“Best of Barbados” with Glory Tours
Full day. 6 of us in very comfortable van with ac.
Our guide was pleasant and professional. “Rattled off” history and other information on Barbados as we traveled between sights but we didn’t feel his heart was in it. A few times he even repeated himself.
We were dropped off at Harrison’s Cave, Welchman Hall Gully, and Pirate’s Cove for lunch and snorkel with turtles. He made sure we had what we needed but at each stop he disappeared until time for us to leave.
Harrison’s Cave – We arrived early and were on first tram into caves. Very different from the caves we’ve seen in the U.S. but just as beautiful. Tip – You don’t need a jacket (it’s not cold) but a rain hat and bag for camera would be useful (lots of drips).
Welchman Hall Gully – Our guide made it a point to say he couldn’t promise we’d see monkeys and we didn’t. Saw where they were fed earlier in the morning. Only a brief glimpse of them in the trees on the road back to Bridgetown. My husband saw one, but by the time I looked it was gone, of course. Would have liked more time at Gully and a guided tour rather than just being handed a brochure with numbers and names of what we would see. Wasted time just looking for numbers on the various trees and really didn’t know what we were seeing.
Then we took off on steep and bumpy back roads to Bathsheba. Our guide/driver laughed that it was a special “short cut”. Still took a lot of time and even though the coastal scenery was beautiful, we only spent 15 minutes for a photo op there before getting back in the van for the long drive on to Pirate’s Cove.
Lunch at Pirate’s Cove was a buffet with main courses which looked like they had been sitting awhile. Light in building was low so hard to see what we were getting and servers not very pleasant. Ate outside at picnic table under pavilion. Beautiful beach not far from ship. We were picked up off the beach in a flat bottom boat. Just had to wade to about our knees. Cruised just a little up the beach and dropped anchor for snorkel with turtles. Our “captain” and his “mate” were lots of fun and the turtles were awesome. Just four of us by that time (2 others left us before lunch) so very uncrowded around our boat. Got “up very close and personal” with 5 different turtles.” When we finished, Glory Tour guide was again waiting to take us back to ship.
I’m glad we got to see more of the island and the Glory Tours driver/van was certainly convenient. Don’t feel we were treated to the “Best of Barbados” though. + Harrison’s Cave; snorkeling with turtles. - No monkeys or tour at Welchman Hall Gully; wasted time driving for 15 minutes at Bathsheba; awful lunch at Pirate’s Cove.
Our friends went through Costco tours for just Harrison’s Cave. It turned out their vehicle was Glory Tours too. Perhaps we would have been happier with one of Glory Tours shorter excursions. Didn’t have an opportunity to discuss all the options though as communication with owner was poor prior to the tour. The only thing that went smoothly was payment. This was the most expensive excursion of our cruise ($140 each) which had to be paid in advance.
James taxi and tours was amazing. James took us to the beach, Concorde museum- yes the real Concorde one of only 3 in the world left, and a wonderful tour. He had a cooler of beverages that we requested. Great guide and great day!
We have been to Barbados many times. In fact our youngest daughter was married here. We've seen most of the island but chose what was called Coast to Coast tour. Basically it went over to the Atlantic side of the island. It was just an exceptional tour. Strongly recommend it.
We had an excellent "Best of Barbados" tour experience, with visits to Sunbury Plantation, Orchid World, and Gun Hill. At Sunbury, we had a rum drink tasting and food demonstration and Orchid World was exquisite (and we had more rum!). Our tour guide was very knowledgable.
The tour was fantastic We had a full day tour and went to a banana plantation, the volcano with mineral/mud baths and waterfall. We took a water taxi and snorkeled between the pitons. We ate a brunch of exotic tropical fruits & native local foods. All day we had water, rum punch, soda & beer. Excellent all day tour with Cosol Tours.
We enjoyed the overview of the island. The guide, Kenmore or Ken More (?), was knowledgeable. He was willing to stop at a monastery that made rum and could only be purchased onsite. It wasn't on the itinerary. Three people wanted it so we stopped. It cost us time at the beach though, but it was nice for them. We stopped at the highlighted placed on the island and stopped for pictures. When we got to the beach we had to agree on a pick up time for him to come back and return us to the ship. IT all worked out.
