A post by a cruiser on a CruiseCritic forum yesterday indicates that a cruise passenger visiting Bermuda was assaulted and battered in an attempted robbery last week.
One June 14th, a passenger from the NCL Dawn cruise ship was walking back to the ship around 4:00 p.m. from Snorkel Beach on what is described as a "relatively well traveled walkway in front of the main entrance to the Maritime Museum."
A Bermudian man punched the passenger in the face, knocking him to the ground and then began to search through the passenger's pockets. The passenger fought back and then fled back to the cruise ship where he reported the incident to security personnel and customs agents. Bermudian police reportedly stated that such attacks have become more frequent in recent years.
On June 8th, the BDA Sun reported that two NCL crewmembers from the Dawn were assaulted early in the morning in Snorkel Park and one of the crewmembers required medical treatment in a hospital.
The newspaper then published an article about the fracas entitled Warning of Tourism Fallout after Fight. Snorkel Park chief Tom Steinhoff is quoted as saying: "Behaviour like this threatens further investment in Bermuda and threatens Bermuda tourism – we are going to do everything we can to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again."
On May 31, 2011, the Royal Gazette newspaper reported on the attacks of two cruise tourists in an article entitled "Man Admits Attack on Cruise Ship Visitors." A Bermudan man admitted attacking two cruise tourists with a piece of metal pipe in a public bathroom in Par-la-Ville Park. As usual, the newspaper did not mention the name of the cruise line or cruise ship.
Last week's violent assault and battery of a cruise passenger is not going to help the island's reputation.
The Bermuda Police have an online website which contains "daily reports" of crime. Although there is an online account of the earlier incident involving the crewmembers, there is no mention of the assault of the cruise passenger last week.
Unlike many of the Caribbean islands, Bermuda has long enjoyed a reputation for being a generally safe destination (the exception being the brutal rape and death of a young Canadian tourist Rebecca Middleton and the incompetence of the Bermudian authorities which followed).
Are crimes against cruise passengers and crew a problem in Bermuda?
June 22, 2011 Update:
Cruise Critic has an interesting article about this incident. The police in Bermuda are claiming that this was no random act of violence but rather a "drug deal gone wrong." The police do not deny that the passenger was injured. Rather they are saying that the alleged drug transaction led to the violence.
I'm not sure that makes me feel any better. It seems to raise the issue whether Bermuda may have a problem with drugs as well as violent crime.
The article is entitled "Bermuda Police Debunk Alleged Attack on Cruise Ship Passenger."
June 23, 2011 Update:
The Royal Gazette newspaper in Bermuda is finally covering the story - "Alleged Robbery was Drug Deal Gone Bad Govt."