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15 miles from Labadee !!!!


aprilfool

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I doubt that many if not most people who live or lived in PAP actually knew that ships visited Labadee? but i stand to be corrected on this, so quite a lot of the arguements put forward on this thread do not hold water as to what those people actualy think about ships being there.

 

With regard to the UK papers i would bet that the writer of the article has never been to Labadee or even left the comfort of his or her armchair while writing it! it was clearly written to antagonise non cruisers in the UK and to have a go at American cruisers while failing to mention all the other Nationalities onboard. you only have to read the online replies at Guardian online to see that many replies are from people who have never cruised and in my opinion never even knew Labadee existed.

 

In response to a Canadian reply on page 8 i think it was regarding how long it took certain people to actually get to Haiti (Rescue teams) the UK teams were Refused persmission to land in Haiti with their Heavy Duty equipment by the people controling the airport !!! which beggars belief and meant they had to spend at least 24 hours in the D.R. before they could get in to start finding people!! and having to leave the Heavy Rescue equipment behind.

 

While i accept that there is chaos on the ground, even now it appears that the Left hand does not know what the Right hand is doing with regard to who is actually running the show!

 

The ships have to continue to go to Labadee and take the much needed aid with them because as far as i understand they are the only ships taking aid by sea at this moment in time.

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You misinterpret what I meant. I'm not implying that everything will be rebuilt in a couple weeks.

 

Let's say you lost every relative you had in one day due to some natural disaster. Your home is in shambles and you have nowhere to go. Are you in the proper frame of mind to report to work? Seems to me that you'd want to be able to have time to locate alternative accommodations, to find and bury your relatives and get things in some semi-order before going back to work, yes/no? And let's say that your company actually gave you an option - they paid you for two weeks while you took care of things.

 

And that's with the scenario of only you surviving. What if you lost parents and a significant other but had children to care for? What if the school they attended was in shambles and you had no ready childcare to send them to while you reported to work?

 

What I am saying is give people time to get those concerns in order BEFORE bring back the guests. The loss of income argument is negated if the company pays them while they sort through the damage. If they still want to show up to Labadee, then great - hey there's a copious amount of food and supplies coming off this ship so could you assist us with collecting and distributing it to the surrounding communities? That's the message I'm trying to convey.

I'm not sure you understand the distance between Labadee and Port-au-Prince and/or you don't understand how quickly the effects of an earthquate dimish with distance.

 

It's very unlikely that many, if any, of the people that work at Labadee had their house damaged, much less in a shambles. Or their children's schools, assuming they go to school.

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You misinterpret what I meant. I'm not implying that everything will be rebuilt in a couple weeks.

 

Let's say you lost every relative you had in one day due to some natural disaster. Your home is in shambles and you have nowhere to go. Are you in the proper frame of mind to report to work? Seems to me that you'd want to be able to have time to locate alternative accommodations, to find and bury your relatives and get things in some semi-order before going back to work, yes/no? And let's say that your company actually gave you an option - they paid you for two weeks while you took care of things.

 

And that's with the scenario of only you surviving. What if you lost parents and a significant other but had children to care for? What if the school they attended was in shambles and you had no ready childcare to send them to while you reported to work?

 

What I am saying is give people time to get those concerns in order BEFORE bring back the guests. The loss of income argument is negated if the company pays them while they sort through the damage. If they still want to show up to Labadee, then great - hey there's a copious amount of food and supplies coming off this ship so could you assist us with collecting and distributing it to the surrounding communities? That's the message I'm trying to convey.

 

That would be very much the situation if the ship docked in Port au Prince. They don't. I think in the aftermath of the earthquake we have learned a lot about the geography of Haiti and that Labadee is no where close (in relative terms) to Port au Prince, the town closest to Labadee, Cap Hatian, was not damaged and they are trying to live their lives and earn a living.

 

Let's just say you are a vender who lives in Cap Hatian. You are just starting to get ahead in a very poor country. You have a wife and children, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, in-laws most live in Cap Hatian and other surrounding villages. Your income as a vender helps support all these families - directly as a family network and indirectly from your purchases of food and supplies for the items you make or sell to the tourists.

