Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Perspectives on the Situation in Haiti

The extraordinary situation in Haiti continues and will go on in various ways for years. While this blog is a vehicle for communicating some of the aspects of what Royal Caribbean is thinking and doing, there is no way for a person or a company to truly comprehend the vastness of the tragedy or the needs of the Haitian people. So all we can really do here is give various perspectives on the situation. There are two in particular I want to bring to your attention at the moment.

The first goes by the strange name of sitrep and encompasses the many dimensions of activity occurring in and around Royal Caribbean for the purpose of managing and assisting with this crisis. The sitrep is both a process and a document that occurs every day usually early in the morning. It brings together many, many departments who have an interest and/or an influence on the situation. I only intend to post the sitrep report once but you can assume a version is coming out every day for the foreseeable future. I am grateful to all the sitrep participants, under the aegis of Gary Bald, Senior VP of Safety Security, & Environment.

View today’s sitrep report.

The second is more focused and more meaningful. In fact, it’s unbelievable. I mentioned previously that Maryse Kedar, President of SOLANO, our Haitian subsidiary, was in PAP at the time of the earthquake. By great fortune, she was ok. By Monday of this week she was well along with acquiring a water truck, accessing a supply of clean water and beginning distribution of meaningful volumes of clean water. Her report is attached. There are no words to describe how proud we are of her efforts that are at least commensurate with anything else we know of in PAP.

View today’s report from Maryse Kedar. Photos included.

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

40 responses to:
“Perspectives on the Situation in Haiti”

  1. Michael C. Mitchell

    Dear Mr. Goldstein;

    It is heartening to see concrete results.Your focus on Haiti is commendable. All the best in your efforts.


    Michael C. Mitchell

  2. Doug ARnold

    I for one commend RCCL for transporting needed supplies to the area, especially when the airport is swamped. More importantly, the ability of RCCL passengers to support the Haitian economy is paramount. RCCL could just as easily divert to another port where they would gladly take passengers money. Rather, RCCL felt it important to continue to provide the Haitians with the livelihood that they expect and deserve.

  3. Valerie Goodson Sweatt

    I applaud RCCL’s tremendous efforts to assist the Haitian people at this critical time; however, I was thinking….If I were a passenger on a RCCL ship, with a Labadee destination, I would want to spend my on shore time volunteering to help assit the Haitian people. I know that Port au Prince is a distance away; however, there are towns that are closer that could directly benefit from the generosity of RCCL’s passengers.
    Is this an option that RCCL makes available to it’s passengers? Such an option, I think, would be received positively by the passengers, and by the media. This type of gesture would eleminate the negitive publicity that RCCL is receiveing re: Labadee.

  4. V Goodson sweatt

    I applaud RCCL’s efforts to assit the people of Haiti at this critical time; however, I was thinking….If I were a passenger on a RCCL’s ship, with a Labadee itnerary, I would want to voulenteer my shore time to help the Haitian people.

    Is this option offered to your Labadee passengers? If not, is this something that you would consider? I am sure that your passengers would welcome the opportunity volunteer, and it would greatly benefit RCCL with positive publicity.

    I know that Port au Prince is a distance away; however, I am sure that there are towns closer that would deeply benefit from the personal care and assistance of RCCL’s passengers.

  5. anne Thomas

    Thank you, RCCL. You continue to live up to my expectations. I am excited to hear that you are giving back and helping with the relief efforts in Haiti.


    To: RCCL; Adam Golstein, CEO & President; RCCL’s Crew; and everyone involved with RCCL–
    Your company should be commended on your efforts in helping humanity no matter where it may be and especially Haiti in their tragic moment of life and death associated with this earthquake. Passengers and other people in the world should automatically understand your going to try to help ports that your company “services” for their livelihood with tourist from your cruises. When others appear to be having trouble getting to the people of Haiti via the airport and other means, it should be noted how your efforts are working. RCCL is my choice of cruiselines and will be–for me an my husband. Keep up the good work!

  7. Kim

    Thank you RCCL for your efforts to help the Haitian people. this is an absolute travesty and we cannot and should not abandon the people now in their time of need. i agree with V Goodson that your passengers might/probably/definitely are willing to help the people of Labadee and become a part of the solution. Thanks again!