Detractors: we were really three different tours in one (very nice, cool van). He dropped us at the beach. One group was eating there and he had had to stop to charge his cell phone so he could call ahead with their food preferences. One group, like us, was snorkelling with turtles, and another went back to the ship. There wasn't a lot of direction and we were afraid we would miss the ride out to the turtles, so we couldn't enjoy the water while we waited. When we got back, it was time to quickly get the free drink and leave. Kenmore wasn't happy about wet people in his van but he didn't have anything dry for us to sit on, either.
Next time we will take a taxi to the Harbor Lights Beach ($15 ride) and rent 2 lounge chairs and umbrella ($15 total) and take THEIR snorkel trip to turtles AND shipwreck for $10! That's what someone else did and we will do in January!
Ted Tours ($60) offered and excellent island tour with a true local that everyone seems to know. Includes rum punch and fish cakes on the half-day tour. Stunning scenery – windmills, mountain tops, rugged coastlines, and historic churches. We even had a short walk around in Speightstown.
Our favourite excursion on this trip. Comfortable, air-conditioned van for the 4 of us. Johnathan was excellent driver / guide. The cruisetours all centered on Harrison caves, which I'm sure are great but I've been to many caves in my life. We wanted to see more. St. Nicholas Abbey was great (bought a hand-engraved bottle of 5-yr old rum. Yum!). Hunte's Gardens was exceptional. I chose that for my wife but ended up loving this stop as much as she did. Pure serenity & beauty. Bathsheba Beach stop was a picture stop only but worth every minute. Morgan-Lewis windmill & Cherry Tree Hill stops were also great. Highly recommend the tour.
Carson picked us up at the Taxi stand outside of the cruise port in Bridgetown. Drove through town and made a quick stop where Rihanna grew up on the way to a west coast beach to do some snorkelling with the turtles. We made a quick stop at a supermarket to pick up some rum cake (cheaper than tourist shops). Stopped at the Cuban Memorial dedicated to the victims of the 1976 bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner around Paynes Bay. Visited the oldest church in Barbados St James Parish with it's beautiful stained glass windows and suspended pipe organ. Up to the North tip of the island to Animal Flower Cave where the waves crash onto the rocks below the cliffs. We didn't go into the cave system where you can see anemones in the pools and the cave opens to the Atlantic. Down the east coast to the Morgan Lewis Sugar windmill , continuing on to Bathsheba with its large boulders sitting on the beach.
Carson asked us what type of lunch we wanted. We replied when in Barbados, eat like a Barbadian. So making good use of our time Carson called ahead to have lunch waiting for us. We stopped at Gagg's Hill Rum Shop for fried fish (marlin), rice, baked mac n cheese, salad and some Banks Beer. Everyone was very friendly and the food very good! On the way back to the cruise port we fed and held some green monkeys and did some rum tasting at Mount Gay Rums. Overall a jam packed fun day covering most of the island. When looking for a tour guide, we highly recommend Carson. He will take you where ever you want to go and modify your tour however you like.
Initially, we had booked an excursion thru Celebrity but we learned that it was not accessible as outlined. So we opted to do a taxi tour instead. We wanted to stop at a store for candy canes, see the St. James Church, and other sites that they suggested. There were four of us, 3 with scooters. We wanted to pay $25 each and agreed to leave two of the scooters behind. The other user is a Disabled Navy Ensign and he needed it. The man at the cab stand said he knew of someone who would do that. He came back and we loaded the scooter in her trunk and set out. We drove to what she said was our first stop - a small stretch of beach with vendors selling jewelry and such, and a café where she urged us to get something to drink. After we got in again, she decided that she needed to get her $50 each and there was an argument about that. We finally paid her. Next stop, the church. Next stop a roadside stand where we could buy more doodads and take a photo of the ocean - with lots of wires in the way. Even though I reminded her that we wanted to stop again for candy canes, she told us we had our three stops so we could check in the cab-stand area. She got nastier and nastier, perhaps because we hadn't purchased anything from her vendors. We had paid her her $50, so we unloaded the scooter and left. As it was, we hadn't been able to use it anyway, and our SIL ended up staying in the cab. No tip! I had loved Barbados, mainly because of a taxi tour we had taken five years earlier - where it was $50 for two of us. We loved learning about that gentleman's Barbados. We will not go there again unless there are better accessible shore excursions. Be aware and make sure, even if you have agreed ahead of time, to pay before you leave and don't get stuck.
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