Labadee is on the north coast of Haiti surrounded by mountains covered in lush foliage and is Royal Caribbean’s private retreat exclusively for their guests. This lovely paradise is the sight of areas for just a relaxing day or areas for high energy activities.
There is the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line that zips participants from a mountaintop over the sea at 40-50 mph to the beach below. There is a roller coaster, splash slide, kayaks for rent, wave jet tours, parasailing adventures, sightseeing aboard a RIB boat and beautiful beaches speckled across the landscape.
Randy and I have been here many times and just love it. Our favorite activity is to find two lounge chairs under a palm tree at Columbus Cove. Columbus Cove is a perfect spot for a day of relaxing in the sun, taking a dip in the warm turquoise water, listening to the strains of island music and enjoying a wonderful barbeque lunch only steps from our chairs.
Randy spent a restless night so I did too. I finally rose and walked out onto the balcony to wait for the sun to rise. The sky was shrouded in grey clouds hinting that showers were not too far away.
Randy eventually joined me and we sat watching the sun peeking from below the horizon then disappearing into the heavy cloud cover. By the time we arrived at Labadee we could see rain in the distance all around the ship.
We both love Labadee but for some reason we could not make up our minds whether to go ashore or not. We would walk out onto the balcony look up at the dark sky, scan the horizon and walk back inside and say almost in unison, “Well, what do you think?”
We did this little dance for two hours and finally Randy said, “Let’s put our bathing suits on and head up to the Solarium pool. With so many passengers on the island, we should have no trouble finding lounge chairs and making ourselves comfortable”.
As we sat poolside the sun would tease for a New York minute as the clouds crossed the sky only to disappear again. We noticed as we sat there that passengers were returning to the ship early. The skies cleared around noon and we had a great sunny afternoon the rest of the time at the pool.
After a lovely afternoon of reading and relaxing poolside, we returned to the cabin to a sweet surprise. On our coffee table was a plate of sweet treats. We gobbled them down quickly. Yummy!
We received an invitation from the Crown and Anchor Society to an exclusive event as a thank you for being a valued past guest. When we entered the Star lounge we spotted the couple we have been spending time with in the Diamond Lounge. We stopped to exchange pleasantries with Larry and Phyllis before taking our seats.
We were entertained with a few musical numbers from members of the production cast and then Captain Toni addressed the gathering welcoming everyone and thanking us for our loyalty to the Royal Caribbean.
After a few remarks, Captain Toni introduced the newest member of the growing list of Pinnacle Club members. To reach Pinnacle status guests need to complete 700 nights on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. To our pleasant surprise he introduced our friends Larry and Phyllis. How wonderful, I thought as I watched them take their place next to the captain and several other senior staff. They were presented with a beautiful crystal Pinnacle block and bottle of Champagne. As soon as the ceremony was over, Randy and I walked over to congratulate them.
The event over, we made our way to the dining room. I chose for my starter this evening a Caprese Salad. I just love the combination of fresh mozzarella cheese, sun-ripened tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
For my main course I, once again, decided not to order a favorite but chose instead the Premium Angus Beef Sliders. These little gems are grilled to order and served on a tomato brioche with steak fries and tarragon aioli. I loved the tomato brioche.
Randy decided to try the Chicken Cordon Bleu–a ham and cheese filled breaded chicken breast with a rice and pea pilaf, seasoned vegetables and lingonberry relish. He loved it.
I stayed with a favorite for dessert. On the menu this evening was Cherries Jubilee with warm, Kirschwasser cherries, vanilla ice cream and roasted almonds. Tonight’s dinner was absolutely perfect.
The headliner show would feature the magic of Drew Thomas. While entertaining we had seen Drew perform several times before so we scanned the Cruise Compass for an alternative.
One thing about a cruise ship is that at any given time day or night there is something to keep you busy. This evening there was the headliner show, 70’s music trivia, wine tasting, a Tag Heuer watch event, an evening game show, a 70’s disco inferno dance party on the Promenade and a big screen movie poolside.
The movie was one that was on our list at home so we decided to watch “Concussion” under the stars. We changed clothes, grabbed our bathrobes, made our way up to the main pool and secured two chairs and settled down. The night sky was clear with just a slight breeze blowing across the pool deck. Randy looked over at me and said, “This is like being at a drive-in theater”.
“Yes,” I said, “but we are not in the backseat of a car”. That brought a chuckle from Randy just as the movie started.
Although we enjoyed the movie and Will Smith, we both found it to be slow. I was especially distressed as I watched several NFL players who were once strapping athletes reduced to suffering from memory loss, and becoming frightened and confused about what was happening to them. As I watched the unfolding story my emotional response was to sadness, then anger and then sadness again as I tried to understand why it took the NFL so long to respond to the problem.
We returned to the cabin for a good night’s sleep as the ship slowly cruised to our next port-of-call. Just before we turned the lights out, Randy checked his email and found a message from Sal. Sal wrote that he and Anna would be joining the cruise in Jamaica and would see us at dinner. What a nice surprise, I thought as we turned off the lights.
Tomorrow we dock at Falmouth, Jamaica.