Daily Archives: January 17, 2010

Royal Caribbean passengers frolic in Haiti as the screams from the rubble continue

Caribbean Cruise Ship Fleet could save Haitian lives or entertain tourists out of Miami. What did they choose? You guessed it!

Labadee Beach, Haiti

Passengers from the Royal Caribbean cruise ships Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas continue to enjoy themselves at the “five pristine beaches” leased from the Haitian government.

No need to worry about the tourists being bothered by those pesky injured and starving Haitians because the Royal Caribbean beaches are surrounded by 12 foot high fences and armed guards.

Two people pulled from the rubble and brought to the Haiti Rescue clinic Sunday, January 17, 2010. (Click the photo to visit the Haiti Rescue Center blog by missionaries Licia & Enoch Betor.)

And the screams from the rubble? No problem there either: the happy tink of steel pan covers any moans or pleas to help my son who has to have is leg amputated. I guess the fences are far enough from the beaches that the overweight retired whales sunning themselves and downing rum drinks with little bamboo umbrellas won’t see the barbed wire and shotgun toting guards.

You can read the Guardian article yourself and see where Royal Caribbean is saying that 40 pallets of food were dropped off (or maybe “are going to be”) – but many are sickened at the decision by Royal Caribbean to continue with business as usual.

Oh sure, Royal Caribbean did the big press release saying they are going to donate US$1 million and each ship that visits Haiti will drop off a few pallets of beans and rice – a few deck chairs. Whatever they can spare without disrupting the party too much. Considering what they could do, the size of the company and the resources at their disposal it’s much like tossing some coins over the side to watch the happy darkies dive and surface with de big smile for to get de shiny coin.

You think that’s too harsh? Do a little online research about the capabilities of Royal Caribbean and then apply it to the entire industry.

Coins over the side for the happy darkies.

Caribbean Cruise Industry fails to answer the call of humanity

There are only two entities that had the ability to deliver major quantities of food, water, medical supplies and shelter to the Haitian people during the first week of the disaster: The United States military and the Caribbean Cruise Ship industry.

President Obama waved his hand and the might of the United States headed for Haiti. American Special forces teams secured the airport within hours of the earthquake and the airplanes started to arrive shortly thereafter. The US Navy and their helicopters started to arrive before sun-up the next day and a carrier group arrived on day 2.

Say what you will about history, the past US abuses in Haiti, and the concerns of the pundits (but not those trapped in the wreckage) that the US has just invaded again: the bloody Yanks are coming through in Haiti like nobody else can. Donating money is all well and fine, but thousands more will be dead before the money can do any good at all. Those people need supplies and feet on the ground now and the USA has come through in a big way.

Yes, other organisations are loading airplanes and sending them too. The Canadians are on the ground and more are going to arrive tomorrow. The Jamaican military are there or soon will be.

Now consider the cruise ship industry.

The Port of Miami is the world’s largest cruise ship port and it is not unusual to see seven to ten cruises departing in a single day. Royal Caribbean alone operates six super liners from Miami that I can find and they have the infrastructure and personnel in place to stock these ships with military efficiency. (Royal Caribbean operates 42 ships total and owns 25% of the worldwide cruise ship travel market. They are huge.)

Now think about this: On January 22, 2010, the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas will depart Miami and again head to Labadee Haiti for fun on the beach.

Adam Goldstein, CEO Royal Caribbean - Doing just enough in Haiti to sound good on his blog - Decided that tourists were more important than using the full resources of his company to save more Haitians

Adam Goldstein, CEO Royal Caribbean - Doing just enough in Haiti to sound good on his blog - Decided that tourists were more important than using the full resources of his company to save more Haitians

Will God damn Royal Caribbean & the cruise ship industry?

Here’s what should be done:

The CEO of Royal Caribbean, Adam Goldstein, should order that the January 22 cruise is canceled. Refund the 2,500 passengers or send them to Orlando Disney World or anywhere.

Royal Caribbean should coordinate with the US military who seem to be in charge. Load the Jewel of the Seas with everything it can carry. Ask for medical volunteers from Miami. You’ll get lots. Take the ship full of food, water and medical supplies to the people of Haiti. Anchor it offshore and do what you can for a few days then head back for more, or perhaps fill it full of children and feed and care for them. Think “floating orphanage” or “floating hotel” for the rescue workers.

Anything but depositing more tourists on the beach. Anything but continuing to cruise the Caribbean and Panama Canal with tourists instead of devoting the entire might of the largest cruise ship company in the Caribbean to saving lives now.

Will God damn Royal Caribbean and the rest of the cruise ship industry? I don’t know, but I do. No no doubt the people on the other side of the barbed wire and shotguns at Labadee will too.

Further Reading

Personal Blog of Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein (Hmmm…. no comments on the guest post yet. Maybe the people of the Caribbean can say a few words to Mr. Goldstein and John Weis, Associate Vice President, Private Destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.)


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster

Where is God? – Trapped & Dying in Haiti text, blog for help as the cell phones come back on

Pray for missionaries Licia & Enoch Betor at Ground Zero in Haiti

If you can take reading her words, seeing her photos: Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Centre blog

“We are asking you to pray about..

  • The Rescue Center location.  The damage is getting worse with each tremor that we have.  We need to make some decisions soon.  The kids have been living and sleeping outside since Tuesday night.  We are thinking a new location that is not far away.
  • Infant formula and food for the kids
  • fuel for generator and vehicles
  • the kids in the RC and my kids peace in their hearts
  • some way to be able to get some Haitian cash.  All banks and places we usually exchange money are closed.

I am a wife and mother to three wonderful and wild boys. I have lived in Haiti since 1995 and run a Rescue Center that houses around 60 children that are sick and suffering from severe forms of malnutrition.”

“I do not pretend to understand the suffering that is happening right now in this country.  I know we all feel like we had had enough over the years.  The staff has come in to work. They are praying for their loves ones in town.  They are hoping for news and believing that they will soon here from them.  Mothers and father are weeping for their lost children.  Children are crying for their lost parents.

One of Enoch’s friends was trapped inside his house with his (the friends) two brothers and his mother.  They all died and people were trying to rescue him.  He kept yelling at them to stop and leave him alone.  He wanted to die with his family.

“They asked what they could drop down to him and he asked for a gun to kill himself.”

The reality is even when the outside world begins arrives what can be done.  Most of the city is damaged and needs to be torn down.  Thousands upon thousands of dead bodies are laying all over the place.  We have heard they are digging huge mass graves in the dump area.”

"We are still having patients coming in from Port-au-Prince, most are from the village out here but just live in town. This boy got here yesterday afternoon. He had been trapped under blocks at his house. His right left was broken in two places. He left leg was smashed below the knee. It was cold and turning black. His father walked into the yard and just fell apart. He lost his wife and four other children. He was so thankful that he was able to pull out the son above. He just wanted to go someplace other that back to Port-au-Prince. Then we had to tell him he had to return to the hell he had just left. He son’s leg needs to be amputated for him to survive."


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster