The island's up to date cruise ship terminal is Located about a mile from the capital, Bridgetown. Here you will find car rentals, sightseeing tours and taxi services. In addition restaurants, bars, an Internet café, a post office, and many vendors populate the stalls and shops in the main terminal building. The main terminal has docking capacity for five cruise ships.
To get to the beaches you will need to taxi or rent a car. You'll find taxis just outside the cruise terminal. The rates are set by the government, but it is a good idea to agree on a price before getting in. You can walk into Bridgetown in 15-20 minutes.
LANGUAGE & CURRENCY
English is spoken throughout the country. The Barbados dollar is the official currency (1.98 =US$1) but US dollars are commonly accepted. When quoted a price be sure to clarify if it is in Bajan dollars or US dollars.
Best Cruise Line Excursions
Kayak and Turtle Encounter ($84, 4 hr): A boat ride along the west coast brings you to the beach. Here you will climb into a kayak for a 45 minute paddle along the shore. After your arrival at the snorkel site, you'll be able to swim with and feed sea turtles.
Mount Gay Rum Distillery & Banks Beer Tour – ($42, 3 hr): This tour will take you to Barbados' most well known distillery. Afterwards you will be taken over to the Banks Brewery for another tour and tasting.
Rainforest Hike & Cave Adventure ($74, 4 hr): A tour guide will take your group through one of Barbados' rainforest gullies, then lead you down into a natural cave.
Harrison's Cave & Tropical Rainforest Hike ($79, 4 hr): Harrison's Cave is the most popular tourist attraction on the island. All of the cruise lines offer a tour to this underground world, usually the tours are followed by a 45 minute guided hike through the rain forest.
Horseback Riding & Country Drive ($94, 3 1/2 hr): Enjoy a wonderful ride through the beautiful countryside. Tours will wind past sugar cane fields, small villages, and old plantation houses.
Explore On Your Own
Barbados Activities »
Bridgetown – although you can walk to the downtown area from the terminal we recommend that you taxi in. The attraction downtown is shopping. If your not a shopping hound enjoy the beautiful beaches and nature that Barbados offers.
All cruise ship tours visit Harrison's Cave, Welchman Hall, St. Thomas (246/438-6640). Here you will climb aboard a tram and trailer to see a beautiful underground. Admission is $16 for adults and $6 for children. If you go on your own, the taxi ride takes about 40 minutes and costs at least $25 each way. Very close by the Flower Forest, Richmond Plantation, St. Joseph 246/433-8152). This former sugar plantation is now a rich, green botanical garden. Explore the paths winding among tremendous flowers and tropical plants. Admission is $10.
Welchman Hall Gully, St. Thomas is a lush tropical garden owned and ran by the Barbados National Trust. It's 13km (8 miles) from the port. Features include some plants that were here when the English settlers landed in 1627, plus later imports that include exotic orchids, cocoa bushes, and breadfruit trees that are said to be descendants of the seedlings brought ashore by Captain Bligh, of Bounty fame. Keep your eyes open as it's not unusual to spot a wild monkey. Admission is $10.
The Sunbury Plantation House, 25 minutes from Bridgetown, 246/423-6270) is the only plantation great house on Barbados which opens up every room for viewing. The 300 year old house has a lot of history. Features in the home are old prints, mahogany antiques, and a collection of horse-drawn carriages. Admission is $7.50.
Beaches on the island's western "Gold Coast" are far preferable (and closer) than those on the surf-pounded Atlantic side, which are dangerous for swimming. All Barbados beaches are open to the public, even those in front of the big resort hotels and private homes. You'll need to snag a taxi to get to them.
On The Gold Coast
Payne's Bay, with access from the Coach House 246/432-1163 or Mannie's Suga Suga restaurant 246/419-4511, is a good beach for watersports, especially snorkeling. There's also a parking area here. This beach can get crowded, but the beautiful bay makes it worth it. Farther north, Church Point can get crowded but it's one of the most scenic bays in Barbados, and the swimming and snorkeling is ideal. Colony Club here has a great bar if you wish to cool off.
Mullins Beach has been very popular for years and years. There is some shade available and you can park across the street from the beach in a public lot. Just north of here and Speightstown is another beach called Heywood.
On the South Coast
Carlisle Bay Beach is just south of Bridgetown. This beach has many locals and is a good snorkeling spot. Near Rockley you will find a very large beach known as Accra Beach. This is another of Barbados many popular beaches. Sandy Beach is a favorite with families. It has calm waters and nearby parking. Food and drink are sold here.
On the Southeast Coast
Crane Beach on the southeast coast is known for its big waves. The beach is a sandy white stretch under towering cliffs. It's a beautiful location. One can surf and body surf here but be careful – it's rough! Taxi fare here will run at least US$30 each way from the cruise pier.
The huge cruise terminal contains tons of duty free shops, retails stores, and vendors selling jewelry, liquor, electronics, arts and crafts, crystal, perfume, and local hot sauce. You will find lots of black coral jewelry here but you should now that black coral is endangered and it illegal to bring it back to the United States.
Directory of Barbados Shopping »
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise - Barbados
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Imagine a cruise line that affords you a more intimate way to see exceedingly beautiful destinations that have escaped the eyes of travellers for so long... more
Holland America Cruise Line
For over 130 years, Holland America Line has taken guests to the most magnificent destinations around the world... more
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