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First Time in Bermuda

New Egypt, New...
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First Time in Bermuda

I really want to get the most from our 2 days docked (at Kings Wharf). We dock at 9AM on Mon 8/23/14 and stay until 5:00PM on 8/24/14. It is myself, and my 2 daughters 16 & 18. I don't want to miss anything that shouldn't be missed... I LOVE tours, they are not so crazy about them. Can you possibly give me an Itinerary to follow. I want some form of transportation with a guide type situation. The girls want to rent mopeds/scooters. I am actually kind of afraid for myself. What is your opinion on them? We also want to book the Hartley's Helmet Dive, any input on this? We don't need a private tour, just something that is informative and really enjoyable for the 3 of us. Definetly want to be able to make stops on the way. A conclusive tour of the island so that we can hopefully have time to return to our favorite spots on our own before we leave. THANK YOU! Elise

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New Bedford...
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1. Re: First Time in Bermuda

Hi Elise! First off, congrats on your first trip to Bermuda! It's a great place. This will be my fourth year in a row going (my girlfriend has family there), so I know quite about about the Island! I'll actually be there the same time as you!

So lets get to it. As far as transportation. I would highly recommend renting a moped. They are the best way to get around the island. You don't have to worry about walking, catching a bus (which can take a while if you are trying to go to many places), or expensive taxis. With a moped you can explore at your own pace and they are relatively cheap to rent. I think Oleander Cycles is like $117 for 2 days. Don't get freaked out about driving on the left. Once you ride for about 10 minutes, it just comes natural.

If you are a beach person, I would HIGHLY recommend going to Horseshoe Bay for a few hours. I don't like the beach at all (Irish...I'm sure you know why now!) but I LOVE going. I rent a umbrella, and kick back with a few beers. The water is like a pool and there are many rocks to climb up on (very safe). They also have the BEST onion rings you will ever eat there.

If you are not into the beach, right at dockyard there is swimming with dolphins (which is a little expensive) but I think totally worth it. I have my time booked for that week already! Check out Dolphin Quest Bermuda for more information.

Now if you are more into the touristy things there is so much to do as well. In dockyard, where you will be docked, there is Snorkel Park (outside bar/club) that I believe has an event on Monday's. There is the rum cake factory there which you have to try! There is also mini golf and some shopping as well.

If you don't get a moped, you can take the ferry into town (Hamilton) where there is lots of food, shopping and places to explore. Try the KFC there! It's better than in the states!!!

For the rest, you can do a quick google search and you can find all of the tourist spots on the island (St. George's, Crystal Caves, Aquarium, Lighthouse, etc) I am trying to help you with some things some people don't know about!

That also sparks an idea!! If you like seaglass, there is a hidden beach right near dockyard. You can walk which may take about 30 minutes, or take your moped there in about 5-10 min. It's a dirt road behind these apartments called ALBERT'S ROW, Malabar Road (nr: Touch Through Me Ministries church and 'Convict's Cemetery') in Sandy's Parish...approx. 1/2 mile from the entrance/exit of the Royal Naval Dockyard complex. I would recommend checking it out. There is a set of stairs that leads down into this beach and there are probably millions of pieces of seaglass here!!!!

Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions about what I shared.

New Egypt, New...
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2. Re: First Time in Bermuda

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SO MUCH VALUABLE INFO!!!

The moped was something I thought i wanted to do, but I have a daughter 16 who won't be allowed to rent, and I actually am a little afraid myself (turning 60 very soon ;)

what do u think?

You know anything about the Helmut dive I mentioned? Thanks!

New Bedford...
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3. Re: First Time in Bermuda

You guys can ride together! They give you a lesson beforehand, but I think it's definitely doable to ride with her on the back. Have you ever been on one before? If not, I would just do the stuff in Dockyard, take the ferry over to Hamilton and definitely go to Horseshoe Bay which is the best beach on the island. I only recommend a moped because then you have endless opportunity to do whatever you may please all over the island.

As far as the helmet dive, I have never done it, but have looked into it. At $95/person it ought to be a good time! Pictures look very cool and they've around for quite some time. I would do it if I were you! Any other questions about anything else??

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4. Re: First Time in Bermuda

HARLEY'S UNDERSEA WALK-- http://www.hartleybermuda.com/ --is and pretty much as described and pictured---a '..walk..' on the sandy sea bottom wearing a diver's helmet. It's low-impact (sorta' like snorkeling...without expending nearly as much 'energy'...and a bit of a '..hoot...'.

Your best bet will be to hire a BLUE FLAG AMBASSADOR taxi tour guide (can be identified by either a Blue Flag medallion, window decal or 'fender flag' on the taxi) for a private taxi-tour of Bermuda The fixed rate is $50/hour for 1-4 passengers, with a three(3) hour minimum. These Blue Flag taxi tour guides are certified and are all VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE about all things Bermuda and can usually 'customize' your tour to highlight your own individual interests--art & architecture, parks & gardens, military and/or general history, flora & fauna, etc).

An alternative is to do a bit of pre-arrival research and D-I-Y via Bermuda's excellent public transportation system--buses and ferries. The system is easy to figure out and use. Just about every minute, of every mile, of every bus and ferry route is a GREAT RIDE. Buses and ferries also make great '..raised platforms to see Bermuda's incredible natural beauties and charms, from both seaward and landward perspectives.

