The tour was not expensive and we saw quite a lot of the island, including the beautiful North shore where we saw the Alta Vista Chapel. The arid terrain has its own beauty, not unlike Arizona without the Saguaro. We saw the famous California lighthouse (not inside, it was closed) and saw many hotels and casinos. My sense is that Aruba is a great place for beautiful beach vacations with casinos and plenty of restaurants, but there is not much history to see on the island.
The spice plant and plantation were interesting. We were allowed to sniff them all. After a while, I wondered if we would have to go into rehab. The Concord falls was beautiful, even though the more massive falls were upstream and would have required an hour long hike with a guide. The tour allowed us to see several villages and much lush terrain. There were several "sleeping policemen" on the roads also known as speed bumps. We were shown where the Marines landed during the intervention of the 80s. A regime supported by Cuba had taken over government and assassinated the PM Maurice Bishop and several others including children. After the excursion, we walked up the hill to the castle overlooking the city (I think that is where Clint Eastwood and the Marines were) and the guide showed us the bullet holes in the flagpole and wall where the people were lined up and shot.
At Tyrol Cot, we learned about the first PM of Barbados, Errol Barrow, who owned the house. Barrow was the early distinguished leader of the country. The house was interesting as well as the "village" on site that was a collection of historical homes from slavery until today. Barbados is something of a key country in the Eastern Caribbean. The Concorde once flew there from Europe. I know that many Barbadians provided valuable labor for the building of the Panama Canal. It was interesting to see that the heir to the throne of the Byzantine Empire was buried at St. John's Church on the island. That is a connection with history.
The Orchid World proved to be another highlight to our cruise. We saw hundreds of astounding beautiful orchids. I strongly recommend a visit there by anyone porting in Barbados.
Nelson's Dockyard was the high point on the tour, but we enjoyed the beautiful vistas from the top of Shirley Heights. The island is more arid than Grenada, Barbados and St. Lucia, but does some a mix of flat and somewhat mountainous terrain. It is worth a visit as the people are friendly there. The tour was good.
The visit to the St. Peter Great House at the top of the island included great vistas and a nice garden. Blackbeard's Castle was well worth the trip despite the commercialism involved in walking down from the castle to the city. The walk was a part of the tour and we enjoyed the walk, but it seemed we were constantly going through a shop for rum or jewelry or something to buy. Still, it was a good tour and I recommend it for others. Once you reach the bottom of the walk, at street level, you are 2.5 miles from the ship, which we didn't have a problem. Some people did not want to walk, but taxis were not expensive.