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Labadee rumors


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My cruise is Feb 5th 2022 so I still have 71 days, but as of now I haven't heard anything about it. I am just going to assume they will change it at some point. I will just wait and see what happens. I was looking forward to going there but I am sure we will go somewhere else that will be fun.

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We were scheduled for Labadee in Jan '22. We received an email from RC that we would be going to Perfect Day instead. That's OK, we have been trying to get to PD. We then received a 2nd email that we will be going to Cozumel instead. That's OK too, we love Paradise Beach in Cozumel. After no cruising for so long, we'd be fine with cruising in circles.

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I was listening to the Always Be Booked Podcast where it was stated by the host there is a rumour that Labadee has been completely over run by the local population taking refugee.  I have not done any real checking to verify but thought I 'd throw it out there if anyone has reliable information on that claim.  Most importantly I really don't want to start any conversation about that being right, wrong, or otherwise if it is true and not get involved in socioeconomic politics.  I'm not trying to compare vacation destinations vs human suffering.  I just think there is big difference objectively speaking in how soon Labadee returns depending on if they are avoiding the area due to instability or if they need to do a clean up, rebuild, etc to any intentional or unintentional damage as well.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think Labadee reopening in the next six months. There is zero guarantee of safety in the private area. Rumors as to the locals having already breaching the fences and sacking the "island". That means they will have to rebuild. Once government services (i.e. police or military type infrastructure) are restored it will take at least a season to rebuild. As I outline these reasons, I don't see this reopening in the next year even. Even a year after the government stabilizes.

They will change your itinerary as the departure dates draw nearer.

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14 hours ago, AHollyS said:

I don't think Labadee reopening in the next six months. There is zero guarantee of safety in the private area. Rumors as to the locals having already breaching the fences and sacking the "island". That means they will have to rebuild. Once government services (i.e. police or military type infrastructure) are restored it will take at least a season to rebuild. As I outline these reasons, I don't see this reopening in the next year even. Even a year after the government stabilizes.

They will change your itinerary as the departure dates draw nearer.

I bet Royal kisses Labadee bye bye and set their sights on Grand Lucayan property. It’s a free lease with Haiti. Cut your losses and leave. 
 

This isn’t a new issue. We couldn’t go to Labadee waaaayyyyy back in 1991 because of “unrest.” 
 

Finally got there in 2018 and was totally underwhelmed. Could care less if I ever go back there. 

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15 hours ago, Shay said:

I'm scheduled for Labadee in February as well and I have not had any schedule updates. However, when I was on Anthem last week my waiter told me his supervisor asked him about his Labadee uniform for sizing 🤷🏾‍♀️.

We are scheduled in late January and have excursions booked, we have not received any updates as yet either.

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On 12/7/2021 at 9:07 PM, Jill said:

I bet Royal kisses Labadee bye bye and set their sights on Grand Lucayan property. It’s a free lease with Haiti. Cut your losses and leave. 
 

This isn’t a new issue. We couldn’t go to Labadee waaaayyyyy back in 1991 because of “unrest.” 
 

Finally got there in 2018 and was totally underwhelmed. Could care less if I ever go back there. 

I hope they do let it go. It would eliminate some of the moral questions of affluent visitors partying vs the extreme poverty of the country.

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3 hours ago, AHollyS said:

I hope they do let it go. It would eliminate some of the moral questions of affluent visitors partying vs the extreme poverty of the country.

If Royal has an issue with affluent patrons capitalizing on an infrastructure of poverty, I think the entire business model is going to have to change 😆That's not only the case at pretty much every port in the Caribbean, but it's the basis of their entire system of staffing their ships. If it weren't for the ability to hire cheap labor from poverty-stricken countries, the cruise industry would go under. 

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1 hour ago, jeffmw said:

. If it weren't for the ability to hire cheap labor from poverty-stricken countries, the cruise industry would go under. 

I like to view it as Royal Caribbean offering those with limited opportunities, better opportunities. Working on a cruise ship can be an important first step up the ladder out of poverty. Relationship is arms length and not coercive. 
I understand how one from a wealthy country may consider this relationship exploitative. Anyone who thinks this should ask a crew member why they work for Royal Caribbean. I often find these answers fascinating. 

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11 hours ago, AlmondFarmer said:

I like to view it as Royal Caribbean offering those with limited opportunities, better opportunities. Working on a cruise ship can be an important first step up the ladder out of poverty. Relationship is arms length and not coercive. 
I understand how one from a wealthy country may consider this relationship exploitative. Anyone who thinks this should ask a crew member why they work for Royal Caribbean. I often find these answers fascinating. 

You're definitely not wrong. We very often talk to crew members about where they're from and their lives back home and inevitably most of them see this as a positive (albeit inconvenient) opportunity rather than being exploitative. The unfortunate fact is, the pay and conditions in a job on a cruise ship are better than many of the jobs they'd otherwise have at home, even in spite of their being away from their family for 6 months. Then you get into all kinds of ethical questions about whether an improvement from their current conditions is moral if the conditions themselves are still sub-standard. It's a complicated conversation.

