Today was a day of positives and negatives.
First the negative, the news from Port-Au-Prince continues to be grim. Everyone has seen the news report so I won’t go into this in too much detail. It just makes us all sad.
On the positive side, I’m proud to say that Royal Caribbean today made a minimum commitment of $1 million toward the Haitian relief effort. This contribution will be spent supporting Food For The Poor, the Pan American Development Foundation, and other organizations in Haiti that are engaged in the relief effort. As I mentioned yesterday, the company will be contributing 100 percent of the net revenue earned from Independence of the Seas’ call today at Labadee. We shared this information with our guests yesterday and the response we received from them was very positive. Many guests that have heard about this tragedy wanted to do something and this was good way for them to show their support.
In addition, the first relief supplies were off-loaded today from Independence of the Seas. These will be distributed by the Food For The Poor. Here are some photos that I received from our folks on the ground:
On another positive note, we have put all our plans into action, from coordinating employee and guest contributions from all of our ships to generous donations of relief items from our business partners, which will be taken to Haiti next week. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, so I want to thank everyone that has contributed to this effort, especially our vendors who have given so generously. Also, the team at Royal Caribbean has really pulled things together here and I want to thank them as well.
I’ve been reading some of the responses on the blog and one common concern I noticed from our readers is the subject of security. Throughout the 30 years that we have been working with Haiti, safety and security of our guest has always been our top priority. As any resort area would have, we do have a dedicated security team that protects the integrity of the site.
In addition, we approach security in Labadee by developing strong relationships with the local communities in which we live and work. We put these words into action by sponsoring schools; constructing water projects, bridges, docks, community centers; and supporting continued development efforts within the region. We do these things not just to ensure security, but also because it is the right thing to do for our neighbors and the people of Haiti.
We also create employment and financial opportunities for businesses who supply us with some of the goods and services that we need to operate on a daily basis. Labadee employs 240 full-time people and indirectly impacts another 300 through the straw market, hair braiding, and other companies that supply goods and services to the site.
Simply put, from a business perspective, security of our guests and employees is very important and we take it very seriously.
- John Weis, Associate Vice President, Private Destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Interested in helping? Royal Caribbean International is working with Food For The Poor and the Pan American Development Foundation. We encourage guests to make monetary donations to either of these organizations which are currently engaged in the relief effort. For even more information on Royal Caribbean’s humanitarian relief to Haiti, click HERE.