 

Along comes the earthquake and the tourists don't come, now you have no money to buy food, you have no way to help family, you are not purchasing from the local merchants. Now you can't offer assistance or send the extra things to the relatives who are in the devastated areas because you are now struggling to keep the roof over your own head and food on your table.

 

People's realities are very different depending on their socio-economic position.

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Allow the Haitians to grieve, take care of their families and get immediate concerns nailed down first -- then bring on the cruise ships. Perhaps that's a matter of a couple weeks, but at least you've given the Haitians time to get things in order (relatively speaking).

 

I respect your opinion, as I always have on CC. I am not arguing with you; just giving my opinion in contrast. RCI is continuing to port in Labadee and continuing to pump money in to their local economy. I think the local Haitians at Labadee should decide for themselves if they want time to grieve, that is, if they even have loved ones effected by the quake. I'm sure that if they decide not to show up for work due to this event, RCI will not punish them and fire them. RCI should not be the ones to make that decision. They should try to maintain the status quo in Labadee which, by all accounts, seems to be what the locals want.

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One more point - this is a comment left (supposedly) by a Hatian following the USA Today story on RCCL returning to Labadee:

 

Hi , I am a Haitian actually living this Hell in Haiti and I would like to Thank Royal Caribbean for their support.

I registered here today, to assure that they know , that we do understand what they are doing for us.

Stopping their cruise would have just put many more Families in a more desperate situation. Does any one has a idea of how many people left Port-au-Prince, and move to the North part of the Island? ( Where Labadee is ) None of those people have a job or money , they are going to join whatever family members or friends they have in that area. Those family members and friend will have to support them economically , so cutting out on their revenue is not the way to go right now.

To those complaining , please just consider this very important aspect of the situation.

To Royal Caribbean, when you came last month with your boat Oasis of the Sea ( It was shown on a Haitian Television) you spoke about the importance of supporting Haiti for your company .

Thank You for putting your words into actions once again.

GS

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RCI is continuing to port in Labadee and continuing to pump money in to their local economy. I think the local Haitians at Labadee should decide for themselves if they want time to grieve, that is, if they even have loved ones effected by the quake. I'm sure that if they decide not to show up for work due to this event, RCI will not punish them and fire them. RCI should not be the ones to make that decision. They should try to maintain the status quo in Labadee which, by all accounts, seems to be what the locals want.

 

Paul - This is one of my favorite posts on this subject. You just hit the nail right on the head.

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I'm not sure why people keep classifying those that have enough compassion to not get drunk on the beach, stuff their faces with hot dogs or zoom about in a jetski as feeling guilty. No one feels guilty that an earthquake happened. They feel empathy, sympathy, compassion. There is a huge difference and for those that keep saying it over and over again in their posts I feel bad for you that you don't know the difference.

To answer the posts that asked if I ever went to labadee the answer is no. I'm not going to vacation in a spot that has to be armed with guards to keep the hungry people out of the earshot of cruisers. I'm not sure how anyone can enjoy such a thing. In much the same way I wouldn't walk over to a homeless person on a street in NY and tell them about how warm and cozy my house is, or take out my meal, sit across from them and eat it slowly so they can watch while they starve, I also won't go to a walled in compound that effectively does the above. Instead, I give money to charities that actually have good ratings of distributing that money.

Just to reflect on Haiti, with the hundreds of thousands of dollars the government has always received from port charges why has its people not prospered? The money certainly hasn't gone to create earthquake proof infrastructure, that's for sure. The Haitian government is corrupt and always has been. I can't see this changing with this disaster.

To the poster that said all the leftover food is given to local people I would love to see some actual reportable facts on that. That would be a good thing. In this area, that is not allowed due to health codes but I guess that may not be a problem there.