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I have always enjoyed Labadee and looked forward to some anticipated updates.

The nearby village has prospered from the economic impact and employment in the immediate area.  Royal built a school in the village.  The issues of Haiti run long and deep.  It's more complex than we can get into here but this one little corner of the country is a small example of Haiti moving in a better direction, at least for this somewhat isolated area of Haiti.  It may not be perfect there but the local area is better off because of Royal's presence.   

Once all cruise lines are hitting on all cylinders again they'll need every port they can call upon to fill itineraries.  Looking down the road to brighter days Royal needs Labadee in the long term plus every other Oasis/Icon capable port they can find or build.  

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There's also a geographic issue with Haiti, too. Itineraries that go there tend to go to Jamaica and Cayman, too. Now obviously Cayman is still 99% shut down to cruising and RC hasn't returned to Jamaica yet (possibly due to Cayman and Haiti being closed).

 

RC can't rely on most of its Caribbean cruises centering on Cozumel or Bahamas.

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29 minutes ago, Shay said:

I'm cruising in February and I haven't seen any updates about Labadee, which we're scheduled to visit. I was there about 10 years ago and loved it. I was looking forward to seeing all the updates to royals private island.

I hope we don't get rerouted to Nassau.

I’m with you on that.  Wasn’t impressed with Nassau.  Send us to Coco Cay!

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3 hours ago, Shay said:

I'm cruising in February and I haven't seen any updates about Labadee, which we're scheduled to visit. I was there about 10 years ago and loved it. I was looking forward to seeing all the updates to royals private island.

I hope we don't get rerouted to Nassau.

That is exactly what happened to me. Sailing on 12/23. but there are others that have been routed elsewhere. Good luck.

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3 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

Nassau will be much better next summer once the new port area is done and the rest of town is reopened.

I mentioned this on another thread, but the issue is that some stops are easier to replace than others and Labadee isn't in a spot that can be easily re-routed. If you're in the Eastern Caribbean, there are a ton of islands all nearby each other. Same with Western ports in Mexico/Roatan area. So if a stop gets cancelled there are multiple options nearby. Labadee is on the way to (or back from) a lot of places, but it's not really nearby anything else except for the rest of Haiti, Cuba, and the DR. It's not too far from Jamaica but that would send a lot of cruises in the opposite direction. Nassau is one of the only ports that makes sense, unfortunately.

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7 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

Nassau will be much better next summer once the new port area is done and the rest of town is reopened.

I hope so. I'm cruising on Freedom in August and we're stopping in Nassau. I was underwhelmed when I visited Nassua earlier this month.

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On 12/11/2021 at 12:35 PM, Shay said:

I'm cruising in February and I haven't seen any updates about Labadee, which we're scheduled to visit. I was there about 10 years ago and loved it. I was looking forward to seeing all the updates to royals private island.

I hope we don't get rerouted to Nassau.

What cruise are you doing in Feb? I am on Symphony Feb 5th and still haven't heard anything about Labadee. I don't want to go to Nassau either, went there on the Mariner in 2019 and I could do without, I would much rather go to Labadee since I have never been. Interested to see what happens, we already have a coco cay stop so I would think they won't add a second stop there.

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13 hours ago, b0o5h said:

What cruise are you doing in Feb? I am on Symphony Feb 5th and still haven't heard anything about Labadee. I don't want to go to Nassau either, went there on the Mariner in 2019 and I could do without, I would much rather go to Labadee since I have never been. Interested to see what happens, we already have a coco cay stop so I would think they won't add a second stop there.

If they add Nassau or a "double-dip" at Coco, it would have to be on Feb. 6, not the 7th (which is when you're supposed to be at Labadee.) Sorry, I'm a nerd about this stuff, but Nassau is 750 nautical miles to San Juan, where you need to be on the 8th. You wouldn't nearly be able to get there in one night. If they add one of those two, they'd have to make it the day after you leave and then move the day at sea on the 7th on the way to San Juan. Once you pass the Bahamas, there really aren't any other options on the way to PR other than Labadee, so I'd say you're either going to add Nassau or have a second day at sea. 

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1 hour ago, jeffmw said:

Once you pass the Bahamas, there really aren't any other options on the way to PR other than Labadee, so I'd say you're either going to add Nassau or have a second day at sea. 

La Romana & Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

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8 minutes ago, jeffmw said:

True but very, very few RC ships go to Puerto Plata, and there aren't any currently scheduled to stop at La Romana over the next several months. 

Puerto Plata is a new stop that ships were scheduled to begin to call upon in the fall of 2021.  That was announced before the shutdown.  My first visit was supposed be in January 2022 but then Royal chartered that ship.  Other ships were supposed to go there in December.  My visit was not the very first Royal ship to make a call there but it was the first or second visit for that ship, at the time.  

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6 minutes ago, jeffmw said:

True but very, very few RC ships go to Puerto Plata, and there aren't any currently scheduled to stop at La Romana over the next several months. 

Do you think that has anything to do with ships being scheduled at Labadee? With all the upcoming cruises having to alter away from there, that could change.

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