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Old January 18th, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Default Would you get off the ship in Labadee?

This is a paragraph from the link below, from the U.K. media..how do you feel about this? Would you get off the ship, or stay onboard? I have to be honest, and say for me, for the forseeable future..I would stay onboard, but getting off, to make a purchase,and reboard, is another option, I would feel comfortable with..., but I wonder if the local people are working their stalls, and can they even get to the port area?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/19/cruise-ship-haiti-earthquake


Guests have the option of staying onboard if they do not feel comfortable getting off in Labadee, and we have augmented our onboard programmes for those guests," said a spokeswoman. "For the guests that do disembark, they can do so knowing that the net proceeds of their visit to Labadee will be donated to the relief effort."
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Old January 19th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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The area where Labadee is was not affected by the earthquake. The nearest town to Labadee is Cap Haitien and that is where all the supplies are going from RCCL ships. From there supplies will be transported to the capital of Port-au-Prince. It's about 100 miles from Labadee to Port-au-Prince.

I plan on getting off and spending money and enjoy my day there. RCCL employs over 200 Haitians at Labadee and they depend on cruisers to spend money to support them.

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Old January 19th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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I would also get off, enjoy the day and visit the market, help build back their economy.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 09:36 AM
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I agree, I would totally get off and enjoy the area and spend money. The cruise line employs 500 local folks (per RCCL's last news release); every dollar you spend there (e.g., in the flea market, tipping, etc.) does straight back into their economy. By not getting off the ship you are constraining one of their major sources of income.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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I have read the releases,and I know that Labadee had no damage, and, I know that Port au Prince is 100 miles away. I guess my feeling is a week or two would have been a repectful time, to not port there. Supplies and food delivered, then a day at sea. Can the people who work the market even get to the area, and with the havoc and their grief, do they want to?

As I mentioned, I would get off to buy from the vendors,but I could not truly enjoy myself. I know there is a wide divide on this point.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 12:03 PM
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I to would get off in Labadee and knowing the situation I would probably book more excursions and buy more souvenirs knowing that proceeds are going to help with the recovery efforts.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Funny, I was just in Labadee, and I KNOW it is well-protected and isolated from the devatation in PauP. I think that RCL has a significant investment in Labadee, that passengers look forward to the zipline and roller coaster, and that it is one of the few places where Oasis can dock.

So YES Royal Caribbean should definitely comtinue going to Haiti.

Our former editor, Anne Campbell, was just on MSNBC and she said it is becoming a "public relations nightmare" and that RCL should change itineraries. I love Anne, but I disagree.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 01:31 PM
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And I agree that they should port there...just a couple of weeks delay for passengers. to me would have been respectful....dropping off the needed supplies, is a given..and bravo to RCI for all their support.


Regis and the View spoke about this today,
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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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I would get off the ship in Labadee and do some shoping and some generous tipiing. The people who work there need an income more than ever.

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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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Are the people who work there, even able to get to the area, and if they can, do they want to? The possibility that they are leaving injured loved ones, I am sure weighs heavily on them..Do any returning cruisers know?

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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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I think if cruisers don't want to go there out of respect for those who've endured this tragedy they shouldn't just go somewhere else to spend their money. They should cancel their cruises, and donate those funds to the victims.

In this case, if I was on an RCI ship going there, I'd go and to me that would be showing my support. I'd consider it a "condolence call", as I would make to any friend who's lost loved ones. In those cases, not going is the sign of disrespect. I'd treat this situation the same way.

I'd also make sure to shop a bit more, and also make a donation that goes directly to a people very much in need.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 08:41 PM
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I'm just guessing here, but I would think that the people who sell their hand made items in Labadee most likely live in the area and aren't directly effected like others. In that case, I would for sure get off the ship and spend a little $ on their merchandise, etc.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 05:25 AM
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I read about this "problem" on Yahoo news this morning. I definitely would go to Labadee and spend money there. I am sure that those working there for the cruiselines and selling goods there are taking care of many family members that are displaced by the earthquake and for RCI to stop going to Haiti would hurt the locals more then can be imagined.

It does amaze me how the "Guardian" who wrote the story couldn't find it in themselves to show the flip side of the coin. Most people who book a cruise book it months in advance and would take a big loss if they canceled their cruise now. I wonder just how much these reporters are helping with the relief effort of if they are just using up resources?
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
I think if cruisers don't want to go there out of respect for those who've endured this tragedy they shouldn't just go somewhere else to spend their money. They should cancel their cruises, and donate those funds to the victims.

