Friday, July 18, 2014

Golfing in Bermuda....mini golf that is!

After our catamaran trip in the morning we still had a few hours before we'd set sail again, so we went back to the ship for lunch and then set out for some shopping and mini golf! When in Bermuda....right? Our original plan was to go to the beach right by the ship, but after spending the morning in the water, we decided to just get changed and skip the beach. 

And yes, if you read my European posts, you know that Alex had an issue with sunglasses! And not always his fault! So, we're on our last day in Bermuda and we're standing by the stairs getting ready to walk down to exit the ship and I'm not kidding the arm thing that goes over your ear - whatever you call it, on glasses just falls right off of his glasses! It was if it just jumped right off! No way right! So if you notice carefully in the next pictures, he's wearing glasses with no earpiece thing on one side! So yes, next stop in Bermuda....shopping for glasses! But first....

For those not aware, right at the dockyard there's a beautiful mini golf course called Fun Golf! The holes are based on some of the most famous golf courses in Scotland, Bermuda and the US. And the setting with the ocean right behind you is amazing! It was perfect for us with just a few hours left before setting sail for NYC. 







Does it get any better than this view?  I really don't think so!







After golf, we checked out some of the shops, had a snow cone and yes, got Alex a new pair of sunglasses. I think it's become a vacation tradition now! And then we went to board the ship one last time before getting ready to set sail...



Just like in England...Bermuda is a British country after all!


The crew were singing as we walked back on board....we got the red carpet treatment for sure! Actually, there really was a red carpet...I just don't have a picture of it!









Some pictures as we start to leave....











We had dinner at Taste....not a huge fan of the main dining areas on the NCL ships so far. I don't think the variety of the food is great and the service has been below average. We had this experience last year when sailing on the Epic and we wanted to give it another try here and we had the same experience again tonight. This really reinforced just how glad we were that we decided to purchase the Ultimate Dining Plan! 

Up next - the 80s party and fireworks! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Our last day in Bermuda...

Here we are - Day 6, our 3rd and last day in Bermuda! We decided to stay relatively close to the ship. There was plenty to do, and plenty that we wanted to do close by. We had a lot of time in port, all aboard wasn't until 4:30 so if we wanted to venture away to see more of the island, we definitely had time. 

Today we had scheduled a catamaran sail and snorkel in the morning. A beautiful day for it! I booked this through the ship excursion. I priced it through a couple of other vendors and it was so close in price that it just was easier to do it online before we left. So, 9:30 am was our time and we were ready for the Rising Son Catamaran Swim and Snorkel. Fun! The kids had never been on a catamaran before and they loved it! 



Some views of the marina as we were leaving





We sailed for awhile....the captain talked about Bermuda, his life, life as a catamaran guide...you name it. It was a fun ride! I can't tell you how much I love being out on the ocean!





We sailed past some of the larger homes and it actually seemed as though we just sailed in a big circle, maybe we did! They put the sails up, what a great morning!



Then we finally got to our snorkel spot. We were given instructions. They were very safety conscious. Much more so than some of the other snorkel trips I've been on in other islands actually. They said everyone had to have either a snorkel vest or noodle - regardless of how well you could swim, no exceptions. They gave a brief snorkel demonstration. There were also paddle boards for those who wanted to give that a try.

We were pretty close to a shore line, so you could snorkel into some caves, or over to a reef. Actually if you didn't go to the reef or shore line, there wasn't much to see. But it was a really relaxing and great time out there! I think we were out in the water maybe 45 minutes or so? Plenty of time actually. 

My underwater camera battery must have died to the point no longer recharging before this trip, so I don't have any good pictures from the water part of the trip...sorry! I'll have to fix that before our next trip - which, for those interested in upcoming reviews... is the Top Chef sailing on the Celebrity Reflection in November! But anyway....here's what I do have!


There were two other catamarans out there with us - it never felt crowded. One was around the other side of the cove and the other was closer to us.


Just before it was time to get back on board Alex decided to try the paddle board - he really wished he had tried earlier since he really didn't get enough time to even get his balance! He had less than 5 minutes. But it's definitely something he'd love to try again!




You can see we weren't very far from the ship at all!



After our snorkeling time, we got back on board and there were Rum Swizzles for the adults, and soda or water for the kids, or those who didn't want the Swizzles.  It was a relaxing ride back to the docks.  Pretty much a perfect start to our last day in Bermuda!



Next up....our last afternoon before we start our sail back to New York!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Helmet Diving in Bermuda!

