Bermuda private guide

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 07:12 PM.
3,969 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by Mrs. H.
Thanks.
I was thinking about Rickey's Tours which cost $65 PP for a 6 hour tour but van holds 14 people. I would prefer smaller vehicle/less people.
His is 5 hrs- check out Bermuda Byway/ Heidi- 10 pax- 6 hrs and includes lunch
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Starward 81, Volendam 83, Oceanic 87, Majestic 93, Victory 2/10/02, Imagination 5/23/02, 1/30/03, Conquest 12/28/03, Destiny 04/11/04, Golden Princess 4/10/05, Century 1/12/06, Miracle 4/9/06, NCL Spirit CTN 6/17/06,6/14/07, RCI Explorer 9/22/06, Empress of the Seas 4/06/07, CCL Legend Eastern 2/12/07, NCL Dawn CTN 5/5/07, QM2 7/2/07, Noordam 12/01/07, Serenade of the Seas 3/29/08, Miracle 8/29/08, Summit 2/21/09, NCL Dawn 10/04/09, B2B Caribbean Princess, 4/25, 5/02/10, Sapphire Princess 3/12/11 Mexican Riviera, Glory 6/5/11 4 night to St John NB, Silhouette 3/5/12, Conquest 11/25/12 Western Caribbean, Tere Moana 3/23/2013, Diamond Princess SB 7/27/2013, Conquest 11/09/13, Royal Princess 3/23/14, NCL Gem 12 day S Caribbean 12/01/14, Paul Gauguin 7 day Society Islands 7/4/2015, Tere Moana 12/12/15 St Maarten to Colon,Gem 11 day NYC 4/18 2017, Up Next Celebrity Summit to Bermuda 07/04/17
New York
7,964 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by crisp1
His is 5 hrs- check out Bermuda Byway/ Heidi- 10 pax- 6 hrs and includes lunch
Thank you so very much for this! I'm reading wonderful reviews.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Norwegian Escape Sept. 2018 Canada/New England
Norwegian Breakaway Oct. 2015 Bermuda (followed hurricane Joaquin)
Norwegian Star May 2012 Bermuda
Norwegian Jewel Dec. 2010 Florida/Bahamas
Norwegian Dawn Sept. 2010 Canada/New England
Norwegian Dawn May 2009 Bermuda

Carnival Destiny April 2008 Southern Caribbean
Carnival Legend April 2007 Western Caribbean

RCCL Enchantment of the Seas June2006/W. Caribbean
Norwegian Star Aug. 2004 Alaska
Norwegian Dawn June 2003 Florida/Bahamas

Carnival Triumph Aug. 1999 Canada
RCCL Sovereign of the Seas July 1998 Bermuda
Princess Regal Feb. 1994 Eastern Caribbean
??/ June 1982 Maine/Canada


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Live for today, for tomorrow is promised to no one.
Naples, FL
298 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by Mrs. H.
Thank you so very much for this! I'm reading wonderful reviews.


Our private tour with Heidi was scheduled for 6 hours but lasted 7 1/2 due to extra diversions we requested. Great tour and tour guide.

And check out the art studio/shop in the Dockyards. Heidi is the curator.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
New York
97 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Does anyone know if any of these private tours could accommodate a mobility scooter? My husband and I want to do a private tour but we need to take his scooter if we want to walk around somewhere while touring.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



