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Cruise Day #6 — Barbados

I’ve often read that the life of old-time mariners was dominated by routines… a repetitive series of watches: scrubbing the decks, navigational observations, consumption of (often equally repetitive) meals and drink, etc. While perhaps boring, I understand that crews were less happy when the routine was interrupted (unless, of course, the disruption involved clearing the decks in order to capture a prize). I say this because I’ve found that on cruises we too naturally settle into a rhythm of life. In this case, our mornings seem to start under cloudy skies, feeding E breakfast on the balcony, getting a couple of mochas down at the Java Cafe, and posting my blog update for the prior day (which I usually compose in the early morning hours before the girls wake up). And, so began this day…

We arrived in port around 10:30. We fed E lunch while the ship was being cleared and disembarked from the ship by 12:30. We actually took a shuttle from the ship into the main terminal building. From there, I arranged for a private taxi tour of the island. For less than $100, we had a private tour and avoided the intermittent showers that seemed to linger in the area. We drove up the west coast of the island: visiting Holetown (site of the oldest building on the island–a church build of coal from the 1600s), seeing the Sandy Lane Resort, and viewing various houses of celebrities on the island (including crazy Tom Cruise, Ricky Martin, and Oprah Winfrey–I wonder if Tom jumps on her couch here too?). We also saw ‘residential areas’ (middle class homes made primarily of concrete block walls) and ‘villages’ (lower income, more modest housing made primarily of wood). We also visited the University of the West Indies. Barbados isn’t the most attractive island in the West Indies, as its coral foundation makes it far more flat than those of volcanic origin. Yet, the beaches and water were inviting and the infrastructure of the island was very good — the best I’ve seen in the Caribbean. And, the people seem (rightly) very proud of their well maintained and governed island. Although I’m not one of them, I can understand why people would want a vacation home in Barbados. It’s certainly an island I’d be happy to visit again, as there’s much more to see and do than our short visit allowed.

On returning to the port, I bought some rum and rum cakes. L also looked at jewelry, especially watches (which she has concluded she now needs). I’m not so sure that the duty free prices are especially good when compared to prices from online retailers like Overstock or Ashford. In any case, she found nothing of particular interest.

We had a late lunch / early dinner. And then spent the rest of our evening lounging around the cabin and balcony watching the world go by and playing with the baby…

Country count = 33 (1/3 of the way there!)

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