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15 miles from Labadee !!!!


aprilfool

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The UK daily paper "The Guardian" yesterday appeared to be heavily anti RCCI - their front page contrasted a photo of the corpses piling up in Port Au Prince, with one of cruisers enjoying the beach at Labadee with IOS in the background. The banner headline read "No room in Haiti's cemetaries - but the cruises ships still find a berth"

 

I kinda thought this was going to happen and pretty much said as much in a post on a different thread some five days ago. Oh well...let's see how long this type of story has legs.......

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I have been a RCCL follower for most of our cruises, but right now I feel they are very insensitive to the tragedy in Haiti. How can you enjoy a day at the beach and party when there is so many people death and a lot more unaccount for?.....Please RCCL have a heart and be more sympathetic about those in dispared....
The Haitian UN Envoy asked them to continue to stop, how is it insensitive to do what the Haitians ask?
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Whenever there is a disaster, the #1 goal is to evacuate the injured to a safer place for care and comfort.

 

I live on the Jersey Coast, about 50 miles straight across the water to NYC.

9-11, the authorities took over a municipal airport here, erected tents and staffed them with ER Docs and Nurses, assembled ambulances from all the local communities, and gathered helicopters from the Coast Guard, National Guard, and everywhere else.

The plan was to medivac the injured from ground zero across the water to NJ, triage them, then transport north and south to local hospitals via ambulance. A disaster plan set in place.

Sadly, as we all know, there were no injured in the #'s anticipated that the NYC hospitals could not handle.

 

I heard numerous times today that the situation in Haiti is unmanageable, and why aren't ALL the people being evacuated out. Then I heard that the plan HAS started, where "Camps" are being established all over the countryside where the quake had little effect, where the people can be transported to and get the care they need.

Empty the city, care for the people, re-build, then return.

 

I say this, because this probably will affect Labadee directly. Labadee itself may become one of these "Refugee Camps". Why Not? It is a self contained area with electricity, fresh water, sewage, kitchens, etc. (with a 12' fence and armed guards)

Not to mention, if the new pier can handle the Oasis, it can surely handle a few international rescue ships for supplies.

 

The land is owned by the Haitian Gov't, and in a national disaster RCL will have no say in this.

 

With the bad press RCL has been getting, it may be in their best interest for PR and Image to get out front and offer their facilities.

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Sewer: "How can you enjoy a day at the beach and party when there is so many people death and a lot more unaccount for?" Sounds like you think they are being insensitive to the cruisers, not to the people of Haiti.

 

Badboysdriveaudis: I'd still be saying they should stop.

 

Mark K: Exactly, the Haitians want the ships to keep coming.

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It is a tragic situation there but, I think the ships should continue stopping there until the Government asks them to stop. I would not have a problem stopping there. The people of that country need the revenue and as crazy as it is there, some since of business as usual would have to be good for the people.

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if Labadee was a scheduled stop on my cruise I think I would like to see the ship continue to go there because of the economic good they would be doing the area. personally i wouldn't get off there because i am not a beach person, but feel that those who want to get off should go ahead and enjoy their day, maybe tip a little more than they normally would to locals, maybe buy a few more trinkets.

we stopped at Port-a-Prince many years ago on a NCL cruise, it was a very poor stop then, I can't imagine what the area must be like now.

 

Beverly

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Whenever there is a disaster, the #1 goal is to evacuate the injured to a safer place for care and comfort.

 

I live on the Jersey Coast, about 50 miles straight across the water to NYC.

9-11, the authorities took over a municipal airport here, erected tents and staffed them with ER Docs and Nurses, assembled ambulances from all the local communities, and gathered helicopters from the Coast Guard, National Guard, and everywhere else.

The plan was to medivac the injured from ground zero across the water to NJ, triage them, then transport north and south to local hospitals via ambulance. A disaster plan set in place.

Sadly, as we all know, there were no injured in the #'s anticipated that the NYC hospitals could not handle.

 

I heard numerous times today that the situation in Haiti is unmanageable, and why aren't ALL the people being evacuated out. Then I heard that the plan HAS started, where "Camps" are being established all over the countryside where the quake had little effect, where the people can be transported to and get the care they need.

Empty the city, care for the people, re-build, then return.

 

I say this, because this probably will affect Labadee directly. Labadee itself may become one of these "Refugee Camps". Why Not? It is a self contained area with electricity, fresh water, sewage, kitchens, etc. (with a 12' fence and armed guards)

Not to mention, if the new pier can handle the Oasis, it can surely handle a few international rescue ships for supplies.

