Not one single cruise I’ve been on has ever made it to Barbados and I was beginning to wonder if I would make it to the most Eastern Caribbean nation. I honestly don’t know much about Barbados but that they have an interesting flag and Rihanna the singer is from there. Sure enough they had Rihanna’s pictures and music playing in all of the stores!
But getting off the cruise and deciding what to do is actually a lot of work, especially for a country like Barbados. First off, everything is expensive and you could easily lose a hundred bucks just on transportation prices. Taxi prices to get to Huntes Garden and the Saint Nicholas Abbey were like 200 dollars for the day for a group of 4 people. Not worth it at all!
So we all settled for another beach day and we chose one of the best beaches on the island, Rockley Beach. It also happened to be the closest beach on the island therefore a cheaper beach. Like St. Thomas, it was 8 dollars per person to get from Downtown Bridgetown to Rockley Beach which is only 4 miles from the center. It’s not really a deal but you just roll with it.
Okay Rockley Beach is probably not the absolute best beach on Barbados but it still has blue calm water, a wide beach, and some amenities like changing rooms and restrooms, and activities on the the beach. If you’re coming by cruise and don’t really have time to go anywhere else, this is a perfectly fine beach that will satisfy your beach going needs. There are some better rated beaches like, Carlisle Bay and Bottom Bay, but some tend to be quite far and expensive to get to.
Oh and another thing, Barbadian people are pushy. They would ask for taxis constantly, ask if we wanted jewelry on the beach and came up to our group for random reasons. I’m use to this in the Caribbean but it seemed a little more apparent in Barbados. Nothing wrong with it but expect it when you go and always just say no directly if you don’t want to be bothered.
I took another opportunity to use my GoPro for underwater and in the water videos and pictures. Let’s just say that GoPro absolutely works underneath water and provides some of the most unique shots I’ve ever taken. I wish the water was a little more clear so I could see more but perhaps I’ll use it for when going snorkeling. I also need to learn to stabilize my camera more.
My recommendation is to bring some money for food as well. There are a couple of restaurants on the beach but we were dropped off near the SideShore restaurant on the eastern end of the beach. They had delicious burgers, sandwiches, wraps, fries and alcoholic drinks that weren’t cheap but if you get a chair with them on the beach they give you some coupons for the food and alcohol. Also there is free wifi at the Accra Beach Hotel on the western part of the beach.
The drive wasn’t even that far but it could take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on traffic, which there can actually be a lot. If you’re planning to go to other parts of the island, prepare for some traffic, especially if you have to catch a cruise. We went to downtown Bridgetown to snap some photos of the main city and see what kind of shopping there was.
Bridgetown is suppose to be a UNESCO heritage site but I think only at certain parts. Because the downtown area that we saw was not UNESCO heritage site worthy. Upon further research, it seems that Historic Bridgetown and Garrison are located just south of the city if you want to go see that. Downtown Bridgetown is really nothing special but it was great to see what local life is really like.
Eh not really actually. There actually is some shopping like jewelry but the city is actually more geared for the locals, which is great in it’s own way. The cruise showed up on December 24th, so EVERY local was out since it’s tradition to pick up gifts on Christmas Eve. We walked around the city and the harbor and there was some stores and some fast food, but nothing worth while to actually buy.
I recommend that you walk from downtown to the cruise terminal. The walk isn’t far and there are some markets and some shops along the way. The cruise terminal has free WiFi and some shops that are worth while but I think it’s always a good idea to look at what the local markets are offering first. One of my goals was to find a White Elephant gift for Christmas and for my family. Nothing. There was perhaps one gift but honestly Barbados shopping was kind of a bust.
I liked Barbados but it wasn’t my favorite port of call. If I had more money and time perhaps I would have seen more but really people come to Barbados for snorkeling and the beaches. The island actually doesn’t have too much beyond those things. Definitely worthy of a visit but not the best Caribbean islands I’ve seen.
images by: shawnvoyage