Princess Cays is a barrier island on the southern tip of Eleuthera. There is a shallow marshy bay with a bridge over to the main island, it is restricted for staff use only. Princess leases a small section of the island, the depth of the Princess property is about 150 yards. There is nothing else around the Princess Cays area, no private shore excursions, no transportation supplied, no town, no restaurants, only a few local vendors selling trinkets and small souvenirs. Princess Cay is basically a day to hang out on the beach.
Map of Eleuthera : east of Nassau : http://www.eleuthera-map.com
Princess Cays with a Princess ship : http://www.satellite-sightseer.com/i...s_Princess_Cay
Princess Cays is beautiful, the layout is like a secluded island with several buildings and restrooms. It is a total beach day, a free food/beach/snorkel stop and a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. You simply walk from the tender to an area of the beach and relax under a palm tree. If you just want to swim, lie on the beach and take your own snorkel gear, it won't cost you anything. The beach area is nice with clear blue warm water. You can also rent various water sports equipment. There is a 4-story high tower you can climb to the top for views. There are free lounge chairs and hammocks available on the beach, hunt around if you want one in the shade. The tenders go back and forth between the ship and the island all day. It's very easy to do.
Beach area to the left side of the tenders is much nicer and better for swimming, the actual swim area is small. There is a brick sidewalk, you don’t have to walk in the scorching sand until you got closer to the water.We easily found lounge chairs on the main beach. We were able to get plenty of shade under a palapa with a nice breeze. Bring cheap blow up rafts and inner tubes to float on all day. Just get off early so you can find a spot with some shade. Plenty of shade on the left side and plenty of room on the beach to find shade or sun. If you have sensitive feet, bring your water shoes along. In the spring and summer you can buy water shoes at sporting good stores, Target and Walmart. Bring towels for swimming, bring them back to the ship as there is a charge for lost towels. Beach towels are provided to everyone when they leave the ship and you are welcome to also get them on Princess Cays. We found the picnic tables at the pavillions adequate to hold stuff while we hit the water. What do people do with their cameras and other valuables while they swim? You just leave them, ask one of your neighbors to keep an eye on things. Princess Cays it too much of a family environment for topless sunbathing. If one is worried, walk south past the rocky point (don't forget your shoes) and there's a long beach where no one will even walk past - one could go bottomless there and no one would even notice. About a 20 minute walk from the tender pier up the beach.
The Cabana side is to the right when you get off the ship. The Cabana ($24) is not the same as the Beach Bungalow ($199). Cabana’s is a canvas cover cloth clamshell that includes two beach chairs, that cover up the back portion of the chair down to the ground, like a half circle. The material they are made of doesn't allow any air to flow, so they can get hot, as you do not get a breeze inside of them. There are plenty of loungers under palm trees, save your money and don't rent a cabana. On the cabana side of the island the beach and water was kind of dirty, and the coral was awful, wear water shoes. Over all we love the princess cabana's over HAL.
Food & Drinks : Drinks/Beer prices are the same as on the ship. The selection is limited, but still pretty good, as the crew has to tender all the beer/liquor from the ship. For drinks other than the normal water and tea, you use your sail and sign card as payment. Favorite Drink - They do one in a coconut shell that seemed to be in high demand when we were there. Bar waiters walk around taking drink orders. Water is free (not bottled water), Numerous water stations were set up on the walking paths. Lunch buffet is provided free - BBQ burgers, Hot Dogs, Chicken, Ribs, salads, a fruit buffet and deserts. The food was very good. BBQ buffet closing around 1:30pm, bar closing 45 minutes later. There was a covered picnic area where you took your food to sit down and eat in the shade. It was clean and comfortable.
Walking - There are a couple small trails that you can walk along, exploring the area behind the beach. We headed south-east to the right from the tender port when facing the island from the ship and discovered 10 graves. It was a bit of a hike, an hour there and back with some exploring, but made the day very interesting.
Shopping – At the end of the day, there is a long line to get back to the ship - this is the BEST time to shop. The outside small hut vendors will give you much lower prices at that time. There are some Princess inside shops and straw markets on the area leased by Princess, they are higher priced and will not bargain with you. They will accept a cruise card. The only thing the Princess shops had that the "outside" shops didn't have was A/C. There was one lady close to the food and beverage area that sold straw purses /bags with flowers on them (very pretty and lined with fabric) and she would put a name on for you if you wanted. Hematite black necklaces were also very plentiful and inexpensive, some ornaments also. There are a few shops if you want Princess Cays logo items, and a few hair braid huts. You get off the tender on the left side of the lagoon. The shopping area entrance is basically to the left and behind the lagoon when coming into the lagoon.
