Talk about a vacation of a lifetime. Last month I went to a place I’ve been wanting to go for years– beautiful Bermuda! When we booked our cruise in late April, July 2nd felt like so far away. Then school let out, the summer camp I work at started, and before I knew it the day had arrived. Being the the natural procrastinator that I am, I realized ten minutes after we set sail that I had forgotten my entire makeup bag. By the way, Bermuda has ONE place on the entire island to buy foundation and it’s a drug store that sells it for double the price that they do in the states. Aside from my makeup mishap, I had a fabulous time.
If you haven’t been to Bermuda, I definitely recommend you put it on your bucket list ASAP. Immediately as I got home, I had friends texting me telling me that my vacation pictures had convinced them to start planning their trips to Bermuda. I went on another cruise to the Bahamas with Royal Caribbean last summer, and while I had an incredible time I have to admit that I DID enjoy my Carnival cruise to Bermuda twice as much! If you’re thinking about booking a vacation to either destination here is a comparison of the two cruises. P.S. sorry in advance for the rediculously long post!
1. The Bahamas cruise was a 5-day cruise vs. the Bermuda cruise was an 8-day cruise.
Yeah I know it might not seem like a huge difference, but when you’re only given about 8 hours each to explore Coco-Cay and Nassau (the Bahamas) it can make everything feel very rushed. What I liked about the 8-day cruise was that we were able to stay over night for two whole nights and we were able to go off on our own for three days! While we didn’t get to see the entire island (you would probably need at least 5 whole days to do this) we were extremely pleased with the amount that we did get to see. It was also nice to have four days at sea. I was able to really explore the ship and it allowed me enough time to enjoy a ton of the activities that the ship had to offer.
2. The food on the ship.
I have to admit that I did feel like the Royal Cribbean cruise had a lot more options when it came to food. The “buffet” on the Carnival Pride was pretty limited and to be quite honest the hours of operation sucked. I felt like the buffet was closed more than it was open. Half the time it felt like we had to search for food. And I’m sorry, but the whole point of a cruise is the unlimited food! While the selection on all of the menus was quite repetitive, the quality of the food itself was pretty good though. They had a Guy’s Burger Shack, which I was excited about at first, but I quickly realized that they were the type of burgers that you could probably only eat once or twice before you got sick of them. As for Royal Cribbean, I remember the buffet-style dining being open a lot more and the fine dining menu items were more impressive.
3. The entertainment on the ship.
It was evident that Carnival cruises are geared more towards families with children and young people, while Royal Cribbean is geared more towards older and/or retired people. As a result, I felt like there was a lot more to do on the Carnival cruise (at least for people my age to enjoy.) I have to say that my FAVORITE part about this cruise was the hilarious comedy club, Punchliners. I also loved the awesome musicals and game shows they put on each night.
4. Don’t judge me, but Wifi.
Yes, I’ll shamefully admit I’m one of those people that actually caves in and buys the Wifi on what is supposed to be a break from our electronic-dependent everyday lives. I had bought twoor three days of Wifi on the Royal Cribbean cruise and it was about $35 a day. I know…totally rediculous and I was a little embarrassed that I actually paid for it. Knowing how outrageous the internet fees were on Royal Cribbean, I wasn’t even going to think about buying internet access on my Carnival cruise. That is until I realized it was only $35 for the entire 8 days. So I figured what the heck. Bermuda also has free Wifi hotspots in certain areas of the island. This was extra helpful since I got to briefly check my work email and my banking app to make a transfer.
*The Carnival Wifi package I purchased for $35 did not include email , internet, or IMessage, only social media apps.
