Friday, February 19, 2010

Royal Caribbean in Haiti

I read an interesting article today in the March 2010 issue of Condé Nast TRAVELER, which talked about Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's role in Haiti, particularly after the earthquake.

The cruise line has introduced the largest cruise ship to date, 1,187 feet long and holding up to 6,296 passengers, which has caused some controversy, economically and environmentally. One of its ports-of-call in the Caribbean will include Haiti.

Royal Caribbean actually owns a peninsula in Haiti called Lambadee, which until recently was not advertised to its travelers that it was in fact a part of Haiti - so as not to make them wary of their safety on the cruise. The article says that R.C. "spent $50 million to expand the beach and facilities and to build a pier that would accommodate its new behemoth" (page 46, in case you're curious).

A week after the earthquake, Royal Caribbean was using this port to drop off supplies to Haiti, and has additionally pledged to donate $1 million to the nation. The port is and has been providing jobs for Haitians as well - one employee, with a salary of $300 per month, said that this was ten times more than the average wage in Haiti. And with each passenger of the cruise line that stops at Lambadee, Haiti receives approximately $6.

So, as the articles sums up, "assuming that the money actually does go to the Haitian people, Royal Caribbean will have an even stronger case that sometimes bigger really is better".

No comments: