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Published: December 30th 2017
David outside our cabin
with birthday decorations
Today we are at a private section of the island of Eleuthera, which is part of the Bahamas. Princess owns full access to this section and most of their Caribbean cruises stop here. Columbus discovered the Bahamas by landing here on Oct 12, 1492 before continuing his voyage. The guide from our tour today (we’re getting ahead of ourselves) said this island is about the midpoint of the 700 islands that make up the Bahama Archipelago. There are roughly 13,000 full time inhabitants here. Where we are, it is only about 50 miles to the west before you come to the coast of Florida. You can use Google or maybe ask Alexa for more information, so we won’t duplicate that information any further. But it is a scenic location and the temperature this morning was about 70 degrees with the high being forecasted as 79. We do not have an exact high temperature, but everyone agreed it had gotten higher than advertised. Fortunately there was a slight breeze every so often so it wasn’t too hot. We heard there is a Wind Chill Advisory at home, until next Wednesday – WOW!
Today happens to be David’s birthday. We have sailed
on Janet’s birthday several times and also several cruises on our anniversary, but this is the first celebration for David. Our Cabin Steward (Ivan from Serbia) has placed a sign on our door and a couple of balloons. So it was a nice festive way to start the day. We went down to the Concerto Dining Room for formal breakfast. Janet got her favorite breakfast (Eggs Benedict) even though it was not listed on today’s menu, and David had a nice ham & cheese omelet.
After breakfast Janet went to the first-day meeting of the Knitters and Knatters. Even though they usually don’t meet on days where there are port calls, today they did anyway. That is probably because we many of the excursions were various forms of beach experiences and none of them lasted too long. So people could go pretty much when they felt like and come back when they wanted. However this is a “tender port” so we did not actually dock at a pier. Everyone going on/off had to be shuttled to/from shore in one of the ship’s life boats.
While Janet was knitting, David went to the Fitness Center.
Some of the many people
enjoying part of the beach
He walked 30 minutes on the treadmill and then 30 minutes on the walking track. After having skipped a few days at the gym at home, already he was challenged by this simple workout. Tomorrow is a full day at sea, so he should be able to commit to a more thorough workout. After this he came back to the cabin for a shower to clean up. We both were ready to leave about 11:00 so we went to the Symphony Dining Room to await a tender, and we actually got to shore not long after 11:30.
The ship’s crew was serving a beachside bar-b-que lunch for everyone. We had dogs, brats, and burgers, but could have had pork spare ribs or chicken breasts. There was also a huge table of fresh fruit which was delicious sitting out at a picnic bench for our lunch. Of course they also had some cookies for desserts. And of course it was all complimentary from the cruise ship. Later we found there were even meal choices of different things, but we were full by then.
There are a LOT of families with kids on this cruise –
more than any of our previous experiences. Since this port is primarily a beach, they are all out in droves all over the place. The normal capacity for this ship is 3560 passengers, but we overheard one of the ship’s crew saying they had nearly 4000 because of all the extra kids bunking in their parent’s cabin. In any case, they range from rug-rats in strollers up to teenagers trying to get drinks at the bar without being carded. With many schools closed for “winter break”, there are many more kids than we had expected. It’s not been a problem for us, it was just a surprise.
Our excursion was a scenic cruise along the coast. It turned out to be a nice smooth sail viewing the coastline, but actually there is very little to be seen. The islands are largely composed of coral with a thin layer of topsoil. Our guide claimed that the Bahamas have approximately 5% off the entire world’s coral. She read us a long history of the islands which was interesting but not really memorable. Tourist and fishing are the two biggest industries in the Bahamas, and fishing is definitely second on
One drawback today was that the island is split by a narrow channel which has a walking bridge to cross from one side to the other. There are about 10 steps up and 10 back down, which presented Janet’s knees with a real challenge. Everything we did the first part was on the right side of the island, but the tour registration was across the bridge on the left side. When we were escorted to the tour boat, it was back on the right side, and naturally we had to cross the bridge a 3rd
time to get back to the location to catch the tender to return to the ship. There was a rail on the steps but it was quite wide and difficult to grasp. It would have been fine for sliding your hand up or down, but not good for grabbing ahold of. But Janet made it and enjoyed the boat ride and did get back to the cruise ship too.
We got a couple of goodies from the International Café to provide some mid-afternoon energy. Janet was able to get a Salted Carmel Strata specialty coffee which she really likes whenever we cruise. Actually David opted for a beer, which was waiting in our cabin. Last night Ivan had delivered 2 beers (Dos Eques), 8 miniatures (2 Dewar’s Scotch, 2 Skyy Vodka, 2 Beefeaters Gin, and 2 Courvoisier Brandy). There were also 2 cans of Sprite, 2 of Coke, 2 bottles of Perrier, and 2 cans of Tonic Water. This was all FREE – not because of the mini-suite but because we have finally reached Elite status. This should be standard practice for any of our following Princess cruises. David is going to have Ivan swap a few things, but they have to be alcohol for alcohol, and non for non. But that is how he knew there was a beer waiting in the frig in the cabin. There is also a bottle of wine we brought aboard in Ft Lauderdale, but we will get to that sometime. We rested in the cabin for a while and then went down to the evening reception. Today’s specialty was fresh made Guacamole which Janet really likes, but David was able to get some other things. We did have another cocktail too before going to dinner – Janet had another Mojito and David had a Cherry Blossom Garden (which was kind of tasty). We took the rest of our drinks to dinner and had another enjoyable conversation with Joyce and Jerry. For our entrees, Janet had Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding and David had Fillet of Soul. Since this is David’s birthday, they brought him a birthday cake and everyone sang to him. We then split the cake 4-ways and everyone got a share.
Afterwards, all four of us went to the Princess Theater to see a very enjoyable show by Robbie Printz - the 2017 Entertainer of the Year for Princess Cruises. He was very funny and gave us lots of laughs. He also had a longer than usual show and still we were sorry that he had come to the end. He will be performing again later in the cruise and we will surely try to see him again.
Tonight is the day when we adjust our clocks to the Caribbean Islands time zone (whatever it really is called). So we get one less hour tonight. So we will close here and maybe add a couple of pictures before posting the blog. We hope everyone had a good day – we did.
David got birthday notes from Valerie and her 3 kids. It was very nice to hear from them and to have them wish me Happy Birthday. However they also had some sad news – Sally their dog died suddenly. That makes us very sad and it is very sad for them - we hope they will feel better soon
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