 

The land is owned by the Haitian Gov't, and in a national disaster RCL will have no say in this.

 

With the bad press RCL has been getting, it may be in their best interest for PR and Image to get out front and offer their facilities.

While it's possible for Labadee to become a refugee camp, I really doubt it would happen. Too much money lost for the value received. Also, there's a usable port and airport in Cap-Haitien.
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The Haitian UN Envoy asked them to continue to stop, how is it insensitive to do what the Haitians ask?

 

And you can bet if RCI decided not to stop there because their passengers were uncomfortable with it, the headlines would read:

 

RCI deserts Haiti after Hatian UN Envoy begs them to continue bringing tourist dollars to the island. RCI passengers state they don't want to see Haitians suffering as that would spoil their vacations. Ships diverted so that passengers can sunbathe on other islands in peace."

 

There was no way for RCI to win in this situation. They would be lambasted whichever way they went.

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Sewer: "How can you enjoy a day at the beach and party when there is so many people death and a lot more unaccount for?" Sounds like you think they are being insensitive to the cruisers, not to the people of Haiti.

 

Badboysdriveaudis: I'd still be saying they should stop.

 

Mark K: Exactly, the Haitians want the ships to keep coming.

 

Exactly my point; I was just saying that your tone would be different. Currently, it's more of a defensive (or supportive) tone rather than a "what are they thinking? we should be stopping and providing income!!!" tone.

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And you can bet if RCI decided not to stop there because their passengers were uncomfortable with it, the headlines would read:

 

RCI deserts Haiti after Hatian UN Envoy begs them to continue bringing tourist dollars to the island. RCI passengers state they don't want to see Haitians suffering as that would spoil their vacations. Ships diverted so that passengers can sunbathe on other islands in peace."

 

There was no way for RCI to win in this situation. They would be lambasted whichever way they went.

 

I loved your response nrdsb4.......so very very true!!!

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It is a tragic situation there but, I think the ships should continue stopping there until the Government asks them to stop. I would not have a problem stopping there. The people of that country need the revenue and as crazy as it is there, some since of business as usual would have to be good for the people.

 

The more I read the opinions of "you people on the other side", the more I reflect.

 

It's not that I'm saying I'd feel guilty if I were there now (at least not any more than I did last year when I was there and knew the plight of Haitians on the other side of the fence). What I'm saying is that the situation "now" versus "a couple of months ago" is different. 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).

 

Donate what you can now. Royal should continue their charitable work with Food for the Poor and also "donate" by paying community service wages to the employed Haitians by allowing them to assist in the recovery effort. And when people have at least been given time to breathe, then bring back the guests.

 

I was not aware of the request by the Haitian UN envoy so that is a matter that should be considered. It does make you wonder, however, if that was said out of fear that if tourists were to stop coming, it may be an extended time period before they come back. No one wants that situation so you'd opt to tell the world to keep coming, even though the workers would be watching people drink and party while they're worrying about a family member to the south that they've haven't heard from and wondering if they are still alive.

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Here is an interesting article in today's USA TODAY:

 

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2010-01-18-earthquake-haiti-tourist-cruise_N.htm

 

I think this might change the opinions of some of you who criticize the cruise line for going to Haiti. RCCI is really stepping up and helping in a signifigant way.

 

For the record, I was aware of everything in that article since late last week (well, except for the statement from the UN envoy). It's that one statement that gives me pause. Minus that, I'd still advocate to not have guests visit for a couple of weeks to allow Haitians to get back on their feet.

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The more I read the opinions of "you people on the other side", the more I reflect.

 

It's not that I'm saying I'd feel guilty if I were there now (at least not any more than I did last year when I was there and knew the plight of Haitians on the other side of the fence). What I'm saying is that the situation "now" versus "a couple of months ago" is different. 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).

 

Donate what you can now. Royal should continue their charitable work with Food for the Poor and also "donate" by paying community service wages to the employed Haitians by allowing them to assist in the recovery effort. And when people have at least been given time to breathe, then bring back the guests.

 

I was not aware of the request by the Haitian UN envoy so that is a matter that should be considered. It does make you wonder, however, if that was said out of fear that if tourists were to stop coming, it may be an extended time period before they come back. No one wants that situation so you'd opt to tell the world to keep coming, even though the workers would be watching people drink and party while they're worrying about a family member to the south that they've haven't heard from and wondering if they are still alive.

