Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret

One of my favorite job responsibilities is to make sure my team of Certified Vacation Planners are always aware of the outstanding vacation experiences Royal Caribbean International offers. And this includes the amazing destinations we visit throughout the world on our fleet of 22 ships. My name is Ken Muskat, and I am the Vice President of Consumer Outreach. Our guests have a variety of ways to book their cruise vacation based on what is best suited for them. Whether you choose to book through a Professional Travel Agent, through our website or through our team of Certified Vacation Planners, it is our goal to ensure all offer the guidance, professionalism and expertise you expect.

As a result, I like to take advantage of the fact that I can vacation on the best cruise line in the world, and bring my experiences back to my team so they are trained on the most up to date information and can pass that along to their customers. Most recently I sailed on Liberty of the Seas for New Years. This five-night cruise departing from Ft. Lauderdale visited our private beach destination, Labadee, and one of our newest ports of call, Falmouth, Jamaica. I was so excited about this cruise because I had never been to Falmouth, and while I have visited Labadee many times, there was a host of new offerings that I had not experienced and was very much looking forward to.

Falmouth was incredible and offers a huge variety of shore excursions that leverage its unique positioning between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, Jamaica. But what I wanted to spend my time writing about is our private beach destination of Labadee. I call it the “Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret” because you’d never have the opportunity to experience it unless you sailed with Royal Caribbean. It is by far one of the best Caribbean ports I have ever been to. Many people, especially experienced cruisers, think once they have seen one private beach they have seen them all. But Labadee offers experiences and views that you will not find at any other private beach destination.

I don’t know about you, but when I go on vacation I don’t mind spoiling myself some. I took advantage of the new private cabana offering on Labadee and all I can say is WOW. There are 20 cabanas in Barefoot Beach which are available to suite guests to reserve. The Concierge onboard the ship will contact suite guests to see if they would like to purchase a cabana. If there are remaining cabanas left after the suite guests are contacted, they are made available for anyone else to purchase.

The rental fee for the day includes the cabana (complete with fan, cushioned lounge chairs and coolers of water), floating beach mats, a private lunch buffet area, use of towels and a personal cabana attendant. This completely blew me away and I can’t stress enough how worth the money this is. The attendants truly deliver the Royal Advantage with outstanding service and cater to your every need. Due to the popularity of the cabanas, we are adding additional cabanas on Nellie’s Beach and they will be available to reserve online starting with sailings on or after January 16, 2012. Oh, and did I forget to mention the limo service they provide? Well, beach limo that is. If you need to go anywhere they are happy to drive you around in golf carts.

After getting settled in our cabana, we immediately went to do the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line which is the Caribbean’s longest zip line over water. The staff does a great job teaching you the proper way to zip line and even have a practice course to complete before you head up the mountain for the real thing. The ride up the mountain is an experience itself, but once you get to the top it is simply breathtaking. The ship is in the distance and you are overlooking the entire of Labadee. When you stand on the ledge about to go, it is this overwhelming feeling of OMG – but once you push off, it is like you are bird flying through the air without a care in the world. As you come toward the end of the zip line, the ship’s photographer is there to take a photo of you and you’ll want to buy this for the memories.

But wait, there is still more. We had one more thing to do before relaxing in our cabana and that was the new Dragon’s Tail Coaster. This is an alpine roller coaster that was recently built and I had never experienced it before. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was not disappointed. Labadee is very mountainous and full of foliage. This coaster takes you up through the mountain as you click, click, click up the track, and then you simply go flying down the mountain with twists and turns that even had me screaming with excitement. Now granted, you control the speed of your car, and being the fast driver I am everyday on I-95, I figured I’d keep it full throttle. At 40 miles per hour, I had a blast. We all got off the coaster and got right back in line to ride again. Finally we made our way to our cabana to enjoy nothing but relaxation for the rest of the day. The private lunch area is great and the frozen drinks (delivered by our cabana attendant) were plentiful. The stairs from the cabana went right into the water where we just soaked up the sun on our floating beach mats. This was truly heaven (and much deserved because we work pretty hard at Royal Caribbean). The Labadee experience is great for all ages and for those of you who have never visited, trust me, you will be pleasantly surprised and hooked from the moment you step off the ship. Speaking of that, I forgot to mention that a dock was built at Labadee two years ago so there is no need to tender anymore!

This is just a sampling of what Labadee has to offer, and I hope you can experience it for yourself in the very near future. I am heading back in March of this year and already counting down the days.

43 responses to:
“The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret”

  1. Pat

    I was wonderin how much a cabana for four would cost:? Thanks

    • Adam

      Hi Pat, please click here to view beach cabana prices.

  2. Haydee Lozano

    I agree with you 100%, we just came back from our 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean, ours have always been Carnival cruises, and even thought we have never had any problems with them, I think Royal is a top notch over. We visited the ports you are talking about it, and you are right, we really enjoy that beautiful water, and everything else that they had to offer. We are happy campers with Royak Caribbean. Sincerely, Mrs. Lozano

    • Adam

      We’re glad to hear it, Haydee. We appreciate your comments.