  8. sharon DAle

    Mr. Goldstein,
    Thank you for your clarification of the article previously written to slant your efforts to help. I have been to Haiti several times and appreciate your point of view to continue to help the economy there! Fabulous! However, my main concern is for the orphans and the wounded. I know Royal Carribbean has several ships and some were used to help house Katrina victims in their time of need. You have a port, you have ships, why not donate a ship temporarily house thousands of those in dire need temporarily? I have several ideas, having done disaster relief and could definitely see this being a way to give to the people and show a more obvious side to your compassion for disasters as such! Please respond to this, as I believe you can really make an impact like was done with Katrina! Thank you again for clarifying your position as an organization on the relief efforts!

  9. Suzanne Damon

    I just finished reading an article on “AD AGE DAILY NEWS”, indicating that RCCL is making a big mistake by mixing commerce and humanitarian efforts. As I was reading the article the thought occurred to me that for the most part, every reporter,military and medical
    personal over there currently are getting paid by someone to be there. Is that not mixing commerce with humanitarian efforts? I congratulate RCCL for stepping out in boldness to support the country of Haiti. Regardless of the impact from the media, the people of Haiti need your support. As with any world tragedy, people are human and want to help fellow men, we will all find a way to satisfy that desire within our own means. Thank you RCCL for being the BEST!

  10. Andrea

    While I appreciate your efforts to help Haiti, is it not possible to perhaps temporarily dock one of your cruise ships in order to house some of the sick and/or families? Perhaps the same could be done with the resort itself? Although the cruises will continue in order to bring revenue to Haiti, this is a drop in the bucket compared to the lives that could be saved knowing they have temporary shelter.

  11. Marjorie Jean-Baptiste

    Thank you very much for blogging and keeping us updated on the relief efforts RCC is making in Haiti. The gratitude of the Haitian people will always live within the hearts and souls of its victims and survivors.

    The suggestions of V. Goodson Sweatt and Kim on what passengers can do to assist is probably one of the most important questions a future passenger can ask right now. At this point in time, even the smallest contribution we can make can extend into the hands of those who need it most. Please inform us.

    Thank you.

  12. Michele Rhinehart

    I am pleased to see RCCL is participating in relief efforts for Haiti. My suggestion, or better yet REQUEST , is for a cruise line to step forward and offer a ship to be temporary housing for the elderly and the orphans. Watching the news even this morning was heart wrenching. An assisited living facility was destroyed leaving many elderly without beds/shelter. They only recieved medical attention for the first time yesterday, with minimal medicine provided. They are still in need of water and food and clean beds, simply basic everyday needs. Can you PLEASE HELP? The elderly are as vunerable as children and really need the care and support. I would even offer to go in and round them all up for you if that is what it would take. Although it is appreciated all you have done, bringing tourism and supplies where you are already going is not going out on a limb and really reaching. I think you need to look deep and see what more you are actually capable of doing. I look forward to seeing what RCCL will do next.
    Thank You

  13. David

    I agree, your company has done wonders by continuing to support the local community, when the worse happens you did not turn away. If you turned away it would have just made the problem worse.

    Royal Caribbean is on the right track, and doing the right thing to help the people of Haiti.

    Anyone who criticizes Royal Caribbean for not doing the right should be shipped over to assist the relief efforts and not waste time picking apart a sound decision.

    Thank you!

  14. Mike harris

    I’m a marketing expert and I say ‘Good job RCCL’. I just posted this comment in response to the article today in AdAge.

    “I agree, non-story. However this is a very good example of why traditional PR is in a decline. A lot of old school PR folk way overestimate the value of their personal views and apparently underestimate the ability of people to think for themselves. The new PR calls for a Joe Friday approach: “just the facts ma’am”…plus a heckuva lot of knowledge about how the internet has antiquated the usefulness of PR escalation for the sake of taking beleaguered clients for a ride.”

    Mike Harris
    Del Mar, CA


    CEO is animal shore excursions line ove water your worst than hilter

  16. Trevor

    Mr. Goldstein,

    After reading a newsstory blasting RCCL for your continued use your Haitian port, I had the impulse to go out of my way to visit this blog and personally tell you I applaud your approach to the crisis. PR experts’ sensationalist villification appears superficial and out of touch. Once I read beyond the headline, I appreciated the positive intentions and efforts of RCCL.

    You gained a new customer. I will be sure to book my next cruise with RCCL.



