.

  113. Bert Benjamin

    I believe it be better if you were to put a ship their and use it for housing and or a kitchen. Housing and food really what thses people need right now. What are they going to do with your money right now? Your ship produces drinking water can they use that? I believe if you really care about people let’s stop thinking about ourselves for a minute and try walking in their shoes for a minute. If that was you would you want money or food water medical attention and a bed?

  114. Incredulous

    I hope the passengers on the cruise ships will enjoy having their hair braided, and sipping cocktails, while complete and utter unimaginable human suffering is occuring less than 100 miles away.

    I totally agree with bringing supplies and aid to Haitians via cruise ships. But don’t bring partygoers. Bring medical workers, relief workers, supplies, food, and water. Allow as many suffering Haitians as you can safely take on board, and stay for as long as humanly possible.

    You would have my respect then. I don’t know a decent human being alive that can lay on the beach tanning, with a daquiri in hand while children and babies are dying in the streets nearby.

  115. Margaret DeLuca

    As a visitor to Haiti, and a friend of a great many Haitians, I can tell you that we all applaud your decision to continue to visit Haiti. One writer stated that they make a small amount of money selling trinkets. To the average person, that doesn’t sound like much. But, if the writer knew about Haiti, they would know that is a BIG deal. Personally, I think what RCCL is doing is wonderful and I remain Loyal to Royal.

  116. Amy Gibson

    We’ve sailed with you twice now, and were in Labadee one year ago with Liberty. We had a great experience there, and I’m glad the cruise industry brings some revenue to this beautiful island and its people. But please give passengers MORE ways to give back to the people of Haiti! On-board auctions, activities that benefit and involve the islanders, ways to volunteer . . . some of us are looking for vacations that make a difference!

  117. Bill

    Those who would criticise the decision to continue your planned stops in Haiti need to ask themselves “What is the benefit of not going?” Fact is there is absolutely no benefit and the real potential for economic harm.
    Following 911 one of the ideas that was pushed hard across the board was the need to get back to normal. People were encouraged to shop and visit New York to aid in the economic recovery. This is no different. As long as the visitors do not detract from relief efforts and respect the situation this is the right thing to do.

  118. Dennis Malone

    The Haitian earthquake is the most significant natural disaster to strike the Carribean in the last 200 years. It is most fortunate that the event did not occur during hurricane season.

    While hurricanes destroy buildings and disrupt lives, they come with warnings and people are able to make preparations. The earthquake caught people unaware.

    One of the “issues” with cruising and resort vacations, for some, is that the vacationer never “experiences” the country visited, that too much of the money spent does not reach the people.

    There is some truth to these concerns. But, one can ask the same question about a modern-day trip to the Wisconsin Dells. It is no longer small cabins, canoes on the river, some fishing, etc.

    I’ve been on a dozen cruises, the first in 83 on the Tropical and the last in December on Enchantment of the Seas. Each of these cruises has given me the opportunity to see a part of the world that is different from the place I live in. I would not have visited so many places except for the cruise vacation.

    The importance of the “cruise economy” to the local population, even in the “captive” Labradee environment cannot be understated. It is true that many of the employees at Labradee are preoccupied with the fate of their relatives in Port au Prince, but there is nothing they can do now. With the visit of RCCL they have money that will buy water and food for their families. With the delivery of supplies from the ship some people will have an easier time of living.

    RCCL deserves no criticism for its decision to port at Labradee. In fact, in light of the criticism, the world should say thanks, they dumped off a lot of money, a bunch of supplies, and as much fresh, clean water as the local storage facilities could take.

    Dennis

  119. Dave

    I noticed the headlines on my home page and was drawn to read the content of RCCL docking in Haiti.
    It is absolutely crucial for Haiti to continue to function as normal as possible where and when it can. People who are offended tend to be naive about the economic vitality that RCCL and other vacation entities are involved with simply through their presence, let alone all the visitors. I would encourage those who are enjoying their vacation to be a little more generous with their gratuity while on land and for those who are so unhappy to consider matching the amount of relief RCCL and its customers are providing to Haiti Relief efforts with dollars or hours of service.

  120. George K

    I for one applaud your decision to bring needed humanitarian relief and tourist dollars, pounds, euros and the like to earthquake ravaged Haiti.

    Your decision to make port-of-call did not impede efforts to rescue trapped victims of the quake, nor does it disrespect those killed in this tragedy. Quite the contrary, “life is for the living” and the sooner Haiti can begin the long slow return to normalcy the better, so long as rescue operations are not impeded.

    I hope you will not let the outcries of a few well-intentioned but short-sighted individuals deter you from bringing more aid and more tourists to Haiti in the coming days.

  121. Jorge Caraballo

    Creo q ue los comentarios del sr. Goerge Maxwell son totalmente acertadas. Más arriba leía un comentario en el cual se decía que en sus cruceros llevaban ayuda…porque en lugar de hacer un viaje en un crucero con turistas, no realizan 1 excelusivamente de ayuda humanitaria?
    Personalmente no entiendo cómo una empresa como la de ustedes, comete el estúpido error de tener un Vicepresidente como el Sr Weiss, quien no pudo tener peor desempeño, diciendo que habían donado sillas sobrantes para los hospitales de campaña de Haití.
    Realmente resulta desagradable, francamente asqueroso que ustedes tengan tan poca responsabilidad social frente al desastre de ese país.
    Recientemente he leído que piensan donar alrededor de U$S 1.000.000…sinceramente, ese dinero es posible que sea la ganancia de 1 mes del accionista mayoritario de la empresa…ustedes realmente demuestran tener 0 en inteligencia y menos aún en responsabilidad social.
    El dinero no es todo en la vida señores

  122. Gary Hmmond

    Allow me to ask the folks who think this is a bad idea:
    If you party 100 miles from devastation, or 3000 miles from devastation, what’s the difference? The devastation remains unaltered, but it is the self that is put ill at ease. Face it, gentle people, somewhere on this earth,while you’re having a good time, someone is being raped, killed, tortured, shot or God knows what else. That’s no reason to avoid these places. If you did as the Lord commands you would get off the boat or plane in any of these carribean islands, drop off your vacation money to the poor, distribute their clothing among them and then maybe get back on the plane or maybe sell all you had and aid the poor. So please let’s not have any more of these self-righteous ‘how dare yous’.
    However, the concerns about security and perhaps the smell of hundreds of thousands of corpses in the summer heat wafting downwind might be an issue. Pestilence could also be an issue shortly,but I digress.
    Kudos to Royal Carribean for their efforts in assisting the citizens of Haiti.

  123. Catherine Lovejoy

    MY PRAYERS AND DONATIONS TO HAITI~~~~~~

    ON THE SUBJECT OF “COUGARS” MY LADY FRIENDS AND I WILL NOT SUPPORT YOUR CRUISE LINE IF YOU ABIDE BY THAT DECISION. YOU WILL LOSE MONEY AND MANY LOYAL CRUISERS. DON’T DO THIS TO YOUR LINE.

    REGARDS!

  124. WARREN

    WHY NOT DOCK ONE OF THE SHIPS AND USE IT TO HOUSE THE MILITARY? OR BETTER YET, LET IT SERVE AS SHORT TERM MAKE-SHIFT HOUSING FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES AND BEEN DISPLACED? THIS SEEMS LIKE A BETTER USE OF THE SHIPS- NOT TO MENTION A GOOD PR MOVE FOR RCC.
    PERSONALLY, I DON’T AGREE WITH THE DECISION TO DOCK AT LABADEE- I’M NOW BOYCOTTING RCC AND WILL TELL MY FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME.

  125. Damian

    I commend your company for providing an avenue through which the Haitians can help themselves with dignity.

    To those of you attacking the company’s actions (with perhaps the exception of Sandra): Do any of you have an actual argument for why bringing supplies and jobs to Haiti is a bad thing? “Insensitive” and “Respect” are not viable arguments. Obviously the company can not allow itself to go bankrupt running aid missions to Haiti as some suggest. This is a company, not a relief organization.

    The company needs to raise money to run its ships so the ships can bring supplies and economic activity to the island. The trade off is simple: buy a cruise, get some R&R and some of that money will go to the Haitians in the form of jobs and supplies. If you don’t like that offer then feel free to donate your money to the Red Cross and stay at your desk working.

  126. Kevin

    Mr. Goldstein, I am glad to hear you are standing your ground on this issue, I think you are right to continue with your docking in Haiti, stay the course!!

