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Frist time in Bermuda


robbien

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For the best answer to your question, I recommend you scroll through the threads on this board. You will be amazed at what you can learn. I went to Bermuda for the first time last August and between these threads and the Frommer's guide, I was WELL prepared.

 

Have fun!

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Here is a very detailed review of Zenith to Bermuda. We were there for a week. We stopped in Hamilton and St. George. Hints and tips about the ship, island transportation, beaches, caves, forts and sea glass. http://www.lavasurfer.com/info/bermuda.html

For example, did you know that Fantasy Cave is a much better cave than Crystal? Did you know you could walk from St. George to a beach with a small cave on the shore and gather all the sea glass you can carry? Did you know you can easily walk to an incredibly cool Fort in Hamilton that has underground passageways and a deep moat (now a botanical garden) you can explore?

 

Enjoy your trip.

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Is it ok to rent mopeds and is it safe to park them when you stop to take a tour or look in a store? Also thanks for the advice, I got a frommers travel guide on amazon for only $3.50 and that includes shipping ( great buy).:D

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Is it ok to rent mopeds and is it safe to park them when you stop to take a tour or look in a store? Also thanks for the advice, I got a frommers travel guide on amazon for only $3.50 and that includes shipping ( great buy).:D

 

They will rent them to you and give you a training class before riding, but they can be dangerous for those unfamiliar withthem. Remember, they drive on the left hand side of the road. And as careful as you may be, the locals get very impatient with slow driving tourists and can swerve around to pass you.

 

That being said, we've rented them every time we've been to Bermuda. My husband knows how to drive a motorcylce and I ride on the back as navigator. :D It's a great way to get around the island if you know what your'e doing.

 

The mopeds have a locked compartment and the moped itself locks. They encourage you to lock it every time you get off and not to leave valuables in the compartment, as thieves are supposedly good at picking those.

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Caribbeanbound, Thank you, what an informative review. I am very grateful for the time you took to pull all that info together. My sisters and I are going on a five day cruise to Bermuda and I feel very prepared.

Are the transportation tokens good for both the ferry and bus?

I love sea glass, for me, aka beach diamonds. I'll make sure to bring some havy duty baggies.

Thanks again!

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Caribbeanbound, Thank you, what an informative review. I am very grateful for the time you took to pull all that info together. My sisters and I are going on a five day cruise to Bermuda and I feel very prepared.

Are the transportation tokens good for both the ferry and bus?

I love sea glass, for me, aka beach diamonds. I'll make sure to bring some havy duty baggies.

Thanks again!

The tokens are good for both the ferry and the buses. We liked the transportation pass, 3 days for $28 (I think $12 for one day and $20 for two). If you use the ferries and buses a lot it is very cost effective. The pass allows unlimited usage, you can get on and off as many times as you want. The ferry rides from the dockyard to Hamilton and from the dockyard to St. Georges are beautiful, scenic tours. Not to be missed. Some people prefer the taxi's, feeling they are faster and more convenient. I feel that they are expensive and the ferries and buses give you a better sense of the people of Bermuda, rather than being isolated in a car. The weather at that time will be warm, in the 80's but not as humid as in August. Don't misss the Swizzle Inn, a lot of fun. If you have any specific questions about beaches and where to go, this is a great site to get information. I remember Lighthouse Lady and her questions last year before her trip, I am sure she will tell you how helpful the people on this site are.:)

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Writeratsea, Thank you for your response, I am looking forward to visiting Bermuda for the first time. Obviously it is one of your favorite places?

I am looking forward to walking, and using the public transportation to get around. I don't plan to set up any excursions, seems there is enough to do. Have you attended the festivals held on Tuesday nights beginning in May? any tidbits you care to shre will be so appreciated. Not much into shopping but, if there is something I should not miss let me know. Thanks:D

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Writeratsea, Thank you for your response, I am looking forward to visiting Bermuda for the first time. Obviously it is one of your favorite places?

I am looking forward to walking, and using the public transportation to get around. I don't plan to set up any excursions, seems there is enough to do. Have you attended the festivals held on Tuesday nights beginning in May? any tidbits you care to shre will be so appreciated. Not much into shopping but, if there is something I should not miss let me know. Thanks:D

