As I understand it, the ships usually prefer to dock on the port side, that being said though, it is all dependent on the weather and sea conditions at the time of arrival. Last time I was there on the Explorer in March, they did happen to dock on the port side.
As for the shops and casinos, yes they are all closed while in port, as they usually are in most all ports I have been to.
While I am not a golfer, I have heard there are some beautiful courses out there; I do believe there are some golf excursions, but I would consider looking up some sort of golfing link to find out where the best courses might be to play.
The trip to Bermuda is a great trip especially on the Explorer.
After re-reading your question, I see I did not answer your question completely. Should the ship dock on the port side, that will face King's Wharf, me personally I would prefer the looking at the other view which would give you a wide view of the island of Bermuda.
It really is a 50-50 shot as to which side of the ship will dock.
Yes we have been to Bermuda before but have never made it over to Hamilton, or to Horseshoe Bay Beach.....for SURE we will be going this time!
No biggie actually which side we dock on.....we'll have a wonderful view no matter what!
Just happy to be able to be there.......LOVE Bermuda! AND the Explorer, this will be our 4th time sailing onboard, hope some of our favourites are still there like Dwayne the best bartender EVER and my buddy "Lorna Doone" who we met last year in the Chamber. A great ship with a great crew!