Hurricane

‘A mammoth job.’ Royal Caribbean is sending food and other relief to the Bahamas

Staff members of the food and beverages division aboard of the Royal Caribbean ship Empress of the Seas, prepare sandwiches to be packed on containers with meals during the night on the ship’s way to Freeport Bahamas. Royal Caribbean is setting up a center on Grand Bahamas Island to deliver 10.000 meals daily and to offer different services to support the victims after the destructive path of Hurricane Dorian across the Bahamas, on Wednesday September 05, 2019.
Staff members of the food and beverages division aboard of the Royal Caribbean ship Empress of the Seas, prepare sandwiches to be packed on containers with meals during the night on the ship’s way to Freeport Bahamas. Royal Caribbean is setting up a center on Grand Bahamas Island to deliver 10.000 meals daily and to offer different services to support the victims after the destructive path of Hurricane Dorian across the Bahamas, on Wednesday September 05, 2019. pportal@miamiherald.com

Crew members on board Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Empress of the Seas ship worked overnight to pack 10,000 meal boxes to deliver to Freeport, Bahamas Thursday morning.

The Miami-based cruise company is in contact with the Bahamas government and plans to set up a relief operation at the Grand Bahama ship yard. For the next week, Royal Caribbean plans to augment its itineraries so that one of its ships arrives in Freeport each day with relief food.

“Its a huge production given the amount of time,“ said Melroy Antao, head of food and beverage on the Empress of the Seas. “This is a mammoth job to undertake.”

Residents in Freeport, on the island of Grand Bahama, were left stranded on September 2, as Hurricane Dorian brought devastating winds and floods to the area. This footage shows water sloshing around the floor inside the building.

Sixty restaurant crew members, 40 bar crew members and 40 cooks darted around the ship’s main ballroom packing meal boxes with chips, granola, apples and cutlery starting at 8:30pm as the ship left PortMiami.

“I need chips! Chips!” one yelled as his supply ran low. Others cheered.

Hot food preparation of rice, chicken and turkey began at 3:30am.

The Empress ship was originally scheduled for a seven-day cruise beginning last Sunday, but the company changed its schedule due to Hurricane Dorian.

The company now plans to take 500 evacuees from Freeport to Nassau on Thursday evening. A separate barge with donated generators, water and food is arriving to Freeport Thursday as well.

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