14 Things You Need To Know Before Cruisng to Labadee Haiti

Labadee, Haiti is a popular port destination for cruises by Royal Caribbean, with occasional visits by Celebrity Cruises ships as well.

Aerial view of Labadee, Haiti

But, if you’re planning to cruise there in the future, here are the things you need to know…

1. Labadee isn’t always safe to cruise to

The US State Department has advised against travel to Haiti for some time, citing “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure” among the reasons why tourists should avoid it.

In March 2024, 4,000 prisoners escaped from a Haitian jail, and since then, Royal Caribbean had to suspend visits to Labadee as a precaution.

Labadee is a private resort where only cruise guests and employed locals are permitted entry. There’s a fence and a private security force preventing anyone else from Haiti from entering. So it’s hoped that once Labadee is able to open, it will be much safer than the rest of the country.


Merchants selling souvenirs in Labadee operate under the permission of the cruise line – anyone who tried to scam you would very quickly lose their license and be unable to sell their wares. That doesn’t mean they won’t be pushy, though.

2. People think Labadee is an island, but it’s not

Labadee is a private resort, but it isn’t an island. Even the country of Haiti is not its own island – it shares a land mass with the Dominican Republic. The Labadee Haiti cruise port is a small area to the north of Haiti, fenced off to the general public.

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas at Labadee, Haiti

The resort is privately available to guests of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. You can’t visit Labadee unless you are sailing with these cruise lines.

3. Royal Caribbean has leased Labadee from the Haitian government

Labadee is a private port on the northern coast of Haiti, but while it is a private resort it is not owned by Royal Caribbean. Instead, the cruise company has leased the resort until 2050, when it will either revert back to the ownership of the Haitian government or the contract may be renewed.

From a cruise passenger’s perspective, that doesn’t really make any difference. If you’re sailing on a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises ship that calls at Labadee, you won’t be mingling with guests from other cruise lines.

Labadee, Haiti beach area

But at the same time, it’s not an asset that belongs to Royal Caribbean either – they’ve paid for the exclusive access, but they don’t own the resort. The cruise line does run the operations of the resort though, with an estimated 300 locals employed by the cruise line.

4. Labadee has a 2,500-foot zipline

Labadee is famous for its the zip line, which runs right across the shoreline, giving you a stunning aerial view of the resort.

Woman on a zip line at Labadee Haiti

Known as ‘The Dragon’s Breath’ it’s the world’s longest over-water zip line, taking you from high up in the hills down to the bay area, across the ocean.

It’s a sit-in zip line so you don’t have to worry about holding on or braking, it’s all done for you.

You will be travelling at 40 to 50mph, meaning you’ll be in flight for around 45 seconds in total. The excursion itself takes a lot longer, though, because you need to go through the safety briefing and get harnessed up.

The zip line is around a 10-minute walk from the main pier, so in all expect the excursion to take you around 90 minutes if you include the walking time to get to it.

Labadee zipline station

The Dragon’s Breath zipline costs $99 whether you are an adult or a child. The minimum height to ride the zipline is 48 inches (exactly 4 feet) while the minimum weight is 75lb and the maximum weight is 275lb.

This may sound like a lot of time and money for a 45-second flight, but most people who review it say that the experience and the views were worth it.

5. Labadee has its own roller coaster

The Dragon’s Tail is an alpine coaster with single-seat cars that you control yourself – you can adjust your speed. It’s not the longest coaster but you get some amazing views, and people generally have a great time.

6. Labadee has four beaches to explore

The biggest of Labadee’s four beaches is Adrenalin Beach, but this means it is also the busiest. It does have its own floating swim-up bar, though, which is a lot of fun.

Columbus Cove is much further away, but you can hop on the free tram to get there.

Nellie’s Beach is rockier, but more secluded and peaceful. You can rent a cabana here for maximum relaxation.

The best beach is Barefoot Beach, but it’s exclusively for guests staying in Grand Suites and above.

Suggested read: Royal Caribbean Suite Perks

People having fun at the beach riding the jetski

7. Cabana hire is pricey

The prices of cabanas on Labadee vary depending on which cabana you choose. The beach bungalows are the cheapest cabanas, costing around $270 for the day. The most expensive cabanas are the over-the-water cabanas at Nellie’s Beach at $580 for the day.

If those prices are a little high for you, you can rent a shaded beach lounger for just $48 for two for the day, or for something a little more comfortable you could book a four-poster beach bed for $175.

8. Labadee is good for snorkelling

The snorkelling area at Labadee is off Adrenalin Beach, around a 10-minute walk from the cruise terminal. You can book a snorkelling excursion in advance when you’re on the ship, or just bring your own snorkelling equipment.

The waters around Labadee are nice and clear and should provide excellent conditions to allow you to see the local undersea wildlife.

9. The shopping in Labadee is pretty good

There are plenty of shops at Labadee, including the main Artisan’s Market. This is where local vendors set up to sell a range of crafts, jewellery, clothes, paintings, hats, fans and other items. All vendors are licensed by Royal Caribbean to operate in the resort.

Because the merchants are given special permission, you can trust that they won’t do anything to outright scam you. If they did, you’d be able to complain to the cruise line, which could take action to remove that merchant in the future.

