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Disney Under Fire After Leaving Cruise Staff in Bahamas

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 9/3/2019 Rich Thomaselli
a group of colorful swimming in the water: Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay © Flickr/Anthony Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line is defending its decision to leave crew members on Castaway Cay, its private island in the Bahamas, to ride out Hurricane Dorian.

All staffers are safe after spending Sunday in a specially-built shelter, specifically designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Dorian is a Category 5 storm with 185 mile-per-hour winds that devastated the northwest Bahama islands.

Disney noted that Castaway Cay is located 45 miles south of the most significant portion of the storm. Still, the company came under fire after the sister of one of the employees tweeted out her concerns.

“My sister is stuck in the middle of a Cat 5 hurricane. We were told they would evacuate and they didn’t. Left them behind!! Why??,” Meg Green posted on Twitter. She has since deleted her account but not before writing in another tweet: “Remember that time [Disney Cruises] left 97 employees on a tiny island in a Catagory 5 hurricane? I do.”

Disney did not confirm the number, but on the Disney Cruise Line website, it is noted that 60 employees live year-round on Castaway Cay, its 1,000-acre private resort.

Kim Prunty, vice president of communications and public affairs for Disney Cruise Line, responded to Green.

As more inquiries and responses came forward, Disney Cruise Line released a statement that read:

“Many of our Guests have asked questions about Castaway Cay. Some of our crew remained on the island and their care and safety is our highest priority. As forecasted, sustained winds on the island did not extend beyond tropical force strength and our crew has returned to their living quarters after spending a few hours in our storm shelter yesterday. Our thoughts continue to be with the people in areas of the Bahamas that are being impacted by this storm and we stand ready to contribute to recovery efforts.”

Disney Cruise Line later added to the statement, “We are in regular contact with island leadership, who is making sure our crew is well taken care of in our storm shelter, which is designed for these types of situations and has restrooms, power and is well stocked with food and water.”

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