The Bahamas is more than just a destination on a cruise itinerary for Royal Caribbean: It’s a special corner of the world where, for more than half a century, we’ve made friends who are like family. Nassau, the capital of the island nation—which, thankfully was unaffected by Dorian—was actually our very first port of call 50 years ago, and today, more than 500 Bahamians are part of our dedicated employees at sea and ashore.
After the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian on Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama—one of most powerful hurricanes to make landfall in the Atlantic on record—Royal Caribbean set out to do everything possible for our neighbors, in partnership with the Bahamian government and local organizations. Wasting no time rolling up their sleeves to help, Royal Caribbean employees and crew members rallied to bring relief supplies and assistance to the affected island of Grand Bahama. From five ships (Empress, Majesty, Mariner, Navigator and Symphony of the Seas) that brought much-needed bottles of water, medical supplies, generators and 162,000 fresh meals, to sending barges with valuable necessities for a temporary field kitchen on Grand Bahama, Royal Caribbean activated on all cylinders.
Going beyond delivering supplies and donating money, the field kitchen—which was set up by temporarily deployed food and beverage employees from our fleet and corporate offices—provided sustained assistance on island. Now operated by locals, the kitchen prepares up to 20,000 meals, which are distributed at various locations across the island shoulder-to-shoulder with The Bahamas Feeding Network, a coalition of 13 organizations in The Bahamas.
In addition to providing support to the island, Royal Caribbean was able to evacuate 1,129 people from Grand Bahama by ship to Nassau, including reuniting Bahamian crew member Angela—a chef on board Mariner of the Seas and valued team member in the relief efforts—with her sister in Freeport.
“The Bahamas has been part of our family for decades, and we have hundreds of our colleagues who live and have families on the two islands directly affected by Dorian. This has hit close to home, and being a good neighbor is what we believe in,” said Helen O’Connell, director of Corporate Responsibility at Royal Caribbean.
One of the ways to get The Bahamas back on its feet is for travelers to visit any one of the nation’s 40 unaffected islands, which will help their tourism sector rebound as quickly as possible.
The health, safety and well-being of our employees, their families and the people of The Bahamas mean everything to us. To the people of this beloved region, we are determined to turn the devastation into hope hand in hand with you.
Royal Caribbean has also committed $1 million in relief, in partnership with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). Here’s how you can immediately jump in to help with donations—every dollar makes a difference.