Ah…Bermuda!! Doc’s absolute favorite tropical getaway. However, paradise does have a dark side. Prices in Bermuda are so staggeringly high that one might wonder how it is they are supposed to eat or, for that matter, sleep, when they get there. But there is a way to get around all the expenses and still have the time of your life. And, as usual, Doc is going to share that with you, in a step by step guide.
For your first step you will want to book a cruise to Bermuda. Cruise ships are the perfect way to beat the budget blues. For around $1,000 per person, per week you get your transportation, your food and your accommodations. For a comparison I went to www.priceline.com where they had two choices for airfare/hotel packages. One is $857 per person while the other is $1,473 per person. Unlike a cruise ship this doesn’t include your food which will run high in Bermuda. So, even if you book with the $857 package, your cost at week’s end will be well over $1,000 with food and gratuity. Another plus for cruise ships is that you have entertainment included as well as advice on where to go and what to see on the island. Something most hotels don’t offer for free. Another cruise ship perk is that you are not limited in what you eat. If you are super hungry and want 10 dinners then you can have 10 dinners at no extra cost out of pocket. Still not convinced that cruising is for you? Well, consider this……most cruise ships also offer discounted touring packages. I was able to partake of an amazing glass bottom boat tour and an equally amazing snorkeling tour of the island at a huge discount offered up by Norwegian Cruise Lines. And speaking of Norwegian Cruise Lines, make sure you always choose a smaller cruise ship on which to vacation. Smaller cruise ships can easily navigate smaller ports without having to shuttle their guests. Shuttling can leave you standing in line for hours instead of getting out there and enjoying the island.
Now that you have all of your entertainment, transportation, food and accommodations sewn up it is time to hit the island in high style but with little money. As I mentioned before, some boats offer huge discounts on tour packages. Just ask at the desk before you get to the island so you are sure that you are booked before everyone else is. Now that your tours are booked it is time to pack up your beach towel and toys for a trip to a local beach. Horseshoe Bay is one of my personnel favorites. Most of the beaches do require a small entrance fee but it is well worth the price. Some cruise ships offer a brown bagged lunch option so check into that so you could make a fun and romantic day at the beach. Not too much of a beach bum or a boat fanatic? Well, Bermuda has so much more to offer then just beaches and boats. Go to http://www.bermuda4u.com/Attractions/bermuda_attractions_overview.html , http://bermuda.com/
or http://www.bermuda4u.com/ to get all the local events that usually only the locals know about. There are forts to explore, museums to see, zoos to wander through and caves to get lost in. All of which are budget friendly as well as family friendly.
Want cheap or free souvenirs? Participate in the free on the boat games for fun prizes. I won so many bottles of Champaign on my trip to Bermuda I could hardly carry it all home. Trouble was I was 18 which is the legal drinking age in Bermuda but not in America. So I had a friend get it home for me then gave it out as souvenirs to my friends and family back home. Another inexpensive souvenir would be anything in the fine China realm. Since Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory, fine China comes very cheap here. Another inexpensive find would be perfumes as these are produced right here on the island. One special brand to look for would be Royal Lime. This special cologne for men, produced right in Bermuda, has an amazing smell to it that is beyond words. It is quite literally intoxicating. And, while we are on the subject of spending money, dollar for dollar Bermudian money is the same as American money. So, if something costs $1 then you pay $1. No figuring out pounds and pence and the such. And, if all you have is American money, they will take it, no questions asked.
A few final words of advice when visiting Bermuda. Never but never drink the water. Bermudian water comes off of the roof during the rainy season and flows into cisterns under the houses. Not very clean and not very safe for those whose systems are not used to the water. Go for bottled water instead or drink some of those amazing drinks that they serve onboard the ship. If you stop into a bar and see bangers for sale don’t panic, you haven’t accidentally walked into a strip club. Bangers are a type of sausage that are often served with a pint which is known in America as beer. Don’t even think of camping out in Bermuda. Camping is strictly forbidden and will lead to your arrest. Speaking of being arrested, the cops are referred to as Bobbies and not cops or police officers. Just try not to laugh at them. They wear Bermuda shorts on the bottom, a police shirt on top and an English policeman’s hat on their head. It looks as if someone dressed these Bobbies while still asleep. Another very important tidbit would be to look out for the local drivers and the tourist drivers. They are all mad! Their driving makes Massachusetts drivers look like angels!! Tourists are running around trying to figure out which side to drive on while the locals are politely smashing into everything in sight. When I say politely I mean politely!! They hit someone or something and then say, “Pardon. My fault. My fault. Cheery oh! Have a nice day!!” No joke, everyone is extremely polite in Bermuda. As a matter of fact, the crime rate in Bermuda is almost non-existent but you have to wonder about the very few thieves hanging around. Do they mug you and then say, “Thank you so much. Cheery oh!! Have a nice day!!”? I just hope none of us ever finds that out. Lastly, visit Bermuda at the very end of May or the beginning of June. During this time the frogs are out, chirping to their hearts content, and the flowers are in full bloom. I cannot think of anything more romantic then Bermuda in May or June.