On New York’s biggest cruise ship, Bloomberg opens up about Bermuda

Bloomberg in front of the Norwegian Breakaway. (Dana Rubinstein)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks very highly of Craig Cannonier, the new premier of Bermuda, where the mayor keeps a mansion.

"They have a new government in Bermuda," said Bloomberg on Wednesday. "And I can just tell you it's like night and day. This has always been a wonderful island and today it is an awful lot better than before. It keeps getting better every time. People love this new government. And tourists will as well."

Bloomberg spends a lot of time in Bermuda: He's believed to visit his estate there about twice a month. And according to a 2010 article on the subject, Bermudians "view him as one of their own."

Nevertheless, as that article also noted, the mayor, "has walled off his life in Bermuda from voters in New York, arguing it is none of their business. He steadfastly refuses to say when he is on the island, and to blindfold prying eyes, he has blocked aviation Web sites from making public the movements of his private planes."

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He rarely, if ever, talks about it. Reporters, pretty much since the time Bloomberg became a public figure, have had to pry loose details by themselves.

Except on Wednesday, when, an unusual set of circumstances forced Bloomberg's hand.

In a darkened theater full of travel agents, inside a cruise ship moored just down the way from Roman Abramovich's $1.5 billion Eclipse on the far west side, Bloomberg took part in the christening of the Norwegian Breakaway, the largest cruise ship to ever call New York City home.

Several dignitaries from islands whose economies rely on the cruise industry were in attendance, including Bermuda's premier, and the prime minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie.

"To the mayor of New York, I'm told that you actually come to the Bahamas often," said Christie, during his remarks, feigning jealousy of his Bermudian counterparts. "I appreciate that you will say so when you come up here, huh? Even though Mayor Bloomberg, the premier of Bermuda recognize you as a friend."

"Mr. Prime Minister, you do not have to worry," said Bloomberg, when he took the mic. "Nor Mr. Premier. I will spend a lot of time, particulary after the next 238 days, when I'm gonna be unemployed, I'll have plenty of time to go to both your wonderful islands. ... And, Mr. Prime Minister, I play a lot of golf both on your island and on the premiere's island. And I think it's fair to say that these two islands, and I've been to a lot of islands in my last 71 years, you never are made to feel as welcome as you are in both of these places. "