The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 12, 2011

Wandering Off the Beaten Path at Princess Cays

Filed under: travel, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 11:51 pm


For most people, the first things that comes to mind when they think of the Caribbean are the beaches.  I’m sure that some people (mostly the ones who haven’t ever actually been to the Caribbean) seem to have the misguided impression that entire islands are surrounded completely by pristine white sand beaches.  While it is true that there are some very nice beaches to be found on many Caribbean islands, the reality is that these beaches make up only a relatively small portion of the shorelines of many Caribbean islands.  Granted, most people traveling in this part of the world aren’t going to have any trouble finding the nice beaches on the various islands, but many of the cruise lines that operate in the Caribbean have their own private beaches (or, if you believe what’s in the brochures, private islands) that they include in their itineraries.  For Princess ships (as well as P&O ships, and even an occasional Cunard or Costa ship when they’re in the area) this beach stop is Princess Cays, a beach near the southern tip of the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. 

Geographically, Eleuthera is a bit of an oddity, being nearly 110 miles long from tip to tip, but only about a mile wide for most of that distance.  This means that many of the island’s visitors
(at least the ones coming by cruise ship) will never see more than a tiny fragment of the island’s southern tip during their visit.  At least the part they do see comes with a nice white sand beach and plenty of things to do while you’re there.  Granted, many people will quite likely find a nicer beach elsewhere on their cruises (I happen to like Coki Beach in St. Thomas myself)  but if there’s one particularly nice thing about the beach at Princess Cays, it’s the fact that your visit comes with no obligations.  One thing you quickly learn while on a cruise is that the port calls are often rather short, meaning that you’ll barely have time to scratch the surface of many of the islands you will visit.  Sure, a beach day at one of the popular cruise ship port calls like St. Thomas or St. Maarten sounds nice, and you certainly have that option if you wish, but with all the other shore excursions, tours and other activities being offered, not to mention all the shopping there is to be found on these islands, there’s only so much you’re going to be able to get done during the short time you’ll have on the various islands, so in most cases you’re going to have to pick and choose.  On the other hand, when you’re at Princess Cays, you’re guaranteed a day on the beach if you want it, with little else competing for your time ashore.  Sure, there’s options here as well (there are plenty of watersports on offer during your visit, and there are snorkel areas along the beach with lots of fish to see) but most people are just going to just spend the day relaxing in the sun.  But for those who are willing to get up out of their beach chair and explore a little, Princess Cays does have a hidden secret to be found.  You will find more information after the jump.


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