Winner: Bermuda cruise (Carnival)
5. The island itself.
First off, let me just say that I am thankful to have the opportunity to have been able to go to both places. Both destinations are absolutely beautiful and I had a blast in both the Bahamas and Bermuda. However, there were definitely parts about Bermuda that I easily enjoyed more. For example, Bermuda was a lot more tourist-friendly than Nassau, Bahamas. Keep in mind Coco Cay, Bahamas was a Royal Cribbean private island so they were obviously tourist -friendly there. When it came to Nassau though, immediately after getting off the ship we were bombarded by locals trying to sell us souvenirs, give us rides, and braid our hair. My mom and I got suckered into getting our hair braided for what they said would be $5. Long story short, we ended up paying $80 for us to get HALF of our heads braided. Lesson learned. In Bermuda, it was quite the opposite. No one tried to sell us anything. Keep in mind the Bahamas heavily depends on tourism, while tourism only accounts for a small percentage of Bermudians’ income. On one occasion in Bermuda, we actually went up to a taxi driver to ask him about whether we should go to Tabacco Bay or Clearwater Bay for the beach. The taxi driver was totally honest and told us that we were actually just better off walking 6 minutes to Tabacco Bay instead of taking a taxi 20 minutes away to basically the same type of beach. the Bahamas also has these taxi vans where they try to pack on as many people as they possibly can. It’s extremely uncomfortable and there usually isn’t any air conditioning in them. Thankfully in Bermuda, the buses and ferries have AC.
Although I didn’t get to go to every beach in the Bahamas and Bermuda, I have to say that the ones that I did like the best were in Bermuda. Hands down. The beaches in the Bahamas were much more crowded, had liter, and you couldn’t escape the men and children who would immediately come up to you asking if you wanted to buy a beach chair or umbrella. The color of the water was equally beautiful, but Bermuda did have pink sand (something that was on my bucket list.) The bottom of the water in the Bahamas felt extremely spongey and there was lots of seaweed. Unlike in Bermuda where you just felt soft sand at the bottom and depending on which you’re at, maybe a few rocks. I did see more fish swimming around me in the water in the Bahamas. This is probably because the water was a slightly lighter blue in my opinion. If you do go to Bermuda, beware of Warwick Bay. It’s the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, but I failed to read the sign warning beach goers about the sharks and poisonous Man-o-wars! No wonder we were practically the only ones at that beach.
Bermuda is also a lot more Americanized than the Bahamas which makes you feel a little less like an clueless tourist totally out of your element. People in Bermuda had a slight accent, but you could easily communicate clearly with everyone on the island. Unlike the Bahamas, you didn’t have to worry about misinterpreting the estimate a cab driver gives you before agreeing to a potentially pricey ride.
The only con about Bermuda was the weather while we were there. It poured at least once a day, and there was always an overcast. I asked a local if it always rained like that, and he informed me that it didn’t and that this storm was coming from Boston and New York (typical.) In the Bahamas it never rained and it was extremely sunny. Then again, maybe the weather in Bermuda was a good thing considering I returned with a nice crisp tan instead of the horrible sunburn I came back with from the Bahamas.
There was so much more to do in the Bermuda. I felt like the Bahamas’ main attraction was Atlantis, which if you’re not willing to fork over an extra eight hundred dollars, don’t even bother. I did go parasailing in the Bahamas with my brother (for about $120 a person) and that was something I’ll never forget. They both have the same types of excursions to choose from, but in Bermuda there was a TON to do for free or a minimal fee. We got to take a tour of the Crystal Caves (a must see!) for $22 a person. We also went to the incredible National Museum for $15 a person. Instead of constantly spending money on a taxi, a person on the ship suggested that we buy a two-day ferry and bus pass for $31. This was the smartest idea and I definitely recommend doing so! By purchasing a two-day pass we were able to go to any part of Bermuda as many times as we wanted to. Unlike the Bahamas, you do need to drive quite a bit to get to different places because all of the landmarks and beaches are pretty spaced out.
The Bahamas is very tropical and the typical island getaway where Bermuda has a bunch of different scenery, from caves to rocky cliffs. The Bahamas has some rough looking areas, where Bermuda seemed to all around clean and well-kept. Keep in mind though, Bermuda is pretty affluent even compared to the US, while the Bahamas has a lot poverty in places like Nassau.
If you just want to lay on a tropical beach all day with a coconut drink in your hand, then the Bahamas is probably a great choice for you. However, if you like to explore and do things besides just the typical (and extremely pricey) island excursions, then Bermuda is definitely a place you want to see.
Here are a few more pictures from Bermuda.
So I don’t have a ton of pictures from the Bahamas because my mom’s waterproof carrying case wasn’t so waterproof and my phone was ruined 🙂 but here’s a few!