Labadee, Haiti

Royal Caribbean’s private stop, called Labadee, is located on Haiti. It is an area of land owned by the cruise line.  On the resort, there are beaches, restaurants, water slides and many other fun things to do.  We visited this port just before the massive earthquake that struck the island a few years ago.

It’s a beautiful place filled with bright white sand and light blue waters. Hammocks on trees lightly swaying to the Caribbean breeze beckons visitors to come take a nap. However, there is something a bit unsettling about the place.  On one side of the gigantic fence was a beautiful resort filled with people enjoying a vacation and on the other side folks trying to survive in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.  It was hard for me to enjoy my time knowing that people were suffering so close and could witness our lavishness right in front of them.  The local people do work the resort and it does help bring needed cash to the area.   Yet still, I couldn’t help but contemplate the sheer inequity that exists in our world.

To purchase a calendar with my work, please visit the Seth Snap store.  To see more of my photos, please visit my website.


Beautiful blue

Warm ocean

Rocks galore



Fancy a nap?


Old and new


Howdy y’all

Great ride


82 responses to “Labadee, Haiti

  1. Pingback: Labadee, Haiti « apithanosg·

  2. You are like the ocean. While I get to see my own seashore, I know that the waters connect us, and you let me experience other shores. Thank you!

  3. Yes, I fancy that nap! These are beautiful. All your shots are, but these are of particular interest because of my Haitian friend who has told me many stories. Thanks.

  4. I really appreciated your comments about the juxtaposition of wealth and poverty. It is very upsetting. Perhaps though, being forced to compare may get us all to actually do something about the disparities in our local community, city, country and around the world. In the US alone an obscene amount of money will be sent on Christmas this year – ten percent of which could permanently solve things like inadequate freshwater throughout the world. Thanks for raising this on your post.

  5. I agree with Just Rod – excellent comment!

    Our brothers and sisters on the other side of the fence are suffering deeply – this is not an easy thing to accept (especially when we ourselves are equipped with such financial / material wealth, enjoying a honeymoon of some kind on this side of the fence).

    Seth, thanks for noting your unsettled feeling – these type of emotional responses reconnect us to the basic fact that we’re all human. Have you ever heard of the concept of the “Veil of Ignorance?”

    Check out the VOI wikipedia article here:

    Kudos for following your love of photography and your dedication to share it with the rest of us!

    Ben @ TravelingThaneFurrows

  6. “It was hard for me to enjoy my time knowing that people were suffering so close and could witness our lavishness right in front of them.”—I know exactly what you mean. I felt the same way when our cruise ship stopped there this past summer.

  7. Gorgeous photos! I have some friends that went on a Royal Caribbean cruise and stopped in Labadee. They loved it – their pics weren’t as nice as yours though, hehe!

  8. I’m headed to the Carribean this weekend for a little diving. Your photos have me more ready to go than before! Hurry up, Saturday!!

      • Flying into St. Thomas, then boarding a sailing yacht for a week of diving the Virgin Island sites. (Not sure if staying in the US or going on to BVI; I don’t have the boat’s itinerary yet). I will definitely take photos (though I’m not nearly as talented a photographer as you!) and will post on the blog. Really looking forward to it!

  9. Great shots! You’re killing me here with these lovely WARM locations when I’m cold… LOL Great work! 😀

  10. Pingback: Award :)) | kalabalu·

  11. Stunning place but I understand the feelings, is it bad to display affluence in front of people suffering poverty or does it help that the cruise brings much needed jobs and income to some of the people. Tough one to judge.

    • What’s tough about it? When a multi-billion dollar corporation pays minimum wages to a small minority of desparately poor people who live in a beautiful place, it’s not called contribution. It’s called exploitation. If an equitable economic relationship between Haiti and the tourism industry existed, Haiti would have a healthy economy.
      It’s as simplle as that.
      There’s one reason and one reason only why Haitians are black and French speaking: they are descended from West and Central Africans who were kidnapped, enslaved, and brought to labor on French plantations under the most brural of recorded conditions. They were not expected to live long, and they did not. They were deliberately worked to death.
      They freed themselves from a major European power because each one of them fought like a hero for the life of his brother.
      For countless decades, developed nations profited from the cooperative brutal dictatorships that are so often a legacy of colonialism and slavery.
      And it’s a coincidence or some kind of cultural failure that Haiti is the poorest nation in thje world?
      Oh, please.
      They don’t Americans to come and teach them about religion. I find that concept obscene. THEY should be teaching US – for high pay.They don’t need Americans to come and “fall in love” with their children, either.
      I’m sorry, but I know every that single reader of Seth’s beautiful blog does not have to be told these things. We all know what’s right. We are not stupid. Our tender feelings are not sacred. This is why people all over the world can’t stand white Americans – and we all need to grow up, face that fact., and knock it off.

  12. hey!! love your pictures.. all of them and all your posts. I’m writing this so that if i miss out a post here and there this may considered for them too.. 🙂

  13. hey brother, thanks for the like on my post. Much appreciated. Awesome blog you have here. Capturing your life journey through the beauty of your passion of photography! Keep up the good work. Blessings

  14. After reading Claire O’Brien’s comment above I almost did not comment myself.
    Instead, I will write what I was going to say anyway, regarding your feelings of the great inequality that exists on the other side of the wall:
    Doesn’t it make you feel at least a little bit like the first-person narrator of Don Henley’s “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”, whose lyrics betray it to be not at all a simple Top 40 hit song? It’s about American Imperialism, economic inequality, exploitation…and, at the end of the song, our indifference to it.
    Just the fact that you give a damn about the situation means you’re much better than most. The best you could do, if it means that much to you, is don’t return and urge others not to go there as well. That’s your small but meaningful contribution.

  15. Your photographs are gorgeous! what kind of camera do you use? Thanks for “liking” my blog! I started following yours. if you get the chance shoot me an email about the camera. I am hoping to buy a nice one soon!

  16. Wow, thank you Claire Obrien for these truthful comments! Well done!This peice of beautiful paradise belong to/owned by haiti and the haitian people only! however it is LEASED to royal carribean cruise line until 2050! They pay the Haitian government $6 US for every passenger on board. Which might i add is a ripp-off for Haiti. Don’t you think you should post it as “PRIVATELY LEASED/RENT”. Not “privately owned”. RCCL ows nothing but the non-creole restorants and the inflated ballons that the Haitian government gave them permission to have. Since we have a more business-oriented government now, i hope they are working on the kind of priviledges they allow to RCCL in these contracts. Make sure you are well informed before posting your online comments about Haiti. Also, it’s Haiti, not Hispaniola. That stupid name was removed january 1st, 1804, after Haitian abarrassed the french and kicked them out of the contry = 1st black republic. I think it’s a lack of respect to the history of Haiti to still call it Hispaniola. Just so you should know we have places like that and more beautiful then that all over Haiti. It’s not just Labadee. Do your homework please!

    • Are you referring to my article or to someone’s comments. I am a bit confused. If you are talking to me, I didn’t use the term Hispaniola. Also, I said nothing bad about Haiti in my story. I talked about how beautiful it was and how I felt bad about enjoying vacation when people were so close begging for money. That’s sad and hard to comprehend. I am not sure who you are referring your comment to.

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