There is no reason RCCL can't pay their people wages as another poster suggested during this difficult time without having cruisers partying on the sand while an hour or so away hundreds of thousands of people have taken their last breath. And again, to people that ask what distance has to do with it, if you don't understand the decency of being somber in the face of mass deaths then no one can ever explain it to you. When our towers fell there were not large amounts of people bussed in whooping it up while we searched for our loved ones and the smell of the dead was everywhere. And it was. People, even tourists, were crying and donating blood and trying to help. Unless you were here when that happened, don't tell me 'life went on as normal, people went out to eat at restaurants and had a great time'. It was a surreal situation and there was not the glee and excitement around that normally is here in the city. People showed respect. They shut up, they offered help, they were somber and they shed tears for us. That, in my opinion is what we should be doing - while still paying the employees, taking donations on board, and dropping off supplies. I cannot believe the amount of people that say 'I will enjoy myself as usual on Labadee'. Especially since so many people always complained about the vendors, the chair people wanting tips and all of that. Even RCCL asks you not to tip the chair guys! So I guess giving $5 to a person moving your chair entitles you to have a great beach day in the aftermath of a disaster?

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When 9/11 happened did everyone stop going to Niagara Falls?

Like I said, sadly if you don't understand the concept than you probably just never will.

By the way, Labadee is about 90 miles away. Niagra Falls is 400 miles away from NYC.....

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Like I said, sadly if you don't understand the concept than you probably just never will.

By the way, Labadee is about 90 miles away. Niagra Falls is 400 miles away from NYC.....

 

It takes about 6+ hours to drive to Niagra falls? It takes that long or more to drive from Cap Hatian to Port au Prince.

 

Let's go closer - did people stop going to New Haven, CT after 9/11?

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When 9/11 happened did everyone stop going to Niagara Falls?

Better yet, when 9/11 happened, did people stop going to Manhattan? If we recall, Rudy Guiliani pleaded for people to come to New York and spend money. I remember flying into EWR on 9/18 and seeing the smoke still rising from Ground Zero. A sobering and tragic sight. Still, I stayed in Manhattan, conducted business as usual, the restaurants were carrying on as usual despite the tragedy which occurred just 7 days prior.

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Like I said, sadly if you don't understand the concept than you probably just never will.

By the way, Labadee is about 90 miles away. Niagra Falls is 400 miles away from NYC.....

 

Okay... in that case.... did people stop going to Philly?

 

How many businesses in Manhattan went out of business in the weeks following 9/11?

I remember articles in the NY Post, saying that places in Midtown were struggling because there was no more revenue coming in because the decline in tourism (which would make sense), and that they couldn't make rent (which is why I remembered the articles).

 

Continued income is vital to anyplace... and who the heck runs a business in Manhattan where if you lose 2-3 weeks of business... you can't make rent? How crazy is that?

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One more point - this is a comment left (supposedly) by a Hatian following the USA Today story on RCCL returning to Labadee:

 

Hi , I am a Haitian actually living this Hell in Haiti and I would like to Thank Royal Caribbean for their support.

I registered here today, to assure that they know , that we do understand what they are doing for us.

Stopping their cruise would have just put many more Families in a more desperate situation. Does any one has a idea of how many people left Port-au-Prince, and move to the North part of the Island? ( Where Labadee is ) None of those people have a job or money , they are going to join whatever family members or friends they have in that area. Those family members and friend will have to support them economically , so cutting out on their revenue is not the way to go right now.

To those complaining , please just consider this very important aspect of the situation.

To Royal Caribbean, when you came last month with your boat Oasis of the Sea ( It was shown on a Haitian Television) you spoke about the importance of supporting Haiti for your company .

Thank You for putting your words into actions once again.

GS

 

If this is actually posted by a Haitian, and they are happy that RC is back there, then who are any of us to say otherwise? It's pretty easy to make a judgment at our computers. But if the actual people affected by this event want them there, then isn't it case closed? If you don't want to go, then don't go.

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I have only been to Labadee twice, and it's been a few years at that. In my experience, however, this is not some boisterous party environment. Some people have made references to it as though the cruisers behave like it is like spring break at Ft. Lauderdale or Cancun while sobbing, hollow- faced children stand outside the fence staring at the party, rubbing their growling bellies. NOT.

