Labadee, Haiti Cruise Port
- Overview of Labadee
- What language is spoken in Labadee?
- What is the national currency in Haiti?
- How do I get around Labadee?
- How can I stay in touch with home? Either via Email or phone?
- What are the top attractions and must-sees in Labadee? How long will it take me to get there and to explore?
- What are the best eats in Labadee?
- What are the must-drinks in Labadee?
- Which are the best souvenirs to buy in Labadee? Where can I get them?
- What is the weather like in Labadee?
Labadee, located on the north coast of Haiti, is a private area, leased to and operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. The small peninsula on which Labadee lies is quite a ways from where the 2010 earthquake struck. It is safe, fenced and well guarded, so there is no reason to be concerned about safety. Many people have expressed mixed feelings about this port, due to the contrast in the luxuries of the port and the extreme poverty that people just outside the private area are enduring; Others will argue that the money brought in by the cruise ship passengers ($6 per cruise passenger goes to the Haitian government) is a positive and essential force for the local economy of the Haitian people. Regardless of your position, the beauty of Labadee's lush tropical scenery and pristine beaches are without argument.
Check out this panoramic view of Labadee from on-board Explorer of the Seas↑ Back to Top
English with a strong French/Creole accent is spoken by most if not all employees and vendors.↑ Back to Top
Haiti has its own currency, but US Dollars are used in the Labadee. If you want some Haitian money to add to your collection, vendors will sell you some.
Do they accept US Dollars around the port?
Yes, dollars are accepted in the marketplace and for tips, but you will use your SeaPass (same as on the cruise ship) for drinks and just about everything else.
Where can I get or exchange money?
There is no need to exchange or even carry money (in most cases) on Labadee. Everything (with the exception of souvenirs) can be charged to your cruise account.
- Banks closest to cruise port: There are no banks on Labadee.
- ATMs closest to cruise port: There are no ATMs on Labadee, so the closest ATM to the port would be on the ship in the Casino.
Labadee is only 260 acres (approximately 0.4 square miles), which means most everything is within walking distance.
Water taxis are available at the Welcome Center to take you to the five beach areas and surrounding points on the island.
There are no mini buses, taxis, rental cars or scooters on Labadee. However, there are some shuttles/trams that run to and from destination within the compound.↑ Back to Top
Labadee is run by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, therefore there are no Internet Cafes or locations from which you can make an international call at a reduced rate. You are pretty much stuck with the ship to shore and your cell phone rates.
How can I call home? Are there call centers?
Your best bet is to either wait until your next port or call from your cell phone or stateroom.
Where are the Internet cafes?
There are no Internet cafes on Labadee.
What are the cell phone rates?↑ Back to Top
What are the top attractions and must-sees in Labadee? How long will it take me to get there and to explore?
- The Dragon's Breath Flight Line, at almost half a mile long, is the longest zip line over water in the world. This attraction will take you 500 feet above the beaches of Labadee, zipping down at speeds of over 40 miles an hour. This thrill ride is not meant for the faint of heart and those with a bad neck and/or back are not recommended participants.
Check out this video that takes you down the zip line.
- The Dragon's Tail Coaster is a 680 foot high, mountain side rollercoaster. With speeds of up to 30 mph, this coaster provides the rush of a conventional roller coaster with the beautiful views from the mountain side of the beaches and cove below.
Check out this video that takes you down and around on the Dragon's Tail Coaster.
- The Arawak Aqua Park is the largest Aqua Park in the Caribbean. The Aqua Park has everything from giant in-water floating trampolines to water slides. This attraction is truly fun for all ages.
There are five beaches in Labadee.
Nellie’s Beach is the main beach, and just to the left of the Welcome Center, and tends to get very crowded.
Columbus Beach is to the right of the Welcome Center and is where the Arawak Aqua Park is located. Columbus Beach is a less crowded option than Nellie's Beach.
Barefoot Beach is the second beach to the left of the Welcome Center. Barefoot Beach also has oasis-like spa facilities and private cabanas.
Hideaway Beach is the third beach to the left of the Welcome Center and at the end of the peninsula. Water shoes are recommended at this beach, as there are some rocks and sea urchins that could ruin your day if you are not careful and/or properly prepared.
