I first visited Labadee in 1997. It was pretty undeveloped and I was disappointed that we had to spend a day there.
I just revisited Labadee in Feb., 2005 and I was very plesently surprised. Royal Caribbean has done a fantastic job of developing their port.
The drinks I had on the beach were good and refreshing. The lunch was so-so, but the beauty of the beaches made up for that.
I was surprised to see that the different beaches had their own local bands. As well as a new building has been built for the indigenous people to showcase their talents.
Originally posted by Khona:
I was at Labadee last year on my first and so far only cruise (until next week) on Mariner The Seas.
Here is what I learned from the visit to Labadee:
1. Labadee is a very sandy place. You may want to take a disposable camera instead of a digi cam if you have one. My sister told me to take my disposable camera instead of my digi cam because of the sand. Well, I took my digi cam - and hardly used it because I had sand on my hands most of the time.
2. The crew brought over their cooking equipment and made lunch over on the Island. I don't know if every Royal Caribbean ship that stops at Labadee does that but they did that on Mariner. So if they do you can have lunch on Labadee. I believe there were two places's on Labadee that Royal Caribbean served lunch.
3. The most important lesson I learned on Labadee and the Caribbean - TAKE EXACT CHANGE!
There is a market where the Haitians sell their stuff on Labadee. I bought a painting for fifteen bucks (I overpaid.) Gave the guy a twenty expecting five in change. He didn't want to give me back the five. He told me to pick out a small painting. Well, I was on vacation and this was my first time dealing with people in a market like this. So I didn't' argue. Plus, I figured all those people are dirt poor. So I said to myself "ok, a twenty is not much to me on vacation." So I bought two paintings instead of one.
But dang it, it happened to me again in Cozumel. I bought some penicillin that was fifteen. I gave the gal a twenty expecting five back. The cute little Mexican gal just looked at me and waved me off, like she was saying "you got your penicillin, I have your twenty. We are even."
Next time I'm taking EXACT CHANGE!
3. If I remember right on Labadee the drink of the day was a drink called the Labadazee. It was not good. My sister in law had one. Took a couple of sips and gave the rest to me. I drank it but could hardly get it down. Not good.
Also, I believe Royal Caribbean has Labadee fenced off. So it's safe to visit.
Overall, I enjoyed Labadee and hope to go back next year on Freedom.