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July holiday worry/advice

Pennsylvania
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July holiday worry/advice

Hello. I'm new to this forum, but my wife and I honeymooned in Bermuda 22 years ago and cruised there 7 years ago. I have read as much as I can on these message boards (albeit too late I think) because we are sailing to the beautiful island again during the last week of July. So 2 of the 3 days we are there are holidays. I've read about the crickets matches and the food and the busy beaches and campers and limited transportation schedules and closed stores. As we didn't realize this holiday existed until a week ago, and this is the first trip to the island for our kids, 20 and 17, we are a little concerned about the experience they will get. Our ship is docking at King's Wharf. Am I right to assume that, since the match is played in Somerset this year, it will be nearly impossible to drive a moped or get a bus from the dock to the rest of the island and back through those 2 days? And it won't be worth going to Hamilton or St. George to shop, or even to sightsee, those 2 days either, even if we take a ferry? Also, are there any of the beaches that will be less likely to have a lot of campers? Our last cruise there we enjoyed mopeding all over the island and stopping at beaches, but that seems less desireable with increased traffic and campers. I know we have to make the best of it but this is a very expensive and rare trip for our family and I'd like to plan it out so that we make the most of it. Thanks for any advice you can give.

Canada
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for Cape Cod
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1. Re: July holiday worry/advice

I'm sure that one of the "locals" who contribute to this forum will answer you soon. I'm not much help because I have never been on the island at the time you mention. The shops etc at the Dockyard may be open at least some hours. There are usually special buses available to get to the South Shore beaches and I doubt whether a cruise ship in port will be totally ignored, cricket or no cricket.

USA
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2. Re: July holiday worry/advice

At this stage in your planning, I'm not sure you can do anything more than hope for the best..and simply '..go with the flow..' when you arrive. Public buses will tend to be a bit more crowded. There may be more traffic on the main roads during Cup Match weekend...but not so much as will make riding rental motorscooter difficult. There will be more resident Bermudians out at the beaches, enjoying their 'national treasures' on their holidays...but any '..concentrations..' of local resident holiday gatherings will tend to be at more '..neighborhood..' beaches and parks...such as Admiralty House Park in West Pembroke, Shelly Bay in Smiths, Ferry Reach Park in Saint George's, Clearwater Beach & Turtle Bay Beach in Saint David's. etc. Odds are that if you encounter crowds at the south shore beaches, they will be from the two(2) large cruise ships that will be berthed at King's/Heritage Wharf at Dockyard.

As noted, Cup Match--Thursday, July 29th & Friday, July, 30th (at Somerset Cricket Grounds) are national holidays, so most stores and shops will be closed. But if it's been 22 years since you were last in Bermuda, you'll find that with the closing of Bermuda '..institutions like Trimingham's and Smith's in downtown Hamilton a few years ago, there's a lot less '..shopping..'...so you may not be disappoint so much by holiday closings as with closings in general.

If you are planning to rent motor scooters during your visit, I'd strongle suggest that you make advance reservations with whichever cycle rental livery you prefer. Though other rental liveries will deliver rental scooters to Dockyard, OLEANDER CYCLES-- http://www.oleandercycles.bm/ --is the only livery with a rental/service location within the Dockyard complex...a few yards from the end of the King's/Heritage Wharf cruise ship berths.

Edited: 29 June 2010, 02:16
Pennsylvania
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3. Re: July holiday worry/advice

Thanks for the advice on the scooters.

It's actually only been 7 years since we last cruised to Bermuda and at that time the ship docked in St. George's and Hamilton and we got to walk around to the different sites and do some shopping. Just figuring we will want to get t-shirts and perhaps some rum swizzle to take back and don't want to spend the first day, the only non-holiday, shopping, but rather mopeding and hitting the beaches.

Hopefully something will be open during the 2 holidays.

I don't think things like the fort in Hamilton can close down, right?

Boston
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4. Re: July holiday worry/advice

You can always take the mopeds into Hamilton on the ferry and then explore the eastern half of the island from there... If the St. George's Ferry is running, I think you can take the mopeds all the way there as well.

Hackensack, NJ
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5. Re: July holiday worry/advice

I was in St. George last year during Cup Match and the traffic was only a problem on the 2nd day of cupmatch(at night)- it was bumper to bumper. There were extra buses, during cup match-so travel is not a problem.