  127. Jose r. jacome

    I commend Mr. Goldstein for his remarks. If RCCL had decided not to stop at Labadee, the press would have roasted them for “abandoning the Haitians in their time of need”. RCCL not just decided to keep supporting Haiti by stopping, they are bringing supplies, which I’m sure is more that what The Guardian and some of the people who are commenting here, have done to help. If I where a passenger in Labadee, instead of going to the Internet to complain of the stop, I would have organized my fellow passengers to get down and offer my help.

    I’m a proud customer of RCCL and will continue to support their excelent service.

    Congratulations Mr, Goldstein.

  128. Melissa Booth

    You are faced with a very difficult decision, but I cannot help believing you are underestimating your passengers and crew. Maybe the answer is not “business as usual,” or avoiding the disaster. Perhaps the best answer is to ask your passsengers and crew for their response, and replace the usual activities with a prayer service, an option to offer donations and words of hope, and the opportunity to help Royal Caribbean erect a memorial on the island. Perhaps this would benefit the people of Haiti, and give your passengers a chance to reflect and feel that they are part of the solution.

  129. Amanda Wright

    I have never sailed with your line, or any line, for that matter, but I felt compelled to leave you a brief message in light of recent articles criticizing your choice to dock in Haiti.

    I think the most unfortunate aspect of this controversy falls on the shoulders of the passengers. We have a corporate entity able to see the positive opportunity of the circumstances, and the passengers choose to do nothing but publicly complain about where they are docked. My guess is that it is coming from a fear of what they are able or not able to do themselves.

    Why not organize a group and see if there is any way you and some other positively charged passengers are able to make a difference? What about that kind of headline: “Cruise line passengers turn vacation stop into brief Haiti relief effort.” Maybe there’s an opportunity for that and maybe there is not. As an American, I am more embarrassed of the passenger backlash than I would ever be of a cruise liner actually trying to set the bar for helping our fellow humans.

    I have all the respect in the world for your choice. To the person that says it is “TOO SOON,” the timing could not be any more important. The time to do something is always NOW, not later. Are you saying the “right” time is to wait until things have settled down and the need is lessoned? To help under circumstances like this takes courage of amazing people. Amazing people like the leaders of Royal Caribbean.

    Congratulations to your choice and to your ability to see what is possible instead of what “should or shouldn’t be.” I hope that future passengers are able to see other options available to them, but most of all, I hope you keep going back and that you don’t back down!

  130. Sam winterhalder

    If Royal Caribbean was so concerned with aiding the people in Haiti it would simply send a ship with only supplies and relief aid, not with customers who they are concerned with providing a good time for. The excuse that this decision to dock in Haiti is a good one because it provides economic help to the people is ridiculous. That country and the city of Port-au-Prince are completely ravaged, and I am sure the amount of street vendors and availability to spend money is little to none. They need cash and helping hands not people shopping and drinking on the beach. The decision makers of Royal Caribbean should be ashamed of themselves. If they really wanted to help they would get off the boat and contribute to the effort of saving humans who are trapped and cleaning up rubble. Not shopping and going to the beach. What a terrible excuse the CEO gave to the people who were upset about this decision. Obviously it would have been very very costly for Royal to cancel the cruise and give people refunds, which is simply why this decision was made. It has nothing to do with helping others and everything to do with helping themselves. There are many many other ways for a large successful company like Royal Caribbean to help out the cause rather then stopping in Haiti with a vacation cruise ship full of people who paid good money trying to have a vacation.

  131. Sam winterhalder

    If Royal Caribbean was so concerned with aiding the people in Haiti it would simply send a ship with only supplies and relief aid, not with customers who they are concerned with providing a good time for. The excuse that this decision to dock in Haiti is a good one because it provides economic help to the people is ridiculous. That country and the city of Port-au-Prince are completely ravaged, and I am sure the amount of street vendors and availability to spend money is little to none. They need cash and helping hands not people shopping and drinking on the beach. The decision makers of Royal Caribbean should be ashamed of themselves. What a terrible excuse the CEO gave to the people who were upset about this decision. Obviously it would have been very very costly for Royal to cancel the cruise and give people refunds, which is simply why this decision was made. It has nothing to do with helping others and everything to do with helping themselves. There are many many other ways for a large successful company like Royal Caribbean to help out the cause rather then stopping in Haiti with a vacation cruise ship full of people who paid good money trying to have a vacation.

  132. Mil

    News of disasters are always going to be around. Those newspapers and such are making money from disasters and one doesn’t hear that is “profiting from sorrow”, they’re reporting news. Yeah right.

    I commend you for making that stop. Respect means different things to different people. All the respect in the world isn’t going to get the people back on their feet. Action is required and you acted.

    As for those who are enjoying themselves close to a disaster area, what about those who travel to Iraq and Afghanistan and other war torn areas? They’re vacationing next to people in need. What is the difference? The scale? There are thousands being hurt or dying there every day and not a peep about it from people who are criticizing you now.

    I’m glad to earn money to support myself and my family. I’d rather earn my money if possible than take charity. Mourning doesn’t change that for me and I don’t think it changes the fact that life goes on. For your employees, re-establishing that routine will give them strength to deal with life as it is now. The aftermath of this disaster is only now becoming real and their purpose for living must be nurtured. I’ve yet to hear other companies proposing to establish a base to help with economic recovery.

  133. Andrew Mark

    Mr. Goldstein:

    a. By resuming stops in Haiti, RCL is doing the RIGHT thing for Haiti.
    b. I’m curious: what are those who say otherwise doing to help those Haitian families whose lives have been ravished by the earthquake? My bet: close to zero.
    c. For those of your guests who ‘feel uncomfortable’ about going to Haiti, I recommend that you borrow Mayor Gloomberg’s favorite expression: Get over it.

    I salute you and RCL: rather than expressing sympathy, you’re doing that which you can to help.

    Thanks: please keep doing it.

    Andrew Mark
    NYC

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  135. Ellen

    I second the comment wondering where these people were who oppose Royal Caribbean’s decision prior to the earthquake. Whatever can be done to help Haiti’s economy should be done, now more than ever. Using the ships to deliver supplies is a crucial added bonus. What possible purpose would be served by avoiding Labadee now?? Some people need to step down from their moral high horses and think about the practical side and the benefits to the Haitian people, which is really the bottom line. I support this decision 100% and look forward to my next Royal Caribbean cruise.

  136. Political-none.org

    You people are being very disingenuous about this question of vacationing in a devastated area. You want to change the topic to the irrelevance of providing some money to tourist places in Haiti when people need to be evacuated from a devastated area.

    You could use all of your ships and fill them to capacity and evacuate the people of Haiti in non-stop round trips to ports all around the Caribbean, the US, and Latin America equipped to receive them. People are dying right now as a result of no food, water, medical care, or sanitation – you could take them to nearby places where that’s available and save their lives. Instead you are deciding to let them die and saying giving some money to a hair dresser at a resort makes up for that.

    The reason you have to exclusively talk about economic help to the resort is because you are purposively trying to avoid talking about your lack of help in evacuating the people of Haiti from the death that they are in danger of where they are. The fact that you avoid talking about this or bringing it up, shows you know full well your inaction is indefensible so you create a rouse by talking about helping out the resort workers economically and that’s good enough.

  137. Yvette

    YOU ARE SICK!!!!!
    GET SHIPS OUT THERE FOR RELIEF!!!!
    YOU ARE MAKING MONEY FOR YOURSELF AND HELPING HAITI IS SECONDARY!!!!
    YOUR SHIPS SHOULD BE EMPTY OF PASSENGERS AND FULL OF VOLUNTEERS AND FILLED TO THEM BRIM WITH SUPPLIES FOR THEM NOT YOUR POCKETS!!!!!
    SICK!!!! NEVER WILL SUPPORT ROYAL CARIBBEAN!!
    THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE TRYING TO GET THERE FOR HELP AND ALL YOU CAN DO WITH THOSE BIG SHIPS IS BRING IN MORE MONEY FOR YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!! YES YOURSELF BECAUSE BRINGING IN PEOPLE TO SHOP….SERIOUSLY THERE IS NO TIME TO SHOP WHEN THERE ARE DYING PEOPLE THERE.
    HAVE A HEART!!!
    WHAT YOU ARE DOING SHOULD NOT BE COMMENDED!!!

