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Royal Caribbean cancels more visits to Labadee, Haiti into the fall

23 Apr 2024

More cruise ships will skip a visit to Royal Caribbean's private beach in Haiti.

Labadee cancelled through September

Guests booked on cruises in the summer and early fall are getting notifications from Royal Caribbean, that their visits to Labadee have been cancelled.

Following on cancellations that began in March due to civil unrest in Haiti, the cruise line has been forced to cancel more cruises into September 2024.

Royal Caribbean had previously cancelled visits to Labadee through the end of May 2024.

Read more: Is Royal Caribbean still going to Labadee, Haiti?

More Labadee cancellations

Liberty of the Seas in Labadee

On Tuesday, cruisers began to share updates they received from Royal Caribbean that their itineraries have been updated to drop Labadee and replace it with another port or a sea day.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog has spotted different cruises cancelled in June, August, and even September.

In most cases, ships are being re-routed to Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Cancellation email

As an example, the Adventure of the Seas September 21st sailing has had her visit to Labadee replaced with a visit to Grand Turk.

"Due to the continuing situation in Haiti, we'll now visit Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos, instead of Labadee, Haiti," the statement said in an email to booked passengers.

"We're sorry for the change - your safety is our top priority."


Similar emails have been sent to guests booked on cruises with scheduled stops in Labadee throughout summer 2024.

Guests who had any shore excursions booked for their visit to Labadee will automatically receive a refund to their onboard accounts.

The cancellations affect ships such as Adventure of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas all due to visit Labadee in the summer.

No other cruise lines sail to Haiti.

Understandable disappointment

Oasis labadee

Guests have already started sharing the news and their opinions on the change.

"For the folks looking forward to Labadee, for the folks in Labadee, and for Royal, I am sorry this has been so tough," wrote WAYNO on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards.

"Understandable but sad as I was pumped to visit both private destinations in a single sailing," wrote tntornadox on another message board.

A necessary change

Labadee beach

The civil unrest in Haiti has forced Royal Caribbean's hand in this situation, even if Labadee is not near the areas of conflict.

Located on the north coast of Haiti, Labadee is a walled-off private enclave for Royal Caribbean cruise guests. It's at least a 6-and-a-half hour drive from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Royal Caribbean started cancelling visits to Labadee following the fallout of a siege of the government by gangs that began in mid-March. Since then, the country has experienced a major upheaval with a new government, prison break, and many deaths.

Barefoot beach

More than 53,000 people have fled Port-au-Prince and food shortages are taking place across the island, according to reports.

A state of emergency was declared on March 3, followed by the prime minister’s resignation on March 12. 

In July 2023, the US State Department raised the security threat to a Level 4 due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.

Where is Labadee?

Google map

Labadee is located on the northern coast of Haiti, whereas the majority of the violence is occurring further south in more populated areas.

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. Guests aren't permitted to leave the area. 

Unlike other ports, such as Cozumel or Nassau, you won't be able to book a third-party excursion. Instead, all tours in Labadee have to be reserved directly through Royal Caribbean. Moreover, all food and supplies are brought ashore from the ship, rather than from elsewhere in Haiti. 

Is Royal Caribbean still going to Labadee, Haiti?

15 Apr 2024

Royal Caribbean has stopped all visits to its private destination of Labadee, Haiti due to violence and lawlessness in the country.

Labadee from the top of its zipline

Labadee is the name of a beach area reserved exclusively for the use of Royal Caribbean ships and its passengers on a peninsula in northern Haiti.  It's walled off from the rest of the country and Royal Caribbean employs a private security force there.

Royal Caribbean has leased the 260-acre site since the 1980s, and it's 130 miles north of Port-au-Prince (about a six-and-a-half-hour drive) and has not been impacted by other periods of unrest in the country.

There news reports of violence and killings in and around the capital of the country, Port-au-Prince, due to gang activity.

In March, Royal Caribbean announced "in an abundance of caution" its cruise ships would halt visits while the cruise line monitors the safety of the situation.

Prioritizing the safety of its guests and crew members is why Royal Caribbean made the decision, as it does in any part of the world which faces geopolitical issues.

"Please know that the safety and comfort of our guests are always our highest priority. Our Global Security and Intel Team is closely monitoring the evolving situation in Haiti, and in an abundance of caution, we are temporarily making adjustments to sailings visiting Labadee," the cruise line announced.

