The Bahamians were met upon arrival by volunteers from various South Florida nonprofit organizations, as well as representatives from the Bahamian Relief Consortium.
The cruise line had spent nearly a full day clearing potential evacuees, including vetting their visa and passport documentation.
Port of Palm Beach has strong Bahamas ties
In a statement, the Port of Palm Beach said it ‘empathizes with the Bahamian people who lost everything during the Category 5 hurricane. We have a special relationship with the Bahamian Islands since 60% of everything consumed in the Bahamas comes from the Port of Palm Beach. Some of our tenants have employees who live on the affected islands, while others have longtime relationships with their Bahamian customers.
‘We continue to be in communication with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and US Customs Border and Protection as Bahamian evacuees arrive,’ the port said.
Carried first responders to Freeport
Among the first responders who cruised were numerous representatives from the West Palm Beach Fire Rescue, more than 60 medical professionals and other humanitarian groups.
Ship personnel prepared 850 boxed lunches and delivered them to local shelters.
225,000 pounds of supplies
Grand Celebration was loaded with 150 pallets, totaling more than 225,000 pounds of supplies, including water, food, personal hygiene products, medical equipment and generators. Four of these pallets contained dog food.
In addition, 100 Bahamian bins were transported, sent from family members in South Florida and delivered directly to Grand Bahama Island residents who picked them up in Freeport.
Delivered a baby
As well, medical personnel on board the ship delivered a baby when visiting a local facility in Freeport.
South Florida residents who wish to drop off supplies to aid the residents of Grand Bahama Island can deliver them to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Riviera Beach warehouse at 301 Broadway Ave., Bay #7, Riviera Beach. For a list of supplies needed or to make a monetary donation, visit www.MissionResolve.org.
Next revenue cruise Sept. 13
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line canceled its Sept. 7, 9 and 11 sailings. The next commercial sailing is to depart Sept. 13.