Mary, Donna's advice was right on! We were there with the Explorer in Jan. '02. It was our first cruise (E. Carib) and we had a great time. All the stops were great, but Labadee was our favorite. We were there from 9:30 till we had to drag ourselves away at 4:15. Since then the Labadee stop has been changed to Explorer's w. Carib cruise and we went on that this past Jan. Unfortunately, it rained (and I mean POURED )all day. We had decided to get on the tender at 11 AM even though the sky was still dark, but wasn'r raining yet. YIKES! The minute we pulled away from the ship the skies opened up. We wisely had seats down below under cover (actually all the upper deck seats were taken,lol), so we stayed relatively dry, but at least half the passengers got off anyway and passed the ones who had been there and were rushing back to the tender. We stayed put and went back to the ship. We hoped it would clear up later--no luck. I'm doubly glad we had the nice day last year.
Don't worry about being harrassed by the locals. The only time you will really come into contact is at the markets. There are bargains to be had, but you run the gauntlet of aggressive sellers.
We enjoyed taking the free tram on an island tour. The sun was warm, the food was good, waiters sell Labadoozies to you at your beach lounger, a calypso band played all day, the restrooms are clean and attended and there are security guards around to make you feel safe. Hope you have good weather!