Bermudiful Bermuda

I recently cruised with Cruise Life Matt on the Cruise Life Group Cruise to Bermuda, and he asked me to write a blog post about my Bermuda experience.

Although I booked with the group for the cruise, I was traveling solo. This was my first visit to this beautiful island, and I hope it won’t be my last!

We were in Bermuda from Wednesday morning through to Friday mid-afternoon. I had undertaken a lot of research prior to the cruise and had a long “to do” list for what I’d like to see and do. I considered booking an island tour, but in the end, decided to explore on my own, even though that would mean I’d not see everything on that list. Ultimately, I went with the advice to fully enjoy what I could see and do at a more leisurely pace, rather than trying to cram too much in. This ended up being great advice,  sometimes less is more!

I’ll add here that I felt comfortable to explore on my own as I had read how safe and friendly Bermuda is. That assessment was certainly very true. So what did I end up doing?

Top of my list of things to see was the pink sand beaches, so on our first day I took the $7 shuttle bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach. (The shuttle buses are right where you get off the ship and you pay cash to the driver.) Most people stay close to the first section of beach at Horseshoe where there are nice amenities, but the secret to seeing pinker sand and more natural beauty is to continue  walking further to the left. I took the beach path to Warwick Long Bay, stopping along the way to take in the scenery at the various coves. I then sat at Warwick for a little while before walking back.

Horseshoe beach is gorgeous, but I am so glad I took the advice to take that walk. There is so much more beauty just around the corner.  If you don’t feel like walking both ways on this path, the advice is to ask the shuttle driver to drop you at Warwick and then you can walk back to Horseshoe. It’s my understanding that they will charge an extra couple of dollars per person for this.

On my return to Horseshoe I stopped in at Rum Bum Beach Bar for a Rum Swizzle…when in Bermuda and all that! These are very good!

I then took the shuttle bus back to the Dockyard as I was planning to head to Hamilton on the late afternoon ferry for the Harbor Nights Festival. (Return tokens for the ferry are $9 per person.) The festival was fun! I managed to find the Chewstick Programme Painted Steps, then saw the traditional Gombey Dancers, and wandered along all the stalls. I bought some pink sand souvenirs and ate a Portuguese Donut (Malassadas).  They were very yummy and profits go to charity too!

Be warned that the 9pm ferry back to the Dockyard was VERY busy and people were in line very early to get on board, so if you plan to go be prepared for this. I should also point out that Harbor Nights only takes place in the Summer months.

On Thursday I took the NCL free ferry to St George’s where I basically walked, and walked, and walked some more! I took in the Dunking of the Nagging Wife Reenactment (which was funnier than I expected); I then found the Unfinished Church; Tobacco Bay; and Fort St Catherine’s. I walked back to St George’s with a stop at the Tobacco Bay Beach Bar to sample another Rum Swizzle, and then found the highly recommended Wahoo’s where I ate a delicious late lunch. I didn’t try the famous Fish Sandwich, but I did have another Rum Swizzle!

The ferry queue for the last return ferry to the Dockyard was chaotic, but I think we all got on. There was a slightly later public ferry available if you happened to miss the free one, alternatively you could catch a bus to Hamilton and travel back to Dockyard from there.

On Friday the ship was to depart at 3pm, so I decided to stay close by for fear of not making it back on time if I ventured further afield. After a little souvenir shopping in Royal Naval Dockyard I went to the Museum. The $15 entrance fee allows you to wander at leisure around the museum and also to see the dolphins at Dolphin Quest. My final stop was Calico Jack’s (a pirate themed floating bar next to the ship dock) to meet a few of our group for a drink. I didn’t partake in jumping off the plank, but it was fun to watch others.

I was sad to wave goodbye to Bermuda when we set sail. Truly a beautiful island with so much to offer. I hope to return one day to tick off some more items from my “to do” list.

If you’re planning a cruise to Bermuda, I can’t recommend enough that you spend some time researching the many options on how you can spend your time there. A good starting point is the official Bermuda Tourist Board website where you can order a free Guide and Map to be posted to you.

Other recommendations from our group were the Restless Native Catamaran Excursion and the Hidden Gems Excursion, both of which can be booked direct rather than paying the upcharge through the cruise line.

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