Life got a bit busy there for a few day!  But now, back to the Bermuda trip...we left off with our morning at Horseshoe Bay Beach and had plans for the afternoon...We had just gone back to the Norwegian Breakaway to have some lunch and were ready for our afternoon!

After lunch we went back out and did our sort of spur of the moment excursion. Something came across me yesterday and I was just swept away with all of the water and I decided that we just had to get UNDER the water! It may have had to do with watching the list of excursion options on the tv in the cabin! But we booked a Helmet Dive and it was time to go! This was slightly different from Snuba, and I had remembered reading some reviews on this particular tour operator before we went. So, here we go!

We met our group right at the dock by the ship. There were 13 people booked, small group. Our captain took care of the paperwork and off we went. He was quite the eccentric type. On our way out to our "dive" site he went over the helmet procedure and also talked quite in depth about the reef system and fish we may get to see. You could tell just how passionate he is about the ocean and its inhabitants! 

When we anchored we were divided into two groups. We were in the first group. We had to put on wet suits, which was interesting. We got our instructions and down we went! We were only in about 10-12 feet of water and it was a very controlled environment. 

The first 20 minutes or so were spent with Greg, the captain, feeding a the fish and taking our pictures in groups. We always had our hands on a bar so that we would be right in the same spot - no wandering off! He's been going to the same spot for years so the fish know him and come right up to him and his passengers. They will nuzzle you and let you "pet" them. Kinda cool actually!





Here we got to pet Charles - the big fish!








After the pictures, Megan decided she had enough and went up to the boat. The rest of our group got to have a guided tour of the reef. Greg had 2 sticks with him with words written on them that had descriptions of what we'd see. We walked along the bottom and he'd point to various corals or fish and then show us on the sticks what we saw. He fed the anemones, which was pretty cool. He fed some coral even! We were down there for at least another 25 minutes or so!  It really was fascinating!

Then we went up and the other group went down. During this time we got to enjoy our time out in the open ocean! It was just beautiful!



I think one thing that stands out most to me about Bermuda is the color of the water....





All in all, we had a great time on this outing! Afterwards, it was back to the ship to get ready for dinner. Tonight we went to Cagney's Steakhouse. Dinner was good. Our server was fantastic!

After dinner, the kids played big chess for a bit! Sorry for the bad picture - but I did want to show that there was big chess on the ship!



Afterwards, I'm pretty sure Alex left us as usual to go to the teen activities and Megan and I probably went to see what was going on in the Atrium or Headliners.

Another perfect day in Bermuda! Tomorrow....we stay pretty close to the dock - but still enjoy all there is to see!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Our 2nd day in Bermuda...first the Beach!

Today was our second day in Bermuda and today we had a plan! Originally we planned to go to Horseshoe Beach for the day, but yesterday something else caught our eye! Hartley's Helmet Diving!! This is sort of like Snuba....so we booked this yesterday afternoon, we hoped for morning availability, but only could get afternoon. But we would make do.

So, that being said, it was an early breakfast, off the ship and down to the Dockyard to find the 'Special' bus to Horseshoe Bay. We walked down the hill to the beach and I rented one beach chair for myself. Then it was off to the cliffs. You just can't keep a 14 year old boy away from climbing huge cliffs! This boy had no interest in spending hours at a beach...until he saw it! Then he was in heaven! A beach with cliffs and caves to explore! 

Anyway, this was perhaps one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. And we were there early, so it wasn't too crowded. I fell in love right then and there!

















Exploring in one of the caves - Megan leaves her mark!





They saw fossils and all kinds of little sea creatures. They loved it!



This is the cove where a lot of people snorkel. Again, Alex went off back into the rock formations and I didn't see him for quite some time...






Megan hanging out in the beautiful water waiting for Alex to explore


He finally came back through the rocks! Just in time for us to catch the bus back to the dockyard for our afternoon excursion!








A view of the beach from the water





All in all I would say we had about 2 1/2 to 3 hours at Horseshoe Bay. We could have definitely spent more time there. But we had to get back for our Helmet Dive, so we turned in my chair, got my deposit back and headed for the bus. We did take the shuttle back up the hill. I think it was $2/person. The bus back to the Dockyard came quickly and I believe we had time for a quick bite on the ship before our excursion. I loved this part of the Bermuda experience. Being able to see Bermuda while on a cruise ship. Just hop back on the ship for meals. I honestly believe it saved us so much money! 

I think we had lunch that day at O'Sheehan's. Just some burgers and chicken fingers and then back out to the dock to meet our Captain for the next part of our day.