Labadee: Nellie's Beach Cabana review w/pics. Freedom August 2012

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#1
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I posted a review of our cruise on the RCI page, but someone suggested I might put this info on the ports page. We were in Labadee on August 7, 2012. Here you go!

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 . . .
Repeat.
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.
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#2
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
VIEW FROM THE SHIP


MICKEY DRIVING US TO THE CABANAS


STOP AT BAREFOOT BEACH FOR WRISTBANDS AND TO GET CABANA ASSIGNMENT
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#3
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
VIEWS OF NELLIE’S BEACH





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#4
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
CABANA SHOTS









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#5
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
STAIRS TO THE WATER – RIGHT NEXT TO OUR CABANA


VIEWS FROM THE CABANA






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#6
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
BUFFET LUNCH





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#7
NJ
1,375 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Wow! Thanks for the excellent pics! Looks like you had a great day at Nellie's. Were you offered a choice of the over the water cabana locations, or was it pre assigned?

Thanks,

Teddie
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Teddie P.
#8
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by teddie
Wow! Thanks for the excellent pics! Looks like you had a great day at Nellie's. Were you offered a choice of the over the water cabana locations, or was it pre assigned?

Thanks,

Teddie
It was either pre-assigned or they went in order of check-ins on a list. The guy at Barefoot just told our driver where to take us.

All of the over-the-water cabanas looked good to us . . . but where there are options, there will always be Bickersons!
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#9
Hilton Head Island, SC
312 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Thanks so much for the write-up and the pictures. We will be there in September and I have reserved a cabana. So glad that I did.
#10
Northern California
7,067 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Thank you so much for the pictures and write up, I appreciate it.

Do you remember what time lunch was served?
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#11
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Italy52
Thank you so much for the pictures and write up, I appreciate it.

Do you remember what time lunch was served?
11:30 am - 1:00 pm. We went over right after 11:30.
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#12
Monroeville, Pa.
3,138 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Thank you for the photos! We just booked our first Nellie's Beach Cabanas for out 11/24 Oasis cruise and are really looking forward to it!
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#13
upstate NY
2,334 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
We leave in just 10 days. I have reserved an "Over the Water" Cabana and can't wait to get there. My DH is not a water person but I am hoping he will enjoy people watching from the cabana. DD and her significant other or going along to. It should be a great day. Great Pictures. Can you tell me which of your pictures shows the "Over the Water" cabanas?
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#14
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by flowers44
We leave in just 10 days. I have reserved an "Over the Water" Cabana and can't wait to get there. My DH is not a water person but I am hoping he will enjoy people watching from the cabana. DD and her significant other or going along to. It should be a great day. Great Pictures. Can you tell me which of your pictures shows the "Over the Water" cabanas?
Pretty much all the pics are of Over The Water Cabanas. Ours was the 3rd or 4th from the beach, on the left as you face the water. I know there are discussions about trying to get a particular cabana, but I don't think you could go wrong with any of them.

The ones on the right side would get more early sun. Ours was shady until the afternoon. We weren't looking for sun - that's why we got a cabana! At one point in the morning my girls swam to the beach and just grabbed a couple of loungers and laid on their bellies for awhile. The beach was surprisingly NOT busy at all.
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#15
PA
1,033 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Love your pics - do you have ANY of the cabanas on Nellies Beach ON THE BEACH itself - not hillside or over the water. Do you remember how many cabanas ON THE SAND BEACH - I think there are only a few. And I was wondering how far back they were from the water.
Any info or pics would be appreciated!
#16
Shawnee, KS
561 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Curious too on the beach cabanas. I had assumed the over the water were actually over the water and the beach would be on the beach but still have a view of the water. Is this wrong? It still looks like I have time to change since both are available still.
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#17
Beautiful SW Florida
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I hate to admit it, but I never even noticed the beach cabanas. They must be fairly far back. Here is a pic I found that I THINK shows a beach cabana to the left of the red X (not the "umbrella" in the foreground, behind that). Hard to see.

Hopefully others out there will have some pics and info. Like I said, the beach wasn't super busy, so a beach cabana would probably be great. Not quite as private, of course.


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#18
upstate NY
2,334 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Thanks for the great pictures. I can hardly wait for the Cabana rental, except that it is the last island we visit and that will mean we are on our way back home. Sad thought.
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#19
Northern California
7,067 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Originally posted by jkskrap
11:30 am - 1:00 pm. We went over right after 11:30.
Thanks!
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#20
4,184 Posts
Joined May 2010
Thanks so much for the pics and information on Nellie's Over-the-Water Cabanas. It will be our first time on Labadee and I managed to snag one a few minutes ago for our cruise next March.

There will be 3 couples. Reservation is in my name. Do we need to go to guest services on the ship first to do anything etc?

Theresa
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