Princess Cays - Compiled Info : Beach/Water activities, Food/Drinks, Bungalows, Facts

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#21
Calgary Canada
244 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I have cut and pasted all the questions and answers regarding Princess Cays from the most recent thread to the last time I updated this thread. This now covers all questions and answers regarding Princess Cays from about 2006.
Please add any useful info as this thread might be helpful to those going for the first time as a one stop shop regarding info on this beautiful island.


"Princess Cays Sanctuary Beach Bungalow -- adults only

Saw this listed on the shore excursions page for Princess Cays. It costs $249.
A gourmet picnic lunch is available as an option. Could it be that certain bungalows are now roped off as "adults only?" None are any farther or closer to the water than the others. They all seem to be the same size and have the same amenities.

Here are the blurbs of each from the personalizer:

Beach Bungalow (Up To 6 People)
Enjoy your own private beach bungalow while at Princess Cays. The colorful beachfront bungalows are perfect for families or for those who want to make the most of their visit to Princess Cays. Located in the picturesque palm grove just behind the beach, 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. Additional amenties may be included for a supplemental charge such as a gourmet picnic. Ask for details at the Shore Excursion Desk onboard.

Sanctuary Beach Bungalow (Up To Six People) -- New!
Finally, a private island experience which is truly private. Enjoy your own beach bungalow situated in the new adults-only area--The Sanctuary at Princess Cays, an extension of the onboard experience. The colorful beachfront bungalows are perfect for those who seek privacy and seclusion. Each bungalow features air-conditioning and ceiling fan, a table and four chairs inside, two sun loungers outside, and a private shower. Additional amenties may be included for a supplemental charge such as a gourmet picnic. Ask for details at the Shore Excursion Desk onboard.

Princess Cays Bungalows

I did a search on the bungalows and saw alot of good info. I'm not sure, though, if there has been some changes to the amenities. Can anyone who might have been in the bungalows this Spring answer to what amenities were provided ie.... Priority tender, lunch service, etc.

You probably saw the same info? But here anyways:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=453306

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=449005

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=36595


What to do in Princess Cays...

When you get off the boat go to the RIGHT, up and over the little stairway and bridge, it is not nearly as crowded over there. We never did have the BBQ lunch, we couldn't be bothered with eating when we had a perfect spot underneath a bushy palm which had a table built around it, perfect to hold our cold coladas. It had 4 loungers, 2 on each side of the tree. We were about 15 feet away from the water in the perfect reef area for some GREAT snorkeling. Got some great pictures with our new underwater camera. Very relaxing. This was my fathers first time snorkeling as he would rather stay dry, he's not much of a water person, but we couldn't get him out of the water once he started! We couldn't get him to go back to the ship, he floated around watching the fish for about 4 hours!!! Its a beautiful place, really it is. People say to wear water shoes but I have VERY sensitive tootsies and never had a problem in that area. If anyting eat a large breakfast and swim a while or just relax, I do reccomend a try at snorkeling even just with the mask, they have beautiful Seargent Majors, striped fish that look like angel fish. We have a lot of fun there and always talk about going back.


New Tour - A Taste of Eleuthera Princess Cay Excursion

I like the beach but not I am not a sun person. A couple of hours and I am done. I saw this tour on the Princess website for the island. Has anyone been on this tour and if so what did you think? It is $99 pp so kind of steep. It came out in December of 2008 so kind of new from what I have read. It is 4 hours long.

It is by Princess and it last for 4 hours and tours the island. It costs $99 pp.
I guess they take you into the interior of the Island and you see some historical sights and then you stop for lunch and are entertained. Here is the description. I just wish I could find someone who has taken this tour and see what they thought.

Come along and discover Eleuthera, one of the islands of the Bahamas, on a sightseeing tour in a land that time has almost forgotten. This 110-mile long island is too large to see in a day, but this excursion will serve up a delightful taste.

Once ashore at Princess Cays, board your air-conditioned transportation. Travel through wide open spaces, past lush vegetation with glimpses of ponds. See the national flower called Yellow Elder. Pass through quaint villages with small pristine churches, like the seaside St. Columba in Tarpum Bay which dates back to the 1800s. Enjoy photo stops at Rock Sound Harbor and Castle MacMillan. In the town of Rock Sound, visit the South Eleuthera Mission Library and Museum and visit one of nature's wonders---an ocean hole of which the bottom has yet to be found. At Four Points Marina Village, experience an extravaganza of Eleutheran culture. Enjoy a taste of the island with an authentic native lunch and be entertained with Junkanoo, the Bahamian tradition which incorporates music, costumes, and dance---prior to your return to Princess Cays.

Shady spots and the Clamshells

Can you sit where you want or does princess set up the clamshells in a certain area?
Usually the clamshells are all in a row. You can do some relocating but not much.
I was looking into a clamshell with 2 chairs because I am an Irish whitey. Is that my only hope of nice shade?
We've been there on a couple of Princess Sailings. We are not big beach people but actually enjoyed it. You can sit around if you would like and of course have lunch there. You can also go into the water as you noted. There are some areas with shade but get them first.

We've been to Princess Cays four times and have never had a problem finding shaded loungers. The clam-shells tend to become mini ovens on sunny days. We've only been to the left of the tender area on our last 3 trips.

I highly recommend getting one of the Cabanas. They come with water, Ice, Soft Drinks, Snorkle Gear and Floaties. Get someone else to go in with you and you will love it. Get one down the beach away from the crowds. Everyone seems to just go to the closest area of the beach and it gets crowded.

Music on Princess Cays

I wonder what type of music is playing at lunch at Princess Cays... Where the bands are located, etc...

Beach BBQ - Three bars and live music compliment lunch and the authentic Bahamian barbeque on the beach. Feast on hamburgers, chicken, bratwurst, salads, and fresh fruit. Water, tea and lemonade are available at the picnic area for no additional cost, and a full staff of drink servers is on hand to serve cocktails and soda.
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#22
SW London, England
10 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Hey Warmwaters...........the information you have collated is trememdous. Just wish I had found it before combing through many other threads! Are you going to do the same / have done for some of the other island.......in particular > St Kitts, St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua & St Thomas [USVI] Thanks for being such a gem! Any chance of mailing me if you have!
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#23
Calgary Canada
244 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Hello Kitchen Sink -

Thank you for your kind words.

Doing travel research is a hobby of mine. I just love it. I wish I had more time to do the same for a lot more ports of call.

I havent done any for the islands you mentioned. Hopefully in the near future we will book a cruise down there and I will make the time to do some of it.

The whole idea started out when I realised that with only a few hours in every port and with many of these places I will never get the opportunity again, to get there, I felt we need to be well prepared to hit the ground running when we set foot on land. We are not excursion people and doing your own thing in every port does take a lot of research.

We have had such interesting times, I recall many a night after a port day getting to our dinner table and sharing our day with our table mates and they go: Oh Wow if only we knew beforehand a little bit more of what this port had to offer, we could have gotten a lot more out of the few hours we had there. Its many a time the difference between having a wow day on land and someone telling you : I got off the ship and wandered around the touristy area for a bit and then I got back to the ship.. this place didnt have much to offer.

Cruisecritic has a wealth of information that has been shared over time by so many people. It all started when it dauned on me to combine some of the info for my travel companion who does not have time to read up on things before we go somewhere, so I got the idea to cut and paste it for him to read on the plane on our way down south. Then I thought it might be useful to share my findings with the board, and then I thought if I can every couple of months update the thread with the lastest findings of other members the info might stay current. And so it all started hehe
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#25
O.C, California
12,248 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by fweinman
Does Princess Cays offer massages on the beach?
No massages on the beach is reported, there were none when I was there either.
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#26
Thousand Oaks, California
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Joined Jul 2006
This is great information, thanks so much for taking the time to do this. I really appreciate it!
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#27
Ontario
794 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Yes, its a wealth of info and thanks for that. We are looking at renting a bungalow as well, because there are 6 of us and it sounds economical. One of our party is disabled and Im not sure if this is a good option for him or not. The golf cart ride will get him to and from the bungalow, but what about getting to the washrooms or buffet? Are there wooden board walks that he could use his scooter on or is it only a sandy walk to those areas? Can anyone answer this?
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#28
Vancouver Island
696 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I see that it has been mentioned that hair braiding is available on the island. Does anyone know where on the island...and roughly any pricing structure? On a previous cruise my daughter had her hair done, and still 2 years later she talks about it, and would love to have her get that done again. it makes her so happy.
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#29
914 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Couple questions I haven't seen asked.

I noticed on a thread about Great Stirrup Cay people recommending bringing along those little umbrellas that you can screw onto a lounge chair for shade. Would that be a good idea for Princess Cay as well?

Is there any cell phone service on PC? If not, is the cell tower on the ship operational during this time in port?
#30
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Thanks for taking the time to make this a wealth of info!
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#31
clifton park, ny, usa
288 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
We just returned from a 10 day on the Ruby Princess with Princess Cay as our last stop. It was a great way to end the cruise, even for a person, like me, who avoids the sun. There are covered areas near the beach that provide great shade. We got off the tender and went to the left and found shade for me and sun for our friends just a few feet apart. There are two walkways. One that goes along the beach and one that is back further that goes in front of the shops and children's area to the bar and dining area. I saw two girls having their hair braided there, but I didn't see the price. Just behind the shops is a gate that takes you outside the Princess protected area to a small series of shops where locals were selling their wares. We didn't go there, but we saw quite a few people go in and out with their ships card.
This was a very relaxing and great stop even for me.
Bill
#32
Orange County - Southern California
149 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by cruisewiththekids
Couple questions I haven't seen asked.

I noticed on a thread about Great Stirrup Cay people recommending bringing along those little umbrellas that you can screw onto a lounge chair for shade. Would that be a good idea for Princess Cay as well?

Is there any cell phone service on PC? If not, is the cell tower on the ship operational during this time in port?
Check with your cell carrier. I have AT&T and spoke with them last night. They told me that Princess Cays may or may not have a cell tower, but I would be able to pick it up from the ship while at Princess Cays. Hope this helps!
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#33
914 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Brblfsh
Check with your cell carrier. I have AT&T and spoke with them last night. They told me that Princess Cays may or may not have a cell tower, but I would be able to pick it up from the ship while at Princess Cays. Hope this helps!

I wondered about picking a signal up from the ship, because I thought they usually are required to turn off their ship's tower while in port. Maybe PC doesn't qualify as a regular port?
#34
Calgary Canada
244 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I have cut and pasted all the questions and answers regarding Princess Cays from the most recent thread to the last time I updated this thread. This now covers all questions and answers regarding Princess Cays from about 2006.
Please add any useful info as this thread might be helpful to those going for the first time as a one stop shop regarding info on this beautiful island.


Beautiful pictures –

Here's a link to a great photo tour of Princess Cays.

http://www.beyondships.com/Princess-PrincessCays.html


2 ships at Princess Cays

Has anyone else been there when there is more than one ship and is there plenty of room, shade etc for everyone?
Everything is crowded. If you've never been there in the past, go to the island and take a look, however, when we visit a private island with more than one ship we normally stay on board the ship.
Didn’t realize that there was ever more than one ship at a time at Princess Cays. It's a tender port so take the tender to shore and go to the left. As you walk further away from the dock, it will be a little less crowded...but unfortunately still a very crowded day.
It's really just a beach day. I wasn't impressed with the BBQ lunch or the long lines to get it.

