Should I get off the ship in Labadee?
Absolutely, if for no other reason than to tell your friends you have been to Haiti. What they don’t ask won’t hurt. If you have booked a Royal Caribbean cruise that includes Labadee, Haiti, on the cruise’s itinerary, you’re in for a treat–even though you are not likely to experience the true culture, food, music, or people of the country of Haiti. That is because Labadee is a private resort run by RCCL, which pays the country of Haiti for each passenger who visits its port, recently renovated to accommodate RCCL’s new mega ships like the Harmony of the Seas.
You’ll know of RCCL’s financial agreement with Haiti because of the government officials at the port literally counting the people who step off the ship. The site is fenced off from the rest of Haiti and guarded by a private security force, reminiscent of scenes from Jurassic Park.
Within the confines of the resort, RCCL passengers have a continuous opportunity to spend money on everything from beer to beachwear. Bungalows, ziplining and t-shirts are sold by RCCL crewmembers every few steps. In fact, the food and drinks are golf-carted right from the cruise ship, so you are most likely eating and drinking the exact same food as those passengers who stay onboard.
The beaches and waters surrounding Labadee are breathtakingly beautiful in both the clarity of the water and the tranquility of the ambience. One side of the cove is more protected than the other, affording both calmer waters and softer, sandier beaches, unlike the other side which has sharp coral-like beaches that visitors will enjoy only if they either have tough-soled feet or wear beach shoes.
Local merchants pay RCCL for the right to sell their wares in a “straw-market” environment that can be a little aggressive at time, mostly since the dozen or so stalls all sell basically the exact same things–t-shirts, wood carvings, oven mitts, and assorted touristy chachkies, which appear to have been made in China.
If you come from any place in the world where visiting a Caribbean beach constitutes a life event–even if you are crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds if not thousands of other cruise passengers–you should do it. Get off the ship and enjoy wading into the warm waters and remark at the gorgeous lush green hillsides. If you have never been ziplining, snorkeling, paddle boarding, or jet skiing, then by all means enjoy.
If, however, you are looking for and craving an authentic Haitian experience, you might be better served pulling up some National Geographic videos on YouTube and ordering room service to your cabin.
Cruise Ship Accidents Require the Help of a Maritime Injury Attorney Located in Miami, FL
Claims against major cruise lines are not made and filed in Labadee, but in the United States Federal Court–for the most part in Miami or Fort Lauderdale Florida, even when the passenger and the ship never visited either US port. This is because the cruise lines have craftily buried language deep inside the passenger ticket contract that requires that all claims against them be litigated in the United States, within one year of the date of the incident.
If you have been hurt on your cruise, it is very important that you consult with an experienced cruise ship passenger injury lawyer as soon as possible. Simply because you were injured, the cruise line will not necessarily pay you anything voluntarily. Rather, these types of cases require proof and evidence as well as the expertise of an experienced maritime injury attorney who knows and understands the complex nature of Federal maritime tort cases.
Our personal injury law firm in Miami, FL has handled hundreds of cruise ship accidents and has over 30 years of combined legal experience helping people like you who have been seriously injured on a cruise ship hold the cruise lines accountable. Call us today, toll-free at 1-866-597-4529, locally at 305-441-0440, or reach us by email at [email protected] or SKYPE, to speak with a maritime personal injury lawyer about your potential claim. We are ready to help you.