I am on a Western Carribean t cruise and stop at the Princess Cays the Bahamas. I have not read any posting about this island. I am a non water person so was wondering what to do when we stop there. Can we rent golf carts and drive around the island? How big is this island? Are there hiking trails? From what I have read there's alot of water, beach stuff and we would like to see the island and then shop before going back to the ship. Is there a restaurant on the island? Do you have to pay for the food? How about shops?
Certainly one can walk the paths and beaches but you should understand this is not a port stop in the typical port style. Princess Cays is actually a little istmus on the tip of the island of Eluthra but the rest of the island is not readily accessable. It's primary purpose is beach, water and sun related fun.
There are several shops run by princess and there are local vendor booths ashore as well.
There are a number of places where you can relax in the shade and simply enjoy the outdoors.
Drinks are served at several bars and by roving waiters, just like on the ship.
Food is served free of course and is primarily burgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads, fresh fruits and melons, typical outdoor beach barbeque fare.
You can always tender back to the ship and eat onboard if you are not into what is going on ashore. Certainly you should take the ride ashore and check it out.
Yes, I guess you could call Princess Cays "one big beach party". And, it is lots of fun! Even if you are not a "beach/water" person, it is still worth a trip from the ship to have a walk around. The cruise line store on the island sells items not available on board. The local vendors sell local island craft kinds of things. Hair braiding is available.
I would definately recommend renting one of the big floats for the day. If it is a sunny day, nothing beats floating around on the water. Other typical beach/water toys are also available to rent (sailboats, watertrikes, etc.).
The ships staff that comes ashore is dressed to play the part. Bar people are dressed like pirates and some will actually wade into the water to sell you a drink. The ships photograpers are also around and also will come into the water to take great pictures. The pictures of you with the Princess ship in the background is pretty neat.
If I remember correctly, the cruise staff also tries to organize beach relay races, volleyball games etc. If you are going to stay at the beach for the day, try getting a lounge chair under an umbrella. It does get hot. The food served in the barbeque pavilllion tastes great after you have been out in the sun.
Princess Cays is one of my favorite destinations which should not be missed. Tender in about 10:30 and walk down the paths as far as you can. PIck a lounge chair or find a hammock under a palm tree and just watch the world go by. The water is crystal clear. We rent the floats and just lay back and float around. A Love Boat drink or a frozen Pina Colada tastes even better in this island setting. The buffet lunch is served from 11:30 to 1:30 usually and also should not be missed. Do get off the ship for a short time to discover this special treat. Only purchases made at the local shops or vendors will require cash. Your S&S card can be used for other things like drinks.