WHEN A FEW UNDERWATER volcanoes blew into the sky, a confetti of colors landed to form what became the 138 British islands of Bermuda. Or so it would seem when one looks around today at the pristine communities that spread from those explosions in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, about 600 miles or a two-hour flight from most of the U.S. East Coast. It is the translucent blue of stained-glass ocean, the pale yellow of hanging fruit, the fiery orange of coral reef into which Caribbean settlers later dipped their paintbrushes to color their houses, bridges and buildings. Then they cropped their pants, of the same colors, to create their namesake shorts. Not to be outdone, Mother Nature continued to flash her hues above and below the mint-green tropical blanket she used to cover her island.
THE LOCALS WILL TRY TO CONVINCE YOU everyone, always, has spoken English. From the taxi driver in Roatán, Honduras, to the snorkel guide in Belize, when we sailed through the Western Caribbean on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Getaway, everyone seemed to conspire to make us feel completely comfortable exploring this brilliant version of reality.