Royal Caribbean announced that it is canceling another port stop, this time by the Navigator of the Seas, at it’s "private destination" in Labadee, Haiti. According to the RCL Blog, Royal Caribbean said today:

"Royal Caribbean has not received any guarantees or assurances that there will not be any protests in the future. If a protest takes place while a ship is port, there would be a significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee, or we may have to cancel the visit completely."

As we mentioned on the 19th, a small flotilla of boats carrying Haitians protested when the Freedom of the Seas tried to call on Labadee.  Although most of the traditional media tried to down-play the Labadee Haiti Cruiseincident or suggest that it was part of the protests about the national election in Haiti, many have suggested that the protests were focused on the exploitation of Haitian people brought about by Royal Caribbean and its trademarked resort of Labadie. (Royal Caribbean’s "Labadee®" is derived from the name of the 1600’s French plantation baron and slave owner Marquis de La’Badie.) 

We recently published an article by a cruise passenger on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship yesterday – Local Protesters Greet Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship as well as an article which I wrote: Haitians Protest at Royal Caribbean’s "Private Destination" at Labadee.  

After the Royal Caribbean ship was turned away, Prime Minister Evans Paul issued a press statement on Twitter, praising the cruise line and promising that regular tourist activities would continue in Labadee:

“The Haitian government strongly condemns with the utmost vigor the incident that occurred, this Tuesday, January 19, 2016, at the tourist port of Labadee with the inopportune arrival of a group of protesters to the dock of this port. This situation caused a regrettable tension for cruise passengers arriving at the site.

Therefore, the Government believes that some different can be resolved through dialogue and calls for calm everyone. The government has taken steps to remedy this situation caused by social order demands. Government officials will have to meet as soon as possible, residents of Labadee area and thus start a dialogue process.

On the other hand, we want to reassure and give our largest tourism partner of the cruise ship company Royal Caribbean all the guarantee that the arrangements will be made by the government to secure the area and allow the tourism activity to continue on the site of Labadee as usual.

The Government of the Republic of Haiti reaffirms the implementation of its overall policy to ensure that Haiti can become one of the main tourist destinations in the Caribbean that can accommodate visitors from around the world."

Royal Caribbean also said: "We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are in close communication with local and government officials in Haiti. At this time, we have not made any decisions regarding any additional upcoming port calls to Labadee. The next schedule call is Vision of the Seas, on Sunday, January 24."

The photo above, credit Freedom of the Seas cruise passenger Tom Fox, was taken on January 19th. 

January 22, 2016 Update:  A Haitian on-line site claims that "representatives of the Haitian Government met Thursday the residents of the community of Labadee to start the dialogue process. Meanwhile, the Minister Villedrouin will meet today Royal Caribbean with a view to guarantee a early resumption of tourism activities in Labadee."

Embarquement pour Labadee, "prison pour touristes"  Boarding for Labadee, "prison for tourists" – (use Google Chrome to automatically translate). "Six years after the earthquake that struck Haiti January 12, 2010, Caterina Clerici and Kim Wall, two independent journalists, respectively photographer and writer, visited the country the time to four geographic and thematic chapters, to understand how tourism can definitely transform the country – for better or for worse."

  • Patricia lyon

    I’m planing a trip on the oasis in August I hope by then everything will be settled

  • tinikini

    Ummm…even if they did get things “under control” I am thinking I would be rethinking this port, until the dust settles a bit. Patricia I hope all is calm for you in August. As it was said yesterday they need the tourist dollars…but on the flip side they are losing those dollars to make a stand and a point and they know that. Someone in those boats is related to someone who sells something, and is losing money, but so far we have not heard of any retaliation against the ones in the boats. Thank God!! As expected, the government stepped in. In my opinion they are mad at RC and their government, not the tourist, (Yes, I know some are hateful, there are hateful people in every race.) and until they feel they are done right, you are going to see more of this. It’s sad everyone is missing their port and excursions and the locals are missing out on their money, because someone with power got too greedy. Keep us informed Jim, it will be interesting to see how this plays out!

  • Joe

    Jim

    We are scheduled to visit Labadee on FOS on 2nd Feb, 2016. If this protest is not resolved by then will RCL change their itinerary and visit some other port?

