Pastel houses and Bermuda
Trip Start Apr 10, 2009
10Trip End Apr 26, 2009
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Where I stayed
Grand Princess Caribe Deck
We switched from second dining (dinner at 8:15 PM), to the anytime dining plan...which gives us the choice to show up at the main dining room anywhere from 5:30 to 10:00 PM. We eat when we want and with whom we choose. We like having a choice. It was also our first formal night for dinner. We showed up all decked out in our Sunday best. Bryan wore his black kilt, blue shirt and black suit jacket. He looked very handsome!! I wore my little black dress and black sandals. We actually saw two more men wearing a black kilt...friends traveling together from Indianapolis. Bryan made fast friends with them. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me to get a picture.
We asked to share a table with others for dinner, so were seated at a table for 10. We had a lively bunch. A couple from Kansas...married 40 years...who I swear looked much too young to be together that long...two girlfriends from Texas...full of the devil but a lot of fun...a retired New York Rabbi and his lovely wife now living in Florida, and a brother and sister from Florida. We laughed and carried on. Before we knew it, most of the dining room was empty, and a few hours had gone by. We decided to take in the late show at 10:30 PM. On the way to the Princess Theater...an Italian singer named Maurizio entertained crowds waiting for the main show. He played the piano and sang songs. He had everyone singing along to hits from Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, to Barry White. He even did an Andrea Boccelli song...and a very good job of it too. Then to the main show, a salute to the silver screen. The singers and dancers were extremely talented...and the show was fantastic!! It was a late night...but off to bed we went, as we would be docking in Bermuda early in the morning.
We made it through the Bermuda triangle. I was a bit worried about it, but here we are We woke up this morning in the port of Hamilton, Bermuda, Grand Princess' home port. She flies the British flag. We had breakfast again this morning with our new friends from Albuquerque. The ship isn't quite full, around 1600 of us aboard, so we are getting to know a lot of nice people.
I was expecting warmer weather today, but it was only in the high 60s, and very sunny. For us hearty New Englanders, it was like a heat wave. Bryan and I dressed for late spring weather...shorts and short-sleeve shirts. Everyone else had on jeans, shirts and spring jackets. We disembarked the ship. There was a brisk breeze, but it felt good and not cold in the least. The first thing you notice here is the blue...blue ocean...and the pastel houses. We were in the Royal Naval Dockyard, the westernmost point in Bermuda. There was an old fortress...and the clocktower building.
We were forewarned that the bus drivers in Bermuda may be on strike, so Princess arranged for ferry service to Hamilton. Thankfully, the bus strike didn't happen. We did take the ferry to Hamilton, about a 30 minute ride. Hamilton had a big city feel, but very laid back. The cars here are very small. The main mode of transportation is mopeds. They zip in and out of traffic, wearing their helmets. Because Bermuda is a British colony, they drive on the opposite side of the road. It makes crossing the street interesting, as you have to look right instead of left for oncoming traffic.
There were purple, pink, green and blue buildings, all cement with stucco finish. There were the usual stores lining the main street in Hamilton. It was very picturesque. There were gentleman with Bermuda shorts on, black knee-high socks and black shoes. One had on a suit jacket that matched his shorts, black knee highs and shoes...and a walking cane. Bermuda is very clean...and well maintained. All the buildings are painted when needed...we saw no peeling paint. We didn't see any poor sections. On other islands I've visited, you can always tell the tourist areas, and the outlying areas are like visiting third world countries, but it's not like that here in Bermuda. I saw only one building that was run down, on the back hills while on our bus ride.
We walked around a bit checking out the local shops. Bermuda is very easy to get around on. You can catch a bus in downtown Hamilton near City Hall, and make your way back to the dockyard. Along the way it has stops for Elbow Beach, the Bermuda Aquarium, and many other stops. We purchased a day pass good on the ferry and buses. We hopped on our pink and blue bus headed back to the Dockyard, which was an hour drive. Along the way we saw pastel homes, beaches, breathtaking ocean views, churches, graveyards and restaurants. We had to be back to the ship by 4:30, lest we be left behind. '
We had a late lunch once we boarded the ship. Too much sun and a lot of walking made us both very tired. It was nap time!! We caught 40 winks, getting up in time for the ship to depart Hamilton at 5:30. We went up to the Lido deck to watch as we pulled out of port. A pilot boat dropped off a local boat Captain who commandeers the ship out of port. Our regular Captain, Andrea Poggi, does not steer this ship out of port....a local captain does, one intimately familiar with the port. Once we reached deep water and were out of the port, an awaiting pilot boat pulls up alongside the ship, and the local Captain precariously makes his way down a ladder, and onto the pilot boat, and away they go. Captain Poggi blew the ships horn in thanks for a job well done getting us safely out of a very tight harbor.
We had a quick dinner at Horizon Court, and retired early. We are now on our transatlantic voyage, and at sea for 6 days. Our next stop is Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland. The seas are not as calm as they were on the way to Bermuda. The ship rocks and sways more than they did on the trip to Bermuda. I find it comforting, almost as though I'm being rocked to sleep.
We have set our clocks ahead tonight another hour, something we had to two nights ago also.