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Barbados was the last stop on our recent Southern Caribbean cruise. We had scoped out some possible activities, including going to Harrison’s Cave (a tram tour) but all we wanted to do was to sit on a gorgeous beach!

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: pink sand beach with blue sea Barbados

We opted for a beach day at Pirate’s Cove (which is in Carlisle Bay) which included a snorkel boat trip and several hours on the beach. Beware though – while a lot of sites indicated this trip cost $25, if you added snorkeling, the price went up to $48 once you checked both beach and turtles. We booked our excursion through Viator, which offered the same package as our cruise’s Shore Excursion desk, for less.

Unique Things to Do in Barbados:

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: Barbados parliament building
The west-wing of the Parliament, completed in 1872.

We were picked up at the dock and taken on a short ride through town. We had picked the first group (8:30 am) based on reviews that suggested getting to the beach and snorkeling before it got too crowded. It was also suggested that there is a better chance of seeing turtles earlier in the morning before the large crowds of tourists scared them out of the area.

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: dock with colorful buildings in Barbados

After a short drive around with a few highlights pointed out, we arrived at Pirate’s Cove, a restaurant, bar and beach club located on a beautiful slice of beach. We took a short walk to the pier to get on the boat for the first part of our adventure – snorkeling. There were only two things that Allan wanted to see on this trip – one of which was he wanted to swim with turtles! (The other was going to Maho Beach in Saint Maarten and watching planes fly overhead.)

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: colorful buildings in Bridgeport, Barbados

Swim with Turtles!

Our first stop on the boat was to a stop to swim with turtles. Our two water guides were magnificent at finding turtles and encouraging to come into our group. We were warned to not get too near them or we would scare them away. We saw at least three large turtles who got pretty close to us. Look at this gorgeous face!

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: turtle in Caribbean in Barbados

Snorkel Around a Shipwreck

After a short time swimming with the turtles, we got back on the boat and went a short distance away to snorkel around a shipwreck. Our guides were excellent at pointing out all the fish. We saw stingrays. One of our guides even swam through the sunken ship and encouraged another strong swimmer to do the same. For me, the fun part was going down the water slide into the water!

barbados shipwreck with fish swimming

Relax on the Barbados Beach

I’ve heard about pink sand beaches in Bermuda, but the beach in Barbados was absolutely AHMAZING!!!! Look at the clear water, the sand is almost pink, and that water! In fact, I spent so much time in the water that I got an incredibly bad sunburn on my upper half!

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: woman in sunglasses in water in Barbados
Me wondering whether to get out of the sun – I should have said yes at that point! Ouch!

The price of our tour included two lounge chairs, an umbrella, and a drink each. Talking to the guests sitting next to us on the beach, they had left their all-inclusive Sandals resort to come spend the day here. It turns out that Sandals’ newest resort is located on the Atlantic Ocean side and the beach was covered in sargasso seaweed. Since everyone goes to Barbados to enjoy the beach, they had left their resort to spend the day at this gorgeous spot.

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: child in clear water beach in Barbados

A bar located on the beach catered to every taste. We enjoyed a bucket of Carib beer which was really inexpensive. We didn’t stay long enough to eat lunch but it was available too.

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: barbados bucket of Carib beer bottles in sand

I would like to come back to explore more beaches and enjoy some underground time in Harrison’s Cave. I enjoy visiting unique places and we hadn’t seen any caves at any of our other stops. But we were at the end of our trip and tired from all of our activities. Bridgetown would have been an easy place to walk around and enjoy some downtown sites. Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and I only drove by them. Barbados is definitely on our list of places to go back and explore more!

Visit Barbados Cruise Port

Because of the sunburn, we returned to the ship early. Four of us split the cost of a cab since the tour bus left earlier than announced. We ran into friends and of course bought another bucket of beer, this time featuring Banks. We found drink prices at ports to be fairly reasonable.

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: barbados bottle of Banks beer

If your cruise itinerary includes these stops, you may be interested in reading these posts as well:

What about you? What are some of your favorite unique things to do in Barbados? Let me know in a comment below!

Happy travels!
Annick, The Common Traveler

Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler: turtle in water with "Spending a Port Day in Barbados"
Barbados is the perfect place to enjoy gorgeous beaches and swim with turtles. Find out more here!
Unique Things to Do in Barbados on a Port Day featured by top US cruise blog, The Common Traveler