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Best way to Horseshoe Beach?


xanman2112
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Hi All,

My family and I (2 adults, 2 kids) are going on the Anthem next week to Bermuda.  We have never been, but I know the popular beach attraction is Horseshoe Beach.

RCL offers an excursion to the beach, which is just roundtrip transportation and 3 hours at the beach for $37/pp.  A colleague who has been to Bermuda via a cruise said they took a taxi for WAY less.

Can anyone recommend the best way to get to the beach while still being "safe"?  I'd prefer not to shell out $148 just for transportation to/from the beach.

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The best advise I can give you is to GO EARLY. We did the same cruise a few weeks ago. Based on a recommendation from a fellow blogger he said to go the the beach on the second day. first day stay o board the ship or shop at thee port. :27_sunglasses:

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Hi @xanman2112. With four of you, the most cost-effective option should be the shuttle vans you'll see right as you exit the pier. They charge $7 per person each way, which is less than the $35 @AnnetteJackson noted for her taxi driver. The vans leave as soon as they're packed full, and are going back and forth all day long. Just make sure as you approach a particular van that it's going to Horseshoe Bay, since some of them go to Hamilton or other areas.

As @rjac noted, you'll want to go as early as possible so you beat the crowds and have a chance to stake out a decent section of the beach. The Rum Bum Beach Bar that you'll pass as you walk in also has a small shack on the beach proper for chair / lounger / umbrella rentals, buckets of beer, etc. They take cash or credit cards. If you're doing the 5-night Bermuda sailing, definitely go on your second day there. That's what we did when we went last October, and our waiter told us at dinner that night that we did the right thing, and if we'd gone the first day it would have been twice as crowded as what we saw. As it was, we got there around 10:00 AM and had to walk almost all the way to the far end of the beach where they stop putting down chair rentals before we got a spot. Not insanely packed by any means, but most people had only 3 or 4 feet between them and the next beach chair.

You can get a sense of the lighter crowd in this short video I took around 1:30 or 2:00 PM:

 

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Just now, xanman2112 said:

Hi @JLMoran,

Thanks for the info and the video!  Do the $7/pp shuttles only take cash?  Do you pay for roundtrip at the pier or pay separately for each way?

Thanks for the recommendation on going on Day 2.  We are definitely going to follow that advice!

I assume the Rum Bum Beach bar serves food?

Yes, cash only for the shuttles. You pay each way.

Rum Bum Beach Bar does indeed serve food, it's a full-service restaurant and bar. If I remember right, they also have rinse-off spigots close by the entrance to get the sand off your feet after you've been on the beach that are also useful before you hop back on the shuttle.

One thing I forgot to mention -- since the vans only travel when they get full, give yourself some "wiggle room" for the return trip. Don't assume you can get on a van at 4:00 and be back by the 4:30 all-aboard time. I would suggest going back no later than 2:00, so you're back at the dockyard no later than 3:00. Then, if you haven't already, you can use the time before all-aboard to check out the Clocktower Mall and art shop to pick up some souvenirs.

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We were just there last week and as we were a group of 10 I booked us a tour that ended at Horseshoe Bay.  When we left the beach to head back to the ship the line of people waiting for cabs was insane and some people were seriously stressing.   So I echo the advice to go early.  Leave early and save yourself some unnecessary stress.  

 

Also - if you walk literally 5 minutes down the beach the crowds are nearly nonexistent and it’s so beautiful.  No chairs, but natural shade and you can lay out a towel    It was amazing   

 

We we went to crystal caves that morning before the beach and if you haven’t been - it was pretty cool    We were the first tour through so no crowds and absolutely amazing   

 

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On 8/2/2019 at 3:10 PM, JLMoran said:

 If I remember right, they also have rinse-off spigots close by the entrance to get the sand off your feet after you've been on the beach that are also useful before you hop back on the shuttle.

Yes, conveniently next to the restrooms, which if I remember correctly, have showers.

On 8/2/2019 at 11:38 PM, DJsMrs said:

Also - if you walk literally 5 minutes down the beach the crowds are nearly nonexistent and it’s so beautiful.  No chairs, but natural shade and you can lay out a towel    It was amazing   

We we went to crystal caves that morning before the beach and if you haven’t been - it was pretty cool    We were the first tour through so no crowds and absolutely amazing 

+1 to the tip about walking a bit for a nice secluded spot. We loved Crystal Caves, very interesting and cool.

We have gone first day and second day never too bad with crowds but we usually travel in September to Bermuda, however, I agree the second day is usually a bit calmer.

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5 minutes ago, xanman2112 said:

What should we do for towels for Horseshoe Beach?  Can we bring towels from the ship, or do we need to pack our own?

Grab a couple of towels from the ship as you disembark; there will be a station handing them out, and they'll scan your Sea Pass card when you check them out like they would at the pool. You can return them as you board, and they'll scan your Sea Pass again to record the return.

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I was there last month, and I agree with everyone to get there early.  Our ship docked at 8, debarked by 8:30.  Got to Horseshoe by 9 a.m. (vans).  We were the only ship docked that a.m.,  By 9:30 when the RCCL excursion vans showed up, the line to get an umbrella and lounger was about 15 mins long, and with each new umbrella going up, you landed up being further down the beach.

If you like snorkeling take your gear with you.

I would not recommend the pink buses for 1 reason only. They drop off and pick up at the top of the hill.  We take the approach that we are on vacation, so spending a few more bucks on the taxi/vans to be dropped off at the bottom is worth the cost.

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1 hour ago, Pima1988 said:

with each new umbrella going up, you landed up being further down the beach.

I actually liked being further down the beach. In addition to the "child-friendly" grotto you pass when you first walk in past The Rum Bum Beach Bar, there is another grotto at the far end of the beach that is larger / deeper but also very well sheltered from the waves. Between that and the much lower crowding for making the effort to reach that far end, I think it's very worthwhile. You get a much better view, easier ocean access, and you can be there a long time before it starts to feel crowded. Just be sure to tip the guy lugging your umbrella and chairs something extra for going all that extra distance.

It's only about 2/3 of the way down the beach, where they have a rope staked into the sand. Think of it like making the extra trek on Labadee to get down to Columbus Cove instead of stopping on Adrenaline Beach; a little more exertion, a few extra calories burned (justifies another Rum Swizzle or Dark & Stormy to me! ?), in exchange for a quieter / more pleasant beach day.

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7 hours ago, JLMoran said:

I didn't. I consider them not that much different than taking the bus, especially when they pack you in like sardines to get as full a vehicle as possible.

Thanks! We tipped the guys $1 for each of us (we were only 2), bc we got nervous and weren’t sure. Ha. Thanks for all the Bermuda advice! We had a great two days here and are just getting ready for sail away! Got to Horseshoe around 8:45 and left around 1:45. A wonderful time to avoid the masses in both directions. 

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