Labadee

Royal Caribbean cancels another cruise ship stop in Labadee due to local protests

In:
21Jan2016

Royal Caribbean has decided to cancel today's scheduled stop for one of its cruise ships at the cruise line's private destination of Labadee in Haiti due to ongoing protests.

Photo by Michael C.

Navigator of the Seas was scheduled to stop at Labadee on Thursday, January 21, 2016, but Royal Caribbean canceled the port call and withdrew all employees from the site.

This is the second cruise ship to skip a stop in Labadee, after protests prevented Freedom of the Seas from allowing its guests to go ashore earlier this week.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean commented further on the situation, "Royal Caribbean has not received any guarantees or assurances that there will not be any protests in the future. If a protest takes place while a ship is port, there would be a significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee, or we may have to cancel the visit completely."

In regards to upcoming stops in Labadee, Royal Caribbean noted, "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 any additional upcoming port calls to Labadee. The next schedule call is Vision of the Seas, on Sunday, January 24."

Political protests in Haiti prevent Royal Caribbean guests from going to Labadee

In:
Category: 
19Jan2016

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.

 

Photo tour of a day in Royal Caribbean's Labadee

In:
03Jan2016

Perhaps you were sitting in front of your iPad, computer or mobile device and thought to yourself, "I would love a virtual trip to Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee" today.  Wish granted!

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Elena Oliboni shared these photos from her trip to Labadee this week on Independence of the Seas. 

Enjoy this virtual vacation!

What you need to know about snorkeling on Royal Caribbean's Labadee

In:
10Dec2015

There is so much to do on Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee and snorkeling is something a lot of guests look to try.

Labadee's clear and calm waters are great for giving snorkeling a try, and if you are interested in going snorkeling on your next visit, here is what you need to know.

Can I rent snorkeling gear on Labadee?

Guests cannot go to Labadee and rent snorkeling gear on the island, but guests can get snorkeling gear via any of the snorkeling excursions.

On many Royal Caribbean ships, there will be snorkeling gear to purchase onboard the ship.

Guests staying in a cabana will receive complimentary snorkeling gear to use.

Can I bring my own snorkeling gear?

Yes, guests can bring their own snorkeling gear to Labadee for use in the water.

How "good" is the snorkeling at Labadee?

While the ocean water is clear and fairly calm at Labadee, the snorkeling in the areas immediately surrounding the beach do not have a great deal of underwater sea life to see.

The excursions Royal Caribbean offers brings guests to some of the better spots nearby for snorekling, where there is more to underwater life to see.

Given Labadee is often the first port stop, veteran snorkelers often use Labadee as a chance to check their snorkel gear to make sure it all worked properly.  For those new to snorkeling, Labadee can be a great place for getting some practice in before snorkeling in other ports.

The real benefit of Labadee is that the ocean depth is pretty shallow. Often, you will be swimming in water of 1' to 5' of water, which is much shallower than other snorkeling ports and allows  to swim around coral in many places.

There is a lot of coral and a good variety of fish. There are lots of urchins including some big basketball size ones. It is a unique experience you don't get at the other places.

Where is the snorkeling?

The snorkeling area is off of Adrenaline Beach, on the north east side.

Getting there is fairly simple and about a 10 minute walk once on Labadee. Guests can follow the path or take the tram to bring you closer.

There is also some decent snorkeling at Nellie's beach, closest to the rope on the ship side.

What are some tips for anyone looking to snorkel at Labadee?

  • Go early for optimal water conditions. As the day progresses, the water can get hazy due to guests kicking up the sand.
  • Due to the rockiness, be sure to wear water shoes or fins.

Have you gone snorkeling in Labadee? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Royal Caribbean raises prices of Labadee cabanas and beach beds

In:
Category: 
23Oct2015

Royal Caribbean has raised the price of its Nellie's Beach cabanas as well as the beach beds on its private destination of Labadee.

Prices posted on Cruise Planner show the beach cabanas at Nellie's Beach have gone from $350 to $395.  

There has been no change in the price for the the over the water cabanas at Nellie's Beach, which are still $495.

Royal Caribbean raised the price of these cabanas last month, when the price went from $250 to $350.

In addition, the relatively new Labadee beach beds have also seen a price increase, from $175 to $195.

Tip of the hat to Royal Caribbean Blog reader WAAAYTOOO for alerting us to this news!

Will you book a cabana or beach bed on Labadee? Tell us in the comments!

Royal Caribbean raises the price of Labadee cabanas

In:
Category: 
23Sep2015

Royal Caribbean raised the prices for its private cabanas that guests can rent on its private destination of Labadee.

Prices posted on Cruise Planner jumped to

  • $350 for beach cabanas at Nellie's Beach (old price was $250)
  • $495 for over the water cabanas at Nellie's Beach (old price was $320)

The price change appears to be effective starting with 2016 reservations.

In comparisson, Disney Cruise Line offers somehwat similar cabanas on its private island of Castaway Cay that can be rented for $549 per day on the Family Beach or for $399 on the Serenity Bay Beach.

