Bermuda trip report!

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Jun 22nd, 2009, 08:43 AM
  #1
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Bermuda trip report!

Hi everyone! We are back from our great week in Bermuda!

Day One Sunday, June 14th, we fly from Richmond to Charlotte and the onto Bermuda on USAir. Flight was choppy over to Bermuda. Thoughts of the Bermuda triangle go through my head... LOL
We arrive luggage and all and have no problems taxing to our hotel, the Fairmont Southampton Princess Hotel. The hotel sits majestically at the top of a hill. This is a nice large hotel and if you are bringing kids to Bermuda, this is the place to go. The rooms are a decent size and the closets are walk ins. Great for us since we had two adults and two teenage daughters. Lots of luggage for a week's stay. We stopped at the grocery store before the college (near the hotel) on the way. Since it was Sunday, you can't buy any alcohol. Which really wasn't too big of a deal for us. We brought some cereal and granola bars in our suitcases with us. We bought only the whole milk as recommended here. We bought yogurts and some snacks too. Prices are high, but much cheaper than hotel food. We planned to have breakfast in our rooms each morning and we did. (We had room service on our final day to eat something good since it was a travel day and all of our supplies were gone!)
We checked into a room on the second floor. The view was of the harbor looking straight out. If you looked down, it was a rooftop. Oh well. If you looked straight out, the view was nice. Our neighbors through the connecting door however were not fun. They had several screaming kids that screamed all the time. The parents also fought alot late at night. We changed rooms the next day. We were fortunate enough to get a room on the third floor without a connecting door. The room however had had a smoker in it before us and it had the smell. The closet especially smelled of a pipe smoker type smoke. Not the best, but it disappated after the first day. We again unpacked into our new room where we stayed the rest of the trip! Our view this time was of the ocean side, but we also had the a/c units buzzing below. I look at that as good white noise to sleep with.
The hotel can be noisy as it does have lots of families. Maybe everyone got our good rate? Our rate was 129 per night thanks to cmcfong's posting of the sale. With taxes and tips, it is more like 200 per night which is still a very good price for Bermuda. We paid 40 in tips per day automaticallly charged to the room and about 40 in taxes on the room. I think the Southampton tax was 32 per day.
Day One, We went to the beach which is located at the bottom of the hill. There is a trolley that constantly runs back and forth so it is not a big deal. It might be hard with little ones to have to shuffle back and forth, but it was fine for us. My one DD is training for cross country and ran up and down the hill several times a day. I walked it once and stopped at the bar on the way up and had a delicious strawberry daquari for my workout!
We ate our first night at the hotel's Ocean Club restaurant. I would recommend making reservations for the restaurants at the hotel. We made two prior to our trip and made two others while we were there. We had 7:30 dinner reservations. When they handed us a wine menu, my husband casually said that he was allergic to wine. Well, the chef came out and wanted to know what he wanted to eat because he could prepare anything on the menu differently. Most of his sauces had wine in them. I thought that was very nice. Probably unnecessary though. My DH developed welts all over him from drinking red wine several years ago. He went to the ER from a business dinner and the doc told him never to drink wine. I know he has had sauces that had wine cooked in them without problems so maybe just drinking it is bad? He also couldn't tolerate wine coolers. But anyway, it was nice of the chef to be so concerned. The food was very good. I had fish. It was like a filet of sole and was very tasty. My DH had the boulabbaise stew. (can't spell). That was also very good. My two DDs are landlubbers and had steaks which they liked.
Day 2, We head down to our beach again. There is a pool at the hotel which we say by once for about an hour. Since we are in Bermuda, we want to spend time at the beach. Next door to our private beach at the hotel, is a public beach called Horseshoe Bay. It is a large beach with lifeguards and was packed. Monday was a holiday in Bermuda and so it had many locals plus some cruise ship people on it. There are great coves and decent snorkeling at our beach and HSBay. It is easy to cut through to the HS Bay beach.
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Jun 22nd, 2009, 09:51 AM
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Our second night, we ate at Bacci. Bacci is the italian restaurant at the hotel. The food was good. Bacci overlooks the golf course.
Our third day, we had booked a bike tour on the Bermuda railway. It was through Fantasea. They take you out to 9beaches where you pick up bikes and then ride. It is an easy ride and get information on things you wouldn't have any clue about unless someone was there to tell you. We rode for a while and then came back and took a boat back to the dockyard.
We took the number 8 bus to the dockyard from the middle road side of the hotel. There is a trolley that takes you street side on that side of the hotel and you pick up the number 8 to the dockyard. The hotel will sell you the tokens. You must have exact change. The driver gave us a hard time saying we didn't have enough and the hotel had given us the tokens. After I thought about it, she probably didn't believe she was only 16. She is. 16 and under are half price. It was 4 dollars for an adult and 2 for each child 16 and under. It is a great way to travel and if you are friendly and say hi, people are friendly back.
We found that good manners go a long way. When getting back on the bus for the hotel, my one DD had on a swimsuit and tshirt with a towel wrapped around her. She did not want to put jean shorts on with a wet suit. The bus driver wouldn't let her on the bus without pants. She was embarrassed, but I had told her that...kids just don't listen...
We had lunch at the dockyard at the famous Frog and Onion Pub. It was a good sandwich place.
Wednesday: We went back to our beach and Horseshoe Bay beach. We caught the free ferry to Hamilton offered by the hotel. It is easy and a nice ride. We went to Bolero's for dinner. The food had a greek flavoring to it. We all enjoyed our meals. If you have kids, beware the spagetti is not like italian spagetti, more greek, but mine ate it and liked it. Harbor nights had people selling stuff in the street as well as people all salsa dancing. We walked around and talked to a local MLS soccer club called the Bermuda Hoggs. We were going to go to the game Friday night, but it was raining.
