Posted by: cruisebruise | January 21, 2010

Labadee – Get away from it all!!!

Royal Caribbean has decided that they could be of more help by delivering pallets of supplies/food to Labadee along with thousands of sun-seeking passengers.

What’s wrong with this picture? Let’s see, you have a few thousand passengers on one side of the island enjoying the sand and surf. They have access to unlimited quantities of food and beverages, not to mention jet skis and fun stuff that floats in the water for the kids to play on.

On the other side of the island you have near 70,000+ thousand dead bodies rotting in the noon day sun.

Not to worry, bulldozers will push the mounds of dead bodies into mass graves and no one will really know the identities of many of the dead, as they’re just being pushed into mass graves. On the RCCL side of the island, passengers are disembarking using their photo I.D. cards and being account for, as they head to the beach for the day!

On the other side of the island, military personnel are being dropped into the Presidential compound for security reasons. I guess this makes sense as the President’s house looks a tad bigger then the White House and it appears to have lots of property in which one might get the idea it’s a good place to camp out.

Back to Labadee. The pristine stretch of land is protected by a high fence and on the other side of that fence are armed security guards. These guards are in place to protect what? The people? The passengers? The land? What? If they’re there to protect the passengers then there’s already a problem, which might be on the horizon – 1.5 million displaced Haitian refugees looking for a burger and fries.

However, I think they might be a bit more interested in exactly what Labadee is? Is it a resort? We see a big beautiful ship at the dock, could it be a mirage? No, it’s a cruise line exploiting your land, sea and people. You see, someone from a smart corporation figured out they could get a nice piece of land for next to nothing. They then figured out they could pay (what amounts to bus fare) to put each passenger on that land and call it a destination. They hired a few hundred of your fellow countrymen (for next to nothing) and allow a few hundred more of your people to come through the security checkpoint to sell their wares (for pennies on the dollar) to the cruiseship passengers! You see! It’s win-win for all of you!

OK, I’m being sarcastic. I know it, you know it and of course, the cruise line knows it but, they have an agenda and it was pretty well hidden until a 7.0 earthquake wiped out a few hundred thousand lives and displaced 1.5 million people.

1.5 million suvivors -Where are they going to go? Into the jungle? No, they’re not going to wander the streets of PAP for years to come, they’re going to disband and hopefully wise up and reclaim the land, which has NOT been destroyed by the earthquake. I know some good beach front property they can start with however, first you have to get some of your fellow countrymen in government to think  BIG!

I mean, SUPERSIZE ME BIG!

Someone (person or persons unknown) decided to give away your Labadee for six bucks a head (maybe a few bucks more, as the last report was six bucks a head) and it’s worth much more. You have to (as a people) start with your Prime Minister and ask him why the land is being leased on the cheap, afterall, it’s prime real estate and appears to be earthquake free.

The entire area (Labadee) could pull in some major investment dollars from resorts, which are interested in building along the coastline. Look at the major ports of call where cruise lines have been docking. St. Maarten is a good example of such progress. As RCCL had already expended the funds to build a dock, it stands to reason that other cruise lines will eventually want to come on down and enjoy the region. Now, there is the possibility that RCCL will say “hey, wait a minute! We built this entire place and it’s ours and can’t be used by any other then us!” then it’s time to just give them notice. Tell them to take their blow up ocean toys, jet skis and sun loungers and get the hell out of the place. You see, you can (with the help of your government) change your own little world.

OK, here’s the way I see RCCL’s decision to keep coming on down with passengers:

They’re just simply a selfish corporation seeking to keep the money rolling in and to keep an eye on their expensive piece of real estate. I don’t think anyone in their right mind can even support the notion of ship passengers floating on blow up toys, drinking rum runners - while just on the other side of the mountain - the streets are filled with the dead.

We can’t (as human beings) even comprehend 200,000 people dead, as the number is just so large that we can’t even deal with it! Just how in the world RCCL thinks they’re helping anyone is ALSO beyond my comprehension. If they were just dropping off supplies and heading on their way, w/o letting off pasengers, maybe I could deal with that, however, to set up a barbeque and serve drinks makes this look and sound like an open air wake of sorts - for strangers.

And that’s the point! RCCL and it’s passengers ARE strangers! Would you want a bus load of strangers showing up at your child’s funeral, breaking out burgers and cokes? The idea that you’re helping anyone by paying six bucks a head to attend a short-distance funeral is gruesome and sick.

What about the 300 workers in Labadee? How do you think they feel watching pasty white tourists sucking down Margarita’s on THEIR white sand beach? How long will it be before Labadee sees a revolution of sorts? Is it possible that gangs will show up in Labadee and take it over?

Putting aside the absurd behavior of RCCL, what makes anyone think that the place is safe? What if a few thousand Haitians make the trip over the mountain to seek shelter and food – will RCCL refuse them entry? Could RCCL stop them from coming onto their OWN land? Would a Haitian guard, working in Labadee, take down one of their own?

RCCL’s own sitrep has issued a report that states that no one should trtavel to Haiti, what makes RCCL exempt from this statement? The same report states that Haitians are already making their way to Cap Hatien and that U.S. Marines are securing the sea port and airport.

I find it disturbing that the CEO’s blog entitled nationofwhynot (how fitting a title) states that “there is no way for a person or a company to imagine the vastness of the tragedy or needs of the Haitian people”. I think that if RCCL’s CEO watched CNN for about 15 minutes, he’d get the complete picture of the “various perspectives” on the situation. 
 
Goldstein posted the “sitrep” his company issues on January 20th. The sitrep is a report which is under the aegis of Gary Bald, Senior V.P. of Safety and Security.
 
In the first section entitled “Country Update”, Number Four states:
 
“TRAVEL WARNINGS REMAIN IN EFFECT URGING U.S. CITIZENS TO AVOID TRAVEL TO HAITI.”
 
Under the Labadee section of the same report it states:
 
1- Cap Haiten is seeing an increased number of people coming into town from PAP and surrounding area.
 
2- Security remains strong and no issues have been reported.
 
3- US Marines in Cap Haiten securing sea port and airport.
 
4- ALL features are operational for LB (Labadee) Call today.
 
It goes w/o saying (but, I will) that the first line of text states there’s a WARNING for U.S. citizens to not travel to Haiti. How many U.S. citizens are on board RCCL ships and WHY is RCCL depositing pax in a region with such a warning?
 
Labadee may become a refugee camp shortly, as more and more Haitians head for the beach. What will they see besides sunning tourists eating and drinking? They’ll be met by U.S. Marines and/or armed guards (paid for by whom) and then what?
 
Goldstein’s blog “NationofWhyNot“, is a fitting title as the blog basically sends the message of “with all of the problems faced by Haiti, Why Not keep going to Haiti?
The words “Why Not” Mr. CEO, are usually followed by “Who Cares? Maybe you should re-think your public relations starting with the title of your blog.

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