Labadee, Haiti is a port on the northern coast of the island and has been leased to Royal Caribbean until 2050. For many the thought of stopping in a port that is owned and run by Royal Caribbean doesn’t give the same experience that other ports and that’s how we felt when we saw we would be travelling there. We were a little unsure about this port as we thought it would be very expensive and very touristy since it is Royal Caribbean owned. We are so wrong! The port of Labadee, Haiti is the perfect private beach destination surrounded by mountain slops and lush exotic plants of all kinds that is a must visit if it is on your cruise itinerary.
You can tell Royal Caribbean has put a lot of money into the port of Labadee to make it a great experience for each individual visitor to the island. Several years ago the port of Labadee was no more than some beach chairs and a zip line and you would have to go ashore in small tender boats. Now they have installed a beautiful new pier to accommodate to large cruise ships, more than a dozen structures for food, bathrooms and souvenirs. They have also made some of the beaches more exclusive for selected passenger classes.
When you get off the ship and head onto the pier you are instantly greeted by the beautiful views of Labadee and its turquoise blue waters. At the end of the pier you arrive at kiosks to meet your tours if you have booked one and the various paths to head to the different beach areas. A nice touch that Royal Caribbean has added multiple shuttles that can take you to main areas of the port including several beachs and the town square.
From here you can choose which beach you would like to go to or find which excursion you have booked. There are maps and signs all throughout the area so you will have a hard time getting lost.
One of the great things about being in a port owned by Royal Caribbean is lunch is included. Although the food is limited to certain hours there is a full lunch BBQ buffet including a spread of hamburgers, hotdogs, jerk chicken, salads, fruit, desserts and lemonade. There are mutiple areas throughout the island that has the buffets with lots of picnic tables for seating that are located in the shade.
If you have a drink package the good thing is that you can also use it here in the port of Labadee. This only applied when you are in Royal Carribean owned ports! There are five bars throughout the area that have a wide selection of beer, mixed drinks and the official drink of Labadee the Labadoozie! The Labadoozie is a frozen alcoholic drink that features a number of fruit juices and rum. You can also get the drink made without alcohol but either way it is a must have – it is delicious!
By the end of the day this had to have been one of our favourite ports we had been to! With everything being so close, nice clean washrooms, great food and drink and best of all there was lots of space on the beach you never felt too crowded. We would definitely go back if we had the change and you would see us again lounging in Columbus cove on some beach mats drinking a Labadoozie!