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Cruise lines’ Philippines home based ship crews get a helping hand.

November 14, 2013 Cruise, Headline News No Comments Email Email

With Typhoon Haiyan slamming the Philippines last week leaving as many as 10,000 people dead, Philippino cruise ship crews, who make up a very large % of cruise ship crew, located all over the world have been very concerned about their families back home.

Cruise companies are reported to have been compassionate and very helpful to crew members providing communication opportunities to crew, but that has been challenging as communications in many areas in the Philippines has been cut.

Mulia-BaliIn addition, companies are also raising funds to help the humanitarian efforts in the Philippines.

Richard D Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said, “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the storm.”

“More than 12,800 of our employees call the Philippines home and we want to do everything we can to help them, their families, and their neighbours heal from this terrible tragedy.”

Philippines home based crew are the largest nationality represented on the six cruise lines that make up Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, which employs 60,000 crew members on 41 ships around the world.

Royal Caribbean has also helped crew members attempt to communicate with relatives in the Philippines and company executives also held a special meeting on Monday morning with more than 200 Filipino crew members aboard Vision of the Seas, which was docked near the company’s headquarters in Miami, to let them know that more would be done, including matching contributions from employees dollar for dollar. Contributions for Royal Caribbean’s relief efforts can be made online at www.worldvision.org/royalcaribbean.  The company said its efforts to help the people of the Philippines would total $1 million.

It will also collaborate with its local manning agency, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. (PTC), to assess the storm’s impact on crew members and their families, deploying an emergency team to the hardest hit areas in the Philippines, and it will establish a central communications point where employees currently on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisières de France, and TUI Cruises ships, can ask for assistance in reaching their family members, and where employees currently who are not currently on ship assignments can check in.

Royal Caribbean will be partnering with World Vision to provide broader assistance to storm victims. World Vision, which has operated in the Philippines since 1954, has deployed emergency relief teams across the country to provide food, hygiene, and shelter kits, and to assess mid- and long term needs.

According to Cruise Critic, P&O Cruises says it watched on in disbelief as Typhoon Haiyan has devastated parts of the Philippines adding, our hearts and prayers go out to all those impacted by the tragedy and we are already rolling out initiatives to support our crew with family living in the regions where Typhoon Haiyan has left its mark.

P&O says it is working closely with its Magsaysay office to obtain information on any family members who may have been impacted by this storm and are providing details to them as they becomes available.

Princess Cruises has announced that it will be making a donation to a recognised charity via the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, and Carnival Corporation is currently working on a cross-company support initiative to the incident on behalf of P&O Cruises.

Norwegian Cruise Lines says  is truly saddened to hear of the devastation in the Philippines, adding our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our crewmembers from the Philippines who have been impacted and, “Through our partners in the area, we have been in touch with hundreds of our crewmembers, and while many have suffered damage to their homes, they are safe.”

“Crewmembers on board are being supported to help make contact with their families and we are making arrangements for those who need to return home to do so.”

Norwegian cruisers who wish to contribute to Norwegian’s Support Fund for its Filipino crewmembers may send a check payable to Norwegian Cruise Line to:  Norwegian Cruise Line Attention: Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, 7665 Corporate Center Drive, Miami, FL 33126

Carnival Cruise Lines is providing its Philippines home based crewmembers with free phone calls and Internet, and is providing personalized logistical support and assistance for those with specific needs, adding, “We continue to evaluate other opportunities to support our employees at the brand level while Carnival Corporation is working on the details of a corporate charitable donation.”

Crystal Cruises ship crews have been able to call home and e-mail free of charge, adding, “As of the weekend, there were just a few crew who were having trouble reaching some people – but communications are difficult.”  “Our local agency in the Philippines is also assisting crew reach family members and we have asked crew to keep us posted regarding who might need special assistance, and we have asked our agency for more information on how we can help.”

Costa Cruises also is providing free Internet and phone calls to its Philippines home based crewmembers so they can contact their friends and family at home and it is donating $100,000 to a crew fund.

Fred.Olsen is also providing support to its Philippines home based crewmembers, with the majority of Fred.Olsen’s crew aboard its four cruise ships from the Philippines, with many having family and friends who have been affected by the recent flooding and devastation caused by ‘Super Typhoon Haiyan’ … and have seen their homes and belongings destroyed, and many families left homeless and some, sadly, feared lost.”  The line is helping several crewmembers from the most devastated areas get home and is sending a sizeable donation to its crewing agent in the region to distribute to families in urgent need of help.

Fred.Olsen passengers who wish to help may send checks made out to Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines to: Deborah Moore, Accounts Department, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Fred. Olsen House, White House Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 5LL, United Kingdom.

John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor and Correspondent

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