There is a small local flea market just outside of the actual Princess compound. There is no town to go into, just a small grouping of local curio shops. Take a short walk outside of the complex and there is another dirt street full of markets/shops. You will have to go out of the Princess property and go into the Bahamas. The entrance to it is right where the tenders come in, at the rear of the property. You can pretty much see it to the right when you get off the tender. There is a fence which is manned by security guards. All you need is your sign and sail cruise ID to get back in. Its very safe. There is the same stuff (but more) outside as there is inside. The prices are much better outside. Definitely go outside of the complex for your shopping. Much better prices on small items and jewelry than the official Princess Cays shops. Prices from the vendors outside the fenced Princess area are cheaper and they will negotiate prices. when we were there Nov 07 they did accept US dollars. We did all of our trinket shopping here - crafts, locally made jewelry, small souvenirs with local crafts, trinkets, some shell bracelets, fridge magnets, postcards, small figurines and a lot of local souvenir stuff. I would much rather support a local person, than Princess. Those people need the $$ WAY more. That's why we did our shopping there. The people were very nice and thankful for whatever sale they could make.
Google Earth views of Princess Cays - Type in or cut and paste, the coordinates into the search area on Google Earth - 24 38' 30"N, 76 10' 14"W - Staying in the Bahamas, but moving way south to Eleuthera Island. It's as sparse vegetation wise as it looks from the air.
A short video looking out from the bridge to the shops : http://travel.webshots.com/video/302...01799232cXpAGf
Pictures : Go to www.webshots.com and do a search on Princess Cays.
Bungalow pictures: http://web.mac.com/tlassek/iWeb/Site/Bungalows.html
How many ships on your day at Princess Cays : www.cruisecal.com
Snorkling: Looking at the shore from the water, the snorkelling area is to the far left. When you get on the island walk to your left as far as you can go. Walk way down the beach, there is an area where the beach is closed at the shore line. There is a covered dock like/pier that goes out into the water - a red roofed shelter out on rocks overlooking the water. Get in to the left of that and swim around to the front. There were tons of fish near the structure. Swim around this area, and to a large reef area north of the red roof. This is a great snorkeling area, and can only be accessed by swimming around a small pier. You also have to swim back the way you came. This is because they do not want anyone standing up on the coral in this area, as this would destroy it. The snorkeling area is quite nice. Lots of fish and some coral. Snorkeling was very good. Our snorkling on Princess Cays was FABULOUS! Swimming and snorkeling was okay, not great, fish, no coral and there were rocky bits off the beach that you need to watch out for. We saw a lot more fish than expected. Wear water shoes as there is some coral near the edge of the water. You can swim past it though. You can rent snorkel gear here (snorkels, fins, rafts, boats, other beach toys) using your cruise card. We absolutely loved our day at Princess Cays! The best snorkling on our cruise. There are a few rocky spots getting into the water, but more sand. If you do go snorkling, unless you're a very strong swimmer, wear a vest. We went snorkling, had our own masks but after wearing myself out fighting the current, I rented a vest. Going out is easy, swimming around the pier looking at the fish is easy, getting back will wear you out! Buy some fish food, the fish will eat right out of your hands. Bring your snorkeling equipment and underwater camera. Tons of different fish there. We saw a large lobster and purple spiny things. I swam out deeper to the floating rope that encompassed the snorkeling area, and saw a large 3 ft long skinny fish. There are a lot of great things to see under the water in this area. We had a great time. The snorkeling from shore was also pretty good. We really enjoyed it and the reef is right off the beach. We all loved Princess Cays and would go back in a heartbeat.
Water activities - There are small sailboats, kayaks, water tricycles and banana boat rides available for rent. You may want to book on the ship as we found snorkeling gear and banana boat rides went quick.
List of Princess Cays Excursions and prices : http://www.princess.com/shorex/shorexdisplay.jsp
Glass bottom boat cruise: 1h –View the beautiful underwater world without getting wet. Board the boat at the marina for a cruise to one of the area’s pristine coral reefs. Upon arrival the captain will maneuver the boat around the reef and your guide will point out and identify the host of colorful fish, corals, and sponges that make their home here. View the fish and corals through large panels and you can even try to identify the fish on your own with the fish identification cards that are attached to the railing. Don't do the glass bottom boat ride, nothing good to see and they put way to many people on the boat.
