We just returned from a 7-day cruise from Boston to Bermuda (lol, and back again) on NCL's Dawn.
Cruisers: Me and my husband, his mom, my mom, and his brother. What a crew!
Cabins: Front-facing penthouse & Front & side-facing owner's suite. Would I get these cabins again? No. It was way, way too windy to enjoy the large front decks. (I told my husband so...)
Our general cruise enjoyment? Ok. Although this is our third cruise in 1.5 years, we mainly do it for the ease of traveling with the moms. (His mom travels any distance by wheelchair.) It really isn't our preferred way to vacation, but it's a nice way to spend time with family.
What would have made it better? Lol, less wind! The front of the boat was really windy. The seas were pretty rough to and from Bermuda this time of year too.
But enough of that -- on to the beaches!
We disembarked a little before 11:30 on Sunday morning and bought tokens for the ferry to Hamilton. Stood in line for a few minutes and learned that it wasn't running at 11:30. We'd have to wait until 12:30. Bah. The four of us decided to take a cab to Horseshoe Bay. It cost around $32 from the Dockyard.
Horseshoe Bay was truly beautiful. There is a small changing, showering, and bathroom facility at the entrance and a burger shack. The ocean was warm enough for swimming. We played in the strong waves for quite a while. After swimming and eating and having a drink or two (they sell beer and wine for beach consumption), we walked from Horseshoe Bay down to (what I'm pretty sure was) Warwick Long Bay Beach. Wow! What beautiful views and small beaches. Highly recommended! We left the beach area and walked along the road to grab a taxi driving by. He seemed happy enough to get our business. The cost was around $27 back to the Dockyard. Note: On our walk down the beaches we saw two small jellyfish washed up on shore.
On Monday, since the ship was going to move off the dock and start tendering people, three of us got up early and got off the ship before 7:00. We used our ferry tokens to catch a 7:30 ferry to Hamilton. A woman commuting to work informed us that there was a good coffee shop right off the pier (Dangelina's). We stopped in and got coffee and some yummy breakfast sandwiches. From there, we caught a taxi to the Crystal Caves. We arrived right at 9:00 when they opened. They asked us to wait a while, as they weren't ready to open. Ok. We enjoyed the second part of our breakfast at their coffee shop and chatted with the employees coming in for their morning coffee. Finally a half-hour or so later the guide was ready to take the three of us down into the Crystal Cave. (They usually only have large tour groups.) It was ok. My mom, who has enjoyed some serious caves in her life, was less impressed. All in all it was an ok morning excursion, but not worth losing any beach time over.
We walked from the Caves to the Swizzler bar. Of course it wasn't open! But they did call a cab for us to St. George's. ($11).
Once in St. George's we trekked the mile or so to Tobacco Bay Beach. Wow! I really liked this beach. (My husband preferred Horseshoe for the fun waves and expansive views.) I like Tobacco for the calm, shallow water and wind-free sunning. If it's windy and you want wind-free, try this beach. There was a small bar and bathroom facility, but no showers. There was a hose nearby for rinsing off. Tip: Bring some goggles and watch the fish near the rocks. The current gets stronger there.
After a few hours of easy floating and sunning, we hosed off, changed, and walked back to town. We had a very good lunch at Wahoos and then walked over to the ferry. There were a LOT of people waiting for the 3:30 ferry and I'm surprised we all fit on the boat.
Our final day in Bermuda was rainy and chilly. We tendered off the boat and walked around the dockyard for a couple of hours and got a beer at a bar while mom shopped. The lines for tendering were never as bad as we imagined they'd be.
A word about transportation: I'm glad we took as many taxis as we did. We talked to a lot of people who purchased the day passes and spent a lot of time waiting for ferries and buses, and then felt they had invested too much to get a cab. Everyone's budget is different, but I felt it was justified considering the limited amount of time we had.
Back on the ship we saw a couple in their 40s being pushed in wheelchairs. They had a scooter accident. The woman was miserable and strongly cautioned everyone from renting a scooter. (Her husband remained silent by her side.)
Food: The food on the ship was generally really good. My mom is a Type 1 diabetic and avoids sugar and grains. There was always plenty of fish, vegetables, and fruit to enjoy.
We ate at Cagney's for dinner once (really good and worth the cover charge), La Cucina twice (pretty good, but too much pasta for me!), Le Bistro (everyone's dish was *excellent* -- my favorite!), and Moderno once (meh).
I hope this is helpful!
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