Royal Caribbean joins relief efforts after Philippines typhoon

MIAMI - Royal Caribbean Cruises will join humanitarian relief efforts in response to the catastrophic damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, said a company spokesperson on Nov 11.

Since the storm, the company has taken steps to help crew members attempt to communicate with relatives in the Philippines.

The cruise company will collaborate with its local manning agency in the Philippines to assess the storm's impact on crew members and their families.

They 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.

Company executives held a special meeting on Monday morning with more than 200 Filipino crew members aboard Vision of the Seas to let them know that more would be done, including matching contributions from employees dollar-for-dollar. The company stated that its efforts to help storm victims would total $1 million.

Royal Caribbean will partner World Vision to provide broader assistance to storm victims. World Vision has, in turn, deployed emergency relief teams across the country to provide food, hygiene, and shelter kits, and to assess mid-and-long term needs.

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

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

Filipinos 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.

Contributions can be made online at