Barbados is probably the second most developed island after St. Thomas but definitely not as beautiful as Dominica or St. Lucia. We went to Boatyard Beach, a white sand beach with crystal clear waters, and had a great time. The beach is a five-minute cab ride away from the cruise pier for $3 pp. Entrance is $10 pp which includes two chairs, an umbrella, complimentary drinks (try the Shark Bite or Mount Gay rum punch) and a free ride back to the ship. The gift shop attendant was very nice and answered many of our questions about the island. The beach is great but the local vendors offering water sports and seling souvenirs can be quite annoying. Be prepared to be asked every 20 minutes or so if you want to have some fun, in other words, buy something or rent a jet ski. The cruise terminal was big, with many shops offering a great variety of merchandise.
St. Lucia is just a pretty as Dominica but tourism is much better developed. We booked the 'Aerial Tram' shore excursion through Carnival and enjoyed a pleasant and informative 90-minute gondola ride above the rainforest. Our travel companions went on the 'Land and Sea' combo, again through Carnival, and came back raving about it. They said they would go back and spend a week on the island. There are many shops conveniently located at the end of the cruise pier.
We went to Paradise Point in the morning and Magen's Bay in the afternoon. We had been to downtown Charlotte Amalie on a previous visit and knew there was nothing to see but jewelry shops. If you haven't been to Paradise Point, you haven't really seen the beauty of this island. St. Thomas has this unique Mediterranean charm and blends Caribbean influence and American culture in a way no other island does. The gondola ride to Paradise Point was definitely worth the 15 dollars and short walk from the cruise pier. Magen's Bay was pretty and relaxing, definitely worth the trip, too. We hope to return to St. Thomas in December and maybe take a trip to St. John.