It sounds pretty badass whenever you hear of a “private island”. So it was pretty badass when we visited Royal Caribbean’s private island, Labadee. Located on the north end of Haiti, the Labadee cruise port is actually a private resort peninsula leased to Royal Caribbean Cruises until 2050.
We visited Labadee as part of the cruise itinerary on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. Read about why you should cruise Anthem of the Seas here. The best part about this cruise port is that you don’t have to join any excursions – just lounge on the beach and call it a day. Here are the top attractions in Labadee:
Dragon’s Breath Flight Line & Dragon’s Tail Coaster
Take the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line down the side of a mountain attached to a 2600 foot long flight line, 500 feet above the beaches of Labadee. This is the longest zip line in the world over water. The momentary adrenaline rush comes with a hefty $99USD price tag. Dragon’s Tail Coaster is an alpine-style coaster ride that sends you coasting at 30 miles per hour. Both of these attractions need to be pre-booked with Royal Caribbean.
Take in a bird’s-eye view while soaring 400 feet above Labadee on a tandem parasail ride. I have an aversion to heights so I debated for a long time whether I should even parasail, but in the end I had a lot of fun.
The small speedboat that took us out to the middle of the water was so choppy, it left me with motion sickness all day. Note to self: bring motion sickness meds next time. Then, they did a demo on how to wear the harness. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the ascent and descent turned out. Parasailing needs to be booked well in advance and gets filled up quickly. We were only able to get a spot due to a cancellation.
Straight from parasailing, we went on a WaveRunner excursion. I didn’t know at the time, but there’s a compartment at the front of the WaveRunner that’s big enough to store a beach bag. I had stowed mine in an unlocked locker and was relieved that everything was still there! We got to ride the WaveRunner far out into the water and to another part of the peninsula. While on the ride, Haitian merchants on kayaks came up to the group with their souvenirs.
Rather than doing a water sport, you can just soak in the sun on one of the many beaches. At Adrenaline Beach, you can watch zip liners come down over the water. Columbus Cove has an aqua park and Nellie’s Beach is a small cove – this one was my favourite. Because we went parasailing and WaveRunning, we didn’t have much time left to chill out on the beach. All the loungers are provided but cabanas need to be rented.
The water was a little rocky and some parts were filled with algae, but overall the water was crystal clear with white sandy beaches.
What’s a beach without beach volleyball?! There is a set time for the passengers vs. crew tournament.
BBQ Lunch Buffet
As an extension of Royal Caribbean’s food services, there is complimentary lunch offered at a number of sites throughout Labadee. The availability of the BBQ buffet is limited to certain hours and we only caught the tail end of lunch after our water sports.
I have to say that it made me feel uneasy knowing that in other parts of Haiti, thousands of people are still living in tents, after the earthquake in 2010 while cruise passengers were living it up on the other side of Haiti. It was a slight relief knowing that tourism from Royal Caribbean has contributed to Haiti’s economy and the ships carry food aid and relief supplies. The cruise line has also pledged $1 million to Haiti’s relief effort.
Have you been to Labadee, Haiti cruise port? What were your thoughts of the island?