The Bathsheba Beach Rock Climbing, Bridgetown, Barbados
Bathsheba Beach Rock Climbing, Bridgetown, Barbados


If you’re after beautiful sun-kissed beaches with crystal-clear waters, lush tropical gardens, colorful Caribbean villages and incredible Bajan cuisine, a Royal Caribbean® cruise from Barbados is the perfect vacation.

By Amanda Mesa | Published on December 1, 2021

Why You Should Consider Cruising From Barbados

As far as iconic Caribbean destinations go, Barbados is a favorite among jetsetters around the world. This dazzling island paradise is located in the sparkling cerulean waters of the southeastern Caribbean. The easternmost of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is just 21 miles long and 23 miles wide, but don’t be fooled by its size. Its friendly locals, free-roaming green monkeys and boundless natural beauty — like an ancient cave system and famous flower-filled gardens — have earned it a reputation as a world-class, must-visit destination. Barbados is also now a homeport for Royal Caribbean, making it one the cruise line’s newest jumping-off points for epic itineraries that sail to top-rated islands in the southern Caribbean. On a cruise from Barbados, you can visit Trinidad, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, just to name a few — plus some farther-flung destinations in Central and South America on longer itineraries. With seven- and fourteen-night sailings onboard Grandeur of the Seas® departing from beautiful Bridgetown, a cruise from Barbados is hands-down one of the best ways to island-hop across the southern Caribbean. 

An Island That Offers Plenty To See And Do

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. 

How To Get To Barbados

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. 

This big island in the Gulf of Paria is one of the many destinations you can visit on a cruise from Barbados. You’ll dock in Port of Spain, Trinidad’s big, bold capital and home to plenty of worthwhile sights and attractions. Explore a centuries-old fortress, stroll through the city’s sprawling botanical gardens, and visit its impressive churches. Beyond the city limits, a world of wild wonders awaits. Like the Caroni Wetlands, home to thick mangrove forests and gleaming rivers which you can explore on a nature tour, and beautiful beaches like Maracas, a tranquil strip of shoreline protected by a deep bay and framed by rolling green hills. Similar to the food in Barbados, Trinidad’s global fusion cuisine is also a major attraction. One of the most popular dishes here is Bake and Shark, a street food staple that consists of fried flatbread, coleslaw, and shark meat (though you can sub this for fish, if you prefer). Make sure to try some when you visit Trinidad during your cruise out of Barbados.    
Just a hop, skip and jump away is Tobago, Trinidad’s tiny sister island and another top stop on a cruise from Barbados. It’s a favorite destination among snorkelers and divers because its south coast is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and dive sites. Its north coast offers the perfect escape for beachcombers, riddled through with secluded coves, sheltered bays and pristine stretches of golden-sand and calm, turquoise waters. If you prefer to spend the day in the island’s main port, Scarborough, you’ll find plenty to do. Though it also boasts its own beautiful botanic gardens and historic fortresses, this laid-back city paints a striking contrast to bustling Port of Spain in Trinidad. Grab a bite of rum-roasted pork or curried crab dumplings at one of Scarborough’s open-air cafes, then hit Pigeon Point Beach for great snorkeling and sunbathing.  

St. Vincent And The Grenadines

Another fabulous destination you can reach on a cruise out of Barbados is St. Vincent — the main island in a string of smaller, beautiful isles known as the Grenadines. Upon arrival, St. Vincent itself seems a glamorous place: impressive yachts bob in its tranquil harbors, while jet-setters from around the world lounge along its pristine beaches. St. Vincent’s main cruise port, Kingstown, offers plenty of island charm in the form of lively open-air craft and produce markets, quaint 19th-century churches and imposing British colonial-era forts that yield awe-inspiring views of the sea. Make sure you try some callaloo soup during your visit — it’s a local delicacy made with potatoes, beef, herbs, coconut milk and of course, callaloo greens. 
A top island destination for couples, St. Lucia is the quintessential Caribbean paradise and one of the coolest places you can visit on a cruise from Barbados. The island’s landscape is a dramatic collage of ancient volcanic peaks, rolling emerald hills, palm-fringed beaches and glittering sapphire bays. You’ll find two worlds here — strips of coastline dotted with upscale resorts and bays filled with sleek sailing yachts, and rustic fishing villages that honor a more traditional way of life. Nature lovers will find plenty to do, notably a hike to the twin peaks of the iconic Pitons or a wild ramble through Maria Islands Nature Reserve. And in the capital city, Castries, you’ll discover a vibrant blend of French, British and Creole heritage that influences the architecture and flavors every dish. 
Every Grandeur of the Seas® cruise out of Barbados includes a stop at St. George, Grenada, which is just as well because it’s one of the best-kept secrets in the southern Caribbean. Everything about this pretty, colorful isle in the West Indies is bold — from the towering, jungle-covered mountains that rise steeply from the land, to the brightly painted homes in the capital, St. George. Even the cuisine here is bold, comprised of aromatic curries and savory creations that rely on plenty of sweet and rich spices. In fact, Grenada has been nicknamed “the Spice Isle” because of its many spice plantations, but you don’t need to venture inland to get a whiff of its most important export — the city streets here are perpetually perfumed with the aromas of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. And if you’re looking for a unique adventure beneath the waves, Grenada is home to the world’s first underwater sculpture park.   
The first and best-known of the ABC Islands, Aruba leaves a lasting impression on anyone who visits. The isle itself is a study in contrast — it’s home to beautiful golden beaches along the west coast and windswept cliffs and limestone arches along the east coast. Rugged volcanic hills and cactus-strewn deserts fill the space in between, offering incredible hikes to outdoor enthusiasts and transporting you to yet another world within the bounds of this tiny southern Caribbean destination. If you choose to spend some time in the capital of Oranjestad, you’ll find just as much range among its people and cuisines. Aruba is home to more than 90 nationalities, making it one of the most diverse populations in the world and a standout destination on your cruise from Barbados.  
If you like the sound of Aruba, wait until you visit Bonaire. This southern Caribbean gem is easily accessible on a cruise from Barbados. The “B” of the ABC Islands, Bonaire is a nature lover’s paradise and every bit as magical as her sister isles, Aruba and Curaçao. Located just off the coast of South America and surrounded by spectacular coral reefs and famous dive sites, it’s a top destination among snorkelers and divers who visit from all over the world. Those who prefer to laze the day away shoreside will find plenty of beautiful white-sand beaches to fall in love with — Sorobon Beach is a favorite. Bonaire is also home to thick mangrove forests you can kayak through, and arid, rambling desert trails that snake past stately cacti and massive rough-hewn boulders. Hit Washington Slagbaai National Park for unforgettable hikes and crystal-clear lagoons sheltered by impressive rock formations. Or kick back in the capital city, Kralendijk, where colonial Dutch style meets laid-back Caribbean flavor. 

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.   

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