Picture, if you will, sitting in your living room and seeing an ad flash across your television screen of a beautiful island with crystal clear turquoise waters, palm trees slowly moving with a gentle breeze and hearing island music in the background. That picture and more is Royal Caribbean’s beautiful private playground of Labadee, Haiti.
We were up very early again this morning after another noisy, whistling night. We headed up to the lounge for a quick breakfast and returned to the cabin to get ready for our day on shore. We spent a few moments on the balcony as the ship tied up to the pier. What a beautiful view!
By the time we exited the ship the sun was out in full glory, the sky was a beautiful blue with puffy white clouds and the temperature was in the mid-70’s and moving up. It was going to be a beautiful day!
The last time we were here we found a comfortable spot at Columbus Cove and so, armed with sun block, sunglasses, hats and books we made our way to the beach.
It is a bit of a walk to get to Columbus Cove but well worth the walk. While I cannot explain why, I love walking past the rock formations that are just above the beach. The rocks are a stark gray/white color with deep groves cut into the stone. Randy will tell you that I have a thing for rock formations.
As I mention yesterday, when first we came to Labadee there was just a lot of beautiful beaches to be enjoyed. Since then there have been so many changes.
There is so much to do while visiting the area. There are beaches offering different styles of water enjoyment, a waterslide, roller coaster and a very scary zip line that reaches speeds of 40-50 miles per hour called Dragon’s Breath. You can kayak, wave jet, parasail or enjoy the fun of climbing or jumping off part of the aqua park.
Now, did we take advantage of any of these tours or adventures while there? No. All Randy and I wanted to do was find a beach chair under a palm tree and relax and that is exactly what we did.
We quite literally spent the entire day just whiling away the hours sitting under a palm tree watching the world go by, chatting a bit, reading our books and listening to wonderful island music. What I appreciated the most as we sat under the palm was listening to the gentle breezes making their way through the palm fronds. What a lovely noise. I love the swishing sound as the fronds move to and fro.
One wonderful feature of visiting this island paradise is lunch on the beach. The ship brings all the food to various venues around the area and it is always good. They serve everything from hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque chicken, red beans and rice, salad fixings, fresh fruits, dessert and a variety of drinks.
And the best thing is the food area was just a few steps from our beach chairs. My favorite meal while visiting Coco Cay or Labadee is a plate full of salad greens topped with red rice and beans with just a little juice from the barbeque chicken. This make-shift salad is light, filling, refreshing and always delicious.
I left Randy relaxing and took a walk around the beach enjoying watching everyone have fun frolicking in the waves, having fun participating in one of the many water sports, stopped, took several pictures and listened to delightful island music by Caribbean Force.
On our way back to the ship we walked through the flea market in search of refrigerator magnets for daughter Kristine and her friend Roxy. We had forgotten to bring money along so we could not buy anything but wanted to window shop with the idea of getting back to the ship and returning if we found something we liked.
Unfortunately, that was a hard thing for us to explain as we made our way through the market. As we passed each stall one very persistent gentleman kept lowering his prices and we tried in vain to explain our predicament. We finally left the market and made our way to the ship.
Just before we reached the exit we came across a group of gentleman sitting on a wall with a display of their wares. We stopped and found two hand-painted magnets that we liked and explained our situation. We asked if he would please hold the items for us and we would return. As we walked back to the ship we were not certain he would honor our request but hurried anyway.
We hurried back to the ship passing a group of entertainers dancing on the pier. We stopped only briefly and rushed back to our cabin. We did not take a picture of the group on the pier because we did not have any money to put in their basket.
Once back in the cabin, we gathered the few dollars we needed from the safe and headed back to purchase our magnets. To our surprise and pleasure the gentleman had bagged our two magnets and was holding them for our return. We thanked him for his patience and holding our treasurers and returned to the ship.
Just as we settled in the cabin a steward knocked on our door and presented us with plate of delicious looking cookies from the Executive Chef and the Loyalty & Cruise Sales Team. What a nice afternoon treat we thought.
Before we knew it, it was time to dress for dinner. We made our way to the Diamond Lounge and sat with Bev and Jan. A little later we were joined by Don and Kathy. Bev and Jan had met Don and Kathy on a previous cruise and struck up a friendship. We had a lovely time getting to know one another and talking about various cruises we have all taken.
We learned that Don and Kathy are pinnacle members of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. We were blown away to learn that they have stayed over 890 nights on Royal Caribbean ships. How did they get to this amazing level we wondered? They are snowbirds. But not like the snowbirds we are accustomed to back home in Florida. Instead of flying south and nesting for three or more months, Don and Kathy cruise. How cool is that?
We enjoyed a light dinner and made the decision to bypass the evening’s entertainment. We have sailed on Freedom several times and enjoyed illusionist Drew Thomas but decided to retire to our cabin for a good night’s rest. We made this decision after experiencing two nights of winds loudly whistling through our cabin.
Tomorrow we dock in Falmouth, Jamaica.