  138. Ed

    I can’t believe this issue is being debated. What has RCCL done wrong. I don’t think anyone would argue that RCCL has a business to run. Nor would anyone argue that RCCL should cancel its Caribbean cruises as a result of the terrible tragedy in Haiti. So RCCLs only alternative to visiting Labadee would be to replace it with another port. Can someone explain how this would benefit the people of Haiti ? Should RCCL divert its ships to the Bahamas for several years while Port au Prince is rebuilt. Should RCCL bring all of the relief supplies it currently is donating to the Haitian victims to St. Maarten or Aruba ? Please ignore those that are criticizing you on your decision. Their logic is absurd.

  139. Vickie Taylor

    I was reading through the YAHOO.com news and I stumbled across an article, that explained the docking of Royal Carribean Ships at Labadee. Well, I’m sure some people are aware of that situation, so I’ll spare you the details and give just my opinion. So what if the ships are still docking there! They have been bringing medical supplies,food, and the much needed necessities Haiti needs in this point of time. I wish I had access to power like that, I’d use it to do some good too. Moreover, why make a big fuss about the people on the ship having a good time, while Haitians and parts of their land are in dire straits. People in other parts of the world like Africa and its continent are a platform for this type of devastation,for instance, food and fresh water shortages. And no one complains when others take a trip knowing that! We are all sorry and sad for any people who have to endure something like this and its only so much that one can do. But doing something is better than doing nothing at all, like Royal Caribbean docking its ships on the shore’s of Labadee so that the crew can deliver the emergency supplies to help with the relief, the guest to spend their money with the venders (which is creating cash flow into the Haitian economy), and other guest on the ship spending money in Haiti with those who still have support their remaing family members. All this just goes to show that while on vacation you actually did something good, while having fun! My hat goes off to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for doing a much need task!!!!:)

  140. Sarah

    My kudos to you and the rest of the RCCL family! I know that you are taking a lot of heat defending what you are doing and I cannot thank you enough for not abandoning Haiti during their time of need. My fiance and I are looking to cruise for our honeymoon in August and are happy that we will be stopping in Labadee so that we can continue to support their economy. We have already donated to help support an orphanage that is run in the area by family friends.

    Even though you have those out there saying that you are doing the wrong thing, just know that your not. I have worked for a cruise line and know the difficult choice that you are making. I remember when Grand Cayman was hit by a hurricane and everything was destroyed, it took the island so much longer to recover because the ships could not get in. The employees of RCCL that reside on Labadee are thankful that you are continuing to call on the island.

    I look forward to cruising with you this summer. Thanks for all that you are doing and keep up the good work. All of the people affected by this horrific tragedy are in my prayers.

  141. jason Russell

    I was recently on Navigator of the Seas. I had a huge list of complaints concerning my cruise, I contacted the Customer Service and they blew me off. I found out they do not care about the customers. When I was in Jamaica there was no RC personal at the port to give directions and my family and I was directed down an ally away from the tourist area, we could have robbed. On top of that I got hustled by one of the local taxi drivers when I tried to get a ride back to the ship. Royal Caribbean does not care about people, its business as usual.

  142. Peter Thomson

    As an employee for a major airline, I applaud your efforts for continuing to support the Labadee port. You’ve made the right decision with the appropriate level of much needed support.

  143. d. Karlin

    RC=bad
    George Diaz=worse
    you are fanning the flames of hatred.

  144. sHERRY dAVIS

    I AM LEAVING FOR A CRUISE ON EXPLORER OF THE SEAS IN MARCH…I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE HAITIAN PEOPLE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY MONEY/RESOURCE WHETHER IT IS FROM CRUISE SHIPS OR ANY OTHER RESOURCE. I KNOW IF I WAS IN THAT CATASTROPHIC DISASTER IT WOULD NOT MATTER WERE THE RESOURCES WERE COMING FROM AS LONG AS THEY WERE COMING! I THINK THAT ROYAL CARRIBEAN SHOULD BE COMMENDED FOR THEIR EFFORTS AS WELL AS EVERYONE ELSE WHO IS HELPING. AFTER READING SOME OF THESE STATEMENTS IT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE PEOPLE ARE SAYING WE SHOULD HAVE CLOSED OFF NEW YORK CITY AFTER 911 AND NOT LET ANY BUSES OR RESOURCES IN… IS THIS WHAT SOME OF YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY??

  145. Diane

    I am scheduled to leave for a cruise next week and can’t believe RC is still planning to stop in Labadee and expect us to have fun in Labadee. The thought of it makes me feel sick. I am very concerned and do not feel that RC is being sensitive enough to the needs of the people on the Island. If you want to help use your ships for supplies and helping the injured and make a monetary donation for the people that will lose income for at least 30 days. There are numerous other ways for RC to support the people of Haiti and having a party on Labadee is not one of them. IF my neighborhood was just devestated with dead bodies everywhere, It wouldnt be wise for people to come from out of town, set-up a tent in the middle of the neighborhood and throw a party…come on now!!! Drop off the water,food,money and relief workers and keep the ship moving.

  146. Brian McGinnis

    It may seem to others that all RCCL is doing is looking out for their own good. However, with out the ships coming into port with the supplies so desperately needed, it would take much longer for the Haitian people to recover from this catastrophe. I am booked on a cruise with RCCL to go to Ladadee in the near future, I am looking forward to visiting Labadee, maybe in some small way I can contribute to the recovery effort, maybe I can let some of the people know that we feel their pain and loss. I commend RCCL and all their sister cruise lines for continuing the trips to Labadee. With out them, the Haitian people would be ten times worse off. Keep up the good work RCCL. Don’t let the nay sayers get you down. I am looking forward to sailing with you again.

  147. Alessandro Machi

    I agree with Bert Benjamin 100%. Please find a spare ship, fill it, and bring it specifically for Haiti.

  148. GERALD J JENKINS

    First thank you, For bringing in RCL’s New Year on a positive, Not to many companies would of done anything but held off, As for most people they talk a good game! But when it comes to stepping up they will shut up and step back! As in 9/11 and New Orleans. I would email every negative email that you recieved with a further request that you would match every donation that they make to “help” the people of Haiti see how many donations you get, More than likely none, Because there doing there part to help out complaining about those who are really doing ssomething! And further more I believe RCL helps out most of the World by visiting countries with out RCL and other Travel companies alot of these people would have to resort in a different income.

  149. nancy in new york

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the devistated
    people of Haiti.
    These people truly need our prayers, supplies and
    assistance.
    As the month of February approaches, my husband and
    I will become vacationers and will be visiting the
    island of Labadee on a RC ship. Our thoughts of
    enjoying ourselves on this beautiful island have now
    turned to guilt.
    I am not happy with the decision to solicit Haiti at this time.
    We plan on making a much needed contribution….but
    plan on staying on ship. I understand RC’s decision
    to solicit….but we are lead by our hearts at this
    time.
    GOD BLESS THE PEOPLE OF HAITI!!!

  150. GERALD J JENKINS

    First thank you, For bringing in RCL’s New Year on a positive, Not to many companies would of done anything but held off, As for most people they talk a good game! But when it comes to stepping up they will shut up and step back! As in 9/11 and New Orleans. I would email every negative email that you recieved with a further request that you would match every donation that they make to “help” the people of Haiti see how many donations you get, More than likely none, Because there doing there part to help out complaining about those who are really doing ssomething! And further more I believe RCL helps out most of the World by visiting countries with out RCL and other Travel companies alot of these people would have to resort in a different income.

    GERALD JENKINS
    Washington, DC

  151. Chip Brown

    I honestly think that the majority of your guests do not want to be there in the midst of this devastation. I guess it comes down to the cruise line fearful of losing revenue for missing a port call. I applaude those passengers that feel disturbed by being forced to go there. I feel pity for this cruise line. No joy anywhere.

  152. Josh lopez

    The following seems to be an exciting alternative for RCCL: Pass over Labadee for the next few months Meanwhile, donate the projected revenue to the 270 merchants/works that sell in the port, this way the passengers get to feel good about not partying around tragedy and the “straw market vendors and hair-braiders” make thier money and get to sell inventory that has been paid in full!!
    Here’s the math:
    Passenger Capacity at 3,114 X $40 average purchase from vendor = $124,560.00 / 270 = 461.33 per vendor, per stopover
    Average Ticket Sales at 3,114 x $299.00 each = $931,086.00 (plus, possible donations at sea)

    The profit margin will be a bit lower for a few months but the global sense of doing what is over and above will be huge!!

  153. James Miles

    Good job RCCL.
    I’m a proud customer of RCCL and support their decision in this matter.

