Like other travel agents and much of the world, Carrie Finley-Bajak, owner of Cruise Holidays, Mission Viejo, CA, was “shocked and stunned” by the devastation caused by the Haiti earthquake in January. In the aftermath, consumers debated the wisdom of Royal Caribbean continuing its regular calls at Labadee, its private beach in Haiti. Adam Goldstein, the line’s president, stressed that cruise calls would keep many Haitians employed and bring in much-needed supplies.
Wanting to be part of the solution, Finley-Bajak, tweeting as @cruisebuzz, asked on Twitter: “Who wants to put together a fund-raising cruise?” Immediately, Nancy Schretter, @kidtravel, managing editor, Family Travel Network, and founder of Together for Good, responded. So did Rich Tucker @CruiseSource, social media manager, Travel Leaders, and a CruiseSource.us blogger.
The trio created Cruise4Haiti, a seven-night Caribbean cruise departing Miami on November 14 on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. Agents who book into the Cruise4Haiti group space receive their full commission. Cruise prices start at $634 per person double, including taxes and fees. Most importantly, $75 for each cabin booked into that group space goes directly to Haiti relief.
Cruisers will participate in voluntourism activities and enjoy exclusive private group events on board. Working with the nonprofit Airline Ambassadors and For Haiti With Love groups, Cruise4Haiti will deliver supplies and monetary aid.
“Our goals were simple—to raise donations and bring critical supplies and aid in time for the holiday season; to increase awareness of Haiti’s continuing needs; and to demonstrate how easy it is to give back on a cruise vacation,” says Schretter. For details or to book this cruise, visit www.Cruise4Haiti.com.
Cruises calling at Labadee bring economic support to Haiti, according to Royal Caribbean.