Guest Post: Royal Caribbean's Relief Efforts Continue in Haiti

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On the ground in Labadee, the word is that many people are traveling from Port Au Prince to Cap Haitian. For those of you that don’t know, Cap Haitian is about 15 miles from Labadee on the other side of the mountain. A gymnasium there is being used as a makeshift hospital as all the other medical facilities are full and there are thousands of people coming into Cap Haitian to seek shelter, food and water or medical attention. Despite this, the conditions in Cap Haitian are relatively calm at this point and the local authorities and the UN have the situation under control.

Through the good work of David Southby, the Labadee Site Manager and many others, all the supplies that were delivered by Independence of the Seas on Friday have been distributed. We’ve also gone through the site giving up any extra lounge chairs, bedding and mattresses which are now being used in the makeshift hospital. We have also heard from our close colleague and good friend, Maryse Kedar, President of SOLANO, who is in Port Au Prince taking on a leadership role with the recovery effort in her neighborhood. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and David.

From the Royal Caribbean side, the Haiti Relief Team has put together another 6 trucks of relief supplies which will be delivered via Navigator of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of next week. Our ships have really stepped up and have committed to fitting over 100 pallets of relief supplies on each voyage that calls on Labadee. This is equivalent to over three semi-trucks-full two to three times a week. Most importantly, we are getting these supplies to the people that need them, the same day that they are off-loaded.

Finally, we have made the decision to contribute all the net revenues earned on Labadee during Navigator and Liberty’s call on Monday and Tuesday. I will share those results as they come in. One other thing I ‘d like to mention is that we need as much help as possible from other companies to make sure the ships are going down loaded with relief supplies. Right now, we are looking for pallets of goods that have been sorted in homogeneous categories such as canned goods, clothing, water etc. We can guarantee they will get to the people that most need them in short order. Cash donations to the Food for the Poor or PADF would be great as well. For those who are not able to provide palleted supplies in large quantities, I encourage you to make a financial contribution at No matter how small, every contribution counts towards helping Haiti through this horrendous time.

– John Weis, Associate Vice President, Private Destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

  • Ryan Cesaitis

    Well done RCL, well done!

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  • Diane Bean

    Is it possible to have our traveling clients to contribute a suit full of clothes/supplies and leave at Labadee. I have had passnegers ask if this could be possible.

  • Gloria Roldan

    It is so great that Royal Caribbean is contributing in the aid of Haiti. One more reazon to love Royal Caribbean, it is my pleasure to work w/ such a great company.
    Our thoughts and prayers are w/ Haiti!

  • Diane Curfiss

    As a Crown & Anchor member & very small stockholder, I was wondering what Royal was doing about Labadee! Just wanted to let you know I am very proud to tell everyone what I have just read. Keep up the great work.

  • Susan Mathias

    RCCL has been my favorite cruise line ever since I entered into the travel business in 1987. I’ve probably been to Labadee 7 or 8 times and I’ve always held a very special place in my heart for the people of Haiti. I am so very proud of all the work RCCL is doing to help the people of Haiti through this most horrific time.

  • Brenda Van Cleef

    I am a travel agent with clients on the Liberty at this moment on the way to Labadee. They both asked what could be done to help and are planning on giving a donation while onboard.

    Thank you for the above information. I will forward this onto clients.

  • Susan Mathias

    RCCL has been my favorite cruise line since I entered into the travel business in 1987. I’ve probably visited Labadee 7 or 8 times. There has always been a very special place in my heart for the people of Haiti. I’m so proud of all the work RCCL is doing to help the people of Haiti though this most horrific time.

  • Cathie Kelly-Lopez

    To Everyone at Royal Caribbean… We returned today from our Jan 10 – Jan 17 cruise on Freedom of the Seas. The Captain made an excellent decision not to stop at Labadee, Haiti on our trip down due to weather conditions. We took up a collection on the ship to help the Haiti victims. I cannot tell you how proud I am to have made this trip and to have heard of the humanitarian efforts of Royal Caribbean. What a great company. The decisions being made by your team have made me a firm supporter of your company. Thank you! BTW, the cruise was excellent! From our Stateroom attendant Gregory to our Waiters Leandro, Bubba, and Junior to the Cruise Director Allan… this trip for myself and my sisters was a joy! Thank you so much for being who and what you are! Cathie Kelly-Lopez

  • Kathy Maude

    Thank you, Royal Caribbean, for being so prompt in coming to the aid of the Haitian people. From my cruise experieence, I’ve always know how hospitable you are, but now I know RCL as a humane, caring organization, committed to doing whatever is necessary to spare these people any more pain and suffering. Thank you.

  • Tonya Walker

    I cruised with RC in 2006 and 2007. My first cruise (Freedom of the Seas) took me to Labadee Haiti where I remember the island being absolutely beautiful. To see the devastation of Haiti at this time saddens me tremendously, as I can not imagine the degradation of life that I witness through media, such as CNN. I was concerned about the lack of effort on behalf of Royal Caribbean because through all the media coverage I have not heard anything that RC was doing to help those they employ until today. When I visited this website and read all of the efforts that RC has poured in the Haitian Earthquake I applaud.