Hamilton was a ghost town-except for a few Resturants that opened for dinner.

Since cup match is in Somerset, then local shops should stay open for business as they did last year in St. Georges.

Some places advertised that they would be open during the holiday.

Go to the beach and enjoy. It was a treat to see the entire place shut down and camp out for the cupmatch.

USA
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6. Re: July holiday worry/advice

First....since the closing of grand Bermudian shopping '..institutions..' of TRIMINGHAM'S and SMITH'S in downtown Hamilton (as well as all of their branch locations) a few years ago, you're going to find that Bermuda offers much less of the '..shopping..' opportunity that it did during you last visit seven(7) years ago.. So perhaps stores and shops being closed for the Cup Match holiday won't be quite so inconvenient as you might think.

For the rest, most of Bermuda's other institutions, sites and attractions will be open for business as usual---Maritime Museum, historic forts, aquarium & zoo, caves, parks & garden, etc. And though beaches may be a bit more trafficked (the worst of it will be other cruise ship passengers...'..We have met the enemy....and he is us..') to the best of my knowledge, there are no holiday closings of Bermuda's magnificent, pink, sandy beaches or the Atlantic Ocean.

If you will be using Bermuda's excellent public transportation system--buses and ferries--as you primary mode of personal transportation, you may find the because the system will be operating on its SUNDAY & HOLIDAY schedules, getting about will take a bit longer and require a bit more planning. If you're riding rental motor scooters...no problem....and you'll probably be able to find parking spots in downtown Hamilton (no small task these days) during the week.

N Plainfield
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7. Re: July holiday worry/advice

Don't worry too much...First day, south shore beaches. Second day, ferry over to St. Georges, you can beach it at Tobacco Bay or Clearwater Beach on St. David's. Don't forget to pack a couple of snorkel kits. Third day is probably your shortest, head to Hamilton, show your kids around the Fort (great garden in the moat), the Cathedral, walk the alleys between Front and Reid St. There are some lovely shops tucked in there.

We brought our sons, 21 and 23 two years ago. Believe it or not, though not usually much for shopping loved walking in the grocery stores and variety stores - checking out the different stuff and the crazy prices. One stop in Hamilton could be the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (a fancy name for an interactive discovery center). We got a discount rate by showing a NJ Museum membership card. A great way to cool off for a couple of hours. They do a great job of presenting Bermuda's natural history. Right at the end of Front Street. They have a lovely restaurant there for lunch..just e-mail some places to see if they plan to be open.

We were there once on Labor Day - a holiday and it was kind of cool. I would much prefer sharing the beach with Bermudians that most touristas.

NY
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8. Re: July holiday worry/advice

I am so glad I saw this post. We will also be in Benrmuda during this holiday. I have looked at the ferry schedule and did not see the holiday/Sunday schedule for the Orannge line (to St. George) to go to Tabacco Bay. Am I not reading it correctly or does it not travel on Holidays?

I am a bit worried myself and would like to understand all my option beforehand.

Thanks......

London, United...
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9. Re: July holiday worry/advice

Its good to hear that you are going back to Bermuda. It is the favourite Island of my partner, I and our combined families.

CupMatch is quite a spectacle. The energy of the day both on and off the field is amazing. We love Crown And Anchor (the only legal gambling that's allowed in Bermuda), getting our orders of Bermuda Fish and hanging out with the people we have come to now on the Island.

As far as getting to the the Match, its quite possible to get everything in if you go by scooter. (Other forms of transportation would be a bit inconvenient and cumbersome). I would recommend that you check out ELBOW BEACH CYCLES ( http://www.elbowbeachcycles.com )

ELBOW BEACH CYCLES has the same bikes as Oleander and other cycle liveries, offers better rates rates. They are all-honest straightforward people (which I love) and that love the Island and are big on SAFETY.

Give Kevin or Mrs T a call at Elbow a call. The last number I have for them is (441) 236 9237

London, United...
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10. Re: July holiday worry/advice

I forgot one thing: check out the great (I think) new page on ELBOW's website, HOT TIPS & OTHER INFO. It has all the info you could want about the company and a cool desination guide for Bermuda ( elbowbeachcycles.com/hot-tips-other-info.html )

Cheers!