Our first stop on the Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean cruise was to their own private beach at Princess Cays, on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Most cruise lines have their own private beaches, but since Eleuthera has over 100 acres of beachfront access, I guess the tiny one acre private white-sand beach belonging to Princess, is not all that impressive when you consider it is only 1% of the island. Regardless, it is beautiful and you can enjoy the gorgeous scenery, a lounge chair, and lunch/drinks for free, included with your cruise. That is where it ends, because there is literally a charge for every other single thing you could do there.
The set-up is beautiful, colorful bungalows lining the oceanfront on one side, with hundreds of lounge chairs and clam shells set up providing shade for some of them. The arrival by tender (a small boat that takes you from your cruise ship to the port) is quite a photographic journey, and it is a quick process; the cruise lines have this down pat.
The only thing you have to decide is where you want to sit and how you want to spend your day. You can book your activities on the boat prior to arriving on the island, or you can wait and do it once you arrive on the island. There are a few guided tours that leave from this port, but we always just stay on the island and enjoy spending the day relaxing and working on our tan.
Beginning around 11 am, there are facilities that feature a buffet style lunch. Lunch consisted of burgers, ribs, italian sausages, baked beans (which were straight from a can), potato salad, and some desserts such as cookies and brownies. There was a nice fresh fruit station with many choices as well as the tea and soda to drink. Alcohol was available for purchase at several different locations and a beach wait staff came around to take your order. While lunch was not anything fantastic, it was filling and free.
Other pay options on the island included floating mattresses, aqua chairs, kayaks, paddle wheelers, snorkeling equipment, and banana boat rides. Clamshell rentals are $29. Lastly, browse through the marketplace offering local handicrafts and souvenirs. A sundries store is available with anything you may need for the outdoors.
Eleuthera, Bahamas (Princess Cays) Photo Gallery:
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