Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line evacuates Dorian-impacted Bahamians

Grand Celebration's Sept. 13, 15, 17 and 19 revenue sailings have been canceled

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration arrived home to the Port of Palm Beach Saturday morning with more than 1,100 Bahamian residents evacuated as a result of Hurricane Dorian.

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

Grand Celebration had departed Palm Beach on Thursday, carrying nearly 300 first responders and volunteers, as well as 200 Bahamian residents who were stranded in South Florida during Dorian.

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.

Posted 7 September 2019

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Anne Kalosh

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Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor, Seatrade Cruise Review Anne Kalosh covers global stories, reporting both breaking and in-depth news on cruising's significant people, places, ships and trends. A sought-after expert on cruising, she has moderated conferences around the world, including the high-profile State of the Industry panel at Seatrade Cruise Global. She created and led the acclaimed itinerary-planning case study for Seatrade's cruise master classes held at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She is the cruise columnist for AFAR.com, and her freelance stories have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times to The Miami Herald.

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