You could start with an early AM ORANGE--Dockyard-Saint George's ferry route ride out of the Great Sound from Dockyard, along Bermuda's north shore, 'roud her far eastern-end, through the narrow Town Cut into Saint George's Harbour to the quaint 'olde towne' of Saint George's. Poke 'round Saint George's for a while, then 'hop-on' a #1 or #3--Saint George's-Hamilton public bus at the main BUS terminal...perhaps 'hopping off' at CRYSTAL & FANTASY CAVES-- http://www.caves.bm/ --...then 'hop-on' a #3-Saint George's-Hamilton or #3--Grotto Bay-Hamilton bus and 'hop-off' again at the BERMUDA AQUARIUM & ZOO--http://www.bamz.org/home.php --then 'hop-on' a #3, #10 or #11 bus back to downtown Hamilton...poke 'round downtown Hamilton...then 'hop-on' a BLUE--Hamilton Dockyard public ferry for a great 'boat ride (approx. 20 mins) out through Hamilton Harbour, across the Great Sound to DOCKYARD...where you began that morning...OR...' 'hop-on' a #7--Hamilton-Via South Shore Beaches-Dockyard public bus (up at the main BUS terminal) for a great ride out along Bermuda's magnificent south shore (past all the great beaches (Elbow Beach, Warwick Long Bay, Horseshoe Bay, etc), along the western shore and Great Sound with spectacular, '..take-your-breath-away..' views all along the route (approx. 60-65 mins) back to where you began that morning at DOCKYARD.

In the process you will have completed your own D-I-Y '..circumnavigation..' of tiny Bermuda '..by land 'n sea..'. No guide necessary.

BERMUDA--Handy Reference Map--(Orientation, lay-out, relative locations)

gotobermuda.com/uploadedFiles/GetHere/MapsAn…

BERMUDA BUS INFO--(Routes, schedules, Average-Running-Times, etc)

www.gov.bm/portal/server.pt…

BERMUDA FERRY INFO--(Routes, schedules, fares)--

http://www.seaexpress.bm/

New York City, New...
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5. Re: First Time in Bermuda

When on vacation to Bermuda check out the beautiful beaches like horseshoe bay, warwick long bay or elbow beach. As well as doing the helmet dive there are plenty of spots around the island where you can go swimming or snorkelling. There are also plenty of tourist sites you can go see like the Bermuda maritime museum

http://www.bmm.bm/

or the aquarium

http://www.bamz.org/home.php

On the subject of transportation, I love hiring scooters. I think they are great fun and a terrific way to get around. You can rent them from places like

Elbow Beach Cycles

http://www.elbowbeachcycles.com/

Eves Cycles.

http://www.evecycles.com/

smatts cycles livery

http://www.smattscyclelivery.com/

USA
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6. Re: First Time in Bermuda

**IF** you do decide to rent motor scooter (you can rent a '..double..' that will allow you to carry a pillion passenger up behind the driver) OLEANDER CYCLES-- http://www.oleandercycles.bm/ --has a rental shop location approx. 100 yards from the landward-end of your King's/Heritage Wharf cruise ship pier.

AFTER you've gone through the initial rental process, scooter operation instruction and brief 'check ride' at the rental shop and ***BEFORE*** you head out in a haze of blue smoke into traffic...take some time to ***PRACTICE*** riding around within the Dockyard complex. There is a large open parking area out near the main gate that should suit just fine for this. Ride 'round a bit, stopping, starting, turning, etc. FIRST as a 'single'..then do it all over again as a 'double' with a passenger up behind (the scooter will 'respond' differently with the extra weight of a passenger) the idea is to make sure that you know how the controls and features of the scooter operate...you should also get some sense of how the scooter 'responds'--starting, turning, braking, etc. and begin to get a '..feel..' for the equipment and riding. The whole process probably only takes 20-30 minutes but will go a long way toward making you fell more confident (NOT 'cocky') riding a motor scooter. AND...if you or anyone in your party does NOT feel comfortable on a motor scooter...simply ride back to the rental shop and RETURN you scooters. Bear in mind that motor scooters are ***NOT FOR EVERYONE*** and Bermuda's public transportation system--buses and ferries--are an excellent alternative mode of personal transport during your visit. USE YOUR OWN GOOD JUDGMENT !!

New Egypt, New...
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7. Re: First Time in Bermuda

Thank you for such great advice!

Do u know if we will have problems not having passports, we have all the other legal documents, the originals. Thanks

USA
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8. Re: First Time in Bermuda

NO....not for a '..closed loop..' Bermuda cruise. All that is required is a government issued photo-ID and a government 'certified' (either 'raised seal' or some other certification method) birth certificate. An UN-'certified' photo-copy is UN-acceptable.

But as you've no doubt been advised before...you should apply for a regular passport, when convenient. A proper passport makes international travel a whole helluva' lot more convenient. As example: (this is probably a long shot but...) say you had to leave your cruise and fly home for some sort of emergency. You'd be hassled at US Immigration at the airport upon arrival, due to your lack of a valid passport (NOT a hassle you'd welcome under the 'emergency' circumstances). US Immigration doesn't usually care all that much about your problems or your emergency. What they care about are proper US re-entry documentation.

9. Re: First Time in Bermuda

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