    Joe

  • philippe Fils-Aime

    Corrections. The protesters are not mad at RC or the tourists. They are mad at a situation where there is no trickle back to the local communities. Some 5 years ago our national NGO, CEFCAD tried to set up a dialogue with authorities on the situation. We were met with sarcasm and hostility from the gvt people and the Labadie management. So very little of the income from this venture reaches the locals and you should not be surprised that the population dont give a damn whether there are tourists or not. Even the vendors are not from the area. If RC wants to continue it must take some responsabilities vis a vis the local groups and not rely on some self propelled opportunistic “leaders” and gvt. employees.

  • Jason Redmond

    The truth behind this is it has nothing to do with the elections. It is just Royal Caribbean way of twisting the truth. This is about the fact that Royal Caribbean has a private beach that they take their clients to and next to non of the money goes into the economy. They stopped taking passengers to the village of Labadee all together and now pass Labadee for a very small private beach with a mock village owned by a few very wealthy families. The village of Labadee survived on tourism and the only way to get there is by boat. I have been there and it is a beautiful village that has many abandon restaurants and shops due to no patrons to visit them. Carnival has cut deals with a few wealthy individuals and take their passengers to a sanitized destination with no Haitian influence. That is why the people are blockading the boat because they are fed up with they way they got brushed aside and have to watch the ship come in and all the passengers get ferried past them to a beach further down the coast. So Royal Caribbean stop telling lies to make Haiti look like a barbaric country full of unreasonable people and face up to your own actions.

  • Ray

    Upcoming Labadee Schedule – Will they call?

    Date Pax Ships

    25-Jan-16 3835 Navigator Of The Seas
    26-Jan-16 5400 Allure Of The Seas
    27-Jan-16 6810 Independence of the Seas, Vision Of The Seas
    28-Jan-16 4180 Anthem of the Seas
    29-Jan-16 2886 Celebrity Silhouette
    30-Jan-16
    31-Jan-16 2446 Grandeur Of The Seas

  • Lynne Stade

    My family and I sail on The Allure on Feb 7 and are supposed to stop in Labadee. Will we and if not , is there another port of call planned?

  • Wendy

    We are scheduled to visit Haiti in September on FOS. Hope everything will be OK by then.

  • Thom

    We were on the ship that landed Saturday that had skipped even trying to stop at Labadee. All they did was cruise right by and kept us at Sea until we got to Ft. lauderdale. Since this is supposed to do with cruises and law, should they have done anything in lieu of the stop? All we got was the official announcement, and nothing changed in activities, or even the idea of buying a drink for everyone.

  • georges

    the Haitians are protesting because the money rc it’s giving the government of Haiti. its staying in the pocket of the people in power. they should use the money they get from RC to build school and hospital. and RC should not charge the peoples of the village money to enter the beach to sell their arts and crafts. I spook to them and I think that’s why they are protesting.

  • mary powell

    This is deplorable and we must seek the truth. I have visited Haiti many times during the “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” eras…Haiti was a beautiful country. A few years ago, I was on a RC cruise that promised to stop in Haiti. I was SHOCKED when we stopped on this “beach” and was told this was Haiti!?! I did not see the Haitian people that I remembered. There should be protests because as someone stated, this money is not likely going to the Haitians. RC should have more respect – when will it all stop. This country and its people need the financial support. And, I am proud the Haitian people are protesting. I understand they have good reasons to protest and i hope more are coming. If not in Haiti, let’s protect in the states and let the bigger wider world know whats going on.

  • Blah blah

    I was actually lucky because I went on the Oasis of the Seas on the 1st of January and I enjoyed the place 😊

  • bill

    my wife and son cruised with RCC this week 2/14/16 our stop in hatti was ok but we found it very commercialized I was hoping to see the culture of the Hatti people. what I got instead was very aggressive and borderline threatening Hatti shop keepers. At one point I had to gently push away a Hatti man who refused to move out of the doorway so I could get to my 18 yr old son who was taken out of sight and pressured to buy stuff. I did not meet one pleasant smiling Hattian unless I was buying something and kept buying. I hope the situation improves

  • Peter deMatteo

    I am a regular tourist to Cap Haitien but certainly can’t afford to travel on the Royal Caribbean, nor would I want to. They have a private, gated beach serving their patrons and the Haitian vendors and other tourists are not allowed to enter. the vendors would be so happy to be able to sell things to the passengers. imagine docking at the shore of Haiti and not being adventurous enough to explore!! why not a quick tour of downtown cap haitien and its port. there are affluent restaurants and bars, as well. my wife and I have never felt threatened in Haiti physically. taking a ferry boat and going to the other beach behind the cove is certainly exciting and rustic, but enough is enough, Royal Caribbean.