Labadee Cruise Port
Port of Labadee: An Overview
Royal Caribbean's Labadee is a 260-acre private beach resort carved out of Haiti's rolling, densely forested north coast. It's located some six miles from Cape Haitian, a city of 190,000 that's played a prominent part in Spanish and French colonial history. According to RCI, Labadee was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus -- but it wasn't until 1986 that the line leased the peninsula of property from the Haitian government. Today, as in the 15th century, the geography -- an undulating coastline creating a series of lagoon-like bays, all protected by a reef -- sets the scene for the visit. A typical day in port may include snorkeling, filling up a plate or two at the all-you-can eat BBQ, zipping across the water on the 2,600-foot-long Dragon's Breath Flight Line or snoozing soundly in a beach chair.
The focus is on watersports, and Labadee offers the requisite snorkeling, jetskiing, parasailing, kayaking, powerboating and banana boating. You can also rent floating beach mats. Fees vary for rental equipment and activities. A pair of beach volleyball courts are situated on the eastern end of the peninsula.
Labadee's Arawak AquaPark (fee applies) is a roped-in circle of sea featuring climbable ice bergs, sea-saws, trampolines and slides. The park is monitored by life guards, but children under four feet tall must be accompanied by an adult. Also for the kids: Royal Caribbean's youth program, Adventure Ocean, has an enclosed pen feature water-spiriting contraptions, jungle gyms and the like. Organized, supervised activities are offered during visits.
According to Royal Caribbean, the Dragon's Breath Flight Line is the world's longest zip-cable over water. But despite the claim that you'll reach speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour, adrenaline junkies will need to content themselves with the seagull's-eye view and sensation of floating. Enjoyments enough for most, but the real problem is the expense; it's $89 for a ride that lasts less than 90 seconds. The Dragon Coaster, an alpine slide that cuts twists and turns through the dense island foliage, is another option.
A lovely oceanview spa is set up on a hillside overlooking the beaches. The venue offers a handful of treatments at Royal Caribbean's typically inflated prices.
Passengers looking for a little culture can embark on a Haitain cultural tour.
Five "island-style" bars are scattered across Labadee. The venues sell the standard list of frozen cocktails, mixed drinks and beer. Roving bartenders diligently fill in the gaps, darting from beach lounger to beach lounger to drop off coronas and daiquiris.
A licensed group of Haitian merchants hawk their wares -- wood carvings, necklaces, paintings, T-shirts --in the outdoor "Artisan's Village." The winding stretch of stalls is a bit of a gauntlet, so expect to hear "Where you from? Sir, let me show you something," ad nauseum. The Artisan's Village is not to be confused with the "Artisan's Market," a mostly hard-sell-free indoor space displaying beaded necklaces, wood carvings, local rum and cigars. There are also the obligatory Royal Caribbean shops selling T-shirts, sun block and other beach-day paraphernalia.
What's for Lunch
A free BBQ lunch includes a spread of burgers, dogs, jerk chicken, salads, fruit and lemonade.
Watch Out For
The beach chairs are complimentary. Alcoholic drinks and sodas are extra. All water-based activities and excursions carry a fee, as does use of the jungle coaster and the Dragon's Breath Flight Line.
Visitors can pay for everything with their ship card, with the exception of the two markets.
Photos of Labadee
See photos of Labadee from a Royal Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas
What Sets It Apart
You won't find a massive zip-line (the world's largest over water) or alpine slide at any other private island.
Labadee: Harmony of the SeasFruggersThis was our first visit Royal's "Private Getaway". It was ok, but it seemed like most of the furniture & water sports toys are falling apart. I think if we ever cruised here again we'd stay on the ship. ... Read more
Labadee: Oasis of the SeasRulloffTypical "Private Island". Not much to do but that activities that are there are CRAZY overpriced! ... Read more
Labadee: Oasis of the SeasSandyplLove this port, its a nice beach day. Stick to the side were the ship is docked, its calmer waters/ ... Read more
Labadee: Oasis of the SeasRCTOBY77Beach was nice but if you wanted a float they were $15 to rent even if only want to use for an hour or two ... Read more
Labadee: Harmony of the SeastigerfanaticsThis is their private place and everything os covered. Don't take an excursion! We booked one but the seas were choppy (thankfully, as they let us back out). ... Read more
Labadee: Harmony of the SeasstaystrongLabadee is very nice and built up. Paid $15 for a float mat for the kids and had to pay a tip to use the free lounge chairs. Free lunch on the beach was okay. The burgers were all burnt on both lunch areas we visited. Prices for children to use the ... Read more
Labadee: Oasis of the SeasStokes1980Just spent time swimming at the private island ... Read more
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