Our day at Labadee, Haiti

Labadee is a private area that the cruise line has. It is totally separate from the other parts of the country. It was so beautiful there with the ruins and greenery, very natural with nice touches to let you relax. We walked around for a while and then headed to Barefoot Beach, an area for people in suites. Really from what I saw, there was not a wrong beach anywhere; it was so pretty.

While getting ready for this cruise, I tried to do as much research as possible; there were a few questions about Labadee that I could not answer before the trip.

“Are there accessible cabanas, and how do I reserve them?”

 I got part of the answer I was looking for. Yes, they have accessible cabanas at Bearfoot Beach and the other beaches. But I needed help to get a straight answer about ensuring you get one. Many told me that reaching out to the Special Needs Dept, I had done that but was never able to get an answer. When I had an additional question, I did call instead of emailing and got an answer straight away; maybe that is the answer to my question: call, don’t email.

“Are you able to use a beach wheelchair all day?” 

Yes, I saw many people pushing beach wheelchairs around the island. I wanted to note that there are plenty of accessible trails around the island, and beach wheelchairs are very hard to maneuver, so if you can stay in your chair and don’t plan on going through the sand, avoid the beach wheelchairs.

Daniel wanted me to point out that the “roads” that the trams use are well packed and he had no trouble using those when needed.

 “Is the water taxi wheelchair accessible?”

Yes and no, the water taxi could be accessed by a manual chair, but the ramp onto the boat cannot accommodate a power chair. If you decide to take the taxi, it is a one-way trip, and the walk/pushback might be challenging. Also, the taxi does drop you off in the sand, thus making it not accessible.

“Are the staff able to help with transferring?”
Daniel sitting in lounge chair with wheelchair in background.

Yes, at least the lifeguard we met was more than happy to help us transfer Daniel from and to the lounge chair in the sand. He also helped us maneuver his chair back to the walkway. I can’t say this is always the case, but we found the staff helpful and friendly. 

On the same note of staff being extra helpful, I noticed that all the tables were in the sand when we went to eat. Well, that doesn’t work for a powerchair; I asked if I could move a table to the edge of the walkway, and sure enough, a couple of crew ran over, grabbed a table, and asked where we needed it.

“Are the bathrooms accessible?”
Ramp going into restroom

Someone had said that getting to the bathroom can be challenging in a wheelchair. We did not find this to be so; there were paved ramps to most of the bathrooms. We were told that some of them have an around about way to access them so if you are having trouble finding the right route ask someone they all seemed very willing to show us the right direction to go.

After lunch, we decided to walk over to the market and shop. Knowing the situation in Haiti right now, I wanted to spend some money and help the people. Unfortunately, this did not happen. We let Daniel go ahead with strict orders not to buy anything and wait until we got there. 

On a side note, there are paved pathways all over, making it very easy for him to explore. 

Upon arriving, I see my son holding a plastic bag and talking with someone. They walked up to me, and he informs me that he needs $30 because he was going to buy this stuff. I look in the bag and say, “no”, you’re not paying $30 for this, and hand it to the security guard. I say he has no money, and I don’t want it. Thought that was the end of it. We walked away and started looking around, only to have some guy come running after us, saying that Daniel had to give him the money. I turned to help m and said no, and we walked away, leaving the area. So just a bit of a warning the vendors are extremely pushy/aggressive, and you cannot just look. I would love to return to the area but will avoid the market next time. 

Daniel and I had reservations for the escape room onboard, so we headed back to the ship and got cleaned up so we could go. This was an extra activity, and you need a reservation for it. I booked beforehand, but there were still openings once we were on the ship. This was a fun activity, and his wheelchair had no problems accessing it.

When we finished, our ship was pulling away from Haiti and heading out to sea.Brett and I decided to head to the suite lounge to have snacks and a drink. Every evening the lounge offers free drinks and appetizers. This quickly became a nightly routine for us. The views were great too!

On this night, we had reservations about the adult comedy show. This was the first time I had walked by or through the casino. I am not a smoker, and I can’t stand the smell of cigarettes, so I quickly realized that I would not be playing the slots onboard. Many love the casino, and it looked nice, just not for me. The show was good, and we had a few good laughs.

By this time, it was late, and we decided to head back to the cabin. On our way back, we realized that the ship was still wide awake and partying; I am an early riser and not a night owl, so I didn’t experience much of the nightlife onboard. There were dance lessons, karaoke, pizza, cocktails, and lots of other activities at midnight; the ship was still a rock’n.

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