    I applaud.

    I don’t know if any other cruiselines are participating in the Haitian effort ( I’m sure they must be), but RC is my cruiseline of choice, so it was important to me to know that you had taken an interest in helping those in need.

    Tonya Walker
    Member #320871870

  • Pam Couling

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so gladdened to see that RCCL is rendering humanitarian aid in this way! It makes me feel even better to be loyal to “Royal”! Keep up the good work and know that your efforts are appreciated more than you will ever know. Thank you again! Pam

  • Christina Steck

    Thank you for sharing this. Food for the Poor is my favorite charity and my family and I have supported their efforts for many years. I am happy to learn that my favorite vacation and my favorite charity have teamed up for the relief efforts. Thank you!

  • Nancy Elliott-Greenwood

    Thanks for sharing this information Adam. As a shareholder of RCCL, I am proud that we are sharing with the local people. Our prayers are with the people of Haiti after this disaster.

  • http://marie marie fisher

    I am really happy to see that Rccl is doing so much to help. My husband and I were discussing today if we would want to go to Labadee during this time and found it a tough thing to consider. It is so heartbreaking what these people are endearing. But if one new their trip there was actually helping the victims, it would make it an easy decision. Please continue to stop at Labadee and help these poor souls, I am sure I am not alone in saying I wish I could do something to help, besides donating money I have no other way to help out. RCCL can help directly and it is wonderful that you are, please continue to do so. I am very happy to be a customer of such a caring business.

  • Steve Westman

    I am pleased and proud that the Royal Caribbean organization which I have had the pleasure and privilege of serving on 4 cruises is taking a leadership role in the Haitian crisis. Keep up (and expand!)the great work!

  • Sheryl C. – Ky

    I have always chosen and recommended RCI ships when cruising, because I felt they were a good, sincere company. This just proves it!

    Thank you so much for being good leaders in this time of crisis and acting so quickly!

    You are making a difference. My heart feels with pride!


  • Mike Davis

    Do you feel that RC needs to stop going to Labadee at this time, and let the country get back on its feet before returning to let us enjoy their beaches?
    Sincerely, Mike

  • Paul LeBon

    I commend Royal Caribbean for what you are doing ferrying supplies to Haiti. Is it possible that you might help evacuate the many mericans who are stuck there and can not get flights out?

  • Matt Chapman

    The relief efforts are to be commended, but stopping for a business-as-usual-fun-in-the-sun while bodies are piling up is deplorable. I think you really need to rethink your strategy here.

  • MICHAEL c. mitchell

    Dear Mr. Goldstein;

    On Canada’s nationally broadcast CBC radio program “The Current”, Royal Caribbean was praised by
    Jean-Louis Warnholz. Mr. Wornholz, a former advisor to
    Haiti’s Prime Minister, said that, despite controversy, Royal Caribbean was maintaining much needed service to Haiti. He also said a “Marshall Plan” was required in Haiti and that tourism was key.

    The daughter of my wife’s colleague was on “The Independence of the Seas” when she docked on Friday in
    Labadee. The daughter was totally supportive of Royal Caribbean’s efforts. Word will spread quickly
    through such returning passengers and rest assured the majority will back your actions.


    Michael C. Mitchell

  • Alice Edwards

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all that Royal Caribbean is doing for Haiti. Our thoughts and prayers are with ALL that have been touched in one way or another.We are sailing in April on Liberty and are looking forward to are stop in Lababee to support the the workers and spend more then a few dollars.

    Again, Thank you !
    The Edwards

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  • MICHAEL c. mitchell

    Dear Mr. Goldstein;

    Royal Caribbean was praised today on Canada’s CBC
    Radio. Mr. Jean-Louis Warnholz, a former advisor to
    Haiti’s Prime Minister, singled out Royal Caribbean for bravely maintaining calls to Labadee.


    Michael C. Mitchell

  • gretchen shapero

    I am working with Beyond Borders, a nonprofit who has worked in Haiti for the past 16 years. Just getting food, supplies, and medical personnel into Haiti has been a nightmare so I commend Royal Caribbean for not only donating money and bringing in food and supplies but also continuing to support the Haitian economy by stopping at Labbadee. I was on Liberty of the Seas in November (8th-15th) and saw for myself what Labbadee was like. Knowing so much about the country through my work with Beyond Borders, I know that buying crafts at the market or tipping the man who sets up a beach chair can make a huge difference in a family’s life. So, if people realize that by continuing to stop there, they are supporting the economy and they are feeding families, giving them money for medical care, and helping parents send their children to school. Good for you!

  • Rev. ReNEE mERYMAN

    Dear Mr Goldstein, President of Royal Caribbean,
    I urge you to help the suffering people of Haiti by picking up as many people as you can fit on your cruise ships and nurture them back to health. You have food, water, and a hospital on board.

    Many have no homes. Let them live on your ships for as long as possible and then you can return them to their country when their souls are strengthened.

    Suggestion: If you do this you will have to cancel existing reservations. Give the patrons a choice of having their deposit returned or donating their deposit to the relief fund.

