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15 miles from Labadee !!!!


aprilfool

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You are correct. DH is in Haiti right now. Violence and looting is occurring, but not nearly on the level portrayed by the media. He compared the looting to what you would see following a hurricane here in the U.S. It happens, but the vast majority of people are in helping mode, not chaos mode.

 

cruzaholic, whatever type of help your husband is there doing, just wanted to extend a thank you to both him and you for supporting him is his efforts.

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Sure wish I was on a cruise scheduled to stop in Labadee in the next 2 weeks!!!! With so many people from PoP headed north to Cap Haitian looking for food, shelter, and water it seems that the passengers have even a much better chance to contribute than before. First off, everyone gets off the ship and heads to the market and buys a trinket at an outrageous price. And add a few dollars to the price. Then tip someone on the beach for carrying their bag. It has been reported that food that is not eaten by the passengers is taken home by the Haitians working at Labadee. So passengers - don't eat while on Labadee. Have a big breakfast, head back to the ship for a slice of pizza for lunch, and enjoy your dinner on board. Leave the food that is prepared at Labadee for your enjoyment to be taken by the Haitians. Some of it will find it's way to the shelters. You can do without it. Also, leave a few unopen bottles of water with the Haitians. And if you are on a cruise that RCI is donating profits from that stop to charity, well buy an excursion. You don't have to go on it, just buy it. Or donate that money to one of the charities that are helping out.

Honestly, you can get off the ship, contribute, and have a subdued day.

I also would probably leave several pair of brand new pairs of flip flops on the beach. Not to mention a few new t-shirts and whatever. New and unused.

 

I think this is the best idea I have ever read on Cruise Critic!!!!!!:D

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Dear friends:

 

Reading most of the posts on the Labadee threads, it appears that all of you have the hearts (and stomaches and stamina) of an aid worker, NGO member, etc. However, human nature for the majority does not lean in that direction.

 

While that is a noble and highly commendable attitude indeed, at the same time why can't some (or, actually, most) of you understand that some people who go on vacation really don't want to be thrown right in the midst of this situation by being forced to either remain on the ship while docked, or going ashore, in Labadee, Haiti.

 

There are hundreds of thousands of dead bodies being collected, prisoners on the loose, hunger, starvation, disease, rioting, looting, hospitals filled beyond capacity, no stable government in place, etc., in addition to the risk of further aftershocks and perhaps another earthquake.

 

While the arguments of why RCCL should continue to stop there, the aid they are bringing, Labadee remains safe, Labadee was not affected, Labadee employees need RCCL and passengers now more than ever, etc. are valid and noble, it is equally valid and noble to respect the fact that a family who planned their cruise way before this disaster and tragedy might not want to go there.

 

A very fair compromise would be for RCCL to allow a family to reschedule their cruise to one that did not include Labadee, within a certain amount of time, although without the possibility of a refund. In another post, it appeared that RCCL refused this option to another passenger.

 

In my opinion, if RCCL makes the decision to continue its Labadee operation right now, it should also respect people's wishes not to go there and allow them to change cruises.

 

Happy cruising and our prayers to the Haitians,

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

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Best scenario to help : All passengers would book the Labadee excursion, and RCC to donate all these proceeds. The passengers would forsake their (paid) lunch and drinks there, would just go hungry for a couple hours until dinner time, and RCC would leave the provisions there to be brought to the really starving Haitians.

 

Then nobody would have to feel guilty for the stop over and some badly needed provisions would get to the island fast.

 

 

I think 100 mil of our taxpayers money should be enough for now. CNN claims they live on $1 per day.

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Thank you sidari for what you wrote. My heart goes out to the people of Haiti and I do plan on donating to help ...I work at a Catholic Hospital and they are already sending donations to Haiti...I am also extremely concerned for the safety of my 4 children ( and me and my husband) when the ship docks in Labadee...I do not mean to sound uncaring/ selfish about this horrific tragedy, this is our first cruise ever and I am distraught with worry at this point.

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If the little vendors are there and selling their wares, why should you feel guilty about going and enjoying your vacation. If everyone decides to stay away because it makes them feel guilty that someone else has misfortune, then that is probably going to impact someone's income that depends on the tourists to show up. A number of those people depend on the money generated by tourism each week. So, why not support them?

It is tragic what has happened- but unless you know for sure that the natives don't want you there- I would enjoy your vacation anyhow.

