When Royal Caribbean docked the Independence of the Seas in their private Haitian bay just four days after the devastating earthquake, someone at their headquarters should have been awaiting the PR nightmare that hit them.
Images of tourists enjoying a splash in the ocean just 85 miles from where 200,000 people lost their lives were all over the Internet. I’m still torn on the issue – my instincts tell me that it was a really bad idea, but knowing that the ship docking meant keeping the inhabitants employed prevents me from instantly claiming the cruise line is full of insensitive bastards.
Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein was interviewed by Fox Business Network about their decision to allow the vessel to dock in Haiti, and he was of course quick to point out that each ship visiting the region is filled with 40 to 60 pallets of emergency supplies.
The Royal Caribbean port keeps 500 people employed, from local vendors to relatives of workers who depend on the income from tourism. When the captain of the Independence of the Seas announced that they would be visiting Haiti, he received a standing ovation.
After hearing the response from Royal Caribbean, I’m still without an opinion. It’s really easy for us to sit here behind our desks sending money through a text message and criticize a company actively helping the citizens of Haiti. I really don’t think there is much more Royal Caribbean could do to help the people in Haiti.
Thanks to Fox Business Network for providing this content.