In this case, if I was on an RCI ship going there, I'd go and to me that would be showing my support. I'd consider it a "condolence call", as I would make to any friend who's lost loved ones. In those cases, not going is the sign of disrespect. I'd treat this situation the same way.

I'd also make sure to shop a bit more, and also make a donation that goes directly to a people very much in need.
Kuki, you made a couple of excellent points. Thank you, because I could not express my views as well as you did.

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Old January 21st, 2010, 12:31 PM
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I would get off. Haiti needs the money. Get off and spend your money.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Are the people who work there, even able to get to the area, and if they can, do they want to? The possibility that they are leaving injured loved ones, I am sure weighs heavily on them..Do any returning cruisers know?
Labadee is nowhere near the disaster area and those who work there do not commute from Port-Au-Prince which is several hours away. Roads and buildings in and near Labadee (and the local city of Cap-Haitien, where most live) are just as they were before the earthquake. Thus life goes on as close to normal as possible for those who work at Labadee.

I've read reports from cruisers who have been there since the earthquake. In all cases they say the local citizens are pleased to see the ships and passengers.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:53 PM
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In this case, if I was on an RCI ship going there, I'd go and to me that would be showing my support. I'd consider it a "condolence call", as I would make to any friend who's lost loved ones. In those cases, not going is the sign of disrespect. I'd treat this situation the same way.

I'd also make sure to shop a bit more, and also make a donation that goes directly to a people very much in need.[/QUOTE]

Yes...I have to agree!! I think Kuki's reasoning is totally sound. Let's not let sentimentality get in the way of helping these people. What they need is not pats on the back with a 'go in peace and keep well fed'...but immediate practical help. If you've seen the pictures and I know most of us have, you know they will welcome ANY and all help. I know if I was in that terrible situation my concerns would be about someone, anyone helping me. Any and all efforts would be much appreciated!!!! No false pride here...and from the looks of things in Haiti...none there.

If you look around while in port you might even find local organizations set up to send aid to Labadee. You could then donate directly in a monetary way or buy local goods from the venders and then donate them at one of the local emergency aid stations to be sent to Haiti. Think how much you'd be helping.

Helping people in pain or in desperate situations isn't always pleasant and can sometimes raise in us uncomfortable feelings of guilt or embarrassment. But really in this case it's not our feelings that count.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 09:00 PM
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I don't dispute anything that has been said, I have read all the media reports......my feeling is, going there last Friday, after the Tuesday quake was too soon...
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 10:33 AM
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I've got to disagree, when Independence arrived the Friday afterward they carried significant releif supplies; canceling the port would have potentially denied those supplies. Honestly, I don't there is a "right and wrong" answer to this; however, I have to support the efforts of the cruise line on this one.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 01:07 PM
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I believe RCL is taking a real s*** kicking for this one. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

I was listening to comments about it last week. The passengers on the Zuiderdam (which I was on) wanted to help in some way even talking about asking if we could stop there to offload some supplies or something - anything to help.

What I would do personally - I would get off the ship - go the straw market and spend.

Although the people who work the straw market are safe many if not all of them have family/extended family in Port-Au-Prince. Many of these family members are leaving the city and heading to other family in smaller towns for help. I believe by spending our money in the straw market we are in some small way helping the Haitians that need it.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 06:10 PM
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I'd still like to hear from a cruiser that actually stopped there and what the general atmosphere was both onboard and on the beach??
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 08:55 PM
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The way I understand it, every nickel they make on Labadee, from the zipline, etc is going to the Haiti relief fund. They have already donated $110,000. So the best thing you could do would be to get off in Labadee and have fun.

I heard at least one commentator on Fox business today say "God Bless Royal Caribbean." I hate to sound biased and I am not politically, but in this case it is the anti-corporate American apologists who seem to have the biggest problem with this even though RCL is one of the companies helping Haiti the most.

An MSNBC interviewer opened a segment with "Royal Caribbean has some cruise bloggers FUMING about the ships stopping at a beach so close to the devastation...."

I just don't understand some people's thinking. The mainstream media always goes for the sensationalism, every time. And not to be biased I saw Fox doing it last night as well with their crawl "Royal Caribbean ships continue to call at Haiti, guests sip pina coladas next to dead people."

Umm... Bill Clinton visited Labadee just six weeks ago and praised RCL for their financial commitment to Haiti. Why don't the networks show those pictures?

