Friday 10 April, 2020

Cruise lines pledge help for The Bahamas

Scenes from Abaco where Hurricane Dorian landed earlier this week.

Scenes from Abaco where Hurricane Dorian landed earlier this week.

Some of the major cruise lines that service The Bahamas are pledging assistance following the destruction by Hurricane Dorian.

Disney Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation have all pledged support to the affected people of The Bahamas.

The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, made a commitment of more than one million dollars to help relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas. 

A release from the company said this commitment includes a one million dollars donation to non-profit relief agencies who will be undertaking recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as the provision of supplies – including food staples and basic construction materials – to those in impacted areas.

Chairman and CEO Bob Iger shared, “The Walt Disney Company stands with the people of The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian. We hope our one million dollars donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbours, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together.”

Disney also said that employees with immediate needs in impacted areas of The Bahamas will have access to a range of resources.

Disney Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in The Bahamas, which experienced tropical force strength winds, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.

“The Bahamas is such a special place to us and our guests, and we have watched the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian with concern and heartache,” Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line, said. “We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm to ever make landfall in The Bahamas. As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian Crew Members.”

In a release, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said it was very emotional seeing reports of Hurricane Dorian's impact over the past couple days.

“Our hearts go out to those who have lost friends and loved ones, and whose homes and businesses have been destroyed or damaged. Knowing and working over many years with so many Bahamians, we have long admired the strong spirit, determination and love of life they exhibit. We look forward to supporting their forthcoming hard work to rebuild, recover and again welcome tourists and cruise guests with open arms to their beautiful country,” he said

Arnold said they have been and remain in constant contact with government officials as they determine the highest priorities for both the short term and long term.

He also assured that they remain fully committed to two major projects on the islands of Grand Bahama and Half Moon Cay as part of the recovery and rebuilding process.

Royal Caribbean, which this year unveiled a new theme park on its private island in Coco Cays, said The Bahamas has been their partner for nearly five decades and their thoughts are with them in Hurricane Dorian’s aftermath. 

Royal Caribbean said it has partnered with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) to providing disaster relief and will match all donated funds up to $500,000.

It said the local PADF team in the Bahamas is currently assessing damages and preparing to help families regain what they lost.

“Families who have lost their homes will need long-term support to build back buildings, regain access to services, and re-establish stable lives. Focusing on recovery and reconstruction efforts, we coordinate with local communities, local governments, and international donors to help affected communities recover from the tragic incident,” the statement said.

In a brief statement, Princess cruises said initial reports show only cosmetic damage and minor beach erosion on Princess Cays.

“The safety of our guests and crew is always our first priority, and we are closely monitoring the storm for potential impact on future itineraries. Together with Carnival Corporation, we pledge our support for the Bahamas and other impacted areas as they assess the damage and begin recovery efforts. Our focus will be on the priorities established by the government and emergency relief officials.

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