BERMUDA OPINIONS

Feb 28th, 2013, 09:41 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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BERMUDA OPINIONS

Anyone who has been to Bermuda, would like your input on this Island.
I have seen pics on Web and I really like the seclusion the cliffs and coves provide to
some of the beaches. Jobsons Cove in particular.
Looks like there are alot of nice beaches shown on site called Bermuda's Best Beaches.

Do most beaches have secluded feel, are they located away from buildings ?
How is marine life for snorkeling ?
And, what is good time to go for excellent summer weather ?
Even tho it is above Carribean chain, how does it compare to other Isands in Carribean ?

What are your opinions on the beauty of Bermuda's beaches and its overall feel as an Island. I really like that it's so close to USA and not much travel time from East coast,
I have bad back, hard to sit for long periods.

Thanks in advance for all opinions and any other important info u can provide.
This is great site, nice that u can get info from experienced travelers.
POPESTER is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 09:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hello,
We have been to Bermuda several times and got married there. Most beaches are away from buildings, it's not the super developed feel you get elsewhere. Horseshoe bay beach is voted one of the top 5 beaches in the world, it has an area to the side for kids . It gets very busy however with toursits from cruiseships. Most of the beaches on the south shore are fantastic. The north shore is rocky but you can find small very secluded areas.

Marine life is good for snorkelling and there are a few shipwrecks. We went on a tour with
http://www.snorkelbermuda.com/home.html
and highly recommend it. I would say that June is the best time to visit. Early to mid June. July and August are too hot, August on is hurricane season and the winter is cold. I haven't been to many carribean islands (only Cuba and Barbados) I would say that Bermuda is a LOT less developed and way more scenic with better beaches. Because it's a long narrow island, you can always see turquoise waters no matter where you are on the island. My husband and I usually rent scooters (you can't rent cars as tourists) and zip around the island. I think it's the perfect get away, we are from Toronto and it's a short flight for us too.
Do you know where you will be staying?
travellerwannabe is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 10:31 AM
  #3  
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Thx for the great info !!
No, not decided yet on site to stay, still in planning stages.
Any recommendations on places that are nice but not too expensive ?

Was planning on renting scooter also, sounds like fun !
Are they safe ? How is traffic ? And can you get around
Island on scooter in good time all the way up Tobacco Bay ?

Thx again, really appreciate info !!!
POPESTER is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 10:34 AM
  #4  
 
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I've only been once, and didn't explore tons of beaches. The one or 2 that I went to were quite nice, and they did feel secluded from the buildings. Our resort beach was very nice, but small (we stayed at Pompano Beach Club).

I thought there was less marine life than in some of the Caribean islands I've been too. But I only snorkeled off shore, and didn't take a tour.

We went in early June, and the water was lovely, but it was still pretty rough in deeper areas, so the snorkel tours out to the pirate ships weren't running. I think a tiny bit later would have been perfect. I would go for 4th of July if I could. But maybe travellerwannabe knows better, she has been more often than me. it could be we were there when June just happened to be a bit rough. The weather was certainly perfect.
china_cat is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 01:08 PM
  #5  
 
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We've been twice to Bermuda, first time many years ago and again last June. I love Bermuda, it is so pretty, with lots of small beaches with rocky coves, pink sand and stunning water. The beach at Pompano Beach Club is small but stunning. We had lunch there couple times as it was close to our rental.

We booked accomodation thru http://www.bermudarentals.com/, which is private rentals of villas or apartments. It is a less expensive way of staying on the island. Our rental was on the west side of the island, very near West Whale Beach which alot of the time we had to ourselves. Jobsons Cove is very famous so it had alot of people around it, but there are many other beaches to go to.

We went scuba diving not snorkelling, so cannot comment on that, except that during our first visit we snorkelled at Tobacco Bay. There is also a snorkel park at the Dockyards.

Bermuda is nothing like any Caribbean islands, it doesn't have the same vibe at all. We were very lucky with the weather since the weeks prior were very rainy. We rented a scooter which gave us freedom to go the supermarkets and beaches which were not on the bus routes. I can thoroughly recommend Bermuda and cannot imagine anyone not liking it.
Odin is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 03:57 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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china_cat makes a good pt about the water... might want to contact the snorkelling companies and ask when they start running their tours. I agree that maybe End of June might be better. We got married at the end of June and go back every August for a Salsa (the dance not the food) event. August is very hot, the sun is brutal, you WILL burn (that applies in June also). As for nice but reasonably priced, don't think such a thing exists in Bermuda. It's very pricey as it's small and many of the accommodations are outdated. We usually stay at the Fairmont Hamilton or South Hampton mainly because we get group rates as part of the Salsa event that are 1/2 the regular price or less. If you're on a tight budget, you might want to try guest houses and B&Bs, I'm sure you can find them listed on trip advisor. If you go at the end of June, there's a Yacht race that takes place every second year and the whole island gets booked up very early.

