We rented a Nellie’s Beach Cabana ($200 – over the water) at Labadee. Money well spent if you just want a “beach day.”
When you book it online, you just use one name on your reservation, no matter how many people you have in the cabana. Even if you have others on a separate reservation folio, just rent it in one name. I booked our August 2012 cruise on February 10, 2012 and the excursions were available for purchase when I checked on February 21st. The cabanas go quickly, so book early if you want one.
There are varying stories out there about how many people you can have in the cabana (how many can get the wristbands and eat the upgraded lunch). Most agree it is six max, but you may be able to get more if you ask. Four people will be very comfortable actually IN the cabana, six will be tight. But – doubtful everyone would be in the cabana at the same time.
The ticket was waiting in our cabin on the first day with our other shore excursion tickets. It said to go to the Information Center at the end of the pier anytime after 9:00 am. We left the ship at 9:00 and I walked up to the excursion area at the end of the pier and showed them the ticket. The young lady told me I was in the wrong spot and I needed to walk to Nellie’s Beach and she pointed us in the direction of the beach. I thought this was a bit strange, based on what I had read, but we started walking. Around the corner on the right, past the little band, was a building marked, “Information Center.” Oops. I would have walked right passed it, but my oldest daughter noticed it. I went inside and showed my ticket to a guy and he pointed me to another guy standing outside by some golf carts. He called a driver over and we were on our way. Mickey (our driver) was very nice. We stopped at Barefoot Beach briefly and another gentleman came over, asked our name, and then gave us each a yellow wristband. He told Mickey which cabana to take us to. He took us right to it and introduced us to our cabana attendant. I tipped Mickey, our driver, $5 and he was at our service all day if needed (I tipped him another $5 at the end of the day).
Our cabana attendant (Freetz) was very attentive. But – his English wasn’t the best.
Me: Please bring us 2 labadoozies and 2 virgin strawberry daiquiris.
Freetz: 2 labadoozies with alcohol. 2 labadoozies none alcohol.
Me: No, 2 labadoozies with alcohol, 2 strawberry daiquiris – no alcohol.
Freetz, as he is turning away: OK. 4 labadoozies all alcohol.
Me: Uh, no . . .
We got 4 labadoozies – 2 with alcohol, 2 without.
His heart was in it! His English is a helluva lot better than my Creole/French! A very nice young man. I tipped him $20 at the end of the day and he seemed very happy.
I would get to your cabana as early as possible. The day goes very fast. You can always nap in the morning when you get there. It is very comfortable for four people. There were steps right by the cabana that led to the water. They will bring you as many floaties as you want (we had 4). The beach is sandy, so no water shoes were necessary. When you want to leave or explore, just tell the cabana attendant to call your driver.
Lunch was a short walk over to Barefoot Beach and with the Suite guests. The food was very good. No – really!! Steaks, shrimp kabobs, chicken, etc. We all found something we liked. We went early and the line moved fairly quickly and everything was fresh. There are a limited number of tables so you may have to move some chairs around. There were also some cranky folks (we call these families the Bickersons). Growling at each other about the food, the line, fighting over tables, etc. We were glad to get back to the friendly folks at Nellie’s Beach and the serenity of our cabana.
I noticed that one cabana (far from ours thank goodness) had a radio or ipod blasting away. I can understand that you might want to listen to music, but please remember that some others might not have the same tastes. In other words, turn it down!
The cabanas on the very end have stairs and then a ladder leading down to the water. Ours was much easier – just stairs.
The water was cold at first but delightful! It’s a beautiful beach and makes for a wonderful, relaxing day. I highly recommend it.
If you have any questions about our experience, let me know. Pictures will follow.