Barbados – Caribbean Cruise Ship Hub
All activity at Barbados’ cruise ship terminal was at a standstill, along with the eery silence of Bridgetown’s streets.
Where were last night’s party-goers in St. Lawrence Gap, the “hip” nightclub strip? Where were yesterday’s colorful beach vendors and Bubble Huts spirited sports enthusiasts?
“Why is it so quiet everywhere?” I asked the hostess who welcomed my sister and me to the cruise ship terminal to board our Wind Surf cruise ship.
“In Barbados we take Sunday’s seriously,” she said with a smile. None of the terminal’s shops will open today. Everyone is either resting, eating a family meal at home, or in church.”
Barbados’ cruise terminal is one of the Caribbean’s finest and (six days a week) busiest port facilities. It was recently renovated to re-create a brilliant island street scene of storefronts and the traditional chattel houses of plantation workers.
The easternmost Caribbean island, Barbados is home to many contrasts. Its West and South Coasts are calm and palm-fringed with warm waters that gently lap onto the golden sands.
On the East Coast, huge Atlantic waves crash along the rugged shore of white sand beaches and limestone cliffs. At Bathsheba Beach, the “Soup Bowl” is the surfers’ choice. Crane Beach, with powder pink soft sand and dunes was named by “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” as “one of the ten best beaches in the world”. It is not safe to swim there, however, due to the strong currents.
Another of Barbados’ unique and famous attractions is Harrison’s Cave, a magnificent underground cave of stalactites, waterfalls and pools illuminated by colored lights. Visitors of all ages are fascinated as an electric tram carries them underground.
Meadows of golden sugar cane and historic plantation houses are a short walk away from the bustling port of Bridgetown.
Tours of these houses provide an excellent insight into the life of the island’s early European settlers, who established tobacco, cotton and sugar cane plantations.
For an”off-the-beaten” path Island Safari , hop onto a 4×4 Land Rover to form a unique jeep convoy. Then, hang onto your seats all day to see spots inaccessible to tour buses.
Or, rent a taxi to explore the island’s natural wonders in air-conditioned comfort. Our expert taxi driver, Patrick Clarke, negotiated the complex network of back roads to places others often miss: spectacular flower gardens; Welchman Hall Gully, a national park that is a birdwatcher’s paradise; breathtaking views from the top of Cherry Tree Hill and Gun Hill Signal Station.
While soaking up the views, we had our first taste of flying fish, a delicious national dish and island emblem which can be sampled at almost any Barbadian restaurant.