It was up early on this, the first of many port days on this cruise. We didn't want to miss a thing!
From our balcony, early in the morning, we watched the first of many tenders setting off to Princess Cays, containing food, beverages and staff, to set up the buffet and bars to be used later in the day.
We started our day by heading to the gym, James for a workout, and me for a "Wake Up and Stretch" class, which was certainly challenging enough to wake me up!
Breakfast in the Horizon Court was good, and surprisingly hot. We've often found buffet breakfasts to be cold in the past, but on Emerald, it was always hot. There was always a smiling staff member standing at the entrance of the buffet to make sure you used the antibacterial gel on your hands before entering, and to hand you a hot clean plate from her gloved hands. A nice touch both service wise, and health wise.
As soon as it was possible to tender over to the island, we set off for the Princess Theatre, where the tendering process was amazingly organized and orderly, row by row being called to fill the tenders.
My first view of Princess Cays was, as always, breathtaking. I love this island!
Princess Cays, Princess' private island, is a beautiful place, situated on the southern portion of the Bahamian island of Eleuthera.
Natives live and work here, maintaining an economy consisting of agriculture, fishing and of course, tourism.
There are many tiny shops featuring local arts and handicrafts, and this is one feature I love about this island, that you are free to go to the shops or not, but no-one will pester you on the beach with their wares.
The beach is gorgeous, and there are many lounge chairs available. Mine was waiting for me.
The water on this day was a bit cold, but I ventured in anyway with my pre-rented float.
Many other water sport activities are available on the island for a fee: snorkeling, kayaking, Hobie Cats, Aqua Bikes,
Paddle Wheelers, and of course, a ride on the Banana Boat!
The lunchtime BBQ set up for our convenience, was excellent. They offered hamburgers, chicken burgers, hot dogs, chicken legs, salad, potato salad, drinks of iced tea or water, and fresh fruit, cookies and cakes for dessert.
All this, eaten al fresco overlooking the gorgeous turquoise waters, made it taste even better!
There was live music on Princess Cays as well; 2 gentlemen on guitar who knew about 3 chords, but they kept us entertained with the standard Caribbean hits all afternoon. They certainly set the mood for a day in paradise. We were very reluctant to leave.
Back on the ship by 3:00, we had a surprise visitor to our cabin - Phyllis! (Phyllbo on CruiseMates).
She managed to track me down to deliver a lovely gift from our very own Trip - a beautiful beaded necklace for me, for Phyllis and for Paul B.'s wife Peggy, as we were all together on this cruise.
We were to wear these to our CruuiseMates group dinner a few days later, in the Crown Grill specialty restaurant.
Phyllis and I planned to meet later for Trivia, but meanwhile, I took advantage of a lovely afternoon of sun to enjoy the pool and the live music of the band Voltz, who seemed to have improved since I saw them on the Caribbean Princess last year.
Later, I did meet up with Phyll and with Paul, and we formed a CruiseMates Tivia team which was to see a few wins and a few more losses over the course of the cruise!
Dinner this night was in the Da Vinci Dining Room; again we were seated at a table for 8, and we met some nice people, had good conversation, excellent food, and much more pleasant and less hurried service than last night in the Michelangelo Dining Room.
We finished too late for the 8:30 production show, so we wandered around looking for interim entertainment.
We visited Skywalkers Disco, and there was not a soul in there, but it was only 9 p.m.
We stayed long enough to enjoy the view aft of the ship, and to watch a deck hand spray washing the deck.
From there we wandered to Club Fusion, but they were playing Seinfeld trivia in there, and not being Seinfeld fans, we kept wandering.
Eventually we came across a wonderfully entertaining older British gentleman "Barrington Barty Brown" who was playing old show tunes at the piano in Crooners Bar. He proved to be genial and relaxing, and we stayed there until it was time for the 10:30 show in Princess Theatre.
This first big production show was called "What a Swell Party", a tribute to the music of Cole Porter.
The Emerald Princess singers and dancers were excellent, and the costumes and sets wonderful, but I felt this particular show was geared more for the older age group of passengers, who were well represented on this cruise.
That's the wonderful thing about cruising - there's something for almost everyone's taste!
That was the end of another wonderful day onboard the Emerald Princess, and an even more wonderful visit to Princess Cays.