If you want to walk around then a walk around both Hamilton and St. Georges are interesting. As Carribeanbound mentioned, in Hamilton there is a fort (Fort Hamilton of course) that is not only an interesting fort but the moat has been made into a botanical garden and is a great treat to walk through. The beaches are a must, not only for the pink sand and the incredibly blue ocean but for the reefs which backdrop them. The best beaches are Horseshoe Bay, nice but a long walk up a big hill going back. You can avoid that by paying $1 or so for a quick ride via minibus to the crest of the hill. Tobacco Bay in St. George is pretty and ringed by a coral reef. The water is only waist high or so, and you can swin out to the reef and snorkle or just watch all the pretty colored fish. I loved the aquarium and zoo. An incredible walk afterwards is along Harrington Sound road or take the bus to Devil's hole. A natural aquarium where you can feed the fish with hookless lines, very different. A very short walk over the hill is my favorite beach, John Smith's Bay. There are never any crowds, mostly the local people go there. It is on a high bluff with a park and you go down to the beach. You can take great photos of the water crashing over the reefs on the right hand side. We enjoyed the tour of the perfume factory in St George. Next to that was an old church, St Peter's. In the graveyard take off your shoes, the grass is very spongy, an interesting sensation. There is also an imense piece of driftwood cedar that you can take photos against. Go to the wall at the front and there is a fantastic view of the cruise ship docked. Take some more pictures with that backdrop. I also loved the crystal caves, not scary at all, just an amazing example of nature. If you like nature, the botanical gardens are outstanding and there are a few natural bird and nature sancuaries. Our favorite part of our Bermuda vacation were the ferry rides in and out of Hamilton and especially the ferry ride to St. George. With these two ferry rides and a couple of bus trips you can see pretty much the whole island. We did go to the festivals and they were ok. The one in Hamilton is much bigger than the one in St. George or the dockyard. But it is really a street festival, with lots of locals selling crafts and the prints of Bermuda are much cheaper here than in the stores, about 1/2 the price. Hope this helps a little bit. If you let me know where you are docked I can give you some different and interesting sidetrips. And yes Bermuda along with Disney World are my favorite places.:)

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Hello writeratsea, Indeed it is good "stuff" We'll be docking at King's Wharf.

I live on an isalnd in Florida so knew right away what "sponge" grass felt like to you. Very bouncy!

Did you snorkle, I am debating wether to bring mine.........I do that here but, we do not have that many colorful fish. We're only there for two days, pulling out at 4 the 2nd day.

Thanks again.

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Hello writeratsea, Indeed it is good "stuff" We'll be docking at King's Wharf.

I live on an isalnd in Florida so knew right away what "sponge" grass felt like to you. Very bouncy!

Did you snorkle, I am debating wether to bring mine.........I do that here but, we do not have that many colorful fish. We're only there for two days, pulling out at 4 the 2nd day.

Thanks again.

The snorkling is fantastic because the water is shallow and the reefs are so close to the beaches. We brought our own gear because the goggles we got from the cruise ship leaked when we used them on the excursion. Which obviously ruined the experience. I mentioned Tobacco Bay, but almost any beach where the reefs are close by will be fine such as along the South Shore. There are also catamaran excursions such as the Rising Sun which include stops to snorkle. In the dockyard, you can rent Segways, a little pricey but sounds like a good time. The hang gliding I mentioned is also at the dockyard. Near the dockyard is Somerset village which is nice to visit and has a good pizza shop. I would suggest going to Horseshoe bay in the morning, stop at Gibbs lighthouse, perhaps the Swizzle Inn on the South Shore and stop in Somerset on the way back. You can also go to the dockyard in the afternoon, see the glass blowing, get some free rum cake samples and visit the fort before it closes at 4:30 PM. You could save this for the second day. The first day you could take the ferry to St. George, see the sights there. Go to the crystal caves and the original Swizzle Inn on the way back by bus. Continue your bus trip into Hamilton or stop at the Aquarium. Then take the ferry back to the dockyard. That would indeed be a full day, so start early. LOL Since you have the guidebook, just make a list of what you would like to see and string them together geographically. If you do this before you go, you will not waste a lot of time trying to decide what to do. We just loved that spongy grass, there was nothing like it in the Boston area. Hope this gives you some ideas. We also found that it was just as cheap to buy the duty free liquor onboard the ship. The only drawback is the ship has a limited variety. If you go to Hamilton the first day, try a sample of Bermuda Gold at the Goslings Rum liquor store. It is a delicious liquor only available in Bermuda. Anything you want to purchase, you must order it a day in advance to allow enough time to be delivered to the ship. You only get the lower duty free price if it is delivered to the ship for export. You can take it with you but will have to pay the higher price. As you bring it aboard, they will take the liquor and hold it for you until you disembark. If you enjoy the famous rum swizzles at the Swizzle Inn, you can make your own at home with Goslings Black Seal Rum and Falerinum (Only sold in Bermuda). A nice memory of Bermuda on a hot summer day.:)

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Writeratsea, I plan to print all of your posts and use that as my guide book...I will geographically link all the info so as not to waste time. Today I found a back specifically designed to hold snorkel gear, (at the Goodwill) so I am set! I hate to carry a lot of stuff.

