Freedom of the Seas Live Blog Day Three - Labadee

In:
06Sep2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Today might have been our family's best day in Labadee!

We arrived in Labadee just around 8am and our family got up around that time to get ready to for a day of sun, beach and ocean fun.  

Breakfast was in the Windjammer at around 8:30am, and it was busy, but we opted once again to dine in Giovanni's Table because it is reserved for Diamond and Diamond Plus guests.

Our plan was simple for today, we reserved a beach cabana at Nellie's Beach.  Usually, I opted for the over the water cabanas but with the young kids, the beach cabanas are a better choice because the over the water cabanas have steep stairs between the cabana and the ocean, whereas the beach cabana has much easier ocean access.

We walked off the ship and right to the golf carts waiting to take us directly to Nellie's Beach.  I love the private transportation service you get with the cabanas, especially with the kids.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the beach cabanas were on the beach, but at the back of the beach in a reserved area.  Whereas the beach cabanas at Barefoot Beach are right on the beach near other guests laying on the beach, these cabanas at Nellie's Beach were in the back to provide more privacy.

We got settled in quickly with our cabana attendant and then it was straight to the ocean!

Our group cruise meet for today was a meeting of the "Labadoozie Appreciation Society." I was surprised to see a brand new Labadoozie cup design that came in four colors, although it does not have the word "Labadee" written on it anymore.

We enjoyed our Labadoozies and headed back to Nellie's Beach for another swim.  

Lunch was the usual Labadee BBQ, and I ordered veggie burgers, which I enjoyed quite a bit.  

After lunch, we went to the beach for some more relaxing and swimming.  The kids enjoyed alternating between time in the ocean and playing in the sand.  It seemed like we struck the right chord on this visit of fun, good weather and the ultimate X-Factor, kids in a good mood.

I also took this opportunity to walk over to Columbus Cove and check out the water slide, water park and the new beach bungalows.

The bungalows look quite nice, and are very similar to the cabanas.  Coming in at $225, they are cheaper than the cabanas, but the trade-off here with the bungalows is they are spaced closer to each other and lack a third wall.  Not a big deal, and the beach views are quite nice.

 

By about 1:30pm, the kids were starting to "hit the wall" and we decided to bail before any meltdowns.

I know the cabanas are expensive ($399 for what we reserved), but considering the fact we split the cabana with friends, and had it for the entire day, the breakdown in hourly cost per person is more than a deal. And having a private retreat to enjoy was really nice, especially with our terrific cabana attendant.

Back onboard, everyone showered and I made a quick stop to Starbucks for much-needed caffeine. 

This evening was the Top Tier Crown and Anchor Society event, which is a welcome-back party for the Platinum and above members.

I really enjoy these events because I find it refreshing as a customer to have the company take time to recognize its most loyal customers.  Sure there are some complimentary alcoholic drinks here, but the idea of the event is what brings me back.  Plus, sometimes you pick up interesting tidbits or news from the Captain or another officer.

Following the event, I took my daughters for dinner at Sorrentos (of course) and then dropped them off at Adventure Ocean and the Nursery for the evening.

Prior to dinner, we opted to enjoy drinks in my favorite bar on Freedom of the Seas, R-Bar.  I love the hand crafted cocktails here and it is one of the best bars for people watching.

Dinner in the main dining room was lovely, and I enjoyed the Greek moussaka. 

Our evening activity was checking out the 80's dance party in Studio B.  I had never seen one before and it was fun to hear songs we all known the words to and watch folks dancing. 

Tomorrow we will be visiting Falmouth, Jamaica.

Stray Observations

  • The Labadoozie cup with the drink package is an out-of-pocket cost of $3.50.
  • When in the Labadee BBQ line, look for shorter lines because there are multiple lines at each BBQ station.  
  • Always remember to bring cash for tipping non-Royal Caribbean staff at Labadee.
  • The best, yet under appreciated, reasons to book a cabana: towels provided for you, so no hauling them back and forth from the ship.  This means our beach bag is about half the size it might otherwise be.  Also, the golf cart shuttle to/from your cabana is just plain awesome, especially with kids.
  • I was concerned about it being oppressively hot and humid today, but the humidity felt lower than what I was expecting and a nice breeze made for a fabulous weather day, especially for this time of year.
  • I was informed that if you are from England and have a English hair dryer, be sure to bring a European power adapter to make it work.

Drink count

8 drinks + 1 coffee