 

Labadee was a quiet, relaxing beach environment. There wasn't loud boisterous partying going on, no power drinking, loud music, etc. It was mainly a lot of families just lying around in beach chairs and children playing in the water park. People on jet skis, people on rafts in the water, people reading their books and mags., wandering through the market. Low key. It's not as though people are whooping it up and shoving their revelry in anyone's face.

 

Those facts may not mean a hill of beans to people who think it's wrong for cruisers to go there, but still, at least have an accurate picture of what the environment really is vs. what the media may imply.

 

Of course, if Labadee no longer resembles the one I visited, I'm sure someone will correct me.:)

 

 

Maybe it's changed, I don't know.

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Perhaps a little strong from the Barbados press

But bear in mind CCL during Katrina when the Bush administration chartered several ships of its ships to be sent to New Orleans to act as floating temporary emergency hotels while FEMA got its act together. I guess the Government compensated CCL for loss of business but the loss or good will and passenger inconvenience takes more than mere money to compensate for.

Bear in mind that Cruise ships have no capability of landing significant amounts of potable water. Unless there are road tankers immediately available to take it away. Landing 55 gallon drums would be untenable.

http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/royal-caribbean-passengers-frolic-in-haiti-as-the-screams-from-the-rubble-continue/

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[quote name='nrdsb4']
Labadee was a quiet, relaxing beach environment. There wasn't loud boisterous partying going on, no power drinking, loud music, etc. It was mainly a lot of families just lying around in beach chairs and children playing in the water park. People on jet skis, people on rafts in the water, people reading their books and mags., wandering through the market. Low key. It's not as though people are whooping it up and shoving their revelry in anyone's face.
[/quote]

Your recollection is accurate. That is exactly what I experienced in Labadee....3 times. I have never seen a party atmosphere in Labadee. That is just a word being used to sensationalize things.
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[quote name='iluvnyc']Wow. It's stupid to offer respect to those that work for RCCL in Haiti by giving them personal time.[/quote]

Please provide some sort of proof that the workers of Labadee have requested RCCL ships not go there in order to afford them "personal time." You are pushing a point of opinion, not fact.
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[quote name='Mack2']What you are suggesting is halting business in Labadee.
No cruise ships = no tourists = no business.


The day after our local disaster... did the banks stop business?
We all lost friends, neighbors, and loved ones, 9 years ago.

I can't describe to you the stress I experienced that day, and the days following. Yes, I have family that live in Lower Manhattan, yes... I had relatives that worked in and around the trade center.

Did I have to go to work the next day?
Yes.

did you read this?
[URL]http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2010-01-18-earthquake-haiti-tourist-cruise_N.htm[/URL]


Haiti is NOT the United States. They're just coming off of almost 50 years of a dictatorship under "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier... only to be replaced by Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Their daily lives before the earthquake in no way resembled what we have here.

Again... we're not talking apples to apples.[/quote]
I respect your valid points. However, what I am saying (and some others) is how about paying the people that work for RCCL on Labadee without calling on the port? Do you object to them being paid during this time as a show of support and compassion from their employer? Or do you only want them paid if they perform their services fully? I would be fine with them being paid and will email that to RCCl - not sure if it will do any good, but at least I'll feel like I said something.
I did not have to work the rest of that week, but I was in Mahattan. My brother, in Flemington, did not have to work the remainder of the week out of courtesy from his company. I do think that RCCL is not the normal Haitian employer and can certainly pay its employees personal time if needed.
This part is not in response to you, but to the post of the Haitain person that posted. In the day of anonymous boards, we have no way of knowing if that was real or not, so I can't really comment on it.
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[quote name='iluvnyc']
This part is not in response to you, but to the post of the Haitain person that posted. In the day of anonymous boards, we have no way of knowing if that was real or not, so I can't really comment on it.[/quote]

Okay... totally understandable that gealle may not be who he says he is...

