This was a fun time. We rode throughout Barbados and saw lots of sites and got some history lessons, too. Guides were very personable and friendly. I would give this an excellent but I felt like our beach portion was a little short.
Covered many sites. However, driving through the country side appeared at times to be a bit treacherous at the speed we were driving. But the drivers know the roads and it becomes necessary to thrust them.
Pre-booked Glory Tours (Ryan) to Harrison Cave, Washburn Gulley, stunning Bathsheba beach, and snorkeling with the turtles and over shipwrecks. Ryan provided a wealth of information about the island and culture. The cave was nicely done with a tram that makes access for anyone very easy The monkey viewing at Washburn is rather contrived, with just a feeding area and then a nature walk. Had not cared about going to Bathsheba, but it is a stunning beach with crashing wave sets. At Pirate's Cove, we had to wade out in the waves, with our gear (clothes, etc) held over our heads, to get on a transfer boat. We then changed out to an old boat for snorkeling. We had our own mask and snorkel, but others used ones provided. No fins were available; they would have been helpful. There were so very many boats in the area-we did not see turtles. We moved to another area to see shipwrecks, which were fun to look at. The waves got rougher, and it was hard to get back to our boat. To get back ashore, we jumped into the waves and waded back. Pirate's Cove has shower facilities, and the most delicious coconut cream ice cream.
“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!
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