Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Your Bermuda Port Call: Will It Be More Entertaining?

One advantage of a Bermuda itinerary is that cruise ships remain docked at night, which affords the opportunity to dine ashore and sample the nightlife. There's always been a downside to onboard life, though. While most shipboard services—dining, lounges, and the fitness center and spa—continue to hum along as usual, duty-free shops and casinos have been required by Bermuda government regulations to remain closed when in port. Additionally, professional entertainment in the show lounge has been curtailed, although a movie might be screened there instead. Many ships offer a "Bermuda Night" tropical-theme deck party; however, ships docked in Hamilton and St. George's generally wrap up the outdoor festivities around midnight as a courtesy to local residents.

Happily, though, there may be a change on the horizon. The Royal Gazette reports that the Bermuda government is making a move to allow cruise ships to open signature shops and offer full entertainment onboard, including the operation of casinos after 10pm while docked. But will public opinion, and the local distaste for gambling, prevail over the government's desire to boost tourism and keep those cruise ships calling? The initiative seems up in the air to me, although others see it as a done deal.

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