  3. Carol Bradley

    I’ve been to Labadee twice. It quickly became my favorite port of call . . . unlike any other port I have visited! I’ve had the privilege of occupying one of the cabanas on Barefoot Beach (your description is right on target), ridden on the Dragon’s Tail Coaster, and experienced the zip line. I even took pictures while actually on the zip line (I posted some of the pictures on the RCI FaceBook page). By the way, I am a senior citizen and I plan to do it all again on my next RCI cruise!

    Everything about Labadee is incredible . . . almost more that words can describe.

    • Adam

      It’s great to hear you had such a great time in Labadee, Carol. Thanks for posting pictures on our page and we hope you do the same again after your next cruise.

  4. John Mason

    I wish that all RCCL ships that did the western itineraries went to Labadee. We were last there in 2007 and are looking forward to going sometime again in the future.

    • Adam

      Thanks for voicing your opinion, John. We appreciate your feedback.

  5. Tom Kilmartin

    I was wondering what are the costs associated with a day on Labadee. Although I believe you use your SeaPass card from the ship for drinks, is there a listing of costs for other amenities ( ie – wave runners, snorkel gear, floating mats, lounges, the zip line, the coaster…). If you could provide me with such a list it would be extremely helpfulNto my group. Thanks…

    tjk

    • Cindy

      Check RCCL website and look under excursions. You will find pricing.

    • Adam

      Hi Tom, please click here for Shore and Land Excursions for Labadee. We hope this helps.

  6. Cindy

    We just loved Labadee. My hubby did the zip line..I’m afraid of heights…. The bbq was good, the place is beautiful, clean and relaxing. This would be a great place to do an overnight. Do a huge night beach party…what fun!!!!You should consider it. Why go to another beach and spend our drink money when we can spend it there?
    I was a little disappointed in the art and crafts. We could tell it was mass produced stuff and the people kept telling us no preassure and almost dragging us into their booth. After about 5 or so we left without visiting the other booths. Would’ve loved to help out the people of Haiti, but we were a little disturbed by that. I think that was our favorite day on that cruise. We were impressed.

    • Adam

      Sounds like you had a great time in Labadee, Cynthia. Do you have any plans to return?

  7. Florence Shelly

    Oh Ken, your article makes me want to go back to Labadee for sure. My cruise visit was back before the dock or the zip line and cabana’s as well? Sounds so inviting. Thanks for the update.

    • Adam

      Glad you appreciate the update, Florence. We hope you can make it back to Labadee soon.

  8. Terri Davis

    How many people can a cabana accomadate? If we have more than 2 do the rest get towels and Lunch Buffet. I see a price for the floating beach mats, but not the towels or lunch buffet. how much do they cost for the additional people?

    • Adam

      Hi Terri, the cabanas can accommodate 4-5 guests.

  9. Marilyn Brooks

    Thanks Ken for the awesome review! One of the highlights for us on our Oasis cruise was the cabana too. We can’t wait to relive the relaxing and “Royal” pampered experience while listening to the waves and feeling the cool palm breezes in our cabana when we sail on the Allure this month.

    Happy cruising,
    Marilyn Brooks

    • Adam

      Thanks Marilyn, it will be great to have you back onboard.

  10. Mary Anne Wilson

    We have a family cruise in January 2013. It will be going to Labadee on the Indy. How much is the cost of a cabana?

    • Adam

      Hi Mary Anne, you can view beach cabana prices here. Enjoy your cruise.

  11. Janet Fabian

    OMG the zip ride in Labadee was the thrill of my life time. I waited a long time to do it and everyone with me was betting I was going to back out (I am almost 60). I showed them. I am ready to do it again. I would have gone a second time that trip but it was just a little pricey.

    • Adam

      We’re glad you liked it, Janet! We hope you can relive that experience soon.

  12. Tania

    Labadee is the BEST island you will see on your trip. It is so pretty and the water is perfect. The lunch you get is great. O how I wish I was in Labadee.

    • Adam

      We hope to see you back in Labadee soon, Tania!

  13. Karol

    Royal Caribbean is my favorite cruise line. Almost all the amenities on the ship are great for people of all ages.

    We loved Laberdee. Have been there 4 times on different ships. Also enjoyed Falsmouth, Jamaica.

    RCCL should have more ships in the Tampa Bay area on a year round basis.

    • Adam

      That’s great to hear, Karol. And thank you for your suggestion.

  14. Marsha Wilcox

    Nice descriptions Ken, I could almost see it! I never knew Labadee was mountainous.

    • Adam

      Marsha, we hope you can visit our private beach destination of Labadee soon!

  15. Renee

    We spent Christmas Day in Labadee. My sons rode the zip line. It was the best day ! My son took a great picture of labadee and the ship from the top of the zip line which now hangs over my desk ( 20 x 30 ). we can’t wait to go back!