Using cell phones -

I posted this question about cell phones awhile back and didn't really get a definite answer. Now that I'm back, I'd like to share what I discovered. I have Verizon. The ship's cell service is apparently turned off when tendered at PC. I could get no service while on the ship. There was also no service once I got to the island.

Cab to Eluethra?


Has anyone ever tried to get a cab from the gate at Princess Cays? There are a few beautiful unspoiled beaches a few miles from the Princess Cays area. Has anyone ever done this? It would be nice to escape the "beach camp," [not a big fan of the "private island" experience] and go to a local beach. Are there local taxis around?

The private area is walk able...no taxis--no need! Just walk past the 1st beach you come to...that's where the majority of folks will plop themselves! You'll find some "seclusion" and fewer crowds! You will be on the southern tip of the island. There is a small bridge going over to the main land you can walk over. I saw no one using the bridge. We've been there a number of times and have never seen any taxis.

Taste of Eluethra excursion Reviews

I had a broken foot and couldn't do the usual water/beach stuff so we booked the Princess excursion "Taste of Eluethra ", and it was GREAT. New clean air conditioned bus, wonderfully fun tour guide and driver, and a fun 4 hours. Learned a lot about the Bahamas, got to see "beyond the gate", had a yummy lunch on the beach, and again, did something other than the regular Princess Cay stuff. If you want a little something different, I highly recommend this tour.
We recently took this Tour and have decided that it is over priced at $ 99 per person. Yes, it is quite interesting; however, IOHO not worth the cost.
Personally, I don't think paying additional money to go to another beach is worth it....the private beaches/islands are wonderful, and you've already paid for the use of it in your fare. Fortunately, you do not go to another beach on this tour. You go into the interior of the island.

Insect bites?

Several threads have mentioned insect bites, mostly near the bungalows to the left as you look at the shore. Are they bothersome if we go to the right? Should we plan on taking repellent? We have booked the bungalows for the last 2 years. We have never had any problems with insects. We always go the last week in January so maybe it has something to do with the time you are there? I was there in Late October and early November and don't remember any insects really. Near the bungalows - Make sure to take BUG SPRAY! Put this on immediately without hesitation. My friend had over 100 bites. She waited about 10 minutes after arriving at the bungalows and it was too late. I put the spray on immediately when we arrived at the bungalow so I had no bites.

BYOB/Bringing your own wine?

I was wondering if anyone knew if you could bring your own wine onto Princess Cays? We were thinking of bringing a cooler and putting some of our allotment of wine in the cooler to drink on the beach. We weren't sure if this was prohibited considering it's in glass. Does anyone know if there's a policy against glass?
Glass is NEVER a good idea where folks might be barefoot.....it's dangerous!

Bungalow Info

We have booked the bungalows for the last two years and we love it. The first year they delivered our food right to the bungalow. Last year, we had to either go to the BBQ our selves or pay extra for delivery of an upgraded BBQ. We made this choice and the meal was excellent. There was lobster and shrimp in one of the courses. I believe the cost was $50 p person. Do you get your lunch and drinks delivered to the Bungalow? This is without up grading to the gourmet picnic. Just there on the Crown last week and we did. Great fun.
You might, you might not....apparently, it depends on your server, and you’re sailing!
Lunch for the two of us was delivered and for our two friends who were stopping by. This was October 09 on the Emerald. We had a bungalow in December and were not served lunch. We went to the buffet ourselves and brought the food back to the bungalow to eat. Servers from the dining rooms are assigned to these bungalows. They are not locals so the level of service will very depending on the server assigned to you and his instructions. Tipping is always appreciated for good service.

