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taximom00

Bermuda cave

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We are sailing on the Norwegian Gem out of Boston next Friday!

It was a last minute decision and we haven't booked any excursions.

We were looking at the Crystal Cave tour (I think that's what it's called) but it seems that it might be easier (and less expensive) for us to go on our own.

 

Has anyone gone on their own? If so, how did you get there?  Maps say it's about 45 minutes.

 

Thanks for any advice!

Also, any other suggestions (or advice about the Gem!), would love to hear!!

 

 

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My wife did that several years ago.She booked through the cruise line. If you go on your own by bus on a weekday the bus will likely be jammed with residents .

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Google it...it should tell you all about it....then google Bermuda transportation....lots of good info!  You almost never need to pay the inflated ship's prices to do anything...especially, in Bermuda or the Caribbean (which Bermuda is NOT part of...just so you know!)

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43 minutes ago, taximom00 said:

We are sailing on the Norwegian Gem out of Boston next Friday!

It was a last minute decision and we haven't booked any excursions.

We were looking at the Crystal Cave tour (I think that's what it's called) but it seems that it might be easier (and less expensive) for us to go on our own.

 

Has anyone gone on their own? If so, how did you get there?  Maps say it's about 45 minutes.

 

Thanks for any advice!

Also, any other suggestions (or advice about the Gem!), would love to hear!!

 

 

This board is intended for general questions about cruising. I'd recommend that you ask any questions you may have about NCL in general or the Gem specifically on the Norwegian Cruise Lines board.

 

For information about Bermuda go to the Bermuda Ports of Call board. To get to the caves from where your ship will be docked in the Royal Naval Dockyard there are two primary choices. Take the Blue Route public ferry from Dockyard to Hamilton, walk a couple of blocks to the bus terminal and take a #1, 3, 10 or 11 bus from Hamilton to the caves. Or, you can take the free NCL ferry from Dockyard to St. George (there's also the Orange Route public ferry, but why pay for it when NCL has  a free ferry for its passengers) and then a #1, 3, 10 or 11 bus to the caves. Either way will take you a somewhat more than an hour, with the first option having a short ferry ride but a long bus ride, and the second option a long ferry ride and a shorter bus ride. You could do one way going and the other way returning for some variety.

 A taxi from Dockyard to the caves would cost about $65 plus tip in each direction for 1-4 passengers Mon. through Sat. On Sundays or for 5-7 passengers a taxi would cost about 25% more.

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1 hour ago, taximom00 said:

We are sailing on the Norwegian Gem out of Boston next Friday!

It was a last minute decision and we haven't booked any excursions.

We were looking at the Crystal Cave tour (I think that's what it's called) but it seems that it might be easier (and less expensive) for us to go on our own.

 

Has anyone gone on their own? If so, how did you get there?  Maps say it's about 45 minutes.

 

Thanks for any advice!

Also, any other suggestions (or advice about the Gem!), would love to hear!!

 

 

 

Hi

 

Yes. Try it on your own. You will save some money and you will be going on your own schedule rather than the tour group. Wear good walking shoes.

 

From King's Wharf, I think it could take longer than 45 min. I don't believe there is a direct bus to get there. If you were to go by bus, you likely would transfer in Hamilton. Otherwise, you could take a ferry to either St. George's or Hamilton and then take the bus. (I haven't been for a number of years, so things might have changed)

 

That being said, if you actually want to see some of the island, you could make a day of it visiting Hamilton or St. George's and do some shopping, dining, or just sightseeing along the way. 

 

You certainly don't need to book excursions on an island like Bermuda. 

 

This is a link for the Crystal caves (if you haven't already seen it)  http://www.caves.bm/planningYourVisit.html , also check the internet or the port of calls/Bermuda threads on this site for other things you might be interested in doing/seeing.

 

hope this helps

have a great cruise

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Posted (edited)

Have done it on our own and IMO that is the easiest and least expensive way to do so, and also allows you to decide when you want to go.  The public bus transportation is safe, reliable, and very easy to use and will drop you off within a block of the main entrance, which also is where you will find a good restaurant (The Swizzle Inn Pub) and ice cream parlor (Baileys Bay).

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Public bus is probably the easiest/cheapest way. Perhaps on your way back from one of the great beaches at St. George:  Fort St, Catherine or Tobacco Bay.

