Catering to their needs: Businesses that are activity-based do well with cruise ship passengers. *Photo by Tony McWilliam
Catering to their needs: Businesses that are activity-based do well with cruise ship passengers. *Photo by Tony McWilliam

Dockyard shops and restaurants are experiencing varied business impact as they stretch to accommodate the bigger cruise ships coming to Bermuda.

For frozen yoghurt spot Bermyberry, business has been great as they handle the thousands of tourists each ship brings. 

Assistant manager Scott Smith told the Bermuda Sun: “It’s huge business all the time. Literally there are thousands of people in Dockyard every day and tourists stop in all the time.”

Others, however, haven’t been feeling the same boost from the ships. 

The Dockyard Pastry Shop still relies on locals to bring in revenue, telling the Bermuda Sun: “We feel the cruise ships a bit but we mostly rely on locals. When the cruise ships come in people go to the beach or go to town, they don’t stick around. People don’t really have reason to stay, although we do get some of the crew coming in.”

Ship’s casino

The Bonefish Grill is experiencing similar problems due to the new casino rules allowing cruise ship casinos to operate while in port.

 “Business is good but having the casino open means it is not as good as business was before. We see a big slowdown in night-times because the casino people, the casino crew, and also the guests don’t come out as much as they used to.”

One of the reasons tourists are opting to stay on the ship at night rather than go back out is due to many of the shops closing up at around five, meaning there isn’t as much to do in the later hours. 

Bernie O’Reilly, manager of Dockyard Pharmacy, said: “We have experimented over the past few years with different opening and closing times, but generally it seems to be a pattern that people go back to their cruise ships for dinner, so between six and eight it’s pretty dead. Then, I guess they are looking to come back out again, but what do you do then? Do you open from eight to ten? Most of our staff are on public transport and need to get home.”

Overall, reports indicate that Dockyard is doing well keeping up with the influx of tourists. O’Reilly added, “We don’t get any complaints. People love the island and they’re always in pretty good humour when they come in, so we see the best side of people.”

“I think Dockyard is doing a great job and we are capable of handling the people,”  added Bonefish owner Livio Ferigo. “In general they are happy, they are enjoying it, and there’s good feedback from the people. For the most part it’s all positives.”