Crystal Symphony passengers thrilled to be in Bermuda
A brother and sister from the US said yesterday they had to “jump through hoops” to come to Bermuda on the cruise ship Crystal Symphony – but that it was worth it in the end.
Dill and Patrice Worcester, from Florida, were among about 180 passengers aboard the first cruise ship to visit from an overseas port since the pandemic hit last March.
The ship tied up in Dockyard after it stood off the island while Covid-19 tests were checked.
The Worcesters said it was their first trip to Bermuda in 20 years and they were having such a great time that, even though they will return to Boston this afternoon, they planned to come back on next week’s Crystal Symphony voyage.
Ms Worcester, 61, said: “We love Bermuda – it’s our favourite island but visiting again just hasn’t worked out in the past.
“We felt Bermuda was a good destination and a safe place to go.”
Mr Worcester, 68, added: “Crystal Symphony required vaccinations, so we felt safer because of that.”
The Worcesters admitted that they had to race to get their tests in time for the cruise, but that the precautions were necessary.
Ms Worcester said there were more restrictions in Bermuda than the US, but this was a good thing.
She added: “We actually feel safer on the ship and here in Bermuda than we do at home.”
Ms Worcester said: “A few weeks ago we went to Nassau in the Bahamas and everything was shuttered, so we’re thankful that Bermuda is still open for business.”
The Worcesters said that they hoped to visit the perfumery in St George and have lunch at the Hog Penny in Hamilton.
Crystal Cruises, the owner of Crystal Symphony, announced last month that the ship would make 13 voyages to Bermuda this year.
The ship was expected to arrive on Tuesday, but was delayed due to Hurricane Henri, which made landfall in southern New England earlier this week.
Marie Schwartz, 76, and Dawn Adelsberg, 53, said that they started a day of “drinking, eating and shopping” the minute they disembarked from the ship.
Ms Schwartz, from Newport Beach, California, added it was her first time on a ship in almost two years and her first visit to Bermuda in more than a decade.
She said: “If it wasn’t so hot and we didn’t have time constraints we would have gone to Hamilton and St George’s.
“We will definitely come back.”
Ms Adelsberg, also from Newport Beach, said the process to get to the island was complicated and that it could have been made clearer.
She explained: “I had to make several calls and each call takes 45 minutes.
“Our Covid tests had to come from an accredited lab and when I called to ask if a doctor’s facility was OK they said ‘oh yeah that’s fine’, but it took 45 minutes to do that.”
But Ms Adelsberg praised the island’s “thorough” Covid-19 regime and said she hoped to visit again.
Passengers had to be vaccinated and show a clear coronavirus test before they boarded the cruise.
John and Elaine Hubbard, a retired couple from Huntsville, Alabama, said that their trip to Bermuda was their first holiday in almost two years.
Ms Hubbard, 72, added that it was a “beautiful” way to restart overseas travel.
She said: “The views from where we went, looking down into the various coves and beaches, is absolutely beautiful.
“We haven’t had a chance to interact with many people, but we’ve enjoyed ourselves so far.”
Ms Hubbard said that she had three separate coronavirus tests in the past week to travel through Crystal Symphony.
But Mr Hubbard, 79, added the restrictions were preferable to the US where “people just get sick”.
He said: “This is a very isolated island here and keeping Covid out can be relatively straightforward as long as no one brings it from outside.”
Sylvia Bento, the manager of clothing store Makin’ Waves in Dockyard, said the area was “extremely quiet” despite the presence of the cruise ship.
She said that most people stayed on board the ship or travelled to Hamilton.
But Ms Bento added she was confident that more tourists would explore Dockyard today.
She said: “If not then there’s always next week. Either way, I am pleased and happy because the locals are shopping.”