What a wonderful Island. The vegetation is so thick and lush, I doubt that you'd find a more green island paradise. "Pirates of the Caribbean" was filmed here. We opted to visit a waterfall and "Emerald Pool." It is a relatively long hike through the rainforest but we found the vegetation to so interesting that we were at the waterfall before we knew it. Not having learned from the stingray encounter, I hopped into the pool and approached the falls. The water, even for a snow-bird like myself was freezing. The experience (not the cold) is one that neither of us will forget, it is paradise.
We do not have the words to describe the color of the water around Barbados. Amazing is not descriptive but must suffice. We toured the island and wound up at a lovely hotel beach, far from the ship. A small reef, about 200 feet out into the water kept our swim smooth and relaxing. The tour guide did his best to keep us informed as we drove all the back roads, to and from the ship. I know that George Washington vacationed in Barbados, but we only got to see the hotel that boasts, "Tiger Woods slept here."
Fort de France was an interesting shopping opportunity. We walked the bustling, narrow streets and poked our heads into countless shops. Unlike merchants in the U.S., we concluded that it must be considered impolite for clerks to approach shoppers. They were more than willing to be friendly and polite but seemed reluctant to speak unless spoken to. How refreshing, we thought, as we were able to peruse the wares of each shop, feeling no pressure whatsoever. Following a few hours and yes, a few dollars of shopping, we wandered down the coast to the fort. It looked menacing, facing the harbor. We learned later that it's purpose was not to guard the harbor form pirates, but rather was built to protect the citizens from local hostile indians. We could not enter as this is still an active fort with the local military still residing there.
Here we opted for a snorkeling excursion. It may have been the best of many such excursions that we have enjoyed. The captain of the boat had us howling with laughter all the way to the diving site. I say it might have been the best as I didn't get to enjoy the water for very long. I had overestimated my physical capabilities. Having had robotic heart surgery, only one month earlier, I found that I was not ready yet. to snorkel. I mention this only that I wish to properly thank the young professionals who operate the boat. They quickly recognized that I was having difficulty catching my breath. Immediately, one young man helped me back to the boat and quickly provided oxygen. Once recovered, and being no threat to return to the water, they treated me to a few rum drinks. Not being a medical professional, I do believe that the rum was a far better cure than the oxygen, but then I was too loopy to make a rational comparison. Carol continued to snorkel and reported to me that the wealth of colorful fish had her mesmerized.