Royal Caribbean has sent out an email to guests booked onboard Mariner of the Seas. It states it will not be visiting Labadee, Haiti, and has made some itinerary adjustments.
The cruise line had previously cancelled calls to its private destination at Labadee in Haiti for Allure of the Seas calling in October; that policy seems to have been extended to Mariner now as well, bringing itinerary changes for those sailings. Guests have also posted that they’ve received communications for December calls too.
Itinerary Change for Mariner of the Seas
Due to the unrest in the country, Royal Caribbean has changed the itinerary for Mariner of the Seas, which was supposed to call in Labadee on November 20. Instead, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship will be sailing to two ports in Mexico, and the cruise line also canceled a call to Nassau for this cruise:
“As a result, we’ve replaced our visit to Nassau, Bahamas as well. Instead, we’ll now visit Cozumel, Mexico and Costa Maya, Mexico. We know how much time and effort goes into planning your cruise with us, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. We’re excited to take you to new ports and know you will have an excellent time!”
Mariner of the Seas itinerary will now have a day at sea after departure and before arriving in Cozumel. This will be followed by a day in Costa Maya and one more day at sea before arriving in Port Canaveral.
Guests who had purchased shore excursions in Labadee and Nassau will automatically be refunded the amounts paid. Given the current political situation, the unsolved assassination, a leadership vacuum, severe poverty and systematic gang violence, and two natural disasters in a short time, it seems unlikely Royal Caribbean will be returning to Labadee soon. A devastating blow for the hundreds of locals working in the popular cruise destination.
Allure of the Seas became the eight ship in the fleet to resume cruise operations on August 8 and currently sailing out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Mariner of the Seas restarted operations on August 23 and is offering three- and four-night itineraries to the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral.
Haiti has been in turmoil since the July 7 assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, leaving the country in disarray. On August 14, a major earthquake struck Haiti destroying thousands of buildings and leaving at least 2,207 people dead and thousands more injured or missing. Only days after the earthquake, the country was hit by tropical storm Grace. The storm forced the rescue effort to be paused.
Royal Caribbean says in the email that calls to Labadee have been canceled due to the political and security situation in the country:
“We’re looking forward to welcoming you onboard Mariner of the Seas for our November 20, 2021, cruise. As we countdown to your sailing, we have an itinerary change to share with you. To maintain your safety and wellbeing, we’ll no longer visit Labadee due to the current political and security situation in Haiti.”
Considering all the recent events in the country, there is no surprise that Royal Caribbean has decided not to call in Haiti for the time being. The US State Department issued a no travel warning to the country stating:
“Do not travel to Haiti due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and COVID-19. Violent crime, such as armed robbery and carjacking, is common. Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. Robbers and carjackers also attack private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women.”
The situation remains fluid and Royal Caribbean could make further itinerary changes before the end of the year. Do check with the cruise line first on the latest updates when it comes to Labadee.