The severe earthquake that has shattered the very lives of Haitian people seems to have very little or no effect on the crew and passengers of a luxury cruise ship, the Independence of the Seas,a s the ship has reportedly docked docked at a privately owned harbor in Haiti. The plan is to let the passengers enjoy a relaxing vacation on the beaches of the now devastated country, which are just a few kilometers away from the center of the tragedy.
The Independence of the Seas has apparently justified this highly controversial move stating that, the ship isn’t not carrying out its normal duties, but is also carrying 40 palettes of relief supplies for the quake stricken region. The passengers of the cruise ship are expected to spend some time at the beach with barbecues and they are to be brought on the shore via zip lines. However, despite the vacation organizers’ decision to carry on with the trip, the passengers themselves are boycotting this inhumane act. Many of the passengers have infact decided to stay on board and not carry on with the festivities as scheduled, with one of the passengers stating that he was “sickened” at the idea of having fun at place of such incalculable devastation.
There has been widespread discontentment on the online forums of cruise company, as one passenger stated,
“I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water.”
However, the company has assured that, the ship is in fact carry relief supplies for the Haitians and every cent made from the trip shall be donated for the relief efforts in Haiti. According to John Weis (VP, Royal Caribbean International),
“In the end, Labadee is critical to Haiti’s recovery; hundreds of people rely on Labadee for their livelihood. In our conversations with the UN special envoy of the government of Haiti, Leslie Voltaire, he notes that Haiti will benefit from the revenues that are generated from each call. We also have tremendous opportunities to use our ships as transport vessels for relief supplies and personnel to Haiti. Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most.”
Via Boing Boing