Update on FCCA's hurricane relief efforts across the Caribbean

The FCCA and Platinum Member Eventstar Structures have provided sleeping pods to hard-hit destinations The FCCA and Platinum Member Eventstar Structures have provided sleeping pods to hard-hit destinations (Photo: Evenstar Structures)

From helping coordinate ships to pick up evacuees and deliver urgently needed supplies to purchasing sleeping pods and semi-permanent structures for housing and schools, and more, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association is actively engaged in hurricane recovery.

'I wish words could bring back the lost lives, rebuild the catastrophic damage and support people physically and emotionally in this time of need, but there are no words,' FCCA president Michele Paige said. 'However, the FCCA is fully committed to taking every possible action to help our partners during this tragedy, as they are not just our partners, but more like our family. Our member lines and Platinum Members like Eventstar Structures and Tropical Shipping have also shown their commitment to this family, and we cannot thank them enough for their tireless relief efforts and astounding donation commitments that will help bring this family back together.'

The association is assisting with relief efforts in many of the hardest hit places, including the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Dominica. AndPlatinum Members Eventstar Structures, Tropical Shipping and Continental Shipping have stepped up to supply materials, logistics and transportation.

As earlier reported, the association has committed to provide supplies including large (3,000- to 4,000-square-foot) semi-permanent structures for shelter and schooling, sleeping pods that sleep six equipped with cots with mattresses and blankets, canned food and other supplies—at a value of $500,000. After assessing damage from Hurricane Maria, FCCA committed to an additional 1,000 sleeping pods—along with cots, mattresses and bedding—at a value of $280,000.

The association worked directly with destination partners to ascertain needs and with Eventstar and Tropical Shipping and member lines to assist with the acquisition and delivery of the supplies.

Coordinating with destinations and member lines for the evacuation of 1,000 stranded visitors and displaced citizens in St. Thomas on Norwegian Sky, along with the evacuation of 1,700 people from the USVI and St. Maarten on Adventure of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas were other efforts.

Further work included ascertaining needs after Hurricane Maria and finding ways to provide supplies to destinations inaccessible by cruise ships.

For the British Virgin Islands MSC is paying for and providing transportation of a large, semi-permanent structure to be used as a school, which FCCA coordinated through Eventstar. The destination is also receiving aid from the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia, and Puerto Rico is an option to coordinate relief shipments, while Britain is expected to provide extensive relief.

One hundred sleeping pods went to Cuba, delivered by Norwegian Cruise Line.

For Dominica, the FCCA purchased 920 sleeping pods and 4,000 mattresses, which have an expected delivery between Oct. 3-8, by Royal Caribbean and Tropical Shipping.

For St. Maarten, the the FCCA provided 150 sleeping pods, a 4,000-square-foot semi-permanent structure for housing and 500 mattresses, blankets and cots. Delivery is being provided by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Tropical Shipping. St. Maarten is also receiving assistance from the Netherlands.

For the US Virgin Islands, FCCA purchased 150 sleeping pods, a 3,000-square-foot semi-permanent structure for housing and 500 mattresses, blankets and cots. The sleeping pods and structure were delivered Sept. 24 in St. Croix via Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration, on charter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the delivery of the mattresses, blankets and cots is to be determined, with delivery provided by Bahamas Celebration and Tropical Shipping.

For these efforts Eventstar donated 600 sleeping pods and built semi-permanent structures at cost. Tropical Shipping provided two containers free of charge for the shipment of goods that could not reach destinations via cruise ships.

Continental Shipping managed the transportation for all 800 passengers from Carnival Fascination in Puerto Rico.

Posted 03 October 2017

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review