There’s more than one way to get to the beautiful island of Bermuda—try a cruise for a journey that’s just as fun as the destination. On the Carnival Horizon, the staff urges you to “Choose Fun,” and the ship to Bermuda is certainly full of opportunities.
As soon as you pull from the dock, the party starts. The cruise director—better known, always in his kilt, as the Flying Scotsman—leads a dance party on the main cruise deck that continues even as the ship passes the Statue of Liberty. From there, the mood is set; this ship is child- and fun-friendly from the get-go (so it might not be the ideal setting for a romantic parents-only vacay).
The ship perhaps caters kids more than parents: It’s decked out with Dr. Seuss Waterworks, the first-ever Dr. Seuss-themed waterpark, where kids can ride through slides and run through sprinklers at the ship’s highest point, and the SportSquare, which offers Sky Ride (suspended open-air cycling), a suspended ropes course, nine-hole mini golf, courts, and a clubhouse that’s home to mini bowling, ping pong, video games, and more.
Plus, there are pools throughout the ship and the Lido Marketplace, a buffet with soft-serve ice cream and special mini-restaurants like Guy’s Burger Joint and the BlueIguana Cantina, with food simple enough for picky eaters. That food, included in the cruise cost, is buffet for sure, but for a little extra you can try other restaurants like Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Cucina del Capitano, and more.
What’s great about cruising is how contained the experience is; You can relax on chairs around the pool, the kids will be busy doing their own thing, and you can still all get together for dinner. They’re not going anywhere, that’s for sure.
Keep the kids busy at Camp Ocean, where they participate in activities, which gives you a chance to slip away for some precious moments at sea. Where to go for those? Perhaps the adults-only area, the spa, the casino, or maybe the Alchemy Bar, where you can tell the bartender your favorite liquor and flavor and they’ll craft something all your own.
Bermuda itself is a beautiful but manageable island, with lovely pink sand beaches and the cute, walkable town of Hamilton. Whether you’re just down to sun yourself or you want to tour the entire stretch of land, there are numerous opportunities. The crystal-clear water is a far cry from NYC beaches and the dry heat is great for lying out. If your fam needs to be a bit more active, the island has a host of other activities, including snorkeling, a catamaran (kids might not be able to join there), shopping, a zoo and aquarium, and more.
Of particular interest are the Crystal Caves, where a deep cavern discovered by children in the early 20th century houses fantastic crystallized stalagmites and stalactites in and above a clear, fish-free, life-free body of ocean water. The trek down the formations is beautiful, and the water is sure to be like nothing you’ve ever seen.
With its varied terrain, local culture—a bus tour is sure to teach you far more about the island than you ever knew—and gorgeous geography, Bermuda isn’t unlike the ship itself: A self-contained paradise.