MALAYSIAN children suffering from rare diseases and their family members enjoyed a day touring a luxurious cruise ship during the Rainbow Across Borders networking event.
The event was organised by Club Rainbow Singapore, a registered society that provides support for the families of children who suffer from major chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
Royal Caribbean Cruises (Asia) collaborated with Club Rainbow for this event as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative to sponsor a tour of the ship and three-course lunch for close to 50 Malaysian guests.
“Club Rainbow is pleased to have this opportunity to connect with Malaysian families who undergo the same challenges, and we would like to extend a very warm welcome to our guests,” said Club Rainbow president Gregory Vijayendran in his opening address.
Representatives of the participating organisations — Rare Disorders Society Singapore (RDSS), Malaysian Rare Disorders Society (MRDS), Malaysia Lysosomal Diseases Association (MLDA) and Malaysia Metabolic Society (MMS) — were also given the chance to introduce their respective organisations to all who were present.
According to Gregory, Club Rainbow organises an outing for its members every year, but this was the first time they had invited other organisations to join them.
About 50 members of Club Rainbow and RDSS embarked on the sponsored four-day/three-night cruise aboard Mariner Of The Seas from Singapore, making a stopover in Port Klang to meet up with their Malaysian guests for the day.
After the opening speeches, the children took snapshots with Royal Caribbean staff dressed as Dreamworks movie characters such as Po from Kungfu Panda and Puss In Boots from Shrek.
After lunch, the families visited the ship’s shopping promenade and pool deck.
It was quite a treat for many of the families as the challenges that they faced in caring for their children often made outings like this almost impossible.
“It was nice of Club Rainbow and Royal Caribbean to make this possible. It is our first time setting foot on a cruise ship,” said K. Vasu Krishnan, whose daughter Nadeera is a committee member of MRDS.
“This gathering was a very good opportunity for us to connect with Singaporean families who are in a similar situation as us,” said MMS committee member Sumathi Raman.