But that doesn’t mean you can wander without a care – the merchants will still try to sell you items for more than they are worth, and they can be very pushy too. Be firm if you don’t want to buy something, and don’t be afraid to haggle. The merchants themselves often encourage it.

10. Labadee doesn’t have a pool because you really don’t need one

Labadee does not have a swimming pool, but you are able to swim off all four beaches. There’s also an inflatable assault course often set up on the ocean, and if you book the excursion you’ll be able to have a lot of fun clambering over it.

The water temperature in the ocean tends to average between 27 and 29 degrees Centigrade (80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit).

Anything above 26 degrees C tends to be considered a warm sea, so you will be able to enjoy swimming in the ocean without feeling a chill.

11. Lunch is free

There are three main restaurants on Labadee where guests can enjoy lunch. All of the locations serve almost identical food, which is a selection of BBQ items, including burgers, chicken, hot dogs, salads, corn, and fruits. The food is all free.

Some of the bars may serve small snacks, and these may incur a charge – check with the vendor when you order. But the main lunch served at the resort doesn’t cost a thing.

It’s served buffet-style, and there are a few good selections, although options for vegetarians and vegans may be limited. You can always return to the ship to eat and then head back ashore for the afternoon if you prefer.

12. Your drinks package works at Labadee

If you have paid for a Royal Caribbean drinks package, or Celebrity Cruises drinks package, this will be valid at Labadee (and at CocoCay if your cruise includes a visit to the other private resort used by Royal Caribbean). Just use your SeaPass when ordering and you will get the drinks without an extra cost.

The only drinks not included are any souvenir glasses/cups that you could buy.

13. US citizens can cruise to Labadee without a passport

Despite Labadee being a resort in Haiti, and therefore a part of a different country, you don’t need a passport to sail there if you are a US resident and you are sailing from the US. You would still need proof of ID – any government-issued photo ID and your birth certificate would suffice.

Obviously, if you are travelling from any other country such as the UK, you’re going to need your passport to get into the US anyway for your departure port, so you will need it to board the ship.

14. Cruisers are banned from leaving the resort

Guests arriving at Labadee are not permitted outside the resort itself. The resort is protected by a security fence and a security force to prevent guests leaving and anyone not from the cruise from entering.

This is for guests’ safety, so don’t try to push it – there is plenty to enjoy in the resort itself, after all!

Beach and tropical resort, Labadee island, Haiti.

You can return to the ship and then go back ashore, provided you leave enough time, so if you don’t like the food options on Labadee or you’ve forgotten something you wanted, you can just head back to the ship at any time.

Final Word

There’s a lot that you can enjoy at Labadee when you cruise with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises, and because it’s a private resort, you know it’s only going to be as busy as your ship will allow – you won’t be mingling with other tourists or passengers of other ships.

Whether you want to try the thrilling zipline or roller coaster, or you just want to soak up the sun and splash around on the beaches, it’s a fun port of call, and the food and drinks are great, too. Just make sure you’re prepared to pay for all the extras, and don’t let yourself be talked into spending too much at the market either!

There is not much that is free on Labadee – most excursions do have a charge. You can enjoy a BBQ buffet lunch for free, as well as access the beaches and ride the trams around the island. Renting beach chairs or cabanas, or taking part in any of the activities does cost extra.

You can definitely enjoy Labadee without spending any money – and if you avoid taking cash ashore, that’s often a good tactic to avoid the merchants hassling you to make purchases (although some will say they can take a credit card).

Any purchases you do make at the resort – excluding the shops – can be done using your Sea Pass, with the cost added to your cruise account.


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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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5 thoughts on “14 Things You Need To Know Before Cruisng to Labadee Haiti”

  1. We had a very similar experience with vendors in the back corner area where there are stalls. The main shop was fine but that back corner was stressful. We were surrounded by several people that blocked us in the stall and they started telling us we needed to give them $100 for a painting. We told them we didn’t bring cash and they kept on putting jewelry on us. We took off all the stuff they put on us and gave it back and said we needed to go. They finally moved and let us out.

  2. Hello! It’s a pleasure this morning in the aim to leave a comment from this page website of labadee job
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  4. great place to visit, thank you for creating this article

  5. We went to Labadee in October 2022 and, personally, we’ll never go back. The beach was very rocky, the food was no where near as good as on CocoCay, but the real kicker… we felt very unsafe with the merchants. My husband asked about local liquor in the shop along the tram route. The merchant invited us to speak to his “friend” in a booth in the market behind the shop. The merchants then gathered a group of 5 or 6 large adults to surround us (my husband, me, and our 7 yr old daughter) to block our view from the rest of our group (who were still back by the shop, now looking for us since they could no longer see us) while they pressured us to buy paintings and bracelets, which we were never interested in. I have traveled to several continents, so I am familiar with haggling, etc, but this was a terrible scare tactic I never expected to encounter on RCI’s privately leased resort… The fact the merchants are not prevented from such threatening tactics make us feel unsafe ever returning.

    I do not know how to share this feedback with RCI. I did not realize the post-cruise survey expires 7 days after returning to port and I didn’t submit it in time, and I haven’t been able to find another way to provide feedback. I wanted to share this here so others can be aware of this.

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