Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Royal Caribbean and their return to Labadee, Haiti

Our posts are normally very neutral and banal, but it's been boiling away all day as we read posts to other blogs about Royal Caribbean's return to their private area Labadee in Haiti.

Many of the cruise pundits that clog the net have been spouting off that it's immoral, inappropriate or down right wrong for Royal Caribbean to bring Pina Colada swigging cruise passengers to Labadee when people are suffering in the country.

Yes, there is massive suffering and destruction. But should that stop the humatarian aid being brought in through Labadee?

Does it mean that the 500 plus employees and vendors that rely on the income from Labadee not have any income and add to the island suffering?

Not have any funds to sustain themselves or help their family members in the affected areas?

If Royal Caribbean did not call on Labadee, what would happen to those 500+ people?

What would happen to their families?

No money to buy food?

No moneyto pay for shelter?

No money to buy their kids shoes?

No money to help their relatives in the earthquake damaged areas?

What about the idea of being abandoned by the company they depend on?

What about their pride in jobs well done?

What about the depression that not having an income could produce?

It will take years until Haiti is back to normal. Should Royal Caribbean put off calls to Labadee until everything is perfect in the earthquake area and the people in their section near Labadee are starving?

Any inhabitants of a disaster ravaged country need a hand. Royal Caribbean has had their hand extended for years in Haiti and is continuing to extend that hand, not only in the humanitarian aid pledged, but in the moral support of it's employees and vendors in Labadee.

Should these people be abandoned by the company they depend on?

Do these people realy care that Pina Colada swigging tourists are enjoying this beach paradise? You be they do! They want the tourist to enjoy their paradise and they want the tourist dollar.

Without the tourist dollar they will suffer even more. Should the tourist dollar go somewhere it is not needed as much?

Should Royal Caribbean send the ship to another port that is rife with tourists and their dollars?

Royal Caribbean is giving 100% of their net profits from Labadee to relief efforts in Haiti. So I say to every passenger, don't order that Pina Colada on the ship, order it in Labadee!

Go to the flea market and pay what the vendor is asking. Don't try to bargain them down to nothing as usual. In fact give them a dollar or two more.

This is responsible tourism when you support those that need it most.

This is responsible tourism when you don't abandon those that have come to depend on you.

This is responsible tourism when you enable local people to keep their jobs.

This is responsible tourism when you enable local people to feed their families.

This is responsible tourism when you enable local people to house their families.

This is responsible tourism when you enable local people to cloth their families.

This is responsible tourism when you enable local people to get medical care for their families.

This is responsible tourism when you enable the local people to keep their pride!

We support Royal Caribbean in their humanitarian efforts and their return to Labadee.

Our only wish is that our passengers will give that extra dollar for the wood carving they are buying. That dollar can feed a child for a week!


Judy said...

This is something most of us do not think about when we're "cruisin'." Thanks for putting things in perspective.

It will be years before this already impoverished nation will even begin to rebuild. Let this be an opportunity for people "on the cusp" to see Americans (and other tourists) at their compassionate best.

Politically this could be the example that the country needs when choosing whether to believe a tyrant's propaganda against democracies or do what it takes to establish their own democratic government.

Maxine Ezra said...

I agree with the cruise people comments 100%. The reasoning not to go to Haiti has little merit. The reasons to continue going are overwhelming. Since when do we visit countires based on how well their people are doing? We should have learned after Katrina. The folks in New Orleans were begging for the tourists to return. Not only should RCI continue to go to Haiti, they should look to invest more and have more ships visit their port. The highest form of charity is teaching people and making it possible for people to make their own living. This is what RCI has done and is continuing to do in Haiti.

Maxine S. Ezra
Maxxe Travel