Trump Asks Cruise Lines for Housing Assistance in the Bahamas

Supplies being loaded onto the Norwegian Breakaway for the Bahamas

U.S. President Donald Trump has asked cruise lines to further help in the Bahamas by providing housing assistance in a post on Twitter.

“The @USCG, @FEMA, and all others, along with other countries that have been helping, have been asked to move people in the badly hit sections of the Bahamas to other sections of the Bahamas that were not hit – and that are in good condition. Any cruise ship companies willing to act as stationary housing, etc., I am sure would be appreciated!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The @USCG, @FEMA, and all others, along with other countries that have been helping, have been asked to move people in the badly hit sections of the Bahamas to other sections of the Bahamas….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….that were not hit – and that are in good condition. Any cruise ship companies willing to act as stationary housing, etc., I am sure would be appreciated!

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Cruise lines are no stranger to lending their ships for aid as FEMA previously chartered the Carnival Fascination and Grand Celebration following hurricanes in 2017; Carnival also chartered ships to FEMA following Hurricane Katrina to help house emergency workers.

Displaced residents and emergency workers in Grand Bahama will be short on housing, with cruise ships, ferries and accommodation vessels potentially being able to assist.

The cruise lines have stepped up significantly in the Bahamas, delivering supplies, relief workers and even helping to evacuate.

Carnival Fascination returns to San Juan

San Juan has regained its homeported Carnival Cruise Line ship, five months after Hurricane Maria knocked the Carnival Fascination out of the market.

The 2,056-passenger Fantasy-class ship was chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for use by relief workers in St. Croix for several months after the storm while Carnival repaired damage to its terminal in San Juan.

The 24-year-old ship then went into a drydock to be upgraded before returning to cruising duty.  Several Funship 2.0 restaurants were installed during the drydock, including Guy’s Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina and Bonsai Sushi Express. Bar concepts new to the ship will be the Alchemy Bar, the RedFrog Rum Bar and the BlueIguana Tequilla Bar. The candy store Cherry on Top was also retrofitted to the ship.

The Fascination will depart San Juan on Sundays for seven-day round-trip voyages stopping in St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

FEMA Carnival Charter Cost $74.7 Million

Carnival Fascination

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) charter of the Carnival Fascination will cost the agency $74.7 million, according to the contract between FEMA and Carnival Corporation, which was obtained by Cruise Industry News through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The ship was chartered to provide housing for relief staff in the United States Virgin Islands following a number of hurricanes in September.

The charter period runs from October 11, 2017, to February 3, 2018, at a cost of $39.7 million, while a separate provision for port costs and other vessel costs comes in at $35 million, totalling $74.7 million.

By comparison, a 116-day operating period for the 2,056-guest Carnival Fascination would have resulted in gross revenue of approximately $44.2 million (versus the $39.7 million for the charter), calculated using gross revenue per passenger day reported by Carnival Corporation in the fourth quarter of 2016 and analyzed by Cruise Industry News.

By comparison, FEMA chartered the Grand Celebration in a similar deal for $25.8 million. 

The contract stipulates Carnival will provide three hot and cold buffet meals per day as well as drink availability (water, coffee, tea, juice) between meals. Staterooms will be cleaned on a weekly basis. In addition, Carnival will provide access to public spaces for FEMA personnel.

The separate $35 million line item includes docking and port fees in San Juan, various logistics provisions, waste removal, fuel costs, incremental costs related to crew compensation, and the “refurbishment of the ship at the end of the charter period to bring the ship to the same standards as the beginning of the charter period.”