Document Your Life #111 – Labadee, Haiti

Today we arrived in Labadee, Haiti which is the 1st port of call on our cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. We’re on a 9-night South Caribbean cruise visiting Haiti, Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba – 4 ports of call and 5 days at sea.

On the north coast of Haiti sits a tropical haven we can call our own. Set amid spectacular mountains and lush foliage, Labadee, our first port of call, is reserved exclusively for Royal Caribbean International guests. Though privately owned, this breathtakingly beautiful destination still retains much of its local color. In 1492, the island was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World. Originally named “La Isla Española”, it was later colonized by the French, whose influence is still prevalent in both culture and language.

We got in at around 7.30 AM and were welcomed by a marching band and dancers who went up and down the pier and played music. It was a very loud and very festive welcome. I’d just gotten back to the room from the gym after my morning workout, so I was already up and found the welcome quite lovely. The music woke up Anders and my in-laws and I don’t think there were as enthusiastic about it as I was.

We decided not to get off the ship as we’d been here before and this particular destination wasn’t very interesting for any of us.

Labadee is like a private “resort” owned by Royal Caribbean. It’s a closed area where you can go to the beach, do a zip line excursion, go souvenir shopping at the market, etc.. They bring food from the ship to serve lunch on the beach – buffet style.

We were here a few years ago and did the beach thing and went through the market, which (honestly) wasn’t a great experience. I’m all for going to local markets and supporting the locals by purchasing a few souvenirs, but I found these vendors to be very pushy and some even rude. Some of the vendors got upset with us when we didn’t buy anything from them or didn’t want to come into their shop to look at their merchandise. There are a lot of shops, so, of course, we couldn’t buy from all of them even if we passed a lot of them.

Instead, we spent the day on the ship and just relaxed in the Solarium by the pool.

Quote from Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Compass.

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