Monday, July 22, 2013

Labadee...Royal Caribbean's Private Island

One of the most anticipated days on a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation (select itineraries only), is the day spent on Labadee. More like a private resort than a private island, Labadee is located on the northern coast of Hati, fenced off from the rest of the island. This exclusive destination offers multiple pristine beaches, each with its own distinct “vibe”. There are sunny and shady spots along the beaches, where local musicians and performers offer free entertainment. Plenty of beach lounge chairs are available, as well as some hammocks.

For an additional cost, guests can rent floating mats, kayaks, wave runners, snorkel equipment and lovely cabanas. For families with children, purchasing a pass for Arawak Aqua Park may be the best money they spend the entire week! The area consists of water trampolines, icebergs, rolling logs, water slides and a variety of other aquatic activities that will keep the kids occupied all day long!

 Looking for an adrenaline rush? Dragon's Tail Coaster, a high-speed alpine coaster ride, rises to 680 feet before descending at 30 miles per hour through dips and 360-degree turns. And for real daredevils, nothing can compare to Dragon’s Breath Flight Line. It’s the world’s largest over water zip line, soaring as high as 500 feet above the water, at speeds as fast as 50 miles per hour!

There are special excursions that can be booked on Labadee as well.  The “Adrenaline Coastal Tour” is a narrated sightseeing tour aboard a RIB, a small but powerful vessel that zips out from Labadee to cruise along the scenic shoreline of the island.

The “Discover Haiti Coastal Cruise” will take you on a journey onboard the “Discovery,” a specially designed motorized catamaran. Throughout the voyage you will view by sea breathtaking landscapes, beautiful reefs, a shipwreck, Amiga Island, coastal villages, handmade wooden fishing boats and the landmarks of the Arawak Indians and the early discoverers such as Christopher Columbus in the 15th century.

On the “Haitian Cultural Tour at Paradise Cove” guests will meet a local fisherman and visit a typical rural Haitian home where they can view their cooking techniques, handmade children's toys and natural materials used to build their homes. Many other exhibits onsite will give guests an understanding of the culture and people of Haiti.

 Royal Caribbean provides a complimentary buffet-style barbecue lunch on Labadee that includes non-alcoholic drinks and dessert. Three pavilions house the buffet, which is served at large community-style picnic tables to encourage socialization. Several bars are set up across the resort and visitors can charge specialty and alcoholic drinks to their ship accounts. I highly recommend a Labaduzee, the specialty frozen drink available only on Labadee. It’s made with dark rum, coconut rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, papaya juice and cream of coconut, and served in a tall souvenir cup.  Yum!"

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