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The public bus has a lot of kids going to and from school on weekdays as well as adults going to and from work.It will likely be standing room only for tourists unless they are elderly or disabled.

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We did this on our own years ago with no problem. Go for it.

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Last November I went to Bermuda and did the Crystal Caves tour on my own. It was a rainy day on the island, plus Armistice Day (November 11) so many shops were closed, so a lot of people went to the caves.  You can take the public ferry from the Dockyard to St. George's and then take a bus from St. George's to the caves. You will almost certainly not be the only cruise passenger doing this. Buy an unlimited bus/ferry pass at the transportation center at the Dockyard. It definitely takes more time than an excursion but I didn't find it difficult at all to navigate the ferry/bus schedules.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/25/2019 at 10:32 PM, lenquixote66 said:

The public bus has a lot of kids going to and from school on weekdays as well as adults going to and from work.It will likely be standing room only for tourists unless they are elderly or disabled.

 

Hmm, mystery thread appears. Must have been moved from elsewhere. 

 

Bermuda schools are on vacation July and August and the first week of September. The OP mentioned their cruise is next Friday. So there wont be lots of schoolchildren going to and from school. 

 

As as there are multiple bus routes from both Hamilton and St. George’s that run by the caves I don’t think standing room will be an issue unless there are bus cancellations. 

 

They certainly have no reason to take a cruise line excursion unless they have OBC to use up or they plan to go on departure day. The ferry to either Hamilton and St.Georges and then public bus or taxi would be the recommended ways even if school was in session. 

 

Edited by Charles4515

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35 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

Hmm, mystery thread appears. Must have been moved from elsewhere. 

It was on "Ask A Cruise Question" when I replied. That's why I suggested that the OP come to this board for information about Bermuda.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Charles4515 said:

Bermuda schools are on vacation July and August and the first week of September. The OP mentioned their cruise is next Friday. So there wont be lots of schoolchildren going to and from school. 

 

As as there are multiple bus routes from both Hamilton and St. George’s that run by the caves I don’t think standing room will be an issue unless there are bus cancellations. 

 

This is true.  However, the bus / ferry transit system is in place primarily for the local residents, which then of course is added to significantly during the tourist season.  Even with the many scooters as there are on the island, as there is only one car permitted per household, the transit system is relied on rather heavily all year round by the residents for their daily transportation and both systems can get crowded as a result.  We have used it many times and - as a matter of fact - in returning from the caves to Hamilton one time, during portions of our ride we experienced the standing room only on the bus as mentioned.  However that is not typical and did not impede our ability to travel the island as desired.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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15 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

This is true.  However, the bus / ferry transit system is in place primarily for the local residents, which then of course is added to significantly during the tourist season.  

 

There is no problem with tourists using the public buses. It is a great way to meet locals. If it happens you are traveling at a crowded time there will be people getting on and off so you likely would not stand for long. When the cruise ships left from Hamilton and St. George’s that was when you were more likely to have crowded conditions early in the morning. The Bermuda children would always give tourists a seat if it was crowded. Coming from the Dockyard less likely you will hit their rush hours. Crowded conditions are most likely on the #7 from the Dockyard to Horseshoe or back as there is only one bus for that route. That’s why I always take the private minibuses to Horseshoe or a taxi. 

 

 

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Several people in a group I belong to have mentioned that they take a taxi out to the Caves first thing in the morning to avoid the wait as the day progresses. If there are 2 large ships in port the wait to go into the Cave gets longer. Only small groups can go in at a time. 

 

The taxi ride will be expensive  - about $70 - but If you can split the fare, it becomes more reasonable. It will probably be cheaper than the cruise line excursion because it’s not a per person charge. Taxis are plentiful around the dock area. 

 

You can visit the Bailey’s Bay Ice Cream Parlor or the Swizzle Inn across the way. There is a bus stop by the ice cream parlor and you can take any bus marked Hamilton. Some buses stop right near the ferry terminal, but others go directly to the bus terminal.  The ferry terminal is just a short walk down hill.  People are very friendly and helpful - just ask someone to point out the way. Do say good morning/afternoon/evening first. Every Bermuda conversation starts that way!

 

From Dockyard, you can also take the Blue Route ferry to Hamilton. Walk from the ferry terminal up Queen St (across the way and just a bit to the right). When you get to the top of the hill, you will see a large white building to the right. That’s Hamilton City Hall. The bus terminal is next to it on the right. 

