Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Caribbean Cruise - Day 2

After a decent night's sleep in our telephone booth room, we woke to find ourselves at Princess Cays; just as well, as the cruise ship was there too ! Har har.

The option to have 'served' breakfast in the main dining room ended at 9am and I can tell you now, we never made it there on ANY morning ! This left the breakfast buffet which was hardly a bad 2nd choice as just about anything you could imagine for breakfast was available and a few items, like french fries and cookies, were available too. Gotta keep your sugar levels up on a cruise y'know.

So....Princess Cays. Never heard of it ? Quelle surprise !

Ever heard of Eleuthera ? Oh come ON. What are you people like ?!

You can't ALL be American !

(Way to go Ian. Piss off your largest reader group why don't you.)

Well Eleuthera is a 100 mile long and very thin (1 mile across in places) island which is part of The Bahamas chain and Princess Cays is a location right on the southern tip of this island. It's a private location owned by the Princess Cruise Line and so once there, you might as well be in Blackpool or Atlantic City except for the lack of floating sewage in the former and the racket of slot machines in the later. It would be a bit of a cheek to claim you'd been to The Bahamas by visiting Princess Cays but hey, go for it if you want to make that claim. I certainly plan to.

Anyway their dock couldn't cope with a ship the size of the Emerald Princess and so we parked up (bit too technical there ?) well offshore and used the ship's tenders to get us there and back. This involved gathering in the Michaelangelo dining room on deck 5, getting a ticket, and when a group of numbers was called out, making your way to the boarding area and getting on one of the tenders which were 'running' non stop twixt ship and resort from 9am till the last one at 3:15pm.

We thought it best to take one that was close to the ship as I'm not a strong swimmer and here is the view from my spot on board.

And this is the view looking back at the ship as we approached Princess Cays.

And this is the view from the dock looking back at an arriving tender with the ship in the background.


Once on dry land, we could've gone to the left where most of the passengers were heading as that's where more of the beach loungers were set up. We therefore headed right as we like a bit more privacy on a beach and anyway, I could smell food that way.

As you can see, it was a very artificial and unnatural setting with paved streets leading everywhere with the vast bulk of the ship dominating the view seawards. Food (free) and drink (not free) was available at several locations and this included every meat it was possible to bbq as well as healthy options like hotdogs, beefburgers and the like !

These two photos show the entrance to one of the four buffet areas and also my meal choice, sitting on my lap while I'm on a lounger on the beach. Hard life I know !

Look ! Lettuce, tomato and onion and even some healthy meat too !!

It had started out warm and a bit overcast but by the time we got settled on the beach, the skies cleared and it looked much more like a Caribbean location. I did tend to take lots of photos with the ship in the background as it was just such a 'kodak' location.

A few people couldn't wait for a tender to take them back to the ship for the more substantial buffet lunch and made a break for it by whatever means possible. Here are two on an aqua-cycle and I've no idea if they made it but I admired their courage. At least they'd have worked up an appetite and I sooo hope they had their sailing cards on them or the ride would've been a total waste of time.

The beach was really a series of small bays each ending with a rocky outcrop and as you might see from the first photo below, these rocks had 'security guards' posted on them to stop us from climbing on them and having lots of jolly fun. Spoilsports.

I did, however, ask that guard if I could clamber over his rocks (!!) to take photos of.....yes the bloody ship again......and he said that would be ok.

Actually everything was done by sign language - I pointed at my camera, then the rocks and did the little man walking routine with my fingers. He looked at me like I was a mad Brit (shut it !!) and hunched his shoulders which I took as a sign of acceptance. On the other hand, he may have been saying "yes you may climb on these irregular, slippery rocks but when you fall and break your stupid British neck and die, don't come crawling to Princess Cruise Lines expecting compensation."

I understood this but as I'd be dead anyway, I didn't really care about any compensation offer.

Here are a couple that I took and maybe it wasn't worth the effort and risk to life that I went through to get them.

Once back on the ship (where entertainment and activities had been going on all day for those who didn't venture onto Princess Cays), I watched a bit of Avatar in 2D on the big deck screen and after another late evening meal, we went back to the Princess Theatre at 10:30pm for a new 'set' from the excellent comedian, Kevin Hughes.

All that lounging, eating and walking to the dining room had worn us out and so, after the show, we called it a day.

We decided on.....Monday.


Daphne said...

I like all this post except the word "Eleuthera". Some words are just horrible and that is one of them: I think they should change the name pronto. Oh, and I don't think chips should be on any breakfast menu. They are things that shouldn't exist before midday. Any time after that, great.

jay said...

I quite like your rock and boat pictures!

Love the pics of toing and froing between the boat - oops, the cruise liner - and the island. You have some great memories there!

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