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Dear friends:

 

Reading most of the posts on the Labadee threads, it appears that all of you have the hearts (and stomaches and stamina) of an aid worker, NGO member, etc. However, human nature for the majority does not lean in that direction.

 

While that is a noble and highly commendable attitude indeed, at the same time why can't some (or, actually, most) of you understand that some people who go on vacation really don't want to be thrown right in the midst of this situation by being forced to either remain on the ship while docked, or going ashore, in Labadee, Haiti.

 

There are hundreds of thousands of dead bodies being collected, prisoners on the loose, hunger, starvation, disease, rioting, looting, hospitals filled beyond capacity, no stable government in place, etc., in addition to the risk of further aftershocks and perhaps another earthquake.

 

While the arguments of why RCCL should continue to stop there, the aid they are bringing, Labadee remains safe, Labadee was not affected, Labadee employees need RCCL and passengers now more than ever, etc. are valid and noble, it is equally valid and noble to respect the fact that a family who planned their cruise way before this disaster and tragedy might not want to go there.

 

A very fair compromise would be for RCCL to allow a family to reschedule their cruise to one that did not include Labadee, within a certain amount of time, although without the possibility of a refund. In another post, it appeared that RCCL refused this option to another passenger.

 

In my opinion, if RCCL makes the decision to continue its Labadee operation right now, it should also respect people's wishes not to go there and allow them to change cruises.

 

Happy cruising and our prayers to the Haitians,

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

I agree with some of what you say, but Labadee is not the midst of the situation. Some of the resorts in the Dominican are closer to Port-au-Prince than Labadee.
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I can't understand why people think it would be improper to go to

Labadee, but would have no problem lounging on a beach on the next island.

 

Don't you see that depriving these people of employment is the last thing we should be doing right now?!

 

Go, enjoy, and tip generously.

 

In reading all of this I can not see how not going helps anyone. If you feel that bad go ashore and give to the people. Know says you have to sit a drink. The money you would have spent give to the locals. When sitting and eating and the Band plays, buy a CD. Take some food with you and give it to them.

 

We always bring clothes and some hygiene products to give to the locals.

 

For all those that have guilt let you money and actions help those that need it!!!

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My heart and prayers go out to all who were effected in the earthquake. That said, I believe that spending money there now certainly cannot hurt the island or its residents. Although I can understand those who claim to feel guilty about doing so, is it really any different then stopping there on a "regular day"? Most islands, including Haiti, visited by cruise ships are plagued with poverty, hungry children, etc. Is it any worse to sip umbrella drinks on a beach 15 miles away from an earthquake site then to do so 15 miles from a neighborhood of starving people? Just food for thought, I am not trying to cast stones at anyone for their particualr opinion or belief.

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Why don't all you "noble" people ask the people of Haiti what they want. I gurantee virtually every one will want the cruise ships and their revenue to continue to come ashore at Labadee to bring in revenue and keep as many people working as possible. I hope the cruise lines add MORE stops in Labadee. These people need the revenue, not self-righteous blabber. Two British papers are blasting the cruise lines? The same British press that prints pin-up pictures of skantily clad women to sell papers? Yeah, I respect them.

 

Like an earlier poster said, the "noble" thing is to go ashore and spend more money than you had planned on spending there.

 

People who "might not want to go there" and be near a tragedy, or don't want to stop out of respect, but have no problem vacationing in "luxury" at other stops should re-examine their priorities. I guess it's okay to have a drink on the beach in St. Thomas while people are dying in Haiti. But you can feel very sanctimonious in knowing you didn't have a drink in Haiti.

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Once the airports were re-opened a few days later after 9/11, airlines and hotels allowed people to reschedule their trips to New York for months because they respected their customers' fear of danger, disaster, tragedy, loss, crisis, etc.

 

The prevailing opinion here of why everyone should flock to Labadee right now is indeed valid, but at the same time there should be respect for people who are uncomfortable over going there now--for whatever reason.

 

All I am asking RCCL to do is to allow their passengers to reschedule their cruises without penalty, for a reasonable period of time.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

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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.

 

 

I agree with you. I couldn't enjoy myself so soon after a disaster like this.

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Most airlines flying to the Dominican Republic and most tour companies have allowed passengers to reschedule their flights and trips to the Dominican Republic without losing their money.

