Day Seven – Labadee, Haiti

by Cate on October 13, 2006

An unspoiled, gorgeous port of call, it actually reminded me of the CBS show, Survivor. It’s a good thing that I’ve been recording everything here, because after 4 stops in 4 days, they begin to blur after a bit and I’m having trouble remembering which thing we saw/did where.

Labadee is a private island in Haiti owned by Royal Caribbean. There’s a small water park for kids (Luc’s Splash Bash), which they thoroughly enjoyed, jet skis, parasailing, banana boats, rock climbing walls on the water, multiple beaches and pure relaxation in a number of ways. It’s a tough day for the ship’s crew though, as they bring out food from the ship and serve a BBQ on the beach; the bartenders lug around drinks (Labadouzies!) on the sand, and there are enough crew members wandering around to tend to your every need. The staff from the spa even lug their stuff out to do massages on the beach!

No stores or real sightseeing, since it is so undeveloped (and that is the true beauty of it), but there is a Haiti Marketplace teeming with Haitians hawking their wares. Before coming here, I read in multiple places how the vendors try and get you to see their stuff, trying to grab you, fighting for your attention, and they did, though very politely. I bought a few things, but since there’s haggling (which I depise), I always wonder if I got the best price. The large bowl in the back of the picture below started at $50. We settled on $20, but then I walk away wondering if he sold it for $15 or $10 to the next person. And from vendor to vendor, they all had basically the same offerings, so, of course, the I-made-it-myself aspect is gone.

All for tonight. Until tomorrow (grand midnight buffet!)…

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire October 13, 2006 at 4:10 am

I wish I could hear the music those guys are playing! That bowl is beautiful!

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patsy October 13, 2006 at 12:45 pm

It looks absolutely beautiful there! I love the bowl, and think that at $20 it was quite a bargain. Looks like the kids are enjoying the trip as much as the adults!

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PatL October 13, 2006 at 3:46 pm

It’s a beautiful bowl, and you can feel good because you helped a Haitian family eat better that week by buying it, even if you gave an extra $5 or $10. I agree with Patsy, in American buying terms it’s quite a bargain, I can’t imagine you could find such a thing here for that price!

I hate to mention it, but if it’s at all varnished, I’d be wary of putting food in it. Haitians don’t always have access to food-safe finishes for their items.

Love the pic of the lovebirds!

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Duane October 13, 2006 at 8:55 pm

Nice pictures! looks like a tropical paradise.

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WhiteTrashBBQ October 14, 2006 at 2:21 am

I love Haiti. I had such a great time there on a couple of visits. The poverty and government need to be wiped out, but the people are some of the friendliest in the Carib!

I know what you mean about haggling about prices. I always feel I could do better. I try to look at it as I can help someone out by spending $20 instead of $15 and it would still cost me a lot more at home.

Everybody wins.

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Cate October 14, 2006 at 1:43 pm

Claire – the music was lively, upbeat and perfect for the island setting. If they had a CD, I would have snapped it up. :)

Patsy – I agree. Can’t wait to start using it.

PatL – I read an article that said what they sell to us could mean the difference between eating or not. That really drives it home, doesn’t it. And definitely agree on the food-in-the-bowl. I asked each vendor each time I bought a piece, and they all said it was fine, but I think I’ll be sticking to fruit and such to play it safe.

Duane – thanks; it is!

White Trash – everyone was exceptionally friendly and the place is gorgeous!

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