    • Adam

      We’re glad all of you had a great time, Renee. Also, we’d love for you to share your son’s picture on our Facebook page. Hope to see you again soon.

  16. Tamara

    What country is Labadee in?

    • Adam

      Hi Tamara, Labadee is in Haiti. Click here to learn more about this port of call: Labadee, Haiti

  17. STEPHEN. F. SOSTILIO.

    I LOVE ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINE. I HAVE BEEN GIVEN A CHANCE BY ROYAL TO FILL (45 PERSONS) ON A LUNCH CRUISE SHIP TOUR ON 05/20/12. – “FREEDOM OF THE SEAS”. I AM HAPPY AS WELL AS HONORED TO DO SO. (I HAVE ALREADY FILLED HALF ON LAST LUNCH TOUR)- I HAVE THOUGHT OF A FEW WAYS TO HELP ROYAL AND EVEN CREATE A NEW POSITION. BUT DO NOT JUST WANT TO SAY WHAT IT IS AT THIS TIME. – BUT CAN SEE IT AS SOMETHING THAT CAN MAKE THIS CRUISE LINE MILLIONS AS WELL AS SET UP FOR FUTURE CRUISES, AND THE MONEY INVOLVED IN THAT. I’M NOT SURE HOW TO GO FORWARD WITH THIS WARE I WILL BE PROTECTED & MORE. – P.S. I MET ADAM PERSONALLY, & HAVE A PICTURE WITH HIM ON THE DAY OASIS CAME IN. I DROVE 6HRS ONE WAY. IT WAS A GREAT DAY. i have been on 3 royal cruises in the past 4 months. i would like to do more & am planning now… your friend, Steve. steveareno@netscape.com

    • Adam

      Thanks for your kind words, Stephen. If you’d still like to talk to someone, please reach out to one of our representatives at this number: (800) 398-9819

  18. Brenda

    Hi, I am an Aussie and hubby and I were fortunate to cruise on the Rhapsody (Nov 2011) and The Radiance (Feb 2012). Loved them both. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Chef’s Table (on The Radiance), we would definately do it again. We are booked to go on the Vogager in Feb 2013, and WE CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
    All of us Aussies would luv to see more of the bigger ships come out here, if possible……..
    Thanks again Royal Caribbean for the best holidays ever….

    • Adam

      We’re excited to have you both back onboard, Brenda. We appreciate your suggestion and we’ll see you next February.

  19. Jean P. Joseph

    I recently cruised on the Liberty to Labadee. This was a breathtaking experience and the most beautiful place I have ever visited in the Caribbean. I strongly encourage everyone to visit Labadee on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

    While I was over there, I observed that the food and drink served on the beach were all disembarked from the ship at our arrival early in the morning. However, I noticed that the trash (plastic bottles, cans etc.) stayed on the island after we left. Given my concern about environmental issues and knowing that Labadee is an isolated area in Haiti with no public garbage disposal service, I am curious as to how does Royal Caribbean dispose the garbage left behind while protecting the environment around such a paradise resort? Does anyone know?

    • Adam

      Hi Jean, we’re glad you enjoyed the experience at Labadee and that you’re thinking about the environmental impacts of your cruise vacation. You are correct in your observations in that most of the food and beverages served at Labadee are transported via our ships; this is done not only to maintain consistent supply of quality food, but also to avoid putting any additional stress in a region that struggles with food insecurity. Haiti also has limited waste management services, so all waste is dealt with directly on our site, where we first attempt to donate, recycle and/or reuse as many items as possible. The remaining dry garbage is incinerated.

  20. Deanna

    I was looking at the prices & I just want to confirm that a cabana rental is $175, which includes up to 6 people? It’s confusing because he chart states $175 for adults & $175 for children but then it says in the text that the cabana rental is NOT per person but per cabana. Can you please clarify?

    • Adam

      Hi Deanna, Cabana rental can include up to 6 people and is $175. We hope this helped answer your question.

  21. Brenda

    Before scheduling shore excursions, I would like to see some reviews from passengers that went on the shore excursions to see if they enjoyed it, if it was worth the money, and if they would choose it again or would choose something else given the opportunity to make a change.

    GC01 Cayman Pirates Encounter
    Which one is the better excursion from the 2 below and gives you more time in the water with the Dolphins?
    GCA9 Dolphin Encounter & Turtle Farm
    GC95 Dolphin Cove Kiss Encounter
    CZ13 Fury Catamaran Snorkel & Beach Break
    We seen several options here in combining activities –
    FY58 Dunns Rivers Falls Express

    Hope you can provide a link where passengers review the various shore excursions and rate them.
    Thanks much

    • Adam

      Hi Brenda, please feel free to visit our Facebook discussion tab and ask our community for their thoughts & opinions on the shore excursions you listed. We appreciate your question and we’re confident our Facebook community will be able to assist you with your request.

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