 

That is all I am asking RCCL to do.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

 

Where did you get this information? 400,000 Germans are traveling to the DomRep each year and last I´ve heard by major travel companies (like TUI) is that they don´t see a reason to reschedule anything regarding the DomRep. If people don´t fell well right now they have to cancel at their own risk (and money).

 

Actually I do not see any reason to skip Labadee and totally understand and support Royal Caribbean in their decision. It does not help anyone. Labadee is far away from being amidst of anything. Why should all the Haitians working for Royal Caribbean or the vendors at the market there loose their income which is urgently needed to support their families? What is the difference between enjoying a day on the beach of Labadee and enjoying the day onboard? The later does not support the locals but may be better for your feelings??

 

On the Independance of the Seas which was the first ship to call Labadee there was a charity event held amongst the passengers which ended up with more than $26,000 as donation. All revenue out of shore tours, drinks and all spent by the passengers in Labadee has been donated by Royal Caribbean. The Indy did bring the first relief goods which have been already distributed to those who need them urgently. All other ships calling Labadee will continue to carry relief goods. Royal Caribbean has a network of people working for them in Haiti which they now are using to help the people there.

 

Noone ever had any problems with spending a nice day in Labadee prior to the quake although Haiti is and has been the poorest country in the Caribbean.

 

steamboats

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People Haiti has long been the poorest country in the Americas. Papers have had some stories from months ago about people eating dirt pies. Know with this tragedy people are waking up to the standard of living these people have had for years.

 

I guess in the past it was OK to drink and party while the locals watched on. If you really feel that bad go ashore and give.

 

If anything good becomes of this maybe it will be that we stop closing our eyes to the conditions in Haiti and start to actually do something.

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My husband and I and our 4 children will be going Feb 13th and this is our first cruise ever...I am extremely concerned about our safety going to Haiti...on the news today they are talking about looting, shooting, riots...people moving towards other ends of the Island..
There are numerous valid reasons to not go to Labadee [including emotional reasons], and numerous valid reasons to go; every individual has to find their own comfort level. However I strongly feel that safety is not a valid reason to avoid Labadee. Haitians in general are remarkably polite people. Looting that is taking place [and I feel confident it is less than it would appear to be, since news organization have to have something to talk about] is in Port au Prince which is 100 miles away over very poor, slow roads [not like people could just zip down the autobahn to Labadee]. It is true that some people are making their way from Port au Prince to Cap Haitian, which is much closer to Labadee. Virtually all of those headed that way have family or friends in that area who still have essentially undamaged houses, so it is hardly surprising that that movement is occurring. Given that travel is so slow in Haiti, RCI has plenty of time to size up the situation as it may develop, and you may be certain that they are not going to put their half billion dollar ships in harms way, so if the situation turns worse it is highly unlikely that you would even go to Haiti. You will be in far more danger on a US highway driving to the port than you will be in Labadee. Even though Labadee is in a desperately poor country, it is a beautiful area and is providing a modest number of jobs that are better than the other available opportunities. I am scheduled into Labadee next week (26 Jan), and while I approach this visit with many emotions, fear for my safety is not one of them. I wish you and your family a safe and pleasant journey.

 

Thom

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There are numerous valid reasons to not go to Labadee [including emotional reasons], and numerous valid reasons to go; every individual has to find their own comfort level. However I strongly feel that safety is not a valid reason to avoid Labadee. Haitians in general are remarkably polite people. Looting that is taking place [and I feel confident it is less than it would appear to be, since news organization have to have something to talk about] is in Port au Prince which is 100 miles away over very poor, slow roads [not like people could just zip down the autobahn to Labadee]. It is true that some people are making their way from Port au Prince to Cap Haitian, which is much closer to Labadee. Virtually all of those headed that way have family or friends in that area who still have essentially undamaged houses, so it is hardly surprising that that movement is occurring. Given that travel is so slow in Haiti, RCI has plenty of time to size up the situation as it may develop, and you may be certain that they are not going to put their half billion dollar ships in harms way, so if the situation turns worse it is highly unlikely that you would even go to Haiti. You will be in far more danger on a US highway driving to the port than you will be in Labadee. Even though Labadee is in a desperately poor country, it is a beautiful area and is providing a modest number of jobs that are better than the other available opportunities. I am scheduled into Labadee next week (26 Jan), and while I approach this visit with many emotions, fear for my safety is not one of them. I wish you and your family a safe and pleasant journey.

