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View Full Version : First time in Barbados...what to do?


cruisejunkie15
April 1st, 2008, 10:40 PM
Hello everyone,

I will be in Barbados this coming January, and I was wondering what is a must do for first timers. This will be my Honeymoon cruise, we are in our mid to late 20's and like adventure as well as beach. We love to get to know the places we visit, please help us with ideas!

Thanks!!!

cinnam0n
April 3rd, 2008, 12:20 PM
Actually, a good idea would be to just read through the posts on this board! You will find out in great detail some of the most popular things to do on Barbados. It is a beautiful island and there is something for everyone!

sandytoes03
April 6th, 2008, 11:54 AM
We went horseback riding and it was great! Awesome ride and beautiful horses.

Willowbranch
April 16th, 2008, 08:32 PM
We were just in Barbados a few days ago. If you have your own snorkle equipment, go to Folkestone Beach! There is coral & lots & lots of fish. We took the local bus (yes, we chose the yellow ones--with loud music). We paid $3.00 for our family of 4! A GREAT WAY TO GET THERE!!

We met some people on the beach from our cruise ship--they had paid a taxi $40.00 to get to this beach. They could not believe it when I said we paid $3.00. They had planned on paying another $40.00 to get back, but when we explained how much fun we had, they chose to take the bus back & just could NOT believe how nice & easy it was!!

The beach is for locals, so not crowded. Oh, they also have the water roped off so that you do not have to worry about boats or jet ski's bothering you. You could probably swim out about 150 yards--GREAT snorkling! Take some cereal off from the boat & feed them--you won't believe all the fish!

Have fun & forget about the ship excursions!! People on our ship were complaining about the huge crowds of people & way over-priced!

Do everything on your own!!!! You will have MUCH more fun & much cheaper!!

cruzduo
April 17th, 2008, 08:44 AM
Are there chairs and umbrellas to rent at Folkstone beach and restaurants in the area?

wheresmypalmtree
May 16th, 2008, 04:14 PM
Dear Willowbranch,
Thanx for the great info! We are off to Barbados next January, and are tired of overcrowded shore excursions. Where did you pick up the bus? This is our 1st time here, any other ideas anyone has for fun in the sun would be greatly appreciated. Thanx, Lin

airlink diva
May 16th, 2008, 06:50 PM
We were just in Barbados a few days ago. If you have your own snorkle equipment, go to Folkestone Beach! There is coral & lots & lots of fish. We took the local bus (yes, we chose the yellow ones--with loud music). We paid $3.00 for our family of 4! A GREAT WAY TO GET THERE!!

We met some people on the beach from our cruise ship--they had paid a taxi $40.00 to get to this beach. They could not believe it when I said we paid $3.00. They had planned on paying another $40.00 to get back, but when we explained how much fun we had, they chose to take the bus back & just could NOT believe how nice & easy it was!!

The beach is for locals, so not crowded. Oh, they also have the water roped off so that you do not have to worry about boats or jet ski's bothering you. You could probably swim out about 150 yards--GREAT snorkling! Take some cereal off from the boat & feed them--you won't believe all the fish!

Have fun & forget about the ship excursions!! People on our ship were complaining about the huge crowds of people & way over-priced!

Do everything on your own!!!! You will have MUCH more fun & much cheaper!!
Where did you catch this bus? How close was it to the port area?

barbados
May 16th, 2008, 09:31 PM
Exit the Gatehouse (South Gatehouse exit, not the NE) and make your way NE a couple of blocks to Fontabelle.

Fontabelle turns into Spring Garden Highway, our West Coast road.

Wait on Fontabelle by the roundabout for the ZRs going north to Holetown.

http://id.mind.net/~barbados/barbados-map3.jpg

138east
May 18th, 2008, 05:22 PM
We also liked Folkestone Beach. Very low key - nothing fancy. A souvenir stand, a small refreshment stand, a small store, and public restrooms and changing area. I think we took food from the ship with us and bought drinks. You could also stop in the convenience store in the terminal and buy stuff before you went. You could rent chairs, but umbrellas weren't really necessary since you could be in the shade (actually filtered sunlight) looking out at the beautiful water. There was also a children's playground area. We asked the vendors about a cab at 2 pm, and they said no problem - we had a cab at 2 pm.