  154. Josh lopez

    …i failed to properly close my thought.
    While the vendors are being paid with out having to physically be at the port. They can provide for their family and hopefully volunteer their goods and or services in the south or help out someway with this paid free time!! Plus, come out on top when things start to stabilize. This is setting people up for success.

  155. Brian Wagner

    We were on the Navigator of the Seas just before they went on this humanitarian mission. (Great first cruise, by the way, but that’s a different post ).

    Royal Caribbean promised a $1 Million in aid and brought supplies to Haiti. The crew (from over 65 nations, probably including some from Haiti) were excited to help out.

    The people who are complaining are probably the same folks on my cruise who were b*tc*ing about the toast being slightly cold !

    THANKS Royal Caribbean for helping out!

  156. wendy Winrow

    As a frequent cruiser on Royal and other cruise lines I applaud your effort for Haitain relief. Please continue to stop at Labadee as the money spent there will provide much needed jobs for the population and your ships also drops off much needed supplies. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. Keep up the good works.. Thank you for your efforts.

  157. L. Martin

    Giving supplies to the people of Haiti is commendable. Docking there, now for people to ‘enjoy’ themselves is just ludicrous. Docking there, now and allowing the homeless, sick, hungry and thirsty victims of this devastating disaster aboard your ship to recover and grieve would be the best thing your company could do.

  158. Jason Russell

    RC doesn’t care about Haiti its just publicity. You people are brainwashed honestly. The vendors in Labadee really have very little to sell and not at huge profits. If you think tourists off the ship will boom the economy you would be mistaken. I have been there the only people making money is RC. And if you have problems with the ship they also have the worse Customer Service as I have learned first hand.

  159. Dan giroux

    Thank goodness you are not caving to the ubiquitous pressures of ‘political correctness’ and haven chosen instead to stand by actual correctness, ie facts and information, logic and common sense. The media may never get it because outrageous headlines seem to carry the day now more than ever, but actual people with real jobs, real family and real understanding of how economies function, and how important work is as the longest lasting and most sustainable help and support do ‘get it’.

  160. S Pierce

    I applaud the decision of Royal Caribbean to continue to call on Labadee. People have had these vacations planned since well before the disaster in Haiti. Are those of you against calling on Labadee in favor of the revenue going to the Bahamas (CocoCay) or staying with RCI (day at sea)?

    Disney is still calling on Castaway Cay, Bahamas. NCL is still calling on Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. HAL and Carnival are still calling on Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Princess is still calling on Princess Cays, Bahamas.

    What do all of these places have in common? They are all private resorts owned by various cruise lines. No one in the media is calling for the other lines to cancel all itineraries and route ships to Haiti to help in the relief effort. It is unknown if this could provide the necessary results anyway. The reality is that RCI is providing a consistent supply line and revenue stream to Haiti and is getting pummeled in the media for it. No other cruise line has a private resort outside of the Bahamas. Meanwhile, the GDP per capita is 21.1:1 compared to Haiti.

    This story is getting blown way out of proportion and I hope anyone that is saying shame on RCI is taking their vacation money for this year and donating to the Haitian Relief Effort. It is an unfortunate tragedy, but it was a natural disaster. All that can be done now, is work to overcome the disaster. The bigger disaster is that the political turmoil that has plagued Haiti throughout its history is the reason it was the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and the reason they don’t have the resources to mitigate the effects of the disaster. By comparison, the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 had 4.065 EJ (exajoules) more energy (roughly the equivalent of an explosion of 1 gigaton of TNT) than the earthquake in Haiti which resulted in ~3000 fatalities, significantly less than the projections in Haiti.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the affected, but this is not the time to demonize a company for no good reason whatsoever.

  161. Brian Langmack

    Please get Mr. Goldstein on the David Letterman show to set him straight. His negative coments on what the cruiselines are doing has me, for the frist time in my life, sending out an email about something like this. I have gone on 29 cruises so far. I have not set sail on Royal Caribbean yet but my next cruise will be on your line. You have my word on it!

  162. Bob D

    I think RCI is doing the best course of action under the circumstances. You really are in a no win situation. You are helping in the best way you can although not enough for some who would be more than willing to use RCI assets for their great emergency relief schemes. People who disagree I believe tend to get too emotional and often times forget hard realities. Some are sincere, others are just mouthing off and worst yet, some probably have not done a thing themselves to help in any way. Hang in there RCI. You won’t lose my business over this.

  163. Deanna Selsor

    Am trying to contact Mr. Goldstein concerning an idea that would change the face of cruising forever and in the face of what is happening in Haiti there is no better time to implement it. RC wants everyone to have the freedom to say “Why not?” to every experience and this one would enrich the lives of every participant and multitudes of others. I believe it would fit with the marathon that he has said is ahead in Haiti. I’m sorry I haven’t put the idea here but it would be like showing you a picture of a brick and saying, “What do you mean you can’t see the house?”

  164. Rachel

    As someone who lived in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and suffered at the mishaps that happened thereafter, I can say, with 100% conviction, this is a disgusting move by RCCL.

    The Haitian people do not want to be a tourist attraction right now. They want help.

    If you REALLY want to help the Haitian people, fill your ships up with volunteers and take them to help, free of charge.

    If you REALLY want to help the Haitian people, allow your ships to be used as housing.

    I understand that you are a business and businesses are out to make money. I, myself, am a business owner. That being said, you do a great disservice to the people who are suffering by not being honest and just admitting as much.

    I doubt any of you have lived through a natural disaster as I have, but I can guarantee you if you had, you would find RCCL actions disgusting.

  165. kahio

    RCCL…God bless your Cruise Line for making an effort to help the PEOPLE of HAITI in this TRAGIC time of ‘THIER’ great devastation of life, home, family, loved ones, friends, community, and a sense of direction. I apologize to the paid customers of RCCL, who were so unkindly met; on your paid destination, this ungrateful devastation. I truly feel so sorry that your Cruise have been so unduly interrupted by devastation on an Island u paid for as a stop/destination on your cruise., yet I praise RCCL for making an effort to assist our Brothers n Sisters in Haiti, even though some passengers or naysayers may disagree, but I pray RCCL will continue to save as many people as your Cruise Line are capable of!!!!One of my dear friends or family could be buried under that rubble, but I will never know until they are found n identified!!!

  166. Solange

    There is NO way Royal Carribean would not be doing this unless there was gain for them. You are not a humanitarian organization, you are tourist based. It is despicable, that you can you can find logic to pursue travel to this region, and even worse that others would applaud your commentary! It just proves what a selfish and materialistic society we live in, when people will place their holidays ahead of a natural disaster and aftermath! SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO SUPPORT RCCL!

  167. Pingback: Royal Caribbean’s decision to dock ships at Haitian resort creates controversy | BookinEarth Blog

  168. Brenda Corbin

    I am among the people who booked a vacation a year ago not knowing that this disaster would happen. I am set to sail on Freedom of the Seas on Feb 21st. My husband and I have saved and planned for this trip. Are we not supposed to enjoy our vacation because a tragedy has struck. I agree it is sad,but we both are fire fighters and see tragedy strike at various times. I don’t think there has been a holiday season that we haven’t responded to dramatic accidents or house fires. Because of these tragedies are people not supposed to enjoy times with families. We are leaving a cold snowy winter to enjoy a what may be a once in a lifetime vacation. To say that ships should be emptied a used for relief, what do you say to the people who have worked so hard to get to go on these vacations.
    I say if you can guarantee my safety at Labadee i will be off the ship to enjoy my vacation. I will support the delivery of supplies to the island, and i will know that because of my vacation that has been planned for a year I am helping to make a difference be it a small one. But you know if all the people who were criticizing RCCL for still stopping there put the same amount of effort into helping make a difference maybe other relief efforts would be getting done.
    Don’t judge people for enjoying a vacation.

  169. Kreuzfahrtinspektor

    On the one hand its a good thing to help and support the haitian economy and jobs, on the other side the travellers have to decide if the can continue to act as if nothing has happened.

  170. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Forshee

    To the people who criticize what RCCL is doing in Labadee, know your facts. Not only are they bringing tourists to the island who spend lots of money and help the economy, RCCL is also off loading supplies everyday a ship calls at Labadee. Plus from reading the blogs of the CEO of RCCL they have given over 1 million dollars in recovery money. A tragedy hit Haiti and they have suffered plenty but life goes on and to stop people from living there lives and helping Haitians(by going to Labedee and spending money)is not the way. So my advise to you is instead of worrying what RCCL is doing why don,t you do something and write out a check to help I DID.