We took a taxi home.
Thursday, we head back to the beach where the weather was iffy all day. We had some sprinkles, but toughed it out under the hut.
Our favorite dinner was that night at the Waterlot restaurant. Excellent beef and service. The made the ceasar salad tableside, and strawberries flambee for dessert tableside. We could have eaten there twice. It was our most expensive meal, but once you are paying a lot for every meal, you realize, it is better to pay more and just eat well. Going cheap is not on the Bermuda scale.
Friday: It rained all day.... Our snorkel tour was canned because of rain and so we took a cab to the crystal caves. That was unique and different. We then took another cab to St. Georges to walk around. Not too much there. We went into the oldest church in the western hemisphere, shopped a little and had lunch at the Whitehorse Inn. We decided to take the bus back. Now, the bus ride is long going back because it picked up a million school kids and dropped them off every ten feet. Some of the kids were wild since they have one more week of school. It was mostly fun to watch the kids in their uniforms.
We had to change buses in Hamilton and were off to our hotel. We dined at Wickets on Friday. The food was good. It was funny though because the waiter came over and told us the dinner bill was being taken care of. I asked why and he told me not to worry about it. Then, he mentioned that I had complained. What? We never complained and the food was good. Well, the manager came over and told us to have a nice night that the dinner was being taken care of and I asked why? My husband is kicking me under the table saying shut up... LOL I knew though that when the real person complained again, that our nice waiter would get stuck paying our bill. So, we cleared it up and we paid and the people at the next table walked away with their bill taken care of. The waiter was very thankful that we paid. I do think since we were so honest, a free drink or dessert from the manager would have been nice, but oh well...
Saturday; The sun is back! Yeah! We get up and go to Church Bay to snorkel..
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Jun 22nd, 2009, 10:09 AM
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My DH got up earlier and was mad that we wanted to sleep. Hey I am like my teenagers and need the extra sleep! So, he goes off to what I think is Church Bay. Not! We took a cab over to church bay and there is no one there. Now, I know Bermuda is a safe island and I know not to be stupid and walk the roads late at night, but we were down in this cove at the bottom of a staircase with no other way out. Creepy. Three women alone. I said to the girls lets go. Then a family appeared and I felt better and so we stayed and snorkeled for an hour. We then walked back to our beach about a mile and a half. Not bad, but hot. We arrive back to find my DH at the hotel beach waiting for us. So, we told him we were not going back. That the same fish were here that were a mile away.
We had many lunches at the beach. The food hut did an okay job with the food. It was Saturday though and the beach was packed for the first time during our trip. They seemed to have a hard time dealing with the crowd and some people were not happy with that. We had no problems.
Our last night was at King Henry the VIIIs. We were 4 of 8 people that were non Bermudians at the show after the dinner. The food was okay. My DH had fish which he really liked. We ordered Prime rib which is the specialty of the house and it was okay. The show was fun. The show had a comedian, piano player/singer. He was a good singer and he knew how to work the crowd. Some were rather intoxicated and it helped him be funnier. He drank quite a few shots and amazingly was fine. I had only a couple of drinks (DH doesn't drink much because of all the heart meds he is on) and the kids don't drink. Although they both tasted and liked the rum swizzle...
The comedian walked the line a few times on dirty but does a pretty clean act. Since we were from Virginia, he sang the John Denver song leaving out the West part. It was fun. The kids liked it. We went back to the hotel and DD 2 who is 15 went to bed. We took DD 1 who is almost 17 down to the hotel disco. Now, I forgot to mention that DH and I went to the disco the night before at around 9pm. It wasn't too croweded and we danced to some BeeGees songs. The kids went up to bed. We stayed about an hour and all the lights were flashing in the disco. So, we took DD1 down there. Well she walked right in. I am assuming it was because she was with us and also she could probably pass for 18. Well the crowd was younger since it was about 1am. But not young enough for her. When 30 year old guys start oogling your DD, you know it is not the right place to be. So, we left 5 minutes after we got there.
Oh and I forgot to mention another restaurant we went to. On Tuesday, we had lunch at the Frog and Onion, but we had dinner at the Reefs. We ate at Roystons Grill restaurant. It was neat to see the Reefs after not being there in several years. They are undergoing a huge renovation and are adding fractional time shares. Not sure how that is going for them, but they gave us a tour of their new kitchen and restaurant areas. They are always so nice there.
Last day is Sunday and we ordered room service for the one and only time. The girls and I sleep in and eat while DH who is ADHD I swear is up early and back down to the beach.
We leave at 12 for the airport and got there way to early for our 3:40 flight back. Flight home was bouncy and I am usually pretty good, but it just unnerved me. We made it safely home. I swear if I could live in Bermuda for a year, I would do it. The island is very beautiful and friendly. I would say know ahead of time that every meal is expensive. Show good manners and most Bermudians will respond with a very friendly attitude.
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Jun 22nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
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Thanks so much GOTG!!!
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Jun 22nd, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Welcome home, Girlonthego! I loved being in Bermuda with you vicariously. Thanks for a great report.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:23 AM
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Thanks for the report!
Im so excited for our trip in July!