 

Thom

Considering the economic factors which RCI brings to the table at Labadee, that the surrounding area around Labadee was barely affected, the 12 foot fence and armed security on the perimeter should give a sense of well being.

 

Thom, by the way, let us know how it was when you return. Thanks.

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In reading all of this I can not see how not going helps anyone. If you feel that bad go ashore and give to the people. Know says you have to sit a drink. The money you would have spent give to the locals. When sitting and eating and the Band plays, buy a CD. Take some food with you and give it to them.

 

We always bring clothes and some hygiene products to give to the locals.

 

nosmothj - What type of clothing do you take, and how much. Did you need special permission from the cruiseline?

 

We have bought the CD's of the island musicians before, along with their handmade wood instruments. When you say "take some food" do you mean from the cookout, or from the ship or home. I know you are not allowed to take food off the ship, so I assume you mean from the cookout. Are the musicians (I didn't know if they were also employed by RCCL) allowed to accept it?

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The situation in Haiti does bother me but it bothered me back in July when I saw kids on the hillside, behind the chain link fence, begging for food. What does one do?

 

Do you stop traveling, having parties, and being happy? Because listen to me, people all over the world are dying, and starving, and being abused, and there is no end in sight. You have to do your part and then live your life.

 

Yes, you do a lot and that is wonderful. But my answer to your second question is yes, stop letting those children see you dancing around, snorkeling, playing on jet skis, overindulging in food and alcohol - that's just cruel. I would never go to Labadee for that reason. I'm not going to bury my head in the sand, tell myself I've done enough, shove food in my mouth, get tipsy and work on my tan and pretend that the child is not there on the hill begging for food. I'm not going to buy a $20 windchime and think its going to feed that child and feel better about myself.

For those that say tipping Labadee employees helps the relief effort a little I say most likely not. How do you figure the employees of Labadee are going to send their meager cash to relatives, if they even have them, to Port au Prince? FedEx? The place is devastated.

If someone can't see the difference between visiting an imporverished area and spending tourist dollars and drinking, eating and sunning yourself less than 100 miles away from dead bodies being pulled from rubble, stacked on top of each other in the streets, men, women and children and others dying from disease all directly related to a huge natural disaster then I think you're just making it about YOU, trying to not look and see the horror while whooping it up on the zip line. You don't stuff your face in the direct eyesight of a starving child and you don't get your drink on so near the dead bodies laying in the sun.

RCCL could pay its workers there, drop off supplies and pay port fees - it doesn't require going there and making it a day to get off and party. I don't get how others can't have real compassion for others.

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Iluv: The more money anyone in that country has the better off the country is. You'd rather put the people who work at Labadee out of work so you can feel good about yourself? You'd rather the government loses income when it needs it more than ever?

 

I assume since you wouldn't go to Labadee "for that reason," you also will never visit Jamaica, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, et. al. And I sure you never eat at a nice restaurant in areas that have homeless people. Hunger and poverty can be found all over the Caribbean. Tourism is one of the few revenue producers for many of the islands down there. I remember lots of people on a cruise that stopped at Dominica saying they would never go back because it was so poor. They weren't worried about the people - it just wasn't nice enough for them, even though it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

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Just out of curiosity....

How long was the London Eye closed after 7/7?

 

Does anybody know?

Not sure about the EYE... likely it never shut down???

 

However, Southern California is potentially going to experience some 20 inches of rain in the next day or so. Currently, there is flooding and mud slides. Potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

 

Does that mean the folks going on Mariner this Sunday should not go to LA?

 

Granted, comparing here is like apples and oranges... ok, a lot like apples and oranges. Point is, stuff happens. Life goes on.

 

I remember flying into Newark on September 17, 2001 and seeing the smoke still coming from the site of the twin towers. I stayed in Manhattan. Restaurants were open. Life went on as normal. Manhattan survived and still thrives.

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...For those that say tipping Labadee employees helps the relief effort a little I say most likely not. How do you figure the employees of Labadee are going to send their meager cash to relatives, if they even have them, to Port au Prince? FedEx? The place is devastated...
Haitians may be poor, but they are not stupid. Many people who did live in Port au Prince have started moving to other locations where they have family and friends who still have means of survival. I feel confident that the area around Labadee will absorb some displaced persons.

 

Thom

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