  171. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Forshee

    This Sunday (24th of Jan) the wife and I are going on a cruise on the Explorer of the Seas and I wish one of their port of call was Labadee so I could offer my condolences, but its not so I did the next best thing I sent a donation. RCCL I am a PROUD cruiser of your cruise line and will continue to do so. Keep up the good work and GOD BLESS the people of HAITI.

  172. SANDRA walker

    On a recent cruise to Labadee, my husband and I loaded several plates of meat for the Haitian dancers; they were not allowed (by their local employer) to eat from RCCL’s buffet until the end of the performances. The food had all been removed & the area cleaned by then, so they got nothing. They told us their pay was 35 Haitian (less than 1 USD) dollars a week for 4 performances although their boss received payment from RCCL in US dollar and the tips tourists dropped in the baskets that were constantly passed around after each dance were also dollars. The tips all went to their boss, who was always in the background to get the baskets, as RCCL tourits loaded them with dollars after each dance. The only tips the dancers get are the very last basket and many tourists do not understand this and leave before that basktd is ever passed. I saw firsthand how the owner (who had the contract with RCCL) is always in the background to get the baskets of money collected. If RCCL wants to help the Haitian people, let it begin right here in Labadee by ensuring that the Haitian locals are paid a wage based on the currency their employer is paid. And also ensure that they are not exploited by their own employer who is one of their own countrymen. I can only pray that this email reaches someone who can help the Haitians in Labadee.

  173. moira Findlay

    I completely agree with cruise ships still calling. My friend was in Thailand during their disaster and was given the opportunity to come home. They have several friends there and were ask not to go because the country depends so much on tourists and their spending into the local economy. Given the poverty in Haiti, not calling there would add to their problems. It is also another way of getting relief aid into the Country.

  174. Ben Ex-stock investor as of the earthquake

    It pretty disgusting that RCCL would continue to call on labadee. Royal carribean before this has been calling on Labadee for years, obviously haiti is still the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, so would you call that exploitation? May RCCL should help the country instead of buliding barbed wire fences in between the trees to keep the locals out. I was very disgusted that I owned stock in such a company. Yeah RCCL is bringing how many pallets of food to haiti but what is that going to do. The US can’t even get pallets from the airport to people in port-au-prince less than 2 miles away. How about skip the port for a least a month so it doesn’t seem like you as a company aren’t still expoloiting the country, donate those funds to haiti or to the people of labadee. And lets face it, if medical supplies can’t get to hospitals do we really think these pallets are going to get there. And the people of labadee aren’t suffering it’s the people of port au prince.

  175. Cath

    testing

  176. Lorraine

    I can’t believe the criticism of Royal Carribbean for stopping in Labadee. Are those people so narrow minded that they don’t realize the economic benefits and the transport of supplies to Haiti because of RCCL docking in Labadee? It doesn’t matter whether you are 100 miles away, a couple hundred miles away or 1000 miles aways enjoying yourself – the people of Haiti are still suffering. Those people on the cruise that claim they would not get off the ship in Labadee, but they will still get off in the Cayman Islands which is only another 100 miles or less away from Haiti. Those people don’t make sense.

  177. Carolyn kaslow

    We have sailed with RCCL numerous times and will be going again in March with Haiti being one of our stops. We’ve been concerned about this stop but I am glad that I reviewed many of these comments. Back in the 90′s, our cruise diverted from Haiti due to civil instability, so I was thinking that may happen again. Although I am pleased that RCCL is making efforts to help the Haitians and were among the first to actually do so, we still feel uncomfortable about going ashore. Perhaps by the time we sail, we will receive a message from RCCL about additional passenger-related efforts that are being organized. I would SO much rather be doing something truly meaningful during this stop and would gladly pitch in to do my share – whatever RCCL can determine would be helpful. PLEASE consider adding some passenger related efforts to this stop, whether money, clothing we can bring, or other supplies that may be helpful.

  178. GREG bROCK

    Hi,
    I do think these cruises to Haiti are tacky and insensitive. You can give money and supplies in a much more efficient manner directly to relief agencies. The majority of supplies on your ships are for the party goers in your cabins, not the poor or Haiti.

    Get a clue guys, you dont have a dance party at someones funeral. It’s called tact. Why dont you give all your Haitian workers time off, with pay? That would be what American companies would do during a tradgedy. You’d help the local economy and not rub your tasteless arrogance in their face.

  179. Mario

    HI IM MARRIOO

  180. Lisa mazza

    I was living in San Francisco at the time of the quake of 1989. Did tourists cancel their vacations to visit the city? No! So why should Royal Caribbean cancel their stop at Labadee? I went to Labadee in 2007 and it was my favorite port on my cruise. I can’t wait to go back again. I wish I could go back right now so I can do my part and contribute to their aid.

    I came back from a cruise to Mexico a week before the swine flu outbreak. I know RCCL changed their itinerary because of it. I would have been upset because if I would have booked a trip to Mexico, I would’ve wanted to go to Mexico no matter what. The same goes with Haiti.

    I commend Royal Caribbean for what their doing in aiding Haiti. Not only does RCCL lease that part of the island and pay Haiti for every passenger on board, but they’re also unloading supplies at this time. I think passengers aboard will actually buy more souvenirs now than before, given the fact of what has happened. My prayers go out to everyone in Haiti. This will make you all stronger than before. Hopefully I’ll be back in Labadee sooner than later.

  181. Lisa mazza

    Also, places depend on cruise ships docking at their ports as part of their daily life. If a ship doesn’t stop at a port, then there’s no money coming in, no one to buy their goods, eat at their restaurants, taxi’s without customers, and tour guides are without work. If you depended on that, wouldn’t you want the ships to stop there all the time???

  182. Alex Fiore

    The news makes it a RCI is just continuing with there sailing’s and ports of call to Labedee without any cares. But after reading RCI’s web site they are assisting in providing supplies and providing up to 1 million in aide. I wish RCI would make a public announcement and defend their brand/name.

  183. Diane

    Royal is NOT profiting off of their Labadee destination. All profits at the stop are going to Haiti. The President of Haiti has requested Royal to continue with their stops & have begged them not to discountinue stopping here.

    The earthquake happened in the Southern region of the island. Labadee is in the Northern region. Where do you think the misplaced people of PAP are going to refuge to beside the US? The northern parts of Haiti….The northern part of Haiti needs to keep their economy up and a company like Royal Caribbean is helping.

    I’m a travel agent & Royal Caribbean Internation is the ONLY Cruise ship line helping right now using their ships as vessels to transport supplies. They should be very proud!!!! Carnival Corporation who owns Carnival, Holland America, Cunard, Costa, Princess, and The Yaughts of Seaborn have stated they will pledge $1 million dollars. Out of 6 lines that’s all your pledging? NCL hasn’t even stated what they are pledging.

    Also for the comments about sending the ships down there to make for a make shift hospital. These ships have cruises planned long into 2011 or until they go to Dry Dock for refurbishing. You can not take a $50 BILLION DOLLAR SHIP & just tell passengers your taking the ship off the market to send down there for relief help.
    The rest of the world did not stop spinning and people didn’t stop taking vacations in Europe or China when we were hit with 9/11 did they?
    Yes, Carnival did do that for Katrina but the ship they sent was slated for Dry Dock so it didn’t matter if the people trashed it. Plus, it was only used for a few weeks and had to go to refurbishing due to cruises booked…..If Royal had any ships going to Dry Dock, I’m sure they would use it but right now, this is wonderful what they are doing to help.

    No other cruise line is contributing in this aspect & like a comment was stated above, take a suite case with much needed supplies and pack it tight. You have a unique opportunity to actually be in Haiti to help!!!!

    When 9/11 happened, what did Mayor Guiliano say – VISIT NYC. Spend money, come back. Immediately after this happened. People did not stop their vacations to Washington, DC and school kids on field trips did not stop coming immediately after our tragedies. What happened when Katrina hit? They begged tourists to come back! When Jamaica or Grand Caymen were hit by a Category 5 Hurricane, they were up and running in a matter of weeks! Why? THey need the tourists to fuel their economy! They can not survive without it…..

    Help the people of Haiti but Helping Royal Caribbean. If your slated for a cruise, bring the extra supplies in suitecases. While you are on the Island, know that Royal is taking the Profits from your shore excursions and from your drinks and donating them. You feel bad about going on the beach, fine. Don’t buy the drink and take the money you would have spent on a drink & hand it to the many Haitian people who work for RCI on the Island.

