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.
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, or Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. Fall foliage enthusiasts, for instance, will find September and October the best time to take that Canada/New England cruise, whereas water sports-lovers (and families) much prefer to sail the region in the summer when school is out and temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summers and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
By: Laura Randall, Cruise Critic contributor