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Bermuda bouncing back after a bruising by Hurricane Gonzalo

Bermuda bouncing back after a bruising by Hurricane Gonzalo
After getting 'bruised' by Hurricane Gonzalo, in the widely reported phrase of Premier Michael Dunkley, Bermuda is quickly recovering and scheduled to handle its first cruise ship on Wednesday. Celebrity Infinity is to call on a repositioning voyage from Europe to the Caribbean. The ship sailed Oct. 13 from Harwich and is to arrive at Port Everglades on Oct. 27.

As of Monday, Celebrity Cruises still had Bermuda in the itinerary, and the Bermuda Tourism Authority website said the ship was expected.

It will be a few more days until Norwegian Cruise Line is due to return. 'Everything is operating normally and Norwegian Dawn will be calling as scheduled on Heritage Wharf on 10/26,' a company spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider in an email.

Norwegian Dawn's last Bermuda sailing from Boston, which would have arrived Sunday for a three-day stay, was diverted to the Bahamas, and Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas, which would have arrived Monday from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., is sailing to Atlantic Canada instead.

Gonzalo hit Bermuda late Friday night as a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph/175 km/h and higher gusts. Huge swells and heavy rainfall toppled trees, downed power lines and damaged structures.

Only minor injuries were reported but about 90% of the territory lost electricity.

Once a Category 4 hurricane, Gonzalo weakened as it approached Bermuda. Still, it packed a powerful punch, was said to be the worst storm to hit in a decade, and followed Tropical Storm Fay less than a week earlier.

Despite all this, 'Bermuda is open for business,' the Bermuda Tourism Authority website stated Monday.

'The L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA), as well as the causeway, the main road serving the airport, both reopened as of Sunday afternoon. Additionally, all of Bermuda's hotel properties are open and are able to accept guests. Cruise ship calls to the island resume on Wednesday with the arrival of the Celebrity Infinity,' the statement continued.

'Once again, Bermuda has shown it is built to last in the face of severe weather like Hurricane Gonzalo,' Bermuda Tourism Authority ceo Bill Hanbury said. 'The cooperation of the public and private sectors along with the tenacity of Bermuda's people are putting this island paradise back on its feet at incredible speed. All of us are ready to get back to work doing what we do best: welcoming visitors.'

Already on Saturday, an NBC News meteorologist broadcasting from Bermuda reported 'This island is back up and running.' Bermuda had been prepared for Gonzalo, she said, adding that by Saturday afternoon, much of the debris was cleared away.