Cruise Lines Come to the Rescue After Irma
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are bringing in supplies and carrying out evacuees
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2017 10:15 AM CDT
Help is on its way.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(Newser) – In the wake of Hurricane Irma, several of the most badly damaged areas in the Caribbean are getting help from the luxury cruise ships that have long brought tourists to their shores. On Sunday, Royal Caribbean sent Adventure of the Seas to the storm-ravaged island of St. Martin with much-needed provisions, including water, ice, and clothing, ABC News reports. The ship also evacuated about 320 tourists to the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Another Royal ship, Majesty of the Seas, is scheduled to go to the Virgin Islands with provisions and to take out about 2,500 passengers and get them to Puerto Rico, where arrangements are being made with several airlines. A third ship is in the Gulf waiting for permission to go to Key West, Fla.

Royal isn't the only cruise line helping. Norwegian Cruise Line says in a press release that it has dispatched its 2,000-passenger Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands to bring supplies and assist as needed. The New York Times has called the situation in the Virgin Islands a "humanitarian crisis," with an estimated 80% of the structures on St. John "extensively damaged" and residents forced to wait in line for food and for American military helicopters to drop water from the sky. Four deaths have been confirmed, and there have been reports of looting and fights in food lines.

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