by Lisa A. Grimaldi | September 12, 2017
Several cruise lines have deployed vessels to aid in evacuation and humanitarian efforts in the areas worst-hit by Hurricane Irma. In a statement on its website, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines said, "We are mobilizing ships and supplies to help people in need. In coordination with the U.S. and local governments, we are dispatching ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, and stand ready to assist Key West and other locations. Adventure of the Seas made a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten on Sunday, and Majesty of the Seas will make humanitarian calls in St. Thomas and St. Maarten to provide supplies and also assist in transporting evacuees in St. Maarten to safety. Additionally, we have Empress of the Seas ready to assist Key West once the impact of the storm is known."
 
RCCL's ship Enchantment of the Seas will depart on a three-night cruise to the Bahamas tonight, with a stop in Key West. According to an RCCL statement, "Given the impact of Irma on Key West, the port will not be open to guests, but we will likely make a humanitarian stop to assist our neighbors with essential supplies to help them recover from Hurricane Irma. Should you choose to sail with us, we will provide you with a refund of 25 percent of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as a 25 percent future cruise credit, for a cruise booked within the next year."

Norwegian Cruise Line also is offering assistance. The company posted a statement that says, "Acting as a responsible corporate citizen and supporting the destinations that our ships operate in is a core value of Norwegian Cruise Line. In the wake of this devastating storm, we have deployed Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas, USVI, to bring much-needed supplies and assist in a humanitarian effort that is currently being organized by the government. As per the State Department, affected U.S. citizens on St. Thomas should email their name, gender and last known location to IrmaEmergencyUSC@state.gov."
 
Norwegian Cruise Line's Miami headquarters will remain closed through today, will reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 13.