1. Should I take a cruise or fly?
Cruise ship experiences are generally that of a theme park. Do not expect an immersive cultural experience coming from a cruise ship, but you can still have plenty of fun on the world's newest and largest ships. Many cruise ship passengers complain that Bermudians are rude, when in fact Bermudians are known to air passengers for their kindness and hospitality. There are two main reasons for that disparity between cruise and air: Bermudians don't engage in the high pressure ultra friendly sales tactics prevalent on the ship, and Bermudians typically can spot cruise ship passengers. Cruise ship passengers tend to wear cheap clothing and carry large bags (we all wonder what's in them but won't ask) either their own, or ones with markings from the ship. They are generally seen as cheap interlopers by virtue of the fact that they spend so little time and money in the destination compared with air passengers, and ask dumb questions like where the nearest McDonald's is. Seriously? You travel to one of the most remote places in the world to eat at McDonald's? As of 2014, Bermuda has no McDonald's, fast food chains are banned, although KFC made it in before the ban was in place. Bermuda is however known as "Another World" you'll see this printed on vanity license plates. The KFC staff are unionised (spelling is British) and paid a living wage, provided with full health insurance, a public and private pension, both by law and other benefits including statutory holiday, vacation, and overtime pay; this is reflected shockingly in only slightly higher pricing and minor menu variations from the continental U.S. and Canada. Don't expect warm hospitality as a tourist eating KFC though. Bermuda is one of the world's wealthiest destinations along with Monaco, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein as well as one of the most remote populated places on Earth; travelling there to eat fast food is frowned upon by locals, and you'd be encouraged to reconsider the purpose of your visit or visit somewhere else. If you want better local treatment try not to look like you're from the ship, and don't bring it up in conversation.
2. Can I bring my drugs?
Bermuda generally has a lax standard for opiates like codeine compared with the U.S. with some not requiring a prescription. That said, all prescriptions should be in their original labelled bottles or packs when travelling in case Customs does inspect them. Many tourists bring large amounts of drugs both prescription and recreational to the island on their visits often sharing them with locals they meet. While this is much appreciated and endearing, this is generally unwise. All recreational drugs are illegal in Bermuda at present including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and others. Even electronic cigarette fluid containing nicotine is prescription controlled. Being caught with drugs may extend your stay by 3-6 months in a pleasant, well appointed, climate controlled prison and result in a fine of several thousand dollars. If you are carrying such a large amount as to be charged with trafficking you could be facing 2-20 years in prison. Bermuda is not a friendly place to bring drugs, although checks are woefully inadequate with a Customs service that resembles a small town bumbling duo that pesters and annoys, it's advised that you leave your drugs at home. Most drugs are available at night clubs although prices are steep and selection limited, ask your bartender (there's a two drink minimum before asking though and even then no guarantee) local housekeeping staff, a local taxi driver, or another local. Bermuda has one of the highest rates of drug use in the world however don't be surprised if someone doesn't know where to buy illegal drugs you may have asked a newly landed foreign worker or another tourist. Thankfully this rate of drug use is not reflected in high crime statistics.
3. What about fashion and music?
Fashion in Bermuda is generally about two years behind the current runway selections for men, and about one year for women. It's more fashionable than a small town yocal but, less fashionable than your typical big city dweller. There is an overwhelming amount of Louis Vuitton accessories carried by women on the island. So much so that the local store recently closed in April 2014 as the common sight of LV products, and the common placement of the store, was inconsistent with LVMH brand policy. Bermuda's only native dress is the shorts typically worn only by men in the summer time with knee socks. The music is generally poor with Bermudians displaying little taste for music trends. The general display is the top 40 U.S. pop hits from the past 10 years mixed with a Caribbean flair for light reggae and soca. A recent local hit consisted of only one made up word, Palance, and came with a bedevilling jumping dance. There is no local music per se with live entertainers typically performing covers from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s. There has been a trend to establish "Ibiza" chill nights although the music at all of these Ibiza events is not reflective of Ibiza. Clearly the DJ has never been there, and I guess they count on the guests not having been there either. As of 2014, the EDM trend has hit among the jet setting youth but the general public has rejected the trend for the time being; it may take a few years to catch on.
4. What about internet access?
Bermuda has the highest rate of broadband penetration in the world. It's available to every citizen although it is costly compared with other jurisdictions. Paid Wi-Fi access is even available at Horseshoe Beach. That said random Wi-Fi may not be good enough, and it may be cheaper if you want to use data on your cellular or mobile phone. Contact your mobile provider before leaving to purchase an international data plan. As of 2014 mobile data access is available at 3 and 4G speeds over the entire island and up to 50 miles (80km) out to sea. Wi-Fi is scattered across the island inconsistently, and may be paid or free.
5. Is there anything else I need to know?
Bermuda is a wealthy developed island that has been practicing tourism for over 100 years. It was largely developed as in an industry in Bermuda. That said it is not crime free and you'd be well advised to secure your valuables and person at all times, particularly at night. Tourists have even been seen counting large wads of cash in the middle of the sidewalk on busy Hamilton streets. Don't let your common sense go on vacation as well. Keep your wits about you and you'll have a great time. The other rather annoying thing is that Taxis are generally unavailable after about 10pm except on Friday or Saturday nights when they might be available until about 3:30am. Ferry and Bus Schedules also encourage one to be early to bed, and early to rise.