Did Royal Caribbean make the right decision to resume calling at Labadee, its private destination in Haiti, just three days after the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12?
It's not an easy question by any means, but we think the company's decision was, on balance, the right one. Clearly, not every passenger has felt comfortable about it, but we believe that an equal or greater number welcome the opportunity to come to Haiti's north coast and contribute to what's left of the local economy.
Moreover, the 500 employees and vendors whose livelihoods depend on Labadee are surely better off, as are the recipients of the tons of food, water and other supplies that are being ferried on Royal Caribbean's ships.
And let's not forget that Haiti's envoy to the U.N. explicitly welcomed the resumption of Labadee service.
It's not as if cruise ships are blithely cruising into the harbor at Port-au-Prince and dropping anchor in the middle of the chaos, though some misinformed critics seem to think so.
Others, including passengers and agents, have a better understanding of the situation but still can't overcome their discomfort with the idea. That was to be expected. No matter what course Royal Caribbean chose, it was bound to encounter some criticism and second-guessing.
On balance, however, we think Haiti is better off this way. And that's more than enough to tip the scale.