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Barbados - arriving one day ahead or on the day?


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We have booked the Barbados cruise in January. I know entry rules and testing procedures may well change before then but I’m undecided whether to arrive the day before or on the day of sailing.

Day before - gives leeway in case of bad weather delaying the flight (from UK) and this is what we would usually do,  but I have been reading on Trip Advisor that Barbados is now struggling to process test results within 24 hours due to an increase in flights so are we risking not being cleared to leave the hotel for the ship? With Dec/Jan being peak times I’m thinking this could get worse
Day of sailing - no test at the airport is required so you can go straight to the ship from the airport

 

assuming current rules carry on, what would you do?

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What we are doing is arriving 4 days early (extending our trip) and staying at Sandals.  It is expensive but good and takes away the worry of missing the ship or dealing with delayed test results.  It also gives us a few days to explore Barbados if we decide to venture outside the Sandals enclave.

 

Hank

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8 minutes ago, AnnieO2019 said:

We have booked the Barbados cruise in January. I know entry rules and testing procedures may well change before then but I’m undecided whether to arrive the day before or on the day of sailing.

Day before - gives leeway in case of bad weather delaying the flight (from UK) and this is what we would usually do,  but I have been reading on Trip Advisor that Barbados is now struggling to process test results within 24 hours due to an increase in flights so are we risking not being cleared to leave the hotel for the ship? With Dec/Jan being peak times I’m thinking this could get worse
Day of sailing - no test at the airport is required so you can go straight to the ship from the airport

 

assuming current rules carry on, what would you do?

Personally, in these difficult times, to save any possible angst one would book three nights in a good hotel.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, AnnieO2019 said:

We have booked the Barbados cruise in January. I know entry rules and testing procedures may well change before then but I’m undecided whether to arrive the day before or on the day of sailing.

 

If you have booked your flights with Seabourn then it will be down to them to get you on the ship. If not, I would definitely plan to arrive in Barbados two or three days beforehand.  In my view, Barbados doesn't have any real serious hotel choices.  Cruise lines go for the awful Hilton which has the room capacity but little else. The best hotel option would be the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, though the Coral Reef Club and Sandpiper still have their followers, as does bling central, Sandy Lane. I'm afraid an all-inclusive fun palace like Sandals isn't on my radar. 

Edited by Fletcher
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12 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

If you have booked your flights with Seabourn then it will be down to them to get you on the ship. If not, I would definitely plan to arrive in Barbados two or three days beforehand.  In my view, Barbados doesn't have any real serious hotel choices.  Cruise lines go for the awful Hilton which has the room capacity but little else. The best hotel option would be the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, though the Coral Reef Club and Sandpiper still have their followers, as does bling central, Sandy Lane. I'm afraid an all-inclusive fun palace like Sandals isn't on my radar. 

Another vote for CR

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We're booked to arrive two days before our cruise in late September. We're staying at the Crane resort, which seemed like a better option for booking on Hilton points than the Barbados Hilton. (@Fletcher Is that a bad choice in your opinion?)

 

2 hours ago, PORT ROYAL said:

are we risking not being cleared to leave the hotel for the ship?

 

If you arrive one day before and stay at a hotel, you can leave the hotel to go directly to the port even if you have not received your arrival test result. A few people have reported having to argue a bit with their hotel to let them leave, but I have seen no reports of anyone being detained and being unable to get to the port in time to embark. 

 

Some people have said the test results took about 24 hours, but some say they have their results when they wake up the next morning (which would allow you to do some sightseeing prior to going to board the ship). 

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10 hours ago, cruiseej said:

We're booked to arrive two days before our cruise in late September. We're staying at the Crane resort, which seemed like a better option for booking on Hilton points than the Barbados Hilton. (@Fletcher Is that a bad choice in your opinion?)

 

Well, to be frank, the Crane is not somewhere I would stay - it's got 250 rooms, plus timeshares etc, and it's on the windy side of the island, though the beach is protected somewhat.  But if you are into loyalty points I guess you have few choices on the islands.

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20 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

Well, to be frank, the Crane is not somewhere I would stay - it's got 250 rooms, plus timeshares etc, and it's on the windy side of the island, though the beach is protected somewhat.  But if you are into loyalty points I guess you have few choices on the islands.

 

@Fletcher Thanks for your input. We're arriving only two days before the cruise, so by the time we land, get through customs, luggage, and Covid testing, we won't be at the hotel until late afternoon. Hopefully we'll get our negative test result the following day and be able to do a partial day of sightseeing. In the worst case scenario, if our test results come back late, we'll have basically that one day to spend at the hotel. The next day, we'll be checking out and going to the ship. So for our limited 2-night visit, we could spend than $1,700 for an oceanfront room at the Fairmont or get a twice-as-large oceanfront suite at the Crane for free (points). As long as the hotel isn't a disaster, we'll be happy -- it's all a precursor to being aboard the Odyssey, and we know how happy we'll be to be back aboard!

