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15 miles from Labadee !!!!


aprilfool

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[quote name='iluvnyc'] 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.[/quote]
Don't start getting into the whole "Haitian Government is/was bad" argument here unless you are willing to come up with a solution, and I'm sure we've all had enough of the United States with our "nation building" we'd done for the past 8 years.

Bottom line. Money to the economy will benefit them. I'm sure it was had for the locals to buy a quart of milk in Labadee BEFORE the earthquake.
Think about how it is now... when the major distribution hub of the country is rubble.

Think about it. Say just the Freedom-class ships visit Labadee. That's 7000 people. Of those 7000, let's say 100 of them buy a T-shirt (made in China) from the vendors for $10 a pop.
Guy just made $1000 in one day... in a country where people were making $2/day in Port-au-Prince and selling their kids into slavery for $200.

Gonna take that away from him?
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[quote name='iluvnyc']However, isn't it always printed in RCCL materials specifically not to tip the men setting the chairs?[/quote]

If it is, that would be news to me. I'm not saying it isn't written, but I don't recall ever having seen it.

I have to confess something here. The first time I visited Labadee, I was really put off by being pressured to tip someone carrying a beach chair for me. I was content getting my own chair. Besides, I had no intent to buy anything from the market, so I didn't take any cash ashore, and I wasn't about to tender back to the ship just to get a few dollars.

That was an initial reaction. Then, I took the time to think about the economics of Haiti and I began to understand a little better. The tips given to the guy carrying my chair probably helped feed 20 people.

The last two times I went to Labadee, I took some cash ashore to tip the chair guy, and to buy a bottle of Barbencourt rum from the market. DW bought a pair of imitation Crocs from the market and I gave the lady exactly the amount she asked for.
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[quote name='nrdsb4']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?[/quote]
I actually have two friends (art school:rolleyes:) that do that. Nobody seems to care when weather is bad or times are rough about those people normally, though. As a matter of fact, they are usually treated as a nuisance, if spoken to at all. But, I will say one stayed with his Mom for a week. The other worked harder afterwards by drawing the towers in really special ways. I know lots of people that didn't even have a workplace to go to anymore. I'm sure you did, too. There still wasn't a fun atmosphere in NYC during that time, though. Especially in the very first week that it happened. I think most would agree that those that did come were subdued and only wanted to help.
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[quote name='Jiffymom']thanks for the information. I too would feel guilty sitting and sipping on pina coladas. These people don't need to see that. I say let RCCL entertain you on the ship. Enjoy your cruise and stay out of the way.[/quote]

What people don't need to see it? Other than the very few Haitian people employed at Labadee, no one can really see the cruise passengers. There might be some boats out on the water, but what people do you mean?
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[quote name='Mack2']Don't start getting into the whole "Haitian Government is/was bad" argument here unless you are willing to come up with a solution, and I'm sure we've all had enough of the United States with our "nation building" we'd done for the past 8 years.

Bottom line. Money to the economy will benefit them. I'm sure it was had for the locals to buy a quart of milk in Labadee BEFORE the earthquake.
Think about how it is now... when the major distribution hub of the country is rubble.

Think about it. Say just the Freedom-class ships visit Labadee. That's 7000 people. Of those 7000, let's say 100 of them buy a T-shirt (made in China) from the vendors for $10 a pop.
Guy just made $1000 in one day... in a country where people were making $2/day in Port-au-Prince and selling their kids into slavery for $200.

