The scale of devastation and destruction left by Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall in the Bahamas on tuesday is yet to be fully realised as the main priority continues to be search and rescue, the death toll reaching 20 and more thought to be missing. My thoughts are with the people of the Bahamas, i have travelled there a few times over the years and found the people to be the most warm and friendly i have ever met.It may seem crass to think of any tourism implications at this time but my worry is for the ongoing economic effects that the locals depend on for their livelyhood.The human spirit is a wonderful think and with lots of help here is hoping that the island and its people can recover quickly.
I can currently see a Carnival ship in the port of Nassau on the port webcam together with Symphony of the Seas, and the skies look clear and the sea calm. To date Royal Caribbean is planning on delivering up to 20000 meals a day to Grand Bahama residents and are also are taking kitchen equipment, with Norwegian Cruise Lines also planning to send their cruise ships full of supplies to the Bahamas to help with the relief effort.
Whilst the great thing about being on a cruise is that you can move away from any oncoming weather, what happens to the staff who work on the private islands owned and operated by the cruise lines ? Would they evacuate the staff or leave them to fend for themselves ? As the ports in the Bahamas and the ones closed in southern Florida re opened 2 days ago, Disney Cruise Lines were among several cruise lines that faced a difficult decision as the hurricane approached the Bahamas , and Disney did decide to leave their staff on Castaway Cay, with all 102 staff housed in the concrete hurricane shelter, which was 20 feet above sea level and could withstand a category 5 hurricane, which is what it turned out to be.All the staff are safe and only minimal damage is reported to a couple of the buildings, but the island remains closed.
Royal Caribbean reported minimal damage to their island Coco Cay, and an assessment is being made with a survey team in the process of travelling to the island,with re-opening scheduled for the 7th September. The cruise line did evacuate the 400 staff and Navigator of the Seas is the first ship scheduled to call on re-opening.One casualty though is the Up,Up and Away Balloon ride that takes $300,000 to re-inflate and takes 5 weeks to pump up !
Carnival Cruise Lines evacuated all of its staff from Half Moon Cay, its own island but said there was minimal damage to the island which is situated outside of the Hurricanes Centres zone of uncertainty .
We wish everyone affected by this devastation our best wishes from Cruise.co.uk, we will continue to promote and champion the people and spirit of the Bahamas.