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Thank you cruiseej- really helpful information that you can leave the hotel for the port if results aren’t back, I hadn’t picked that up from other sources.

So maybe we will go a day or two ahead after all.
we have stayed at 2 different hotels on previous visits (Crystal Cove and Accra Beach) and both were disappointing but then I am comparing them to the Odyssey!!

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Or avoid the angst of hotel choices and extra testing in Barbados, enjoy a great hotel in Miami and fly in on cruise day. We booked through Seabourn, so as long as Mother nature cooperates and American doesn't run out of pilots, we're set.

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11 hours ago, twodjs said:

Or avoid the angst of hotel choices and extra testing in Barbados, enjoy a great hotel in Miami and fly in on cruise day. We booked through Seabourn, so as long as Mother nature cooperates and American doesn't run out of pilots, we're set.

 

Except that way, you don't get to see any of Barbados on your Barbados-based cruise! You arrive and go straight to the ship. The ship sails from Barbados late at night. At the end of the cruise, the ship arrives in the wee hours of the morning. You disembark from the ship and go back to the airport to fly home.

 

Our hope in flying in two days early is to be able to get to see a bit of the island; even if it's half a day before boarding the ship, we'll at least get  a taste for a country we've never visited before.  We'll spend one day at a nice hotel -- why not in Barbados instead of Miami? Heck, the Covid rates are better in Barbados! -- and have at least part of a day to do some sightseeing. And we have a buffer for potential flight delays due to weather, crew shortages, or mechanical problems. 

 

There is, of course, no single "right" answer here; I'm just presenting the other side of the coin. 😉

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17 hours ago, twodjs said:

Or avoid the angst of hotel choices and extra testing in Barbados, enjoy a great hotel in Miami and fly in on cruise day. We booked through Seabourn, so as long as Mother nature cooperates and American doesn't run out of pilots, we're set.

I think you are selling Barbados short.  It is a decent tourist island with some nice beaches, decent food, shopping,  etc.  The extra test is generally free and once you get negative results you have run of the island.  As to FL, they are now having a surge of the Delta variant.  And even with SB air an airline delay can mean missing several days of your cruise.  To us it was a no brained to plan on arriving several days early.

 

Hank

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  • 4 weeks later...

who knows about new barabdos travel protocol from 10th sept ? before cruise starting in Bridgetown?

 

we need 2 days before for quarantine in special hotel?

 

how about b2b day in bridgetown= excursion possible?

 

how about end of cruise coming back to Barbados some days in beach hotel ? quarantine again`?

 

getting more and more confusing planning something !!

 

what are you doing pre and past cruise?

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Having already been to Barbados ( so we don’t feel we are missing seeing the island) we have decided to change our flight to arrive the same day as the cruise so we can head straight to the ship on arrival. We will hope that no bad weather or other calamity delays our flight.

Post cruise we fly out at 9pm so we hope that Seabourn can either arrange a day excursion  or day room at a hotel - still to be arranged

 

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1 hour ago, AnnieO2019 said:

Having already been to Barbados ( so we don’t feel we are missing seeing the island) we have decided to change our flight to arrive the same day as the cruise so we can head straight to the ship on arrival.

We just did 14 days on Odyssey and for same reason as you did the same day arrival.  Booking flights with Seabourn got us a friendly and efficient transfer to ship; no regret on our first experience flying in same day as our cruise.  

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We're on next week's cruise, and we're flying to Barbados Friday, two days early. We will get the free Covid test at the airport and be confined to our hotel until we get our test results. If we get the results early Saturday, we'll be able to do some sightseeing that day; otherwise, it will be a pool day at our hotel, snd we'll do some sightseeing Sunday prior to going to board the ship.

 

@Bavarian Cruiser If you read the Barbados travel document, it answers several of your questions. It contains a list of all eligible hotels (most tourist hotels are on the list.) We're flying home directly after the cruise, but if you stay, I don't believe any further testing or quarantine is required; you be tested prior to boarding the ship, stay in a bubble, and be tested before leaving the ship. 

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On 8/17/2021 at 12:47 PM, cruiseej said:

We're booked to arrive two days before our cruise in late September. We're staying at the Crane resort, which seemed like a better option for booking on Hilton points than the Barbados Hilton. (@Fletcher Is that a bad choice in your opinion?)

 

 

If you arrive one day before and stay at a hotel, you can leave the hotel to go directly to the port even if you have not received your arrival test result. A few people have reported having to argue a bit with their hotel to let them leave, but I have seen no reports of anyone being detained and being unable to get to the port in time to embark. 

 

Some people have said the test results took about 24 hours, but some say they have their results when they wake up the next morning (which would allow you to do some sightseeing prior to going to board the ship). 

