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-   -   Barbados way overrated & extraordinarily pricy (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/barbados-way-overrated-and-extraordinarily-pricy-1675158/)

njbiker21 Dec 15th, 2019 03:16 PM

Barbados way overrated & extraordinarily pricy
 
Staying in Christchurch for 2 weeks, 3 miles from Bridgetown. Went on a walking tour of Bridgetown. Saw cruise ships. Walked through gate and was stopped. Okay we innocently didn't know you can't see cruise ships. Guard at gate where cars and taxis enter, told my husband: "Just because your skin is white, you think you can walk anywhere." He continued to berate my husband for 6 more minutes. This same attitude is obvious in the service industry, restaurants, etc., coupled with the horrendous high costs, drivers who speed on narrow roads, garbage all over, and attractions which are egregious tourist traps, make Barbados an unwelcome vacation destination.

schmerl Dec 16th, 2019 04:47 AM

Sorry you didn't have a good vacation.
We have always enjoyed our time in Barbados and found the people to be friendly.
Have you been to other Caribbean islands? They all have narrow windy roads and areas of poverty. The attractions ARE for tourists which is why you see them as tourist traps.
We love the beaches, food, and people we have encountered there.
Hopefully your next vacation will be more enjoyable for you.

Odin Dec 16th, 2019 05:39 AM

I liked Barbados, have been a couple of times, found it to be a great "1st time to the Caribbean" type of island, with picture postcard beaches on the west coast, good food and friendly people. West Coast is a nicer area to stay than Christchurch, sea is rougher in that area, Never tried to enter a secure area for cruise ships but I guess if we tried we would also get told off, unless we were joining a cruise. Enjoyed the tourist attractions such as Harrisons Cave, Sunbury Plantation House and various excursions by sea.
Food was similar price as elsewhere in the Caribbean, not as expensive as some places eg Grand Cayman/T&C but not as inexpensive as some places eg Maya Riviera. Had very nice meals eg at Cobblers Cove Relais & Chateaux restaurant.
The very windswept east of the island is much more traditional with beautiful scenery around Bathsheba.

tom42 Dec 16th, 2019 06:58 AM

Fwiw - this is the type of review I pretty much discount.

njbiker21 Dec 16th, 2019 02:49 PM

reply to Barbados trip report
 

Originally Posted by njbiker21 (Post 17030579)
Staying in Christchurch for 2 weeks, 3 miles from Bridgetown. Went on a walking tour of Bridgetown. Saw cruise ships. Walked through gate and was stopped. Okay we innocently didn't know you can't see cruise ships. Guard at gate where cars and taxis enter, told my husband: "Just because your skin is white, you think you can walk anywhere." He continued to berate my husband for 6 more minutes. This same attitude is obvious in the service industry, restaurants, etc., coupled with the horrendous high costs, drivers who speed on narrow roads, garbage all over, and attractions which are egregious tourist traps, make Barbados an unwelcome vacation destination.

Let me elucidate to the person who discounts my report: we stayed at AirBNB for 2 weeks so toured the Island from North to South and East to West.

People parked in our driveway and blocked us often, it is the way in Barbados. 90 percent of the Island has no Street signs, so drive at your peril.

Drivers drive at speeds you would not believe, at winding very narrow roads. Want to visit tourist destinations, take a taxi, pay $30, entrance fee is $25 US, for about 10 minutes of a "tour" on about 1/3 acre of property.

If you want to par broil on a beach in an exclusive enclave, you won't have to deal with Bajans who have chickens running around day and night and cows tied to fences on individuals' properties.


suze Dec 16th, 2019 03:45 PM

Did you ask about the island before the trip? How did you research and pick what you picked? I don't see any posts here asking for information about Barbados in advance.

Also I would never go the AirBnB route on a 1st trip to a destination I was not familiar with. Stick to the more traveled path. for a better experience.

As much of what you are complaining about I have seen on other islands, you might want to just cross the Caribbean off your future travels list.

