Windstar Cruises Barbados: Tips for Planning Your Trip

Windstar Sailing Cruise Barbados

Meanwhile, crewmembers gladly assisted the one wheelchair-bound guest when the elevator couldn’t.

The other complaint, common to many cruise ships, was poky Internet connections. This, too, didn’t bother us. After too many 14-hour computer days, we’d sworn off for the duration of the cruise.

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Overall, in this imperfect world, our Wind Surf cruise was about as close to perfection as you get.

If You Go…

Cruise Costs:

Our 8-day New Year’s cruise out of Barbados cost $2,549 pp. For the season, Windstar sailing cruises offer a variety of different cruises to 100 ports in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and the Greek Isles priced from $1,499 to $5,349. All prices are per person based on double occupancy. Prices do not include tips, personal expenses, or most shore excursions.

Tips, by the bye, are set at $11 a day, per guest. That includes everything and everyone, even room service. A great deal, in our opinion.

For 2007, Wind Surf’s Mediterranean and Caribbean itineraries have been arranged to facilitate back-to-back cruising without repeating all the same ports. And Wind Surf has a new 7-day itinerary from Rome to Venice (and reverse) which will also visit two ports in Croatia (a hot spot!).

Getting There:

Roundtrip, non-stop to Bridgetown, Barbados, is about $500 from Miami.

What to Wear:

Think casual, light, and cool. Take a light jacket for the evening on the deck.


Don’t expect to find traditional touristy stuff on these islands. Most ports boast an outdoor market that sells fruit and vegetables, great sources for locally grown produce. Unfortunately, these products cannot be brought back aboard ship.

At the local craft markets, look for handcrafted baskets, masks, and a variety of jewelry, T-shirts, and colorful clothing. Reasonably priced, and yes, US dollars are accepted everywhere.

Keeping Connected:

For those who can’t let go, a mobile phone service is available for use while the ship is at sea. For e-mail, Wind Surf‘s cyber café is adequate, if a bit pricey. As we mentioned, Internet speed seemed slow if you’re used to high-speed DSL.

To stay up to speed, a few passengers brought their own satellite-based broadband computers. You’ll find storefront cyber cafés in the larger ports, even places to download your digital photo memory cards to a CD.


24-hour service is provided for a nominal fee. They do an excellent job, folding and ironing stuff never before treated so well.


US citizens need valid passports.

While You’re There, Spend a Few Days in Barbados…

Renowned for its clear blue waters and soft, pink-sand beaches, Barbados is a destination for scuba divers, windsurfers, and sun-worshippers from all over the world. The island’s tropical climate is delightful year-round with temperatures rarely dipping below 75° or rising above 90°.

We spent an additional three days on the island of Barbados. While there are several large, high-end hotels on the island, we chose to stay at the Pirate’s Inn, one of the Intimate Hotels of Barbados. Each hotel and guest house is unique, with its own special charm.

The quiet 22-room Pirate’s Inn is just a block from the beach. Three meals are available daily (and can be included in a negotiated price), and each room has a fully-equipped kitchen. As everywhere on this island, Brits make up a large portion of the guests.

Barbados HostessEvery evening folks from all over the neighborhood gather at this watering hole for good conversation and a tall, cool one. Several guests were spending up to three months here, as they do every year, getting away from Canada’s ice and snow to enjoy all this island has to offer.

Renee Coppin, our hostess shown here, is a delight, so gracious and helpful.

Rooms range from $120 ($160 for a one-bedroom) in summer to ($210 for a one-bedroom) in season.

Things to Do, Places to See

Barbados is a fascinating island with a host of things to see and do. There is an Island Safari, “the best of Barbados, seen from a 4×4 Jeep.“ We dove on the Atlantis Submarine, left, to depths of 160 feet off the reef surrounding the island. Beautiful!

Harrison’s Cave, approximately in the center of the island is filled with an abundance of stalactites, stalagmites, streams, lakes, and waterfalls, leading speleologists consider it to be among the finest in the world.

Getting Around

Bus service is excellent and cheap throughout the island. We hired a taxi driver, whom we can recommend. Quammie Sampson. Call him at (246) 260-4327.


Barbados is certainly the right place. The duty-free selection alone is extensive, from cashmere sweaters, gems, and the world’s finest china and crystal to electronic items, camera equipment, and liquor.

A booming clothing industry emphasizes the tropical look. While local designers produce outstanding cosmopolitan one-of-kind apparel, there is also hand-painted and silk-screened clothing and of course, many T-shirts.

Local crafts include mahogany carvings, basketry, and jewelry as well as interesting curios and souvenir items.

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