Vacationing Amid the Disaster.

The Guardian reported Sunday that a cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean International docked in a walled-off, private beach in Haiti. The ship's operators tried to justify it by noting the fact it carried aid supplies and were donating the proceeds from the stop, but some of the ship's passenger's stayed on board.

Via Boing Boing:

The decision to go ahead with the visit has divided passengers. The ships carry some food aid, and the cruise line has pledged to donate all proceeds from the visit to help stricken Haitians. But many passengers will stay aboard when they dock; one said he was "sickened".

"I just can't see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water," one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum.

Maybe this one incident will highlight the gross fact that there was a walled-off, private beach in Haiti in the first place, a stop in Labadee the cruise used to refer to as Hispanola rather than Haiti. Maybe it will highlight the fact that passengers never left the compound, so they didn't would know saying something like this sounded a little too selfish:

“I don’t want to see poverty,” acknowledged Helen Murphy, 66, of St. Paul, who was shopping in the tourist market one morning. “I’m on vacation. I don’t want to think that these people don’t have enough to eat.”

-- Monica Potts

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