Barbados is named after the bearded fig trees found throughout the island. This coral island is known for its white sand beaches and warm people.
We went early to breakfast before the ship docked and then headed down to the 0 deck hoping to be able to beat the crowds. I should have known better, people were Wall to Wall waiting in the hallways and on the staircases, and getting ticked thinking that some of the people were disembarking to visit the port leisurely on their own and the ones with Tour excursions tickets in the back of the lineup were going to miss their tour bus. Arguments broke out, shoving became a problem and a couple of ladies almost came to blows. Finally a crew member appeared to try and get the crowd in order. First and foremost the stairwells had to be kept clear in case of emergency and that meant that the people around the elevators had to back up. He shouted several times in an urgent tone “back up, back up!” and we did but there were so many people who refused wanting to hold their spot, it was like kindergarten children or a gong show. Finally he asked for all those with a tour excursion Ticket to hold it up which we did along with others while the passengers without a ticket were still standing firm in their quest to debark first. Holy crap, it got ugly. Eventually all the people with tickets who were now an hour or more late for our time slot were guided under a rope and down the stairs because the elevators were jammed and wouldn’t go anymore. We got out of there fairly fast and once off the ship we could see that we had a very long walk ahead of us to get to the terminal and through the large building out the other side where the buses awaited. Luckily a few of our excursion bus’es were parked waiting very close and we climbed on one and sat in the front seat. Carnival cruise lines and probably others are going to have to redesign their plan for debarking passengers and getting them through the port terminals asap. I realize though that it won’t be easy as just about everyone wants to get off the ship at every port of call. The problem must be in their schedules of arranging the time slot for the excursions. We had no choice of a time and simply took whatever time Carnival gave us. Maybe it would be better if people chose their own time slot but then i don’t know if everyone but me is an early bird. The problems that occurred this morning were probably caused by the ships late arrival at this port and nobody knew if the shore excursion bus drivers would understand. They were worried that not everyone would get their tour. Sometimes a little communication would mean a lot but apparently they don’t see any need to explain this to the passengers. Since i’ve been on several cruises i sort of knew this and it’s probably common sense. I think the pre purchased tickets would be accepted all day and the time listed on it isn’t necessarily the time you have to go. Since they take the ticket from you they’d count them and always stick around waiting to collect all that were sold to the cruise line in order to collect their money. Even so i got caught up in the frenzy because everyone was stressed out because of being in a mad crowd situation including us.
Our tour bus departed with us on a full bus. One of the first things the driver pointed out to us was where Rihanna’s home used to be. In fact they named the avenue nearby her home after her. He also told us that Tiger Woods had married there. Later he showed us a hotel with a penthouse suite that cost $20,000. for one night. As well as others for $2000. per night and some that had very expensive restaurants as well. I love getting celebrity and this sort of info and just wish i could have gotten some photos but most were on the other side of the bus.
It was a beautiful scenic trip he took us on, past sugar cane fields, a goat ranch, chickens, property for sale info, the sugar cane production factory etc. We saw where McD had an outlet that failed and they left there and a thriving KFC took its place. Also passed Ashley furniture and an Esso station where gasoline was $4. per gal. Most people gasped in horror except us who remained silent as ours unfortunately costs more. We saw schools, government buildings, fire halls, and much more.
Barbados is a beautiful island where they drive on the left side of the road. Some of the roads were in bad shape and had lots of sharp blind curves. Those curves really needed to have mirrors installed so drivers could see if anything was coming. So far, they just blast their horns in warning when approaching a dangerous curve. We arrived at our destination which was the famous Harrison’s Caves. We were led into a building and down several stories on an elevator where we got onboard a sort of a train like ride that proceeded into the caves of stalactites and stalagmites. Our guide was a nice young lady who explained how these caves were really very recent in the overall making of the earth as they were formed hundreds of thousands of years ago so just babies and not millions of years ago. The islands were formed by volcanos which built up underwater and then over the centuries they raised up above the water and constantly grew larger and are still growing.
She talked about how men made a pathway through the caves it in total darkness. It must have been very spooky for them as water drips from the stalactites and it must have been very weird to be rained on inside a cave. They are also very hard and sharp but the men crawled in anyway. There were pools of water here and there and some very high ceilings in some places. One area with a very high ceiling was called the Cathedral and people have been married at that spot. We were allowed to step off the train a few times for pic taking opps and rode down a long way and looped around back up to where we had started from, all the while feeling drips of water landing on us which was rumored to be the fountain of youth. I felt a lot of rain falling on me but not sure if i got any younger from the experience. Inside the caves we saw another group making their way through but by foot through the pools, and crawling through small passageways and actually swimming through deep places. They looked tired and muddy but I think it was their best experience ever.
Bird of Paradise
Stalactites and Stalagmites
The guide said how to remember which is which the one with the c in it is hanging down from the ceiling and the one with the g in it grows up from the ground
Water was constantly dripping. It was weird like it was raining inside
The elevator that took us down to the entrance
Meanwhile back on the ship a little animal with eyes awaited us