Float - This is a relaxing way to spend your day on the water. From $9 p day. We rented the floats and enjoyed them in a little bay area right in front of the bungalows. Sea Board - Enjoy your personalized glass-bottom float. Do not rent the Sea Boards, They were heavy and hard to handle especially in the current and wind. We did not think they were worth the price. Aqua Chair - Relax in the turquiose waters - From $9 p day. It's a chair-like float with a horseshoe shaped foam piece that sits on the top of the water, and swing-like seat suspended underneath. There were lots available when we were there, so I wouldn't worry about ordering them in advance. Kayak - you book (and pay) according to how many boats you need, not according to how many people. Sea kayaking is great on this beach. We rented a Hobie Craft. (2 person sail boat). Even with no previous experience it was a blast! If people got into trouble (not able to harness the wind), they just sent out a guy on a SeaDoo to help out. We're read that the current can be on the strong side, so as we're not strong swimmers we thought that a transparent hull kayak might give us an opportunity to see some of the fish and coral. There are no wave runners, jet skis or no parasailing on Princess Cay.
The only motorized activity is the Banana Boat ride. The banana boat is pulled like a tube or skier, a 5 or so minute ride. I would highly recommend this - however, check the distribution of the weight before you start. The attendants just told everybody to sit where they wanted. Our family weighs about 450 lbs and the other side had to have weighed at least twice that. Everyone on the other side tipped over into the water twice. Despite only riding for about 5 of the 15 minutes promised, we still had a blast. The kids would have preferred a longer ride and less time waiting for people to climb back on. Recommend that you wear goggles, so that the salt water does not get into your eyes. Even if the cruise line says they are sold out, you can book it right there on the beach. We did the banana boat which was fun. Every muscle in my body hurt from trying to hold on!
Beach Bungalows (Up To 6 People) - Enjoy your own private beachfront bungalow while at Princess Cays. Located in the picturesque palm grove just behind the beach, the colorful bungalows are to the far left when you get on the island. There are now 12 bungalows on the island. It is a lovely area with palm trees, the water is very close by and the beach is not rocky at all. It's basically a little room that holds a table and four chairs for you to eat lunch. There were some reserved loungers out front and it was very close to a lovely little cove for snorkelling and swimming. Book per bungalow, one ticket is valid for up to six people. This rental is non-refundable.You could fit 6 people into each but any more than 4 would be quite crowded at the table, the other two could head out onto the deck. There are six lounge chairs provided with each bungalow. The air conditioning works well if you keep the french door closed and fan on. We've booked a bungalow, there are 8 of us. What to do, If there are only a maximum of 6 priority tender tickets ? 6 people got the priority tenders and the other 2 just show up later. The food served was plenty so not an issue. Waiters did not mind as the more, the higher the tips.
Things that make the bungalows special : priority tenders, food served, privacy, shade, reserved lounge chairs, air conditioning and has a ceiling fan, shelter from the sun. It certainly was a nice treat. There are areas of shade. each bungalow features air-conditioning and ceiling fan, a table and four chairs inside, two sun loungers outside on the deck, and a private shower outside - a tap on the side of the bungalow about 6 feet high and the other side had a water spocket for washing off your feet. Beach umbrella that four chairs could sit under - which was nice when we had a quick 5 minute drizzle. A/C was wonderful! Private stretch of beach with some excellent layout chairs on water / rock edge. Towels, we did take our own, but there were some on the loungers outside.
Bathroom is not nearby, its near the barbecue area, on the other side of the buffet. A little hike but not a deal breaker. The restrooms are close to the tendering area which is definitely walkable.If you want the one closest to the bathrooms, choose the yellow or bungalow #1.
Additional amenties maybe included for a supplemental charge such as a gourmet picnic. Ask for details at the Shore Excursion Desk onboard. The people we shared the bungalow with had done it on HAL and they said The Princess Bungalows were better. When we first arrived, there was a fruit tray waiting and four welcome drinks. They take your order for lunch, you don't have to wait in line and they were there with drink service all day long.They bring you bits of everything plus a fruit platter for lunch. You also have a set table with linen napkins, real plates and silverware.
Privacy - We did not feel that it was a real problem with people walking by, the cabana's are a ways down and most people don't walk down that far. It seems some think it is a great party area and want to have their music playing, inviting more than it is suppose to hold, etc. The bungalows are VERY close together and about 20 ft apart and right on the beach. It would be inconsiderate for others to be loud and play music that all the other people can hear, please be respectful when using them. The space in front of bungalows looks like they are fair game for anyone. I too was not impressed with the Bungalows. If they want to party and you want quiet forget it! If you have someone that needs AC then get them, but if you are looking for peace and quiet it's not the place!