I had not thought about buying liquor..but, since you mentioned it I will and will purchase it the first day for delivery.

Thank you again, I am sure I'll think of something else to ask about.

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Writeratsea, I plan to print all of your posts and use that as my guide book...I will geographically link all the info so as not to waste time. Today I found a back specifically designed to hold snorkel gear, (at the Goodwill) so I am set! I hate to carry a lot of stuff.

I had not thought about buying liquor..but, since you mentioned it I will and will purchase it the first day for delivery.

Thank you again, I am sure I'll think of something else to ask about.

Oh my goodness, what a compliment. Print all my posts, that would make "War and Peace" look small. LOL Seriously, you could go through my posts and select things that would be useful to you. If you have any specific questions I will try to help.:)

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Writeratsea

What do you think of renting a moped and where is the best place to do it? Thanks for all of the good info it is my first time going to Berumda and I can't wait to get there. :)

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Writeratsea,

 

What wealth of Bermuda knowledge! I'm cruising to bermuda for the first time in 3 weeks and will certainly take your advice on the buses and ferries. From King's Wharf, what would be the beach with the shortest walk from a bus stop?-- my Dad can't walk too far. I know, strange request!

 

Joe

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Writeratsea

What do you think of renting a moped and where is the best place to do it? Thanks for all of the good info it is my first time going to Berumda and I can't wait to get there. :)

I am of mixed feelings about the mopeds. I love the convenience of them. But I have the advantage of experience riding motorcycles. The problem is too fold. The roads are very narrow and crowded. They drive on the wrong side of the road which is confusing (wait till you get to your first rotary and the bus goes to the left instead of the right.) The locals on mopeds are very aggressive, they will pass you like crazy as you will be going much too slow for their tastes. If you are drinking or driving in the rain, obviously it will get even trickier. This is probably the hardest question about Bermuda and the most controversal. I will tell you now that the first trip to Bermuda will be incredible. Nothing can prepare you for the beauty and uniqueness of this island. You must say good morning or good afternoon to all the locals you encounter. If you don't they will feel insulted, if you do you will get the biggest smiles and welcomes in return. I just love the hospitality and manners of the people in Bermuda, one of the most charming part of the whole experience. Get the transportation pass and use the buses and ferries to get around. That will be a much more fulfilling experience than being isolated in a taxi. The interaction and conversations with the Bermudians will be one of the highlights of the trip. If you do want to rent a moped, they are available everywhere and the prices are pretty much the same. You need to choose a single or double person. I recommend singles as you have more control.

You will also have the benefits of all the veteran advice of the people on these boards which we didn't have the first time we went. I know that you will enjoy yourselves and don't forget the Swizzle Inn. :)

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Writeratsea,

 

What wealth of Bermuda knowledge! I'm cruising to bermuda for the first time in 3 weeks and will certainly take your advice on the buses and ferries. From King's Wharf, what would be the beach with the shortest walk from a bus stop?-- my Dad can't walk too far. I know, strange request!

 

Joe

There is a beach in the dockyard, but it is rocky and you need water shoes (Crocs). It is great for kids as there is much for them to do. The best beach near the dockyard is Horseshoe Bay, and it is justly world famous. Take the bus there. Since it is a steep hill down to the beach you can take a mini bus to the beach and back. It is a private enterprise and the charge is minimal, dollar or so. If you father has difficultly walking, this will be the best dollar you ever spent. The shortest walk and my personal favorite is John Smith's Bay. You can transfer from the number 7 bus to the number 1 bus at King Edwards hospital. Outside each bus stop is a pole, if it is Pink you are going towards Hamilton, if Blue, you are going away from Hamilton. A very useful tip. I like John Smith's Bay because it is not crowded. There is a park at the top of the beach and the bus stops right there. You go down a gradual sloping bluff to the beach and the water is shallow and the reefs nearby. It is really beautiful, just not long and wide as is Horseshoe Bay. Even though it is a little bit of a trip, I feel it will fit the closest to your needs.:)

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Hello Writeratsea, My sail date is fast approaching and I wanted to ask, How close are the bus/ferry terminals stops to Kings Wharf? Thank you for your continued interest in all of our questions......Islanders

The ferry stop is right near where the ship docks, down a little ways from the British Maritime Museum entrance (where the bus stops). There is a little park there and venders set up their outdoor booths to sell t-shirts and other good stuff. There is a sign and a gate so you can't miss it.

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