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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cruise to Bermuda

(See photos in two albums at:



The ship got there in a hurry, in order to claim a docking space.  As it was, we were only
able to walk off on the first day.  The first two photos are of the Norwegian Dawn, at
dockside.  From there, we walked around the Royal Naval Dockyard, now strictly a
pleasure boat marina.  Shopped at the Clock Tower Mall.  All the stone.buildings were
built in the early nineteenth century, to house sailors and marines.

The scene then changes abruptly to pictures we were able to take the next day as we were
driven around the entire island.  Stops were infrequent, so some shots are from inside the
bus.  Too brief a time in Hamilton.  St. George looked inviting; I remember that we
explored it on the 1970 trip with the girls.  The pink cottage colony that we stayed in then
is long gone, replaced by new homes situated closely on every inch of space.

On the third day, we explored the new National Museum, situated in the dockyard forti-
fications.  The exhibits in one of the old buildings gave a fascinating history of the island
from 1609 to the present.  Many artifacts recovered on land and sea illustrate that the
principal industry was salvaging shipwrecks!   Bermuda is simply the rim of a volcano
surrounded and protected by coral reefs, thus inviting many crashes through the years.
You also see photos of a small beach, which is as close as we got to tourist heaven.

The final two days of the cruise were at a leisurely speed, interrupted by a small storm,
and a halt to stand by for rescue of a lone sailor.  You see a lot of pictures of the Art
Deco interior, some a little fuzzy, and the close quarters of our cabin.  Naturally, we
got out of the cabin as much as possible to enjoy whatever amusements the ship had
to offer.  It was a mixed blessing.  Obviously, the objective was to appeal to what
might be termed contemporary tastes.

This seemed to require very loud music, either live or canned, played in every venue
on board except the library.  The lounge, the central atrium. all the bars and restaurants,
and the pool deck were entertained nonstop.  No dance band, no string quartet, no soft
piano.  We are still recovering our hearing.  The theater featured a comedian who made
members of the audience do silly stunts. a stunning acrobatic duo, a transplanted Irishman,
a Second City troupe, and an imitation Bollywood musical.

Speaking of the Irishman, he told a tasteless joke about an 85 year old couple who had
to share a set of false teeth to eat at McDonald's.  The joke earned only a snigger from
the audience.  I caught up with him after another gig, and said:  "O'Malley! (not his real
name). I'm 85, my name is Patrick, and I have my own teeth.  That was not a good joke!"
Startled, he shook my hand, and said "Thank you."

We were overwhelmed by the people.  Unlike other cruises we have been on, there was
always a sea of people moving from one place to another.  Most were entirely
undistinguished by attire.  They paid a lot to go on the cruise, but they didn't look like
they could afford it.  We plead guilty to snobbery, but it was dismaying to see the
obesity epidemic writ large. Apparently, many came just to eat, others to gamble
at all hours the casino was open.   The staff, mostly Filipinos, were unfailingly gracious.

But we did accomplish our objective.  We saw the entire island of Bermuda and learned
its history and place in the world.  Bermuda is the insurance capital of the world, home
to three thousand insurance companies.  It is also a tourist destination, sort of like a
compressed Cape Cod.  We are very glad we live on Cape Cod.

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