Major Cruise Lines Pledge Millions In Support To The Bahamas After Hurricane Dorian

by Christina Marfice
Hoberman Collection/Getty and Royal Caribbean International/Facebook

After Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, the cruise lines that often visit there are promising to help

We’re still waiting to find out the damage caused in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian, which battered the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama for more than a day and a half before moving on Tuesday. Reports have said the Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet of water after the islands faced life-threatening winds sustained at over 110 mph and a devastating storm surge.

The two islands have a combined population of around 70,000 who did what they could to prepare for the Category 5 superstorm, but it’s impossible to truly prepare for a storm the size of Dorian. Now, as we wait to find out how catastrophic this was, companies are already stepping up and promising to help with cleanup and relief efforts, which are sure to be sorely needed in the coming weeks and months. That includes the major cruise lines that often use the Bahamas as a port for their guests to visit.

Royal Caribbean pledged to donate at least $1 million to Dorian disaster relief, and its partner in developing the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, ITM, promised another $100,000 in donations. The two companies said they’d work with the Bahamian government and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) to ensure the money goes where it’s most needed and will provide the most support. Additionally, Royal Caribbean will match guest and employee donations to PADF up to $500,000. You can donate at a web page the nonprofit set up for relief efforts.

“We can’t make every bad memory of Dorian go away. But we can start making things better — today,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

Carnival Cruise Lines has also promised to help, but hasn’t specified an amount that it will pledge to Dorian relief.

“To our friends in The Bahamas, please know you will not be alone in your effort. All of us at Carnival Corporation pledge to work with you,” Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement. “We have been and remain in constant contact with government officials as they determine the highest priorities for both the short term and long term.”

And The Walt Disney Company, which operates Disney Cruise Lines, has committed a $1 million donation to nonprofits aiding with cleanup and recovery, as well as in-kind support for employees who live and work on Disney’s private Bahamian island, Disney Castaway Cay.

“We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, 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 CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

These and other cruise lines are also loading ships with generators, food, drinking water, clean sheets, blankets, and towels, and other much-needed supplies to send to the Bahamas.

It will likely be weeks or even months before we know the real toll and cost of Dorian in the Bahamas, but this is the best way to start toward recovery.