We can’t say enough about the hospitality and the health and safety measures we experienced during our post cruise tour of Barbados. Many folks on our cruise had scheduled the 3:30 pm flight from Bridgetown to Miami and then a connecting flight back home. Because we disembarked the ship so early and efficiently, it made sense for us to book a 4 hour Discover Barbados tour with cruise ship drop off post cruise. This little tour took us on a circle of the island and dropped us off at the airport at 1 pm, the perfect time for us to get checked in for our flight and board the plane with out having to sit around outside the airport for 4 hours. Seabourn handled everything including our luggage transfer to the airport and the ease of the tour. At $86 pp and including a light lunch, it made it so much easier for us on our disembarkation day.
The tour started at the port and one of the first sites we saw was Rhianna Street, named for the international music superstar who grew up there. Then we headed up the West coast of the island where our tour guide pointed out the exclusive resorts where people like Princess Margaret stayed, or Sandy Lane where Simon Cowell and Rhianna stay now when they visit the island. We also saw a couple of luxury marinas and developments.
We also went through a few working class and upper middle class neighborhoods. One of the things we learned about was how during the emancipation of slaves, they set up a system where the former slaves were given small parcels of land on which to build their houses. As I understood from our tour guide, descendants of those slaves can still claim or buy very cheaply that land, and then if they have the means, build new modern homes on those lands. I am not sure that I completely have those facts correct, but our tour guide provided us with not only a scenic tour, but a history and cultural tour as well. We learned about the Cropover Carnival, which is one of the biggest and best in Caribbean, started when the slaves could celebrate the harvested being over – hence the name “Crop Over”.
One of the prettiest places we stopped for photos was Cherry Tree Hill, which is part of the protected mahogany forest of the national reserve. It is illegal to cut or harvest mahogany, in order to preserve this forest. As part of our Covid protection bubble, we were instructed not to purchase anything or go near the vendors selling goods there as our guide said they are likely not vaccinated or following any other Covid safety protocols. As we headed down this hill, we also drove by the oldest operational wind mill in the Caribbean.
We also learned about the geology of Barbados, as it is not a volcanic island, but an uplift island made of limestone and coral. Our tour took us to the rocky cliff side of the island, where we saw the famous Bathsheba Atlantic beaches. Even with a heavy covering of sargassum seaweed, the area was quite beautiful. We had to try to picture it without the sargassum.
Next was our stop for lunch at Gun Signal Station, an old signal tower now part of a wonderful little out door cafe with views of the city and lovely gardens. The food was just kind of OK, but for what we needed, a quick bite and a leg stretch before heading to the airport, it was just fine.
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