Barbados: Having been to Barbados many times on Southern Caribbean cruises, we were looking for something fun and different to do, and this did not disappoint! The Agapey Chocolate factory is just over a year old, near the port, and started offering tours a couple of months ago. Reservations must be made on-line and paid for in advance (http://www.agapey.com/chocolatefactory.html). The price is a very reasonable $15.00 per person. A map is available, and the walk is not far, but it is a little confusing. Plus, you have to navigate a gauntlet of taxi drivers all out for your business to get there. And, most of the cab drivers do not yet know about the factory. It's been there only a year. We ended up going with a great driver, Adrian, who took a look at our map and ran us over there. We had an agenda for the day - chocolate, then flying fish for lunch, and then the Mount Gay rum tour, and he stuck with us, recommended a great place for lunch, and took us everywhere for just $15 per person for the day (plus tip). Back to chocolate, though. If you tell your cab driver, or who ever you ask for directions, that the chocolate factory is in the old Colgate Palmolive factory, at the back, they'll be able to direct you.
The place is small, the tour is intimate. The owner has one employee, and it's basically one room. The tour is a chocolate educational experience. The owner is a chemical engineer by training, and his engineering background shows. You get to taste different chocolates, cocoa beans, and sugars, to understand what makes Agapey chocolates very special. Beans are roasted during the experience, and you get to taste the beans during the roasting process to see how they change flavor as they are roasted. All the machines are explained and demonstrated.
Agapey Chocolate is luxury chocolate. He only makes dark chocolate, including an espresso flavor. I don't like coffee, but found all three chocolates he makes delicious! Unfortunately, he doesn't have a gift shop at the factory or any way of buying it right there. However, it is sold at Cave Shepherd, downtown, or Best of Barbados, in the mall at the cruise terminal. You can bet we stopped there and bought them out! Since you also get to taste various kinds of sugar, you learn the difference between the white refined sugar we have generally available in the stores, and the brown Barbados cane sugar (larger crystals) used to make the chocolate. That, too, is available in small bags at Best of Barbados, and we bought some of that, too - there truly is a difference.
The whole experience took us a little over an hour, leaving us plenty of time for our flying fish lunch at the Waterfront Cafe (on the Carenage) and rum factory tours.
Read erniesband's full Serenade of the Seas cruise review
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