    For those who keep wanting RCI to stop going there, think about what they are bringing to the island with much needed supplies on every stop. They pay Haiti for the stop, so go out to sea & Haiti gets nothing in a time where they need the money. Then they are donating all your vacation money on that stop to these people. Stop that & what have they got? It’s almost like you are kicking the Haitian people when they are down by stopping businesses from continuing what they do best…….But, most of all, the President of Haiti and Former President Bill Clinton has asked Royal to be there for support.

  184. Randy

    Everyone really needs to take a deep breath for a moment and let the negativity fall away. At first you may feel sickened and that is understandable, after all we are human and this was a tragedy of significant proportions. However, when you start to deal with the practicality of the situation, ask yourself, what is the difference between having fun on vacation in Labadee versus having fun on vacation in the Dominican Republic? The DR is on the same island as Haiti. Would it surprise you to learn that the resort area of Puerto Plata, DR is less than 150 miles from Port-au-Prince? Should the people vacationing there feel guilty? Should those resorts close and welcome Haitian refugees?

    Our negative reactions are a result of an emotional response. If Labadee were in the DR we would probably feel differently. If you are someone who feels strongly about it, you do have alternatives. You can stay onboard and make a donation or you can cancel your cruise and take the money that you would have spent and donate it to the relief effort.

    Suggesting that Royal Caribbean donate the ship isn’t practical. Royal Caribbean is already donating additional monies on top of their efforts. As far as opening the port, the logistics of getting from Labadee to Port-au-Prince with the limited resources available is not going to make a large scale relief effort through the port feasible. I suspect Mr. Goldstein had to pull a lot of strings to get as far as he has.

    Royal Caribbean made the tough choice. The easy way out would have been for them to replace the port or add a sea day. I suspect that would have brought them more revenue and nobody would have blinked. Instead, they did the right thing and they’re taking the heat…like they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

    So, rather than being negative, let’s focus our positive energy on doing what we can to help out the people of Haiti. It’s going to be a long road.

  185. Ryan Winson

    This is not right!!!

    RCL must not risk customers safty for its own interest (sales, profit or PR) or third party’s interest (Haiti people or others) even a good will. It is in the contact, it is in the ethic, and it is in the law.

    Haiti is not a safe vacation place in recent days, it is irresponsible and unreasonable to send your customers there. With another strong aftershock reported this morning, how can you or RCL ensure the safty of thousands of your customers? Earthquake, tsunami even looting may come any minute. You can call insurance companies to see who want to provide the insurance for this region now.

    It is against the interest of customers. Please keep in mind, people choose cruise because they want a safe happy family vacation. people choose RCL because they trust RCL. Haiti is not safe, RCL should avoid that area.

    If RCL really need the ship to deliver the relief supplies, why it DOES NOT allow pay customers to cancel their booking without a penalty? Obviously profit is important than the customer’s safty. Customers are now FORCED heading to a dangous region with no option (maybe one and only option to lose thousand dollor customer’s hard earned money). Do not blame or jeer at the people could not cancel the trip, it is not an easy decision to make sometimes.

    I do want to help Haiti people, I have donated money to the RedCross, but I don’t have to be Haiti to show my support.

    I am glad to see many people support here, but keep in mind, this is not a personal issue. As a cruise company CEO, your decision is for thousands of people’s life. Please do not invovle too much personal feeling, and please be more careful and considerable.

  186. Toya B

    I am due to sail out on January 30th. I don’t mean to sound insensitive or mean, however, I paid my money to go on a happy and fruitful vacation, not a sad and depressing one where I spend my entire vacation sadden and weary about what is going on mere miles away from me. In addition, I do believe the only reason RCCL decided to still dock in Haiti right now is because they are profiting from it and can’t risk taking the direct financial lost since Labadee is RC privately owned part of Haiti. Despite the monetary benefits and other royalties associated with their relief efforts, (i.e. “The recent press attention and free publicity”), RC is putting their staff in danger, as well as their patrons. There are continuous trimmers, not to mention the aftershock today, which was just as massive as the original one. Where I am from the ground doesn’t move and in the event that occurs, I will be at a lost of what to do. In addition, at this point the Haitians are desperate for food and water they are becoming heavily violent and aggressive. I am sure everyone will say, “there are guards there you will be safe”, I am not going to visit a prison and I don’t want to feel like I am in one either. When Hurricane Katrina hit, no one ran there to help until the waters had started reseeding in fear of the unknown aftermath that was to come, and I think Haiti should be treated as such at least until things have began to calm down. It is unclear how long these trimmers will continue or the magnitude of the aftershocks to come and I believe for the safety of the passengers RC should consider this strongly. In the end, I actually do agree with RC’s plan to continue docking in Haiti, however I feel their decision to do so is too premature. Next week, I plan to contribute my $250.00 that I was planning to spend in excursions and souvenirs, to the onboard collection and just stay on the boat for the day because there is no way I can bare enjoying tons of food while millions of people are standing at a bordering fences in search of handouts and aid.

  187. Pingback: Latest Updates on the Crisis in Haiti - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

  188. Vanessa Lipton

    You should be ASHAMED of yourselves!! If you really wanted to help the Haitian people and the Haitian economy, then you would have sent your ENTIRE fleet of luxury cruise-liners to Haiti, docked in the bay of Port-Au-Prince, and turned half of them into floating hospitals/medical centers and the other half into room/board/shelters for the Haitian people who lost their homes and let them stay onboard for free!! But you didn’t… and the fact that you find it completely acceptable to return your luxury cruise-liners to the area while so many people are suffering is DEPLORABLE.

  189. Sue

    The above comment from Ryan Winson is so true.
    We feel that at this time that Labadee is unsafe. We DO want to feel safe on a cruise. We have cruised before and always felt very safe but this has definitely put up some red flags. Yes we canceled 33 day to sailing and yes we were penalized big time. I know that we will proably never see our money again from what I have heard of Royal Caribbean. In my heart I feel that this is to fresh a wound on Haiti and this island needs to grieve and heal but without us insulting them with our luxury cruise.When the H1N1 outbreak occurred Mariner of the Seas was given a different itinerary from the Mexican Rivera until things settled down. Don”t you think Mr. Goldstein that this has been far worse than H1N1 ?

  190. mario DEANGELIS

    WE ARE DIAMOND MEMBERS C&A. ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS
    WAY TO GO RCCL!!!!

  191. Sue

    We have always felt VERY safe on the cruises we have taken but this has raised a red flag. I do not feel safe going to Labadee. This island need time grieve and heal from this horrible event. After much thought we chose to cancel our cruise in February , 33 days from sailing and yes we were penialized big time. In my heart I cannot pull into Labadee on a luxury cruise and be greeted with a BBQ and beach party without feeling sick to my stomach. When H1N1 was in the news Mariner of the Seas rerouted from the Mexican Rivera until things settled down. Why not now? This is much more serious. I do feel for the safety of anyone going there at this time,

  192. Pastor Gregg patrick

    Mr. Goldstein,
    I applaud your all your efforts to continue going to (and servicing) Labadee. I’ve cruised with RCCL 54 times and have been to all parts of Haiti.
    As pastor of a large congregation, a gospel artist and civic leader, I’d like to lend our services beyond what we’ve contributed financially. We (gospel/secular artists) have planned a national movement for 3 weeks and need a way to get the planned 100 tons of toiletries and personal needs to Haiti. Please us my email address or website to contact us. Keep up the GREAT humanitarian mission!!!

  193. Tony Weir

    I think RCCL should be going to Labadee. They are providing much needed income to those who work for the company in Haiti. In addition, the ships are bringing much needed relief supplies to the country. While the people of Haiti are suffering, we can all help by making donations to relief efforts. We don’t need to cancel or change our vacations because of the disaster in Haiti. Enjoy your time in Labadee knowing your are helping the local economy.

  194. MARIO DEANGELIS

    WE ARE C&A DIAMOND MEMBERS AND ONLY HAVE ONE THING TO SAY . WAY TO GO RCCL!!!

