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Hello,

 

I will be on my first RCI cruise in multiple years later this week; my first ever on one of Royal's big ships. I will be on the Explorer for 9 nights, and one of our ports is Labadee.

 

I was wondering, from the more experienced cruisers, what are some Explorer/Royal "hacks"? ie, how can I get to the bow to watch the ship sail away (I think it's cool that you can do that on Royal), where is the best place to get a lounge chair on deck, what night is a must-do in the MDR, etc? Not having cruised Royal in multiple years, I don't know many anecdotes, and those usually make a vacation for me, and considering how I want to like Royal, I'm looking to make this cruise as great as possible.

 

As for Labadee, I have never been, and I was planning on just chilling out, going in the water, and enjoying the free beach day. What beach is typically the best? Is there any barbecue that offers better/different food than all the main ones, or are they pretty standard? Any other "hacks"/tips?

 

Thank you in advance to anyone who provides anything, if anything, I'm just trying to kill the time between now and my flight on Thursday night. I'm very excited if you can't tell! 😄

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I think you will be sharing Labadee with the Serenade.  All BQQ's are the same . . . last time I went to Labadee, we went to Adrenaline Beach.  We watched the zip liners zoom overhead.  And there was a swim up bar.  See you Sunday at Labadee . . . .   I'll try a different beach this trip.

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The Explore is actually one of the older, smaller ships.

 

You probably should have booked the Oasis class if you wanted something big.

 

As for the rest of your questions,  there is no best beach, or best spot for a deck chair.   It is all a personal opinion.

 

Your best bet is to check it out when you get there and see what you like.

 

If you want to do research,  read the member reviews on this site.   It is the  best resource for info.

 

Also maybe check out YouTube and look at others peoples vacation videos and tours of the ship...

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The helipad should be open for sail-away.   Just go all the way to the front of deck 5, the star lounge.  when you enter the lounge there is a door on the right side that will take you out to the deck just head forward and up the few stairs to the helipad.

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Posted (edited)

Hi there! We love Labadee and, because toumention simply relaxing and swimming, we always bring a few brand new (packaged) cheap water floaties. Packaged ones take up very little luggage space 🙂 Once at the beach of your choice, we blow up and use all day. Before heading back to the ship, we always offer them to others and leave them there.  
 

I’m not sure how much RCL currently charges for their mat rental but I’m thinking it was around $20 per mat, so this will save you a bit. Enjoy your day!

Edited by dayzees13
Forgot word

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15 hours ago, crilski said:

I think you will be sharing Labadee with the Serenade.  All BQQ's are the same . . . last time I went to Labadee, we went to Adrenaline Beach.  We watched the zip liners zoom overhead.  And there was a swim up bar.  See you Sunday at Labadee . . . .   I'll try a different beach this trip.

 

Thank you! And yes, I was thinking the furthest beach away from the ship, so the opposite side of Adrenaline Beach. Looking for something more quiet, and I feel like with two ships, the further down we go, the quieter it will be. Looking forward to a good day!

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14 hours ago, matj2000 said:

The Explore is actually one of the older, smaller ships.

 

You probably should have booked the Oasis class if you wanted something big.

 

As for the rest of your questions,  there is no best beach, or best spot for a deck chair.   It is all a personal opinion.

 

Your best bet is to check it out when you get there and see what you like.

 

If you want to do research,  read the member reviews on this site.   It is the  best resource for info.

 

Also maybe check out YouTube and look at others peoples vacation videos and tours of the ship...

 

If you look at my cruise history, you'll see that the Explorer actually comes out to my third biggest ship ever .... I'm mostly a Carnival cruiser with two MSC cruises on their newer ships. Had it not been for MSC, the Explorer would in fact be my biggest ship to date ...

 

Not sure what the purpose of your comment was, as I have been reading reviews and watching videos for months, but still had some gaps I wanted to fill through cruise critic. While the best spot for a deck chair is definitely a personal opinion, I was looking for something along the lines of "Deck 14 aft rarely gets full, you shouldn't have difficulty finding a chair back there" or "Deck 16 forward is nice, but there are no showers/pools so you will likely get hot". Definitely wasn't looking to be redirected back to where I started ...

 

Thanks for your input

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14 hours ago, stevea36 said:

The helipad should be open for sail-away.   Just go all the way to the front of deck 5, the star lounge.  when you enter the lounge there is a door on the right side that will take you out to the deck just head forward and up the few stairs to the helipad.

 

Thank you! I've been trying to figure this out for months, you're the first person to answer it for me. I'm excited! Does it open any other time or just during sailaways and such?

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2 hours ago, dayzees13 said:

Hi there! We love Labadee and, because toumention simply relaxing and swimming, we always bring a few brand new (packaged) cheap water floaties. Packaged ones take up very little luggage space 🙂 Once at the beach of your choice, we blow up and use all day. Before heading back to the ship, we always offer them to others and leave them there.  
 

