The long zipline looks like it would be a blast. It's waaaaaay up there, and the people screaming overhead are moving fast as they take a minute-long ride on Dragon's Breath, the world's longest zipline over water.
I just can't get past that price tag of $109, though. Plus, you have to commit more than an hour of time getting instructions, strapping into gear and taking a test run on a short practice line.
Maybe someday, but this time I have other plans for my visit to Labadee. Royal Caribbean's private cruise port has been purpose built on a gorgeous peninsula on the northern coast of Haiti, and we aim to take full advantage of a sunny day and a chance to relax and play in the warm waters.
The resort area is large and offers several beach areas. So passengers can come ashore and spread out in their own space quite easily. This isn't always the case in some cruise lines' private port destinations, but Labadee is well-designed and offers tons to do when you visit.
We enjoy the sun but also need to frequently escape into the shade for a break. The cabana gave us lovely views of the cove, and we had a comfy space to drop our beach bags, snorkel gear, cameras and other items while we explored the rest of the resort. We needed an accessible overwater beach cabanas on Labadee because we were traveling with a family member who needed a wheelchair. Passengers can get a beach wheelchair to use on a first-come availability basis, and the fat-wheeled devices work well and can be pushed on the sand.
Our group loved the cushioned lounge chairs in the cabana, and our steward set us up with the included cooler full of ice and bottles of water. The cabana stewards and many other staffers on the resort are Haitian, and it was nice to chat with our new friend who was eager to tell us about his country and was helpful in getting us a bucket of beers or any other items we might have needed.
It was a nice treat to have such attentive service and a comfortable and secure place as we ran into and out of the warm waters all day. Our Labadee beach cabana also included two floating mats that were fantastic for a little bit of relaxing while on the water. We also snorkeled and saw others kayaking in the cove at Nellie's Beach.
Snorkeling -- Bring your own gear and hop in the water at numerous areas around the resort. We didn't see much at our snorkel spot (a few fish), but we didn't venture too far from the cove. For a good snorkel spot on Labadee, try Adrenaline Beach. Royal Caribbean ships also offer snorkeling excursions (fee) and take you out to places that might have good coral and fish to explore. The ships also sell snorkel gear if you didn't bring your own.
Arawak Aqua Park -- For $20 an hour you can splash around in the play area, which has a trampolines, slides, balance beams and a floating rock to climb up and slide down.
Columbus Cove -- The beach area adjacent to Arawak Aqua Park and next to the Dragon's Splash water slide (for $24 slide all day on this 300-foot-long attraction) features water sports rental equipment like parasailing and jet skis.
Dragon's Breath zipline and Dragon's Tail roller coaster -- The zipline ($109) starts out 500 feet high and drops you 2,600 feet away. You can reach speeds of 50 mph, and five lines run at a time, filling the sky with screaming riders racing high above Adrenaline Beach. The roller coaster (for $36, ride all day) is a single-car ride that rockets you down the hillside with twists and turns, reaching 30 mph during a four-minute journey.
Shopping -- A marketplace is filled with Haitian vendors eager to bargain with you as you look to grab a souvenir from your trip. The cash-only businesses accept U.S. dollars, and you can buy art, hats, handbags and colorful scarves.
The best part is the convenience. After a nice lunch during which acrobats come around and put on a vibrant show (they pass the hat for well-earned tips), we grabbed a couple Labadoozies to sip as we headed back to our cabana for more swimming. A Labadoozie is the signature cocktail of Labadee and is made with pineapple, orange and papaya juice, coconut cream and as our bartender said "rum, rum and more rum."
Maybe next time I'll try that mega zipline. You just might have to fill me up with a few Labadoozies before I agree to it, though.
Thanks for reading and always travel happy!