You can totally zip through the whole island in 3 hours or so. You can just take your snorkels and stop wherever. If you have no experience with scooters/motorcycles it might be tough, it depends on your skills. Tourists often get hurt. Having said that, we wouldn't have it any other way.. having said that, we had a baby last year so our scootering days are over for now. Driving is on the left, traffic is not bad at all, locals take it really easy on tourists. The speed limit is 30 km/hr but most people go close to 50.
travellerwannabe is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 03:58 PM
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I would recommend Warwick or Southhampton parishes to be central, if you stay in Hamilton you get more food options though but no direct access to the beach
travellerwannabe is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 09:07 AM
  #8  
 
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I’ve gone to the Bermuda the last two years in a row. It is my favorite island thus far. Even though it is not in the Caribbean and is reserved and very British, it definitely does have a Caribbean flair. Some of the beaches have a secluded feel and some don’t. Horseshoe Bay and Elbow beach are beautiful beaches, but are quite large and popular so you won’t have a secluded feel. Jobson’s Cove, Warwick Long Bay, Stonehole Bay, among others you will. My favorite beach on the island is Tobacco Bay. The snorkeling is also quite good at Tobacco Bay.

I suggest staying near the south shore beaches or in St. George’s. We prefer staying in St. George’s, but the south shore beaches are quite popular so many people like staying near them.

Here are some pictures from my last trip.

http://writeanothertravelingsong.blo...o-bermuda.html
dontcallmecass is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 09:11 AM
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Also, I think the best month to visit is July. We have been there June, July, and August. August was too hot and June (early) was actually not as warm as we would have liked. Our driver also told us that summer does not officially start there until the end of June so there are less excursions and activities going on in June also.
dontcallmecass is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 03:21 PM
  #10  
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Thanks wannabe,china cat, odin and cass.

Good points on calling to find out bout tour times.
Seems like everyone really likes Bermuda ! Haven't heard
any real negatives.

T-wannabe, for Salsa in August,do you have to be part of a group to get group rates ? (what is normal rate versus half price for night's stay ?)

Also, T-wannabe, I was thinking along lines you mentioned bout
stay at Central location. If centrally located, bout how long would it take to go to north to St. Georges and how long to Southern beaches ?

Odin, tho Bermuda is British and as you say has different vibe, how would u rate it scenic wise, beach and beautiful waters compared to other Carribean Islands, you have been too.
What other Carrib. Islands have you been at ?
Also, thx for link to bermuda rentals.

D-Cass, glad to hear you say Bermuda is your favorite even tho you have been to other Carribean Islands. What other C-Islands have you been too ?
And also thx much for actual pics and saying pics don't do it justice. I have been lookin on-line alot at Bermuda and getting more excited but then thinking I might be building it up more than what it actually is, so I was glad to hear you say it's even better in person !!

Finally, thx again to everyone for all comments, this is really helpful in learning about Bermuda and in planning a trip. Nothing like getting actual firsthand info from people who have been there.
POPESTER is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2013, 04:13 AM
  #11  
 
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Hello again,
You need to be attending the salsa event to be part of the group. Last year's rates at the Fairmont Hamilton were about $179 (plus tax and other fees) vs. the regular which would have been $350 + taxes. Keep in mind that taxes and other fees in Bermuda are also high so the $179 will get up to $250 after all taxes.

If you stay in Hamilton I would say it would take 20-30 mins to get to St. Georges.. from the southhampton parish i'm going to say over 40 mins... but I don't remember exactly.. rough numbers
travellerwannabe is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2013, 07:43 AM
  #12  
 
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I've been to:
PR, Antigua, Anguilla, St Martin, St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, St Barts, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bahamas (not in the Caribbean), Tobago, Cuba.There might be couple more I forgot about.
Personally I don't think Bermuda has a British feel either, maybe from the American point of view it might be British, but from the British point of view it feels American. It's to be expected when a tiny island is so close to the US. The most British thing is the name of the places eg Southampton (note spelling), Warwick (pronounced Warrick) Hamilton etc. I would not call it reserved either (unless in a very posh restaurant or hotel) but would call it low key. Everyone sees the islands differently but we all agree that photos do not do it justice and there are no negatives I can think of. There is good snorkelling at Church Bay. Tobacco Bay is also good for children or if you are not experienced at snorkelling.

