Story and photos courtesy of Port of Palm Beach Seafarers Center.
The COVID- 19 pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways. This is more so evident to the Seafarers lives, especially the cruise ship crews. Here at the Port of Palm Beach we are blessed to have a cruise ship, the Grand Celebration getting ready to resume its cruising business.
This is a daunting task for the crew, especially since no one is allowed on board the vessel without clearance, and crews are not allowed to disembark The confined spaces of a ship make the sequestering and social distancing of the CDC guidelines that much more restrictive.
The Port of Palm Beach Seafarers Center and Seafarers’ House of Port Everglades (PE) are closely allied, and have collaborated on previous humanitarian missions. As this story came to light, it was relayed to via the Seafarers’ House that the Grand Celebration crew were in need of personal supplies. The Philippine consulate contacted the PE Seafarers’ House chaplain of this need and requested help for their crewman on this ship.
Upon hearing of this need, the Seafarers Center sprang into action, coordinating with Seafarers’ House Chaplain Sandy Sears to receive the supplies they had gathered. All the donated toiletries that were in the POPB Seafarers center were boxed up and organized by product for delivery. Additionally, a shopping trip to Sam’s club with the help of our centers transportation provider (GE Transport) gathered over $1,900 of personal hygiene supplies. Our transport provider (Robert Davis) coordinated directly with a Celebration crewperson to assess exactly what was needed.
Due to the restrictive guidelines, these supplies could not be delivered directly to the ship. The supplies had to be caged at the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line receiving warehouse, who in turn would deliver it to the ship. The Ship would go through with their receiving protocols to ensure all products are sanitized before distribution.
Two cages of personal hygiene supplies were delivered to the Grand Celebration with the crew expressing their gratitude. All of this was effected within less than 36 hours of notification. Well done to all who were involved.