 

Just where have you read that no one is allowing the Haitians to grieve? How do you or anyone of you that feel so guilty know exactly what the Haitians are "feeling" about the cruisers? Your putting your feelings on them and yet I've read nothing that says the Haitians have a problem with the cruise ships stopping. All I've seen are what people "think" the Haitians are thinking and feeling. That's actually a pretty elitist way to look at the world. Don't ask how they feel, tell them how they feel instead.

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Just where have you read that no one is allowing the Haitians to grieve? How do you or anyone of you that feel so guilty know exactly what the Haitians are "feeling" about the cruisers? Your putting your feelings on them and yet I've read nothing that says the Haitians have a problem with the cruise ships stopping. All I've seen are what people "think" the Haitians are thinking and feeling. That's actually a pretty elitist way to look at the world. Don't ask how they feel, tell them how they feel instead.

 

Speaking of elitist...

 

I think I've made it quite clear that my view was simply that - my view. I've also made it quite clear that I could disagree with a decision without attacking those that made it. The very fact that I mentioned I was ignorant of the Haitian UN envoy's comments and needed to continue to reflect demonstrates that my current view isn't a "my way is the right way" type thinking.

 

Perhaps you might want to check your tone before presuming you can instruct me how to "think".

 

As for knowing how the Haitians feel, allow me to ask a question. Is possible for someone to know such things without it being all over the news? For instance, if one were to be associated with an organization (let's say a church) that had ties to another organization (let's say...another church) based in Haiti, and the cruise passenger topic happened to come up while these individuals were discussing the logistics of aid coming from the church family in America -- then couldn't the comments of those Haitians be a valid beat of how Haitians feel? I don't presume that those comments would speak for all Haitians, but wouldn't it at least be representative of some Haitians? And yet another question -- couldn't all of that talk exist outside of the media?

 

Again, please check your tone before presuming someone to be elitist. Thank you.

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For the record, I was aware of everything in that article since late last week (well, except for the statement from the UN envoy). It's that one statement that gives me pause. Minus that, I'd still advocate to not have guests visit for a couple of weeks to allow Haitians to get back on their feet.

 

Wrong. I lived in Haiti for 6 years, in Port Au Prince. If the cruise ships stop coming, all that happens is that you impoverish more hard working people, who could really use that money now to help their friends and relatives in the Port Au Prince area.

 

Go to Labadee, spend some money, and take a few minutes to offer your sympathy to the Haitians you meet there -they will appreciate your concern.

 

Don't worry about Labadee being overrun, either. Haitians are leaving PAP for Cap Haitien, and also heading west and south, to Les Cayes, just to escape the problems in PAP.

 

Haitians are very resilient and honorable people- you have nothing to worry about.

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For the record, I was aware of everything in that article since late last week (well, except for the statement from the UN envoy). It's that one statement that gives me pause. Minus that, I'd still advocate to not have guests visit for a couple of weeks to allow Haitians to get back on their feet.

 

If you expect the Haitians to get back on their feet in "a couple of weeks", you haven't been watching the news or reading the papers. It will take years to recover and the scars will last forever.

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Wrong. I lived in Haiti for 6 years, in Port Au Prince. If the cruise ships stop coming, all that happens is that you impoverish more hard working people, who could really use that money now to help their friends and relatives in the Port Au Prince area.

 

Go to Labadee, spend some money, and take a few minutes to offer your sympathy to the Haitians you meet there -they will appreciate your concern.

 

Don't worry about Labadee being overrun, either. Haitians are leaving PAP for Cap Haitien, and also heading west and south, to Les Cayes, just to escape the problems in PAP.

 

Haitians are very resilient and honorable people- you have nothing to worry about.

 

I'm aware of them migrating out to outlining areas that aren't as damaged. I'm also donating through organizations who have people I know (and associates that I don't know) in Haiti. To me, donating money that way is a wash when compared to spending money in Labadee, presuming all proceeds are donated by RCL.

 

My thought about RCL using a couple weeks as community service pay days would be a wash, with respect to wages, as compared to having those employees working to serve guests. The benefit is that they'd be free to help with moving supplies out of Labadee and into the surrounding communities.

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If you expect the Haitians to get back on their feet in "a couple of weeks", you haven't been watching the news or reading the papers. It will take years to recover and the scars will last forever.

 

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.

