Your ship will dock at Bridgetown Cruise Terminal (or Deep Water Harbour), perfectly located just a mile from the city centre of Bridgetown. The facility can accommodate up to 6 ships at the same time, and in case all berths are occupied, ships can also dock at the nearby cargo terminal. The cruise terminal is very modern with a health centre, tourist office, post office, cafes, restaurants, business centre, duty-free shops, car rental, Internet zone. There are taxis just outside the terminal and you can stop a local bus just by waving at the driver. There is marketplace close to the exit of the port with 16 outdoor shops, selling clothing, jewellery and souvenirs. The International Airport is 13 miles away, about 35 min by car.
The local currency is Barbadian dollars – BBD. US dollars are also widely accepted, but it would be generally cheaper to pay in local currency. Bring your sterling or USD and exchange them once you arrive. There are several banks at St Lawrence gap where you can do that, or you can take a taxi, walk, or take a local bus to the nearest ATM – ask at your hotel. The island is quite small, so nothing is too far. Exchanging money is safe and easy, and you can also use your bank card. Do make sure you notify your bank you will be away and check if you would be charged any fees if you use your cards abroad.
Opening hours and bank holidays. The banks in Barbados are normally open from 8 am to 3 pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8 am to 5 pm on Fridays. Most supermarkets would work all week, including Sundays. Some high-end fashion shops and markets would be closed on Sundays. There are several public holidays in Barbados. Normally everything shuts for Easter and Christmas with only a few exceptions. Do make yourself familiar with any public holidays around the time of travel.
Tipping is considered normal in Barbados, however, all hotel bars and restaurants and some independent ones would add 10-15% service charge to your bill. Only add to that if the service has been exceptional. 1 BBD per drink at the bar, per day for housekeeping at hotels, and per bag for the bell hops is normal as well. Tip your tour guide about 10% as well, if you are happy with the service. All Inclusive resorts would all have different policies on tipping, however people tend to leave a tip at the end of their stay.
People of Barbados speak a local English dialect, called Bajan, but you would have no issues of being understood.
The local time in Barbados is GMT – 4 hours and the international dialling code is 001 246.
Things To Do
Before you flop and drop on the neareast powdered sandy beach, make sure you see St Nicholas's Abbey. This lovely plantation house, built in 1658, is one of only three remaining Jacobean Mansions in the Western Hemisphere. Now it is also a museum and a working rum distillery.The abbey has been marked with some dramatic events as well - the owner, Mr Berringer was killed in a duel with his neighbour, Sir John Yeamans, when the latter started noticing Mrs Berringer. Later, Berringer's children restored their ownership of the mansion, and Sir John and his wife moved to the United States where they were involved in founding the colony of South Carolina.
Pack a picnic and go to Hunte's Gardens, lovingly created and looked after by the eccentric horticulturalist Antony Hunte. The space is quite unusual, it’s in the middle of a rain forest, in a sink hole-like gully, with plants growing on all levels. There are cosy mini-gardens with benches as well, where you can sit and enjoy the ambiance of flora and fauna around you.
If you happen to be in Barbados on a Friday or Saturday night, going to Oistins is a must. Once a fish market, it’s so much more now. This is where you can eat the freshest fish cooked for you in a very informal and rustic environment, while listening to Bajan music, watching young-by-heart ladies and gents dancing waltz and kids breakdancing. There are also plenty of stalls, offering souvenirs and local crafts. Wear comfortable shoes! Afterwards, the party can go on at the nearby St Lawrence Gap, the nightlife hub of Barbados.
There is one drink that is emblematic for Barbados and that is rum! Bajans claim that Barbados is where rum was first produced from molasses in the 17th century. Mount Gay Rum distillery is the oldest working distillery in the world and we recommend a visit. The tours traditionally include rum tasting and cocktail making classes, as well as a journey through the history of rum in Barbados, presented in a fun and engaging way.
If you love nature and monkeys in particular, make sure you go and see the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. It’s an area that occupies four acres of mahogany forest near the top of Farley Hill. Most of the animals roam free in and out of the fenced enclosure and can be easily spotted, especially if you schedule to be there around 2 pm – when it’s their feeding time. First established as a centre for conservation and study of green monkeys, now it’s also a home of Cuban rock iguanas, Patagonian maras, red brockets, red-footed tortoises and a number of tropical birds.
There are a few more historical buildings and museums, that would help you learn more about the past and present of Barbados. Visit George Washington’s house and the Barbados museum & Historical society. Experience the Barbados Concorde - the supersonic airplane that used to travel from New York to London Heathrow for 3 hours, as supposed to 8 and from which you could see the curvature of the Earth! Take a stroll down memory lane at The Cricket Legends of Barbados – for a country of this size, Barbados has produced some exceptional cricketers and you can have a close look at all of them and their carriers at this fascinating museum.
You can’t say you have been to Barbados without doing some sort of a sun, sea and sand related activity. You can swim, snorkel and dive in the calm, turquoise blue water of the West Coast, or enjoy watching the surfers and the unusual rock formations of the East coast. The most popular beaches in Barbados are Carlisle Bay, Accra Beach, Bottom Bay, Sandy Lane, Dover Beach and Paynes Bay – all on the West Coast. The most popular beach of the East Coast is The Crane – an incredible beach with shimmering pink sand. If your time permits, take a catamaran tour around the island – it’s the most relaxing experience, with stops for snorkelling and swimming with turtles, while enjoying the best Bajan rum punch!
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday