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Socially Conscious Cruising? Help


mere1312

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I was wondering if anyone here could help me on anything they know about island-friendly cruising and/or excursions to the islands of the Caribbean. I have decided to focus on this for my final project before graduating from college in May. My goal is to create a campaign promoting responsible cruising and travel while making this idea desireable to the cruise line industry. With the issues of poverty in the islands of the Caribbean I thought that excursions with educational purpose or economic aid (such as watching demonstrations and purchasing native crafts) would be ideal. Does anyone know of anything like this currently being discussed? Or any websited promoting more culturally friendly cruise excursions? Any help would be great. Thank you!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

This is actually of great interest to me also, and though you can include either ports of entry, the cruise line, or other individual sponsors to promote this idea, it really depends on who you want to target.

 

For example we do a wellness charity cruise that is also carbon free, so we purchase carbon credits that will correlate with how many people are cruising with us. This amount goes to a fund that will pay for planting of more trees, and other sustainable living replacements to support carbon free events. This is in part eco cruising, with that you can also coordinate events with the cruise lines to do on board events, and also get sponsors who will allow you funds to purchase locally made handicrafts, or do campaigns to bring awareness to your purpose.

 

Though I don't know of any particular cruise line promoting this, I've found that its' the individuals who are doing the promoting and doing themed cruises like us, who want to make a difference.

 

Hope that helps, let me know if you need anything!

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It's the wrong side of the continent from what you were asking about, Mere.

 

But a travel agency here in Utah is organizing an excursion in Ensenada to work on some kind of service project.

 

I could post a link, if that would not violate a policy.

 

I am interested in service projects or something like that. My daughter is now 6 and she defines "needy child" as "someone who did not get a My Little Pony Beauty Salon For Christmas" or "someone who has to share candy with her little brother". I would like to show her that her definition is a bit narrow. But I would also like to take her snorkeling.

 

Here's some ideas, just off the top of my head:

 

- A poker tournament in the casino with the house's take going to a charity.

 

- A Long Drive or Closest To The Hole competition with the winner and a charity splitting the winnings.

 

- I'm not sure how many of my fellow mountain bikers are ever on a cruise but on the Mexican Pacific or some of the Caribbean islands, we could have a hill climb or a crit that would benefit a charity.

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You might try browsing Ports of Call> Guatemala threads.

Some of the excursions to Livingston entail a stop @the Mayan school - theonly school in town for all grades. Generally tourist who know they're going to Livingston w/ any of the "mentioned" vendors put together a backpack fulll of needed school supplies for the children. A tour up the river is a socio-economic cultural expereince in and of itself - although we are pretty well traveled we were quite taken back by seeing very young childen (4-5 year old girls) alone float by us in cut-out shallow draft boats catching their meal of the day:(

 

It was quite humbling - the guides did provide some history & context surrounding the school and young children fishing.

 

We've also seen some pretty impoverished areas in the Domnican Replublic - particuarly affecting the Haitian immigrants ot the D.R.. who are often housed in seperate communities in the D.R. and seemingly looked down upon by the native DR'rs - the Haitian immigrants are generally used by the D.R.. for manual labor jobs - sugar cane etc.

 

We are always interested in learning and expereincing the cultures of the various ports we visit. I understand from speaking w/ other travelors that Vietnam & Cambodia offer hosted family expereinces which sounds very enriching to us.

 

Leah, RN

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I would enjoy a more socially concious cruise if there were some available. The only ones I know of are the National Geographic Linenbad(sp?)cruises. I have been intrigued by some of their cultural ones, but if there would be one to India, I would be so there..

 

Good luck in your search!

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In Roatan, one of the Victor Bodden tours stops at an orphanage. I think it was on the destination thread, that I was reading, people packed gifts to take.

Although that is very nice, it sounds like you are thinking on a larger scale. Great Idea if you could get something going. I think it will be hard to get the large lines that answer to share holders to do much. The above comment to work with travel agents sounds the best to me.

I was interested in going on one of the land tours to volunteer somewhere but they are cost prohibitive for me.

I try to purchase a locally made item but as crazy as it sounds, they can be hard to find in some ports.

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I know on the Sweet tourism group did their first lesbian cruise last Fall (Meredith Baxter Birney from "Family Ties" was on it with her partner, she later came out publicly when people recognized her on the cruise). Anywho, to make this on topic, they had many voluntourism excursions available at each port. Some were planting trees, building/painting a school, ect. The cruise was out of New Orleans last October 2009. Go a google search for info.

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While I can't help you with any information, I think this is a great idea and something that I'm really interested in as well! I know that there are other cruisers who are interested in socially and environmentally conscious cruising, so I hope that you are able to find the information you are looking for!

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I am really surprised there is so little discussion about this. I think with Royal Caribbean going to Haiti there would be more discussion about social consciousness (or maybe I just missed it). Do you know if any fellow cruisers are doing anything for Haiti? We will be going there and I would like to help if I could?

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See for me the whole concept of cruising and visiting thrid world countries doesn't fit right. I know that by the ships visiting it keeps some of these economies alive but it does feel like we are making spectacles out of peoples poverty. I've been to Africa, not on a cruise and would feel uncomfortable about going back on a cruise knowing that I step of a billion pound ship into a country that might not even own that amount of money!! I think peoples eyes do need to be opened but the people that are interested will do this by other means.

I really don't mean to diss your idea, just not sure how it'll work large scale.

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