Labadee

Photo of the Day: Explorer of the Seas in Labadee

In:
30Jun2012

Photo by Xiomara Amaro

Photo of the Day: Allure of the Seas docked in Labadee

In:
13Jun2012

Photo by IssiC_MS

Photo of the Day: Freedom of the Seas docked in Labadee

In:
16Sep2011

Excursion Focus: Barefoot Beach Cabanas at Labadee

In:
13Sep2011

Barefoot Beach Club at Labadee is a private beach enclave for those staying in a suite or those who pay their way in. Barefoot Beach is available to guests staying in a suite onboard their Royal Caribbean cruise. Once inside the walled off area, suite guests may use chairs and water toys included with the beach.

Barefoot Beach also features private cabanas you can rent for the day that include a number of amenities such as

  • bottled water
  • Snorkel gear
  • Water floating mats
  • Beach chairs
  • Private buffet access
  • Golf cart service to anywhere on Labadee

The cost of a cabana is $150 and is good for up to 6 people per cabana. Suite guests receive first chance to book the cabanas but anyone may book a cabana by simply showing up to the Barefoot Beach entrance and inquiring about availability.

While the name of the beach infers a nice sandy beach, the sand in the water is just as rocky as the rest of the beaches in Labadee and water shoes are a good investment. The secluded nature of the beach makes up for it and it's nice to not worry about a crowded water area.

Barefoot Beach also swaps out the regular stream of Royal Caribbean waiters trying to sell you alcoholic drinks, chairs or other goods in favor of attendants who can provide you with whatever you need upon request. While it was nice to not hear the regular calls for drinks, the staff were sure to remind us they work on tips each time we purchased a drink.

In terms of value, it's a bit more expensive than other excursions where you can book a cabana on other islands, especially when you consider alcohol is not included in the cost. There are definitely better deals on cabanas on other islands, so if your budget calls for only one extravagant beach day, Barefoot Beach probably isnt the best choice. However, if cost isn't the only factor then the cabanas at Barefoot Beach can be a nice choice.

If you want to pamper yourself and escape the crowds, a cabana is a great investment. For two people, the price is a little steep but if you have 4-6 people in your group, the cost makes more sense, especially for those who were planning on snorkeling or renting a mat to float on. At the end of the day, the cabanas at Barefoot Beach are a perk that is a great choice if you have the money to spare.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein evaluates Oasis of the Seas, Labadee and Falmouth

In:
19Aug2011

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein has returned from a trip aboard Oasis of the Seas for an on-site evaluation of what's happening not only aboard the ship but he took a careful look at the operations at Labadee (Royal Caribbean's private island) and Falmouth, Jamaica.

Adam seemed pleased with how Oasis of the Seas was running and thought things were going well.   He did seem to have an issue with the art program aboard Oasis of the Seas, presumably related to the art auctions, "I did state in no uncertain terms that I was less than pleased with certain aspects of our art program."

While on Labadee Adam felt that things went exceedingly well and found the operation at Royal Caribbean's private beach to be top notch.  That being said, he thinks Royal Caribbean can do more to market Labadee and prepare its guests for what's waiting for them, "My takeaway is we need to do an even better job of marketing what Labadee is. I spoke to someone who had visited a number of the cruise industry’s private destinations prior to coming to Labadee. He said he and his people were just not prepared for how much there is at Labadee."

At Falmouth, Adam characterized the progress at the port as "90% done".  He mentioned that the most important task left to do here is to complete construction of the arrival/departure terminal building, which should have been done by now but Adam says it will be done in September.

In terms of merchants, Adam says Royal Caribbean expects 70% of the available retail space to be occupied in the next few weeks.  He also hinted that some new restaurants will be added in the near-future.

Photo of the Day: Oasis of the Seas visits Labadee

In:
28Jul2011

Photo by Harriet

Seven Good Things About Royal Caribbean

In:
20Aug2010

Examiner.com writer Chris Owen wrote a blog entry about his top seven things he loves about Royal Caribbean and as a fellow Royal Caribbean fan, it's a great read. His top list includes..

  • They’re nice, good people
  • Most diverse fleet
  • The Wow
  • The Labadee factor
  • Entertainment Options
  • Pre-cruise planner
  • Celebrity

Here's Chris' take on the Royal Caribbean fleet...

No doubt about it, while other lines have different classes of ships, no other fleet has the diversity between classes that Royal Caribbean does. Ranging from 73, 000 ton Monarch of the Seas to 154,000 ton Oasis of the Seas, their different classes of ships offer unique experiences. Common elements among the ships though like signature restaurants and familiar features make sailing any of the ships feel like a trip back home after the first time.

Certainly some people may not get why some people (like us) love cruising with Royal Caribbean and this is a good explanation of why we like them so much.

Five more tips for Freedom of the Seas

In:
08Jul2010

Last week, Andy Mayer posted tips from his recent cruise aboard Freedom of the Seas and he's back this week with more tips to share.  As always, these tips are specific to Freedom of the Seas, but I believe they can be applied to nearly any Royal Caribbean sailing.

  1. Get up early if you want lounge chairs near the pool on the days at sea
  2. Book your own excursions
  3. Get private lessons on the Flowrider
  4. Get a “cabana chair” in Haiti
  5. Return to the ship earlier than normal in Grand Cayman
  6. Depart on your own term

Here's a good tip Andy posted about regarding the best place to rest in Labadee

 

Unfortunately, we found information lacking about RC’s private beach at Labadee, Haiti.  We checked for maps at guest services and asked around, but could learn almost nothing.  The head of the excursions desk on deck 5 knew zero!  I want to pass one thing on to you.
 
When you get off this ship, go straight and take the path almost as far as you can take it.  By walking straight and far, you come to a less rocky area, from which you can swim.  However, you will also find “cabana” chairs.  These are two normal chairs pushed under a half-moon, umbrella like cover that provides shade and a bit of privacy.  They are first-come, first-serve.  If you don’t care about swimming, then find some shade under a tree.  But, if you want to swim and want shade to relax, go directly for a cabana chair.

Photo of the Day: Oasis of the Seas in Labadee

In:
06Jul2010

Photo by BenjaminCole

Review of Royal Caribbean's private islands

In:
29Jun2010

The Orlando Sentinel has posted a review of the private islands that cruise lines have been using to lure customers on their cruises for years.  These paradises are great for the beach lover and offer the benefits of a day of sun, sea, beach and more.   Included in these reviews are the two islands that Royal Caribbean offers to its cruisers.

CocoCay

This 138-acre island (Little Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas' Berry Islands) offers a private island experience to Royal Caribbean International's passengers. It has beautiful beaches, food and drinks, organized pastimes including limbo contests, volleyball tournaments, and children's activities.A variety of water sports is available, including snorkeling--snorkelers can see a replica of a pirate galleon. When you just want to relax, one of the hammocks may be the ticket.

Labadee

Located on a 267-acre peninsula in Haiti's north coast this is another of Royal Caribbean's enclaves. In addition to the pleasures of the sea and sun, Labadee offers cultural pastimes including a folkloric show, tropical bands and artisans' market.Families with children will appreciate a water park, Arawak Cay, featuring water seesaws, slides and more.

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