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Arrival in Barbados - notes from cruisers

By Sue Richards last modified May 09, 2016 11:47 AM
See more updates from cruisers in comments at the bottom of the page.

Published: 2016-05-09 00:00:00
Countries: Barbados

Posted 4 May, 2016

Clearance in Port St Charles.
They may not monitor the radio (we tried fruitlessly on both channels for about an hour). They do insist on a visual of the boat. Arriving vessels should tie up at the fuel dock in Port St Charles if they cannot raise officials over VHF, then, master should visit customs/immigration offices office at the end of the dock. (We anchored and dinghied in, then had to move the boat…which they never boarded but wanted to “see.”)

We disembarked one crew member in Barbados. Officially debarking crew required both captain and the crew to present to immigration; crew needed to provide evidence of both accommodation and plane ticket from Barbados. Immigration added notes to the arrival document (which we kept) with crew’s hotel and flight details. This documentation was requested and carefully reviewed by the immigration official in Bridgetown upon our departure.

We purchased a Digicel SIM. Digicel and FLOW were the two mobile carriers widely advertised around the island for top-up locations. I saw a little about LIME, the info conflicts (it might be part of FLOW now). There was no mention of BET of C&W anywhere. Our
Barbados Digicel SIM worked in St Lucia (we were close enough for a while to pick up a signal!). However, it doesn't work in the French islands (per the Digicel guy in Martinique who sold me a new SIM), although they also have Digicel. Although I suspect it WILL work in Dominica...we will be there next week to test it. I have a GB left to use! It is MUCH cheaper than Martinique...about $3/GB vs $16-20.

Behan Gifford
SY Totem

Posted 2 February, 2013

I too had to wait some 30 minutes circling whilst a cruiser left having sailed single handed from Cape Verde Islands and darkness descending (mid-Jan 2013). However the welcome and friendliness of all 4 officials of the 4 "near to each other" offices was very warm. This was the same throughout the island and particularly the Yacht Club, where they go out of their way to make you feel at home....I went to stay 3 to 4 days......17 days later still friendly.

Bob Redley
Catamaran "Tiger Lily"

Posted 23 February, 2012

Just a short note about how yachting friendly Barbados is.

We arrived (from across the Atlantic) near Bridgetown harbour in the middle of the afternoon, so were quite confident to dig our anchor before sunset. We don't like docking and anchoring in unknown waters in the dark.

But no luck. Two cruise ships were about to leave the harbour and we were not allowed in. We had to run in circles outside, even though they knew we were coming from across the pond and were probably not in a mood to run in circles.

The first cruise ship went out after 30min and the other an hour later, after which they started moving some megayachts already inside the harbour. There was plenty of time with no movements where we could have sneaked in, but were told to stay outside. Permission to anchor in the bay and either dinghy in or come into the harbour next morning were both denied.

Dusk settled after 2 1/2 hrs of running in circles in front of the harbour entrance - so we left Barbados behind and went on to the Grenadines instead.

Lesson learned: If you want to visit Barbados, be sure to arrive in the morning hours!

SY jaja

Delphinus says:
Jan 28, 2016 11:40 AM

We arrived at 2am after an Antlantic crossing, we went straight to Carlisle Bay and dropped anchor then later that morning proceeded to the cruise terminal to sign in. It can be tricky to moor for yachts as it is designed for large ships. We found a decent gap by the small building on the far starboard side of the harbour otherwise we have heard of people mooring against tugs. The officials did not seem at all concerned that we took 12 hours to sign in, and were extremely courteous and friendly. They didnt ask to see our boat so I guess, with a decent outboard, take your tender around to sign in (I have heard other reports of this but not witnessed). It's a shame Jaja had such a bad experience has we have found Barbados to be a wonderful place with wonderful friendly locals. We are still here 20 days later!