Last Update: 26-DEC-2011
Labadee is on the North shore of Haiti about 85 miles from Port au Prince. RCI likes to call it a private island, but it's not. An eight foot security fence separates it from the rest of Haiti (more on that later) so you really can’t explore Haiti beyond the fence (not that you would want to anyway) The village of Labadee is about 3 miles across the bay to the west. The resort is on former farmland leased by RCI about 25 years ago. We visited all of the beaches (both open and sheltered, coasters, zip lines, water activities, and a space where a number of local vendors exhibit their wares. We both had serious concerns with this stop. First, it’s Haiti... Enough said… Second I was concerned with the BBQ lunch as I did not want to eat or drink ANYTHING that came from Haiti. We were relieved to see them taking all the pre-made food from the ship and the lunch was fine. Also, we were very concerned about swimming here. In the reviews we saw that people were complaining about all the trash washing up on the beaches. We did not see trash on the beach but when we were leaving we did see considerable trash at sea as we went along the coast of Haiti. Labadee is not really that remote as the city of Cap-Haïtien (Population 190,000) is located 6 miles to the southeast and I am sure that they don’t have a concern with water quality. Royal Caribbean International has contributed the largest proportion of tourist revenue to Haiti since 1986, employing 300 locals, allowing another 200 to sell their wares on the premises, and paying the Haitian government US$6 per tourist. The resort is connected to Cap-Haïtien by a mountainous dirt and gravel road. Anyway, we enjoyed the visit and look forward to visiting again.
Security chasing away locals
Map of the facility
Looking towards the west
Taking the walk to Dragon's Breathe Point. This is due to the sound that the air makes when blown by the sea waves, through the rocks.
MS Explorer of the Seas with us today. 3,114 passengers adding to our 2,600 +. The area was quite crowded and would have been better with only one ship. But we enjoyed sitting along the beach where the zipline takes you over the water. It would be rough for swimming but is scenic.
Some of the locals
Dragon's Breathe Point. This is due to the sound that the air makes when blown by the sea waves, through the rocks.
Lower end of the zip lines. At $85 a run insane.... People love to make others rich I guess !
Rocky beach !
Walked down to the eastern part of the facility.
Up to the 3rd world vender area. We were not harassed
Looking back at the ship (two ships but ours is closer)
One of the armed guards (blurry)
This was the fence area. From time to time a guy in a uniform would walk by with an AK-47. They would look at me when I looked at the gate so I had to be discrete. I did notice that the people on the beach in this western part of the facility were not from the ship. They must have been wealthier locals that the guards would allow thru the gate. When the pain in the ass photo people from the ships would come around and ask which ship you were on, the locals had to get the stories straight ! I guess RCI has to walk a fine line as at night the locals would destroy the place. Security was a joke as many locals were also coming via the water.. When you would go to the restroom you had them handing you a towel and asking for a buck. I just ignored them… Still the harassment was less than some other places we have gone before.
Looking at the Columbus Cove area
The Arawak Aqua Park ($15) Looked like people were having fun.
Interesting rock formations. Extremely rugged !
Ruins with no historical info on it. Probably slave related.
Departing Labadee, Haiti
The actual town of Labadee, Haiti
Louis XIII at $1999.99 a bottle