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cruisinstyle

Labadee Port - Questions

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Team RCLBlog,

 

Another noob question, but here it goes:

How does Labadee work? Since it is owned by RCL is there places to go that is included (beaches, bars, restaurants, lawn chairs etc)? Should I pay for an excursion?

Since we have the drink package, does it work on Labadee? If so, everywhere? Or are there certain bars/places that it works?

 

Thanks for your help!

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On Labadee much is included but certain things are extra.  One beach, Barefoot Beach is reserved for suite guests.   All other areas are open for all guests to explore.  Chairs and loungers are included.  Floating mats are an example of an extra cost item (except at the suite beach).

Food comes off the ship and is included.  Your drink package does work on Labadee just like on the ship.  

Excursion that cost extra include things like the zip line, roller coaster, jet skis, parasailing, etc.  I've never felt the need to purchase one of the excursions that goes to a private or more secluded beach or island.  I have done the zip line on 3 different occasions and jet skiing.  

Depending when your cruise is, some Labadee excursions are offered on sale from time to time.  US holidays have been popular sale weekends in the past.  

I love Labadee.  They've done a really nice job there.

@Matt has written several blogs about Labadee, here is one of them:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2017/08/29/25-tips-great-day-royal-caribbeans-labadee

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@Matt has made a valid case on a similar post here that first-time visits to Labadee are good to hold as a "beach day". Just enjoy the beaches (I've heard repeatedly that Columbus Cove at the furthest end of the island from the dock is the least crowded and also the prettiest), take advantage of the bar if you have a drink package, and enjoy the barbecue or feel free to go back to the ship for lunch if BBQ isn't your thing. After you've had a chance to just relax and see what the place has to offer, then you can always book one of the excursions when you come back; and if you're on just about any Western Caribbean sailing, or some of the Eastern ones, you will be back eventually.

The one thing you may want to splurge on is a cabana rental; Matt goes on about them all the time and based on his frequent raves, it's something I decided was going to be "my" splurge gift to myself for my upcoming cruise in March/April. Just one of you has to purchase it, and then that person can bring up to 5 other guests to share the cabana. You get some nice perks -- a private golf cart to take you to the cabana and back to the ship, and I think anywhere else on the island you'd like to go (one of the other beaches, the market, zip line entrance, etc.); a bucket of bottled water; floaty mats for the ocean; snorkeling gear; and towels. They're pricey, but if you catch them really early or find a rare sale, you can get them for a big discount; the over-the-water cabana I reserved normally goes for $495, but I snagged ours for a little over half that when they first showed up in the cruise planner.

You can find out more about the cabanas at this link: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2014/07/24/what-you-need-know-about-labadee-cabanas

For some reason I thought the cabanas also included a personal attendant who could get you drinks at the bar or food from the lunch buffet, but the article doesn't show that and I'll assume it's either unique to the suites-only cabanas or something that was just in my imagination...

wait...

I don't have an imagination...

 

:3_grin:

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3 hours ago, cruisinstyle said:

Should I pay for an excursion?

I don't think so, especially as a first timer.  I wax poetically about the cabanas, but I think as a first timer you are better off treating it like a regular beach day and simply walk off the ship and find a spot for you.

3 hours ago, cruisinstyle said:

Since we have the drink package, does it work on Labadee? If so, everywhere? Or are there certain bars/places that it works?

Yes and everywhere. It's just like being on the ship.

Just like on the ship, souvenir glasses and drinks that come in a fruit (like pineapple) arent included.

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I visited Labadee for the 1st time over Thanksgiving and it is by far my favorite port.  If you are considering an excursion, I would suggest  parasailing.  My husband and I signed up for the 1st parasail slot of the day (10:30) AM.  Our guides were great.  You are up in the air for 5-6 minutes and it is quite peaceful.  During the rest of the time, you ride around on the boat while the other groups (5 other groups of 2) take their turn.  Our guides took photos and videos with our phones, which made for a nice keepsake.  The scenery is beautiful and we enjoyed the boat ride.  The excursion lasted exactly one hour.  We grabbed lunch right after our excursion and there were no lines for food or trouble finding a table at that time.  We then grabbed some beach chairs and had a few hours to enjoy the beach,floating bar and labadoozies before heading back to the ship.  We booked our excursion a few months in advance and the excursion later went on sale.  We rebooked and saved about 30$, so if you do book an excursion, check back frequently to see if the price has dropped. 

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We went to Labadee for the 1st time last Jan. We were pleasantly surprised and it is now one of our favorite ports. We are not beach people so we booked the Discover Haiti cruise which was wonderful. It is a 90 min. tour around the area. Our tour guide was excellent....very informative, polite and a great sense of humor. We learned so much about the island. I would highly recommend it.

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