Royal Caribbean says sipping mojitos and working your tan mere miles from places where corpses are piled in the streets is America's humanitarian duty. We all have our crosses to bear.
In case lazing in the sun in a designer bikini on the shores of a nation where the average person lives on $2/day and child slavery and starvation are epidemic weren't cognitively dissonant enough: Post-quake, cruise line Royal Caribbean is still doing it, because they are so altruistic. Said one company VP:
"We also have tremendous opportunities to use our ships as transport vessels for relief supplies and personnel to Haiti. Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most."
Labadee is a private beach sixty miles from ruined Haitian capital Port au Prince. Some cruise goers find this a little close for comfort: Squalor really ruins the view, and what if the desperate poor folk breach the 12-ft walls and armed guards to steal our fineries, like clean water and food? Royal Caribbean pledged $1M to Haitian relief effort, which is less than two percent of the $55M they recently spent renovating Labadee. They're also donating a sliver of their proceeds to Haitian relief, but seriously? Either dedicate real resources to helping the suffering (Labadee's material resources and "armed guard" manpower come to mind) or cover your face and slink off to some other post-colonial paradise, where your cavalier selfishness will only be moderately disturbing.
It is non sequitur to chastise every action as inferior to helping Haiti, but if there is one activity worthy of this criticism, then docking your mega luxurious cruise ship in Haiti and partying on a private beach there is probably it.
And as for that "keeping the economy alive" thing? (1.) Post-earthquake Haiti needs triage. The relative value of your Labadee investment has little to do with the immediate crisis. (2.) STFU, that totally isn't your motive, anyway. [Guardian]