labadee

Old Jan 20th, 2003, 01:10 PM
  #1  
dedem
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labadee

Is it safe to go there and what is there to do for excursions...
 
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 05:31 PM
  #2  
Peter
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I think Labadee is better than the private Princess Cays. Its cleaner, more modern facilities and a better beach. As far as safe - I think as long as you don't wander too far from the masses, you're ok. If you go shopping, avoid the non-ship approved shops and stick with the ones with the prices posted. The others have very aggressive natives who don't mind trying to bully you into buying.

The wave runner excursion is a blast. Even my wife had a ball and she hates the water.
 
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 07:39 PM
  #3  
Sara
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I strongly prefer Princess Cays to Labadee. I believe Princess keeps their beach area cleaner, that the water is clearer (and better for snorkeling) and the sand is smoother on Princess Cays.

As far as is it safe to go to Labadee - yes. Labadee is actually in Haiti - though, don't let this part scare you. The area for RCCL's passengers is roped off from the rest of the island and security is very strict here. The snorkeling and sea life is not that great here because the Haitians have killed most of the sea life. I thought the water was "sandy" and not that clear.

As far as excursions, they are the typical water sports - parasailing, jetskiis, etc. .

It is a great beach day. Just don't wander off where you are not supposed to go (and it is obvious where you are supposed to be).
 
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 12:51 PM
  #4  
Harvey
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I was at Labadee last week (1/14/03) and had previously lived in Port-au-Prince for two years. I know Haiti (was even married there!).

Labadee barely qualifies as being in Haiti, which is clearly how RCI prefers it. The promotional literature we got before the cruise doesn't even mention Haiti -- it says we are going to Hispaniola (the name of the island as a whole, which also includes the Dominican Republic).

Haitians are desperately poor, but it is no more dangerous there for a visitor, in my opinion, than Jamaica, our next stop. Certainly, Labadee seemed completely safe, isolated as it is from the rest of the country.

The beaches are clean, the water is at a nice temperature in January, the food (prepared by chefs from the ship) is good, the craft shops are cheap (though most of the available items are of mediocre quality). The venders may be a little persistent if you are in the market area, but they do not pursue you elsewhere. We were aboard the only ship calling at Labadee last week, their only chance to earn any money at all. Those who are not interested need simply avoid the market.

As far as I could tell, everyone enjoyed the day in Labadee.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 05:06 PM
  #5  
alyssa
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Hi Dedem,

I was there a the first week of Jan. and had absolutely no problems. It was a nice relaxing beach day.

There was also a play area with trampolines and rock climbing walls. I think it was $10 for kids and $15 for adults and that was only for an hour. It didn't look like too many people were using it.

I didn't make it down to the area where the shops were but no one bothered us on the beach other than the guys coming around to ask if you wanted a CocoLoco which is Labadee's signature drink and very yummy I might add. The barbeque was really good too.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 06:28 PM
  #6  
Cathy
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I agree with Harvey. Labadee doesn't really qualify as Haiti. It is very safe as it is COMPLETELY controled by RCCL. It is continually being developed. Unfortunately, the snorkeling is pretty much non-exsistant but I liked the beach and it was very relaxing.

The only thing that may be a hassle is the crafts shops run by the Haitians. This is the most intense shopping experience in the Caribbean. Make the Jamaicans very mild in comparison. But I brave the gauntlet each time since I like native crafts and I have gotten many fine crafts for an inexpensive price. I have left some Haitians very happy at the same tims.

Most people enjoy Labadee as a relaxing beach day. They also have a neat Haitian dance troup.

Why are you concerned about Labadee?
 
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 06:51 PM
  #7  
Carson
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Labadee is definitely in Haiti. As far as safe, for the most part it is. A year ago in November, a staff person was severely beaten by a Haitain. The Explorer had to return to Miami immediatley to seek medical care for the staff person. Personally - I prefer Princess Cays. It is a much cleaner beach and the water is more beautiful there.
 
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:07 AM
  #8  
Theresa
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I liked Labadee but I don't think the RCCL beach compares to Half Moon Cay or Princess Cays. Both HAL and Princess have better private islands IMHO.
 
Old Jun 11th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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I was just in Labadee on the Navigator last week (June 2003) and had fun. We paid the $10 per person and rode the banana boat and had a blast. They just charge your card for the cost so you don?t need to even bring cash ashore unless you want to buy something from the locals (crappy art and the typical wood carvings and hair braids).

My wife and I love to snorkel, but as the others indicated, the snorkeling in Labadee pretty much sucks. If you have your own gear then you can still bring your gear ashore and see the airplane wreck. It is easy to find. Labadee has 3 beaches to your left (when you get off the tender). Just go to the second beach (Barefoot beach) and look in the water and you will see an orange buoy floating. That is where the plane wreck is. It is maybe 100 yards from the shore, and an easy swim. Don?t expect to see many fish, but if you swim along the rocks (at the second beach) you will see the best that they have to offer. There were a bunch of small jelly fish in the water, but they didn?t have any stingers so they did not bother anyone.

The locals (who seemed to have permission from RCCL) have a scam going that is as follows. When you get off the tender, you walk to whichever beach you desire. There are thousands of lounge chairs and they are all stacked up in the shade. The locals have tossed a handful of sand on the bottom of the chair and they offer to carry it over from the shade into the sun for you. When they set it down, they make a big show of brushing off the sand. Then they hover around hoping for a tip. The Ship?s newspaper specifically states that the chairs are free and to report anyone who charges you money. The locals do not come out and ask you for money but it is clear that they expect some. Many people felt intimidated and ?tipped? the chair man a few bucks.

Finally, I had read all about the market on Labadee and how pushy the locals are. Let?s just say this. Unless you want to buy some wood carvings or local art, then there is no need to even visit the market. It is pretty much a non-air-conditioned building with about 50 booths that resembled a flea market. The funny part is that every single person is selling the same crap. As you walk past each vendor, they try to lure you into their booth. Nothing has any price marked on it. Therefore, if you have any desire to shop at the local market, I suggest doing the following. When you go towards the market, walk to the left and you will pass a building filled with locals selling stuff. You will come to a second building and there is a lot less stuff inside of it and it resembles a store. Everything inside that building has prices marked on it and you can get a feel for what things should cost. THEN go back to the other building and use your knowledge to help you negotiate.
When we had lunch on Labadee we were very hot and were quite excited when we saw all of the food and drinks being set up by RCCL employees. Everything was fresh and excellent. They had a bar-b-que and even the potato salad was good (that is a dish that I would never eat if I wasn?t sure of the sanitation conditions). RCCL allows some locals to sit nearby and play some music and push the sale of their compact disks and local wood carvings (Flutes and other toys/souvenirs). Everything that they had for sale (except for their music) was available cheaper at the shop.

As for the Coco Loco drinks, they call them the island drink but that is stupid. When you go to Coco Kay, they call their island drink a Coco Loco. It seems dumb to refer to the drinks on Labadee also as Coco Locos. Maybe they shouldl rename them Labadee Liquor or something more appropriate.
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