Barbados is a popular port of call on Southern Caribbean itineraries.
General– Barbados is in the Lesser Antilles, the eastern most island in the Caribbean. It is an independent British Commonwealth nation, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Caribbean Sea. Barbados is also a popular departure port for cruise ships.
Where You’re Docked– At Barbados cruise ships dock at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal and free shuttles take passengers from the ships pier to the terminal building. There are lots of shops inside the terminal and WiFi is available but not free. A walkway into Bridgetown runs along the waterfront and past some beautiful beaches. The distance into town center is approximately two miles. Most stores are open during the week but close at noon on Saturday and are not open on Sunday.
Transportation– There are lots of taxies available from the Barbados cruise port area. The fares are regulated by the government but it is still important to agree on a price before the trip. The Georgetown Bus Terminal is located two blocks outside the port area, behind Pelican Village. Exact fares must be paid for bus rides and tokens can be purchased at the bus terminal. Rental cars are available but the rates are fairly steep and you will have to pay for a Barbados tourist driving license. Driving is on the left side of the road and, once you leave the city areas, many roads do not have name signs. While the main highways are modern and multi-lane, secondary roads are narrow and the major traffic intersections on the island are traffic circles and it takes some skill to get through one.
The official currency is the Barbados dollar (BBD) but US dollars (not coins) are widely accepted. The current exchange rate is US $1.00 = BBD $2.00.
There are many beautiful beaches in Barbados but the easiest one to get to is Boatyard Beach on Carlisle Bay. It is about a 20 minute walk from the terminal or an inexpensive taxi ride. A fee of US$20.00 is charged to use the facilities which includes a beach chair, shared umbrella, one cocktail, WIFI and free transport back to the ship.
Mount Gay Rum Distillery (web site) in Brandons, St. Michaels offers tours Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday. The current fee is $20.00 which includes a presentation on the rum’s history and a tasting. Tickets can be booked online.
Harrison’s Cave (web site) in St. Thomas is a network of caves, waterfalls, lakes and streams approximately 170 feet below ground. Tours are offered daily for a fee. The area above ground is a good place to spot green monkeys.
Earthworks Pottery (web site) is located mid island in St. Thomas Parish. It is an opportunity to view local potters at work and purchase some hand made souvenirs. Closed Sunday.
George Washington House in Bush Hill welcomes visitors Monday through Saturday. It is the only place outside the United States that George Washington ever visited.
Bathsheba on the rugged Atlantic coast (eastern shore) is a great place to see surfers and enjoy a lunch at one of the local restaurants.
Black Pearl Party Cruises (web site) provides a 4 hour trip on the Jolly Roger which includes a buffet lunch, swimming, snorkeling, dancing and unlimited house drinks. The price is just under $90.00 with discounts for online booking and groups.
IMPORTANT – Do not wear camouflage clothing as it is illegal in Barbados; Only smoke in designated areas; Avoid touching or standing under the big shady Manshineel Trees as they are poisonous. Most of these trees are marked in red or banded in red.