Nassau & Princess Cays On Board Emerald Princess
My overall impression of my cruise from Fort Lauderdale, which went to Nassau and Princess Cays on Emerald Princess was that there was a very diverse range of age groups on board, because the cruise offered something for everybody. The standard of onboard service was also great and could not be faulted.
Here's a breakdown of my experience:
For the four nights on board Emerald Princess I was in a Mid Ship Oceanview cabin. This was ideal as we had a few rough nights at sea and it could be very rocky at times at the front and back of the ship. However, when I returned to my room the rocking was less noticeable.
I was also able to look out my window each morning to see the islands around us and check the weather before heading out for the day. My room was spacious with a generous wardrobe to store suitcases and clothes. The bed was also very comfortable. If a Balcony cabin is beyond your budget, a Mid Ship Oceanview cabin as the best alternative.
There were so many dining options including three main dining rooms: Michelangelo & Da Vinci, which were the anytime dining venues; and Botticelli, which was the set-times venue.
The food and service was great and I really enjoyed my meals. When not eating in the main dining room, the buffet was a great option with two separate setups on each side of the pool deck making the flow of people manageable.
An array of other casual snack venues were on the pool deck as well such as pizza, ice cream and burgers. There is no way anyone could go hungry.
One of the main highlights was going to the specialty restaurant, Crown Grill. There was a $US25 cover charge per person, which was worth the impeccable service and food, along with the intimate setting. The restaurant served aged and hand-cut, cooked-to-order steaks and premium seafood.
Spa & Fitness Facilities
The gym was located forward of the ship next to the spa with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows and modern equipment. There was also a large floor space for fitness classes.
I was able to explore the spa facilities, which had an open and welcoming reception area with lounge to wait in before or after treatments (cucumber water and tea included!).
Although I didn't undergo any treatments, I did purchase a pass to the Thermal Area ($US99 per person or $US140 per couple). I was granted unlimited use of the three saunas and the hot beds, as well as the exclusive pool area for spa guests only.
This was a great way to wind down in the afternoon and a relaxing end to the day before getting ready for the evening.
Pre-dinner drinks were enjoyed at a different bar each night as there were so many great places to go and sit for a tipple before dining. Vines bar was right by the atrium and had music playing and lots of people to create a welcoming atmosphere. The Wheelhouse bar had two-for-one drinks at happy hour each evening.
There were four pools on the ship, one exclusive to spa guests, so there was plenty of room and space for everyone.
Destinations & Shore Excursions
Princess Cays, a tourist resort at the southern end of the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas is owned by Princess Cruises, so I could take my ship card ashore and use this for all expenses (no cash needed!).
We tendered to the island where they had snorkelling equipment, sea boards, floats, kayaks, paddle wheelers, banana boat rides, aqua chairs, beach clamshells and bungalows (need to reserve).
There was a barbeque, along with bar tenders serving drinks on the beach.
Nassau is the capital and largest city of the Bahamas. When I visited I did not do a shore excursion, but there was the option of snorkelling with stingrays and dolphins.
The island was very easy to get around on foot and the people were so friendly and helpful. There were taxis for taking short trips around the island or to Atlantis, which is a short distance away on Paradise Island. This is the Caribbean's most amazing vacation resort with a water park and slide going through a shark tank.
Words: Melissa Leppard, Cruise Specialist, Cruiseabout Online Sales
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