Finding a doctor or getting a prescription filled on Bermuda is relatively simple. In an emergency, call King Edward VII Hospital, 7 Point Finger Rd., Paget Parish (tel. 441/236-2345), and ask for the emergency department. For less serious medical problems, ask someone at your hotel for a recommendation.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, consult your doctor before your departure. Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage, and carry them in their original containers, with pharmacy labels -- otherwise they won't make it through airport security. Carry the generic name of prescription medicines in case a local pharmacist is unfamiliar with the brand name.
Contact the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT; tel. 716/754-4883 or, in Canada, 416/652-0137; www.iamat.org), for tips on travel and health concerns in Bermuda, and for lists of local doctors. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (tel. 800/232-4636; www.cdc.gov) provides up-to-date information on health hazards by region or country and offers tips on food safety. Travel Health Online (www.tripprep.com), sponsored by a consortium of travel medicine practitioners, also offers helpful advice on traveling abroad.
Sunburns & Exposure -- Limit your exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 11am and 2pm and during the first few days of your trip. Use a sunscreen with a high protection factor and apply it liberally. Also, as you travel around Bermuda on a scooter, on bike, or on foot, it's always wise to carry along some bottled water to prevent dehydration.
Seasickness -- A great deal of the population tends toward seasickness. If you've never been out on a boat, or if you've been seasick in the past, make sure you take any seasickness prevention measures that work for you before you board; once you set sail, it's generally too late. On the boat, stay as low and near the center of the boat as possible. Stay out in the fresh air and watch the horizon. If you start to feel queasy, drink clear fluids like water, and eat something bland, such as a soda cracker.
Cuts -- All cuts obtained in the marine environment must be taken seriously because the high level of bacteria present in the water can quickly cause the cut to become infected. The best way to prevent cuts is to wear a wet suit, gloves, and reef shoes. If you get a coral cut, the book All Stings Considered recommends gently pulling the edges of the skin open and removing any embedded coral or grains of sand with tweezers. Next, scrub the cut well with fresh water, and then press a clean cloth against the wound to stop the bleeding.
Bermuda has always been considered a safe destination, especially when compared to countries of the Caribbean such as Jamaica. However, there is some crime here, and the U.S. State Department has an advisory. Criminal activity continues to take place at St. George, a popular cruise-ship destination. Incidents of verbal and physical assault against tourists have been reported. Petty drug use is frequent, and gang activity has been reported in the area as well.
In recent years, the area of Pitts Bay Road from the Hamilton Princess Hotel into the town of Hamilton has been a common setting for muggings. The back streets of Hamilton are often the setting for nighttime assaults, particularly after the bars close.
Valuables left in hotel rooms (occupied and unoccupied) or left unattended on beaches are vulnerable to theft. Criminals often target transportation systems and popular tourist attractions. Examples of common crimes include pick-pocketing, theft of unattended baggage and items from rental motorbikes, and purse snatchings (often perpetrated against pedestrians by thieves riding motorbikes).
Travelers should exercise caution when walking after dark or visiting out-of-the-way places on the island, which can be vulnerable to crime, and because narrow and dark roadways can contribute to accidents.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.