Cruising From Barbados What To Do?

Cruising From Barbados What To Do? From Embarkation to Debarking your ship.

Now that Barbados is a new embarkation port for cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and many other cruise lines.  Here are a few things you can do ashore to enjoy this island before your ship sets sail.

For 25 years I have been advising cruise guests how to get the most out of their cruise vacation.  Embarkation ports are often overlooked and many guests miss out on the delights of these amazing Caribbean islands have to offer on turnaround days.

If you are flying in on your embarkation day you will have time to:

  1. Power Shopping Spree in Barbados Cruise Terminal literally right there, grab your Barbados
    Barbados Cruise Ship Dock.

    Mountgay Rum, Rum Cakes, and Souvenirs.  Also, grab a cold Banks Beer in the little bar outside the terminal, read on for more shopping tips from Barbados.

  2. Brandon’s Beach is a short walking distance from Barbados’ cruise ship terminal, and therefore the ideal destination for some needed sand between the toes and warm Caribbean sea.  Brandon’s beach turns into Brighton Beach as the two beaches merge into each other and appear to be one continuous beach.  Gotta do it, you may not be on a Caribbean beach for a few days if you embark on the ship without sampling this gorgeous Barbados beach.
  3. Boatyard or Harbour lights for afternoon drinks and food on the beach. If your flight lands in the morning drop off your luggage at the terminal check-in then grab a shuttle downtown and visit these two fabulous party bars.  Imagine it drinks and food on the beach, can’t get any better.

Make sure you leave plenty of time to head back to the ship before it sets sail, all aboard is one hour before they set sail, so you will need to get a shuttle 2 hours before the ship is scheduled to set sail.  Sometimes the traffic can be busy.

If you arrive the night before and are staying in a pre or post hotel then you can do any of the above or you can do a morning tour or shop before you embark on the ship.  Here are a few options:

Plenty of Turtles to see snorkeling in Barbados.

Take a Catamaran Snorkelling trip, you can book a sunset cruise on the day of your arrival.  Tour starts at 3:00 pm finishing at 7:00 pm.  Even if you are tired/jetlagged why not enjoy a fabulous sunset cruise, sipping on cocktails then slide into bed for a good night’s sleep before joining your cruise ship the next day. I recommend Cool Running’s they provide transportation to and from your hotel or the cruise ship terminal… snorkeling equipment, unlimited drinks, and buffet dinner. The boat makes two stops: swimming and snorkeling with the Sea Turtles and over a Shipwreck. Enjoy the incredible Caribbean sunset.  What’s not to love for more information head over to the Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises Website for more information.

Or if you really need to sleep when you arrive, you can always take the lunch cruise which starts at 9:30 am and finishes at 2:30 pm. Again with Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises provides transportation to and from your hotel or the cruise ship terminal… snorkeling equipment, snorkeling instruction, unlimited drinks, and buffet lunch. The boat makes three stops: swimming and snorkeling with the Sea Turtles… a Shipwreck… and a Beach in a tranquil secluded bay.  To find out more here is the link to the Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises website.

Barbados is famous for its Turtles and sea life.  Plus who does not love lounging about on a boat drinking cocktails, soaking up the sun.  It is a great way to prepare you for a fantastic cruise.  Here are some tour companies I recommend


If you are a Shopaholic Barbados has some of the best shopping in the Caribbean here is a guide to shopping in Barbados before your cruise.

Do’s and Don’ts of Shopping in Barbados

I’ve been to Barbados 100s of times when I took the job as a Port & Shopping Guide my first ship 25 years ago.  It was the Old Noordam in the late ’90s, we came here every week.  I’m thrilled to have advised thousands of guests about shopping in Barbados ever since.

If you only have a short amount of time to shop during your visit to Barbados.  There is no need to travel downtown; the Cruise ship Terminal is more than adequate if you only have an hour or so before you must get back to the ship.  You can even buy diamonds in an hour in the conveniently located Diamonds International in the terminal.

Got more than an hour then DO head downtown.  The area is full of history and great to walk around. There is a bigger Diamonds International, so if you’re looking for fine jewelry or watches. Ask for Jason or Kisanka they are super helpful.

Diamonds International has an exclusive diamond only available in their locations around the Caribbean. This diamond cut provides superior fire and sparkle with its patented unique design. Browse the collection of diamond rings, earrings, and more!

The premium 90 faceted Crown of Light diamond is a stunning triumph of cutting expertise fused with ingenious design. The diamond’s facets create an innovative cut, distinguished by its magnificent dome, superior sparkle, and fire.

Shopping in barbadosSome of you have been to Barbados many times before.  Visiting the downtown area, taken part in the tours, and visited beaches.  If this is you and you want something different, take a taxi to Holetown.  You will find a fantastic shopping and lifestyle paradise called Lime Grove.  Every beautiful shop imaginable from designer watches, jewelry, leather, clothes, cosmetics, and fragrances.

There are many boutiques with a ton of brands.  Such as Breitling, I.W.C., Cartier, John Hardy, and much more tax & duty-free brands. While managing a shopping program for Marella Cruises, I cruised on the Marella Explorer 1 in January 2019. I planned on meeting the Shopping Lecturer on Oceania Riviera.  When I arrived, she had six guests (3 couples) who really wanted to go shopping with us in Lime Grove.  She had told them about how amazing it was, and they absolutely loved it, off the tourist trail, laid back, quiet, clean, and full of fabulous boutiques, shops, cafés, and bars.

Looking for diamonds, then look at Diamonds International, designer brands such as Bulgari and Cartier boutique.  DO take your time we discovered a gorgeous perfume called Kai.  Kai perfume is an oil that you roll on, the smell lasts forever and is a beautiful fragrance.

DO relax, take your time, and enjoy the lovely bar in the middle for some refreshments, coffee bars, cafés, and restaurants, worth the visit.  Four ships were docked in town, and the Cruise Ship Terminal and the downtown area were unbearable busy.  Our guests commented that they felt so laid back and hassle-free, I recommend it.  Serious about shopping, love brands, and quality merchandise, then definitely head down to Lime Grove link is below.  There is also a free shuttle.

If you love a bargain and you DO have time to find a local supermarket.  You will often find local items that are more than double the price in airports and tourist areas.

In Barbados, look for coffee and check out Wyndams Dawn Patrol, roasted on Barbados, which smelled divine.   Rum cake, souvenirs, yes you can find these in supermarkets.  Wine and a local beer called Banks beer and of course Ting!  You have to try a bottle of ice-cool Ting not available anywhere except various Caribbean Islands, then DO it.  Add a little Vodka to give it a kick, and have fun.

Email links at the bottom:

Diamonds International – World’s Largest Tax and Duty Free Jeweler

Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Barbados

kai fragrance

Wyndhams Coffee

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