To meet.... we went down to the Excursion Desk and then were escorted from there.It seems like it would be a long walk from the tender to get to them. They have a golf cart that can take you to the opposite end of the beach area. When you get on board just go to the shore excursion desk and request a ride down to the bungalows. You will be provided with six priority tender passes. If you choose not to leave on the first tender. Just head directly to the tender deck at your leisure. No need to wait around and get assigned a number. You get priorty tendering to get off the boat but its back to reality when it is time to go back to the ship. The line was very long BUT it moved quickly. Also you really need to take water shoes as there are lots of sharp rocks and the walk up past the cabanas on the beach is NOT to be missed.
The first drink is free, the rest we paid for on our cruise card.There was drink service all day and they took our food order and brought it to us. As for the food and service, it was excellent. They brought us fruit as soon as we arrived from the first tender. The people that served us were the Princess crew. After we were through our lunch, with the table cloth, our waiters came back in and cleared the table (table cloth included) but they left some fruit, dessert and food (some ribs, chicken etc. It's under the foil) so we could have something for the rest of the day to pick on. The plates, table cloth etc. comes from the ship, so they had to get these things back on board, hence the paper plates for later on. Lunch was delivered to your bungalow. There was a pitcher of ice water in the bungalow.
March 07 - Received our tender tickets in our room and was told to go directly to the disembarkment deck at our convience. No waiting for our turn to be called. Paid $199 for the "Sea Grape"(the dark blue one). LOVED IT! We sat in our air conditioned cabana and enjoyed our food. Used the ceiling fan for a little breeze. Used the shower to rinse off all the sand. Loved the little place!!We had two loungers on our porch with towels and two more loungers in front of our porch with towels also. There was also four loungers up closer to the beach with towels. The palm trees made for some awsome shade and breeze blowing through them was fantastic.
Oct 07 - This is a package only offered the ship. So when you get on the ship, its too late to cancel your bungalow. They are very nice - enough room for four lounge chairs but sit directly on the sand and we were glad we had it because it was sunny and hot when we arrived and then started raining after lunch.
Nov 07 : Ice water waiting, and an attendant there very quickly for drink orders.Princess provided a golf cart ride to the bungalow for us. Lunch was brought to us and served beautifully. They wrapped up the left overs for snacking on later, then brought us cookies and a variety of fruits mid-afternoon. Very nicely done. Enjoyed it very much. linen covered table was set and waiting for us. Our bungalow attendant was there quickly, taking drink orders and asking us what time we wanted lunch served. A team of two brought us a lot of food, much more than 4 people needed, wrapped up the leftovers for snacking on later. They then later in the afternoon brought us fresh fruits and cookies.
Dec 07 - Just got back from Princess Cays. When we booked our bungalow I was looking for a nice quite place. The bungalows are not that! The best thing about them was the air conditioning when you want out of the sun. Two of the bungalows had music going and the bungalow next to us had a group of 25 or so there! There is also a little deck with a couple of lounge chairs on it.
Just off the Coral--the envelope with the bungalow tour ticket coupon didn't include the VIP tender tickets, but when I called the Tour Desk and asked for them, they were separately delivered. Note that the tender line was chaotic--you still needed to get in line to get on the tenders early (and people just cut in the line as they pleased without being stopped), despite what the VIP ticket said.
Jan 08 - The bungalow area have your own set of wait-people, the servers are ship staff. As of last Saturday (1/5), they still had the linens, servers, golf carts (at the beginning and end of the day), priority tender tickets, pitchers of ice water, etc. They contacted the room that made the reservations and asked how many people would be using the bungalows. They were those green priority tender tickets you may have seen on past cruises. The waiters brought our food to us. Big platters of everything--fresh fruit, cheese, cookies, brownies, corn on the cob, chicken, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, buns, lettuce, tomatoes. Everything was swapped out for paper plates, though, in the afternoon. Watch your toes on the little step up to the patio.
BUG BITES! They do provide Off spray but almost everyone in our group had 50+ bites within two hours. Overall the family really enjoyed it. I have since learned the bungalow area is pretty much the only problem area for bug bites and have been told by Princess this is seasonal and happens right before it rains. Jan 08 – sand Flies. Use the spray. Half of our group of six had bites all over ankles.
