Carnival Corporation’s philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, and its nine global cruise line brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK) – together with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for relief efforts in The Bahamas, with a portion of the combined pledge immediately going to support efforts being managed by Direct Relief, an international humanitarian organization that provides critical medications and supplies during emergency situations. In addition, Carnival Corporation and its brands worked together with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organizations to identify the most timely and urgent relief needs and immediate allocations for additional funds and support.
Separately, the company launched an effort to collect and deliver food and supplies donated in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties for the people of The Bahamas, through a partnership with Tropical Shipping and The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which began Sept. 4, three days after Hurricane Dorian, and collected an estimated 10 million pounds of food and supplies – filling over 250 shipping containers – for The Bahamas. Most of the containers were delivered directly to NEMA over the past three weeks, providing immediate relief to residents impacted by the storm. In close coordination with NEMA, the remaining containers are in process of being delivered as soon as possible for distribution. The success of the program, which concluded Sept. 27, was driven by the generous outpouring of donations from countless individuals and organizations throughout South Florida and North America.
Carnival Corporation continues to provide support to The Bahamas in a number of ways. On Sept. 25, the company signed agreements to develop a new cruise port primarily for Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama, and construct a new addition, including a pier, on the Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, home to Holland America Line's Half Moon Cay port. The Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador will be an estimated $80 million investment over time.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) – including Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises – met the company’s goal of raising $2 million for the Hope Starts Here hurricane relief program. In less than one month, the program received donations from the company’s valued team members, loyal guests, travel partners and business partners, which the company has matched with a $2 million contribution in order to assist All Hands and Hearts with emergency response efforts across the Bahamas, including debris cleanup and removal, and the rebuilding of community infrastructure such as houses or schools.
In addition to doubling its initial $1 million commitment, the company also worked to quickly resume calls to the Bahamas and its private island, Great Stirrup Cay, as well as using Norwegian Breakaway to deliver supplies donated by the company and its employees, in addition to items collected by the City of Miami, Baptist Health South Florida, the 305 Gives Back foundation and other Miami-based organizations.
“We understand that tourism represents a significant portion of the Bahamas’ annual GDP and we are actively involved in helping our neighbors get back on their feet by returning to the islands and providing them with the supplies necessary to rebuild along with the needed economic support that tourism brings,” said Frank Del Rio, president & CEO on Sept. 9 when resuming calls and doubling its donation pledge.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. – including Azamara, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International – immediately committed $1 million to disaster relief for Hurricane Dorian, with an additional $100,000 to be donated by ITM Group, its partner in the Holistica joint venture that is developing the Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport, while also pledging to match donations by guests and employees to PADF and use its ships to deliver supplies.
That initiative also launched almost instantly and quickly moved full steam ahead. After delivering 10,000 meals the Thursday following the storm, the company made a goal of supplying at least 20,000 meals each subsequent day, as well as water, medical supplies, generators, and a team of specially trained RCL employees and volunteers to assist with logistics and food and beverage efforts.
Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain and Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley also traveled to Freeport to meet with Bahamian officials, the company’s humanitarian relief partners in the Bahamas, workers and local people.
Additionally, Fain affirmed that cruise lines’ infrastructure projects on Grand Bahama Island have not been set back, but rather, accelerated by Hurricane Dorian, standing behind its $275 million Freeport development via Holistica, the company’s new joint venture with ITM Group, during the Signature Owners’ Meeting in Austin, Texas, where he delivered the keynote address on Sept. 13, including a film chronicling Royal Caribbean’s relief efforts.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL) first announced a two-fold support initiative following Hurricane Dorian’s impact – accepting monetary donations online through its partner, Mission Resolve, as well as donated supplies at its Riviera Beach warehouse.
It then canceled numerous revenue cruises to transform Grand Celebration into a humanitarian ship, spending three weeks bringing food, water, and other supplies – as well as first responders, volunteers and Bahamian locals that were stranded in South Florida – to Grand Bahama, and carrying Bahamian residents who wished to evacuate on the way back. Just one of those trips included 400 pallets of humanitarian aid –including 30,000 pounds of water, 275,000 pounds of canned and dry food, 150,000 pounds of household supplies and 50,000 pounds of construction materials – as well as more than 300 qualified volunteers and 150 Bahamians to return home and help jumpstart the process of rebuilding Grand Bahama Island.
Now BPCL has resumed commercial sailings through a ‘voluntourism’ initiative, where BPCL guests will continue the volunteering efforts of distributing food and supplies – as well as reviving the economic engine in the Bahamas, according to CEO Oneil Khosa.
“Anything we can do now to help get them started is important,” he said. “We’ve got to break the idea that, ‘Hey I’m just not going to the Bahamas for a year or two.’ Because if everyone says that, it’s just going to make things worse. One thing that hasn’t changed in the Bahamas is the beautiful water, the friendly people and the fantastic weather. That’s still there and it will be there long after they’ve recovered.”
The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, made a commitment of more than $1 million to help relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas – including, but not limited to, a $1 million donation to non-profit relief agencies who will be undertaking recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as the provision of supplies such as food staples and basic construction materials to those in impacted areas.
As part of those efforts, more than 100 Disney Cruise Line Cast Members worked together to assemble over 1,500 Clean the World personal hygiene kits. Disney Dream delivered these kits to Nassau, where they were distributed to shelters for hurricane evacuees from Abaco and Grand Bahama. The company has also donated food, water, medical supplies, cleaning supplies, generators and construction materials, which Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have delivered.
Additionally, Disney Cruise Line is also supporting its Bahamian-based Crew Members who live in impacted areas; so far, Disney has provided an additional $500,000 in supplies for these communities and direct aid to employees. Disney Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in The Bahamas, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.
MSC Group – one of the world’s leading container shipping and logistics conglomerates as well as the parent company of MSC Cruises – has pledged support from across all its businesses for Hurricane Dorian relief in The Bahamas. In addition to providing and delivering goods of primary necessity, MSC Group’s efforts will initially focus on semi-permanent prefabricated modular housing for the population as well as making available MSC geared ships for cargo relief service from the U.S to The Bahamas.
A high-level delegation comprised of members of MSC Group’s U.S. senior management team as well as leadership of its philanthropic arm, the MSC Foundation, also scheduled meetings in Nassau with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organizations – with the objective of promptly identifying first-hand and through engagement with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organizations the most timely and urgent relief needs and how the Group can support the immediate and longer-term in-kind and funding needs of the local population and businesses as they look to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.