Words matter, and nowhere in the cruise world is that becoming more clear than at Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s beloved beach resort. While many people mistakenly believe Labadee to be a private island owned by the line, it is in fact part of the country of Haiti. And while that may not seem like a huge distinction, the fact that Labadee is a resort, and not an island, is primarily why several of the line’s recent cruise ships have had to bypass the gorgeous location. While Allure of the Seas was able to visit the tropical paradise on Tuesday, it’s safe to assume that Royal Caribbean will continue monitoring the situation and making decisions on a case-by-case basis in the weeks ahead.
Will more ships wind up skipping Labadee?
As it happens, Haiti is in a bit of turmoil at the moment thanks to a rather contentious presidential election. Sure, the occasional insult might be thrown during a Donald Trump rally, but in Haiti, things are downright ugly, with accusations of fraud running rampant and protests erupting in the street. As NPR’s Carrie Kahn recently explained on Morning Edition, “It has just fallen apart here in the last couple of days. There hasn’t even been a date when they’re going to hold new elections, and the protests just continue to grow here in the streets.”
Unfortunately, that impacts cruisers because Royal Caribbean has apparently made the wise decision to put passenger safety first, even if that means occasionally having some disgruntled guests on their hands. “If a protest takes place while a ship is in port,” they said in a recent statement, “there would be a significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee.”