Labadee's Haitian Cultural Tour at Paradise Cove

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#1
Austin, TX
12 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Just got back from RCI's Freedom of the Seas (8 cruise). Went on the Haitian Cultural Tour at Paradise Cove My family and I had a great time and totally recommend this excursion at Labadee. We were taken away to a private beach (by far one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen) and given a tour of a typical Haitian fishing village. This was really awesome to see, especially after all the news coverage of Haiti from the earth quake. We learned how houses were built, different foods were made, and even got to see artists at work making. I felt awesome knowing that with the ticket I purchased I was helping the Haitian people. After the tour we came back to the beach where we had an hour to relax. Clear, beautiful water. Awesome bar and bar tender. They had floating mats and beach chairs all included. It was really great I totally recommend this tour to the young and old. Great for families who want their kids to learn a little something too!
#3
Washington, DC
1,410 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Thanks for the information, I'll look into it.
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Stephen
Washington, DC

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#4
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I went with a few of my girlfriends and it was the best decision we could have possibly made! Hands down it was the greatest day out of our entire vacation. With this excursion, you get the best of both worlds-- you're enlightened about the history and culture of Haiti, as well as spend time on an undeniably beautiful beach.

As you walk through the typical Haitian village, you're able to see different plants, foods, housing and activities, among other things. We were able to learn directly from Haitians who live this life everyday. They were so friendly and were happy to answer any questions that we had. After our tour of the village, we were able to spend time on the most amazing beach I have ever seen. It is set between mountains on both sides and the clear water is to die for. The privacy of the beach is enough to make you never want to leave and come home to the hustle and bustle that many of us are used to. There's also a fresh, cool water stream that bubbles through the sand and runs right into the ocean water. I had never seen anything like that in my many years of traveling- it was unbelievable.

I loved having the option to relax on the beach chairs set up along the white sand or float around in the water on the mats. We spent some time at the Bamboo Bar after refreshing ourselves in the water. Aside from the Rhum Punch that we were given as we stepped onto the beach from the boat, we enjoyed a few more while talking to our awesome bartender.

The authenticity of this excursion is more than you could ever hope for and if you're a beach lover like me, you will absolutely fall in love with this beach. I urge anyone reading this to go on the excursion to see for themselves. It will be unforgettable, I promise!
#5
Ontario, Canada
50 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We are also going on the Freedom of the Seas at the end of June and Labadee will be our first port of call. I would be interested in getting more information on this excursion.

1) I saw on RCCL's website that this excursion lasts 3 hours. How long is the sightseeing portion versus the beach break?

2) Also, it says that a welcome drink from the beach bar is included. Can we have a soft drink or bottled water?

3) Does this excursion involve a lot of walking or standing in full sun? I am afraid it could be too hot to do this excursion in summer. Furthermore, my husband has fair skin and gets easily sunburned.

4) We have a 10-year-old daughter. Do you think that children of her age would enjoy this excursion?

5) I have read that we should wear water shoes if we go swimming at Labadee as there are rocks and sea urchins in the water. How was the water at Paradise Beach?

6) Are there any washrooms/changing rooms at the beach?

Your response and comments would be greatly appreciated!
#6
Austin, TX
12 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Good day! Having just come from Labadee and this excursion I think I can handle this question. Away we go...

1) I saw on RCCL's website that this excursion lasts 3 hours. How long is the sightseeing portion versus the beach break?
The tour it self lasted a little over an hour and then we had the same amount of time on the beach. The rest of the time (30-45 mins) was used for transportation to and from the site and loading and unloading.

2) Also, it says that a welcome drink from the beach bar is included. Can we have a soft drink or bottled water?
I exchanged my welcome drink (I believe it was either punch or rum punch) for a bottle of water. They also had sodas, beers, and really cool coconut drinks.

3) Does this excursion involve a lot of walking or standing in full sun? I am afraid it could be too hot to do this excursion in summer. Furthermore, my husband has fair skin and gets easily sunburned.
The village itself stands under tons of mango trees. It is completely covered in shade. As for the beach, there is mangroves and trees that hang over the beach where all the chairs are located. Some people were pulling their chairs out in the sun while others kept their chairs in the shade. Plenty of both!

4) We have a 10-year-old daughter. Do you think that children of her age would enjoy this excursion?
My 10 year old loved it. He was able to learn a little something on this cruise which made me feel great.

5) I have read that we should wear water shoes if we go swimming at Labadee as there are rocks and sea urchins in the water. How was the water at Paradise Beach?

6) Are there any washrooms/changing rooms at the beach?
They do have a funky restroom/changing room on site.

Your response and comments would be greatly appreciated![/quote]
Hope this all helps. My family is planning another cruise for our next holiday, hoping we can fit Labadee and this excursion in our itinerary!
#7
Ontario, Canada
50 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
kirracruiser, thank you for the info! This is really helpful!