As the summer 2024 cruise season approaches, many are wondering what is happening with scheduled visits to Labadee and what are the chances it will still occur.

Visits cancelled through September 2024


Royal Caribbean has cancelled all visits to Labadee in between April and September 2024.

"We have suspended all visits to Labadee fleetwide... and we continue to monitor the situation with our Global Security & Intelligence team," the company posted on their website in their latest update.

For sailings beyond September 2024, Royal Caribbean is monitoring the situation and will advise guests booked on cruises that have a scheduled stop to Labadee if something changes.

Wonder of the Seas in Labadee

Usually these updates come in an email to passengers and travel agents in the weeks leading up to a cruise.

There is no set timeframe when a stop can be cancelled by, as the change could occur right up to the day the ship is scheduled to visit. We've seen emails go out much sooner than that, but it's important to note itineraries can change at any time.

Her is the official statement by Royal Caribbean:

We have suspended all visits to Labadee fleetwide through May 2024, and we continue to monitor the situation with our Global Security & Intelligence team. Please know that the safety and comfort of our guests are always our highest priority. We are committed to keeping you informed, and itinerary modifications are being communicated directly to guests ahead of their sailings. Please check back for any potential changes. Thank you for your understanding.

Factors influencing Royal Caribbean’s decision

While there has been no reported incidents of violence in Labadee, an abundance of caution seems to be the primary factor in cancelling calls to Labadee.

Royal Caribbean has a team at headquarters that monitors incidents that could impact their cruise ships.  From severe weather, to political situations, to economic factors, these are all taken into consideration when it comes to the safety of its guests, crew, and ships.

In March 2024, Royal Caribbean announced its first ever world cruise would bypass the Middle East due to unrest in the area of the Red Sea.

As the situation deteriorated there, Royal Caribbean took proactive action to change the sailing and move the ship elsewhere.

Where are Royal Caribbean ships are going instead of Labadee?

CocoCay beach

With Royal Caribbean ships getting re-routed away from Haiti, alternative ports of call are the first choice in trying to update an itinerary.

Each ship has its own replacement option, as choices of where a cruise ship can go instead depend on factors contingent on that day. That means a ship cannot just change where it goes arbitrarily. It's dependent on availability of an open port.

Some ships have gone to Grand Turk; Perfect Day at CocoCay; or Falmouth, Jamaica.

Oasis sea day

In other cases, the ship stays out at sea and a sea day replaces the visit.

There is no obligation or requirement for the cruise line to replace the scheduled port visit with another port. 

Royal Caribbean cancels more cruise ship visits to Labadee, Haiti for next few weeks

19 Mar 2024

Royal Caribbean announced further cancelations for cruises sailing to Labadee, Haiti due to unrest in the country, citing safety concerns.

The cruise line announced today, March 19, that guests sailing to Labadee, Haiti within the next few weeks will have itinerary changes. Guests and travel partners of the cruise line received major updates regarding Caribbean itineraries that were planning visits to Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Labadee.

It appears that cruises through at least mid-April are impacted, although the situation continues to evolve. While Haiti has been under travel advisory warnings for years, Royal Caribbean’s private destination has always been secured given its distance from the country’s troubled capital of Port-au-Prince.

Royal Caribbean International’s Assistant Vice President of Guest Experiences wrote in the communication to guests sailing on the April 14 sailing of Explorer of the Seas, “Due to the evolving situation in Haiti, we’ll now visit Perfect Day at CocoCay instead of Labadee, Haiti. We’re terribly sorry for the last-minute change – your safety is our top priority.”

In addition, guests on this impacted itinerary for Explorer of the Seas will enjoy more time in Falmouth, Jamaica. Although changing a cruise ship’s itinerary can be disappointing, it appears that Royal Caribbean is doing its best to replace Labadee with an alternative port of call.

Based on circulating communication shared online, Royal Caribbean has been replacing Labadee, Haiti with various Caribbean ports, including its alternative private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Other itineraries impacted have rerouted plans to visit Grand Cayman, Bimini, Grand Turk, and St. Maarten.

Many of Royal Caribbean’s ships have Labadee, Haiti as a scheduled port of call in the coming weeks and months. For example, Adventure of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas are all scheduled to visit Labadee in April 2024 and May 2024.

Temporary suspension

While the news is disappointing for itinerary changes, the cancelation of Labadee is not unsurprising.

In an announcement last week, Royal Caribbean temporarily suspended visits to Labadee, Haiti for its entire fleet. The decision was made “out of an abundance of caution” due to the evolving situation in Haiti.