    Please consider this. The people need a reprieve from the devastation. You have the power to provide it. Thank you, Rev. Renee’ Meryman

  • Rev.renee Meryman

    Dear Mr Goldstein, President of Royal Caribbean,
    I urge you to help the suffering people of Haiti by picking up as many people as you can fit on your cruise ships and nurture them back to health. You have food, water, and medical supplies on board.

    Many people have no homes. Let them live on your ships for as long as possible and then you can return them to their country when their souls are strengthened.

    Suggestion: If you do this you will have to cancel existing reservations. Give the patrons a choice of having their deposit returned or donating their deposit to the relief fund.

    Please consider this. The people need a reprieve from the devastation. You have the power to provide it and will garner nothing but good will. Thank you and God bless you, Rev. Renee’ Meryman

  • lacreta mannng

    Just out of repect for the people that have lost lives, families and are still buried under rubble, it only seems respectful to suspend the cuises into labadee at least until all rescue efforts are exahausted.

  • Joan franzone

    I have been on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Sea and recommend it highly to others. Have been to Labadee as part of the cruise my husband and I were on I met many Haitian Vendors and was impressed by their gentleness and spirituality.

    Money being donated for the Haitians should be used to RENT your cruise ships…..People who have already booked should be given the option of having their deposit money refunded or donating this to the cause.

    The ships would be serving as IMMEDIATE quarters for the people until their homes have been rebuilt/and or better shelter provided for them on the mainland.

    Help is needed IMMEDIATELY. During wartime…CUNARD converted the Queen Elizabeth I into a war ship ..then it was converted back. We are at WAR with TIME.

    Cruise ships from other LINES could be RENTED also and lined up…..20,000 people could be taken care of at once, if 4 of these size ships participated…which could be RENTED by a Country, A State, or a handful of wealthy individuals.

  • Faraz

    I think the current effort is a good start, but more can be done.

    Here’s an idea: Why not organize ‘volunteer excursions’ for passengers? Imagine an effort similar to habitat for humanity where volunteers spend a day directly rebuilding a school/home. Medical professionals can volunteer at a clinic, educators can teach at a school. There are many possibilities. Cruiselines simply need to organize and sponsor the effort.

    This is a way for passengers to have a direct impact in the rebuilding effort in Haiti while feeling good about giving back.

    Its a win win win for Haiti, Royal Caribbean and the passengers.

    What do you think?

  • JMB

    Keep up the good work. Don’t listen to the negative stuff. You’re supporting the relief efforts and supporting the jobs for those working at your resort stop on the North of the island. We are happy to have cruised with RCI and will continue to support your works in Haiti.

  • bruce fuerbringer

    Mr. Weis,
    My first reaction was one of mixed emotions. The post on YAHOO was not all that flattering for RC. As a past passenger of RC I had to think about this whole concept. I see both sides – the value of the relief effort and the seeming callous vacationing amongst misery. I think if RC makes more of an effort to promote the stop as a relief effort it would make a difference. I’d readily take a cruise that stopped at Haiti if I had a chance to help out, even for a day. As a retired firefighter I know how good it feels to help others – and this would make my vacation even more memorable! I wouldn’t think of jet skiing and self-indulgence. I’d dedicate the day to helping others. Now THAT would really put RC’s passengers in a unique and humanitarian light!

  • Kristin

    While I am proud of RCCL’s efforts, I think it is distateful that the ships are returning to Labadee why people are still dying and waiting for burial, mere miles where you are frolicking in the sun. Lets have some sensitivity to what has, and will continue to occur as disease sets in. If RCCL really has the best interests of the Haitian economy and people at heart, more power to sending supplies, but why not send some empty ships to act as makeshift hospitals and/or recovery quarters for the thousands living on the streets, exposed to the elements, while tending to their own wounds. Your beds and medical staff are needed far more this close after the disaster than the small amount of funds coming in from guests spending on the island. What good is the money, if the people are dead or too sick to put it to use?

  • Linda Taillon

    I am planning to bring some clothing (on my upcoming cruise departing 1/31) that I hope will be distributed to those in need in Cap Haitian.

  • Barry hampton

    Well done Rccl. If all other cruise lines would join you in including Labadee in their stops, think of the supplies and additional money that would be given. This is the way to show respect for all the dead & those still buried under rubble. Help the living !

  • http://www Suzanne Bragdon

    Thanks for the updates. Tourism is obviously a big part of the Haitian economy, so it’s important to keep this aspect of their Country in place as much as possible – which means visitors to Labadee.

    Beyond the direct relief measures taken by Royal Caribbean, I was also intrigued by the opportunity afforded cruise-guests to provide hands-on support to the relief effort while docked in Labadee (their choice, of course.)

    Money donations are greatly needed and appreciated (the “net profits” at Labadee going to relief is very cool), but how many people truly get the opportunity to provide hands on support during a disaster of this nature? Definitely a life-changing experience.

    I hope this type of support can expand beyond pulling together back-packs for kids. It allows a great opportunity for people from the US to unite and bond with Haitians over this disaster. And in turn, it gives us a little reminder of how fortunate and blessed we truly are…

  • http://N/A Beauny Elibert