Thanks for the bus tip. I plan to go back next year and will try that. I will also try the snorkeling.

sillylizzie
May 21st, 2008, 02:00 PM
What we did while in Barbados:
* Orchid World
* Harrison's Cave (must see)
* St. John Parish Church (pretty neat)
* Barbados Wildlife Reserve
* Bathsheba (beautiful)
* Bridgetown (some neat historical spots)

I definitely recommend Harrison's Caves. If you're doing a tour with a driver, Bathsheba is gorgeous, and had hardly any tourists. In fact, I don't think we saw one. We had lunch locally, near the beach, and it was wonderful.
The Wildlife Reserve and church were also very neat, however, from what I've read & heard from others on our trip, I wish we'd hit the Animal Flower Cave instead.
No matter what you do, Barbados is gorgeous and I'm sure you'll have an amazing time. :)

*Jessica*
June 22nd, 2008, 06:50 PM
We were just in Barbados a few days ago. If you have your own snorkle equipment, go to Folkestone Beach! There is coral & lots & lots of fish. We took the local bus (yes, we chose the yellow ones--with loud music). We paid $3.00 for our family of 4! A GREAT WAY TO GET THERE!!



Can you rent snorkle gear there???

Kinder1
July 2nd, 2008, 12:22 AM
I read somewhere that harrison cave is closed this time of year. We are going at the end of this month. Anyone know about this?:confused:

seaboy
July 3rd, 2008, 09:20 PM
Can you rent snorkle gear there???


Yes, Folkestone has an antique shop where you can rent gear.You can also get a glass bottom boat along there.
I have always recommend Michael who is a master at his trade, and professional with his turtle snorkelling trip.

mckinna
July 14th, 2008, 09:00 AM
Harrison's Cave is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, which is a bummer, because we will be there on a Monday. Here's their website.

http://harrisonscave.com/

patches12
July 15th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Just got back from our cruise. Based on this thread, we went to Folkestone Beach about 9:00 or 9:30. Later someone on the ship said it was dangerous to go to the more secluded beaches. We took a government bus (blue with yellow stripe $2.50 for 3 people). We were the only non-locals there. Snorkel vests $5.00, locker $1.00, restroom, outside shower, chairs in the shade. You can snorkel on the right side, but there are boats that come in there. Be careful. We saw only a few fish, then saw a puffer fish. Then a school of feeder fish (minnow size) swam by and an eel came out of a small cave-like reef. Scared the ____ out of us! No one bothered us or tried to sell us something. My husband stayed in the chair and watched out for us. He didn't want to swim on that day.

We walked back to the bus stop (marked with a sign and a bench) and went to another beach to snorkel with turtles. Buses come by about every ten minutes. (Blue Monkey bar/restaurant, $7.00 bottles of water, 2 chairs & 1 umbrella $15.00.)Amazingly they have no change!:D When I said I wouldn't rent from them since they didn't have change, they said they would find change. Two hours later, I went looking for the guy and found him. He saw me coming and said "I owe you $5.00" U.S. He said he didn't have it and gave me $10.00 Barbados $. I added $2.00 US to it and bought the water. This time we caught a privately owned bus (yellow with blue stripe -3 for $2.50) Interior was lime green, music blaring. I cannot remember the beach's name, but someone on this forum said it was easy to swim to where the excursion boats were. You really should not try to swim with the turtles from the shore. It is NOT roped off and is pretty dangerous. Jet skis and boats come flying by you. Some of the jet ski drivers have been drinking and may not see you if you are snorkeling and swimming towards the turtles. It looks really close from the shore, but it is pretty far once you start fighting the waves to get there. It is more than 30 foot deep there too. People are on the beach offering glass bottomed boat rides out to the turtles. We paid $10.00 per person to go out there. Offer less. We offered $10.00 and they took the offer. They would probably do it for less. They have life jackets and snorkel gear. Problem is they left us out there and we had to start swimming back. They did not count how many people (12) they started with. I kept looking up to see if they were ready for us and no one motioned us in. I looked up again and they were gone. I saw them at the beach so we started swimming back. We were exhausted before we were even 1/4 of the way back. They came back when my husband told them they had left us. We got in the boat and went back to shore. It is better to go with a small group so they don't forget you.

