Barbados is one of those destinations that conjures all sorts of exotic images. It is a favoured winter holiday destination for many British holidaymakers seeking to escape the sharp bite of winters back home. We sail into the port at Bridgetown a little after 7am and dock alongside a sleek expensive looking private yacht called Ice. Apparently it was owned by a Russian billionaire and won super yacht of the year 2006. I can certainly see why.
We have a fairly early tour booked and so we are up and breakfasting by 7am. Our tour starts at 8.30 and so after eating we head out of the ship. There is a shuttle bus to carry people to the cruise terminal but as we have time we decide to walk the short distance along the harbour wall.
The tour process in Barbados is very slick and well organised. Sometimes it can be a bit chaotic with people trying to find their tour guide amongst a sea of people all trying to do the same. We are greeted by our tour guide Rose and the driver Andrew. Rose turns out to be one of the best tour guides we have ever had. In turns funny, informative and she and Andrew have a great banter between them. We are first driven through Bridgetown itself. As its a Sunday all shops are closed and the roads are very quiet. We drive past the condo where Rihanna and Simon Cowell own property, 1 Sandy Lane. Rihanna having recently purchased hers for roughly £15 million. Yikes.
We drive high up into the surrounding hills to a place aptly called Highlands. It is a weather station but it has fabulous views out over the east coast and the Atlantic Ocean. We enjoy some rum punch up here before boarding the bus to drive down to the east coast to a place called Bathsheba. All the while Rose is narrating the history of the island, the culture and traditions. At Bathsheba we can witness the pounding surf of the Atlantic coastline. There is a giant section of reef washed up near the beach, easily the size of a house. Families play in the surf but are careful not to venture out too far. This coastline has notorious rip currents and undertows. Most resorts are located on on the gentler west coast.
From there we climb back up into the hills to the church of St Johns. It is a very Anglican Looking church and would not look out of place amongst the English countryside. We take photos and visit the cemetery where some of the influential Bajans are buried. Back on the bus we head back to port. It was a short tour of about 3hours but we got to see parts of Barbados we would have missed had we just headed to a beach. Back on Serenade we lunch and head back to the cabin. I am tired an so I have 40 winks whilst Peter heads to the gym. We spend the late afternoon on the balcony as we sail out of Bridgetown with a couple of Margaritas. Very nice.
It's tropical night onboard tonight and so we don our best Caribbean attire and head up to the Diamond Lounge for a change. It has better views than the Concierge club but does not have its own private bar like that does. We still get our drinks and nibbles though.
We eat in the main dining room. Our waiter tonight is one of the campest we have ever met but is really good fun. I am sure he is a fan of the Carry On movies as he drops innuendos left, right and centre. We enjoy the food too. I'm always happy if there is duck on the menu. My main is Moussaka and although unlike any Moussaka I have ever tasted it was very good.
We finish around 9.20 and as there is a tropical island deck party at 9.30 we head there. There is a lot of people up on the pool deck and the atmosphere is definitely tropical. Ship staff lead people in popular line dance routines whilst we watch. At 10pm Peter says he is not feeling too good and wants to sit down. I can see he is not well and so suggest we head back to the cabin. He is reluctant to spoil the fun but I insist. An early night will probably do us both good.
He does feel better in the morning.