Gonna take that away from him?[/quote]
So you shouldn't talk about problems unless there is a solution at hand? I'm glad the folks that have championed change in our world never had that limitation!
So do you get this 'for the people' for the souvenier sellers when the ship misses the port? Believe me, I'm completely liberal (it's a good thing :)) and give money and more importantly, time to many organizations. I wouldn't have gone there regardless in much the same way I won't go to China, but that is a personal decision. I do however, give to the charity's that can help the people.
Bottom line - are you going to buy something from every vendor or will you pick and choose who will be the lucky person to recieve your $10? Not everyone is going to give. I would think that many won't - the same that don't ever tip ;). I still find it to be a very difficult situation. As I said, no one seems to care about the t-shirt guy in bad weather.
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[quote name='iluvnyc']So you shouldn't talk about problems unless there is a solution at hand? I'm glad the folks that have championed change in our world never had that limitation!
So do you get this 'for the people' for the souvenier sellers when the ship misses the port? Believe me, I'm completely liberal (it's a good thing :)) and give money and more importantly, time to many organizations. I wouldn't have gone there regardless in much the same way I won't go to China, but that is a personal decision. I do however, give to the charity's that can help the people.
Bottom line - are you going to buy something from every vendor or will you pick and choose who will be the lucky person to recieve your $10? Not everyone is going to give. I would think that many won't - the same that don't ever tip ;). I still find it to be a very difficult situation. [B]As I said, no one seems to care about the t-shirt guy in bad weather.[/B][/quote]

It is expected that ships will miss ports in bad weather. Everyone knows this. That's not the same thing in this situation. In this situation, the ship [B][I]can[/I][/B] stop. But it [B][I]doesn't[/I][/B] because some people believe it "doesn't look right." If I'm the t-shirt guy, I'm not just frustrated, I'm mad and frustrated.
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I'm sure most of the cash relief going to Haiti through various charities is going to have some bad hands lurking around in the pot. It's Haiti.

If RCI has discussed it's contribution to relief and it's commitment to Haiti with former President Clinton AND the envoys from Haiti to the UN... I trust what they are doing is appropriate.

So... I have to ask myself.... if I booked a cruise vacation a few months ago, and I was going to be there next week... what would I do.

-Would I change my bookings in hopes that I could ignore and avoid having to deal with the whole incident... Maybe book a trip to Negril, instead? Maybe a southern Caribbean cruise... nothing happens down there.
I don't think so.

-Would I go to Haiti, and ignore the fact that 100 miles away, a human tragedy occurred... then get rowdy drunk, ask the workers unloading relief supplies on the pier to set me up a limbo contest so I could win a FREE 30min massage at the spa?
Nope.

what do you think people are doing?
Americans are tremendously altruistic when we're called. Even while we're watching the Jets beat the Colts this weekend, I'm sure people will still be texting "Haiti" to 90999 for a $10 donation.

should we feel guilty that we're not doing more?
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I have read the multiple threads here and keep asking myself, if its not OK to stop in Haiti now, when will it be? The re-building will take years, so should RC stop going there until its completed? Can the rebuilding process take place to the extent needed without the monies received from cruise lines? Its top of mind today, because it is so recent, but 3/6/12 months from now, many of the same problems will still exist, so will it be acceptable for cruises to stop there?

Also, you could stretch it a bit further and say, how could you go on vacation in the Carribean when there are people living in the streets in Haiti?

As terrible as it is, life has to go on. People help in their own way, but time moves forward.
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[quote name='Mack2']I'm sure most of the cash relief going to Haiti through various charities is going to have some bad hands lurking around in the pot. It's Haiti.

If RCI has discussed it's contribution to relief and it's commitment to Haiti with former President Clinton AND the envoys from Haiti to the UN... I trust what they are doing is appropriate.

So... I have to ask myself.... if I booked a cruise vacation a few months ago, and I was going to be there next week... what would I do.

-Would I change my bookings in hopes that I could ignore and avoid having to deal with the whole incident... Maybe book a trip to Negril, instead? Maybe a southern Caribbean cruise... nothing happens down there.
I don't think so.

-Would I go to Haiti, and ignore the fact that 100 miles away, a human tragedy occurred... then get rowdy drunk, ask the workers unloading relief supplies on the pier to set me up a limbo contest so I could win a FREE 30min massage at the spa?
Nope.

what do you think people are doing?
Americans are tremendously altruistic when we're called. Even while we're watching the Jets beat the Colts this weekend, I'm sure people will still be texting "Haiti" to 90999 for a $10 donation.

should we feel guilty that we're not doing more?[/quote]
I don't think we should feel guilty that we're not doing more. Everyone does what they can. I know (sure others do too) people that can't even give $10 right now. I understand people wanting to go to help and I understand people not wanting to go to help. It's a difficult situation.
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[quote name='Aquahound']I think it would be very tasteful for RCCL to have a moment of silence in Labadee. I think it would show tremendous respect to the people.[/quote]
Paul, you have really great ideas and are very pragmatic. When would you suggest this moment of silence take place?