  17. Michelle derasp

    I am part of a group that are booked on Freedom of the Seas in February. I have donated to the Red Cross and I will be donating onboard as well. I would also like to bring a few supplies to donate to the people who work at Labadee and/or the people of Cap-Hatien (shoes, shirts, etc). Is there any way to do this and what items do the people of Cap-Hatien need? I commend you on your efforts and hope that the negative press goes away. As a passenger who has Labadee on her itinerary I feel a more urgent need to donate then I would if I didn’t have a personal connection. It would be nice to see the amount of money donated by passengers for each ship reported as well. A little competition to donate more than the last ship could help the donations increase.

  18. Joe hillebrand

    Dear Mr. Goldstein: Pay no attention to the critics of RCCL for your Haiti efforts. We think it’s wonderful you are trying to help by cruising to Haiti and with your relief efforts. As past RCCL cruisers we applaud you and are proud of your efforts. You guys are a wonderful example of corporate citizenship.

  19. Yannick Haas

    Thank you, RCL, for all you are doing for the people of Haiti! Labadee is one of my fav. stops on the itenerary & I think that you should continue sending the ships there for the good of the economy of the people. Stay the course RCL, you are fabulous!!!!!!!!

  20. Kathleen ringland

    I also applaud you for you support of the Haitians, and see no reason why you shouldn’t have stopped in Labadee. There are too many small minded people in this world that need to see all the facts before they make negative comments. These people need all the help they can get, and by stopping in Labadee, that continues to support their lives. I say BRAVO RCCL!!!

  21. Michelle

    My RCL trip, with its first stop in Labadee, has been paid for for months and has taken many logistics (i.e. flying grandparents across the country to watch the kids). So I won’t be canceling my cruise, which is scheduled to stop there on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

    I do feel right that RCL is stopping in Labadee because so many Haitians depend on Labadee for their income. (The average Haitian makes less than $2 a day.) In fact, I read that 80% of Haiti’s tourism revenue comes from Labadee. And the Haitian government gets $6 per passenger – regardless if the passenger leaves the ship or not.

    The real question is, “What is the cruise line passenger going to do with his/her time at Labadee?” It could be wasted lying in the sun, getting drunk or used to benefit others.

    I’ve already donated money to the American Red Cross. But I want to do more…more directly. I’m not a medical professional or a relief aid worker…so what can I do?

    Right now, individual Americans or American families can’t ship goods directly to Haiti. Both FedEx and UPS have suspended operations for the time being.

    So, I look at RCL’s stop in Labadee as a unique opportunity to help Haitians face to face. I intend to bring an extra, giant suitcase full of supplies like bandaids, gauze, clothes, sanitary pads and baby wipes. I know that this small donation isn’t going to help the entire country, but hopefully a few people.

    RCL could avoid some more bad press by organizing humanitarian activities for passengers at Labadee. I’m sure that many would join me in bringing goods from home, unloading supplies or assembling medical kits. RCL simply needs to announce that there will be voluntary opportunities to meet with Haitians and/or relief agencies.I would also like to participate in a prayer service (since I’ll be there on a Sunday — in fact on the Day of Love, Valentine’s Day).

    So if each RCL passenger stopping in Labadee uses their time wisely by bringing helpful goods, then we can make a (small) difference! I encourage every passenger to pack supplies to help Haitians!

  22. Amy k jones

    RCCL has and will always be my Cruise Line. There have been so many mixed reviews about you returning to Hati, so quickly, but I know you did the right thing. I was fortunate to visit Labadee in October of last year. I know first hand the state of the economy in Labadee i can only imagine what it is like in mainland Hati. There is no way Hati can survive without RCCL. It’s nice to see you assisting your Hatian crew members. I know my steward is from Hati and he was so excited to stop in Labadee, travel to mainland and see his family for the day. You set the bar high!!! No other cruise line can compare to your standards. Keep up the great work!!! I look forward to sailing with you in March 2011.

  23. James Cunningham

    How stupid of those saying that staying away from Labadee will help the island of Haiti. RCCL, you keep the ships landing in Labadee to help support the island and to bring needed supplies. When the people who are critizing this effort make simliar contributions to this needed cause then they can critize. In the meantime, let them SHUTUP.

  24. kRIS

    Mr. Goldstein,

    I applaud your efforts to help the Haitian people. The people that say it is sickening need to educate themselves on economics (along with most people in our government, I might add…). I will be on the Navigator of the Seas on January 30th for five nights. Like others that posted above, I have called the cruise line to inquire about what we can do to help while we are there (other than spend money, which we plan to do)– something else such as unloading supplies, etc? Customer service was unsure about such opportunities, but I was wondering if you could make a public comment on the website regarding such opportunities. Thanks.


