WEARING: Crop Top from FOREVER XXI | Skirt from ASOS | Flip Flops from MICHAEL KHORS | Sunglasses from BCBG Max Azria |
~ Sunshine, blue skies, clear water, refreshing breeze ~
In early December, I embarked on my first cruise adventure and I must say, it was much better than I expected. It absolutely blew all my misconceptions about cruising away. Stay tuned for my review of the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. For now, I’ll address what you can do on the islands of the Western Caribbean cruise. The ship docks every island for 8 – 10 hrs so time is limited and advance planning is key. Although I did not plan mine thoroughly, I’d like to share what I did so you can learn from my mistakes.
FIRST STOP: Labadee, Haiti
A place I have never heard of before… a resort in the northern coast of Haiti leased to the Royal Caribbean International until 2050. So don’t worry folks, you still have about 35 years to stop there abroad the Royal Caribbean cruise lines. If you’ve fallen in love with this place after this review, hurry on and book your cruise!
Since it was a tourist-focused resort, there was nothing Haitian about it except for the fact that I was on Haitian land. You definitely cannot experience the local culture and the closest locals you can meet will be those working there. The shipped docked from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm on Day 3. Personally, I did not explore or spend a lot of time here since I slept in and only left the ship in the afternoon. I got a few hours of resort roaming and beach chilling time.
[Above: Semi-Panoramic view of Labadee upon leaving the ship]
How to dress for the day?
If you intend to be adventurous and booked some excursions, wear something comfortable and convenient such as t-shirt and shorts. December weather in Labadee is in the high 20s degrees Celsius with some cool breezes. Of all the ports, I enjoyed the weather here the most because it wasn’t humid nor chilly – perfect for tanning without getting toasted.
Below are must-bring items for excursions:
- A backpack or bag for the day to hold all your items (ideally something with a zipper)
- A cap or sunhat
- Bottle of water
- Wear runners/comfortable casual shoes with an extra pair of socks
You don’t need to bring a towel since it is the Royal Caribbean resort, they have towels everywhere for you. You can also sign one out on your way off the ship.
For me, I partied too late on the ship the night before, and thus slept in. I left the ship at 1:00 pm so I didn’t have much time to do any activities – WHICH I ABSOLUTELY REGRET! Hence, my wardrobe that day was for fashion and not convenience. I wanted to wear something light, breezy and weather appropriate. Bought this maroon mini skirt with a see-thru wrap a while back and never found the right weather and occasion to wear it (this is quite difficult for Toronto), it turned out to be perfect.
THINGS TO DO:
The one thing you must do, (although I didn’t…) is the Dragon’s Breath Zip Line excursion going up to speeds of 40-50 miles per hour and 500 feet above the beach. I can only imagine how breathtaking the view is looking at it from below. It starts at the top of the lookout mountain and lands at Dragon’s Breath Rock. Definitely one of my regrets from this trip. How much is it do you ask?
Prices starting from:
*115.86 CAD (Adult)
*115.86 CAD (Child)
*0.00 CAD (Infant)
I know its a bit steep for only zip-lining, which is why I opted out in the first place…but there are amazing reviews on TripAdvisor. But if you have never zip lined before, then this would be the perfect first time experience. Interested? Read more about it here.
Not really into Zip Line? There are other options such as the Arawak Aqua Park and Water Slide. Find out here.
There are plentiful of markets when you walk into Town Square. But of course, there are hagglers and loads of shop owners flagging you down. But there are one place I do recommend visiting where they may leave you shop a bit more at peace, the ARTISAN’S MARKET. Here, you can find some souvenirs and crafty items for the artsy you.
Don’t feel like being active or shop? No problem! The island is filled with beaches all around. I found the map below online via Cruise Critic to show where they all are.
Adrenaline Beach is where the cabanas are available for rent, the beach along the coast home of the Dragon’s Breach Zip Line and Dragon’s Tail Coaster. I was here because it had the most space but definitely not the best one on the island. The water has large rocks and not very soothing for the foot. So, you notice that not many are in the water but just laying around tanning. The cabanas are awesome but super expensive. If I remember correctly, it was around $200 USD for the day.
Columbus Cove – where most cruisers can be found. Why? It has an awesome view of the ship and super soft sand in the waters. I would recommend coming here early to grab a spot. This is also where you will find the Dragon’s Splash Waterslide.
Barefoot Beach Club – private beach with cabanas only available for top suite guests. (Them fancy people)
I hope this overview and introduction to Labadee can give you a better idea and help you decide your next cruise destination Please continue to look forward to my Labadee Travel Diary filled with photographic memories and summary of other islands. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Happy Cruising!