It's scary when some people agree with your last comment.... no offense at all to you and please do not take any.
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[quote name='iluvnyc']I don't think we should feel guilty that we're not doing more. Everyone does what they can. I know (sure others do too) people that can't even give $10 right now. I understand people wanting to go to help and I understand people not wanting to go to help. It's a difficult situation.[/quote]

At least we agree that the Jets will be beating the Colts this weekend
:cool:;)
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[quote name='lcguy']Paul, you have really great ideas and are very pragmatic. When would you suggest this moment of silence take place?

It's scary when some people agree with your last comment.... no offense at all to you and please do not take any.[/quote]

I would hold it at 4:53 pm - the time the quake occurred. As for the date, for right now, I would do it with every ship that is going to Labadee where all the earnings from ecursions are being donated.

No offense at all from me. I have been in agreeance with your posts. I'm also not offended by contrasting opinions, so long as they can be expressed without name calling.
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[quote name='Aquahound']I would hold it at 4:53 pm - the time the quake occurred. As for the date, for right now, I would do it with every ship that is going to Labadee where all the earnings from ecursions are being donated.

No offense at all from me. I have been in agreeance with your posts. I'm also not offended by contrasting opinions, so long as they can be expressed without name calling.[/quote]
4:53... nice idea as most if not all pax should be back on board.
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[quote name='carribeanpirate18']I have read the multiple threads here and keep asking myself, if its not OK to stop in Haiti now, when will it be? The re-building will take years, so should RC stop going there until its completed? Can the rebuilding process take place to the extent needed without the monies received from cruise lines? Its top of mind today, because it is so recent, but 3/6/12 months from now, many of the same problems will still exist, so will it be acceptable for cruises to stop there?

Also, you could stretch it a bit further and say, how could you go on vacation in the Carribean when there are people living in the streets in Haiti?

As terrible as it is, life has to go on. People help in their own way, but time moves forward.[/quote]
As someone that has expressed concern about enjoying a fun beach day in Haiti right now, I'll give my opinion (like it takes much, I know) but I don't think anyone is asking them to stop the party until they rebuild. Just maybe until the people have either been pulled out of the rubble or the dead rounded up. There are still bodies lying in streets, people trapped and dying and aftershocks to contend with. Let's just let them actually rescue those living and bury the dead before we dock for our excursions, suntanning, drinking and buffets. I think from most critical articles from around the world I've read, most thanks to posters' links, the offense is coming from the fact that as people are going about like nothing happened, having a great time, laughing, eating, drinking - on the same island, people are STILL buried under rubble, alive - hoping to be rescued in time. Bodies are STILL piled in the streets, waiting to be buried - not even a proper burial - just one that won't foster diseases. Is it so unreasonable to stop the party until they at least finish sorting through the dead and alive?
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[quote name='Mareng'][COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Perhaps a little strong from the Barbados press[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]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. [/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]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.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[URL]http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/royal-caribbean-passengers-frolic-in-haiti-as-the-screams-from-the-rubble-continue/[/URL][/quote]That's not a Barbados Newspaper, it's some (apparently left leaning) blog site.

Here is the Barbados Newspaper (no mention of RCI):

[URL="http://www.barbadosadvocate.com"]www.barbadosadvocate.com[/URL]
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[quote name='Mareng'][COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Perhaps a little strong from the Barbados press[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]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. [/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]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.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[URL="http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/royal-caribbean-passengers-frolic-in-haiti-as-the-screams-from-the-rubble-continue/"]http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.c...bble-continue[/URL][URL="http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/royal-caribbean-passengers-frolic-in-haiti-as-the-screams-from-the-rubble-continue/"]/[/URL][/quote]having read the Barbados Free Press article, I suppose we should keep in mind for the future that should Barbados ever suffer devastation, and the only remaining way that they have of earning any income is a somehow intact tourist infrastructure and a means of reaching that infrastructure that does not detract from the relief efforts, we should nevertheless deny them the ability to earn money.:eek:

I, for one, think that in addition to providing relief, I should also support their [Haiti, Barbados, wherever] ability to earn money.