Would you know if we need water shoes to swim at Paradise Beach?

Also, how many people went on this excursion with your family?

Thanks again!
#8
Austin, TX
12 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Soprani
kirracruiser, thank you for the info! This is really helpful!

Would you know if we need water shoes to swim at Paradise Beach?

Also, how many people went on this excursion with your family?

Thanks again!
Hey there. Definitely don't need water shoes at the beach. Its all beautiful sand, didn't see a single rock! Much better than the beaches at the Labadee site. There were 4 of us who went on the excursion, My husband and I as well as our two children. They fill up quickly, I suggest booking online or as soon as you get on the ship.
#9
Ontario, Canada
50 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by kirracruiser
Hey there. Definitely don't need water shoes at the beach. Its all beautiful sand, didn't see a single rock! Much better than the beaches at the Labadee site. There were 4 of us who went on the excursion, My husband and I as well as our two children. They fill up quickly, I suggest booking online or as soon as you get on the ship.

Thank you so much!
#10
chilliwack, canada
212 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Hi all,

Is this a "created" village or actual village? It sounds really good.

Are you back in time for the BBQ lunch?

We will be there in April and we have been to Labadee a few times. This sounds like somethng that we would like.

Trish
#12
Austin, TX
12 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by SHERRIFL
who do you book this through? What is the cost? do you still have time to enjoy the rest of Labadee and the BBQ?
My family and I took the morning tour. We were back before noon and were able to eat at the BBQ and walk around for a few hours before we had to be back on the ship. I saw that they also had an afternoon tour as well (I assume after lunch). You can book online (see link below), on the ship, or in Labadee. There is a desk as soon as you get off the pier. Hope this helps!

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/shoreE...stinationCode=
#13
Rhode Island
10 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Took this Labadee tour a few weeks ago. Had a great time. The cultural tour was great and my party learned so much. Awesome tour guide kept it very informative and entertaining. Great staff. Beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear water. Delicious rum punch! 5 stars and 2 thumbs up!
#15
Hilton Head
2 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Undoubtedly, one of the better tour excursions in the Caribbean today and take that from a family that has been cruising for many years. This tour has all the elements and at a great value. A must do if you intend to visit this colorful and exotic country. Great snorkeling too off this pristine beach. 5 STAR!
#16
Rhode Island
10 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by SHERRIFL
who do you book this through? What is the cost? do you still have time to enjoy the rest of Labadee and the BBQ?
SHERRIFL~ Booked this tour onboard the ship at the Excursions Desk, but I'm pretty sure it can be done online through RCCL's website. Also, when checking in at Labadee, there was a couple signing up for the tour at the same desk using their SeaPass card. Cost was $65. I would have paid $85, it was just that good. Wether you are looking for the culture, the beach, or both it was an awesome tour. The tour is 3 hours long so plenty of time to enjoy all Labadee has to offer, as well as that BBQ!
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#17
Maumee, Ohio, USA
33 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by ClamMan
Undoubtedly, one of the better tour excursions in the Caribbean today and take that from a family that has been cruising for many years. This tour has all the elements and at a great value. A must do if you intend to visit this colorful and exotic country. Great snorkeling too off this pristine beach. 5 STAR!
Does the tour include snorkeling equipment?
#19
washington dc
1 Posts
Joined May 2010
I had the GREAT treat of taking the island tour to Paradise Cove this winter. The company I work for Akwaaba Bed and Breakfast hosted a retreat for the staff to the islands of Jamaica and Haiti...
In the wake of this years tragedy in Haiti, we were apprehensive that the cruise would not be redirected or rescheduled. As soon as we disembarked, I was soooooooo glad I came.
We began to seek out an adventure for the day and very luckily we found, The Haitian Cultural Tour. The name is perfect! We had a wonderful "cultural tour", the guide was very informed and funny... And we all had a very relaxing time on the private beach... My boss napped... I waded in the water and had punch and chatted with some of the islanders. I was able to post some GREAT photos on FB
Tim and Dillon "I'll be Back!" Promise!

KJ!
#20
New York
8 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
I got back a few weeks ago from a cruise aboard the Oasis of the Seas, and out of all of the ports, Labadee was by far my favorite experience, thanks to the Haitian Cultural Tour at Paradise Cove! The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating, extremely informational, and the beach was phenomenal! True paradise. Do yourself a favor and don't bother with the overcrowded beach at the port in Labadee. After the morning Cultural Tour, my group and I decided to take a look at what the port's beach had to offer...it was packed with people and looked like nothing special. The beach at Paradise Cove was quiet, serene, and stunning. Highly suggest this tour on your trip to Labadee!