Odin Dec 17th, 2019 02:35 AM

Staying in an AirBNB was probably not a good idea, I don't think I would want to stay in local accommodation there, I've only stayed in hotels. At a push I'd stay in a condo in some sort of enclave, close to tourist hotspots and amenities, but not out on it's own in a local area. Where you stay can make or break your vacation, esp in the Caribbean where it can be hit and miss. Barbados is a great island for a vacation, but your accommodation and area was not the best choice IMO. I would have thought renting a car for at least part of your 2 week stay would have been necessary, for touring, for getting to/from various beaches independently, just getting groceries etc. $30 taxi would have got you a whole day's car rental.

schmerl Dec 17th, 2019 05:00 AM

I agree with Suze. It seems you didn't do much research before your trip.
You chose to stay where the locals live. Perhaps if you had researched their way of life (which is not different from most in the Caribbean) you would have made a better choice for your accommodations.

tom42 Dec 17th, 2019 05:54 AM

[QUOTE=njbiker21;17031019If you want to par broil on a beach in an exclusive enclave, you won't have to deal with Bajans who have chickens running around day and night and cows tied to fences on individuals' properties.[/QUOTE]

So you decided to stay in a local community and then complain about how the local people live. I stand by my earlier comment.

suze Dec 17th, 2019 06:45 AM

Bottomline is you CHOSE to stay in a local neighborhood, not stick to a more typical tourist/visitor accommodation. Then you complain how people really live there. Not cool. And no you can't just stroll into a cruiseport.

If your attitude in person on the islands was anything like the attitude of these posts, I can see why you ran into trouble dealing with local people.

njbiker21 Dec 18th, 2019 07:04 AM

sorry for confusion
 
We stayed in a lovely neighborhood with young friendly couples. We did extensive research; mainly with hiking clubs and travel web sites. We had only 2 requirements: Lots of hiking and temps in the 70's. Very few islands have both of these. Barbados had both, though not this yearar as temps were in high 80's. The report was meant for people who like to exercise each day. So we drove out rental car all over the Island. The reference to chickens are that they are everywhere, in every place we visited as was garbage. Report was meant to be informative.

suze Dec 18th, 2019 08:39 AM

The report was meant for people who like to exercise each day.

Wow, sorry I in no way got that from reading your original post.

tom42 Dec 18th, 2019 09:03 AM


Originally Posted by njbiker21 (Post 17031848)
We had only 2 requirements: Lots of hiking and temps in the 70's. Very few islands have both of these. Barbados had both, though not this yearar as temps were in high 80's.

Barbados has average highs of 86 in Novmber. Where did you hear that temps would be in the 70s? The two coolest months are January and February and even then the average high is 84.

Sassafrass May 8th, 2021 08:11 PM

The reference to chickens is funny. At hotels on a couple of other islands where we had nice rooms and a good restaurant on the beach, the hotel office staff kept chickens that ran free in the yard. They said for the eggs, but there were chicks during one of our visits. I thought it was a great thing. Why not? It made sense economically.

Sassafrass May 8th, 2021 09:27 PM

The reference to chickens is funny. At hotels on a couple of other islands where we had nice rooms and a good restaurant on the beach, the hotel office staff kept chickens that ran free in the yard. They said for the eggs, but there were chicks during one of our visits. I thought it was a great thing. Why not? It made sense economically.
It is easy to forget how hot beaches and pool areas can be in Summer.

nsbslz Jun 24th, 2021 07:06 PM

Sorry to hear of your experience in Barbados, and I'm particularly disturbed by the racist comment directed at your husband by the security guard. This is not the experience that most people have in Barbados, and there is much more to the island than you have seen. This I can promise you.

Unfortunately there are a very small minority of Bajans which have racist perceptions of white persons; but it takes only one bad mouth Bajan to ruin the image of the entire country.

As a white person living in Barbados, I rarely experience anything but friendliness from other Bajans – but on the few occasions that I have experienced some suggestive or arrogant remarks, those bad mouth individuals get the same attitude returned to them. But please know it is a rare occurrence for anyone – about 5% of the permanent population are white, and overall Barbados is a very tolerant country.

I don't know what restaurants or tourism attractions you've visited, but there are plenty of eateries and places to explore that are suitable for a variety of budgets. Not all places have a price tag either. All beaches are free to use; and there are many parks that are free also (e.g. Barclays Park).

If I may say, you have truly not experienced Barbados. There is so much to explore on this tiny island. Yes, there are tourist traps – every country has them – but they are quick to spot and easy to avoid.

I hope you will return to Barbados in the future to give the island another try. Did you explore the West Coast and East Coast, by any chance? If not, I would encourage you to do so when you next visit Barbados.


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