When you first get off the cruise ship in Barbados, you are in the middle of a port shipping yard and the size of it is very impressive, but not exactly the island paradise that you were looking for. After a short shuttle to the cruise terminal though, it gets better and better. For starters, Barbados’ cruise terminal is a very nice huge building lined with shops on it’s interior.
Unique to Barbados:
- Atlantis Submarine Tour
- Harrison’s Cave
- Mount Gay Distillery
- Swimming with Turtles
- Pirate Ship Excursion
- Beautiful Beaches
- Rihanna’s House
Shore Excursions in Barbados:
Barbados was one of the most difficult islands to pick an excursion for. The had several things that looked great including a chance to swim with turtles, the famous Harrison’s Cave, and some beautiful beaches. They also have a pirate ship excursion which is very popular due to it’s rum punch! We ultimately settled on the submarine ride which was combined with an island tour. We had a great day, but I passed some beautiful beaches on our tour and also heard great things about the swimming with turtles excursion, so Barbados is on my list as an island to go back to
.Atlantis Submarine & Island Tour
Atlantis Submarine – For our tour we loaded up in a van and were driven the very short distance to the Atlantis submarine dock. Before getting on the boat we had our pictures taken ($5 souvenir at the end of the tour) and then we boarded a ferry that took us out of the harbor to the open ocean where we would board the submarine. Once we arrived at the submarine we took turns boarding with half boarding at the front and half boarding in the back. It’s important to get in line with the person you want to sit by as there’s not really room to move around in the submarine. Our submarine ride lasted about 45 minutes and we saw a sunken ship (not really a wreck since it was sunk intentionally), a lot of fish and coral, and we reached a depth of 143 feet. It was a great time, just disappointing that we only saw 1 distant sting ray and no turtles.
After our submarine ride, we boarded a tour bus for our island tour. Along the tour we saw the following:
- Rihanna’s House, One Sandy Lane (mansion pictured)
- Sandy Lane Resort (completely rented out by Tiger Woods for his wedding, cheapest room $1,000/night)
- Farley Hill National Park, an abandoned plantation covered with beautiful mahogany trees and a lovely view of the Eastern coast of Barbados. This is the only stop we made where people were able to get out and stretch a bit. Everything else was seen from the bus.
- The Atlantic Coast (see picture with bench on top of rock)
- The last working windmill in the Caribbean
- 200 year old church
- Through a narrow gravel road and looked for monkeys (Sadly, none seen)
- Past Harrison’s Cave entrance
Next time I visit Barbados:
- Swim with Turtles
- Seek out a beautiful beach
- Visit Harrison’s Cave
Transportation in Barbados:
We booked excursions and didn’t worry about it. They drive on the left. At least one road we took was very narrow and rocky. The more populated areas seemed fine.
Lodging in Barbados:
None really seen other than the very expensive Sandy Lane Resort. Recommend visiting by cruise ship.
Restaurants/ Meals & Drinks in Barbados:
Chefette – By day 6, we were a bit tired of eating in the Windjammer Cafe on the cruise ship. So we asked our tour driver for a suggestion close to the terminal. He recommended Chefette, and even kindly dropped us off there after dropping everyone else off at the terminal. Chefette is a local Barbados fast food place (think their version of McDonalds). It was cheap, only $17 US dollars (the menu was in Barbados dollar) and we tried the Roti sandwiches which our driver recommended. It was a wrap with meat and potatoes with curry and other spices. They were delicious, cheap and it was fun to try a local dish. After our meal at Chefette we walked the short 5 minute walk back to the cruise terminal for some shopping.
Tips/ Things to Know about Barbados:
- They drive on the left.
- When we were there, the exchange rate was a very easy 2 Barbados dollars to 1 US dollar.
My Time Spent on the Island of Barbados:
- 1 day cruise port in January 2017, on the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
Hope you find our travel guide helpful!