Guests aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas were unable to visit the cruise line's private destination of Labadee today due to political protests in the area.
Video posted to Facebook shows Freedom of the Seas was able to dock at Labadee, but groups of protestors staged a demonstration in small boats. This caused Freedom of the Seas' captain to decide not to let passengers off the ship.
Video by JC Roy
Cruise Critic member Nado44 estimated there were 10 motorized and colorful island watercraft carrying about 15-20 protesters each. Several non motorized row boaters also joined in.
The protests appear to be a result of protests as a result of local elections.
Royal Caribbean offered this statement regarding the situation in Labadee.
Today, when Freedom of the Seas arrived to Labadee, Haiti, the ship encountered a number of locals in small boats staging a protest. Although this protest was peaceful in nature, it was clear that if the protest continued, there would be a significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee.
Therefore, Royal Caribbean cancelled Freedom of the Seas’ port call to Labadee. Instead, the ship will remain at sea and call to Falmouth, Jamaica, tomorrow, as planned.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are in close communication with local and government officials in Haiti. At this time, we have not made any decisions regarding future port calls to Labadee. The next schedule call is Navigator of the Seas, on Thursday, January 21.