  195. Roger

    I fully agree with Toya’s posting!
    In only a few weeks we’ll be on cruising with the Liberty of the Seas and Labadee is the first call on the route.
    I don’t wanna sound kinda stupid but this will be our honeymoon and if I’m honest: I’m not excited anymore from the day we get to knew that RCC goes on calling Labadee.
    I mean this is so insensitive and disrespectful having fun, eating barbeque and drink champaign only a few miles away from the place where a daily nightmare is going on!
    How can we enjoy ourselves knowing that there is so much suffering out there? Is this the right way to help??
    And how can you say that the security of your passengers is on top priority when you let them go into a place where there actually are aftershocks and where people is getting more violent every day and even prisoners are set free again??! I’m not disrespectful at all and I’m really sorry for that people. But just think about it reading all that postings: All the passengers that will be on cruising on RCC in the next time (including us) is fearing Labadee. All the people who compliments you for going on calling Labadee are not passengers for the next weeks so it’s easy to talk.
    You should at least be so respectful and ask your passengers if they are willing to call Labadee in such circumstances.
    I can confirm that we’ll be one of the guests staying on board when you call Labadee. We will give money for supporting Haitians but we will not be so ignorant to enjoy ourselves on a land which has actually reached a very sad level where people fight for their existence!!

  196. Roger

    And one more thing: i’d like to read a statement from RCC related to all those postings made!

  197. Dan SMith

    First off, I am very happy that RCL is accomplishing two things at once: the delivery of supplies to Haiti as well as the delivery of economic support to Haiti through the docking of your vessels.

    It is essential that the ships continue going to Haiti because it will stimulate the local economy in Labadee and help those families near the area to send financial help to the capital. This is bringing help directly to the people in need.

    I think it is a bit rash to be calling this a PR stunt. Carnival Corp has promised $5 million USD to the cause and RCL $1 million USD along with delivery of survival substances.

    Labadee is an integral and essential part to Haiti’s restoration after the disaster. I am confident that RCL is monitoring security and the best thing we as passengers can do is support RCL and do our part in buying from the people in Labadee when we visit.

    Good job RCL :D

  198. Lisa mazza

    To Toya B. – It doesn’t sound like you have ever been to Labadee before. You don’t feel like you’re in a prison when you’re there. I didn’t see any guards and and I didn’t see any gates either while I visited there. Of coarse, there was the occasional fly by of a helicopter. I know you said you’d contribute money and stay on the ship, fine, that’s your choice. But if I were in your shoes, I would pack an extra suitcase with clothes and supplies and give it to one of the Haitians that works there. I’m sure that would mean more than anything to them. That would make me happy to be able to do that.

    And for the Haitians that work in Labadee, I’m sure going to work is something to look forward to & gives them some hope. It could also be a way of them to get away from the reality of what’s going on there, just for a little bit. At least they have a job to go to.

    Again I say KEEP UP YOUR GREAT WORK RCCL!!!

  199. Education Program

    Go isn’t a complete sentence. It is not even a clause on it’s own. We take it as such, because everyone says it.

  200. jASON rUSSELL

    People have been starving and dying in Haiti for many years. Why hasn’t RC helped sooner? Because this is the only chance they are going to get publicity for it. Before the earthquake even hit, 55% of Haitians lived on less then a dollar a day. And by 2015 10% of the country will have Aids. I am sure that 1 million dollars to Haiti is going to go real far. Good job RC for prolonging their misery 1 extra day. RC makes several billion dollars in profit every year off average American’s and since they are incorporated in the Republic of Liberia they aren’t required to pay taxes to the United States. RC is a class act.

  201. Mike Knowland

    I have a scheduled cruise for Feb 6,, Labadee is the first stop.

    I am hugely disappointed that RCL will stop there in light of their tragedy. I am a Platinum member, I won’t leave the ship that day, and I may not use your line in the future. I know how to reserve on any other line.
    If you donate to the relief, good,, but I cannot go to play in the playground when the house is on fire.

  202. Lisa mazza

    So you don’t want to go on land to “play and eat”. What’s the difference if you stay on board the ship. You’ll be doing exactly that. Maybe the Haitians needs to see people have fun, enjoing their vacation. When the day’s over, they don’t see that anymore. By the way, from ehat I understand, RCCL leaves all the food that’s left over for the Hatians to have.

  203. Keith Forshee

    To all of you people who are cruising in the future on RCCL and feel bad about going to Labadee. then why don,t you cancel your cruise and DONATE the money to the Haitian relief. you still have time.
    yeah right.

  204. Victor M

    Hi Lisa mazza,

    I saw that you put so many comments here and push people to ignor the circumstances to “play and eat” on the Haiti beach. Please respect those vacationers feeling, if you really want to be in their shoes, please buy the tickets for your family to sail with them, or go to PoP.
    Saying is so much easier than doing!

  205. Anabelle Barinas

    Essay; For School.

    For your position as CEO of Royal Caribbean, I believe that you are making the right decision and I completely agree with the cruise ships continuing their stops there. Honestly, they bring tourism money to the area by keeping the current employees with money to feed their families. Additionally, you are keeping the straw market workers employed and those that work around the area where the island sees the tourist. Certainly, it was the exact same as New Orleans when they were begging for tourists to come back and for what, because they needed the tourist and all the support they could receive. Moreover, if they are bringing supplies then truly what is the complaint? Even though at this point in time it may look wrong, I’m sure Haiti is happy to see you dock when you stop. Honestly, not stopping would give the illusion that we are turning our backs on them.

    With you continuing to dock, the stop should become a major opportunity to support the Haitians. The Cruise and the tourists on the ship do provide much needed income for the people of Haiti at this time. Any percentage of money is needed, no matter how small; with this option we open up a greater possibility of increasing the income. It is noble that you promised 1 Million dollars in aid. It is essential that the ships continue to dock because it will stimulate the local economy in Labadee and help those families near the area to send financial help to the capital. This is bringing help directly to the people in need and I commend you.

    Granted, the ships do carry some food aid, and the cruise line has pledged to donate all proceeds from the visit to help stricken Haitians. Along with the money that the ships docking will bring, by you coming with supplies is noble and Haiti will benefit truly from this generosity. Keep up doing what you do best and everything else will fall into place.

    Even though it might be a little uncomfortable for us all to think about having fun in Haiti right now, we should put that aside because it is the best thing for the people that have jobs in Labadee and for the economy of this poor nation. Your presence in Haiti gives Haiti a simulate that life will go on. Most of all, the President of Haiti and Former President Bill Clinton has asked for you to remain there for support, The President of Haiti has begged you not to discontinue stopping here. If they surely realize that what you are doing is for the right reasons, then why can’t we do the same? Kudos goes to you and everyone at Royal Caribbean. Truly a job well done with this very hard decision.

  206. Dee

    I agree with those who say that calling on Labadee at this time would be irresponsible and insensitive on the part of RCL. We are scheduled to cruise in a week on the Independence and will not leave the ship if it calls in Labadee. In addition, we will never sail with RCL again if they continue this lunacy. RCL, under the guise of “humanitarianism” is actually only looking out for its bottom line, at the risk of its passengers’ safety and peace of mind. We called our travel agent to find out if RCL was making any provision for passengers who do not wish to visit Haiti at this time, especially in light of the fact that the U.S. State Department is warning travelers not to go there, and we were advised that as far as RCL was concerned, it was “business as usual at Labadee”. All of the other cruise lines are donating money, but are not calling in Haiti at this time, a very commendable and sensible option in view of the devastation, civil unrest, and danger of serious aftershocks (2 in the last 2 days). Why not do the same and stay out of the way of the military and medical professionals who know how to do their jobs and do them well.

  207. Holly S

    When I visited Cozumel several months after the cruise port had been nearly destroyed by a hurricane, the locals told me how much they depended on the income they received from cruise ship passengers. Haiti needs our economic involvement in their region. Now more than ever.

  208. Penny Meziere-Clayton

    Wow! Lot’s of comments here. I would like to make a suggestion to RCCL. First, I applaud you for continuing to stop in Haiti and bring with you relief supplies for the area. Now how about taking it to another level. There are many folks who would love to help the area out by donating their time. How about creating a cruise that allows passengers to safely assist the area during the day and come back to the ship in the evenings to eat and sleep? You would have to coordinate with personnel on the island to allow safe transportation and security to an area where the passengers can donate their time. This is probably not the time to do that right now but it is something you should consider for the near future when it’s time to rebuild the area. Maybe a Habitat for Haiti Homes cruise where the passengers pay for their cruise which involves donating a weeks time to build homes and they get another 3 or 4 days at sea or at other stops along the way. So it’s a vacation that allows them to do good. There are so many options, so many ways to help the area. Please consider creating some “Haiti Mission” cruises. I would love to go on a cruise where I can safely help out an area.