At the time, guests onboard Adventure of of the Seas’ March 14 sailing were re-routed from Labadee to Grand Turk, which is located in Turks and Caicos. The port island is used mostly by Carnival Cruise Line, meaning Royal Caribbean ships do not often stop here.

Additionally, guests sailing on Symphony of the Seas’ March 14 sailing were notified that their itinerary would have an additional sea day with extended time in Falmouth, Jamaica. The cruise line announced, “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.” 

At the time of Royal Caribbean’s original announcement, the cruise line said it would reevaluate the situation every three days.

Excursion refunds

Similar to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean offers a variety of excursions for guests to book in Labadee. All excursions in Labadee must be booked directly with Royal Caribbean since the port of call is a private destination.

Some of these excursions include beach scapes, visits to nearby Haitian villages, zip-lining, snorkeling cruises, sport fishing, yacht sailing, aqua waterpark, kayaking, jet skiing, and more. Royal Caribbean has daybeds available for renting, along with a number of amenities for guests to utilize during their visit.

Guests with impacted itineraries will receive an automatic refund for any pre-paid Royal Caribbean International shore excursion booked for Labadee in the form of an onboard credit to SeaPass cards. These credits can be used anywhere onboard the ship during the cruise.

Any remaining amount at the end of the sailing will be reimbursed to credit cards on file upon disembarkation, according to the announcement provided to guests with impacted itineraries.

Trouble in Haiti

Royal Caribbean’s private destination is located 130 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince, which has been overtaken by gang violence in recent weeks.

Major violence in Haiti erupted on February 29 when the nation’s prime minister flew to Kenya to push for a deployment of police force to help fight the country’s gangs. In an act of protest, the gangs of Haiti have joined forces to fight against the government. Haiti made global headlines when a mass prison break escalated the already-elevating violence in its capital city.

A state of emergency was declared on March 3, followed by the prime minister’s resignation on March 12. The US Embassy has advices that all US citizens evacuate the country as soon as possible due to the deteriorating state of the small Caribbean nation.

However, the safety of travel within Haiti has been discouraged for a while. In July 2023, the US State Department raised the security threat to a Level 4 due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.

Thousands of citizens have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence of the armed gangs.

Royal Caribbean Haiti history

While the cruise line’s operations have historically not been impacted by the trouble, the escalation of gang violence has caused Royal Caribbean to pull the plug. In fact, Royal Caribbean has been operating in Labadee since 1986.

The private destination is a 260-acre resort located on Haiti’s northern peninsula. The area is only accessible by Royal Caribbean Group’s employees and guests of the cruise line’s ships. Labadee is heavily guarded and located in a remote area, essentially isolating the destination from the rest of the country.

Royal Caribbean has a huge fence that protects Labadee from the rest of the country. However, many of the employees that work in Labadee are local citizens that live in remote villages near the port area.

Since Royal Caribbean first began operations in Haiti, there have been a few safety instances. In November 2001, a crew member from Royal Caribbean was attacked on Labadee in an apparent robbery. In February 2004, Royal Caribbean temporarily suspended its visits to Haiti due to the political unrest in the country caused by a coup.

When Haiti was struck by an earthquake in 2010, Royal Caribbean announced at the time that it would continue operations in the port. In addition, the cruise line would provide relief supplies and personnel. Royal Caribbean also planned to help fund relief efforts in the country from the earthquake damage.

Royal Caribbean will evaluate canceling more visits to Labadee, Haiti every 3 days

14 Mar 2024

Royal Caribbean has cancelled all of its visits to its private beach in Haiti until further notice.

Labadee sign

Last night, the line notified guests who had cruises with stops in Labadee over the next week that their visits have been changed to another port or swapped to sea days.

The worsening unrest in Haiti necessitated a change in plans, and thousands of passengers and travel agents received emails that their visit to Labadee would be cancelled.

It appears there will be more rolling cancellations until the situation improves.

Wonder in Labadee

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley posted an update on Thursday morning to provide additional context as to the scope of the cancellations.

His Facebook post stated, "We have suspended calls into Labadee, Haiti for the next 7 days and will continue suspension on a rolling basis with 3 days advance notification to our guests sailing on itineraries impacted and changed as we monitor and evaluate the situation in Haiti."

Labadee post by Michael Bayley

Depending on the ship, the cancelled visit has been replaced with either another port or a sea day. 

