Labadee

p1010627.JPGdsc00057.JPGLabadee is a private enclave owned by Royal Caribbean on the north coast of Hispaniola. dsc00051.JPGTransportation is by local tenders and there is tight security both entering and leaving the peninsula. The beaches, and there are about five of them, some hidden away, are fine white sand with very swimable water.dsc00064.JPG But as clear as the water appears, warning signs are scattered along the shore. dsc00061.JPGThe most reported injuries coming from bare feet meeting spiny sea urchins.

Although Azamara does not cater to children, Labadee does. There’s a huge slide,dsc00070.JPG an Aqua Park, and Luc’s Splash Bash p1010637-1.JPGwith water coming up, coming down, and blasting from kids playing pirate at the end of water cannons.dsc00059.JPG

A tram will take you throughout the area and let you off wherever you decide to land. And wherever that is, a crew member with beer and other drinks will find you.p1010636.JPG

Unfortunately, the clouds that have plagued us since Hamilton were still blocking the sun so we only spent a hour or so on the beach. The one downside to Labadee was being hustled by vendors. They have both an outdoor display area, and one inside a long hall filled with boothsdsc00066.JPG. dsc00065.JPGDoing the inside is running the gauntlet of grabs, entreaties, and intimidation. If you had a windshield, they would clean it. Outdoors is much the same, but easier to escape. Nevertheless, I did contribute to the local economy. I left my lens cap.

We read most of the afternoon and then went to dinner. When we got to our table, Alex brought me a new bottle of wine to replace the one I sipped from before I ran to the cabin the night before. No charge for the wine, and this is what makes Azamara so special. You, the customer, are paid attention to, and thus feel special.

I wanted to see the show featuring a comedy juggler, so I went early enough to get a decent seat. As I sat watching the empty stage, a man went to the bandstand a deposited a chair. A bit later, he brought a guitar to put by the chair. “Interesting”, I thought, “Is this guy going to juggle the guitar and the chair.” “Oh, but Geoff”, the rational part of my mind said, “tonight’s show features Jonathon Sargent, classical guitarist. Last night was the Juggler, and, dear boy, you were in bed.”

I left my seat, and that’s where I went.

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