Ok, we're booked for Bermuda on the Nordic Empress for 5/12/02, family of four. What kind of things do I have to check out and sign up for in advance? I am a planning freak and like everything arranged in advance. Have the site for Dolphin Quest bookmarked, any thoughts? Are there other things to do kind of like that? My son loves fishing and thinks he'll like snorkeling. (by the way, what is the "shark" situation in Bermuda?)
Your children may also like the tour of the caves. You walk down into the caves on a walkway and they give you a guided tour, my kids ages 11 and 13 enjoyed it. Also if you have time you shouldn't leave Bermuda without a visit to Horseshoe Bay Beach. If your son likes to snorkel you can do it right at the beach on the right side their are rock formations he can just walk over to and using his mask he'll be amazed at whats in that water! There are rentals there if you don't have your own and a good snack bar. It 's probably one of the prettiest and cleanist beaches around. Don't do the train/tram ride out of Hamilton. It takes you to the botanical gardens and cruises by some historical sites. The kids couldn't get off of it fast enough. Not what kids want to be doing on vacation.
Several things to try. One of the best overall snorkel trips I have ever taken is run out of Hamilton by Jessie James Tours.
jessiejames.bm on the web. They take you directly out of Hamilton Harbor on a 50 ft + motor yacht. They go out of the harbor and make three stops.First is at a tiny island . If you snorkel,there is some nice color and fish by swimming around the island, if you are a first timer they get in the water with you and teach you everything you need to know. Next stop is offshore to a site where two wrecks lay side by side. Again they get in the water with you and guide you around the site. Third stop is a offshore
coral garden. Depths are only a few feet and coral color and marine life are wonderful.Three dives in all. Final ride in enters the harbor by going past Royal Navy dockyard. As you ride back in to port, you are given a wonderful tour and information lecture and any questions are answered. Trip is about 4 hours and at $50 is a bargain Run by a local family the O'Conners. They truly care that their customers have a good time. Many of the excursions booked through the ships are run by the OConner's as well but they are watered down versions(two stops not 3) for as much if not more money. Ask them to tell you the story of the
guy who tried for four years to go out with them and finally got to go this past memorial day. That was me.It was worth the wait.In St Georges there are two nice beaches. Skip Tobacco bay, it gets too crowded. On either side of Ft. St Catherines there is a nice beach. St catherines beach is good for sunning and swimming and has full ,new, facilties. Just on the other side of the Fort (100 yard walk from St Catherines beach ) is a secluded beach called Achilles Bay. Great snorkeling and walking and swimming amoung the rocks. This is a public beach. Do not let anyone from the local condos let you feel differently. Sometimes they act like they own it. Both are a nice walk from town, or you can take a cab, or you can ride the St. George mini bus. If there are four of you with beach stuff ,take a cab. it is about $5.00 each way.
I"ve never been to Bermuda, so I can't help you there. But I just had to comment. I've been reading your posts ever since you first started saying that you were being "forced into" cruising, and you're still calling yourself the reluctant cruiser. I just can't wait until you come back so we can see if you've "caught the fever" and become a fanatic about cruising like the rest of us! Here's wishing you a wonderful cruise and a lifetime of addiction!
Buy a 3 day bus/ferry pass and ride. It's a great cheap way to see the island. Don't miss the dockyard museum, St. George, The botanical gardens, the beaches, shop at Smith's, Bluck's and Trimingham's, sail and snorkel, and see the show at the Clayhouse in Devonshire. Been to Bermuda 8 times. Still my favorite island. It's so civilized. People are polite.Skip the perfume factory and the glass blowing exhibit.