As a CCL stockholder my recollection was that FEMA chartered the ships at full rack rates [significantly higher than CCL had already sold the cabins for]. I had a friend who was scheduled on one of those canceled N.O. cruise, and they were "allowed" to move to an empty cabin on a CCL ship out of FL at the then existing rates [which were much higher than they had previously paid]. I imagine that CCL lost considerable good will, but they were not "just being a good corporate citizen" as they did make a handsome profit out of it [admittedly it killed their on-board sales figures].

Thom
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[quote name='Mack2']You know what the BEST thing about texting "Haiti" for 90999 is?

If you have a phone provided to you by your job? Your EMPLOYER is actually donating the money!

How GREAT is that?![/quote]
Haha... good point. We'll be scouring our Verizon bill. Maybe if my employee matches the donation, I'll pay the bill?
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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.


Let's take your idea to the next step. Passengers booked on a cruise scheduled to go to Labadee receive a notice under their doors reading "due to the situation in Haiti, we will not be stopping at Labadee tomorrow as scheduled but will remain at sea. Port charges and excursion costs paid will not be reimbursed as RCI has elected to donate these funds to our workers on the island".

How many of you think there won't be severe backlash from the passengers, upheavals, revolts, threaten lawsuits, etc?
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[quote name='Jimsedge'][quote name='iluvnyc']
Let's take your idea to the next step. Passengers booked on a cruise scheduled to go to Labadee receive a notice under their doors reading "due to the situation in Haiti, we will not be stopping at Labadee tomorrow as scheduled but will remain at sea. Port charges and excursion costs paid will not be reimbursed as RCI has elected to donate these funds to our workers on the island".

How many of you think there won't be severe backlash from the passengers, upheavals, revolts, threaten lawsuits, etc?[/quote]

Ah, but who is doing the donating, RCI or the pax? And yes, there would be grumbling!
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I don't think there would be much backlash if they offer the refund of port charges but suggest that you might want to make a donation of at least this amount being refunded against your Seapass account.

Anyway, as I have said in my previous posts, nearly everyone on these threads seem to have been aid workers and NGO workers in a previously life, because I, myself, admit that while I have already donated money quietly, I would prefer not to stop at Labadee right now.

I think two weeks to a month, unless any further serious aftershocks or earthquakes occur, would probably be adequate to stop calling at Labadee. I agree with iluvnyc in that the people still agonizing should be rescued and the dead buried before cruise ships return.

I have also advocated for passengers going on an upcoming Labadee cruise (say within the next two weeks) being given the choice by RCCL to reschedule their cruise. Not everyone is actively heroic, and not everyone should be forced to go there at this time. Passengers here in Spain are being given that choice because the law supports them in that respect, and I think passengers whose bookings originate from the U.S. office should also be given that choice.

Of course RCCL should still pay their workers while they don't stop there, since this is a matter of force majeure and not the workers' fault. I would hope that RCCL would not advocate third-world employment practices and exploitation vis-à-vis their Labadee employees.

While the posts from the Atlantis cruise are noble and moving indeed, I would also be interested in knowing about passengers who felt weird, didn't have a good time, and were too scared to get off the ship -- there must be at least a handful of those on a ship that holds 4,000 passengers.

While people who want to get off the ship, still visit Labadee, and try to help in some way are to be commended, there are many people who don't want to be thrown right in the middle of this tragic situation, and that desire and opinion must also be respected.

Kind regards,

Gunther and Uta
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[quote name='rxmurphy'][quote name='Jimsedge']

Ah, but who is doing the donating, RCI or the pax? And yes, there would be grumbling![/quote]

It sounded like the poster to whom I was replying was saying that RCI should. I think RCI is donating a lot and it is unfair to say RCI should just pay everyone & leave them alone. I think that they are doing as much as they can, donating money, trying to keep their Labadee employees in as much of a "life as usual" as possible, bringing in whatever supplies they can. I would hope they are being liberal in their paid time off to those employees that need to tend to family emergencies.

I too would feel a little funny enjoying my vacation on the same island where this is going on. But if the employees and the government say they want it, my unease is less important than their wishes.
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