Island hopping on a cruise is a great way to see a lot of places with a limited amount of time. Our 2nd port of call on the Carnival Valor itinerary was the beautiful island of Barbados! After an entire day at sea we couldn’t wait to get off of the ship to explore. One day was not enough. In fact I’ve already started investigating rental properties for a return trip. Yes, I loved it that much!
Barbados had some of the most breathtaking aquamarine water I have ever seen in my life. It’s rare that the water in the port where the ship docks is just as gorgeous as the water on the beaches. The water here was simply amazing. Unlike St. Thomas, we had no insider tips or planned ship excursions on the island. We were going to wing it. We overheard some crew members from a different ship in port talking about the Boatyard on Carlisle Bay. So we set out to be herded once again into waiting taxis that could take us to our destination. Unfortunately we were a little late getting off of the boat and by the time we reached the Boatyard, there was a long line just to enter and they said there weren’t anymore chairs and umbrellas. ( by late I mean 11 am) I was not willing to sit out in the sun and bake. I had already experienced my first real sun burn just the week before in Trinidad. Sun bathing was out of the question! Some of our taxi mates decided to take their chances, but our savvy local driver said, “No worries. I know a guy.” That can be a great thing to hear or a terrifying one.
Lucky for us it turned out to be a wonderful thing! He took us a little ways down the road to another beach club that looked to be a bit more off the beaten path and less touristy looking than the Boatyard. This little slice of heaven was called The Copacabana. It’s a cute open air beach club with tables on a covered deck and a bar. It overlooks Carlisle Bay and the water was pristine. The bartender and staff were all extremely friendly and they made fantastic drinks! The owner, Mr. Grant, took special care of us the entire day. The food here was also fantastic. We did eventually get an umbrella, although that was bit of an ordeal. But, eventually it all worked itself out.
While enjoying the beach, a guy came near the shore on a boat offering snorkeling with sea turtles for only $25. My son and I figured hey, why not! So we climbed aboard and set out for the unknown. Our skipper took us just about 50 feet from the shore where he pointed out a ship wreck. We were able to explore the ship wreck for about 30 minutes. There were tons of fish all over the ship wreck. It was the first ship wreck I had ever explored. Unfortunately I only had a crappy disposable water camera so the snorkel pictures aren’t great quality. I’ll spare you the torture and only post a few. You get the point! It was awesome. The pictures don’t do it justice.
We boarded the boat again and the skipper took us just a little ways north and only about 30 yards from the shore. We got into the water and the skipper threw some kind of food into the water. Next thing we knew we were being surrounded by sea turtles! It was an epic Finding Nemo moment for me. That’s one of my favorite Disney movies and all I could think about was Crush, the sea turtle saying, “Duuuuuude!” They swam up very close to us. He instructed us to just float and be still and let them swim around us and not to chase them or try to touch them. Unfortunately there were some from a larger tour boat who weren’t respecting the turtles and it drove them away. It was still a very beautiful and serene 15 minutes or so we had with the turtles before the other tour group arrived. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me and my son.
It was an excellent day at the beach and we had a great time just talking to some of the locals at the bar and jamming to soca music. The best adventures on trips tend to happen when it’s completely spontaneous. Just remember that even if your well thought out plans don’t pan out exactly as you I hoped it’s ok. Be flexible enough to just let life happen. No need to get your panties in a bunch. Unfortunately we just didn’t get the chance to venture out to explore more of the island. I am totally looking forward to another visit to this island with way more time to get lost and explore.
Next up….Saint Lucia!!! Make sure you sign up to follow the blog. You won’t want to miss the next stop on the itinerary.
Lauren G. – Outdoorsy Diva
All pictures and accounts are the sole property of Lauren Gay unless otherwise indicated. Copyright 2014