To answer your question, I think in some respects it is better than alot of Caribbean islands, there are so many gorgeous beaches, the water is simply stunning and you don't have to pay $$$ to stay in a hotel if you don't want to.
Odin is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:53 PM
  #13  
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Thx again travelerwannabe and Odin. Glad to hear Bermuda rates so well. Odin, your definitlely an exerienced Island traveler, thats for sure.

Did want to ask each of you, when I travelled long time ago to Thailand, Hong Kong and Hawaii, remember they had safes in your room or at desk for valueables.

Do each of you use travellers checks when you go ?
Do they have safes in rooms or at desk?

And, if you go to beach alone to swim how did you safeguard your identification cards and or money ? Do some beaches have beachclubs you can safeguard valueables at ?

Thx again.
POPESTER is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 12:19 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Welcome to Fodors, Popester.

I lived in Bermuda for 5 years. You are going to find the same high-quality hotel experiences as anywhere else, well-equipped rooms including safes, if you choose to stay in a hotel. There are plenty of less-expensive options, including apartment rentals.

It sounds like you are coming from the States? The US dollar is accepted everywhere on the island, and the major bank branches in Hamilton have ATMs that dispense US dollars. You might not always get US$ back as change, however. No need for traveller's checks, and the last time we hosted our in-laws, they found traveller's checks very hard to use.

Although Bermuda is relatively safe, petty theft is not uncommon. The beaches are, for the most part, untended, and you will be responsible for your own belongings. If you don't have anyone to stay with your stuff while you're snorkeling, take the bare minimum and bring along a small waterproof case to wear with your room key, $ and little essentials. Remember if you're using the buses, you will not be allowed on in wet clothing.

I would caution you against scooter rental - especially if you're not already very comfortable on one. Driving is on the left, there are NO shoulders on the roads to allow for mistakes, and a small accident can really put a damper on the rest of your trip. Public transportation is cheap, safe and readily available.

Hope that helps.
txgirlinbda is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 12:45 AM
  #15  
 
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I never use travellers cheques, the rental we stayed in did not have a safe. We took a little cash with us when going out and left valuables in the rental. We rented a scooter which had a lockable compartment but never ever left anything in them. Some beaches have warnings reminding people to not leave anything in the scooter. We have a small waterproof case we can put keys in etc. We didn't carry ID with us.

Most scooter accidents are at junctions, so take great care. The buses do not always go to the destinations you want, so a scooter is a great way of getting around. The roads are in good condition but if it rains, then a scooter is rather dangerous.
Odin is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 01:43 PM
  #16  
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Ok, thanks txgirlinbda and Odin on money advice, been awhile since I traveled.
Will definitley get waterproof case.

Have ridden off-road dirtbikes so scooter is no problem, but....it's the other guy u have to watch out for, will be careful, thx for tips on intersections, wet roads.
Like the flexibility scooter provides on going where u want plus enjoyment of riding them, but some cases will use public transportation.

txgirlinbda, what took you to Bermuda, what prompted you to leave, is it expensive to live there ? Did you enjoy living there ?
POPESTER is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 03:42 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I think there's a limitation where people can only work there for 5 years or so (who aren't Bermudians). Never used traveller's cheques either, we mostly used c.cards, if you lose them, you call and cancel. We carried little cash also.
travellerwannabe is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Loved it there - at the time, we were limited to a specific amount of time on our work permits. I think there are some changes taking place that will allow 'guest workers' to remain longer. Cost of living is high, I would guess probably comparable to NYC? But you don't get those views in the city!!
txgirlinbda is offline  
Mar 5th, 2013, 06:01 AM
  #19  
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Hey txgirlinbda,
Forgot to thank you for welcoming me to Fodor's, that was nice of you !

How can u tell I'm a newbee ?
Do they mark me somehow ?
Or was it my initial comment about this being a great site.

Popester
POPESTER is offline  
Mar 5th, 2013, 06:06 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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- didn't recognize your screen name, if you click on it, you can see that it's your first post. Just a little something sunny for your day!
txgirlinbda is offline  

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