Fun in the Sun at Labadee on the Island of Haiti
Private Caribbean resorts and beaches have always been popular with the jet set, but today ordinary folks can enjoy the benefits of privacy and seclusion in paradise. Here’s how.
Labadee, is an excellent example of a private tropical sanctuary. It is located on the north coast of Hispaniola – the island of Haiti. Access is limited to the cruise ships of Royal Caribbean International, i.e., Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
This is a worthy all-day stop
When a cruise ship ties down along the Labadee dock, topside passengers get a great view of the day ahead. They see mountains to the right with rich lush foliage, pristine beaches with all manner of watercraft, and a colorful and charming tropical village. All this awaits the anxious visitors.
It is a very short walk along the cruise ship quay to the portal of this Caribbean playground and its many fun activities. Once beyond the entrance you can walk the resort or take an overhead tram to preview the beaches and Labadee’s abundant amenities.
The Labadee peninsula easily accommodates the thousands of disembarked passengers that bring the resort to life. It never feels crowded as the many tourists explore their leisure time options.
A perfect port with something for everyone
There is a marvelous zip-line called the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line. Starting from the Labadee Mountain, adrenaline addicts soar 500 feet above the beach and ocean for 2,600 feet to the sandy beach below. The journey down can reach speeds of 50 miles per hour. We love zip-lines and this one blends exhilaration with a panoramic view of your ship, the Haitian mountains, and all the beach activity below.
Another heart thumper is the Dragon’s Tail Coaster that races down the Labadee Mountain and roars through a series of curves and dips, at breathtaking speed. These nuevo-roller coasters are getting very popular. We did a similar ride in Jamaica, and it too was a thrill a minute.
For those more interested in water excitement, wave runners are available, as is a multi-passenger high-speed boat adventure.
For something a little less unsettling, try snorkeling in the clear waters or sea kayaking along the peaceful shore.
Taking to the sand, your ship’s crew may give you an opportunity to best them at a fun game of beach volleyball.
If you are a vacationer seeking more relaxation than exhilaration, you are in luck at Labadee. Try lathering up with sunscreen and spreading out on a floating beach mat on the tranquil warm waters of Labadee’s Columbus Cove or Nellie’s Beach. Ahhh, paradise.
Too much sun? Ask one of the friendly beach attendants for a chaise lounge under a tree or you can capture one of the many hammocks hanging between palm trees. Swing, read, relax and watch the birds and frantic zip-liners, or take a well-deserved nap. It is all there for your vacation enjoyment.
Don’t forget the kids
There is an aqua park for the kiddies loaded with big fun stuff, and kids and adults alike will enjoy the outdoor pavilion where native dancers and entertainers perform for the guests.
Getting hungry, thirsty?
There are three complimentary food facilities serving a hearty barbeque lunch of buffet style finger foods, and drinks a la tropical. For those who do not believe in a free lunch, there are many opportunities to spend some money on other restaurant fare and beverages. The choice is yours.
Labadee offers myriad ways to remember your special cruise vacation with island gifts and coveted treasures.
There’s a cash-only Artisan’s Market where you can practice your bargaining skills. There are also other facilities where you can use your on-board credit card or cash to purchase sundries like sunglasses, T-shirts, etc.
The port of Labadee is pure enjoyment for people of all ages, and we were most happy that it was included on our cruise itinerary.
If you go
It is easy to book a cruise on the Silhouette or any one of the ten other Celebrity Cruise ships. Call your travel agent, or book directly with Celebrity by calling toll-free in the US: 1-800-647-2251 or by visiting their website at http://www.celebritycruises.com/
Kudos to Royal Caribbean
It is also heartening that Royal Caribbean International picked this beautiful Haitian peninsula for its leased destination. By their choice, they help contribute to the betterment of the people of Haiti by providing gainful employment, and promoting the all-important tourism trade on the island.
If you ever have an opportunity to spend a day at Labadee, take it. Everybody wins.
Click here to see our complete photo gallery of Labadee.
© Travels with Wayne and Judy Bayliff
Photos © Wayne and Judy Bayliff
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