To those who don't really know the situation (and aren't those the people who are usually the most critical?)... Labadee is some 60 to 100 miles from Port Au Prince, and RoyCar invested some $30,ooo,ooo just last year for a new pier and attractions for the guests. The guests are nowhere near the tragedy site, plus they are some of the few people actually aiding the Haitian people in their time of need.

I just looked at a map - Kingston Jamaica, Guantanamo and Santiago Cuba (a city of MILLIONS) ARE ALMOST AS CLOSE TO PORT AU PRINCE AS LABADEE. Should we be telling those people their lives have to stop, too?

It's ridiculous - Labadee and PauP have almost nothing in common, it is NOT like the ships are stopping in a town where people are suffering. It is all sensationlized media hogwash.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 10:58 PM
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Restaurants and bars in NYC continued to operate on 9/11/01 and in the immediate days after. People needed to work. People needed to eat. People needed to have something normal to cling to. To say returning to Labadee last Friday (or during the past week) was too early is just a platitude. RCI can't cater to each persons sensibilities and somehow derive a proper time to return to a port after some calamity has occurred. The executives and staff had to weigh the business and human factors and make a decision, and they knew once they chose a course they had to stay with it, no matter the fallout. I am firmly in support of RCI's choice to continue stopping at Labadee.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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There is even an article in todays Chicago Tribune about people bashing Royal Caribbean for stopping there...I wonder what these same people are doing to help Haiti?? There was also a nice spread on Oasis of the Seas....
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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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MOST of the people who are bashing RCL, are not the one who would cruise on RCL.

My next cruise is sceduled to stop in Labadde. I am going to be VERY generous with my tips and will do some shoping while we are there.

We have also contributed to help the relief organizations that are helping in Haiti.

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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:51 PM
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By the way - there is nothing wrong with tipping well at any time, but here is an article I just wrote for our newsletter:



Pallets of water ready to load on a Royal Caribbean ship

How to Really Help Haiti
By paul motter

Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, another somewhat poor nation but better off than Haiti, especially now. The privately owned Royal Caribbean beach at Labadee is indeed within the nation of Haiti, but it is about 80 miles away from Port au Prince, the capitol of Haiti where the devastating earthquake occurred.

MSNBC television recently reported on "American cruisers sipping pina coladas on a beach just miles away from the devastation and death in Haiti." Last week they referred to the visits by Royal Caribbean ships as a "public relations nightmare" and characterized "online cruise bloggers" as "fuming" about the actions of the cruise line.

Perhaps in an attempt to change their tone a bit, an article came out today on MSNBC.com quoting comments from readers of a competing cruise site to CruiseMates on how to best help victims of the earthquake in Port au Prince.

The quotes are paraphraseed below:

"Yes, Royal Caribbean should continue to stop at Labadee, but here is what you should do as a passenger if you make a visit to Labadee..."

"The cruise ship brings food from the ship and cooks it onshore (for the passengers as a meal included in the cruise fare). We hear that all of the uneaten food goes to the local people, so eat a big breakfast on the ship and skip lunch on the island, leaving food for the locals."

"Go to the straw market and buy lots of stuff and tip big"

"Bring bottles of water from the ship and leave a few extras on shore."

"Buy some flip flops on the ship and leave them on the beach."


These are well-intentioned suggestions - but I think there is a better approach.

Former President Bill Clinton has been personally involved with improving living conditions in Haiti for years. Just six weeks ago, he toured Labadee as a guest of Royal Caribbean and praised the efforts of the cruise line there.

Royal Caribbean met again with Bill Clinton in New York City just last January 14th, just after the earthquake hit. The meeting was scheduled to include the Prime Minister of Haiti and discuss further economic development by Royal Caribbean. But the earthquake intervened before the meeting occurred. The Prime Minister was fortunately not injured in the earthquake but he but remained on the scene in Port au Prince to work on the relief effort.

The agenda of the meeting was changed to coordinating the relief effort. It turns out that Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein has been on several U.S. government committees to aid Haiti for years now, including one headed up by Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Bottom line, here is the big picture; not many people are more qualified to aid the Haitian relief effort than those at Royal Caribbean. So if you really want to help, one of the first things anyone should do is stop criticizing Royal Caribbean for stopping in Labadee.