  • Symphony of the Seas March 17 replaced Labadee with a sea day
  • Adventure of the Seas March 15 replaced Labadee with Turks & Caicos

Labadee is located in a remote part of Haiti, and has been a private beach for Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers since it opened in 1988. 

Haiti flag

Haiti is experiencing a major civil upheaval following thousands of gang members escaping multiple prisons in Port-au-Prince.  As a result, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4 warning for the country, meaning all travel to the country is discouraged. 

Earlier this week, Royal Caribbean initially cancelled just shore excursions, but retained visits to Labadee. This included jet ski, kayak, and fishing excursions.

It's not clear what change necessitated the full cancellation of visits to Labadee for the foreseeable future.

Passenger reaction

Beach at Labadee

Mr. Bayley's update was met with plenty of opinions on if the cancellations were necessary, alternate port options, and other thoughts.

Ashley Sanders wrote, "I, for one, am glad you guys are thinking of the crew and passengers first. Nobody life is worth a stop in a place that's dangerous."

Rachael Correll Estevez brought up two issues with the rolling three day window, "Three days is not enough. It doesn't give people enough time to make other plans at a new port (if one is assigned)."

She pointed out a policy related to infants and the number of sea days allowable for them to cruise, "Some sailings removing Labadee and replacing it with a sea day makes 3 consecutive days at sea, making babies 6-12 months ineligible to sail... how is 3 days enough for those families to adjust to their options?"

Breeda O'Leary posted about the replacement port options, "Please find other ports instead of another sea day whenever possible."

Royal Caribbean cancels visits to its private beach in Haiti

13 Mar 2024

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. 

The crew member only beach at Labadee and it's where no passengers can go

12 Apr 2023

There is a beach in Labadee, Haiti that you have probably never heard of, even if you have been there multiple times!


It is not Dragon's Beach, Adrenaline Beach, Barefoot Beat, Nellie's Beach, or Columbus Cove. In fact, this beach is not even on the map!

Belly Beach is located a little further south than Columbus Cove; however, it is only accessible by boat if you are a crew member.

Cruise passengers are not able to visit Belly Beach since it is not part of their privately-owned destination; it is located just outside of the boundaries. 


Oasis of the Seas crew member Lera Synchro recently posted a video on her YouTube channel that documented her day spent at Belly Beach. 

Synchro's YouTube channel has amassed over 7,000 followers, who follow her on her adventures as an AquaTheatre performer onboard, including show rehearsals, exploring in Mexico and Jamaica, and what spending Christmas onboard was like. In one video, she even gives viewers a glimpse into the AquaTheatre's pool, which is one of the deepest pools at sea!

Keep reading to see what Belly Beach is like!

What is Labadee?

Mariner of the Seas docked in Labadee

Labadee is Royal Caribbean's private destination on the northern coast of Haiti. While it is not a private island like Perfect Day at CocoCay, it does promise guests a relaxing (or thrilling) day with other Royal Caribbean passengers. 

You can spend the day on one of four (or five if you are a suite guest) different complimentary beaches, go zip lining over the ocean or parasailing, ride a jet ski, take a nature walk, and more.

For those looking for a more luxurious beach day, you can rent a private cabana at Nellie's Beach. Only those staying in suites can reserve a cabana at Barefoot Beach. 

There is even an artisan market where you can buy souvenirs from locals. Unlike CocoCay, though, they are unable to take your SeaPass card, so be sure you bring some cash with you when you get off the ship!

How do crew members get to Belly Beach?


A small boat docks near the jet ski landing to transport crew members from the privately-owned section of Labadee to Belly Beach, which is a public beach for locals that crew members are able to visit. 

After a short scenic ride with views of the ship and surrounding mountainous landscape, the boat pulls right up to the beach to let Synchro off, and whomever else is on the boat, off. 

She never expressed any concern of making it back to the ship on time, so it is safe to assume that departures are scheduled around the crew's all aboard time. 

What is the beach like?


Compared to Royal Caribbean's beaches, Belly Beach looks like a private oasis! 

On the day Synchro filmed, there was hardly anyone else there. In fact, some of the footage from the beach revealed empty beach chairs, which is often a rarity on cruise line private islands!

Anyone who has visited a private island will tell you to secure a chair as early as possible, especially if you have your heart set on a first or second row seat. The beaches are packed in the afternoon!


