Royal Caribbean Cancels Cruise, Sends Ship On Mission To Help Puerto Rico

Royal Caribbean, which operates cruise ships and tours around the world, canceled a voyage so that its ship can help with recovery efforts on the Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Maria. 

Royal Caribbean announced Wednesday that it will cancel its Adventure of the Seas cruise, which was scheduled to depart from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 30 and sail to various islands in the Caribbean, to free up the cruise liner to dock in ports in San Juan and on the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix to aid in relief efforts.

The ship will bring donated supplies to each port and bring evacuees from the islands to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ahead of ship’s next scheduled cruise on Oct. 6.

The company said it will give full refunds to the customers who were booked on the Sept. 30 cruise, including for payments for onshore activities. On top of that, Royal Caribbean will offer a 25 percent cruise credit for those who rebook trips within 30 days. 

Hurricane Maria caused island-wide destruction on Puerto Rico, leaving much of the U.S. territory without electricity and in dire need of aid. According to the Department of Defense, about 44 percent of the island’s population is without drinking water.

Officials in Puerto Rico have described the conditions there as “apocalyptic,” and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said Tuesday that island residents are being discovered in “near-death conditions.”

“The priorities right now are continued lifesaving action, meaning the delivery of commodities, restoration of power to critical infrastructure and of communication abilities, and restoration of fuel,” William Booher, director of public affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told HuffPost on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump increased the federal funding for disaster response efforts in Puerto Rico this week and is scheduled to visit the island on Oct. 3.

That island was hit as hard as you can hit,” Trump said Tuesday. “Literally…

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