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Caribbean,  Travel

Royal Caribbean Day 6: Barbados

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. It’s been such an amazing past five 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!

The Tour

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.

Selecting the specific tour was tough for us, as many of them included the cave. Initially, we thought maybe a cave/rum tour would be fun. Ultimately, we chose a tour that showed a little more of Barbados.

Barbados sign

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.

Harrison’s Cave

Harrison's Cave

Our morning started like every other morning; breakfast before disembarking. 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 disembarked, 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. The cave is made up of limestone and is at least 2.3 kilometers long. The interior temperature is on average of 27 degrees Celsius. It’s largest cavern is 15 meters high!

The Harrison’s Cave tour lasts about an hour starting with a brief history. Once in the cave, you explore the stalagmites and stalactites by tram, serenaded with the sounds of water.

Harrison's Cave

Bathsheba

Bathesba

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. It’s because it is located right on the Caribbean-Atlantic fault line, which technically makes it apart 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 surf in this location, I would not recommend it.

The amount of rocks and reefs located in this area are why the crashing waves are white-capped. 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. 

Morgan Lewis Windmill

Our tour continued as we headed north along the coastline to Morgan Lewis Windmill and Cherry Tree Hill. We didn’t actually stop at the mill. We drove right 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. Although the windmill historically has an unique story, it was very anticlimactic. (I honestly don’t remember much about it.)

Cherry Hill

St. Nicholas Abbey Plantation

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

Our final tour destination was St. Nicholas Abbey, a Jacobean mansion built in 1658 and still a working rum distillery. Upon arrival, we were gifted with a “St. Nicholas Abbey Rum” rum punch , the traditional Caribbean drink. After a brief history, were given free time to explore the abbey. This abbey is also a fully operational steam mill for sugar cane. 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. 

St Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey

At the Port

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. This 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. It was not something saw or experienced on the other islands.

Barbados is a large island with a high influx of British and European vacationers. Because of this, the amount of resorts, hotels, strip malls, and western style buildings were astonishing. We drove for what felt like an hour, through the very populated western coastline. Instead of beaches and ocean views, there were building upon building. Not my particular favorite, but thankfully, it was the end of the tour. 

Pirate's Cove

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 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.  

Barbado’s beer was called Banks, however, this particular beach bar only had Carib. 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. 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. 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. 

Back on Board

Fun ceremony on Royal Caribbean

Once we returned, our nightly routine began and 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!

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!)

The time came to head 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. We were even able to get Richard and Karen up on stage. And boy oh boy, was it totally worth it!

 At one point, they were challenged on how fast they can switch clothes. I could not stop 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 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 “Travel List!” Five new islands in just five days, each with it’s only little piece of magic! 

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