She filmed a group of people in the ocean throwing a ball around, while others were seen lounging in the available chairs. She was able to swim freely without bumping into anyone, and from the clips, it did not seem as though there were any water sports available for rent. 

While there was enough seating to accommodate everyone on this particular day, there were not any umbrellas to provide shade. 

Dining options at Belly Beach


There is a restaurant on-site that is situated feet from the ocean; however, since this beach is not owned by Royal Caribbean, all food items are priced a la carte. And even though the restaurant is open-air, it is shaded. 

Synchro showed fresh mango slices, rice, and lobster! Google reviews indicate that you can purchase a whole fish, too. 

What do crew members do during shore leave?

Royal Caribbean ships docked with gangway

Do crew members get to spend the day ashore like passengers? Not always, as only a certain percentage of the crew in any given department are allowed to get off the ship.

If everyone was able to get off, who would be on the ship to attend to the passengers who opted to spend the day onboard or who return early?

Those who do have time off usually do not have as long in port as guests; however, they make the most of it by visiting local hotspots, eating at restaurants, or going to supermarkets to stock up on non-perishable items and other necessities that may either cost less than the onboard crew store or that are not available. 

They may also want to search for Wi-Fi to connect with loved ones back home. Regardless of how they spend their time ashore, they are always sure to make the most of it. 

Crew only areas onboard the ship

Just as Belly Beach cannot be visited by regular passengers, there are areas onboard the ships that are off limits, too. And thanks to social media, it is easier than ever to see how crew members live during their contracts.

Bryan James, a former guitarist and vocalist in The Mason Jar Bar onboard Wonder of the Seas, posted videos to his TikTok of crew life and currently has a following of over 730,000! He is no longer on Wonder of the Seas, though. His current contract is onboard Celebrity Edge. 

His previous videos show a secret hangout in the ship's funnel, a shop filled with essential items and snacks for purchase, his tiny cabin, the crew laundry room, and even the crew lounge where they have a foosball table. 

If you are interested in learning more about ship life for Royal Caribbean crew members, follow Bryan James' TikTok @bryanjamescruises, as well as Lera Synchro's YouTube @LeraSynchro! 

Related: A look at the secret crew-only areas on the world's biggest cruise ship

Best Labadee, Haiti Do's and Don'ts (2024)

28 May 2022

Labadee, Royal Caribbean's original private destination, remains a family-favorite place for a great beach day. 

Packed with different beaches to choose from, thrill attractions, and even a few shore excursions, you will find lots to enjoy about this private peninsula in Haiti.

It's one of the most popular stops on Royal Caribbean's Caribbean cruises, and for good reason - Labadee has something for everyone.

From zip lines to parasailing to luxury cabana retnals, there's no shortage of things to do in this tropical paradise.

If you want to make the most of your visit, here are some Labadee tips to share from my many visits.

Do prebook a cabana

After I rented my first cabnana at Labadee, I have never been able to go back without having one because it was that impressive.

Guests visiting Labadee are able to take rent cabanas at Nellie's Beach or Barefoot Beach (suite guests only).

These cabanas provide privacy, shade, personalized service and even transportation around Labadee.

For families or groups, a cabana rental can make a lot of sense for the convenience it provides, along with the great amenities.

If you do want a cabana, be sure to prebook it. Cabana rentals go very fast, and they almost always sell out months or weeks before a cruise. Your best bet is to log into Royal Caribbean's site and reserve one so that you can ensure your family has it for when you arrive.

Do find the right beach

There are five beaches at Labadee, so it is a good idea to figure out which one you want to visit before you step off the ship.

Depending on if you want to be close to the ship, want the prettiest water, or want the best views, there can be a few good choices to consider.

If you are a suite guest, your choice is simple: Barefoot Beach. This is a suites-only beach area and the place to go for anyone who has a suite cabin on the ship.

Families usually like to go between Columbus Cove or Adrenaline Beach for the views and open water. 

Nellie's Beach is a quieter cove which can get busy as the day goes on, but also offers cabanas to rent.

Which beach you pick can depend on a lot of factors, especially what time you arrive at the beach.  Crowds will build as the day progresses and most guests tend to fill spots closest to the dock first, extending out towards Adrenaline Beach and Columbus Cove. 

Regardless of which beach you end up going to, you should bring some cash with you for tips.  Chairs are complimentary, but there are locals on Labadee who will help you set them up and it is customary to provide a tip for the assistance.

There is a complimentary ferry at the pier that will take you directly to Columbus Cove to save time.

