Cruise ships to the rescue! Stream of deliveries for Bahamas relief

Among the ships delivering food and supplies are, from top left clockwise, Empress of the Seas, Norwegian Breakaway, Carnival Pride and Grand Celebration

Besides Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s aim of having a ship a day deliver food for the next week to Grand Bahama Island, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line are also sending vessels laden with supplies.

20,000 meals a day from Royal Caribbean/Celebrity

Empress of the Seas was to arrive Thursday morning at Freeport with 10,000 meals, a number that Royal Caribbean hoped to double with the deliveries by Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Equinox on Friday.

‘We’re rolling up our sleeves and delivering over 20,000 meals a day, plus water, medical supplies, generators and other necessities. In addition, we’ve sent a team of specially trained RCL employees and volunteers to assist with logistics and food and beverage efforts,’ the company said.

‘Our mission is that every one of our vessels in the Bahamas area continues to provide assistance by delivering supplies, plus helping evacuate children, elderly or those that need immediate medical attention, to Nassau hospitals via tenders.’

Grand Celebration

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration was due to sail Thursday night to Freeport, loaded with food, water and other supplies, as well as first responders and volunteers. The Port of Palm Beach-based ship was also transporting Bahamians who were stranded in South Florida during Dorian. Grand Celebration is due to return to Palm Beach on Saturday.

Two Carnival ships will stop at Freeport next week to distribute food, water and relief supplies.

Carnival Pride and Carnival Liberty

The deliveries will be part of Carnival Pride’s seven-day cruise from Baltimore departing Sept. 8 and Carnival Liberty’s four-day cruise from Port Canaveral sailing Sept. 9.

These efforts are in addition to supplies being transported to the Bahamas via the already announced agreement with Tropical Shipping and The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency to deliver items donated by South Florida residents. A container vessel with the first shipment of supplies departed for Freeport Thursday evening.

Carnival has also asked employees and passengers to join the effort through online giving tools and over the next few days will ramp up a donation program at its US homeports as travelers embark their cruises. Organizations supported by these online efforts include Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.

Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway departed Miami on Thursday with supplies donated by the company and its employees, in addition to items collected by the City of Miami, Baptist Health South Florida, the 305 Gives Back foundation and other Miami-based organizations. These will be delivered to Nassau, Great Harbor Cay and Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.

Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

On Wednesday Disney Dream dropped off food and water at its private island, Castaway Cay, for distribution in the Abacos. Disney Fantasy will do the same Friday, with more deliveries to come.

MSC Group

With cargo and cruise resources under its umbrella, MSC Group is working to help, with an initial focus on providing semi-permanent prefabricated modular housing.

Posted 5 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, 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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