Mariner of the Seas Day Three-Labadee, Haiti

After a really rocky night we woke up to beautiful sunshine on day three of our cruise. It’s like Royal Caribbean ordered the sunshine for our beach day in Labadee.

Breakfast

As usual we got up by 8 am and went to the Windjammer Buffet for breakfast. They will remind you to “washy washy or you get no foody. If you get no foody you get no happy”! They have several sinks right at the entrance so you have no trouble finding one to wash your hands. I had the usual eggs, toast, and potatoes, along with some Raisin Bran. I’ve been taking a carton of milk and a green apple with me to put in the cabin. I just like milk at night, and the green apple is great for seasickness. I take a Bonine morning and night and don’t have a lot of problems with seasickness, but it can’t hurt to take extra precautions. If you ever feel queasy, green apples are a big help.

Speaking of washing your hands, we haven’t heard any rumors of covid so far on the ship. Fingers crossed. Like I said earlier, not many masks are being worn except by the crew, and there is no social distancing.

Off to the beach!

The ship docked right at Labadee. I’ve been to Labadee before, and it’s a really nice beach, but not my favorite private beach. Labadee is a Royal Caribbean private beach in the country of Haiti. From what I’ve heard, there is an electric fence separating the private areas from the rest of Haiti. However, there are Haitians who are allowed access to the RC areas to work there.

First, get your beach towels on the ship before you leave. Then, as you walk into Labadee down the long dock from the ship, to the right is a great photo spot for you in front of the ship, and then in front of the Labadee sign. If you go to your left you’ll find a tram that will take you down to the Marketplace and back.

We first stopped at Nellie’s Beach, which is to the right of the tram. It really looked like a nice calm beach, but we were immediately approached by a Haitian native trying to show us to a beach chair. You can tell because they are in pink shirts. They are nice, but I’ve found that they can be very pushy, and being a quiet cruiser, that intimidates me. We backed off and decided to find another beach where we could find our own chairs.

Adrenaline Beach

Across from Nellie’s Beach is Adrenaline Beach. It sounds like a scary beach, but it’s not. I guess that the adrenaline part is watching the zipliners go by constantly overhead. It’s lots of fun to watch. There are tons of beach chairs with umbrellas everywhere you go on Labadee, and they’re included, so don’t let the Haitians in the pink shirts intimidate you. They will try to insist on finding you a chair and dusting if off, but only tip them if you want to.

Right by Adrenaline beach you’ll find restrooms, a bar, and the buffet area for lunch. It’s a calm beach good for kids, with a breakwater that stops the large waves from coming through. We were there during Hurricane Fiona, so although it was sunny, the water was very murky, and the waves were high. I did go into the water and it was a very comfortable temperature, but it was not good for snorkeling. Mostly, we sat in the shade on a beach chair and relaxed and enjoyed the view and sounds of the ocean. One interesting thing was that I could not find a place to wash my feet off anywhere. The beach sand really sticks to your feet. I did find one misting station, but that wasn’t a lot of help.

Lunch

There are three lunch pavilions in Labadee with tons of picnic tables and the smells wafting from them will make you really hungry. They started serving lunch at around 11:15. The buffet consisted of freshly grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, jerk chicken, prepackaged salads, fresh fruits, rice, fries, and condiments for the burgers and dogs. The drinks included are water and punch. You can get your soda cup refilled or buy drinks at the bar.

During lunch they had a few shows from the local Haitians. One was an acrobatic group, and another were Haitian dancers. They do work for tips and ask for tips. Only tip if you want to. There was also a dog wondering around for food. We saw a number of dogs on the beach and in the area.

Marketplace

Our picnic pavilion was right by the tram station and across from the Artison Market, so we stopped there. I only wanted a magnet, and knew that at this market the locals wouldn’t harass me. I found a hand painted Haiti magnet and gladly paid the $3 that it cost.

A warning…if you are intimidated at all by being approached by pushy salesmen, avoid the rest of the market area up to Columbus Cove at all costs. I’ve been to many markets on many islands, and none are as pushy as those on Haiti. They are local Haitians and sell crafts and wares, but they will not take no for an answer. They will follow you if they think they can get you to buy. They started on us just outside the Artison Market, so I decided that it was time to leave. My husband decided he’d go back by himself later. You can avoid the area completely if you don’t want to be harassed.

Walking back to the ship and oops….

We were going to try and find some of the nature trails to walk on so we started walking back towards the ship on the walkway. Halfway back to the ship my husband realized that he didn’t have the camera bag with him. He thought that he had left it at the Artison Market, so I figured it was gone. He hurried back and I followed at a slower pace. When I got there he wasn’t in the market and I saw that he had somehow gotten past me. I wasn’t going to chase him so I hopped on the waiting tram. When I finally found him, he had found the camera, thank goodness. He had left it at the picnic pavilion, and two nice RC security guards had watched it for him. RC crew are the best!

After that scare I decided I was ready to go back to the ship and work on my blog, while he did some more exploring on the ship. It was so hot in Labadee that I decided that a dip in the adults only pool was what I needed, along with some soft serve. And then a shower and some writing time.

Time for dinner

Clothing for dinner was Caribbean, which makes it easy since I always pack Caribbean type clothing on a cruise. Most of our table mates were there, and once again we had good conversation. We’ve had the best waiters, I think I mentioned that before. Randy and Cezar are wonderful and always ready to pull our chairs out for us and place our napkins on our laps. Then they bring us our drinks before we ask. We’ve even gotten cheese plates without asking. I love meeting and talking to people from other countries. We’re more alike than we think.

Main Dining Room

I decided on the Asian pork tacos and then the salmon tartare with caviar for appetizer, Lamb chops for my entree, and then cherries jubilee with no sugar added ice cream for dessert. The pork taco was wonderful. It was on some sort of asian sticky bun and had a wonderful sauce. The salmon was good, but we could not find any caviar on or in it. The Lamb chops weren’t my favorite. The sauce was tasty but the lamb chops were hard to cut and a bit fatty. The vegetables and mashed potatoes were good though. I wasn’t a fan of the cherries jubilee either. It was good enough, but nothing special. Service was great though.

Entertainment

There was a variety show scheduled for 7:45 so we went over there after dinner. It started out with the ship’s orchestra and then one of the entertainers from the show the night before came on to sing. His name is Flavio from Italy, and he is very good. After he came on a comedian came out. We always love the comedy shows on ships, and make a special effort to see them. I believe his name is Nery Saenz, and he’s from Miami, by way of Nicaragua. He is very funny and we really enjoyed his act. He’s going to be on the ship again on day five and we’ll definitely be there.

Meanwhile, it was raining outside, and the seas were getting rough again so we walked awhile, headed to the Windjammer for some ice cream, and then headed to the cabin.

Thoughts on our Promenade View Cabin

I don’t know that I’d book a Promenade View cabin again. It’s large enough and has enough room, but you can hear the parties and music from the promenade deck late at night. We don’t stay up late at night, and we like to relax before we go to bed. Last night’s party went on till almost 11 pm. But, if you like to party late, it’s fine. Just depends on your habits and likes.

Our room Steward, Gus, has been great. My husband had some problems with his mattress, and Gus worked till he found a solution for him. Even brought us great pillows.

All in all, this is just an okay room. I’d love to be able to book a balcony room again. I love to watch the ocean. But since retiring, I’m going to have to get used to interiors. I would definitely prefer a quieter cabin.

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