Royal Caribbean Day 6: Barbados

Day 6: Bridgetown, Barbados

Date: 26 April 2018
Port: Bridgetown, Barbados
Time on Island: 8am-4:30pm
Distance between St. Lucia to Barbados: 174.60 km or 94.28 nautical miles (5108.49 miles

Barbados, our final island and final port before our return to Puerto Rico…also the day I have been dreading. It means our Southern Caribbean Cruise is coming to an end. I know all travels and vacations come to an end but it’s been such an amazing past 5 day that I’m not ready for it to end. BUT…at the same time, I’m ready to explore another new island in the Caribbean!

Like many of the other islands, I didn’t know much about Barbados, except that there was a popular cave attraction. We weren’t totally sure if we wanted to include this in our day, but in the end we voted it would be something cool to see. Because of that, Darren and I decided on a half day tour, that included the cave, would be a good idea. It was tough for us to narrow down the exact tour we wanted, as many of them included the cave. Initially, we thought maybe a cave/rum tour would be fun, but ultimately, we chose a tour that showed a little more of Barbados.

We selected a half day tour called Treasures of Barbados,  through Glory Tours, which gave a little bit of everything. Plus, allowed us some time at the end to wander Bridgetown.

Our morning started like every other morning…breakfast before disembarking, however upon first glance of the port, I noticed it was much more industrial than the others. Not that it matters or takes away from the beauty of the island, it was just an interesting observation. Once disembarking, Darren and I quickly located our tour driver and headed off to our first stop, Harrison’s Cave.

Harrison’s Cave is an incredible piece of Mother Nature. Once difficult to access through its natural opening, Harrison’s Cave officially opened to the public in 1981, following ~7 years of development from the government. This cave is made of limestone, lies at least 2.3 kilometers long, with an interior temperature of an average of 27 degrees Celsius, and the largest cavern is 15 meters high! The tour lasts about an hour starting with a brief history, before heading off through the cave by tram, staring at the stalagmites and stalactites with the sounds of water all around. 

Following Harrison’s Cave, our tour drove us to the eastern border to a spot called Bathsheba. Along the way, our guide explained to us how Barbados is considered part of the Caribbean even though it lies in the Atlantic east of the other islands. Fun Fact: it’s because it is located right on the Caribbean-Atlantic fault line, so technically it’s still part of the Caribbean. 

Bathsheba is a small fishing village with a beautiful coastline lined with white sandy beaches, large freestanding rock formations, and crashing white-capped surf. Although people do, in this location, staring out onto the water, I would not recommend it. The amount of rocks and reefs located in this area are why the crashing waves are white-capped, and our driver mentioned there had been deaths from surfing in the past. But regardless, it’s worth the visit if you’re ever in Barbados. 

Our tour continued as we left the Bathsheba and headed north along the coastline to Morgan Lewis Windmill and Cherry Tree Hill. Although the windmill historically has an unique story, it was very uneventful (I honestly don’t remember much about it). We didn’t actually stop at the mill. We drove by the mill, while being given a quick history. Historically, Morgan Lewis Windmill has quite the reputation. It’s one of the only two sugar mills in the Caribbean that is intact and restored, but unfortunately, I don’t remember much about it. Very anticlimactic. 

But Cherry Tree Hill…I remember that place. It lies at the entrance of St. Nicholas Abbey plantation. It’s an overlook point, that has breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and a large portion of the north-eastern part of Barbados.

We ended our tour at St. Nicholas Abbey, a Jacobean mansion built in 1658 and still a working rum distillery. Upon arrival, we were gifted a sample of their in-house rum, “St. Nicholas Abbey Rum” in the form of a rum punch (traditional Caribbean drink) and after a brief history, were given free time to explore the abbey. This abbey is also a fully operational steam mill for sugar cane and the family who owns and operates this abbey is very involved in the production. It’s a beautiful piece of property, delicious rum, and was a perfect ending to our tour of Barbados. 

Well, sort of end, as we still needed to drive back to port. Darren and I were the only cruise ship guests on this tour, which meant that on our way back to the port, we had to drop off the other guests at their respective hotels. This showed me a side of Barbados that I wasn’t a huge fan off and something we didn’t see or experience on the other islands. 

Since Barbados is a large island and has a high influx of British and European vacationers, the amount of resorts and hotels were astonishing. We drove for what felt like an hour, through the populated western coastline, which instead of beaches and ocean views, were buildings upon buildings. Not my particular favorite, but thankfully, it was the end of the tour. 

After arriving back to port, Darren and I headed off through the streets of Bridgetown towards a nearby beach. Darren wanted to put his toes in the water and I never complain about going to a beach, mostly because it means there is a likely chance that a bar will be there too! 

We walked to a place called Pirate’s Cove, a restaurant and beach bar located approximately 20 minutes walk from the cruise port. I headed straight towards the bar, as my goal was to try a locally crafted beer on each island and Barbado’s beer was called Banks, however, this particular beach bar only had Carib. But I got lucky in the end because I made friends with the bartender and he graciously gifted me with his special trick. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is…so if you’re curious and you find yourself in Barbados, head to the beach bar at Pirate’s Cove and you might get lucky too!!

Following our beach adventure, we did some last minute souvenir shopping before heading back to the ship as our final port came to an end. Although Barbados was not my favorite island, like any place, it has its own special beauty and I’m happy I was able to visit it. 

Once we returned, our nightly routine began. We met up with Richard and Karen for dinner. This dinner, however, was a very special dinner for our little cruise family! Richard and Karen we’re celebrating their anniversary so of course we needed to GO BIG for our final night! We dressed in our “formal” wear, ate a delicious dinner, enjoy a fancy bottle of champagne, and ended dinner with so much laughter around our little table. The anniversary card and the conversation had us crying we were laughing so hard.

Once dinner finished, we headed up to the library and proceeded with an extremely enjoyable little vow renewal presided over by the one and only Darren! (Yes, I recorded the entire thing and could hardly hold back my laughter!)

It was then time to headed off to the nightly game show, where we met up with two new friends Bridget and Rob for an enjoyable evening. It was kind of too perfect to be true that tonight, on the day of Karen and Richard’s anniversary was a Couple Game Show and we were able to get Richard and Karen up on stage. And boy oh boy was it totally worth it! At one point they were challenged and timed on how fast they can switch clothes. SO MUCH LAUGHING. They were amazing sports. Once the game show ended, we headed to another activity, called the Quest. We were able to stay awake later tonight since tomorrow, our final day on the ship was a Sea Day, so no really reason to wake up early. Oh…and our towel animal for the night was a monkey 🙂

Can’t believe I added five new countries to my List from five new islands in just five days days…each with it’s only little piece of magic! 

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