Barbados: the best for last

This was our fourth and final port destination during our transatlantic cruise. As with the other ports, we had limited time. We’re writing about each place to give an overview of our brief visits.

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Barbados was great- it was accessible and the beach was beautiful and untouched. I can’t wait to come back one day and see more of the island. Of any place we visited on this cruise, Barbados had the most varied activities (hiking, caving, upland agricultural tours, all kinds of bays and beaches…) and was the most intriguing to me. We were unfortunately so limited on time that going inland to see the caves would have risked us missing our ship. Luckily there was plenty to do closer to the terminal. Barbados was much less tainted by tourism than St Maarten, and much more varied than Antigua. It also seemed to have quite a lot of attractions for outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers. Plus, the food looked fantastic- we didn’t get a chance to eat anywhere, since the cruise was feeding us like kings. But the cuisine of Barbados deserves a closer look.

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On our short stop in Barbados, we stuck relatively close to the ship. Unlike the other cruise ports, Barbados doesn’t have a large terminal promenade filled with souvenir shops- the fakeness is quite limited. The minute you walk out of the terminal you find yourself in an active industrial area, complete with food trucks awaiting the upcoming lunch break of nearby warehouses and ship yards. Even better, the area was completely walkable. Somehow even an industrial area is pretty when it sits right on the shore of a crystal blue ocean.

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Our location was rather convenient for us since the famous Mt Gay Distillery was in the neighborhood. We toured the facilities, learned about the history of the oldest organized rum distillery in the world (or so they claim), and then sat in the tree covered patio with our friends.

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One rum punch into the day, we glanced across the street and noticed a pristine beach was at our fingertips. Even better, there was hardly anyone there. The masses of cruise passengers had clearly been directed to other beaches, leaving this one perfectly quiet and deserted. It was beautiful. We swam for a few hours and then slowly walked back to the ship, hearing music emanating from nearby businesses, and seeing the food preparation ongoing from roadside food trucks.

We didn’t get to see much, but what we did see was filled with character. It spoke of how much else there was to see, and presented a feel for the island that was incredibly inviting. Barbados has rhythm.

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