  25. Nicholas

    Dear Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International,
    We have been to Labadee on your ship and spent our well earned money to help others there.
    Not going there then robs your guest of the experience…
    We have donated money already. I ask why the wealthy oil rich Arab counties including Iran and Saudi Arabia have not is really another question?…
    We just returned from a great cruise to New Zealand for the holidays while things happen around the world should that stop us from traveling to other areas?
    Last year we were in Zambia and visited Zimbabwe knowing the refugees fleeing and many being killed by their wicked ruler Robert Mugabe…should that have stopped us…No!
    A few years ago we had scheduled a trip to Santiago, Chile when the G8 was staying @ the same hotel…we saw riots and bombs and cars being turned over in front of our hotel should that have stopped us from going out of the hotel and visiting that gorgeous city? No!
    People have to realized because what happened in an others countries will happen and to that stop what we have planned would be wrong!
    Keep up the great work…
    We had another great time on Rhapsody of the Seas…New Zealand is great place to visit!


  26. Jay Bonnell

    I haved cruised with RCCL twice in the past and plan (enthusiastically) to do so again. It is my understanding that RCCL has invested $50M+ in its Haitian operations, which results in incredibly important revenue for the western hemisphere’s poorest country.

    The earthquake represents a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions, and RCCL appears to be acting quickly and decisively to help. How would closing the Labadie facilities be of any help to the quake victims? The local population in the Labadie area depend on the revenue RCCL and its guests provide.

  27. Stephanie prince

    As a Diamond Level member, I beg you to reconsider RCL’s policy against assisting US citizens in bringing Haitian relatives with US visas out of Haiti and into Miami via Labadee. In this case, one of my employees had contacted RCL in the hope of buying a double cabin on the Navigator of the Seas out of Miami on 1/29 for her sister, also a US citizen and a registered nurse, who would travel solo on the ship from Miami to Labadee, where she would collect their 73 year old father, who suffers from asthma (not helped by dust or the smell of dead bodies) and had been without food or medicine for 5 days when they last spoke with him (on Sunday), and bring him back to the US with her. Except for 2 nephews, who do not have US visas or passports and will therefore have to remain in Haiti, the rest of their family was killed in the earthquake. Given the catastrophic problems that still exist with food, water and medicine distribution, and the total absence of any form of commercial transportation in and out of Haiti, this is literally a matter of life and death for him. His daughter would be able to bring medicine and clothing for him with her, and if necessary would be able to take care of him on the return voyage. When we called RCL, your agent said that RCL was not allowing any pickups from Labadee. We are still anxious to do this, and I urge you to change this policy. Please email me if we can do this.

    In addition to the efforts the company is already making, this would help RCL directly save lives and relieve pressure on the relief efforts.

  28. Alexenglish

    Dear Mr. Goldstein,

    I think that what Royal Caribbean is doing is very much the right thing. Haiti needs help, but it also needs some semblance of a return to normalcy. Royal Caribbean is helping Haitians with both of these things. In fact, by continuing to send cruises to Haiti, Royal Caribbean is helping with both the short term and long term relief efforts. This article from Tonic lends a nice perspective to the situation:

  29. Kathie Carson

    Mr. Goldstein

    Is is possible to exercise your industry leadership role to secure one or more of the industry’s older cruise liners or a mothballed liner to be setup as recuperation facilities and temporary housing for those in need of same after medical treatment. According to the news reports, the lack of such facilities is hampering the treatment of new patients, and the healing of treated patients who have no other place to be taken to recover. It seems that the entire shipping and cruise industry could be of great help in this regard. Similarly the world’s Naval resources. And the corporate community, the NGO Volunteer relief organizations could support the operations of the ships, care, treatment of homeless and treated, and the orphaned until new housing or relocation options can be developed on land.

    The RCI efforts are laudable and decisions are understandable, but so very more has to be done by EVERYONE if Haiti is to be restored. Right now the fight with the clock is to keep people alive. Too many seemed to have survived the earthquakes but are losing their lives for lack of food, water, medical care and a proper place to live.

  30. Diane Bean

    please post the information again on how pallets can be delivered to your piers for distribution to Haiti. We here in NC could have as much as 16 truck loads.