 

Take the #1, 3, 10, or 11 bus.  That will get you to the Caves. Say good morning/afternoon/evening first, then ask the driver to let you know when to get off for the Caves. They will call out the stop. 

 

Another option - both will take about the same time, but this is a bit longer - take the Orange Route ferry (doesn’t run on weekends) to St George, then take any bus marked Hamilton. Follow the above procedure to have the driver call out the stop. 

 

Enjoy!

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Posted (edited)

Now here is some math. A month ago I took a last minute cruise on Summit that stopped in Bermuda. I was solo.  Celebrity offered an excursion to the aquarium and caves.  The price was $169 per person. If I was going to the caves and aquarium I would not do that. I would do that on my own, perfectly safe  in Bermuda, the cost would be $19 for a one day transportation pass, $35 for caves combination ticket,  $10 for the Aquarium and Zoo. Total $64. I think I would put up with some crowded buses and save $105. With more than one person sharing either the taxi/ferry combo or just a taxi from the Dockyard  is an even better deal than the cruise line excursion. 

Edited by Charles4515

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Charles4515 said:

Crowded conditions are most likely on the #7 from the Dockyard to Horseshoe or back as there is only one bus for that route. That’s why I always take the private minibuses to Horseshoe or a taxi. 

 

Agreed and up until a couple of years ago when the ships were in, they would run a dedicated express bus to Horseshoe.  But since that has been discontinued the vans and minibuses as you mention are the best alternative.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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On 7/25/2019 at 10:32 PM, lenquixote66 said:

The public bus has a lot of kids going to and from school on weekdays as well as adults going to and from work.It will likely be standing room only for tourists unless they are elderly or disabled.

Good news is that the original poster is going in August, when the schools are not in session. (Last day end of June/First day mid-September.) That at least takes care of the students. 

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6 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

Agreed and up until a couple of years ago when the ships were in, they would run a dedicated express bus to Horseshoe.  But since that has been discontinued the vans and minibuses as you mention are the best alternative.

 

The $7pp shuttle has replaced the other options. They run quite frequently and take people right down to the parking lot beside the beach. There are benches and tents for those waiting to take the return trip. 

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So am I understanding this correctly? Organized excursion groups take priority for entrance into the caves. How long do the lines get? Does saving money by doing it on your own still out weigh waiting in line? I'm sure it varies depending on how many ships are in port. 

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11 minutes ago, KristieB said:

So am I understanding this correctly? Organized excursion groups take priority for entrance into the caves. How long do the lines get? Does saving money by doing it on your own still out weigh waiting in line? I'm sure it varies depending on how many ships are in port. 

I don't believe anyone said that.

There was just a comment that with two large ships in port you can expect lines to get in to be longer. More people in port equals more people at any popular tourist attraction, and on the buses and ferries. Everyone who goes into the caves regardless of whether you came as an individual or as part of a group is escorted down as part of a tour. Those tours leave every 20 minutes.

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I must have read it wrong the first time. lol One of the excursions I am looking at costs $99 and we will get the $50 credit, so it ends up being $49 per person. I'm thinking that might be worth not having to organize transportation and everything. There will be 8 in our group. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, KristieB said:

I must have read it wrong the first time. lol One of the excursions I am looking at costs $99 and we will get the $50 credit, so it ends up being $49 per person. I'm thinking that might be worth not having to organize transportation and everything. There will be 8 in our group. 

 

 

Just checking who you're sailing with? NCL provides $50 PER STATEROOM,  not per person. So for my family of 3, a $99 excursion is discounted to $247 (about $86/person). 

 

Kathi

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On 7/27/2019 at 9:20 AM, Charles4515 said:

Now here is some math. A month ago I took a last minute cruise on Summit that stopped in Bermuda. I was solo.  Celebrity offered an excursion to the aquarium and caves.  The price was $169 per person. If I was going to the caves and aquarium I would not do that. I would do that on my own, perfectly safe  in Bermuda, the cost would be $19 for a one day transportation pass, $35 for caves combination ticket,  $10 for the Aquarium and Zoo. Total $64. I think I would put up with some crowded buses and save $105. With more than one person sharing either the taxi/ferry combo or just a taxi from the Dockyard  is an even better deal than the cruise line excursion. 

What's even more obnoxious is many of the excursions I've seen for the caves (RCCL and Carnival) don't include the admission to the caves.  You are basically paying a very inflated price for transportation.

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