new jersey
264 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Just want to throw my hat in the ring for Dennis Hollis. He was great, friendly, informative and took us everywhere we asked and extra. He gave us a longer tour than we originally paid for but we paid and tipped accordingly because it was worth it.
His van was clean and air conditioned as well.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norwegian Gem to Bahamas in 05/2013
Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda in 05/2015
Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda in 08/2016
RCI Anthem to Bermuda, St. Maarten, PR, & Haiti 05/2018
Maryland
821 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by teejoy
Does anyone know if any of these private tours could accommodate a mobility scooter? My husband and I want to do a private tour but we need to take his scooter if we want to walk around somewhere while touring.
It depends on how big the scooter is and your husband's own mobility. I use a small folding scooter but I can get off and get into the van. We toured with Lewis Foggo and had no problem with using his van. Most of the big vans are big enough to put a scooter in the back if it is not too heavy or too big, but they don't have a wheelchair lift.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
  • 1950- two HAL (Nieuw Amsterdam) transatlantic, and tour Europe and the UK
  • 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2003-4 Winters Cruises on S/V RosalieAnn (our boat) Intercoastal Waterway Chesapeake Bay to the Keys and the Bahamas
  • 2004-NCL Crown to Bermuda
  • 2005-NCL Crown repositioning and then winter road trip, Fort Walton Beach, Talladega, Santo Domingo, Frisco TX, Hot Springs, Branson,and Louisville KY.
  • 2006-HAL Maasdam back to back, Caribbean and repositioning and driving back to MD
  • 2007 - Grandeur of the Seas repositioning Baltimore to Tampa
  • 2007 - NCL Pearl - Then trip to Ireland with 2nd oldest grandson
  • 2008 March- NCL Jade from Barcelona cruise with 3rd grandson
  • 2008 - HAL Statendam - Inca Discovery through the Panama Canal
  • 2009 June - HAL Rotterdam - with 2nd oldest granddaughter Scandinavia and Russia
  • 2010 Jan Celebrity Mercury - Caribbean
  • 2010 June -NCL Pride of America - Hawaii - with 5th (youngest) grandson
  • 2011 Jan - Enchantment of the Seas B2B- Bahamas & Caribbean
  • 2011 May - HAL Amsterdam - Alaska
  • 2011 Nov - Carnival Pride B2B - Bermuda & Bahamas
  • 2012 July - Dawn Princess - Australia with 3rd granddaughter
  • 2013 Jan - HAL Maasdam - Caribbean
  • 2013 Jun - Disney Fantasy B2B - Caribbean with 4th granddaughter
  • 2013 Nov - Bermuda - Grandeur of the Seas
  • 2016 April - AmaViola - River Tulip Cruise - Netherlands & Belgium
  • 2016 October - Carnival Sunshine


One more grandchild to go - probably 2018

4 generations - grandmaR is now greatgrandmaR 2x

<a href=http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a9c6/ rel=nofollow target=_blank>http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a9c6/
Upstate NY
210 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We can highly recommend Heidi Cowen @ Byways Tours as a tour guide. She is an amazing person and it was great to spend a day with her. Arranging a private tour is a perfect way to see, touch and get a taste of what Bermuda has to offer. Our recent cruise was our 8th trip to Bermuda and my 2nd private tour. Transportation and beach time took up a lot of our time in the early visits! Personally I have to say that both tours introduced me to new sights and history in their own way!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Pug Mom

CRUISE HISTORY: Anthem of the Seas - Bermuda 6/2017 Quantum of the Seas - Bahamas 4/2015 ~ Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda 4/2014 ~ Explorer of the Seas - Bahamas 3/2013 ~ Jewel of the Seas - New England - Canada 9/2011 ~ Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda 5/2010 ~ Jewel of the Seas - New England 9/2009 ~ Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda 5/2009 ~ Explorer of the Seas - Canada 8/2008 ~ QM2 - Eastern Caribbean 4/2007 ~ Noordam - Eastern Caribbean 4/2006 ~ Rotterdam - Southern Caribbean 4/2003 ~ Westerdam - New England - Canada 9/1997 ~ Westerdam - Western Caribbean 4/1995 ~ Dreamward - Bermuda 5/1993 ~ Horizon - Bermuda 5/1992 ~ Homeric - Bermuda 6/1988 ~ Atlantic - Bermuda 6/1987
Naples, FL
298 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by thistimeplease
I have a question, we have a tour booked with Heidi and wanted to know if we tip her? If so how much do you tip? I want to make sure I do the right thing and am really looking forward to this.
I booked a private 6-person tour with Heidi a few weeks ago and paid her $800 cash for the tour... the price we agreed to when I booked the tour. I didn't tip her any additional cash at the end of the tour. Since Heidi is the one-person tour company owner/operator, I think the tour price is the appropriate compensation. If she was a tour guide who was part of a larger company, I would consider tipping.

