I love visiting Labadee, Haiti. From the moment I see the island from the balcony of our ship, my heart is light because I know it will be a wonderful, relaxing day.
I was up early so I could catch a glimpse of the sun rising over the mountain at Haiti. As the moments slipped by the distant mountains were clouded in a mist making the islands seem grey and black.
It was definitely going to be a beautiful day with clear blue skies and the temperature already rising into the 80’s. The six of us went up to the Windjammer for breakfast and plan our day.
This would be the first time our friends had cruised to Labadee. We spent a little time orienting them to what we believed was the perfect spot for us to spend our day and a little bit about the area itself.
We explained that this beautiful paradise had changed so much from our first visit in 1996. We told them that Labadee is located on the north coast of Hispaniola surrounded by lush mountains. We explained that Royal Caribbean made many changes and improvements to the area and security making it a wonderful place to just kick back and enjoy the turquoise waters, spend the day enjoying the many water activities around the area or enjoy shopping at the Artisan’s Market and the Haitian flea market. And, for the not faint of heart, there is the Dragon’s Tail Flight Line that takes you from high atop a mountain over the water at speeds of 40-50 mph down to the beach below.
We also shared with them that our favorite place to be while visiting this lovely spit of land is Columbus Cove. Columbus Cove is a lovely spot with a white sand beach, coconut palms, beach chairs and inviting, clear turquoise water.
Columbus Cove also boasts the Dragon’s Splash Water Slide, Arawak Aqua Park, a Floating Mat Station and, my personal favorite, the Columbus Cove Cafe. The ship provides the wonderful lunch fare to the island.
It seemed as though everyone in the group had little things going on that caused them to shrink from the idea of walking to the beach so Connie and I went ahead to set up some beach chairs while the others waited for the tender to take them from the pier directly over to Columbus Cove. We stopped first on the pier for a photo opportunity. I always find these pictures to be a fun way to remember where we visited.
The first thing we saw as we passed the gate was a wonderful sand sculpture reading, “Happy Holidays”. We stopped and took many pictures of this lovely holiday greeting. I loved the Santa in shorts and flip flops.
After waiting for a while, we learned that the tender was not going to return to the pier. Connie and I worried about the group having to walk. Then all of a sudden we saw them disembark from one of the many trams moving around the island. I did not realize they came this far down the beach.
Once we were all together, we settled down for a day of warm breezes blowing through the palms, fun island music playing, and enjoying wading in the cool waters. The water was a bit chilly at first blush but once totally immersed, the water was refreshing.
The fellas waded into the water first. Bob seemed to really enjoy it. At one point Randy took a picture of Connie and Sandy taking a pictures of them from the beach. Very funny!
Lunch was, as always, wonderful. I absolutely could not resist going in the water, eventually Connie and Dennis joined me and we had a good time talking and enjoying the sun. At one point a photographer from the ship came by and took our picture. I hoped it would turn out nice, and it did!
Connie and I walked back to the ship and could not pass up the opportunity to take each others picture in the Santa sleigh. I wished the rest of the group had been with us.
Connie and I walked back to the ship and as we approached the ship we saw a group of Haitian dancers and acrobats entertaining the returning passengers. The music and dancing was fun and upbeat. We stopped for a bit to watch a young man run and then leap through a spoke free bicycle wheel landing in a summersault. They were amazing! While we were watching the dancers, Jeff and Allison came along and thanked us for the recommendation of spending the day at Columbus Cove. They said they had a wonderful day and would see us at dinner.
Randy and I returned to the cabin to clean up and take a little nap before preparing for the evening. For a while Randy sat on the balcony just looking out at the water. I watched his face and knew that, while he had a good time on the island, he was in considerable pain and just did not feel well. I would look at his face and think, “I wish there was something I could do for him to make you feel better”. But, of course, I knew there was not.
Dinner was delicious as always. My favorite appetizer was on the menu this evening. I love Caprese salads, they never disappoint. I also enjoyed a shrimp cocktail and the baked chicken.
After dinner we walked along the Promenade to the Two Poets pub for an after dinner drink. I decided that stopping here would be my favorite activity in the evening because I would be able to enjoy my drink while looking at this beautiful Christmas tree. I asked Randy what he would like to do for the rest of the evening. “I would like to go back to the cabin and take it easy,” he replied. And, so we did.
Before turning off the lights for the night I check my Fitbit. I managed 8,645 steps, walked 3.44 miles and climbed 27 flights of stairs. I am still shy of the 10,000 daily steps but there is always tomorrow.
Tomorrow we dock in San Juan, Puerto Rico.