A lovely day back on the beautiful island of Bermuda. 26 years since we were here last and 28 years this month that we got married here. The ship docked in West End, Bermuda in the cruise dock that has been created out of old naval buildings, specifically the victualling yard and surrounds. There is so much British history here and it shows. The fortifications, the buildings, the post offices all have that air of Britishness about them, albeit tempered with a liberal, pastel colouring of the sub tropics.
It was sunny but pretty breezy today and the ship had to proceed very, very slowly through the channel to reach the dock. The islands are surrounded by extremely treacherous reefs that have caused many shipwrecks over the years. You can see them clearly as you pass through, some marked, others not. Anyway, we were alongside by 9am and headed out to the nearby ferry dock to get the ferry to Hamilton, the capital. It’s only a 20 minute ride.
Hamilton, is as colourful a place as ever – many pastel coloured buildings on show – and has grown considerably in the 20 odd years since we last visited. A lot of new buildings and homes have sprung up around the coast. We walked along Front Street admiring the shops. I remembered one little department store as the place I bought my wedding outfit. There was hardly any choice then. It would be much easier now, there were lots more shops. We then went in search of the registry office where the ceremony was held. Weirdly we both remembered it as an historical building but it wasn’t. It is a reasonably modern government type structure, just off Front Street.
Had a good walk around the streets of the town and also made use of the wifi available to get some jobs done that were a bit overdue. We managed to get some of our Fastpasses booked for Disneyworld later in the month. The wifi wasn’t brilliant even so, but we managed.
We got the 2pm ferry back to the West End and had a good walk around all the shops and art centres that have been set up there. I don’t think it was developed at all when we were last year. Nelson’s Dockyard had been done up and there was a maritime museum there but that is at the other end of the island.
Bob bought a bottle of sherry peppers for some home cooking and we managed to get a table at a restaurant called Bone Fish where we could Facetime the girls and also enjoy a Dark and Stormy, one of the favourite Bermudan cocktails. It’s a mix of golden rum and ginger beer. Delicious. Had a good call to both girls and it was so good to see them and talk to them both.
We had to be back on board by 430 to sail to Fort Lauderdale. Not a long day in Bermuda then….. it was lovely to be back though and see it again. Not a cheap place by any means but it always feels very safe and friendly.
We pushed off from the quay at about 515. The wind was really, really stiff by then, blowing us hard onto the quay. We had a tug standing by with a line to the stern. The ship had to reverse out into the narrow channel and then turn. Not an easy task. Anyway, we made it without demolishing the cruise dock or hitting the Carnival Sunshine that was moored up behind us!!!!
To celebrate the sailaway, we cracked open a bottle of fizz we had brought with us and had that on the aft deck. It was totally empty! Princess don’t go in for the kind of sailaway celebrations so beloved of P&O.
Tonight we ate in Steamers, one of the speciality restaurants on board. It is a seafood speciality place, slightly New England themed. I had the broiled seafood platter and Bob had the bowl of steamed clams, andouille sausage, crab claws, lobster tail etc etc. It was very plentiful but not terribly flavourful other than the lobster tail which was delicious. Our waitress came from the Ukraine and she was very odd and slightly frightening in a jolly jolly Russian sort of way!!! Hilarious.
An early night as poor Bob has started with a cold. We got medicine ashore today so hopefully he will throw it off quickly.