Labadee, Haiti


Cruise port: Labadee, Haiti


Labadee, Haiti: This is actually a penninsula in the northern shore of Cap-Haitien, Haiti rather than an island; well, I guess its an island as Haiti itself is half of an island. This destination is rather like Coco Cay, in that it is a private resort exclusive to the cruise line. Whle Coco Cay is mostly visited by the Bahamas route, Labadee is usually on the itinerary of the Eastern and Western routes. We were here in 2001 and 2002, and at that time, you had to tender on shore. In 2009, a pier was built to accommodate Royal Caribbean's Genesis Class of ships (Oasis and Allure), as well as many other improvements. Labadee also has a straw market, and you can buy hand-made wares of the local population. This area is about 90 miles north or Port-au-Prince, and was spared by the Jan 2010 earthquake.

We also visited in 2011, and in the last few years, Royal Caribbean has put a lot of improvements into the area, including a mega zip line, roller coaster, pier, more shops, and a performing arts paviliion.

Royal Caribbean has come under some criticism of maintaining operation during Haiti's crisis; with vacationers soaking up the sun while the areas to the south were devastated. However, the cruise line provides a primary source of income to the general area to the north, and to pull ships from docking would only hurt the local economy - especially at a time the country desperately needs some income. In addition, Royal Caribbean ships were offloading emergency supplies whenever a cruise ship came to port. In my view, Royal Caribbean did the right thing.

 

 


Local residents transporting their wares to the strawmarket - Labadee, Haiti

Before the pier was constructed - Labadee, Haiti


And the sign says... Labadee, Haiti

Overall view of the penninsula called Labadee - Labadee, Haiti


Poorer Haitian fishing boat - Labadee, Haiti

Chess set made by a Haitian artisan - Labadee, Haiti


Allure of the Seas docked at pier - Labadee, Haiti

Zip line bravado - Labadee, Haiti


Zip line tower - Labadee, Haiti

Beach Cabanas - Labadee, Haiti

 

I had some difficulty in keeping the subject in the frame as the bright Caribbean sun was making it difficult to see into my camcorder's LCD viewfinder. This zip line is 2,633ft long and 500ft high.

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