Grand Celebration Cruise Ship
Photo By: Beyond My Ken (Wikipedia)

A cruise ship is to be used for housing first responders at the Hurricane hit the Caribbean island of St. Thomas.

The Grand Celebration cruise ship operated by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is to be used by FEMA for housing first responder in St. Thomas. The popular cruise ship destination located in the U.S Virgin Islands was badly hit by Hurricane Irma in early September.

Oneil Khosa, CEO of the cruise line, explained:

“We will be reaching out to all of our guests and travel partners this week.” “We feel badly about this 90-day disruption but believe the extensive needs of the St. Thomas people to be of greater importance at this time.”

Grand Celebration will begin its humanitarian mission on September 23 when the ship arrives at St. Thomas. All kinds of first responders will stay on the ship including the National Guard. The vessel will be used until the second half of December 2017.

The ship will resume regular service on December 23 out of Port of Palm Beach. Grand Celebrations first cruise back will be a 2-night voyage to Grand Bahama island and then back again.

The cruise line is asking any guests booked on sailings when the ship is being used by FEMA to get in touch. Those who booked via Direct Cruise Line will receive a full refund or the option to reschedule which will feature a $100 of onboard credit for a future cruise.

Hurricane Irma was the most powerful storm to hit the region ever and reached a category 5. Many cruise destinations were devasted and it will take a long time until islands can recover.

Grand Celebration has 750 cabins and can carry up to 1,900 passengers. The ship was previously known as the Celebration and operated by Carnival Cruise Line.