Feb 08 - We had a bungalow, it was WONDERFUL. As far as tendering - we received 6 priority tickets in our stateroom - this entitled us to go to the front of the line. We had a golf cart to schlep us back and forth. We were told that once we got off the tender to go to the info desk on Princess Cays and there was a golf cart to take us to it. As far as going back to the tender, we did walk but I'm sure that if you ask for it, they will send one. It was great. We had a waiter who also took care of one or two other bungalows.I did tip him and he was really great - brought drinks, lunch, a fruit platter. Out of the 12 bungalows only 4 were occupied on our trip. The Bungalow was air conditioned, had extra towels, tissue and hand sanitizer, a table with 6 chairs, a porch with 2 lounge chairs, 4 extra loungers on the beach and a shower on the outside of the bungalow. We had priority tender tickets, a ride in a golf cart to and from the bungalow, had an attendant that brought lunch and our cocktails. A very sweet deal $199.00, worth every penny, especially when you want to cool down in front of the air conditioner!
April 08 : Just back from CB and rented a bungalow for the day for a party of 6, including the priority tenders tickets (6), Food which was plentiful and brought to us at 11:30, towels etc. We would rent again!
May 08 – We rented a bungalow. The package included six priority tender passes. We did not get a golf cart ride to the bungalows, as there wasn't anybody at the Information Kiosk when we arrived. It is a about a 5 minute walk to the north of the dock. Upon arrival at a hut near the bungalows, we were guided to our assigned bungalow, which was #5 Sunflower and introduced to the amenities and to our attendant, who also oversaw a few other bungalows. When we arrived, the air conditioner had already cooled down the bungalow, there were two pitchers of ice cold water, and the table inside was set and ready for lunch. Outside, there are two lounges on the porch and four more immediately in front of the porch. Our attendant brought a big tray of food for lunch at around 11:30 a.m. which included the meat for hamburgers, hot dogs, bbq ribs, bbq chicken, and grilled chicken breast; plus buns, condiments, and coleslaw. While in our bungalow, Princess had cocktail waiters and waitresses walking around the island and they would occasionaly stop by to take our drink orders. There was an extra charge for cocktails and soda, which is charged to your stateroom. I took a stroll while we there and I was able to pick up a glass of iced tea at the bbq line. The shoreline near the bungalows is rocky and consists of the shallow reef that you can snorkel. It was nice knowing we had a safe place to keep our stuff and did not have the hassle of waiting in line for lunch. Also, it was a good place to take a break while snorkeling to have a drink and cool off in the air conditioning. Our bungalow attendant brought trays of the bbq food from the buffet line. There was no extra charge. We got priority tender service, food brought to our bungalow by an attendant (for no extra charge), a golf cart ride to and from the bungalow area and all of the other amenities that were originally included. Be aware that the bars start closing down at 12:30 or so and the bartenders and servers are off the island by 1 pm as they have to get everything back to the ship before the tenders get too busy. That means pre-order the rest of your drinks EARLY so you won't be caught off guard when the attendants stop coming around for drink orders at around 1 p.m. It was well worth the money. I would highly recommend it. Soda and bottled water are not included in the cost of the bungalow. There are cocktail waiters/waitresses who will serve you those or cocktails and charge to your stateroom.
Princess Cay vs HAL’s Half Moon Cay - HMC is a much nicer stop. The beach sand is much finer/softer there than at Princess Cays. Half Moon Cay offers some of the best swimming we have experienced in the Bahamas. Very nice island.Five years in a row, Half Moon Cay has received Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Award for “BestPrivateIsland” HMC is far superior to Princess Cays.
General Info : More than 300 years ago, English Adventurers in search of religious freedom founded the Western World’s first true seat of democracy and named it Eleuthera, the Greek word for freedom. Its settlers, fleeing persecution in Bermuda and England, called themselves The Eleutheran Adventurers and time and circumstances would prove that tag more accurate than they ever expected.
Eleuthera is located near the edge of the Caribbean Sea, about 60 miles from Nassau at its nearest point, CurrentIsland, and about 200 miles from Florida. This sickle-shaped island, with a hump-back ridge, is 110 miles long, an average of 7 miles wide and its highest elevation is 168 feet. Sand dunes were blown into heaps on the eastern shore of the island, eventually consolidating into powder and forming natural cement. Much of the island’s architecture and way of life were influenced by Loyalist settlers in the late 1700s. Miles of glistening pink and white sand beaches, serene colonial villages, and rolling acres of pineapple plantations.
