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Cruises to Barbados

4 Awards
Barbados (Photo:Filip Fuxa/Shutterstock)

About Barbados

Barbados -- or B'dos, as the locals abbreviate the name -- was a British territory until 1966 and remains greatly influenced by the United Kingdom. Brits on holiday make up the largest number of visitors to the island. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road, and afternoon tea is a respected ritual. Anglican churches are the anchor of all 11 parishes, although, in recent years, more evangelical churches have become the choice of many Bajuns.



But those of all nationalities will feel at ease there. The Bajuns are open, friendly people, proud to share their home with visitors. There's little crime and a general sense of safety and well-being.



The easternmost of the Caribbean islands, Barbados is technically in the Atlantic Ocean. An excursion to Bathsheba on the rugged eastern shore leaves no doubt about the vast forces of the Atlantic, unchecked for nearly 3,000 miles between there and the coast of Cape Verde, Africa. Some say the freshest air on the planet blows there. The surf looks gentle, but don't be fooled -- the undertow is something to be wary of, even for the best swimmers.



Despite heavy development along the western and southern coasts, the rest of the island is full of sweeping natural vistas, from rippling fields of sugar cane in the interior to the Atlantic surf pounding against the cliffs at the island's northernmost tip. The island rewards independent exploration; rent a car or hire a driver to see its unspoiled side.



Though today the sugarcane fields speak more to the island's past than its present (tourism, not agriculture, now drives the Barbadian economy), visitors can still experience the island's heritage at a number of plantation houses and rum distilleries. If you'd rather skip the history lesson, there are plenty of places to just get away from it all, from Bridgetown's duty-free department stores to the soft, white beaches of the south coast.

  • More about Barbados

  • Why go to Barbados?

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Sirena
Sirena

7 Night
Caribbean - Southern CruiseDetails

243 Reviews
Leaving:Aruba
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Mar 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Rhapsody of the Seas
Rhapsody of the Seas

8 Night
Southern Caribbean HolidayDetails

1,481 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Dec 26, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Seaside
MSC Seaside (Photo: MSC Cruises)

7 Night
Caribbean - Southern CruiseDetails

1,119 Reviews
Leaving:Martinique
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Jan 21, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic

9 Night
Southern Caribbean - San JuanDetails

4,223 Reviews
Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 30, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

150 Night
150 Night World CruiseDetails

375 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 7, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Southern Caribbean - New YorkDetails

3,082 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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25 Night
Transoceanic CruiseDetails

14 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Mar 8, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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26 Night
World CruiseDetails

207 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 30, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Southern Caribbean - New YorkDetails

3,082 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jan 20, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
World CruiseDetails

243 Reviews
Leaving:Aruba
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Mar 20, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Southern Caribbean CruiseDetails

1,929 Reviews
Leaving:Baltimore
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Apr 8, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Southern Caribbean WayfarerDetails

57 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Caribbean - Southern CruiseDetails

1,119 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
Ultimate Southern CaribbeanDetails

2,208 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Feb 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Southern Caribbean Island HopDetails

1,481 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Feb 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Barbados

Why go to Barbados?

Pros:

Between its friendly locals and general affordability, it's easy to explore Barbados independently

Cons:

Beware of the toxic Manchineel trees found on most Barbados beaches

Bottom Line:

This cruise port showcases its culture well, amid all the trappings of a modern Caribbean destination

Barbados Cruise Port Facilities?

The cruise terminal has the usual duty-free shopping options, complete with jewelry, clothing, souvenirs and crafts. There's also a tourist information desk and a telecommunications center with phone, Internet and postal services.



About two blocks down the road are the bright pink shops of Pelican Village (Princess Alice Highway), housing artisan boutiques, a working cigar factory and a few restaurants. It's closed on Sundays.



The Bridgetown Public Fish Market is just across the street. No, you'll not be buying fish to bring back to the ship, but it's an energetic place to watch while local chefs and heads of household haggle and bargain over the freshest catch.



The route from the cruise terminal into downtown traverses through a lovely park with a stone seawall, a great place to just relax and get some fresh air off the boat without getting into the commotion of downtown.

Good to Know?

Manchineel trees, found on many Barbados beaches, are beautiful and leafy green, appearing to be a great place to escape from the sun or the occasional rain shower. Don't do it. The leaves and fruit are both toxic and can create a serious rash on your skin. Most of the trees in public areas are marked with warning signs or red X's painted on the trunks.



Also, note that, in Barbados, honking car horns do not convey a negative message as they do in many parts of the world. The Bajuns tap their horns dozens of times a day in greeting to other drivers, whether or not they are acquainted. It's just the friendly way of life there.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The capital city of Bridgetown is a one-mile stroll from the cruise port, and its downtown area is pedestrian-friendly.



By Taxi: Cabs line up outside the port terminal. You can arrange informal driving tours of the island with a cab driver, giving you a local's insight without having to do your own driving. Negotiate the rate before you start, and be sure you know which currency is being quoted.



By Rental Car: Stoutes Car Rental (246-416-4456) offers free drop-off and pick-up from the cruise terminal. Remember that Bajans, like the Brits, drive on the left. If you choose to rent a vehicle, consider the fun Kia Mini Moke found all over the island. Note that these have no doors and a small trunk, but they're a lot of fun for a day.



By Bus: The bus terminal is about two blocks from the cruise terminal, just behind the Pelican Village. From there you can hop a bus to Holetown, Bathsheba, St. Lawrence Gap and elsewhere on the island all for the same price. Note that you must have exact change or purchase tokens in advance at the terminal. Barbados has two bus systems -- the blue government-owned and -operated buses and the bright yellow "reggae" buses, which are known for playing loud music and not always paying attention to maximum capacity signs. The good news is that both systems are known to run on time.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Barbadian dollar. Check the most current exchange rates at www.xe.com or www.oanda.com. American bills (but not coins) are commonly accepted, though you may get change in local currency. ATM's are plentiful in Bridgetown, the capital city, and in other smaller towns throughout the island.

Language?

English is the official language of Barbados, and everyone speaks it. The locals have their own dialect, but you'll have no trouble understanding conversations.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, about a mile west of downtown Bridgetown.


Barbados Cruise Reviews
Took a shared taxi to Harbour Lights beach club. Our first time there. It was ok, but we preferred the Boatyard that we have visited previously. Barbados port has a few duty free shops and a convenience store.Read More
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AJ22
Barbados is one of my second homes and despite restrictions hosted a good cruise, I was disappointed with the lack of choice for excursionsRead More
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UKWLDCruise
Natural Wonders of Barbados. Beautiful garden stop.Read More
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tipitina
Barbados Coast to Coast. It was a nice tour with a stop at the gift shop where we got rum punch, unfortunately I also received there the sad news that a very dear friend had passed away. Furthermore we went to St JohRead More
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Angela1968

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