One recent memorable trip was this past May. I went on a nine day cruise on Royal Caribbean with my sister, her husband and another friend. We left out of Baltimore on the Grandeur of the Seas. Our ports of call were Kings Wharf Bermuda, Nassau Bahamas and CoCoCay Bahamas. The private island for Royal Caribbean.
We left on a Thursday and our first stop was that Saturday at 2pm. We waited in line for almost 40 minutes for a bus to take us to Horseshoe Bay Beach. I have to tell you. Actually, I can’t tell you. There are no words to describe how beautiful the beach was.
Since we got there mid-afternoon, we spent the rest of the day here. I’m not sure why, but, we didn’t really do much else on the island that day or night. We were docked there overnight until 3pm the next afternoon. Of that time, that was the one thing I wished I did. Got back off to see some of the nightlife. But, I didn’t want to go out by myself.
One thing with Bermuda transportation? You have taxi’s and you have the bus. OMG. If you have to get someplace fast? The bus is the way to do it. The drivers according to locals are confident in their driving abilities. The drivers according to tourists? Are crazy. They take the turns fast. I couldn’t even see if there were speed limit signs to be honest. On our way back to the ship, we had standing room only. My sister was having a little difficulty, so we got off at a bus stop to wait for another bus in the hopes we’d have seats. While waiting, we did take some pictures.
I am not sure where that location was, but I do know it was a stop people got off to go see the lighthouse. They drive on the left side of the road in Bermuda, so we had to be careful with cars whipping down the hill. The next bus we still only had standing room only, but as the buses were about to stop running, we had no choice.
The next day, my sister, her husband and friend took a ferry over to Hamilton from the Royal Dockyard where we were docked. I stayed behind and walked around the Dockyard. Thankfully! Just a heads up for those of you traveling there by cruise, Hamilton shops do not open until 1pm on Sundays. And they closed at 5pm or 6pm Saturday night. This will give you a good idea of how to plan your time if you don’t do excursions. The shops in the Dockyard opened at 9am or 10am I believe. I went down after 10 and they were open. It rained most of that morning, but, I had a great time walking through the Bermuda Clock Tower Mall and other shops that were in the Dockyard. I took the trolley that they offered visitors at no charge to go ride around and see other sites behind the mall.
We made it to Nassau Bahamas on Tuesday at 1pm and as with most tourist locals, as soon as you get off the boat, there are people there trying to get you to buy what they were selling. When you go through the building separating the kiosk sellers and the boat, there is a tourist ambassador. We asked her for her recommendation for a tour guide. She was quite helpful! We waited about 20 – 25 minutes, but, only paid $25 for a 2 1/2 hour tour. The tour guide took us ALL over the island and gave us the history. Educated us on the difference between the public and private education system as well as the medical hospitals and how insurance worked down there. He took us to a beach as well as through the island where the lower income and higher income neighborhoods were. We also went to Fort Fincastle, which has sellers there as well as amazing views.
These are just a few of the great spots we got to see. He also took us over to Paradise Island and we were able to see where Oprah Winfrey and Nicolas Cage have their vacation homes. Gated community of course! We even got to go to Atlantis and he let us stay there for a half an hour just to either play the slots or shop. If you ever get the opportunity to go to Nassau, I highly recommend that you do not be afraid to get a local to take you on a tour. Before you think I’m crazy, be assured, the tour guides are run by a local business person. There are quite a few head people that have several tour guides under them.
The next day, our next port was CoCoCay Island. This island had open sided structures and they brought food over from the boat for us to have lunch. However, as can happen, it STORMED that day. We got there and had to take cover within 45 minutes after we got there. The storm was so bad, we couldn’t even see the boat from the island. And with the structures being open sided, we got drenched anyway. LOL. It stormed for about half an hour and we went back out. It took a little bit before the lifeguards allowed us back into the water because of the lightening. We got to go back in and about 20 minutes later the storm rotated back around and hit us again! I absolutely love storms, so, I wasn’t minding it at all. But, needless to say, I got very little sun that day! We ended up going back to the boat shortly after lunch instead of staying on the island. The island is beautiful though! And had locals selling their wares as well :).
Have you been to Bermuda or Bahamas? Where would you recommend I go see the next time I go? And if you haven’t been to these islands yet, have you been to any islands? Where was your favorite location?