Dragon’s Tail Beach is named for the rock formation nearby that resembles a dragon, but it is not recommended for swimming as there are many jellyfish and sea urchins. Some say that waves coming into this beach sounds like a dragon breathing. One thing unique to this beach is the people over head zooming over down the longest zip-line over water in the Caribbean.
The cruise line staff who help you select and set up a beach chair appreciate a tip. Waiters roam throughout the main beaches taking drink orders - healthy tipping will help them find you regularly.↑ Back to Top
Note: When shopping on Labadee, you may find vendors to be aggressive (similar to other ports), but willing to haggle. There are both indoor shops and open air shops with the usual hand-made crafts and other souvenirs. There are, however, no vendors on the beach itself. Note that most of the vendors on Labadee accept cash only.
There are plenty beautiful works of art being sold by vendors: paintings, masks, statues, etc. Be aware that bringing any type of wooden product through customs into the United States from Haiti may be a problem – the wooden statues, bowls, etc. made in Haiti have been known to have a wood-boring beetle which causes the problem with US Customs.↑ Back to Top
There is no golf course on Labadee.↑ Back to Top
There is no scuba diving available, but snorkel equipment can be rented so that you can explore the reef and the sunken airplane just off shore. Be aware that there are sometimes jellyfish in the area, and that it is mandatory that you wear a flotation device even if you bring your own equipment. Inflatable vests can be rented for about $6 USD. There are also snorkel tours available: Labadee Snorkel Safari↑ Back to Top
- Discover Haiti Coastal Cruise offers scenic views of Haiti's impressive landscapes, reefs and coastline. As you enjoy this leisurely cruise along the northern coast of Haiti, you will learn of this country's rich cultural history from your tour guide. Food and drink are available to purchase onboard.
- The Haitian Cultural Tour at Paradise Cove & Beach Break offers a beguiling and vivid look into Haiti's fascinating culture. You will be taken by water taxi to Paradise Cove. From here you will visit Le Village where you will get a glimpse of Haiti today and in the past. Your welcome drink floating mats and beach chairs are included. Bring your swimsuit, sunscreen and towel to enjoy the beautiful beach.
Check out this video for a look into this tour.
- The Labadee Historic Walking Tour is the tour for the person that wants to know the history of the destinations they visit. You will visit the ruins of Nelli's Tower, listen to the breathing Dragon's Rock and learn about over 500 years of Haitian history. This tour involves quite a bit of walking, so make sure you are in good enough physical condition to participate.
If you like the food onboard, we have good news for you - the food on Labadee is the same buffet-style meals as prepared on the ship.
Where are the best places to get them?
There are several food areas set up around the Labadee, near the attractions and beaches. If you look forward to sampling some local fare, you will have to wait for the next port on the itinerary.↑ Back to Top
The Labaduzee is the official drink of Labadee. Made with dark rum, coconut rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, papaya juice, and cream of coconut... the Labaduzee should come with its own hammock.
DO NOT drink the water on Labadee, as it is not potable; drink the bottled water is available for purchase all over the resort.
Where is the best place to get them?
There are several bars located at the beaches. You can go to the bar or have the waiters bring the bar to you.↑ Back to Top
Hand woven purses/bags make excellent gifts and/or souvenirs. The craftsmanship in the Labadee market is quite good for the price. Some of the wood crafts are also quite good, but remember to be careful of the wood crafts sold in Haiti and the issue with the bugs that will often ruin this wood and could become an issue when trying to bring in these items through U.S. Customs.
Rhum Barbancourt is regarded as one of the finest rums in the world and is Haiti's most famous export. The Rhum Barbancourt line consists of five distinct rums, from the kind you mix in cocktails to the kind you sip like cognac. Either way it makes a fine gift or souvenir.
There are some very good and colorful paintings available from local artists at the Artisans Market. Some of these paintings are available at a fraction of the cost of similar art in the U.S.↑ Back to Top
Since the "Current Temperature" for Labadee is not available, below is the current temperature for Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic which is the nearest big costal city.
Average Monthly Temperatures and Rainfall in Labadee↑ Back to Top
Eastern Caribbean Cruise Ports:
- Catalina Island, Dominican Republic
- Coco Cay, Bahamas
- Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
- Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
- La Romana, Dominican Republic
- Labadee, Haiti
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Samana, Dominican Republic
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
- St. Maarten / St. Martin
- St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
- St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
- Tortola, British Virgin Islands