I'm sure any additional tip would be appreciated, but not really required. However, I don't know if that would be different if joining one of her 10-person tours as a single or couple.

We did visit the art gallery in the dockyard area that she is the curator of... and made one of our Bermuda purchases there. Maybe that is a tip?
Maryland
821 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I think most of the guides are individuals and not working for a company like the taxi drivers do. So I book and hourly rate, and then tip in addition to that.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
  • 1950- two HAL (Nieuw Amsterdam) transatlantic, and tour Europe and the UK
  • 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2003-4 Winters Cruises on S/V RosalieAnn (our boat) Intercoastal Waterway Chesapeake Bay to the Keys and the Bahamas
  • 2004-NCL Crown to Bermuda
  • 2005-NCL Crown repositioning and then winter road trip, Fort Walton Beach, Talladega, Santo Domingo, Frisco TX, Hot Springs, Branson,and Louisville KY.
  • 2006-HAL Maasdam back to back, Caribbean and repositioning and driving back to MD
  • 2007 - Grandeur of the Seas repositioning Baltimore to Tampa
  • 2007 - NCL Pearl - Then trip to Ireland with 2nd oldest grandson
  • 2008 March- NCL Jade from Barcelona cruise with 3rd grandson
  • 2008 - HAL Statendam - Inca Discovery through the Panama Canal
  • 2009 June - HAL Rotterdam - with 2nd oldest granddaughter Scandinavia and Russia
  • 2010 Jan Celebrity Mercury - Caribbean
  • 2010 June -NCL Pride of America - Hawaii - with 5th (youngest) grandson
  • 2011 Jan - Enchantment of the Seas B2B- Bahamas & Caribbean
  • 2011 May - HAL Amsterdam - Alaska
  • 2011 Nov - Carnival Pride B2B - Bermuda & Bahamas
  • 2012 July - Dawn Princess - Australia with 3rd granddaughter
  • 2013 Jan - HAL Maasdam - Caribbean
  • 2013 Jun - Disney Fantasy B2B - Caribbean with 4th granddaughter
  • 2013 Nov - Bermuda - Grandeur of the Seas
  • 2016 April - AmaViola - River Tulip Cruise - Netherlands & Belgium
  • 2016 October - Carnival Sunshine


One more grandchild to go - probably 2018

4 generations - grandmaR is now greatgrandmaR 2x

<a href=http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a9c6/ rel=nofollow target=_blank>http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a9c6/
Maryland
10,218 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by thistimeplease
I have a question, we have a tour booked with Heidi and wanted to know if we tip her? If so how much do you tip? I want to make sure I do the right thing and am really looking forward to this.

My rule of thumb for a tour is to tip at least 10% and add more if so inspired by the tour. I usually end up at least 15%.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Charles
Maryland
10,218 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by colliercruiser
I booked a private 6-person tour with Heidi a few weeks ago and paid her $800 cash for the tour... the price we agreed to when I booked the tour. I didn't tip her any additional cash at the end of the tour. Since Heidi is the one-person tour company owner/operator, I think the tour price is the appropriate compensation. If she was a tour guide who was part of a larger company, I would consider tipping.



I'm sure any additional tip would be appreciated, but not really required. However, I don't know if that would be different if joining one of her 10-person tours as a single or couple.



We did visit the art gallery in the dockyard area that she is the curator of... and made one of our Bermuda purchases there. Maybe that is a tip?


