All four of us had opted for "A Taste of Eleuthera" versus the other options. So we first took a tender (AKA, boat) to shore at Princess Cays (“cay” as in “Torquay” rather than “cay” as in “¿Por que?”) which was a spot invented by the Princess Cruises to flog shit to tourists. Then we got on a tour bus with a very enthusiastic tour guide named Shantina, though she just went by Tina. She lives on Eleuthera, along with the other guides/drivers, and gave us a native's eye view of the island.
A Taste of Eleuthera.
Our Tour Guides. Tina in the middle.
Eleuthera, like most of the Bahamas, relies on tourism to stay afloat. It was a pretty poor country, so it often felt like we were exploiting the locals, and yet it was our custom that helped them pay the bills. I asked one lady how she liked living on Eleuthera and she responded simply “Well, it's not as if I have much choice.” Oh yeah, Trina, ask a stupid question.
Anyhoo, I enjoyed the little spots where were walked around, especially the “Ocean Hole” where the fish (and seagulls) go wild for white bread. Plus mom and I got to eat fresh coconut. We drank the coconut water first, then the coconut guy chopped it in half and showed us how to scrape out the innards with spoons he made from coconut husk. Tasty but nothing like dried coconut that you get in stores.
The Ocean Hole.
A date tree on Eleuthera.
On our way back from the northernest point on the tour, we were served lunch. They had conch fritters, pineapple salsa, coconut fried chicken wings, roasted chicken wings, macaroni & cheese, and a sweet bread with a sauce. It was pretty tasty. Then we watched as Steph made conch salad. So that we'd know what “all mixed up like conch salad” means. (It's a local expression meaning “crazy, baby.”) We then got to sample the salad (Bahamian sushi, according to one of the tour guides.) It was pretty tasty. Very oniony, which is good in my book.
A view from our restaurant stop.
Steph makes Conch Salad.
On the final leg of the tour ride back, Tina asked us trivia questions about the tour with prizes for those who get correct answers. I got a question right when she asked for us to recall any of the local expressions she taught us. I answered my favorite: “Don't you yuck up my vexation!” and won a t-shirt which says “What happens on the island, stays on the island!” Heh. Mom also won a prize, some post cards of the Bahamas, for correctly stating the colors in Bahamas flag. (Black, aqua, and gold – I helped mom with the “gold” since “yellow” wasn't being accepted as a correct answer.)
When we returned to the launch area, we shopped at the tourist traps outside of the Princess Cays area. Mom bought a lovely Bahamas shirt and I bought a wooden carved flamingo (the official bird of the Bahamas). The wooden carved lobsters were pretty cool and very intricate, but I figured the flamingo had a better chance of surviving the trip home.
Back on board, mom and I got our bathing suits on and headed for the spa, with a stop first to get ice cream. Elsa and Judi tagged along, too. We spent several hours flitting between thermal spa things, pool things, and laying out on top of the ship things. The girls didn't have our stamina due to the wind and headed back, but mom and I stayed for an additional hour or so. I love those ceramic sofas. Mom loves 'em even more! I've been reading The Girl Who Played with Fire and made good progress on it today. Mom's reading the first book in the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Before we headed for supper, mom and I popped into the casino. We both transferred $10 to our key cards and started on the penny one-armed-bandits. Mom was doing pretty well at staying above $10, but my total kept going down. Thankfully supper time arrived and we returned to Da Vinci for supper.
Our waitress tonight was from South Africa and her junior was from Philippines. The wine steward was from Germany. The food was excellent, again. I had a starter of pineapple and honey roasted pistachios (tasty, but needed more pistachios - the white goo they served with it was very tasty.) My soup was another frozen one: frosty mango and pear soup. Yummy! My main course was the old stand-by, Fettuccine Alfredo (always on the menu). And I knew before I'd ordered supper what my dessert would be: crème brulee. (even if it had pineapple pieces in it, which I later discovered.) Anyhoo, the waitress said she'd be back to take our orders once she delivered a crème brulee to someone. I exclaimed that I loved those. So when she went by with it, she passed it before my face and said “Your appetizer!” Heh.
After dinner, we returned to the casino to lose the rest of our money. I moved to a 25 cent machine to lose money faster, only I wound up winning instead. $58.75 won. Sweet! I immediately cashed out my winnings (total out was $59.88, so that's almost $50 profit!) and vowed to gamble no more over the cruise. Mom might be harder to stop! :-)
Elsa opted to hit the hay early, but mom and I wanted to see Phil Tag again. And Judi decided to join us. So while we were waiting for the 10:30 show to start, mom and I wandered through the art gallery on deck 5. Some neat pieces there! Then I picked up Judi and we found seats in the third row, near where we'd been the night before. Phil was a hoot again. I almost lost it at one time, laughing so hard. Shame he's done entertaining us now.
Afterward, we decided to look for food. We headed way aft on deck 15 to the Cafe Caribe. I had nachos and guac, a pear, some cheeses, and two cookies – chocolate chip and chocolate. Was fun eating so late at night. Might regret it in a few minutes when I try to sleep. Heh.
Anyhoo, we returned to our stateroom. Mom's asleep and I'm typing this. I think I need to try and sleep now. Hopefully I'll be more successful tonight than I was last night.