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Labadee (also Labadie) is a port located on the northern coast of Haiti. It is a private resort leased to the private company Royal Caribbean International until 2050. Royal Caribbean International has contributed the largest proportion of tourist revenue to Haiti since 1986, employing 300 locals, allowing another 200 to sell their wares on the premises for a fee and paying the Haitian government US$10 per tourist, increasing to US$12 in March 2015.
The resort is completely tourist-oriented, and is guarded by a private security force. The site is fenced off from the surrounding area, and passengers are not allowed to leave the property. Food available to tourists is brought from the cruise ships. A controlled group of Haitian merchants are given sole rights to sell their merchandise and establish their businesses in the resort. Although sometimes described as an island in advertisements, it is actually a peninsula contiguous with the island of Hispaniola. The cruise ship moors to the pier at Labadee capable of servicing the Oasis class ships, which was completed in late 2009.
Royal Caribbean's Labadee is really a lush and exciting 260-acre private beach resort formed out of Haiti's moving, dense and verdant green north coast. It's situated some six miles off the Cape Haitian, a town of 190,000 that’s a vital component of Spanish and French colonial history. Based on RCI, Labadee was found in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. Today, it contains an undulating shoreline creating a number of lagoon-like bays, all replete by reefs. An average day in port can encompass scuba diving, all-you-can eat BBQs, zipping above the cerulean waters around the 2,600-feet-lengthy Dragon's Breath Flight Line or just lying back and enjoying the sun and sand.
Where Your're Cruise Ship Docked
Royal Caribbean ships might visit Labadee throughout Eastern and Western Caribbean cruise ships. Included in the $55 million refurb plan in '09, the road just added a 2-slip pier in a position to accommodate the earth's biggest cruise ships, Oasis and Allure from the Seas. The ships were earlier tendered to the port. The periodic ship from Celebrity Cruise ships, RCI's sister brand, also visits Labadee.
Things To see and Do
Attractions include a Haitian flea market, beaches, watersports, a water-oriented playground, a roller-coaster-type ride, and a zip-line.
The main focus is on water sports, and Labadee offers the required fanfare of scuba diving, jetskiing, parasailing, kayaking, power boating and exciting banana boating. Tourists can hire floating beach mats. Rates vary for renting equipments and activities. A set of beach volleyball courts are found on the Eastern tip of the peninsula.
Visitors can swim from the beach, rent snorkeling gear or a personal watercraft to zoom around Labadee Bay or take a guided kayak tour of the Bay. The kayak tour provides views of the mountains, Haitian fishing villages and coral reefs. For a less strenuous activity, board Royal Caribbean's "Discovery" catamaran for a narrated tour of the Haitian coast that takes you past shipwrecks and coral reefs. Kids as well as kids-at-heart can blow off some steam at the Arawak Water Park, a floating water park with inflatable trampolines, water slides and more.
Beach Time
The purpose of a vacation is to relax, and if you want to just put up your feet and soak up some tropical sun, stake out a beach chair and let the staff pamper you with a never-ending supply of umbrella drinks. Once you disembark to the Labadee port, you can take a 20-minute boat ride to Malfini Beach, a quiet tropical paradise with limited space, or stake out a spot at one of the other, more active, beaches. If you brought the kids, they can join activities at the Adventure Ocean Oasis, a special club designed to entertain kids and teens. If you want to shop, pay a visit to the Artisan's Village and Market, where you can bargain with local artisans and vendors for a special souvenir, followed by a visit to a secluded beach.
If lounging at one of the five beaches does not appeal to you, you can take a kayaking tour to a nearby Haitian fishing village, or a narrated coastal tour, snorkel at Amiga Island, enjoy parasailing or a banana boat ride.
Air and Adventure
If you've had enough water, you can check out Labadee from the air. View the beach and surrounding area from 400 feet in the air as you're tethered to a speeding boat for a parasailing trip. Or, take a ride on one of the longest zip lines in the world, the Dragon's Breath Flight Line. The ride begins 500 feet up on a hill overlooking the Labadee Peninsula, and you fly almost a half mile over water to the landing point. If you want to keep your feet on the ground, but still have an exhilarating ride, take a spin on the Dragon's Tail Coaster, a bobsled that twists and turns through the lush greenery of Santa Maria Mountain.
While Labadee has plenty to do, getting there requires a shore excursion from your Royal Caribbean cruise ship. When you book your cruise, you can pre-book and pre-pay for some of the activities, such as the Dragon's Breath Flight Line and Malfini Beach tour. Check with your travel or booking agent; some activities fill up quickly. You can also book some activities while you're on board. Because in most cases you'll only be in Labadee for one day, depending on your cruise itinerary, you'll probably only have time for one or two of the scheduled activities, giving you plenty of time to relax.
Eating Out
Labadee's Dragon's Rock Cafe
A barbeque lunch is served at three different dining venues, which area permanent open-air buildings. Bars are conveniently positioned throughout Labadee and bartenders wander the beach offering sodas and specialty drinks.
Nellie's Passion Bar on Labadee by the Tender Wharf
Make sure you try a “Labaduzee”. This signature frozen drink can be purchased with or without alcohol.
Labadee's Haitian Marketplace
There is a Haitian Marketplace on the grounds, where native crafts can be purchased. These local shops and artisan booths offer Haitian paintings, crafts, coffee and cognac. (Remember to barter). Be aware that all of the prices are negotiable and expect to encounter strong sales and negotiating tactics.
A large local artisan's market has also blossomed next to the Haitian market. Look for bargains on wood carvings, paintings, dolls, basketry, clothing, beads, jewelry and just about everything else you can imagine. Be prepared to bargain by offering about half of the asking price as a beginning point.

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