I would have tipped her. But it is a personal decision. I have been on many tours all over the world and tipping the guides and drivers is standard. Does not matter if they are the owner. Usually start at 10% as a baseline for a tour guide and add more if inspired by the quality of the tour. Average about 15%. If there is a separate driver than the guide then I tip the guide a minimum of 10% and the driver 5%.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Charles
Maryland
10,218 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by grandmaR
I think most of the guides are individuals and not working for a company like the taxi drivers do. So I book and hourly rate, and then tip in addition to that.

I don't think the taxi drivers are working for companies. There are about 600 taxis in Bermuda and the drivers are self employed. About 200 of the taxi drivers have taken the Blue Flag training course to be a guide. There might be some who own more than one taxi and hire someone to drive the the others but I think it is mostly individual owned and driven taxis. The taxi drivers associate with several taxi dispatching companies but those companies don't employ the drivers or own the vehicles. I would tip 15% for a taxi ride.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Charles
41 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
We took Heidi' s tour. It lasted over six hours. Very informative. Lunch and lighthouse included. We had 9 people on our tour. The van can feel tight especially if taller. You do get out frequently. My 12 year old daughter enjoyed certain parts and was bored with others. We tipped 10 percent.
Naples, FL
298 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by ChelePA
We took Heidi' s tour. It lasted over six hours. Very informative. Lunch and lighthouse included. We had 9 people on our tour. The van can feel tight especially if taller. You do get out frequently. My 12 year old daughter enjoyed certain parts and was bored with others. We tipped 10 percent.


Did you pay for all 9 people on the tour ($900 or so), then tip her $90 on top of that?

Wasn't sure if you had a "private" private tour, or were part of a group tour she runs.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Naples, FL
298 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by ChelePA
We were a family of three. 250 dollars for us. Two adults. One child. There were two other families touring with us.


Ok. I agree tipping makes sense in that situation. Thanks for clarifying.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Maryland
821 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Remember that the rates for the guides and taxi drivers are set by the government. If the guide's expenses are more than the set rate (cost of fuel goes up but the rates are not adjusted), then the tips make up the difference. Bermuda is a very expensive place to live.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
  • 1950- two HAL (Nieuw Amsterdam) transatlantic, and tour Europe and the UK
  • 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2003-4 Winters Cruises on S/V RosalieAnn (our boat) Intercoastal Waterway Chesapeake Bay to the Keys and the Bahamas
  • 2004-NCL Crown to Bermuda
  • 2005-NCL Crown repositioning and then winter road trip, Fort Walton Beach, Talladega, Santo Domingo, Frisco TX, Hot Springs, Branson,and Louisville KY.
  • 2006-HAL Maasdam back to back, Caribbean and repositioning and driving back to MD
  • 2007 - Grandeur of the Seas repositioning Baltimore to Tampa
  • 2007 - NCL Pearl - Then trip to Ireland with 2nd oldest grandson
  • 2008 March- NCL Jade from Barcelona cruise with 3rd grandson
  • 2008 - HAL Statendam - Inca Discovery through the Panama Canal
  • 2009 June - HAL Rotterdam - with 2nd oldest granddaughter Scandinavia and Russia
  • 2010 Jan Celebrity Mercury - Caribbean
  • 2010 June -NCL Pride of America - Hawaii - with 5th (youngest) grandson
  • 2011 Jan - Enchantment of the Seas B2B- Bahamas & Caribbean
  • 2011 May - HAL Amsterdam - Alaska
  • 2011 Nov - Carnival Pride B2B - Bermuda & Bahamas
  • 2012 July - Dawn Princess - Australia with 3rd granddaughter
  • 2013 Jan - HAL Maasdam - Caribbean
  • 2013 Jun - Disney Fantasy B2B - Caribbean with 4th granddaughter
  • 2013 Nov - Bermuda - Grandeur of the Seas
  • 2016 April - AmaViola - River Tulip Cruise - Netherlands & Belgium
  • 2016 October - Carnival Sunshine


One more grandchild to go - probably 2018

4 generations - grandmaR is now greatgrandmaR 2x

<a href=http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a9c6/ rel=nofollow target=_blank>http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a9c6/