This cruise was a for a destination wedding in the Caribbean. St. Thomas was chosen since it in in the US virgin islands. (And the Gride and Broom are American). Princess was chosen last year since the line was voted "best weddings at sea."
After booking with Princess, we later discovered the line changed vendors who do offshore weddings. We were a bit nervous with this change as we could not find any track record for the new vendor. It all turned out OK in the end but there were still issues getting all the details ironed out since each wedding vendor did things a little different than the other. The folks at Bolongo Bay in St. Thomas deserve a lot of Kudos. Everything went beautifully. The officiant was tops as well.
This was my and DW second cruise with Princess and I have to say the Ruby is really great. The Food in the MDR was very good to excellent. Our waiter, Palmen from Bulgaria was the best yet. I think Princess has gotten better with their food offerings in the MDR in the last couple of years. This is the first time we didn't go to a specialty restaurant. We did not miss the experience. The buffets at lunch were also better than I have experienced with Princess in the past. Breakfast in the Lido is average. The belgium waffles at the Pizza/ice cream area are worth going out of your way for.
The production shows, comedians, magic acts were all great. There were many newer movies at MUTS. Ron the cruise director was pretty good, but his assistant, Elaine from England was great. She deserves to be a senior CD herself. She is cuter than a bugs ear.
We economized this cruise and did an inside stateroom on the Aloha deck. It was the best inside I have had in my cruising experience. There was more than enough room for storing things. I think I sleep better in insides since they are dark in the dawn morning hours. It is hard not to sleep in since you don't really know what time of day it is.
Excursions were the only disappointment. Princess Cays was closed due to storm damage from Hurricane Sandy. Our stingray encounter at Grand Turk was cancelled do to rougher than normal seas. We ended up at Governors Beach and were pretty disappointed with the shabby amenities there. The staff were very
disinterested in serving us. We heard other cruisers were disappointed in the city tours in Grand Turk as well. Feral dogs chasing folks! Very dirty conditions, etc. No complaints with St. Maarten and St. Thomas.
Pre cruise, we stayed at the Cambria suites in Ft Lauderdale. Great value and the most comfortable beds and pillows I have encountered anywhere! Very close to the pier and have transportation to and from the pier and and airport.
Embarkation/disembarkation were both well managed.
Until the Royal Princess goes into service, the Ruby is the lines Flagship.
If you like Princess, you will love the Ruby.