Can you list your top 5 favorite things about Bermuda?
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 11:36 AM
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Hard to narrow down. I love the island's beauty. It seems that everyone there has a nice life. The houses are all painted bright colors and the flowers are beautiful. The water is light blue/green and the sand is pink. Snorkeling is good. Food is good. Public transport is safe and cheap. People have manners and expect manners in return.

My husband likes to try new places and Bermuda is the one he always likes to return to.
You will have a great time I am sure! The Waterlot was our favorite restaurant. It is at the Southampton Fairmont.
Favorite beach was Horseshoe Bay (when the cruise ships were NOT in port!) Who wants to go to the beach to sit towel to towel with 500 NYers. LOL
Favorite night entertainment was the comedian at King Henry the VIIIs. Dave Bootle. He was pretty funny.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for your great review! I'm printing it to take with us on our trip tomorrow. We're also flying from Richmond and staying at the Fairmont Southampton!
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Wow! Fellow Richmonders! Have a great trip!
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 02:04 PM
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Girlonthego, did you book your bike tour on the Bermuda railway before you left or after you got there? Also, which of the hotel restaurants would you recommend for a 30th anniversary dinner? (I'm not a seafood fan but hubby is....) Thanks!
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 02:22 PM
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glad you had a nice time GOTG! Enjoyed your report!
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Yes. I booked the bike tour through fantasea. I confirmed the day and time online and called them with my credit card number. They were very nice and easy to work with. You can emamil your credit card.
http://www.fantasea.bm/Eco%20Tours_.htm This is the direct link to the bike,beach and boat tour page.
We also wanted to do the reef snorkel with them, but were rained out. The truth is you can really snorkel directly off the beaches.
Our favorite restaurant was the Waterlot. It is first class. They greet you at the door. The server prepared the cesear salad tableside and the dessert tableside. I thought it was our best meal and the nicest restaurant. It is more of a steak restaurant, but served fish as well.
The Ocean Club was a good fish restaurant, but you can get steak if you would prefer. I am not a fish person, but did try fish there and liked it. My fish needs to not taste like or smell like fish!
My first choice would be the Waterlot for a special meal. I would have booked it twice if we had the time. It says Jacket and long pants required. I saw one man without a jacket. It is nice to dress up and I think when it says jacket required, it should be required to keep it nice.
All of the restaurants at the hotel were very good.If you are there long enough, try them all. The Newport Room is closed for now. We made reservations for the Ocean Club for our first night before we left and a reservation for the Waterlot for several days later. We made reservations for Bacci the morning of the day we wanted to go. Wickets, we just walked in. (Wickets is the most casual). All of the other restaurants were dockers type shorts and collared shirt for men. I wore mostly nice capris and tops. My DH wore the jacket once and that was for the Waterlot. He would have worn it twice just to eat at the waterlot again! He hates wearing jackets on vacation, but likes good food more!
Enjoy!!
What part of Richmond are you from? We are from Midlothian.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 02:51 PM
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Thanks for the great info! This is my fourth trip to Bermuda - although the last was our honeymoon 30 years ago! I was taking all sundresses for dinners, but maybe I'll rethink that...People used to dress more for dinner there. We actually live in New Kent, just east of Richmond - but I'm in Richmond so much that I may as well live there! Your restaurant suggestions are very helpful. We'll also try the bike thing - I don't remember that being there the last time I was there. Thanks so much!
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 05:50 PM
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Sundresses work for dinners. My teenage daughters wore dresses alot. Dresses are in now. I am just more of a pants girl My parents are in Williamsburg so I pass by New Kent often! Have fun and enjoy!! Happy anniversary!
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