In fact, if you really want to help the Haitians, one of the best ways is to work with Royal Caribbean on the relief effort. Here is what Royal Caribbean's president Adam Goldstein recommends:

The supplies we are sending include rice, dried beans, water, dried milk and a variety of other canned items. This effort is going to be a marathon, so we will be partnering with Food For The Poor on the back-end distribution in Haiti.

I am getting a lot of questions from everyone about how they can help. I have asked them to go to Food For The Poor and make a donation. This is the best and most effective way to assist in the relief effort right now.

Web site: Food for the Poor - Royal Caribbean.

There is a temporary hospital facility not far from the Labadee beach (about 15 miles) but they don't need flip flops or leftovers from yesterday's lunch. What they need is money to buy medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotics and other medicine. Royal Caribbean has already donated food, water and many temporary beds to the facility.

While leaving things behind in Labadee may sound like a good idea, it really isn't a very practical one. Money to the organizations recommended by Royal Caribbean is the best thing you can contribute.

And let's not forget Carnival Corp. which does not stop in Haiti but does make ports of call not far away. Carnival has also already pledged $5,000,000 to the relief effort in Haiti.

Bottom line, Royal Caribbean has been a leading American company helping the Haitian economy for years - with Carnival contributing to the Caribbean economy as well. I say let's give credit where credit is due, and contribute to the management of the Haiti relief effort to the people who know the situation best.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 11:45 PM
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Crown and Anchor Members received an email today from Royal Caribbean. Here are some extracted comments.

There has been debate over our decision to continue our calls on Labadee®. This was not an easy decision to make. Government officials, representatives of the United Nations and even taxi drivers asked us to seriously consider maintaining our visits to Labadee® to ensure the economic stability of this unaffected area of the island. In the end, we focused on the fact that we have been doing business on the island for more than 30 years and we were not going to abandon her in her darkest hour. So we have decided to continue to call on Labadee® as scheduled.

All of our ships calling into Labadee® are transporting much needed supplies to Haiti, amounting to over 120 pallets in the first week alone and more is on the way. Our lounge chairs have even become useful as makeshift hospital beds to help treat the injured. Royal Caribbean® has pledged at least $2 million in humanitarian relief including 100% of the net revenue generated during calls to Labadee®.

Kudos to Royal Caribbean.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
The way I understand it, every nickel they make on Labadee, from the zipline, etc is going to the Haiti relief fund. They have already donated $110,000. So the best thing you could do would be to get off in Labadee and have fun.

I heard at least one commentator on Fox business today say "God Bless Royal Caribbean." I hate to sound biased and I am not politically, but in this case it is the anti-corporate American apologists who seem to have the biggest problem with this even though RCL is one of the companies helping Haiti the most.

An MSNBC interviewer opened a segment with "Royal Caribbean has some cruise bloggers FUMING about the ships stopping at a beach so close to the devastation...."

I just don't understand some people's thinking. The mainstream media always goes for the sensationalism, every time. And not to be biased I saw Fox doing it last night as well with their crawl "Royal Caribbean ships continue to call at Haiti, guests sip pina coladas next to dead people."

Umm... Bill Clinton visited Labadee just six weeks ago and praised RCL for their financial commitment to Haiti. Why don't the networks show those pictures?

To those who don't really know the situation (and aren't those the people who are usually the most critical?)... Labadee is some 60 to 100 miles from Port Au Prince, and RoyCar invested some $30,ooo,ooo just last year for a new pier and attractions for the guests. The guests are nowhere near the tragedy site, plus they are some of the few people actually aiding the Haitian people in their time of need.

I just looked at a map - Kingston Jamaica, Guantanamo and Santiago Cuba (a city of MILLIONS) ARE ALMOST AS CLOSE TO PORT AU PRINCE AS LABADEE. Should we be telling those people their lives have to stop, too?

It's ridiculous - Labadee and PauP have almost nothing in common, it is NOT like the ships are stopping in a town where people are suffering. It is all sensationlized media hogwash.
Paul I agree one hundred percent with you!,and look forward to meeting you and the others on the allure group,me and my wife are considering it,and can't wait to see the final deals,Greg
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:25 PM
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I think I have to amend one thing I said. I don't think ongoing profits from all Labadee excursions are going to the relief fund, but that one day thay did and it was $110,000. Still RCL is still giving the $1,000,000 plus all of the relief supplies.

It turns out Bill Clinton has been nvolved in the Haiti situation for many years, and so has RCL president Adam Goldstein. These men are more qualified than almost anyone to know what to do now, so I say leave it to them.

Donate to their funds.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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