Thursday, January 21, 2010

Royal Caribbean Explains Itself

Three days after an earthquake leveled the largest city on the south side of Haiti, Royal Caribbean cruise ships began sailing into the north side of the island nation, bringing passengers to Labadee, a day-stop on the Royal Caribbean cruise schedule.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein did a live interview on National Public Radio a few days later, explaining, not defending, the company's decision to resume stops at the devastated island.

In a very appropriate tone and style, he explained that the Haitian government had invited his ships to resume stops in Labadee because the locals needed the business, since that part of the island will bear a significant part of the burden of helping the quake ravaged south side rebuild.

In addition, Goldstein announced his ships were carrying much needed water and other supplies that were being unloaded at Labadee, Haiti and trucked the 80-miles across the island to Port-au-Prince. He had already announced that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is committed to provide $1-million in humanitarian relief to Haiti.

Critics claim the company is insensitive to the suffering on the other side of the island. $1-million dollars of insensitivity most likely will be very helpful to the victims of this awful disaster.

Cruise lines frequently stumble when faced with crises, but in this case Royal Caribbean has stepped up, and not only not stumbled, but appears to be well prepared to head-off unwarranted criticism.

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