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Passengers can help with hurricane recovery on these Caribbean cruises

Passengers can help with hurricane recovery on these Caribbean cruises
The Regal Princess is one of two ships that will feature a social impact group for passengers who want to help recovery efforts in the Caribbean during the sailing. (Marjie Lambert / Tribune News Service)

Princess Cruises offers passengers a way to help the Caribbean islands recover from the deadly hurricanes that pounded the region last fall.

A limited number of travelers aboard two spring sailings will be immersed in local cultures in on-board presentations and then may choose to help with a rebuilding project, beach cleanup or other optional shore activity.

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Regal Princess departs March 18 and the Caribbean Princess departs May 26 on round-trip voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stops include the private Princess Cays; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and St. Maarten.

Cruise prices start at $649 per person, based on double occupancy, excluding taxes and fees.

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Activities on the seven-day sailings are designed by Fathom, the one-time cruise brand that morphed into a socially responsible program for groups of 100 to 200 people aboard existing ships.

The Crown Princess, which set sail Saturday and includes a sold-out Fathom program, stopped in St. Thomas to drop off donations for families in need, St. Maarten to help a local tourism association and the Dominican Republic to help rebuild a community.

To participate in the Fathom program, book the cruise through Princess or your travel agent, and then email community@fathom.org to join the group.

Fathom participants receive perks such as onboard credits, invitations to special programs and events, and invitations to participate (at extra cost) in the give-back shore excursions.

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Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September caused severe damage in ports typically visited by cruise ships, including Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Saint Martin/Saint Maarten.

Info: Princess Cruises, (800) 774-6237, or contact a travel agent; also Fathom

Twitter: @latimestravel

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