Commonwealth of The Bahamas - The Country of 700 Islands
Population estimate for 2007 was 305,655. Almost 60% of the population lives on New Providence, which includes the capital city of Nassau.Language: English, Currency: Bahamian $
Government: IndependentState within the British Commonwealth
Map of the Bahamas: http://www.thebahamasguide.com/islands/maps.htm
Geography: Located adjacent to the US and Cuba, the Bahamas is an extensive island chain of which 23 are inhabited. Being the closest island-chain to the US, the airport seems to handle non-stop flights from Florida taking advantage of quick getaways or vacation specials.
The people who live in the Bahamas are predominantly of West African descent. Their ancestors were slaves brought to the islands to work the cotton plantations until 1834, when Britain abolished slavery in all its territories. Most white residents of are descendants of the first English settlers, who emigrated from Bermuda in 1647 to gain religious freedom. Some are also related to the Loyalists who fled the southern United States during the American Revolution and built enormous plantations here. After the abolition of slavery, life in the islands changed drastically. The plantations were dissolved, and both blacks and whites turned to the bountiful sea (sponging and fishing) or tried to farm. The lack of fertile cropland prompted the islanders to become a nation of seafarers, and Bahamians used these skills to great advantage during the days of shipwrecking, gun running, and Prohibition.
Religion is an integral part of Bahamian life. Even the tiniest village has a church. The people's religious ardor and high regard for education are evidence of their Puritan heritage, derived from the Eleutheran Adventurers. Music is also in the very bones of the people. African rhythms, Caribbean Calypso, English folk songs and the uniquely Bahamian Goombay beat echo in the air. The fast-tempoed "goom-bahhh" resonating from the drums can be traced back to the days of slavery and is used both for story-telling and dancing. The legal and political institutions of the country reflect its Anglo-Saxon heritage. It has a bicameral parliamentary government composed of a Senate and a House of Assembly, a Prime Minister, an Attorney General, and an independent Judiciary, including a Supreme Court and a Court of Appeals. The Changing of the Guard ceremony, held every two weeks, continues the British tradition, and Bahamian policeman pride themselves on their starched uniforms.
Between the poles of Grand Bahama and Great Inagua are 23 inhabited islands and thousands of unpopulated islets and cays (pronounced "keys"). Cosmopolitan Nassau, the capital city, once ruled by pirates, seems a world away from the desert-like wildlife sanctuary of Inagua.These beautiful islands lie only 50 miles off the Florida coast - far closer than any destination in the Caribbean. With more than 5% of the planet's reef mass, The Bahamas offer inexhaustible pleasures and challenges to snorkelers and divers. BiminiIsland - Being the closest Bahamas island to the coast of Florida (you can see the glow of Miami Beach at night) has made these Islands a popular destination for American visitors. The waters surrounding The Bimini Islands are known the world over for top big-game fishing.
History: In 1492, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the New World on the island of San Salvador in the eastern Bahamas. After observing the shallow sea around the islands, he said "baja mar" (meaning low water or sea), and effectively named the area The Bahamas, or The Islands of the ShallowSea. Baja Mar, the name the Spanish bestowed on the islands. it means shallow sea, but the islands are really mountain plateaus that emerged from the Atlantic hundreds of thousands of years ago. As they grew, they hosted countless generations of coral, which today comprise the islands' limestone base.
The island people, were the first settlers. Originally from South America, they meandered up through the Caribbean and finally arrived in The Bahamas around the Ninth Century AD. Over the years Nassau became notorious for pirates, like Blackbeard, Sir Henry Morgan and Calico Jack. They used false lighthouses to lure ships onto the reefs and then confiscated the cargo. In 1695. Spanish troops destroyed the town of Nassau in retaliation for these raids. A few years later, settlers rebuilt Nassau with the goal of making it a privateering capital. However, the French and Spanish navies joined forces and wiped out the town for the second time in 1703 because British privateers continued to plunder their countries' merchant ships. Looting rich cargo ships as they passed by on the nearby shipping lanes was a lucrative business, so it wasn't long before pirates overran Nassau once again. Word of this piracy reached the King, so in 1718, Woodes Rogers, was appointed as Royal Governor of the islands to restore order. Rogers, a former pirate, offered amnesty to all those who surrendered. After a brief battle, more than 300 pirates surrendered and the rest fled. In 1964 Great Britain granted the Bahamas limited self-government and in 1969 the the Bahamas became part of the Commonwealth. On July 10, 1973, the Bahamas was granted its independence.
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