In keeping with our theme of doing as little as possible while on vacation, we made very few plans for our time in Bermuda. With that general idea in mind, we decided to sleep in on Wednesday morning (enjoying vacation to the fullest), and just head out whenever we made it out of bed.
We ended up getting out of bed around 9:00, which was late enough to feel like a lazy vacation morning, but still early enough to feel like we could get in a full day in Bermuda. We grabbed a quick breakfast in the buffet and made it off the ship by about 10:00.
Our initial plan was to head to Horseshoe Bay on our last day in Bermuda, but we ended up changing that plan due to the forecast we saw before we left which called for storms that day. The forecast for Wednesday, on the other hand, looked beautiful, so we made a spur-of-the-moment change and headed out to the beach. This turned out to be a smart move because Friday did turn out to be very stormy. More evidence that it pays to keep some flexibility built in to your plans, where possible.
We took the shared mini bus to Horseshoe Bay for $7 per person. The bus leaves from Transportation Zone 5, and it’s very well-marked as you’re leaving the ship. We waited for less than five minutes and we were off. The ride was only about twenty minutes, and the mini bus dropped us off right at the entrance to the beach. If Horseshoe Bay is on your Bermuda agenda, this mode of transit could not be any more convenient.
Because we’re not exactly beach people (I refer you to my previous post about not being a fan of the sun), we decided not to pay the $40 to rent chairs and an umbrella. Instead, we dropped our beach bag off in a shady spot under a ledge of rocks and went straight in the water.
The beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was clear and quite calm (though there were signs up warning of dangerous rip currents). We spent a very enjoyable time just bobbing and floating around in the warm clear water.
When we made our way out of the water, we found that our bag was probably only minutes away from being washed out to sea. The high tide definitely comes up to our shaded rocky overhang, but we luckily got out of the water just in time to save our stuff.
Having had our fill of the beach, we grabbed the same mini bus back to the Dockyard. We went back to our cabin to shower and change, and then we made our way back out to explore the town of Hamilton.
Our timing was impeccable (and completely accidental), and we managed to get to the ferry dock right on time to grab the 2:15 ferry to Hamilton. We stopped in the visitor information center right across from the ferry dock and purchased our ferry tokens. The ferry trip was quick and comfortable, and we were soon exploring the town.
We spent some time walking along Front Street and popping in to various shops. Our first stop was at the bustling Gosling’s store, where they had quite the selection of rum, and a very large selection of wine. Before leaving, I’d read a post on Cruise Critic about things to purchase while in Bermuda, and one thing that was mentioned was Bermuda Gold Liqueur. We saw some for sale at the Gosling’s store, but we weren’t sure what it tasted like, so we decided to try to find that out before committing to bring some home. We ended up stopping in another wine and spirits shop further up Front Street, and while they did not sell Bermuda Gold, the proprietor did fill us in on what it’s like. It sounded like a citrusy treat that would go well in fruity, tropical concoctions, so we decided to swing back by the Gosling’s store to pick some up on our way back to the ferry.
By now, we were definitely ready to find some food. Our first stop on our Bermuda culinary tour was at the Hog Penny Pub. Naturally, we tried the Bermuda signature cocktail, the Rum Swizzle. As you might expect, it was fruity, rum-y, and refreshing. I also tried a local beer, which was quite delicious, though I forget the name.
The real revelation for me, though, was the Bermuda Fish Chowder. It’s a delicious, flavorful soup, served with a splash of dark rum and sherry peppers. Blew. My. Mind! I became obsessed with this chowder, and I tried it at two other restaurants in an attempt to find the best. We also tried wahoo nuggets, which were similarly fantastic, though not quite the revelation of the chowder.
We wanted to do our own mini “food tour” of Hamilton, so we didn’t order a lot at Hog Penny. Our next stop for food was at a small, somewhat hidden restaurant called Lost in the Triangle. Located on the second floor above a shop, this place is hard to find but worth the effort. The vibe in this restaurant seemed very authentic, as we were the only tourists in the place.
Now on a mission to try as much chowder as possible, we ordered this restaurant’s offering. We both agreed the chowder here was even better than the one at Hog Penny (the Rum Swizzle was better here, as well). We also tried something called Shark Hash, which was basically slightly spicy, finely shredded shark. The hash was a bit dry, but dropping some of the shark inside the chowder took both dishes to a whole new level. We also split a fish cake—basically a lightly-spiced mixture of potatoes and flakey fish mixed together and fried. This was Kathleen’s favorite dish we ate in Bermuda.
Finally full, we made a quick stop at the Gosling’s store to buy our Bermuda Gold, and then we hopped on the 6:00 ferry back to the Dockyard. Before heading back on the ship, we took a brief walk around a couple of the shops at the Dockyard. We looked at some hand-blown glass items, but we didn’t see anything that particularly grabbed us. We also sampled some rum cakes, which Kathleen quite enjoyed, but we ended up not buying any to take home as the flavors we wanted were only sold in the very large size.
Because we ended up getting hot and sweaty all over again, we yet again hit the shower to freshen up before checking out the ship’s nighttime activities. Our first stop was at Cellars for a relaxing glass of wine, this time with some delicious cheese. One nice thing about Cellars is you can order food from Pinchos which they will bring over to you to enjoy alongside your wine. Because we were stuffed full of chowder, we resisted ordering every tapa on the menu and opted to just try some Manchego cheese, which was excellent.
Seeking some entertainment, we made our way over to the District for some beers and piano music. Piano Manny was livelier in the evening, and we spent a very enjoyable couple hours listening to him and drinking a fantastic concoction called a Retribution. This is a very refreshing drink, much like a German Radler. It’s made with beer, St. Germane liqueur, Aperol, and lime. It is absolutely delicious and perfect after a hot day in Bermuda.
Like at Cellars, you can order snacks at the District, though their snacks are supplied by the nearby Food Republic. Because we weren’t hungry for an actual dinner following our Bermudan feast, we decided to share a couple small plates while enjoying the music of Piano Manny. We tried the shrimp with spicy Thai chili sauce (think bang-bang shrimp), but the thing that stole the show for me was the chorizo Scotch egg!!! Possibly my favorite food item on the ship, these deep fried, spicy egg treats were just amazing. I long for them even now.
When Piano Manny finished up at 10:30, we made our way over to Tobacco Road and listened to Orly shred on the guitar until after midnight, all the while enjoying delicious Getaways.
We finally made it back to our cabin, energized after a full, fun, and delicious day. We were headed to St. George the following morning. This actually required us to be up at an early hour in order to get on the first ferry, so rather than party the night away, we acted responsibly and called it a night.
Up next in cruise day 5: a seriously hot day in St. George.