Tip of the hat to Alisa of the Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society Facebook group for alerting us to this news!

UPDATE: It appears the price increase is for Nellie's Beach cabanas only.  Prices at Barefoot Beach, which are available to suite guests only, remains unchanged.  The standard Barefoot Beach cabanas are $175 and the over the water Barefoot Beach cabanas are $250. Thanks to blog reader Stephanie for confirming the information.

Are you planning on booking a cabana on Labadee? Tell us in the comments if you will book a cabana!

The Ultimate Checklist: 8 things you must do at Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee

In:
Category: 
31Aug2015

Royal Caribbean's private peninsula of Labadee is a small piece of paradise that guests sailing on select Caribbean itineraries will be able to enjoy.

Over the years, Royal Caribbean has added quite a bit of activities and fun opportunities to this private enclave.  

Here are ten things to keep you busy on your next at Labadee.

8. Take the tram

Once you get to Labadee, there is quite a lot to do and many beaches to choose from.  Guests can easily walk to any of these spots but when the sun is shining brightly or you need a break, consider using the tram.

Royal Caribbean provides complimentary tram service that will take you all around the peninsula and for those looking for a quieter beach experience, the tram is your ticket to reaching the furthest beaches.

The trams make continuous circles of their route and so the wait is never that long once the trams start running.

Feel free to hop on the tram and take a "grand circle tour" of the island for fun and get a chance to see all the different spots on Labadee without exhausting yourself with all that walking.

7. Dragon's Breath Flight Line

Photo by Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean heralds the Dragon's Breath Flight Line as the world's longest zip-cable over water and it is as impressive to ride down as it is to look at from the ground.

If you are looking to do the shore excursion that Labadee is known for, then this zip line is perfect for you.

Royal Caribbean says guests will reach speeds of 40-50 miles per hour as they soar over the beaches of Labadee and the view you will get is unparalleled.

You will have a chance to practice on a smaller zip line first before taking a truck up the mountain to the flight line starting point.  Odds are your palms will get a little sweaty in anticipation but it's an amazing experience all the way down!

6. Cabanas

If you ever get the chance to try the cabanas at Labadee, they are a must-do!

Royal Caribbean offers Cabanas at two of its beaches on Labadee: Barefoot Beach and Nellie's Beach.

Each cabana offers up to six guests a number of amenities including lounge chairs and a sofa, complimentary bottles of water, floating beach mats, snorkeling gear, towels and more.

In short, the cabanas are a great way to have a private beach experience in a gorgeous setting.

Cabanas are available to suite guests, however, many non-suite guests have had success in reserving cabanas on a first-come, first-served basis by going to the Explorations (shore excursions) desk onboard their Royal Caribbean ship and putting their name down on a list.

5. Beach Beds

Photo by Royal Caribbean

For a less expensive way to relax on Labadee, try the new beach beds.

At the end of Adrenaline Beach, you will find beach beds that offer guests the opportunity to relax with the utmost comfort while remaining on the beach.

These beach beds offer guests the opportunity to relax on the beach in a lot of comfort.  In terms of napping spots, it does not get much better than this.

4. Visit the Artisan's Village

Photo by Franco Caruzzo

Bringing home a little piece of Labadee is a great souvenir and the Artisan's Village has a lot of locals selling various hand-made creations that you can purchase.

You will find wood carvings, neclackes, paintings, t-shirts and more available to purchase.

Whether you buy something or not, looking at the various gifts for sale can be a nice break from the beach.

3. Dragon's Breath Point

For something a little off the beaten path, try Dragon's Breath Point.

Located on the far left side of Labadee (if you are on the dock), Dragon's Breath Point is an area to hang out and watch the zip line but there is also a near natural effect to enjoy.

 As the water flows in and out among the rocks, you hear a "hissing" noise that sounds like "dragon's breath".  It may just be air being compresed in small caves under the rocks, but it's a neat spot to enjoy.

In fact, the area surrounding the rocks is quite beautiful as well and is a great spot for some photos.

2. Dragon's Tail Roller Coaster

The alpine coaster found in Labadee is something unique to any cruise line's private island.  

Guests can ride the Dragon's Tail Roller Coaster from 680 feet above sea level and race down the mountain at speeds of 30 miles per hour.

Like the zip line, Drago's Tail offers some great views of the beaches below.  It's also a much longer ride down the zip line, so there is time to enjoy the views you will get as you dip and curve around the mountain.

If you are considering going on Dragon's Tail, invest in the all-day pass that costs a little bit more money, but will get you plenty of opportunities to get a glimpse of Labadee as you zip down.

1. Labadoozie

My absolute favorite thing about Labadee has to be enjoying their signature drink, the Labadoozie.

The Labadoozie is a frozen alcoholic beverage that is served in a cup or souvenir mug.  It's a combination of a few fruit juices, rum and ice that combine to form the perfect concoction for a day at the beach.

You can purchase Labadoozies from any of the bars, but often you will spot Royal Caribbean waiters walking around the beach selling these drinks.  

For kids, you can order the Labadoozie without alcohol so the whole family can enjoy the experience!