Don’t forget your Seapass Card

Just like any port you visit, you will need your SeaPass card to disembark and for use on the island.

Just like on the ship, your SeaPass card is what you will need for most transactions on the island. 

You can use it to order drinks, and gain access to certain activities. If you end up booking a tour or rent snorkel equipment, you will need it for that too.

Make sure you have everyone's card before you leave your stateroom.

Don't forget cash

While Royal Caribbean takes your SeaPass card on Labadee, many Haitians work on the island too, and they only take cash.

You will need cash for two things: tipping and souvenirs.

You will find helpful locals on Labadee to set up chairs and umbrellas for you, and even re-arrange them to suit your needs. While there is no cost for their services, a tip is expected.

In addition, there is an artisan market you can browse, along with crafts available to purchase at different spots. The Haitians working there cannot take your SeaPass card, so bring a few dollars with you rather than having to trek back to the ship to get some later.

Don't be afraid to say no in the Artisan market

The Artisan market is an open-air place to buy crafts and other hand made souvenirs.

While the people who sell their wares here are friendly enough, they are not passive artisans either. They are salesmen and women, so and will try their best to lock in a sale.

There is nothing wrong with browsing, but it is okay to say "no thank you"  if something is not of interest. These storekeepers are proud of the work they have done, and will want to sell you something if they can, but they will respect if it is clear you are not interested.

Don't forget to take advantage of your drink package

The Royal Caribbean drink package benefits you purchased for your cruise ship work at Labadee as well.

This means if you have the Deluxe Beverage Package, you can enjoy unlimited alcoholic beverages, along with bottled water, sodas and more. Likewise, the Royal Refreshment and Soda Package benefits also work on Labadee.

Just give your SeaPass card to any waiter or bartender while ordering, and you can enjoy the same sort of drinks as onboard.

Keep in mind that the island's drink selection may be more limited than on the ship, but they usually have a good assortment of favorites.

You should also be aware drinks served in souvenir cups and/or fruits (i.e. pineapples) are not included with the drink package, although you can get a discount on them.

Don't miss the floating bar

A fun new addition to Labadee is the floating bar on Adrenaline Beach.

You can swim up to the floating bar and climb aboard for a seat anywhere around circular bar.

The floating bar is located underneath the zip line, which should provide for some fun views as guests enjoy a beverage at the bar.

And yes, your drink package benefits work here as well.

Don't forget your water shoes

I generally do not think water shoes are necessary at beaches in the Caribbean, but Labadee's beaches can be tough.

While there is plenty of sand, rocks on the ocean floor are not uncommon and it is somewhere where you might consider getting a pair of water shoes.

In addition, the paved walkways and even that white sand can get very hot in the afternoon.

Don't be scared of the zip line

The star attraction at Labadee is the Dragon's Breath zip line, which is a 2,800 foot zip line over the ocean that takes guests across the span of Labadee. 

It is not cheap ($95 per guest at last check), but it delivers some really impressive views down one of the longest zip lines over the ocean in the world.

Weather permitting, you will have the choice of a traditional zip line ride down, or a head first Furious Flyer zipline. 

Do go to suites only beach

If you have a Grand Suite or better while on your ship, you absolutely want to plan your day around spending time at the suites-only area known as Barefoot Beach.

It is located on the south side of the island and is a relatively smaller beach, compared to Adrenaline Beach and is more of a cove in shape.

Crowds on Barefoot Beach are not as prevalent as other areas of Labadee due to its exclusivity.

If you want to reserve a cabana at Barefoot Beach, contact your suite concierge. Your best bet is to email your suite concierge in the days before your cruise departs after you receive the welcome email from him/her.

Don't miss the nature trails

It took me quite a few visits before I forced myself to walk down one of the nature trails, and it was so worth it!

When you get off the pier, there are a few walking trails to your left, and it provides nice views around Labadee.

It is probably a good idea to tackle the trails early in the day before the major heat hits in the afternoon.

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First look: Royal Caribbean returns to Labadee

27 Jan 2022

For the first time since the cruise industry shutdown of 2020, Royal Caribbean returned to its private destination in Haiti at Labadee.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas visited Labadee on Thursday, and is the first ship to stop there since early 2020.

While Royal Caribbean's other private destination of Perfect Day at CocoCay was one of the first places cruise ships visited when the restart began in 2021, Labadee had yet to see a ship visit.

