The Grand Celebration from Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line returned to Palm Beach on Saturday morning with more than 1,100 evacuated Bahamian and American residents aboard.
The cruise line spent nearly a full day on Friday clearing potential evacuees, including vetting their visa and passport documentation, as well as landing key supplies.
The ship sailed from Palm Beach on Thursday evening on a humanitarian mission, with 300 first responders and volunteers aboard, as well as 200 Bahamian residents who were stranded in South Florida during Hurricane Dorian.
“Doctors were leaving work to join the ship,” said Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise. “After making the announcement earlier in the week that we were going, we had 300 tons of supplies donated within hours.”
Prior to docking in Freeport, the crew had prepared 850 boxed lunches and delivered them to local shelters.
The ship was also loaded with 150 palettes, totalling more than 225,000 pounds of supplies, including water, food, personal hygiene products, medical equipment, generators and more. Four of these palettes were exclusively dog food, according to a press release.
“Everything is pro bono,” Khosa told Cruise Industry News. “We opened up the ship going there and going back.”
100 additional Bahamian bins were also transported, sent from family members in South Florida and delivered directly to Grand Bahama Island residents who picked them up in Freeport.
In addition to delivering supplies, medical personnel onboard also delivered a baby when visiting a local facility in Freeport.