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Royal Caribbean cancels visits to its private beach in Haiti

13 Mar 2024
Chantal McPhee

The deteriorating situation in Haiti has forced Royal Caribbean to change planned visits to its private destination.


Guests and travel partners of Royal Caribbean received a major update about sailings to Labadee, Haiti. In emails, the cruise line has announced that it is cancelling stops in Labadee due to the evolving situation in Haiti. 

In its communication to guests and travel partners,  Aurora Yera-Rodriguez, Assistant Vice President of Royal Caribbean International, wrote: “Due to the evolving situation in Haiti, and in an abundance of caution, we're temporarily suspending our visits to Labadee for our entire fleet. We continue to monitor and assess the situation with our Global Security & Intelligence Team.”

Although there have been a number of travel advisories for Haiti for many years, this has not resulted in a significant impact on Royal Caribbean, as Labadee, its private destination, is located on the northern coast of Haiti, far from the turmoil in the that has plagued the capital for years. 

What does this mean for guests currently cruising to Labadee? 

Symphony of the Seas docked

How does this impact cruisers currently on their way to Labadee? Further elaborating on the subject, Yera -Rodriguez explained: “Guests onboard Adventure of the Seas on a March 14 sailing will be re-routed Grand Turk, Turks, and Caicos.” Grand Turk is a port island northern island of Turks and Caicos, used by Carnival Cruise line, not usually visited by Royal Caribbean. 

Alternatively, some guests have received emails noting that they will have a sea day in lieu of the port day in Laadee. Guests onboard the Symphony of the Seas for their March 14th sailing, were advised: “We'll now enjoy a Sea Day instead of visiting Labadee. We've also added extra time to our visit to Falmouth, Jamaica, so you'll have more time to enjoy everything this beautiful destination has to offer.” 

Although this is no doubt a disappointment to many guests, Royal Caribbean has repeatedly stated that the safety of its passengers and crew is of the utmost importance. 

Excursion refunds 

On social media, some guests have expressed concern about money lost for booked excursions. Royal Caribbean addressed this issue: “Any pre-paid Royal Caribbean International shore excursions booked for Labadee will automatically be refunded to your original form of payment. In the meantime, feel free to browse all the exciting shore excursion options for your sailing in My Royal Cruise to level up your vacation. Thank you for your understanding. We can't wait to welcome you onboard Symphony of the Seas!”

Typically, guests enjoy fishing trips, a day out on the ocean, jet skis, and ocean water-based activities while visiting Labadee.  On land, there are also some nice amenities, such as cabanas at Barefoot Beach or the thrill of the Dragons Tail Coaster, which provides the ultimate in adrenaline rush riding down the side of the mountain. The 680-foot ride provides incredible views of other surrounding areas while cruising at speeds near 30 miles per hour.

Labadee is also renowned for its beaches, and guests love a beach BBQ while enjoying the majestic waters of the area.

Escalation in recent days

Haiti flag

Although this is disappointing for many, the news is not unexpected; in recent days, Haiti has made global headlines for gang violence, and on March 3, a mass prison break in Port-au-Prince led the government to declare a state of emergency after thousands of inmates escaped.  The US Embassy has advised US citizens to depart Haiti as soon as possible.

 The situation in Haiti has been worsening over the last several weeks.  Just last week, updated readers on the ongoing situation. At the time, the cruise line sent a statement to media outlets, explaining: “The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. Our global security teams are closely monitoring the situation in the area." Additionally, the cruise line warned: ""At all times, we remind guests to remain aware of their surroundings while ashore and follow all State Department guidelines. Should any changes be required, guests will be notified directly."

This heightened attention has been due to the US Department of State’s Level 4 travel advisory, updated on July 27, 2023, citing “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure,” among the reasons the US State Department has advised against travel to Haiti for some time. Other countries that have Level 4 advisories include Russia and Syria. 

Yesterday, Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry tendered his resignation and appealed for calm as the country descends into chaos.

Royal Caribbean’s exclusive location in Haiti 


While many cruisers think of Labadee as a private island, Labadee is the name of Royal Caribbean’s beach but unlike Perfect Day at CocoCay, it isn't a private island but rather a peninsula. It’s a private port only accessible to Royal Caribbean. In fact, the area of Labadee is secured and monitored to ensure the safety of cruise passengers and crew members. 

Royal Caribbean was monitoring the situation carefully. Labadee is located on the northern coast of Haiti, where the majority of the violence occurs further south in more populated areas. Port-au-Prince is almost 100 miles from Labadee.

Just last week, reported on the escalation of violence, Presidential crisis, and official travel warnings, with many of our readers inquiring if their cruise will still happen as scheduled. 

Labadee is monitored by guards, and a huge fence blocks it from the public, although you may not see it during your visit. In short, it's walled off from the rest of the country and is in a remote area. It's guarded by a private security force. Most employees working in the restricted area of Labadee live in remote villages located nearby, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, is over 100 miles away . Government warnings about travel to Haiti always focus on the cities. will continue to update the story as information is received from the cruise line and guests. 

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