We did see two huge turtles out there. One stayed on the bottom and one swam within touching distance. I didn't touch it, but others did. I felt we should leave it alone and not touch it. Each flipper was about 15-18 inches long. The turtles were huge! If you take an excursion on a catamaran, most of your time is spent getting there! Much cheaper to use a glass bottomed boat.

We had a hard time getting rid of people trying to sell us something. A woman next to me kept getting touched on the leg by a guy trying to talk to her to sell her something. He would not listen to her saying no. He kept offering back rubs or lotion application....wouldn't go away. Her husband/boyfriend came back and he came over to us. My daughter was trying to put her shoe on and he grabbed her foot. She lightly hit his hand with her water shoe and he stopped. No snorkeling here.

We started back to the boat around 2:00. Other people near us had paid $60.00 round trip or $25.00 one-way for taxis to get there. The two women that paid $25.00 one-way came back with us on the bus. We got the "party" bus again and it was half full. By the time we went a mile, it was packed and standing room only. I wish we would have waved them on and waited for a government bus. That could have been a dangerous situation, but nothing happened. We went by a different route than the government bus came. We wound up in a bad area, then moved quickly on. They dropped us off at the government bus terminal (where we caught the first one) when we asked them to drop us off near the cruise ship.

We were the only non-locals on the bus. I would imagine that since tourism is so important, we would be safe, but anything could happen at any time. So make sure you are adventurous if you take the local bus. Go out the gate and walk through a park-like area with beautiful flowers. It is well-maintained. You will walk until you pass a shopping area that sells crafts. It was a nice walk even in July! 15-20 min. The drivers watch out for pedestrians so that is good. After the shopping area, look to the left and you should see the bus terminal. Cross the street....driving on the left here! Ask for bus going to Spreightstown or Holetown. Coming back, ask for "to town" bus. The bus stop signs say "out of city" and "to town".

Ride the bus at your own risk.:D

DANofNORTH
July 16th, 2008, 12:27 PM
did anyone see any turtles there or just at the beach by the Blue Monkey?

patches12
July 17th, 2008, 05:57 PM
It would be just plain dumb luck to see turtles at Folkestone. The reason you see them at Blue Monkey Bar (wish I could remember the name of the beach!) is because catamarans stop in a particular spot and feed the turtles. The turtles watch for them. Otherwise I doubt you would see a turtle.

Aplmac
July 18th, 2008, 07:06 AM
The reason you see them at Blue Monkey Bar
(wish I could remember the name of the beach!) is ... Paynes Bay? :)

patches12
July 29th, 2008, 01:41 AM
Paynes Bay is right! Thanks.

SueCruz
August 13th, 2008, 01:08 AM
What we did while in Barbados:
* Orchid World
* Harrison's Cave (must see)
* St. John Parish Church (pretty neat)
* Barbados Wildlife Reserve
* Bathsheba (beautiful)
* Bridgetown (some neat historical spots)

I definitely recommend Harrison's Caves. If you're doing a tour with a driver, Bathsheba is gorgeous, and had hardly any tourists. In fact, I don't think we saw one. We had lunch locally, near the beach, and it was wonderful.
The Wildlife Reserve and church were also very neat, however, from what I've read & heard from others on our trip, I wish we'd hit the Animal Flower Cave instead.
No matter what you do, Barbados is gorgeous and I'm sure you'll have an amazing time. :)



If so, which tour?

Deckhawk
August 13th, 2008, 06:36 AM
If you are in your mid-20's and in Barbados, there is nothing better than the Jolly Rodger. It's a booze cruise that is a double decker Pirate ship. I've been on it twice, it could be the best excursion I have ever taken...

endoellen
August 13th, 2008, 10:20 PM
We were in Barbados April 07. Took a day sail aboard the Silvermoon catamaran. It was a great trip! We snorkeled with the turtles. The crew fed them & we were close enough to touch them. The crew of 2 on Silvermoon were real nice & accomadating. They made us mixed drinks, fed us a good lunch, dessert & more drinks on our sail back to the dock. This is a private excursion and there were only 14 passengers aboard the 40ft long X 20 ft. wide catamaran. We were picked up at the cruise dock and after a short ride were at the dock & boarding the catamaran. I would definitely take this day sail again. We will be there again in April 09 & hope to make this trip again. No hassles with taxis or buses!
You should be able to find them on the internet & more opinions posted on these boards.
Hope this gives you another option to consider.