Sounds like we will be at the same hotel together!  We also are arriving Saturday and staying at the Crane.  We liked that the Crane has their own testing facility, so you don't have to wait in line at the airport to get your "on arrival" testing done.   Only downside is that it's a fair distance from the ship port.

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@SDuckers Sarah, we are arriving Friday, which we hope will give us some time to se a little of Barbados either Saturday afternoon (if our test results come back early in the day) or Sunday morning before traveling to the ship. We're having our test done at the airport, since it's free, will get us in the queue for results earlier,  and most of the comments I've read haven't indicated it to be a painfully slow process. (I did pay for the fast track service to escort us through the airport to avoid the lines.) Since you're arriving Saturday and will be going to the ship Sunday, it may not matter whether your test is at the airport or hotel. I just decided a little wait at the airport was worth saving the cost after already paying for the pre-departure Covid test! 😉

 

Have you pre-booked travel from the airport to the hotel on Saturday, or the hotel to the ship on Sunday? Or are you planning to take a cab at the airport? I was just looking for an email address to ask what the hotel recommends, but I couldn't find one, so I guess I'll call them.

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2 hours ago, cruiseej said:

@SDuckers Sarah, we are arriving Friday, which we hope will give us some time to se a little of Barbados either Saturday afternoon (if our test results come back early in the day) or Sunday morning before traveling to the ship. We're having our test done at the airport, since it's free, will get us in the queue for results earlier,  and most of the comments I've read haven't indicated it to be a painfully slow process. (I did pay for the fast track service to escort us through the airport to avoid the lines.) Since you're arriving Saturday and will be going to the ship Sunday, it may not matter whether your test is at the airport or hotel. I just decided a little wait at the airport was worth saving the cost after already paying for the pre-departure Covid test! 😉

 

Have you pre-booked travel from the airport to the hotel on Saturday, or the hotel to the ship on Sunday? Or are you planning to take a cab at the airport? I was just looking for an email address to ask what the hotel recommends, but I couldn't find one, so I guess I'll call them.

My husband has been working on our transportation to the ship.  I know he was reaching out to Seabourn to see if they would provide it.  If I find out good news on that front I'll let you know.  I am also happy to share a ride with you guys if that makes sense for everyone.  Our check-in time is 1 pm.

 

Tell me more about the "fast track service" at the airport.  I'm not familiar with that and sounds like it is worth looking into!

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Seabourn won't provide transportation to the ship unless you booked a land package (hotel + transfers) with them. (When I had looked into it, they were offering a nice hotel plus private transfers for a little over $1,000; that's when I decided to book on my own and selected the Crane!) That said, I don't anticipate it being a problem. I talked to The Crane today, and they said they have taxis available 24 x 7. I was planning to talk to the concierge once we get there about seeing if we can hire a taxi driver to take us around the island for a few hours Sunday morning before taking us to the ship, if it's feasible and isn't outrageously expensive to do so. If we end up just hanging out at the hotel Sunday morning, or going out for a morning tour and coming back to pick up our luggage, we'd certainly be happy to share a ride to the ship -- our boarding is also 1 pm -- if they have a large enough taxi SUV or van) for four people and luggage.

 

The Crane also said they'd provide pick-up service at the airport. I don't see this mentioned on their website anywhere, nor in our reservation, so I'm not clear on whether it's free or for a fee (and if so, how much). I was told to send our arrival information to transfers@thecrane.com and they will get back to us; I just sent them an email this afternoon.

 

The Fast Track Arrival service is available via Viatour here or you can purchase it from the company which provides the service here. (Oddly, it is slightly cheaper ($60 vs. $65 per person) through Viatour, which is a middleman.) I wasn't sure whether we need to spend extra on this, but enough people have mentioned it here on CC, on the Facebook Seabourn groups, and on the FB ports group that I figured it was worth doing. If you arrive at a time there's not many planes landing, you might find it unnecessary; if you arrive when several planes do, jumping around lines sounds like it will be worthwhile. After all that, you may well find they're sold out for this Saturday, so this may all be moot. Since you're staying overnight in Miami, do you have an early flight to Barbados? I think more of the flights arrive in the afternoon.

 

(Sarah, if you want to contact me directly, my email is jacobsedj at gmail dot com.) 

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23 hours ago, cruiseej said:

Seabourn won't provide transportation to the ship unless you booked a land package (hotel + transfers) with them

We did a day-of-sail arrival with group transfer and seabourn reps got us thru customs/immigration and put us on transportion to the ship.  Did you mean that those who book independent pre cruise stays won't receive transportation from seabourn? 

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7 hours ago, jeffbrig said:

Did you mean that those who book independent pre cruise stays won't receive transportation from seabourn?

 

Yes, exactly. The part of my post you quoted above was replying to someone who was arriving in Barbados and going to a hotel overnight before going to the ship.

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