Up until today, scheduled visits to Labadee have been routinely cancelled and replaced with visits to other ports.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers Colby Burnett and Michael Krieger shared photos from their visit today.

With today's visit, it appears Royal Caribbean is once again prepared to return with regular visits.

It's not clear what prevented Royal Caribbean from sending ships to Labdee up until now, but the good news for cruise fans is the private paradise is open again.

Labadee is a 260-acre private destination that Royal Caribbean has operated since 1986, and was visited by both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises ships.


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Spotted: Is Labadee closer to reopening?

16 Jan 2022

The rumor mill has been swirling lately with the unconfirmed possibility that Royal Caribbean's other private destination may reopen.

Royal Caribbean Blog - Unofficial blog about Royal Caribbean cruises

Labadee, a private destination in northwest Haiti, has been shutdown since cruises stopped in 2020. While Perfect Day at Cococay has reopened, Labadee has not and there has not been a great deal of detail as to why or when it might resume.

Up until now, scheduled visits to Labadee have been routinely cancelled and replaced with visits to other ports.

There are two new pieces of very circumstantial evidence that point to Labadee possibly welcoming guests back again sooner than later.

Friday Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

First, Harmony of the Seas is scheduled to visit there next week when she sails on January 23, 2022. 

According to the Royal Caribbean app, Harmony is scheduled to visit Labadee on Day 5 of the sailing during her 5-night Western Caribbean cruise.

Of course, itineraries can change at any time.

Someone also shared a post on Facebook, claiming that the visit to Labadee is scheduled and that a "test cruise" is headed there on January 27th.

The other thing we spotted is Royal Caribbean is actively hiring for Labadee, posting on social media an opening for a Shore Excursions Manager to work in Labadee.

Royal Caribbean has made no announcement either way about Labadee reopening or not. 

Thus far, the only public comments have been made in emails to guests on booked sailings that have had to have their itinerary revised.

Labadee is a 260-acre private destination that Royal Caribbean has operated since 1986, and was visited by both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises ships.

Challenges for Labadee

Labadee Guide & Tips | Royal Caribbean Blog

The exact reason why Royal Caribbean has not resumed visiting Labadee is not entirely clear.

Haiti has dealt with the assassination of its president, as well as a major earthquake.

The U.S. State Department lists Haiti as having a level 4 warning not to visit, which is the highest level of warning to avoid travel.

Should you expect cruises to visit Labadee?

Anthem of the Seas Live Blog - Day 7 - Labadee | Royal Caribbean Blog

It's still too early to tell what to expect for Labadee and when ships will visit there again.

Certainly ancillary evidence after months of little to no updates or information is a step in the right direction, but we still lack Royal Caribbean's confirmation.

For now, we will keep an eye on the situation and share any updates if the situation changes.

Anthem of the Seas Live Blog - Day 7 - Labadee

11 Jul 2019

Our final port stop on this sailing brings us to Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee.

I have been to Labadee on numerous occasions, and I have always enjoyed my visits for the natural beauty of this corner of Haiti.

The ship was cleared to begin disembarkation around 9:30am, and I think we walked off the ship at around 10am. 

Prior to the cruise, I had reserved an over the water cabana.  For many years, I have booked cabanas at Labadee because I think it is a terrific value for a family. I love having our own little "refuge" from the elements, personalized service and prime napping spot. 

On this particular visit, we reserved a cabana at Nellie's Beach and it was exactly what we wanted.

The weather today was excellent. It was hot, and less oppressively humid as it was in San Juan yesterday. Moreover, there was more sunshine than clouds. This is the right equation for a day at the beach.

Throughout the day I also noticed some smaller enhancements that I did not recall seeing on past trips. Primarily seating areas along the paths.

Our day in Labadee went by quickly, and around 3pm or so we decided to head back to the ship. 

Back onboard, we showered and napped. The Captain said our weather for the return to Bayonne looks great.

We headed back to the main dining room for dinner, and the wait staff provided another excellent meal.  The service in the dining room is certainly in the upper echelon that I have encountered in recent memory.

After dinner we went to Two70 to see the Vistarama show, however, they played a virtual concert featuring Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns. I asked one of the tech guys and he indicated this was one of the dozen or so Vistarama shows they have, but I think everyone in Two70 was hoping for something else. 

Instead, we headed over to the pub for singalongs.  It was jam packed in the pub, as I think by now the word is out about the talent of the pub singer.

Tomorrow is a sea day.

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