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I would post a reply stating my feelings about calling on Labadee, but the last time I did my comments were deleted so I shall refrain.

 

Could you state your feelings about it without violating board rules? I've seen plenty of opposing views which were not deleted.;) How was your post different?

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I think that in the cruising universe, we create our own filters so that we can enjoy ourselves when often surrounded by poverty. Some of us are better at us than others. I felt uneasy just seeing one child looking for food in a trash bin at a Mexican port.

 

I wouldn't be able to party so close to such a disaster. But docking in Haiti provides this impoverished country with alot of revenue.

 

So Haiti as a port should continue.

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The decision to continue to dock at Labadee has been made. While some of us agree with the reasoning and others do not is inevitable. Everyone deals with tragedy in a different manner and with different feelings.

 

We all have the right to express our opinions but under the circumstances, the name calling and dismissiveness of honest, well intention feelings seems to me to have gotten out of hand on a such a serious topic.

 

JMHO

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Yes we could stop the ships from going to Haiti, yes we could stop the passenger from getting off the ship. However, we would also be stopping the money that the ship and passengers provide to the Haitians. It's about more than just the Haitian cruise ship employees. What about the other workers at the port, what about the Haitians would provide services for the passengers, what about the Haitians who provide services for the Haitians who work for the cruise ship. There is money being provided to Haiti through the cruise ships and passengers that no one is thinking about. Ok so the old lady at the market selling trinkets wasn't in the earthquake what about any family members she had that were. How is she suppose to send them money if she isn't receiving the money from the cruise ships and passengers? What about the island in general? How are they going to replace the taxes they earn from the cruise ships and passengers?

 

Haiti already has enough people starving and dying. Do we want to add more to that? All the people who would lose the money that the passengers spend on the island would ending up starving because the passengers weren't there to spend money. All the children that wouldn't get dinner because there wasn't any cruise ship money, What about them????

 

While your on the island ask around about who has family that was in the earthquake and give them some extra to help. Maybe the cook making your meal had a grandmother who died, couldn't he use a little extra to pay for her funeral? Maybe the waitress who served your meal has young brother who is now an orphan needs help so she can raise him, do you really want him to end up in an orphanage? Thats is where he would end up because there were no passengers to serve meals to.

 

Think about it. 3000 passenger and each spends $50 on the island. That would be $150,000 that would be taken away from Haiti if no ships stopped for one day. That would be $1,050,000 for one week that would be lost for the island if the ships stopped going there for one week. What about 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months? How much money would Haiti lose? What would you want if YOU were one of the Haitians? What if YOUR income was dependent of the cruise ships? How would YOU feed YOUR children if the cruise ships stopped going to Haiti?

 

People need to look at the whole picture and not just a small part of it. This whole thing is about more that whether or not the passengers are simply there. It's about the income generated for the Island of Haiti and the inhabitants. Do you really want to add misery to an already miserable situation?????

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As a frequent cruiser on many different Lines over the years, my first thought to how the Cruise Lines could help the most was to donate the Ships in the area, (which at this time of the year would include most of the Ships from all the Lines) to help the seriously injured.

 

The money pouring in from the U.S. Gov't and other Gov'ts, as well as private sources around the world could be put to immediate use, paying the Cruise Lines for the use of their Ships.

 

Pay the Ships from all the Lines a PREMIUM for their Ships space (enough to GENEROUSLY compensate every passenger who has their cruise canceled) and you have CLEAN cabins with beds and more than enough food and drink and entertainment to take care of the injured and their families as well as all the thousands upon thousands of relief and rescue workers from around the world.

 

Think of the money directly spent to immediately put into action something that could save lives, ease suffering, comfort families and give much needed R,R & R (Relief, Rest and Relaxation) to all the Volunteers (Doctors, Nurses, Firemen, Rescue Workers and others). Employees of the Cruise Lines would continue to provide the same service as always, just with a slightly different clientele.

 

As for the displaced Vacation Cruisers, if the Cruiselines received a PREMIUM for every berth, the displaced cruisers would receive refunds and vouchers for future cruises worth much more than they originally paid. Each Cruise Line itself would not lose money and would gain immeasurable Good Will.

 

A small price (in my opinion) to save lives, heal the injured and provide a semblence of sanity (and maybe some joy) to those who are most deserving at this time.

 

There is certainly recent precedent for this as I believe Cruise Ships were used in New Orleans after Katrina for a similar purpose.

 

JMO

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