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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BERMUDA'S BEACHES--MAGNIFICENT! (Part 2)

Bermuda’s beaches are extraordinary.  They make for an ideal vacation.  The most famous is Horseshoe Bay.  Given enough time, we could travel from beach to beach; each one is more spectacular than the next.  I actually brought a list of beaches, some with trails leading from one to the other, some small with quiet, seldom-visited coves, some with incredible rock formations, and some with long curved stretches of beautiful sand and magnificently colored water. 

Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
This photo is NOT retouched.  These colors are REAL!  Gorgeous, isn't it?

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Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
Pretty Amazing!  I can lie on the beach and look out at this ALL DAY!

Unfortunately, we have time to visit just two: the famous Horseshoe Bay Beach, and Snorkel Park. 

Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
This is beautiful Horseshoe Bay.  No question why it is so popular with tourists.


We take the bus from King’s Wharf to Horseshoe Bay, and that gives us another opportunity to see more residential areas.  This is the most popular beach, and I have read reviews complaining of crowds.  Maybe in early June we are not fully into high season, and the beach is not crowded at all. 
Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
Even the beach umbrellas add a colorful gaity to the day.  This is too beautiful.

We rent beach chairs and an umbrella, but we do a lot of walking along this beautiful curved beach.  The water is LOVELY.  It’s calm with a gentle fine, sandy slope, and the sand is soft underfoot.  Little coves by the rock formations are beautiful.
Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
These are incredible rock formations

We also take the bus back to Kings Wharf from Horseshoe Bay—a slight waiting line, but everyone is happy and pleasantly tired from a day at the beach.  Just look at these photos of Horseshoe Bay.
Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
The water is clear and spectacular
Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
The rocks are high, but the setting is so serene, people were not afraid to climb.
Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
The colors just continue to WOW!

Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
Alas, it is time to leave this magnificent beach
On the day we are to sail, we stay in the Dockyards, stop at some of the shops and then head to Snorkel Park, only minutes from our ship.  We can't miss the sailing, and we don't want to worry about transportation or changing out of wet bathing suits.  Once again, I had read reviews complaining about crowds and costs at Snorkel Park, but the beach is not crowded and the entry fee is reasonable. I often wonder why people feel everything (when they have to be maintained) should be free. The rental costs for chairs and an umbrella are also reasonable.  The attendant carries the chaise lounges down for us.  We find a wonderful spot, uncrowded, and the water is calm and beautiful.  We have views out to sea, the beautiful fortress buildings, and here we were able to put on our snorkel gear and see some beautiful fish. 

Snorkel Beach Bermuda
This is Snorkel Beach, just a short walk from our ship.


Horseshoe Bay Bermuda
This is a lovely gently sloping beachfront wonderful for a family too.

We have a nice, leisurely lunch in Snorkel Park’s restaurant, get in some last minute water time, and then, regretfully, it is time to board our ship, just a few minutes' walk away.  Cannot think of a better way to end our Bermuda stay.
Snorkel Beach Bermuda
Here's a view of the restaurant and shaded seating areas and more of the beautiful waterfront.

This is another wonderful trip.  It is for our 40th wedding anniversary, and we love it. 

I recommend our ship, the Norwegian Gem, for people who have not done much cruising.  Overall, we felt it lacked the kind of special attention we’ve experienced on other cruises.  While the ship offered all the amenities one could ask for, we felt crowded at some venues and oftentimes, particularly at some of the mealtimes, a lack of coordination between the staff.  On the other hand, the overall entertainment was superb—perhaps the best consistency we’ve experienced.  We chose this ship because it left from NYC and stayed at Kings Wharf, and I was probably remiss in not checking further.  Nothing bad, I add, but somehow something was missing.  Nothing that in any way spoiled the event.

We are not sure we’ll return to Bermuda.  During its high season, we’re doing wonderful things here at home, gardening, golfing, swimming, etc.  I long for that beach during our winter, and unfortunately Bermuda is not in season then.  I say this with sadness because it is so special.

It was nice coming back into New York Harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty waiting to greet us.  It was wonderful getting through customs, getting our car, and being on the West Side Highway in less than half an hour.  HELLOOOOOOO New York.
Statue of Liberty
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