What are your favorite things to do on Labadee? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Excursion Focus: Zipline at Labadee

In:
02Jul2015

Perhaps no other shore excursion on Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee is as exciting and well-known as the Dragon's Breath Flight Line zip line. It has become synonymous with the island and offers guests the opportunity to soar through the air above Labadee at speeds of 40-50 mph.

Description

Dragon's Breath Flight Line will take you to a point 500 feet above the beaches of Labadee and then send you down a zip line that is longer than 2,600 feet.  The zip line is visible from nearly everywhere on the island and it offers some incredible views.

After checking in for the excursion, the staff will suit you up with the right harness for you and then present a short safety video to explain the basics of riding a zip line.

Because zip lines are heavily reliant on staying safe, guests are escorted to a shorter "Little Dragon" flight line, where you can work on the basics with far less risk.

While at the shorter zip line, the staff will demonstrate the basics of what to do and then allow you to try it out.  It's a good primer of what to expect and it gives guests an opportunity to work on their technique.

After that, you will board a truck and you will be on your way up the mountain to fly the real thing.  The truck ride can be fairly bumpy, due to the road conditions.

Once at the top of the mountain, the process is similar to the Little Dragon flight line and you are prepared to go and then sent on your way.

From start to finish, the excursion will take around an hour to complete and the views you will get from the top of Labadee are unparalleled.  There are views of the beaches, the coast of Haiti and your Royal Caribbean ship.

Photo by Royal Caribbean

Dragon's Breath Flight Line is open to guests at least 48 inches tall and cannot weigh more than 275 pounds.

Comments

Dragon's Breath Flight Line is a real adrenaline rush for anyone who is brave enough to try it.  There's no question the anticipation is scarier than the zip line ride down and even during very windy conditions, 

What I really enjoyed about Dragon's Breath Flight Line (and the reason I wanted to do it) was the amazing view you get while riding the zip line down.  Royal Caribbean claims it is one of the longest zip lines in the world and your trip from the summit to base is almost a minute of air time.

During my excursion, we had about 6 people decide to quit out of fear, which is something to consider if you have a fear of heights.  How scary is it exactly? That answer depends on you and your fear of heights.  The ride down is smooth and there is virtually little that you have to do during the ride other than maintain proper form.

Royal Caribbean says you cannot bring anything that is not attached to your body, but in my experience I witnessed plenty of guests holding cameras and phones while riding.  I would advise to invest in an accessory that allows you to attach your phone or camera to your body but understand you are risking losing that device if you do not.

Photo by Braden

Perhaps the only real complaint I can levy against Dragon's Breath Flight Line is the price.  As of the writing of this blog post, the cost of Dragon's Breath Flight Line is $95.75 per person (for adults and children).  That is certainly not inexpensive.

The reason why this zip line adventure is so popular and why so many guests elect to do it is because it's a very unique experience on Labadee and something that really stands out as exhilarating and memorable.   I believe the Dragon's Breath Flight Line is worth trying, especially if you watch a few other guests go down it while you are on the beach and think it looks like fun.

Reservations

The Dragon's Breath Flight Line is a popular excursion, although there are flight times throughout the day.  Reservations are recommended and can be made in advance on Royal Caribbean's web site, or at the Excursion Desk on board your ship.  

Cost: $95.75 per person.

Will I get wet?

No, even though you go over the ocean, you do not make contact with the ocean at all.

Spotlight: Labadee beach beds

In:
Category: 
26Jun2015

There is so much to do on Royal Caribbean's private island of Labadee, and for many guests, the opportunity to relax on the beach is at the top of the priority list.

Photo by Royal Caribbean

At the end of Adrenaline Beach, you will find beach beds that offer guests the opportunity to relax with the utmost comfort while remaining on the beach.  There are also shades you can pull around all sides of the bed to give you shade or privacy.

From your beach bed, you can relax in comfort as the ocean breeze passes by you, with a great view of Dragon's Beach.

Included in the rental of a beach bed are two floating beach mats, water cooler with 4 bottles of water, beach towels and a cabana attendant.

The price for a beach bed is $195.

Will you be renting a beach bed on your next stop in Labadee? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Tour: Cabanas in Labadee

In:
06Jun2015

Royal Caribbean's private island of Labadee is considered by many to be a true paradise.  From the water color to the lush surroundings, there is a lot to love about a day in Labadee.

One of the most sought after amenities on Labadee are the cabanas that are available to rent at Barefoot Beach Club and Nellie's Beach.  Today, we're showing off exactly why so many guests love to rent one for themselves and secure their private part of paradise.

Cabanas in Labadee come in a few different varieties and this one is an over the water cabana.

Each cabana can accommodate up to 4-5 guests comfortably.

Despite not being on the beach, there is direct access from the cabana to the ocean.

Cabanas come with waiter service, so you are never too far from a Labadoozie!

The views from the cabana are hard to beat!

There are cabanas all around and guests in the ocean, so you are never far from the fun.

We hope you enjoyed this little tour of the Labadee cabanas!

Have you stayed in a cabana on Labadee? Do you want to stay in one? Please let us know in the comments!

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