Royal Caribbean maintains Haiti itineraries despite ‘Do Not Travel’ warnings

Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, recently made international headlines for gang-related violence and a prison break that led to thousands of escaped inmates. These events prompted the US Department of State to issue its highest alert level, a level 4: do not travel advisory. 

labadee haiti royal caribbean
(Photo via Royal Caribbean)

Despite the warning, Royal Caribbean continues to call on Haiti while assuring the public that it is on top of the situation. But is it safe to stop in Haiti, and should cruisers with a scheduled visit to the country be concerned?

It’s important to note that the port where Royal Caribbean ships dock is outside of Port-au-Prince—86 miles north (the way the crow flies) or a six-hour drive away, to be more precise. The area is in Labadee, an exclusive part of the island where only employees, guests, and cruise line vessels are allowed.

In addition, passengers who disembark there are mandated to remain inside the resort during their entire visit. Royal’s security team carefully guards access points, and passengers cannot book third-party excursions. 

A spokesperson of Royal Caribbean told the media, “Our global security teams are closely monitoring the situation in the area. 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,”

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Ships that Stop at Labadee

A map of the Caribbean with a red circle indicating the location of Royal Caribbean's private detention, accompanied by a

Oasis of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas will visit Labadee in the next few weeks.

Royal Caribbean-owned Celebrity Cruise ships will also call at its port in December. These include Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Eclipse, and Celebrity Ascent. 

Is it really safe to visit Labadee?

oasis of the seas docked at labadee haiti
Oasis of the Seas docked at Labadee, Haiti (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Though the developments in Port-au-Prince are certainly a cause for concern, Labadee’s distance from the capital and its security measures make it a safe haven for cruise passengers. 

Erica Mc Namara, a recent passenger, told CNN that it was her “favorite stop of the entire trip.” 

Meanwhile, a Reddit user shared, “It’s not just a compound, it’s in the middle of nowhere very far from all the troubles. If there is any risk to the cruisers and their ships, I can guarantee RCCL will cancel the port.”

Royal Caribbean has been calling on Labadee for decades. It has canceled trips to Labadee several times, as it did in 2021 when the State Department issued a similar warning.

Ultimately, cruisers are advised to remain updated on travel alerts. Should they be concerned about their safety on the island, they can stay on the ship and enjoy its crowd-free amenities.

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