I took the Malibu Rm Distillery Tour which includes time on their very nice beach area. I really enjoyed this a lot. It included a rum drink, a lounge chair and umbrella which a very nice gentleman set up for me. I tipped him. I was asked once if I wanted to snorkle or see the sea turtles and I declined stating I just wanted to enjoy the sun and surf and they left me alone -- no problem. I could see the ship from my perch on my beach chair. They have a bar and they serve food and there's a gift shop. Showers, changing facilties and there may have been lockers there, too. I LOVED it.
We did the glass bottom boat tour on our own then went to a nearby beach. Taxi were inexpensive in l999. About $2 per person each way to the beach. There is a mall at the pier. In the mall is a tourist info. place. They helped us make arrangements.
If you want a "booze cruise", do the Jolly Roger.....it's a blast...they take you too a sunken ship reef for you to snorkle....they have a swing that swings off the boat for you to "swing into the water"...and of course there is the infamous rum punch....and a dj playing caribbean music...
Of all the booze cruises (compare Kon Tiki in St Thomas) the Jolly Roger is reported to be the best. We saw the people staggering off it. On one hand, they looked like a young (and kind of young) party crowd. On the other hand, they were TANKED!
But here's how we spent the day:
Where the ship docks is a mall with tourist shops. There is also a tourism office. In there, while inquiring what a private cab tour would cost, we met Winston, a credentialled driver, who knew the guy behind the counter. For $60 he gave us a private drive, for 3 hours, around the north half of the island, with local facts, history, etc. It was really nice. Similar tours through Carnival were much more expensive. We stopped for refreshments and picture taking, and he moved at our pace. We asked to be dropped off in Bridgetown for a late lunch. My only complaint was I asked him for a recommendation where the locals eat local food (I am fearless that way) but he steered us toward the pricy tourist restaurants.
If you want a unique souvenir, get a bottle of falernum. It's a rum-based, very sweet liqueur flavored with lime and spices. It's almost impossible to find in the US. Tastes good mixed with rum....they call it "corn & oil".
I've never been on the Jolly Roger, but we saw it cruise close by our ship in port in Barbados and that ship was ROCKING! Even from our balcony we could tell everyone was having a GREAT time............yesssssss most seemed tanked as they mooned our ship! Funny! We could hear them all singing, "We're not gonna stop, stop, stop till we hit the dock, dock, dock!" haha
Next time I go, I think I'll hit the Oystins fish market, a little bit south on the coast from Bridgetown. Supposedly there are a number of seafood restaurants there that serve the fresh stuff early in the day.
I was fortunate to have fried flying fish in a Bridgetown pub. With local specialty macaroni (and cheese) pie on the side. Deeeee-licious. Bajan hot sauce (scotch bonnet chilis and flavored with mustard) is now my favorite!
We went on a tour of the island, then had the driver drop us off at the Boatyard. The Boatyard is such a happening place. We arrived after 3 in the afternoon, and the crowd was already thinning out. We used their facilities to change into our beach wear. Our entrance fee got us chairs, umbrellas, and a couple of drinks. Again jet skis and parasailing was available, and there was a trampoline and rope swing for play out in the water.
We were approached by several native vendors, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a sucker for those folks. Ended up buying some jewelry and a really cool small painting! The drinks were strong. We had our very first ever fried flying fish Ã¢â‚¬â€œ wow, great stuff. Someone said happy hour was starting in the bar, so the crowds starting moving up to the bars. We were the last to leave the beach after we enjoyed a wonderful sunset.
Taxi drivers were wondering up and down the beach looking for fares, and we asked each of them where the best restaurant was on the beach. They all recommended Lobster Alive that was in walking distance down the beach. So, we gathered our stuff to go there. It was a small hut right on the beach, with tablecloths and candlelight, soft music and ambience.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how their menu describes the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Main Event (Live from the Tank)Ã¢â‚¬Â: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Southern Caribbean lobsters are mostly big and well meated. Our prices are by weight per serving as in our suggestions below. Servings are usually one half of a split lobster. Par-boiled in seawater, to order, then finished in the shell on the barbeque with heaps of garlic butter!! Variations at your request.Ã¢â‚¬Â The small serving was $70 and the extra large serving was $100.
The lobster served at Lobster Alive was fabulous. Lots of cruise ship passengers were there with us, and we were all taking pictures for one another. The servers in the restaurant were delightful and personable as well. When we were ready to leave, they had a taxi driver right outside to return us to our ship. We were so tired, we went straight to bed, with wonderful dreams and memories of our day in Barbados! We missed the Talent Show this night.
We're going back in October, and plan to visit Crane's Beach for lunch and early afternoon, returning to the Boatyard for late afternoon and another dinner at Lobster Alive.
Ahhh yes, Jolly Roger...to add to my earlier post....my brother and I were so "incapacitated" that he fell asleep at 5pm to awaken at 5am the following morning, where as I thought I'd be smart and call one of my other brothers from the ship at $ 15/min for a total of $ 150.....and I don't remember a word I said too him.... Needless to say, my Dad was quite upset with me when we got the mid-week bill and the phone call was charged to his account..hahahaha!!
We still joke about that story....and that was 12 years ago. Jolly Roger does give the best "booze cruise" in the Caribbean!!! If you're gonna do one (and once is enough) do it on the Jolly Roger.....
Sadly, I did not make note of the pub, and have searched in vain to find it online. It was inside a covered arcade that, looking at the map, was somewhere in the general vicinity of Swan St / High St / Broad St / Victoria St in Bridgetown. I'm pretty sure we were the only folks in there who were not locals - I know that would put off some tourists. Also, we learned, you order at the bar, British style. They do not come to your table to take your order.
Have I scared you away yet?
On the other hand, within the pier complex, but outside the mall, is a snack stand that serves homemade flying fish sandwiches. And Banks beer. Nearby is a small collection of souvenir stalls and a more full-service bar.
Oh wait! I just remembered that I charged my lunch in that pub. Maybe I still have the receipt!
Nooooo you haven't scared me off! We've been all over England and Scotland many times and have no problem ordering from the bar and love hanging where the locals are! I'd love to check out a pub in Barbados! Lemme know if you find your receipt!!! Thannks!!!
But really, downtown Bridgetown is pretty small and there are not that many watering holes.
We were looking for a late lunch, local cuisine, and there just were not that many options in that bustling downtown area. I'm pretty confident that the street coordinates I mentioned are close to the mark. Or maybe a couple short blocks off. In that vicinity, if you were to ask a local for a pub that serves food, you'd probably wind up at the right place (provided it has not closed since last fall).
The Boatyard has chairs and umbrellas to rent. A row of bars and restaurants. A rope swing and water trampoline. Jet skis, banana boats, and parasailing. Great drinks, delicious fried flying fish. Don't know about the snorkeling. Beautiful sunsets! Happy hour in the evening!
Hey Tq_Lindo..........np about the pub, if we have extra time I'll just ask around and see if I can find a good local pub. We may not have time. I haven't decided for sure, but I'm leaning towards doing a catamaran snorkel trip that will fill my day from around 9:15- 3 p.m. and we probably have to be back on the ship by 5:30. So, we'll see. The water is just SO gorgeous in Barbados........gotta get out in it!!!!
jbest, Can you tell us MORE about The Boatyard. Please, like the cost to enter and how far it is from the ship (taxi cost). Anything else we should know before going would be so helpful and much appreciated. NellieB