I’m not sure how much RCL currently charges for their mat rental but I’m thinking it was around $20 per mat, so this will save you a bit. Enjoy your day!

 

Thanks so much for this trip! We actually have some that we could bring so I will consider packing them!

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5 hours ago, OceansOfTravels said:

 

Not sure what the purpose of your comment was, as I have been reading reviews and watching videos for months, but still had some gaps I wanted to fill through cruise critic. While the best spot for a deck chair is definitely a personal opinion, I was looking for something along the lines of "Deck 14 aft rarely gets full, you shouldn't have difficulty finding a chair back there" or "Deck 16 forward is nice, but there are no showers/pools so you will likely get hot". Definitely wasn't looking to be redirected back to where I started ...

 

Thanks for your input

 

You did not mention that you have already read the reviews or watched YouTube.

 

Many people do not even know about the member reviews on this website.

 

They come straight here with the classic " I am going on the _______OTS,  tell me everything about it"

 

Also, don't do to much research.  It really is pretty easy to find out things while onboard.

 

It is nice too save things for a surprise..

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6 hours ago, OceansOfTravels said:

 

Thank you! I've been trying to figure this out for months, you're the first person to answer it for me. I'm excited! Does it open any other time or just during sailaways and such?

In the past, it has been open most of the time.    Depends on security and weather...

 

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6 hours ago, OceansOfTravels said:

 

Thank you! I've been trying to figure this out for months, you're the first person to answer it for me. I'm excited! Does it open any other time or just during sailaways and such?

We were on the Explorer over Thanksgiving and the helipad was open just about all cruise (it was closed the last sea day because they were painting it).  Definitely go out at night - awesome place to see stars!!

 

It is one of our favorite places.

 

They will close access to the helipad if there are high winds.   

 

Also, go and check out the peek-a-boo bridge.   It is located on the pool deck -with access from the solarium.  We are disappointed that it will be removed during the upcoming refurb.   We've really enjoyed it on this class of ships.

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Posted (edited)

Also, not necessarily the quietest beach at Labadee, but the sandiest is Columbus Cove.  There is also usually a ferry that will take you there, but it's easier to walk. Nothing is very far at Labadee.  There is a Straw Market on Labadee.  I avoid it as they are very pushy and for me, too much so.  But if you're looking for any cheap souvenirs it's there.  Just be forewarned, there are lots of stories of the vendors placing a "free gift" on your wrist or something then insisting you pay for it.  

One other point... other than Columbus Cove, the beaches in the water are pretty rocky.  Take a pair of watershoes if you plan to swim.  

Edited by papaflamingo

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Columbus Cove is the best beach.  Take the trolley.  You can walk and shop along the way if you want.  The buildings you come to first are not bad.  As you get farther in, the shop keepers get aggressive.  I prefer the trolley so they can't grab my arm as I walk by.

 

I love just spending the day in the water at the beach.  Very nice sandy with a smooth taper.  It is well protected, so small waves, but nothing that will really move you.  There is a bit of a drop right at the beach, but not too bad.  Maybe 10-12".  The food is right there at the beach.  They have chairs that are first come first serve.  Some are shady and others are not.

 

Labadee is my relax and do nothing day!  :-)

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The water on the cove side is like swimming in a Haitian sewer especially after heavy rain. I would love to take a sample of it and have it tested....🤮 I only swim on the side that is directly on the open ocean.

 

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15 minutes ago, Vacationdreamer<>< said:

Do you eat while you are on the island?  

Yes.  It's a buffet like in Windjammer.  Nothing fancy.  Some kind of pork or such.  Burgers and dogs.  Corn and other veggies.  Cookies and other desserts.  Food is free so why walk back to the ship.

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On 1/7/2020 at 1:12 AM, OceansOfTravels said:

" or "Deck 16 forward is nice, but there are no showers/pools so you will likely get hot". Definitely wasn't looking to be redirected back to where I started ...

 

Thanks for your input

I can promise you there are no pools or showers on deck 16 forward as the highest forward deck on Explorer is 13. Sorry, I couldn't resist. 😉

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On 1/7/2020 at 1:08 AM, OceansOfTravels said:

 

Thank you! And yes, I was thinking the furthest beach away from the ship, so the opposite side of Adrenaline Beach. Looking for something more quiet, and I feel like with two ships, the further down we go, the quieter it will be. Looking forward to a good day!

Adrenalin Beach is actually quiet. The ight sound that the zip line makes is not at all intrusive. It is my favorite beach at Labadee. The scenery is nice and the zip line is fun to watch.

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12 minutes ago, Jeff13 said:

Yes.  It's a buffet like in Windjammer.  Nothing fancy.  Some kind of pork or such.  Burgers and dogs.  Corn and other veggies.  Cookies and other desserts.  Food is free so why walk back to the ship.

Why walk back to the ship? Because the fly infested buffets on the island are really nothing like the Windjammer on the ship.

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