  31. jeff & Cindy Thoede

    Mr. Goldstein

    We Heartily agree with Kathie Carson’s suggestion of using older vessels as temporary shelter. Logistically it may take time to have them positioned, but the people of Haiti will be without appropriate shelter for a very long time. Even barges set up with tents would allow them to get away from the rubble during the long clean up planning, and rebuilding process.

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

  33. Jerry Ladner

    Dear Mr Goldstein and Staff

    We have been to Labadee on two RCCL cruises and we applaud you for supporting the Haitians both before and after the earthquake. I visited Port au Prince on my first NCL cruise in 1974 and saw first hand the extreme poverty of a very friendly people. They need MORE tourist dollars not LESS. Please continue to sail to Labadee as that has become our favorite stop. We are planning a cruise this year on the Oasis of the Seas. Hope it stops in Labadee. Keep up the great humanitarian work RCCL is doing. Critics are a dime a dozen, hard work and putting you money where your mouth is is PRICELESS!

  34. Sherri Brown

    God Bless you is all I can say….God Bless you for everything you are doing in Haiti. You will always be our first choice for cruising for our family because of your compassion and committment shown to Haiti….You are doing God’s work….

  35. lisa

    We will be in Labadee during President’s week, which is always filled with kids of all ages. It would be great if word got out for passengers to bring already assembeled backbacks with supplies on to the ship. It would also be great if upon checking in there was a collection bin for clothing and supplies the passengers could leave. As we go through our summer clothes for our vacations, there is always something that doesn’t fit that can go to charity or the Hati relief efforts. This would be a great opportunity for kids of all ages to collect and donate items for the Hatian people. Please RCCL, help us find a way to help others.

  36. Gail Pavlick

    While I understand that some people are concerned about Royal’s intention, it is a great thing you are doing. As everyone knows, supplies are crucial to Haiti right now and any contribution Royal can make is great.

    Keep up the good work!


    Dear Mr. Goldstein,
    I sailed this past week on the Solstice and stopped at Labadee, where I personally witnessed and photographed the water and other supplies being off-loaded to be transferred to where the relief is most needed. Knowing that the net revenues and every dime we spent on purchases from the island artisans and our tips to the local staff (who assisted with beach chairs, directions, etc.), were going to help families in need made for a very positive experience. With that said, you could see the sadness and the grief in the eyes of the Haitian’s working on the island and listening to their stories (those of us to took the time to do so), was not easy- especially after watching the non-stop images from CNN on board in our cabins.

    However, hats off to you and to Royal Caribbean for all of your efforts and your dedication to making a difference! Here’s the link to my report and the photos which we’ve posted on the blog at

  38. David Conde

    I totally agree with this post and wanted to repost it. My co-workers and I think it is a great idea. Kudos to Sharon Dale

    21st January, 2010 at 12:26 am sharon DAle
    Mr. Goldstein,
    Thank you for your clarification of the article previously written to slant your efforts to help. I have been to Haiti several times and appreciate your point of view to continue to help the economy there! Fabulous! However, my main concern is for the orphans and the wounded. I know Royal Carribbean has several ships and some were used to help house Katrina victims in their time of need. You have a port, you have ships, why not donate a ship temporarily house thousands of those in dire need temporarily? I have several ideas, having done disaster relief and could definitely see this being a way to give to the people and show a more obvious side to your compassion for disasters as such! Please respond to this, as I believe you can really make an impact like was done with Katrina! Thank you again for clarifying your position as an organization on the relief efforts!

  39. Lila Held

    You are without a doubt doing the right thing to not withdraw your ships from Haiti at this time when it is so sorely needed. Even if all you did was to continue your normal operations, I would applaud it, because now is not the time to take business away from Haiti. To go the extra to donate all the Labadee proceeds to Haitian relief and to bring in badly needed supplies is wonderful and honestly what I have come to expect from NCCL over the years. Thanks for the great job you are doing. Anyone who criticizes your efforts doesn’t understand how much your business means to Haiti.

  40. michael mickiewicz

    Dear Mr. Goldstein and Staff,

    There has been so many mixed reviews about you returning to Hati, and what you should do when you get there, but I think you are doing the right thing. Reading the reviews of others There is no way Hati benefits without RCL being there.RCL will always be my Cruise Line of choice.I applaud your efforts and do not expect you to do everything suggested in these forums. Do what you do best let others do what they do best.

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