Florida Guide > Cruising
Cruising - Princess Cays
Not really an island but just the southernmost tip of the island of Eleuthera, Princess Cays is the jewel in the crown of private cruise islands. Owned by Princess cruises, this island has been equipped with everything you could need for a relaxing or energetic stay. We have visited this lovely island several times, and when the sun is shining and the seas are a deep blue it is just like paradise. The water which surrounds this island are shallow, and the sand is soft and silvery.
Due to the wonderful coral reef that surrounds this tropical paradise, all ships must anchor offshore, thus necessitating the use of tenders to transport passengers to the onshore. The ships each have numerous lifeboats which are lowered and used as tenders. It is a very efficient operation, and one which ensures the speedy transport of guests to the beaches. The tenders arrive at Love Boat Marina – the name echoing the popular TV series, ‘The Love Boat’ which took place on a Princess ship. Guests are helped ashore where they will find an array of activities to keep them occupied – or they can just rest and relax in a beach chair, or swim in the crystal clear waters surrounding Princess Cays.
If you want to be active there is a variety of equipment to rent, such as seaboards, jet-skis, aqua bikes, paddle wheelers, kayaks, banana boats or sailboats. Those who enjoy snorkelling can hire the correct gear, and floating mats are available, too. The reefs off Eleuthera are home to a stunning variety of fish, such as snapper, parrotfish, grouper, angelfish, and eels, plus loggerhead turtles and eagle rays, so if you have your PADI Open Water qualification you can go scubadiving under professional supervision to this photographer’s dream location. Don’t forget to take your certification card with you to present on arrival.
Games of volleyball or basketball are organised, and if you are feeling adventurous, a great panoramic view of the island and the ship can be found when parasailing.
However, it is just relaxing and soaking up the sunshine which is the most popular activity, and with the sound of steel drums and reggae music wafting on the breeze, it is easy to chill out on the beautiful beach.
Of course, children are not forgotten as Princess has provided an excellent children’s area with Pelican' s Perch. Here, children can be left in the capable hands of staff, who ensure that they do not leave unless they are collected by their parents or guardians. No adult may enter without their child, so safety is paramount. There are large canopies to provide shade for the sandy play area, and there is an adjacent Pirate’s Fortress which is a playground with towers and slides and passageways for children to climb in and over. Great fun!
Even shopping has not been forgotten with various boutiques and local vendors offering hair braiding or crafts and souvenirs. Don’t forget to visit the craft area behind the main thoroughfare, near to the bridge. Here you will find locals selling various crafts – often at prices below the official shops. You can use dollars in these craft shops, and haggling with the vendors is quite acceptable.
Food is available all day, with two large open air BBQ areas where you can choose from the usual BBQ fare of beefburgers, chicken, hot dogs, salad and freshly prepared fruit, as well as cookies and cakes. I love to see the staff cutting up the fresh fruit – it is most indulgent to be able to sample freshly prepared fruit on a Caribbean beach. Covered seating areas are provided to give respite from the sun when eating. There are several bars, and staff wander around ready to take your order.
My personal favourite activity is simply to beachcomb or swim in the warm water, whilst watching the ship at anchor. Bliss.
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