Walk For A Wish a Good Start


Every time we go on a Royal Caribbean cruise, we make a point of participating in the ship's fund raiser for the Make A Wish Foundation. It just seems like the right thing to do and while clearly we are not alone, you have to wonder why more people don't do it.

Three days before the Explorer of the Seas returned to New York, it was "Walk For A Wish" Day on the top deck. Passengers pay $10, get a quality tee-shirt, follow the captain and senior officers on five tours of the deck and feel like they've made a small contribution to making somebody's life a little better. All monies raised go to the cause.

Now, don't get us wrong. The fact that Royal Caribbean raised over $6,000 on this cruise is admirable. The millions the cruise line must have raised — Royal Caribbean doesn't advertise this, it just quietly goes about fulfilling wishes — since this all started about four years ago has enabled untold numbers of kids suffering from disease to dream, if only for a day or two.

If you estimate 21 company ships each do 50 cruises a year, that's 1,000-plus cruises. At the Explorer's rate, that's $6 million a year. None of this could be confirmed by Royal, and maybe our math's a bit on the high side, but the first time we participated was three and a half years ago. So, we're talking millions.

Passengers line up to register for the walk. On this day, more than 500 passengers participated, either by walking or with their wallets, or both. Explorer of the Seas, when full, carries 3,800 passengers. The ship felt full, so let's say there were 3,700 passengers. 

That's 15%.

This is not a taxing walk. For most people, it's a 20-minute stroll in the sunshine. It's not a "run for a cause." We saw several people who have great difficulty putting one foot in front of the other make it through at least one lap. One man walked five laps with the help of a crutch, with the ship's hotel director, Dean Bailey, anonymously by his side. Another did it in a wheelchair.

Anybody can participate.

You know how quickly you can spend ten bucks on a cruise ship. One semi-exotic drink. Great service from a room steward. Two minutes at a slot machine.

Don't you think 15% is…just a good start?

Diamond Princess
7 nights
May 25, 2013
Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Anchorage  
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $85


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