My wife and I first visited Bermuda in the 1980s as a cruise stop; we were so taken by its beauty and serenity. Everyone was so well dressed, the shopping was excellent and the beaches were superb. We were so impressed that over a decade later when I retired in 1996 we had no hesitation in returning to Bermuda for a stay of 10 days and again we found it idyllic.
However, in December 2005 we crossed the Atlantic on Crystal Serenity, sailing from Lisbon. One of our two stops was to Bermuda and we couldn't wait to see it once again. Imagine our great disappointment when we arrived at Front Street to find both department stores, Triminghams and Smiths, had closed after over 150 years. Seemingly, so we were told, they had gone bankrupt as a result of competition from the Internet that had affected sales to both locals and visiting tourists. The economy has deteriorated and Bermuda has lost its sparkle. Whether that is equally true of its hotels we were unable to discover.
For us our recent experience has shattered an illusion and we are so sorry we returned.
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