SanctuaryBeach Bungalow -- adults only

I'd love to hear feedback from any recent cruisers who did the adult only bungalows... The pics I've seen really show the bungalows very close to each other. Do you know if there is food service (i.e. the bbque) or do you have to go to the lunch area for your food?
I heard that it's new, so it may be the first time offered. Sounds like they have an adult’s only area now. Bungalows are awesome. We had a bungalow for the 7 of us (u are only supposed to have 6) nobody said anything. We did the $199 for the group to split it was well worth it. We had plenty of drinks, and tipped the waiter to bring us food as well. Snorkelling out in front of the Bungalow area is great there are less people on that end of the beach because of the bungalows. An adult only area seems ridiculous why pay extra for that. It was nice too cool off with the air-conditioning and the shower. Also a big plus for us was a safe place to set all of our stuff. I will get a bungalow every time.

They did not have the adult’s only bungalow when I rented a bungalow so I do not know anything about them. Make sure to take BUG SPRAY!! Put this on immediately. My friend had over 100 bites and it ruined the rest of her vacation. I have never seen anything like it before. I put the spray on immediately when we arrived at the bungalow so I had no bites. She waited about 10 minutes and it was too late. As of 10/19/09 the Adult Sanctuary Bungalows have not been built. You can book them online as I did. Once on the ship you will get a notice of cancellation to your excursion. There will be no explanation. The adult area has not been built.

Snorkelling on your own –

We snorkelled right from the beach. When you get off of the tender, face the land and walk all the way to your left. There is a rocky area where there are lots of fish. They even sell fish food on the island. The fish will eat out of your hand. You don't need to PAY to snorkel! Just go it on your own, if you have the equipment! I have done the snorkelling from the beach before - in the area you suggested. Frankly, it wasn't great either time. Snorkelling out in front of the Bungalow area is great there are less people on that end of the beach because of the bungalows.

Snorkel Excursion -

Would like to hear from anyone who has done the new Princess snorkel excursion by boat from Princess Cays. DH and I have snorkelled there once off the beach, which was just ok. We hope it's better if we go to different site. It only last 1 1/2 hours so they can't travel very far.

Glass-bottom Clear kayaks?

Are they available? Don't know, but the water is so calm and clear, you can walk out knee-deep, stand there, and see what swims up to you! You really don't have to go out deep or put your face in the water!

Parasailing?

I was there in November and there wasn’t any parasailing there. Since Princess Cays is a private Princess cruise line "island", all of the activities/options there are offered and available only through Princess. Check Princess' Shore Excursion options to see what Princess offers on the island.
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#35
Thousand Oaks, California
3,975 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Just to add a little spiel about the Medical Center/ First Aid Station on the Island! I wore new shoes (and I'll never learn) and got giant blisters hiking to the Graves. By the time I got back to the main part of the island my blisters were ugly and I went to the first aid station where they fixed me all up and sent me on my way equipped with more bandages which I used throughout the whole cruise. They provided this free of charge.
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#37
Florida
1,010 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Three questions:
(1) Which bungalow is closest to the beach entrance?
(2) Can you select your bungalow when you make your reservation?
(3) Do they keep a pitcher of water in the bungalow?

Thanks in advance for any input!
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#38
Clearwater, Florida
708 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We did the ships snorkel tour. I liked it so much, that I posted a thread of photos, so everyone could see how well our pictures came out (not just the Princess Cay people).

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1156841

Boat ride is 10 minutes, but we thought it was a very nice reef. Reef was small (25 minutes to cover it all, but then I went back over it a second time in more detail, and found some really neat fish). Water visibility was the best of our entire 10 day trip in the southern Caribbean.

I thought St John or Bonaire would make Princess Cay nothing more than a practice stop to get use to our new camera, mask, and fins... But although Bonaire was fantastic, the water was not as clear as Princess Cay, and St John was a complete wash-out (murky water that day). So you never know, but I was so happy that Princess Cay turned out to be a great day!
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#39
Chesapeake, Virginia
274 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Just one more question: Can you rent snorkeling equipment, floats, etc. once you get on the Princess Cays island or do you have to do it ahead of time.
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#40
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THANKS for all the great info!!
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Thanks!!
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