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Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:22 AM

A Marriott rescue ship left stranded tourists behind because they weren't guests of the hotel

Source: Washington Post

A Marriott rescue ship left stranded tourists behind because they weren’t guests of the hotel

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. September 12 at 1:13 PM

The hundreds of people waiting on the dock in St. Thomas on Friday night had just survived a hit from Hurricane Irma that had crippled the airport and devastated pretty much every building not made of concrete.

Supplies of food and water were dwindling. Electricity was spotty. And Hurricane Jose had not turned north yet. The people on the island feared that the second storm could boom in, bringing more misery to St. Thomas.

But a large ship with enough room to transport all the tourists was approaching the dock. Just in time, help had come.

Just not for everyone.

-snip-

Shortly after the ship arrived, about three dozen people — tourists not staying at Marriott hotels who had also ridden out the hurricane — watched as the vessel pulled away with hundreds of empty seats.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/09/12/marriott-sent-a-rescue-ship-to-the-caribbean-after-irma-and-left-non-guests-on-the-dock/

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Reply A Marriott rescue ship left stranded tourists behind because they weren't guests of the hotel (Original post)
Eugene Sep 13 OP
mainstreetonce Sep 13 #1
FBaggins Sep 13 #2
jberryhill Sep 13 #4
FBaggins Sep 13 #5
Cicada Sep 13 #3
procon Sep 13 #6
FBaggins Sep 13 #7
Dem_4_Life Sep 13 #8

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:44 AM

1. Just horrible

Marriott should be avoided.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:47 AM

2. This looks like bad reporting with a buried lede

First of all... the title really muddies the water. There isn't a general order to evacuate the island that requires "rescue ships". This is almost certainly a case of Marriott selling vacation packages that include transportation that they are now unable to fulfill with a closed airport. It wasn't a "rescue boat", it was a company trying to fulfill their contractual obligation.

Marriott chartered the boat to pick up their customers and were required to give St Thomas a manifest in advance of who would be brought aboard. While there were no doubt St. Thomas authorities who would have liked to get more people off the island, the people in charge would now allow Marriott to board people who were no on the manifest. If you've ever been on a cruise that calls on a port, you'll remember that this is entirely standard. The port manager told them that they couldn't board anyone but their manifested passengers and that they had to leave the port that night.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:54 AM

4. And largely based on this moron's account

“We just felt hopelessness,” said Cody Howard, a professional storm chaser who had been contracted to shoot weather footage on the island. His exit strategy evaporated when the island’s airport closed.

---

He went down there to make money because a hurricane was coming, got stuck, and blames Marriott for this.

"Professional storm chaser" apparently does not require knowing anything about storms.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:58 AM

5. Yep... and the video post to FB of another

Last edited Wed Sep 13, 2017, 06:51 PM - Edit history (1)

She was able to get a ticket on ship to PR the next day (and was thus on the manifest) and caught a flight back home.

This really falls under "first world problems". About 40,000 people on the island aren't going anywhere... while she posts FB videos complaining about the spotty internet access during the storm and that she can't leave when she wants to.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:51 AM

3. Local authorities made that decision, not Marriott

Marriott wanted to take them but was not allowed to. At least, that is what Marriott said. Local authorities would only permit those identified in detail to them. Marriott had time to get the required info from its guests but had no contact with nonguests who showed up to board. Marriott said they asked for permission to board the nonguests but local authorities denied their request.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 12:14 PM

6. Marriott flat out lied!

Marriott said, "We were told by the port manager...that if they weren’t on the manifest that we weren’t able to bring them on to the boat," Tim Sheldon, president of the Caribbean and Latin America region for Marriott.

They lied. Several Marriott resorts in St. Thomas told 300 guests to get on the ship, but they had no way to know which guests were leaving. The boat had a capacity of 1,800 passengers.

'We very much wanted to assist these other travelers to Puerto Rico, however, the Marriott team on-the-ground was told they had no authorization to board additional passengers who were not on the manifest. This was enforced by dock security.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4875664/Tourists-ABANDONED-Caribbean-island-Marriott.html#ixzz4sa14ZFJS



A stranded travel blogger says the boat crew called Marriott Hotels to confirm that 35 non-guests, which reportedly included elderly people and children needed to be rescued, but they were refused. The Marriott CEO didn't want the liability.

Meanwhile, several cruise companies are receiving praise for their efforts to help the storm-ravaged U.S. Virgin Islands.
Norwegian Cruise Line's ship the Norwegian Sky is on its way to St Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to drop off supplies. More than 2,000 tourists who were stranded on the island will also get picked up by the ship and taken to San Juan, Puerto Rico, which still has an operational airport.

Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Royal Caribbean used one of its ships to evacuate residents.
Royal Caribbean is also sending two of its ships to aid the islands of St Thomas and St Maarten, and has two other ships waiting in the wings to aid Florida when the storm passes.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4875664/Tourists-ABANDONED-Caribbean-island-Marriott.html#ixzz4sa14ZFJS









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Response to procon (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 02:03 PM

7. None of that fits the story

They lied. Several Marriott resorts in St. Thomas told 300 guests to get on the ship, but they had no way to know which guests were leaving. The boat had a capacity of 1,800 passengers.

Of course they knew which guests were leaving... the ones whose package was ending and the company needed to provide them transportation home. They weren't "told" to get on the ship, they were offered the ride and had to coordinate getting them on the manifest if they were going to board (they needed permission to release some personal information to the port authority). The "blogger" doesn't know what she's talking about. Her self-perception of how things went does not fit how port authorities handle boarding. They absolutely do require the manifest to fit those who are boarding. The port authorities didn't even allow those few dozen to approach the ship. That wasn't Marriott. Nothing in the sentence above is backed up by any evidence.

Meanwhile, several cruise companies are receiving praise for their efforts to help the storm-ravaged U.S. Virgin Islands.
Norwegian Cruise Line's ship the Norwegian Sky is on its way to St Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to drop off supplies. More than 2,000 tourists who were stranded on the island will also get picked up by the ship and taken to San Juan, Puerto Rico, which still has an operational airport.


Missing from your reporting?

The Norwegian Sky and Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas are en route to St. Thomas, and will take evacuees to Miami and San Juan, respectively, the Virgin Islands’s commissioner of tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, said in a release. The tourism department is working with hotels and the cruise lines to coordinate passenger manifests and prioritize order of evacuation. The Sky, which can hold nearly 2,000 passengers, is expected to depart at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and the Majesty of the Seas, which has a capacity of about 2,700, will leave Tuesday night, according to Ms. Nicholson-Doty.


They too will be unable to just take anyone who shows up at the pier. The port authority won't let you board unless you're on a manifest.

Note that the "blogger" was able to board a ship the next day and has already arrived home. She too had to get onto a manifest.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 02:24 PM

8. Disgraceful!

So horrible. Regardless of who is telling the truth this is a sickening story. Sounds like Titanic 2.0 and the life boats.

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