Bermuda’s never ending war on cruise passengers continues with the Royal Gazette newspaper reporting today that "Tearful Cruise Passenger Fined for Drugs."

The newspaper reports that NCL cruise passenger Mr. Cruz (I’m not kidding)  broke into tears today as he was charged with cannabis possession.

The case involves the familiar scheme where the Bermuda customs officials welcome the cruise passenger into their country to shop, eat and drink and then send sniffer dogs on the cruise ship to conduct random and warrant-less searches of the passengers’ cabins. 

Cruise Ship Pot - BermudaThe dogs sniffed out some reefer, 12 grams, from 26 year old Cruz’ cabin on the Norwegian Star.

The sentencing judge was, as usual, Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner, whose title should be Senior Collector of Revenue. 

Cruz pleaded for mercy: “I’m sorry. I know I was not supposed to do it but my mom has stage four cancer and my dad just got an injury to his eye.”

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner could care less and whacked him $800, without any expressions of condolences to Cruz’s sick family. 

The beat in Bermuda goes on .  .  . 


For other reefer madness stories, read:

More Reefer Madness – Bermuda’s Screwed Up Sense of Priorities

Surprise. Surprise. Surprise. More Bermuda Cruise Ship Reefer Madness


May 18, 2012 Update:  The Royal Gazette news paper in Bermuda picks up on our blogs about busting passengers for small amounts of pot.

May 25, 2012 Update:  "Driving Tourists Away" – interesting letters to the editor in Bermuda about cruise ship pot. 

  • Cameron Hollis


    I would like to point out that all vessels coming into Bermuda are subject to search by HM Customs to intercept undeclared goods to be left in Bermuda and contraband. Cruise ships are not nor should they be exempt. It’s a condition of entering Bermuda waters in the same way that the Coast Guard can search any vessels in US waters.

    While I am personally against the prohibition of cannabis there is still the indisputable fact that possession of any amount is still prohibited under Bermudian law and US Federal Law. Were a Bermudian to be found with a fraction of a gram it is still enough to land them in front of a Magistrate. This results in a fine and having their name registered on the U.S. Customs and Border Control stop list. With your Government taking cannabis possession so seriously I think it only right that ours follows suit.

    You call it a war on cruise passengers, I call it not following the law of the land. There is no story here beyond, “Tourist breaks drug laws, given fine instead of custodial sentence.”

    There is little point in this article except to paint Bermuda in a bad light, and paint those that would disregard our laws (and US Federal law) as innocent people hard done by.


  • Stir Fry

    Duly noted and added to travel notes:
    “Harassment via unwarranted searches by customs in Bermuda”.

    What is to stop them from planting it in the cabins?

    When when people realize they are being used and scammed by this industry which is clearly in cahoots with the countries it docks in? This is about the cruise lines selling more alcohol and more money for the country in the form of fines.

    I’d be interested in knowing how many meaningful, large busts Bermuda’s customs agents have performed.

  • Big E

    The Norwegian Star is a Bahamas Flag ship. That means the ship is under the laws of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
    What jurisdiction does Bermuda have on a foreign flag vessel?? This the same reason criminal acts on a cruise vessel are rarely prosecuted.
    NCL must be a party to these illegal searches in order for Bermuda authorities to board and search its cabins. Shame on you NCL.