Family Time in Barbados

This eastern Caribbean island is a popular cruise ship port, but you shouldn’t wait until your next family cruise to take the crew to Barbados. The destination offers loads to enjoy, many luxury properties and a safe environment that frees you up for exploration of the entire island.

Stay

Barbados saddles the line where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Because of this, where you stay will impact your beach experience. The western side of the island faces the Caribbean and offers pristine, calm, aquamarine waters safe for most rookie swimmers. Likewise, the western part of the island is home to quite a few luxury resorts.

The southern and eastern sides of the island, however, face the Atlantic Ocean, making for rougher waves, strong winds and currents that can make swimming more difficult. However, these sides of the island are a little less tourist-heavy and offer lots of privacy, especially if you decide to book an Airbnb.

If you think you want to stay on the southwest shore, but still want a luxury resort experience, try The Crane Resort, which offers access to spectacular Crane Beach, multiple dining options, great cliff-side ocean views and a range of large guestrooms and suites with private pools.

Play

Barbados’s safe environment means you have plenty of room to play if you want to leave your resort.

Take a trip into Bridgetown for dining, historic sites and shopping. Bridgetown is home to the island’s main cruise port, so you’ll see many cruisers wandering the city. You can also charter fishing boats and catamarans from Bridgetown harbor.

Waterfront in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Waterfront in Bridgetown, Barbados. Photo: John Wollwerth – Dreamstime.com

Oistins is a popular tourist town to visit, and the island’s small size makes it a convenient daytrip regardless of where you’re staying. Though it boasts some beautiful beaches, Oistins is most well known for its weekly Friday fish fry. Wind your way through the crowds of visitors and make your way to one of the colorful buildings selling seafood of all types and local cocktails. Stick around for the live music and dancing that follows.

Tours

There are several tour providers that will take you and your family around the island for a set fee per hour. With six to eight hours, you can see the best of the best of the entire island, including a stop for lunch. One such tour provider is E-Z-B Tours, which gives you the added luxury of your own private transfer and guide, so your tour is entirely tailored to your interests and needs.

Eat

The Barbados cuisine is absolutely delicious and you can find lots of local restaurants serving the island favorites. Fried flying fish is a national dish that’s a must-try for any seafood lover in your family. A popular side dish is the macaroni pie, a cheesy, pasta dish that even your pickiest eaters will enjoy. Try the rum punch at several different places during your stay, as the recipe varies by restaurant or resort. Regardless, you’ll love the sweet beverage that packs a surprising punch.