Royal Caribbean Cruise Port: Haiti

Earlier this summer we went on a cruise with my husband's family.  Our first port stop on the Royal Caribbean cruise (read all about the boat here) was to Haiti.  And I'll admit, Haiti surprised me.

P.S. These two photos are what we woke up to our morning in Haiti.  It was a dream to wake up to those mountains and fisherman.  

The thing with Royal Caribbean is that all their ports at least begin on Royal Caribbean owned land.  And in Haiti all of Labadee is owned by them.

They own their own city of Haiti for cruises.

It's an interesting concept and allows for a safe and vacation like experience of Haiti, full of fruity drinks and zip lines.  But it definitely was not a real taste of what Haiti is like.  I was a little disappointed to stop at a port that did not give a true authentic taste of its culture but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stop was a really enjoyable experience nonetheless.

Having one enclosed location allowed us to enjoy all that Labadee had to offer, relax at the beach, and come and go from the boat.  It had a resort like feel with clean beaches, playgrounds for kids to play on, and service from the Royal Caribbean staff.

Right off the boat we could walk over to the entrance of Labadee, it's own little amusement park you could say.  They offered plenty of paid excursions like a zip line, roller coaster through the mountains, and things like getting your hair braided.

While the beaches filled with lounge chairs, we took the road less traveled and explored the trails of Labadee.

Everything was truly beautiful.  Lovely blue skies, green hills, and a crystal clear ocean.

Here is the view of the beach.  Royal Caribbean provided a barbecue buffet for lunch which was set up in multiple places.  The lines you see at the bottom of the photo was the zip line that started up at the top of the mountain and ended down at the beach.

This is why we wander.  So many beautiful views that ninety percent of our boat probably missed out on.

Our monstrosity of a boat in the background.  This gives a pretty good look at just how gigantic it is.

There was a variety of spots to stop and play in the water.  We found a slightly quiet area to hang out in.

The lunch was superb.  And surprisingly free.

We shopped some local art, many of it going towards a good cause.

Being so close to the boat, we were able to return to our room, change out of our wet swimsuits and come back for a little more wandering.

As we departed from the boat, a few shots from above.

Of all the ports, Haiti was definitely the most relaxing.  We had plenty of time to see everything and not worry about any type of transportation.  It is a smart concept for cruising if you don't mind missing out on the local life.  All in all, I was impressed and it was a fun start to our week long cruise.

Next up, Jamaica and Cozumel!