Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Port Day in Labadee, Haiti// Royal Caribbean's Private Beach

I know I am super behind on these posts, since we went on our cruise back in November (you can read the first two posts here and here), but I am finally putting the finishing touches on our cruise recaps, with our day in Labadee.

The cruise ship docked at the tip of the island, onto Royal Caribbean's private stretch of beach. Honestly, as fun of a day as it was, I am not sure what my thoughts actually are on the private islands/ beaches. I really wanted to explore some of Haiti and get a true feel for the culture, but there is no way to get off of the private strip. It was really nice to have a relaxing day, but one of the things I love so much about cruising is the change to experience new places while still have the ship perks while traveling between destinations. If we ever end up back in Labadee, we will probably try to rent jet-skis, as that seemed like the best way to at least see some of the rest of the coast line of the whole island, as opposed to just Royal Caribbean's section of it. Even though we hadn't known that the jet-skis would give us a little more freedom, we did make the most of our day in Labadee!
We began our day by finding a place to lay our stuff before heading to hop on the Dragon's Tail mountain coaster. If you like more privacy, head to the far end of the beach (directly under the zip line). People tended to stop at the first lounge chair they saw, to put their stuff down. We kept walking a bit further until we were at the very edge of the island, where the rocks block off the sea to form the calm cove of water to swim in (section pictured above in the bottom right corner). We were almost the only ones there for the first hour or so. It did get a bit more crowded, but we walked the entire property and it still seemed like the least crowded option.

We then went to hop on the mountain coaster experience that they have on the island. Honestly, it was really hard trying to decide between the zip line and the coaster, because we had heard such great things about the zip line that goes out over the water. We had done zip lines other places though and were SO glad we picked the coaster!! It's a bobsled like coaster, that sits on metal tracks and you control the speed yourself. It was a blast!! It was also dead! There was no wait at all, whereas the zip line experience had TONS of people!! The coaster was also a lot less expensive than the zip lining. We actually got an awesome bang for our buck and here's how: when we booked we bought two tickets, one for each of us. There is an option for all day access, but we didn't think we would want to do it enough to justify the difference. So, when we got there to do the coaster, the attendant asked if we wanted to ride together or separate. I knew that Babe was going to want to get to be the driver at least once, but I wanted to ride together (one person basically sits in the others lap). Since we each had a ticket, I asked if we could use them per sled, basically meaning could we go twice if we rode together. One with him driving, the other turn with me driving (driving isn't the best term; you don't control direction, just speed- by handbrake). The lady was super nice and said ok! So that insured two rides! Then when we were done with our second ride I asked the guy at the bottom (who was helping unload) if there was any way to go again (never hurts to ask y'all), since there was no one there. He said yes, if we made sure to tip the attendants working. No problem!! Beats having to pay for a whole other ticket (it did require Babe to take a long walk back to the ship though, as we had no cash// we tipped $10). Anyways, that's how we basically got 3 turns for the price of 1! I could not recommend the coaster ride more!! It was so fast, a little scary (just what we love), and provided INCREDIBLE views!! It also lasted a lot longer than the zip line did, so win-win in our book!
After getting our fill of adrenaline, we took to the crystal clear water for a swim! It was glorious! Do be careful though, as there are some rocks that you can stub your toes or scratch your feet on. They are closer to the snorkeling area that is near the rock barrier. You can rent snorkel gear (we didn't), but next time we will remember to bring ours! We then lounged a little while longer and went to grab lunch before we packed up our stuff to head to the other side of the beach for our time slot on the water inflatable park.

We chose to do the water inflatable park, in which you book an hour time slot to enjoy the slides, climbing iceberg, water trampolines, obstacle course, etc. We have done this before and usually love it, and while this time was no different, I think we may be nearing the end of our inflatable play days. 30 may be the cut off- haha!! We were out there with a lot of kids, though there were some other people a bit older than us out there making it happen. We didn't even make it through the full hour and we were beat!! We did make it to the top of the iceberg though! So I felt accomplished!! Babe would like me to note, that we did make it ALMOST through the hour. We finally called it quits with about 10 minutes left and swam back to the dock to go enjoy the rest of the afternoon sitting in the shade playing rummy. Quite a perfect mix of adventurous fun, followed by old people rest time!!

On our way back to the boat we checked out the walk to the lookout point. Do NOT miss this!! It's a beautiful walk, barely no one was there, and it provided beautiful views of the rest of the island. It also passes the spa, which would be another thing to consider for the future as the massage rooms are open to the ocean, but provide privacy from the land. A massage with a view like that?! Yes, please! Especially after a full week of active adventures!!

We loved our time on Labadee, filled our day as full as we could and then headed back to the ship to sail back home!


Ok, now I'm ready to head back out to sea! 
Who's with me? Anyone else done a cruises private beach? 
What are your thoughts? 

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5 comments:

  1. I felt like I was on that coaster with you! lol Bummer that you couldn't really explore Haiti but the island looked beautiful and you guys had a great time on the mountain coaster!

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    2. Haha! Glad it made you feel part of the experience! We really did have an awesome time, even without being about to see more of Haiti.

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  2. I know that my boyfriend would want to go on the mountain coaster but I think I'd be fine with snorkeling ;) Anyway it seems that Labadee is absolutely gorgeous no matter what you decide to go for!

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  3. Hmm you do make that coaster sound fantastic but I don't think I'd manage it! Sun sea and sand would be perfect though :)

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