Labadee Haiti, an Oasis of the Seas port of call
As part of the Oasis of the Seas excitement, I thought it would be fun to build on the anticipation with posts about ports of call for the world’s largest cruise ship. Its first sailing will be to Labadee, a private resort on the northern coast of Haiti. The area is leased by the island nation of Haiti to Royal Caribbean International and hence only Royal Caribbean can take you there!
It gets its name from Marquis de La’Badie, a Frenchman who first settled the area in the 1600s. The spelling was changed to “Labadee” to ease pronunciation for English-speakers. A near by bay, the Bay of Acul, was used by Christopher Columbus himself as shelter for his ships during a storm that struck on his first voyage to the new world.
The port has been a tremendous contributor to the Haitian economy, receiving US$6 per tourist and employing 300 locals with another 200 local artisans vending works there. In fact, as recently as last October Bill Clinton visited the resort as a guest of Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO. President Clinton was leading a United Nations delegation as special envoy to Haiti working on economic and social issues.
Attractions include a market (pictured), numerous white sand beaches, an Aqua Park for kids and the famous zip-line. I suggest you take a relaxing kayaking tour, where you slowly paddle the calm, crystal blue waters with a guide who leads you through coral reefs to spot the marine life. You’ll also float quietly past local fishing villages.