How about a news article?
[url]http://www.royalcaribbean.com/contentWithHero.do?pagename=haiti_relief&cid=RCHPF1-01152010HaitiRelief[/url]

edit:
even better!
[url]http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/haiti/story/1428360.html[/url]
[quote][b] Goldstein, Royal Caribbean's president, [u]met Thursday with former President Bill Clinton, the United Nations' special envoy to Haiti, and Dr. Paul Farmer, deputy special envoy, to discuss relief efforts to the island[/u]. Goldstein said Royal's efforts will evolve as the situation does.[/b]

Leslie Voltaire, Haiti's special envoy to the U.N., said in a statement, [B][I]``Given the terrible economic and social challenges we now face in Haiti, we welcome the continuation of the positive economic benefits that the cruise ship calls to Labadee contribute to our country.''[/I][/B]

Wrote Goldstein in a blog posting, ``There were a lot of discussions about this, but in the end, Labadee is critical to Haiti's recovery and hundreds of people rely on Labadee for their livelihood. . . . Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most.'' [/quote]
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[quote name='iluvnyc']However, what I am saying (and some others) is how about paying the people that work for RCCL on Labadee without calling on the port? [/quote]

Because paying the people that work for RCI does not pay for all the locals who work in the market. It does not pay the steel drum bands. It does not pay the men who set the beach chairs. These people rely on our tips. They rely of the selling of souveniers. Without us going there, they would not get paid.
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[quote name='iluvnyc']I respect your valid points. However, what I am saying (and some others) is how about paying the people that work for RCCL on Labadee without calling on the port? Do you object to them being paid during this time as a show of support and compassion from their employer? Or do you only want them paid if they perform their services fully? I would be fine with them being paid and will email that to RCCl - not sure if it will do any good, but at least I'll feel like I said something.
[COLOR=red][B]I did not have to work the rest of that week, but I was in Mahattan. My brother, in Flemington, did not have to work the remainder of the week out of courtesy from his company. [/B][/COLOR]I do think that RCCL is not the normal Haitian employer and can certainly pay its employees personal time if needed.
This part is not in response to you, but to the post of the Haitain person that posted. In the day of anonymous boards, we have no way of knowing if that was real or not, so I can't really comment on it.[/quote]


That was great. However, if you made your living by selling arts and crafts in NYC, who would have paid you while you took a week off?
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[quote name='jerseygirl79']I have donated my money, but I would not feel comfortable going there for a vacation at this time. Not only would I not feel safe, but I wouldn't feel confortable enjoying a vacation so close to utter devastation and loss of life.[/quote]

Not to change the subject or anything but, I was traveling to Orlando ( disney ) on 9/11 and we just made it when they grounded all the flights. They closed Disney due to the fear of terrorism, and they asked that we sty at the hotel. We were in the pool thinking, what are we to do. We are here and in NY there is terror and havoc. I got out of the pool and went inside, said a prayer and watched it on tv like most others. I felt very odd being there in such a beautiful place, knowing thousands are dead and missing and all the poor familes. We went cuz the kids didnt know what was going on really, but again, I felt very uneasy and odd to be there.
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[quote name='Aquahound']Because paying the people that work for RCI does not pay for all the locals who work in the market. It does not pay the steel drum bands. It does not pay the men who set the beach chairs. These people rely on our tips. They rely of the selling of souveniers. Without us going there, they would not get paid.[/quote]
Hmmmm....that's valid. However, isn't it always printed in RCCL materials specifically not to tip the men setting the chairs? So I would hope they wouldn't list them in with the 300 or so non-RCCL employees that are helped by RCCL. Not sure. I know many never buy souveniers either but I'm sure every bit helps. I have never, ever heard even the strongest supporter of Labadee lament for these people when RCCL misses due to waves or weather in a post. The only thing they seem to do is tell disappointed cruisers to 'get over it'. But some seem wholly concerned about them only now. There is no easy answer, I don't think. Clearly many people want to still dock/drink/eat/sun/swim/play on Labadee regardless of the nation's recent tragedy. Many also want to not go due to varied reasons regarding the nation's recent tragedy. We can figure out a way to pay RCCL's people, but I guess not the straw market folks. I wonder if that could be part of RCCL's community outreach to Haiti - a country that they clearly make tons of money from having an island in. I guess the port charges argument doesn't seem to hold water for me because for the years that they've been collecting those hefty port fees that certainly haven't been passing those monies on to their people.
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