Royal Caribbean Cancelling Shore Tours at Troubled Destination

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In light of safety concerns following a recent prison break and rising gang violence in Haiti, Royal Caribbean International has begun cancelling select shore tours at its private destination of Labadee. Impacted guests have received notification of various cancellations, and will be provided with full refunds for the now-cancelled tours.

Labadee Tours Being Cancelled

Guests looking forward to exciting excursions during their visits to Labadee, Haiti will have fewer options to choose from in the coming weeks as Royal Caribbean is beginning to cancel select tours for different sailing dates.

“Out of respect to our local communities surrounding Labadee, Haiti, and to ensure our guest and crew safety, we’re temporarily adjusting our tour offerings,” the notification email said. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this – your safety is our top priority.”

The now-cancelled tours include some jet ski options as well as kayaking tours. Some fishing tours are also affected, and it appears that any tour that departs from the immediate vicinity of the cruise port – whether for snorkeling, beach breaks, etc. – may be cancelled as well.

All sailings scheduled to call on Labadee are similarly impacted, including upcoming visits by Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and other vessels.

Full refunds are being provided for the now-cancelled tours, with the money to be returned to the original form of payment. It may take up to 14 business days to process the refund, though exact processing times will vary for different financial institutions.

What Tours Are Still Available?

There are still tours available for guests to enjoy exclusive activities on Labadee, including a “sip and paint” experience with the island’s signature rum cocktail, cabana rentals for the ultimate beach luxury, the 2,600-foot Dragon’s Breath Zipline, the Dragon’s Tail alpine coaster, and more. Exact offerings may vary depending on sailing date and when guests visit Labadee.

Royal Caribbean Ship in Labadee
Royal Caribbean Ship in Labadee (Photo Credit: Solarisys)

Read Also: Labadee, Haiti – What You Need to Know

Guests can also enjoy nearby beaches, shopping in the Artisan’s Market and Artisan Village retail spaces, have a sip at the exclusive bars, enjoy the paved and color-coded walking trails, and more.

Of course, guests can also remain onboard their cruise ship, enjoying all the amenities Royal Caribbean vessels are known for – rock climbing walls, miniature golf, ice skating, the FlowRider surf simulator, waterslides, and more, depending on the ship.

Visits to Haiti Still a Go

At this time, Royal Caribbean International is not removing Labadee, Haiti from cruise itineraries, but the cruise line is keeping a close watch on local turmoil to ensure the safety of cruise guests and crew members.

“The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. Our global security teams are closely monitoring the situation in the area,” a recent statement from the cruise line read. “At all times, we remind guests to remain aware of their surroundings while ashore and follow all State Department guidelines. Should any changes be required, guests will be notified directly.”

Allure of the Seas in Labadee
Allure of the Seas in Labadee (Photo Credit: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock)

It should be noted that the recent prison break – with as many as 4,000 criminals escaping from two prison facilities – is 128 miles (206 kilometers) from Labadee, which would take more than 6 hours to drive on the island’s road systems.

Furthermore, Labadee is a private, isolated community and a secure compound. Only cruise guests and necessary employees, including suppliers, are permitted to enter the destination. The cruise port is a gated facility and private security ensures limited access to the community.

No cruise itineraries have yet been adjusted to remove Labadee from scheduled sailings, though that may be a possibility if crime rates increase closer to the destination or if further tensions develop.

Guests with cruises booked to the private destination should stay in close communication with Royal Caribbean in case of further shore tour cancellations in the coming weeks or if the situation changes and port visits need to be likewise adjusted.

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