Travel Thoughts by Kim
Let’s go on an adventure together….to Bermuda!
As we continue to have snow flurries and super cold temperatures, I find myself thinking and dreaming of warm places to take the chill out of my old bones and joints. One of my favorite warm places is Bermuda. I took a Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda in October 2018 and it was the most perfect trip. We sailed out of Boston, spent two and a half days at sea, then stayed docked at Bermuda for three full days, and spent another day and a half at sea returning to Boston. It was so relaxing to stay docked at one port and to have the freedom to come and go from the ship all hours of the day and night with no deadlines be on-board, except for the final day. A great mix of cruising fun and an extended stay at an amazing port. I have not seen this particular format offered, again, on any of the cruise lines, though. Bermuda cruises I’ve seen since then tend to have at least one additional port of call – resulting in either extending the total duration of the cruise or shortening the time spent in Bermuda. Sad – I really liked the one I took. I’ll keep watching – maybe they will offer it, again.
In my never to be humble opinion, a cruise is the best way to go when traveling to Bermuda. Resorts and other lodging in Bermuda are extremely expensive and then you have to also factor in airfare to get there and your food and entertainment while you are there. When taking a cruise, your lodging, meals, entertainment, etc. are all included in one price and most likely far less expensive in the long run than staying at a resort. There are other options – different cruises and different accommodations – and a travel agent can help you find the most economical way that works best for you. But, if you ask me, a cruise is the way to go!
Bermuda is a fascinating place located off the eastern coast of the US. It is a small island – just 21 miles long and 1.5 miles wide – that is under British rule and sits on a dead volcano. The island was discovered in the 1600s and the original population was mostly slaves who jumped ships to freedom when they sailed past the island because it looked like a safe haven for them. Although they are British rule, they are fairly self-sufficient and even have their own currency that is equal to ours and is used interchangeably with US currency on the island. So, you don’t have to worry about exchange rates or getting Bermuda currency to use while you’re there. But, be careful about bringing back any Bermuda currency, except what you may want as a souvenir – it is worthless outside of Bermuda. The cost of living in Bermuda is one of the highest in the world. They have no industry and very little agriculture, so pretty much everything has to be imported at an extremely high cost. So, expect to pay a lot at restaurants and businesses (a cup of soup, burger, onion rings, and a coke in St. George’s cost me $46 plus tip) – another good reason to go the cruise option and have most, if not all, your meals on ship.
You may have heard that all the buildings in Bermuda have white roofs. Well, that is correct! They are colorfully painted in beautiful pastel colors, but are all topped with white roofs. The reason for that is because there is NO fresh water on the island at all. The roofs are made of limestone and the white paint also contains limestone. The roofs are carefully designed to allow rain water to cascade across the limestone to purify it, then it is captured by a lip along the edge that directs the purified water to elaborate gutter systems sending the water into the “water cellar” – every building has one. Everyone on the island is very conservative with their water because they may need it to last through a drought! In recent years, the island now has three plants that process salt water into fresh water, but everyone is still required to generate their own water and only use the water from the conversion plants when absolutely necessary. Also, some of the more affluent homes and businesses now have their own water systems to turn salt water into fresh.
The capital of Bermuda is currently Hamilton, whereas, the original capital was St. George’s – the capital was moved when the population of the island started to grow. Hamilton is a larger city and more centrally located. But, St. George is absolutely incredible and loaded with history – including an awesome old church and cemetery, which is the oldest church in the Western Hemisphere still operating as a church – established in 1612. St George’s is a “must see” to put on your “things to do in Bermuda” list.
I took a bus tour of the island and learned so much about the history and economy of the island – our guide was amazing.
I also went on two glass bottom boat tours – they were literally the same tour with different themes, but one was during the day and one was at night. Both were really fun and I’m glad I did both, but I especially liked the one at night – how cool is it to be on a pirate themed boat at night drinking rum in the Bermuda Triangle!!!??? I took a lot of ribbing when I was planning my trip – lots of jokes about never seeing me, again. But, that whole Bermuda Triangle legend is really just a myth. Yes, strange things have happened there and the magnetic and gravitational pulls can be an issue. But, a lot of what has happened can be explained by understanding that ships and planes didn’t use to have as advanced technology as they do now and they didn’t know how to navigate through the extensive barrier reefs, so the magnetic and gravitational anomalies made it difficult for them to pass through the area safely. So, don’t worry — go to Bermuda and enjoy without fear of getting “lost”!
There is so much to see and do on this tiny little island. But, one of the best things is to just go spend some time on Horseshoe Bay Beach – consistently ranked among the Top 5 Most Beautiful Beaches in the WORLD! The pink sand (colored with pink flecks caused by the coral reefs) and crystal blue water is simply stunning and unlike any sand and water you’ll find anywhere else in the world! The water is even more blue and beautiful than the waters in the Caribbean….totally indescribable.
But, with all of the amazing things I did and saw while in Bermuda, the most memorable thing was getting to swim with dolphins. Just off the ship, there is a lagoon that I was able to swim and play with dolphins and even got to kiss one! It was the best time and best money I spent on the entire trip….I LOVED IT!!!
If you like history, snorkeling, rum, boating adventures, dolphins….did I mention rum….or just sitting on any one of several stunning beaches soaking up the sun, you’ll absolutely love Bermuda! And, October is a great time to go – it was still in the 80s every day, but it was just about the end of the season, so there were less tourists to deal with than in higher peak times of the year – we were the only cruise ship in port at the time.
Click the following links to check out my blog posts for tons of great photos and interesting information about the history, culture, economy, and other cool trivia associated with Bermuda: