We did a private tour on the Good Times Catamaran, (www.goodtimesbarbados.com) swam with the turtles and snorkeled over an underwater shipwreck. We didn't do the full day tour as it was our first time to Barbados, & we wanted to spend a little time walking around. We recommend going with a private catamaran as you will have a chance to swim with the turtles quietly before the cruise ship catamarans come by with 80+ passengers on them. Our catamaran held only 16 passengers -- 2 of them were folks that lived part time on the island and have done the cruise several times with their visiting guests.
We did a private island and beach tour with Liz Pereira Tours. The Batik factory was interesting and provided a chance to bring home some souvenirs. There are some beautiful picture taking opportunities here. We really enjoyed the black sand beach (I think it was called South Friars beach?), the Shipwreck bar (try a chunky monkey) and for those that are interested, there are some wonderful massages offered on the beach. Monkeys and mongooses can be viewed on the cliffs at the back of the beach.
The port can appear to be a little intimidating with pushy vendors / taxi drivers but most will move on when you tell them you have already booked with someone else.
We booked privately with Levi Bumping Tours which offer several different types of excursions. Since we brought my 84 year old mother in law, we wanted something tame and not too difficult to navigate. We asked them to take us to the aerial tram ride, including a suspension bridge walk which was not difficult to traverse. For those more adventurous -- there is a zip line from the top. This is a marvelous experience, the vegetation is lush and gorgeous but if you go - take one of those cheap $ store poncho's as it is the rain forest after all. We followed this with a tour of the island -- be prepared to see some very poor districts. The driver pointed out areas where they filmed one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Very clean port. Easy access to transportation. Great shopping.
We've been to this island before so decided to go to the Maho beach and watch the aircraft come in. Our cab driver (Captain Steve) was very informative and it was entertaining to ride with him. He waited next door (at his friend's restaurant) and told us to come and get him when we wanted to return.
We've been before, explored the island, and done the gondola rides so this time we elected to hit the stores and wander around. It is very easy to pick up a shuttle to and from the ship to the downtown shopping area. (The free shuttle you see when you first get off the ship takes you only to the Havensight Mall stores. You can grab a shuttle from there into town.)
If you've never been, do the gondola ride and get some breathtaking pictures. You can actually walk to it from Havensight.
This is a very clean port and there are many enjoyable experiences to be had here.