In addition to unlocking some of the most popular shores in the southern Caribbean, a cruise from Barbados is also worth considering because the island is an amazing destination in and of itself. Bridgetown, Barbados’s capital and main cruise port, offers the perfect combination of Caribbean vibes and European charm. The streets are lined with well-preserved colonial buildings and brightly painted wooden houses, bustling open-air markets and quaint seaside cafes where you can watch sleek catamarans bobbing in the bay. If you venture beyond the city, you’ll find your pick of sun-kissed beaches, wild nature trails that are perfect for hiking and even an extensive network of caves you can explore. Snorkelers and divers should hit Carlisle Bay’s famous underwater shipwreck trail. And make sure you don’t miss a visit to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where you can mingle with the green monkeys that roam free around the island.
The food scene is also out of this world, fueled by a unique fusion of African, English, Portuguese, Irish, Creole and Indian flavors. No matter what you’re munching on, you’ll find that big flavor is a staple ingredient in all Bajan cuisine. Sit down at an upscale seafood restaurant for fresh catches prepared to your taste. Or grab a golden-fried fish cake or an aromatic conkie — a mix of cornmeal, pumpkin, coconut, sugar and spices all wrapped in a banana leaf — at one of the island’s many street food stalls. Make sure to add some spicy Bajan sauce to your bites.
Though Barbados may feel a million miles away from the bustle of everyday life, getting to this secluded island is actually quite easy. Many major cities in the U.S., including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Charlotte, offer direct flights to the island’s capital, Bridgetown. London also offers direct routes that will take you straight across the Atlantic to this sunny southern Caribbean isle. If you’re thinking about a cruise out of Barbados, you can take the stress out of planning your vacation by opting into the Royal Caribbean Air2Sea program. It guarantees you’ll get the lowest airfare on your chosen airlines. It also offers 24/7 support from air specialists, so you can rest assured you’ll make it onto your cruise from Barbados, even if there are flight delays or cancellations. In fact, Royal Caribbean has even reserved seats on airplanes and chartered flights for each sailing, so you’ll always have options.
Going through customs in Barbados is easy, too. All you need is a valid passport — there are no visa requirements as long as your visit is less than six months. You’re going to want to spend a few days in Bridgetown before or after your cruise from Barbados. Planning your island stay is easy and stress-free, as Barbados is home to several hotels and resorts that offer all-inclusive specials.
Wondering where a cruise out of Barbados can take you? Keep reading to learn more about some of the top island destinations you can visit when you sail from Bridgetown with Royal Caribbean.
Finally, Curaçao rounds out the ABC Islands with plenty to satisfy even the most daring outdoor adventurers. Its rugged north coast is home to Shete Boka National Park, where you’ll find secluded pocket beaches, winding trails through lava hills, and limestone bluffs that offer unparalleled views of the island and the glimmering Caribbean. There’s an ancient crater carved by waves and currents that forms a natural blowhole. And then there are the Hato Caves, a network of subterranean chambers you can access easily and one of the island’s top natural wonders. Of course, Curaçao also offers all the more traditional charms of a Caribbean island escape — like gorgeous beaches and streets filled with culture, delicious cuisine and the sound of Calypso rhythms. Your cruise out of Barbados will take you to Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital, which overflows with European charm. Stroll along the cafes that line the cobblestone streets around Sint Anna Bay, or head to the famous Floating Market, filled with boats selling produce from south America and the surrounding islands.
From peaceful beaches and sleepy fishing villages, to vibrant coral reefs, sepia-toned desert landscapes and majestic mountain ranges, the southern Caribbean is full of spectacular destinations. And now, with Royal Caribbean cruises departing from Barbados onboard Grandeur of the Seas®, exploring this region has never been easier. Whether you’re looking for a getaway rich with outdoor adventure and dazzling natural beauty, a relaxing beach escape that involves hopping from one sun-soaked shore to the next, a culture cruise that’s all about history, heritage and cuisine, or a blend of all three — a cruise from Barbados is the perfect way to satisfy your wanderlust in the tropics.
Want to learn more ahead of your cruise out of Barbados? Check out these insider tips.
- Before you book, keep an eye out for cruise deals on sailings from Bridgetown. Royal Caribbean offers frequent sales online.
- Once you’ve made your reservation, consider staying in Bridgetown for a few days before or after your cruise from Barbados to explore the island.
- Barbados is considered the birthplace of rum. Add some to your list of souvenirs to bring home from the island.