  209. William nance

    Having been to Labadee twice I applaud RCCL with continuing to improve the facilities there. Making this a stop that people desire only helps the Haitians more. Though we are not taking a cruise that will stop there we will be donating money to the cause. Our church also has missionaries there and are collecting personal products for those in need of them. We have other activities planned to assist them also. If all the cruise lines can have fundraisers for breast cancer, maybe they could also have fundraisers for Haitian relief. We have had room stewards twice who were from Haiti and after meeting the first we always bring extra items to give to those from Haiti to take home. There is always extra room in the suitcase on way to a cruise and room needed for souvenirs obtained on the cruise…fill up that extra space with items that Haitian crew members can send home.

  210. Eli Rabett

    There is a purposeful confusion here. Stopping NOW and in the next few weeks at Labadee comes very close to dancing at a funeral. It is unseemly and places RCCL’s passengers in a morally ambiguous position.

    Starting to stop again in a few months is entirely different and can contribute to the local economy.

  211. Pingback: Reputation management: Royal Caribbean and Haiti — Mengel Musings by Amy Mengel

  212. STEVE dUDAS

    Having just returned yesterday from a cruise on the Navigator of the Seas, which did stop in Labadee this past Monday, I can say that the decision by RCCL to make this stop was indeed a good decision. The Haitian vendors in Labadee were grateful for our presence, our sympathies for their country’s devastation, and for the money we added into their local economy. Many have relatives in Port au Prince who fell victim to the earthquake’s destruction. Many will need the dollars we provided to sustain their own lives. The decision to make the stop in Labadee was indeed the correct one. To cancel that stop would have created another hardship for the Haitian locals, a financial one. To cancel that stop would have made as much sense as stopping tourism in Miami because of the hurricane devastation in New Orleans. Kudos to Royal Caribbean for making a good and sensitive decision.

  213. Laura Mayer

    After reading an article in the Indianapolis Star covering this controversy, I had a thought. Why not give the vacationers an option to help in the relief efforts for a day or two while the ship is docked? I bet if given the chance to contribute most people would rise to the occasion. Also by continuing to bring the tourists to Haiti you’re raising the awareness. Giving people the chance to see the devastation first hand will elicit a greater response of compassion.

  214. C MILLER

    I have been listinening to the media rant on this issue and find it utterly disgraceful. Simply put, there but for the grace of God – we all continue to work at our jobs, if we are lucky enough to have them, enjoy a meal or entertain with our friends, love our families and live our lives much the same as we have done each day and can still participate in helping ALL the unfortunate souls suffering around the world. Many choose to help others, many do not – it is not for us to critisize our fellow man but to do as we feel we should.

    I have been a RCI client for a great many years and the fact that donations to Haiti are coming in from the company makes me believe that they are good corporate citizens. As a shareholder, good corporate governance is important to me in as much as when my income increases, I am able to use my profits to fund and ailing economy, a charitable foundation or any other way I may be of service.

    What happened to the world’s ability to acknowledge good deeds? What thinking person could question your commitment to continued commerce in an area that has not been devastated? Why punish the people left unharmed by the devaatation? They count on having their jobs and livlihoods to feed their families.

    RCI will still have my business. You have done nothing wrong. Your donations and committment to sustaining commerce is not a bad one. It is a logical one. Ignore the sensationalism of the press – they have learned that to throw stones in every direction, improves their commerce.

  215. JEFF CORMIER

    As a 3 time RCCL cruiser and booked for the Oasis in March, I applaud your decision to carry on.

    As a military officer in the army, I know all too well the realities of making the tough choices that nobody else wants (or has the cojones) to make. Regardless of any immediate sentiments or moral opinions, the choices made by RCCL in the aftermath of this event will provide the most tangible benefit to the people of Haiti.

    Those that say the cruise line should cancel cruises and use their ships as supply and hospital ships are being quite irrational. I believe there is a limit of what can be expected from any company with a mandate to make money. A company’s leadership cannot legally go agaisnt the wishes of it’s shareholders. There is no way any rational investor will vote for an operation that will financial cripple the company.

    These ships have daily operating costs in excess of $1 million per day. To run a ship for several weeks and have no revenue to go with it is an unreasonable expectation. Firstly, the shareholders would not allow their company to plunge into financial distress in order to provide further humanitarian aid. This is WHY we have governments. This is WHY most of the world has dispatched ships and deployed troops to the region.

    Put yourself in RCCL shoes. If you were your family’s sole bread winner, would you stop providing for your family, drop everything and take the next plane to Haiti? Some would, but most wouldn’t. The key is to strike a balance and offer what you can to help. You unfortuntely can’t rob Peter broke to pay Paul. Balance. This is what RCCL is doing, and I believe it takes incredible resilience from their leadership to take the heat over this. The best choice is rarely the popular one.

  216. Pingback: MOTHER NATURE’S NEWS: Haiti’s Earthquake « Cedar Creek Voice

  217. JOAnn Moncure

    Was trying to make a decision as to where we would head on our next cruise, and made our reservation last night. We want to go to Labadee. love the place, love the Haitian people, want to support the people there in any way possible. It was a no-brainer.

  218. Terry & carol

    Adam and R/C, we commend you on your efforts to help the people of Haiti. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the Haitian people and we are confident that our money donations will truly make a difference. We do;however believe that R/C should be sensitive to their customers feelings. We feel that the passengers should make the decision whether or not they wish to stop in Labadee because of the way they feel(whether it be insensitive, uncomfortable or a safety issue). A top notch cruise line would allow their customers that feel this way to cancel and/or choose another itinery. From all the comments we read, I am sure there would be no problem finding passengers to take our place.

  219. marlene apollon

    In “La Mystique de la Citadelle”(“The Mystique of the Citadelle”), one of his last publications before his untimely death on May 17, 1946, my grandfather Louis Mercier, after describing the planning and construct-ion of this magnificent Monument – only some 60 kms from Labadee, and that I hope the Labadee visitors will be able to visit one day – and the motivation behind it, concluded that “…the Haitian people who were able to give the full measure of their worth, right after coming out of slavery … are ready to undertake that splendid experiment once again,, when the conditions are favorable and people no longer doubt that they can.” I am glad that RC has chosen to support the Haitian people on their road to fulfill that prediction.

  220. Ralph johnson

    What is the point of being a Royal Caribbean stockholder? We have been a stockholder for years and we used to receive dividends and shipboard credits for holding your stock. The stock, by the way, is down from where we bought it so at this point it is a loss. You have a recent policy that states that shareholder benefits are not combinable. We have done twenty cruises and always receive shareholder credits with Celebrity and Holland America no problem. Until recently we received shareholder credits from Royal Caribbean as well. To be fair Carival stock no longer pays dividends either. Being retired we look for value in the products we buy and work for every discount we can get.

    I just received and e-mail from Royal Caribbean saying that we will not be receiving a stockholder shipboard credit on our up-coming cruise RCCL cruise 6788115 but we have notice that we will be receiving credit on Celebrity’s 7244650 in April. Being both a Diamond Captain’s Club member and a RCL stockholder I’m not happy with your change in policy. The bottom line here is you gave us a $50 discount for booking a Junior Suite (big deal) and angered us in the process.

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Why the Royal Caribbean Brand Continues to Evolve

Monday, July 28, 2014 10:02 AM

By Vicki Freed, SVP of Sales and Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International I asked some of the Royal Caribbean International senior leadership to write a guest blog about the state of... Continue Here to Read More…

My New Responsibilities

Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:37 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. When I took on my new responsibilities a few months ago, I thought it would be very interesting to become a provider of shared... Continue Here to Read More…

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Monday, July 21, 2014 11:52 AM

By Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International I recently returned from Aspen, Colorado where Royal Caribbean International was the official cruise... Continue Here to Read More…

Have You Cruised on 30 Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:07 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Less than four months to Quantum of the Seas! As one of my law professors like to say, the “relentless march of the... Continue Here to Read More…

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…

Kristin Chenoweth Talks Entertainment on Quantum of the Seas

Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:05 PM

Blog entry by Kristin Chenoweth Kristin Chenoweth is a Tony and Emmy Award winning Broadway, film, and television actress. She is also the official Quantum Experience Advisor for Entertainment and... Continue Here to Read More…

How to Take Advantage of Opportunities Across the Globe

Monday, June 9, 2014 11:27 AM

It seems fitting to write this from a shipyard in Germany, because what I wish I had known when I was 22 was how global and networked my business and my life would become. When I was 22, the only... Continue Here to Read More…