Royal Caribbean reestablishes stop in Haiti, deems it safe

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A Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship anchored off Labadee Beach, near Cap Haitian, Haiti, as passengers enjoy the water. The cruise line canceled stops to Labadee on Jan. 19 amid protests and reestablished the port of call on Jan. 26. DANIEL MOREL AP

 

Royal Caribbean’s behemoth 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas sailed into the Haitian port of Labadee Tuesday morning, reestablishing the port of call after protests earlier this month led the cruise line to cancel stops to the island.

Since suspending service to the peninsula on Jan. 19, Royal Caribbean has remained in close communication with local and government officials in Haiti, spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said.

Following assurances from officials that protests would not disrupt passengers’ stay, the company resumed stops to the private beach resort on Haiti’s northern coast.

“Based on our conversations, we feel comfortable that there will not be any significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee,” Martinez said.

Royal Caribbean’s 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas canceled its stop when a group of locals staging a protest on small boats raised concerns about guests’ ability to enjoy the island, a company release said. Stops by 3,276-passenger Navigator of the Seas on Jan. 21 and 2,416-passenger Vision of the Seas on Jan. 24 were also suspended.

Protests and escalating violence surrounding the validity of the 2015 presidential and legislative election have plagued the island nation in recent months. Runoff elections slated for Sunday were postponed and no new date has been determined.

It’s not the first time protests impede cruise visits to the island. Royal Caribbean canceled trips for four years, from 1991 to 1995, amid government instability.

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