ABOARD THE STAR FLYER — No doubt, mealtimes were the most popular event of the day, offering both good food and stimulating conversation. Although I rarely eat lunch at home, I didn’t miss a single meal – but surprisingly, I gained only a couple of pounds during the voyage. The ship’s menu included plenty of “healthy” options, including lots of fruits and veggies. The trick was to avoid the rich desserts, appealing and delicious though they may have been.
Meal service is at prescribed hours on an open-seating basis: breakfast 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., lunch from noon to 2:00 p.m. and dinner from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are served from a central buffet. Dinner was served from menus offering a variety of starters and salads and a choice among four main dishes nearly always including meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian dishes. I should add that service, from the dining room staff and cabin stewards alike, was commendable throughout the voyage.
Nothing of great excitement occurred during the crossing. We only rarely encountered any bird or sea life, save the occasional flying fish, a few petrels and shearwaters – and but one ship, the mini-cruiser Sea Dream, which passed by us on its eastbound crossing.
Although swells of four to six feet were fairly constant during our southwesterly course across the Atlantic – requiring us to watch our step and use hand rails whenever possible – the seas were good to us. Only during the last two days did we encounter any stormy conditions – wind and squalls that made for an un-Caribbean like welcome to Barbados. Sunday, November 9, however, dawned warm and sunny as Star Flyer slipped alongside at the plush Bridgetown Cruise Terminal shortly after 6:00 a.m.
With most flights departing Barbados in the late afternoon, many passengers signed on for the “Taste of Barbados” excursion, which conveniently ended mid-afternoon at the airport.
The tour followed a route along the west coast, through Holetown and Speightstown, then inland for a stop at Farley Hill National Park with its Great House and vibrant gardens. Next came stops at Bathsheba, for views of the crashing waves at this popular surfing venue, and at historic St. John’s Parish Church. A short drive to Sunbury Plantation concluded the excursion, with a buffet lunch served in the courtyard of the 300-year-old Great House.