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Labadee--Water Taxi & Beach Bungalows

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This will be our first RCL cruise, Oasis June 2018, 11 family members in our group with ages ranging from 9 to 78 years old. 

We have 2 Beach Bungalows (NOT Cabanas) reserved and I understand they are on Columbus Cove.  Has anyone used the water taxi/shuttle from the pier to Columbus Cove? One of our party has low stamina and I would like to reduce her overall walking as much as possible.  If we use the water taxi, will it hold all 11 of us, or will we need to split up? Is there a charge or just tip?  Are the Beach Bungalows assigned or first come? Do people bring their own floats (cheap, unopened)?

Thank you.

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The water taxi at Labadee to Columbus Cove is a large boat that seats 100+ people:


It has an upstairs open to the sun and a covered downstairs.  It only works in one direction, to return to the ship you would need to use the Labadee tram.  Both are free.  There are several tram stations but there may be a short walk from the bungalows to a tram station.


The pier is something I've never thought to be a long walk but for someone with mobility challenges it could be.  The tram doesn't run down the pier, it stops past the cluster of buildings in this photo.  A building close to the end of the pier in this photo is a security building where you have you have to walk through metal detectors and bags go through xray.  I'm not certain if there is wheelchair or other mobility assistance on the pier.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was but it's not something I've ever had to deal with.  


You can bring your own floats but also bring something to inflate them with.  My last trip I saw a guy blowing up floats for his kids with a foot pump.


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I find the pier at Labadee to be VERY long and a very tough walk for me.  The staff will provide wheel chairs for those who cannot make that long walk though.  How I wish they would allow the tolley to come to the ship !  ...but they do not.  If stamina is the issue and not necessarily mobility, then the water taxi would be a good option for going over but as Twangster said, the trip back is per the pier for everyone.

I have never rented a bungalow so I have no idea how far it is from the place where the water taxi docks to the bungalows.  I also have no idea how they are assigned but I believe that they will be assigned onboard so it might be to your advantage to visit the excursion desk as soon as you board.  You could explain to them that you need to have the bungalows nearest the dock at Columbus Cove due to your accessibility issues.  I'm sure they would oblige and I'm sure they would give you 2 bungalows together if you make those arrangements early enough.

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Thank you for these responses and pictures!  This gives me a very good idea of what to expect.  I also spoke with the RCL Access Dept this morning and was told that they do not provide wheelchairs on the pier.  They do have the beach wheelchairs available first come.  She also said that taking a folding transport chair on the water taxi would not be a problem.  My mother in law can walk just fine for short to medium distances, no concerns of fainting or falling.  But if she does too much one day, it may take all of the next day for her energy to return to normal.  So we are looking for as many possible ways to reduce her walking as we can.  We want her to be able to enjoy and participate in the entire trip.

Thanks again for the help!

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When we got off the ship, we saw the tender and said "I don't know where it goes, but what the heck?".  It took us straight across and it was a  short walk straight to the beach.  It actually was a happy accident, but I'm glad we did it.  

Taking the tram back was longer than I expected (the artisan village is huge, and I know some poor souls had to walk it (being hounded the whole time)) but Labadee is so nice, we enjoyed it.  


I definitely recommend taking your friend on the water taxi, as it is also very near the food venue.


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Our last cruise we rented a bungalow in Labadee and loved it.  As soon as you get off the pier and through the building, there should be a couple of large golf carts sitting there.  They work for tips, so give the driver $5 and he will take you directly to the bungalows.  Once at the Bungalows, the attendants will assign one for you, I believe they are assigned on a first come basis.  I would recommend getting off the ship first thing so that you can grab a golf cart.  Directly behind the bungalows are bathrooms, a bar, and the area where they serve lunch, so it is convenient.  The ride from the pier was longer than I thought it would be, so walking it would take a while.  

We are going again in 2 weeks and rented a bungalow again.  I was able to catch one on sale for $200, and to me it is well worth it.  They are pretty big, you don't have to worry about chairs, the attendants bring you drinks, the previously mentioned amenities are right there, etc.  Very nice setup.    

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