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Royal Caribbean cancels visits to private destination in Haiti through September 2024

AoS in Haiti

If you're considering booking a Royal Caribbean cruise to Labadee, their private destination located on the northern peninsula of Haiti, you'll want to hold off. Due to the civil unrest in Haiti, Royal Caribbean has decided to suspend operations in Labadee through September 2024, prioritizing the well-being of both passengers and crew members. 

Though Port-au-Prince, the capital where the majority of the aggression has occurred, is roughly six and a half hours away from Labadee, the news reports of gang violence and killings in and around the city have prompted Royal Caribbean to err on the side of caution, as Labadee isn't a private island. 

Instead, it's a 260-acre beach site that's walled off from the rest of the country, with Royal Caribbean employing a private security force to ensure passenger safety. 


The cruise line began announcing cancelations in March, with stops initially only suspended through May. However, in light of the ongoing escalation, they've decided to extend cancelations through September.

Major violence engulfed Haiti in late February when the nation's former Prime Minister flew to Kenya seeking support for additional police presence to help fight the country's gangs. In a display of defiance, Haiti's gangs joined forces to fight against the government. Soon after, a mass prison break occurred, escalating the already-elevating violence. 

On March 3, a state of emergency was declared, with the Prime Minister resigning on March 12. Due to the deteriorating state of the nation, the U.S. Embassy has advised that all United States citizens evacuate the country as soon as possible. 


Those with impacted itineraries have reported being re-routed to ports like Grand Turk and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in The Bahamas. In some cases, the canceled stop has resulted in an extra day at sea. 

"We have suspended all visits to Labadee fleetwide...and we continue to monitor the situation with our Global Security & Intelligence team," Royal Caribbean shared on their website, "Please know that the safety and comfort of our guests are always our highest priority."

Royal Caribbean is continuing to monitor the situation and will advise guests with cruises booked beyond September 2024 of any itinerary changes. 

In March, Royal Caribbean said they'd be halting visits to the port "in an abundance of caution"


In the official correspondence addressed to guests and travel partners, Aurora Yera-Rodriguez, Assistant Vice President of Royal Caribbean International, said, “Due to the evolving situation in Haiti, and in an abundance of caution, we're temporarily suspending our visits to Labadee for our entire fleet. We continue to monitor and assess the situation with our Global Security & Intelligence Team.”

In lieu of calling on Labadee, guests on the March 15 and 17 sailings onboard Adventure and Symphony of the Seas enjoyed a day at Grand Turk and at sea, respectively. 

Additional days at sea, however, are a last resort, as the cruise line's first choice is to provide another port for guests to visit. Because of availability, there isn't a one-size-fits-all option, meaning that each itinerary is subject to different alternatives. Port schedules are created years in advance, so there's not a lot of room for last-minute changes due to limited berth/anchoring space in nearby ports. 

Guests who have booked shore excursions will receive automatic refunds


Passengers don't have to spend money on excursions to have a lovely day ashore. With plenty of complimentary lounge chairs and a delicious buffet, guests are able to enjoy a relaxing day soaking up the Caribbean sun for no extra cost. Like CocoCay, though, there are plenty of excursions that cruisers can purchase to enhance their Haitian experience, from private cabanas to a 2,600-foot zip line and snorkeling tours. 

Naturally, those who purchased excursions will want their money back to spend either pocket on other add-ons, such as a spa treatment for their extra day at sea or an excursion in the replacement port of call. 

“Any pre-paid Royal Caribbean International shore excursions booked for Labadee will automatically be refunded to your original form of payment," read an email to guests booked on the March 14 sailing onboard Symphony of the Seas. 

Labadee cabana

"In the meantime, feel free to browse all the exciting shore excursion options for your sailing in My Royal Cruise to level up your vacation. Thank you for your understanding."

Because of the enhanced security, guests aren't able to book third-party excursions like in Nassau or Cozumel. Instead, all tours have to be booked directly through Royal Caribbean. In situations like these, it benefits the passenger, as they don't have to worry about requesting a refund. 

Passengers are, understandably, disappointed; however, many understand why Royal Caribbean made this decision and aren't trying to let the cancelation ruin their vacation


On a RoyalCaribbeanBlog discussion board, Fastfaller wrote, "Me and the 6 families that went with us all had an excellent time. Labadee would have made it more special..." In an earlier post, Fastfaller commented that if Labadee got canceled and replaced with a sea day, they'd be canceled since the Southern Caribbean itinerary was already full of days at sea, and they have a particular love for Haiti. 

Thankfully, they were able to look at the bright side, mentioning that Falmouth, Jamaica wasn't as disappointing as they thought it would be. Not only did the children in the group have fun drinking coconuts, but they also tasted raw sugar cane and "some of the best mangos you could ever taste." 

User Cory said, "Kinda bummed we're not going to Labadee from the Oasis, love hanging out there so were just sailing tomorrow, we have definitely slowed down since the news, but it will be alright, hopefully things will get better for Haiti." 


"I booked my cruise specifically for Labadee. It was our only stop," wrote Veronica Houck on Facebook, "We are going to Grand Turk instead. I’ve heard mixed reviews. Of course, I want to be safe and my heart hurts for the people of Haiti, but I was definitely looking forward to that all-inclusive port day!"

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