We decided to sail on the Ruby Princess for our Honeymoon. We left Ft. Lauderdale on Feb 10th, finding port everglades was easy with the help of our GPS and despite the line ups that we were greeted with the embarkation was quick. so here are our thought on the cruise:
THE SHIP: the Ruby was BEAUTIFUL! very clean and welcoming, lots of places to visit and sit and many choices for food.
FOOD: my only complaint about food is it is to available! you could eat 24/7 and the food was fantastic! we choose anytime dining, which worked well for us as sometimes we decided to eat before a show and other times we ate late. We choose the buffet for breakfast, a slice of awesome pizza or a burger and fries most days for lunch when we were on board and chose to do the fine dining for dinner, I loved the fine dining option as it gave you a great selection and also some everyday options, the fet. Alfredo as a appraiser was excellent and we had it every evening.
THE SERVICE: the staff were great! being a recreation director myself I would like to commend the entertainment staff on their great work. there was alot of selection of things to do from wonderful shows in the princess theater, to game shows at the bars, live music and movies, and a special valentines treat to renew your marriage vows, we did this as we were on our honeymoon however we were told to sign up for a certificate to commemorate this event and it would be delivered to our room but it never showed up :(. Our room hostess was very nice and aways kept our room in order. the security staff on the return to the ship from port were great, i heard some people complain that it was like they were being treated like criminals but this is hogwash, the staff just asked that you remove your hat on the way in, understandable, im happy that security done their job well as im sure noone would like for an incident to happen then they would blame the lack of security. Overall the staff were great and very helpful to us the entire time.
PORTS OF CALL: Princess Cays- princess own private beach we were tendered over to the island from the ship, this was a quick and easy process, this was very nice myself and my husband done an excursion each at this port, he did deep sea fishing which he enjoyed however he was excited as a person who had fished most of his life to catch a big fish and in his opinion the crew were targeting fish like the barracuda to catch. he was lucky to catch one of the 2 fish that were caught that day but wasnt offered to even hold the fish for a photo op or anything. and for $199 he thought he could have had a better experience from ft. lauderdale fishing vendors. I took the glass bottom boat tour as i didnt want to dish out $200 fishing when it does not interest me at all, The tour was nice, the staff on the tour were good. however i didnt think it was that great, we seen a few fish nothing big, i would have rathered to be sitting on the beach or swimming in the beautiful ocean. which we did when we met back up together and i got some great underwater shots of the same fish i had seen on the glass bottom boat tour. We also rented a clam shell that would have been nice had we went there earlier, but by the time we got the clam shell shade we were a long way from the swimming beach as there wernt many left. the buffet lunch was nice there of salad and hotdogs and hamburgers.
St. Marten/Maarten - we went to orient beach which was a nice trip by bus then some relaxation time at the beach. we didnt go to the nude beach as we heard some people say that once you see it you cannot unsee it ha ha. we had a nice lunch on the beach and the swimming was beautiful, you could rent seadoos for $60 a half hour and do some other activities there but we just hung out. make sure you stay with the group when picking your beach chairs as a couple just over from us who were also on the ruby were approached and charged $20 for their chairs even tho it was included in the tour, after explaining to a not so nice beach attendant and recruiting Nikki our tour guide for assistance they didnt have to pay but i didnt head an apology from the beach guy. there are loacls selling stuff on the beach and they go around with handfulls of bags and t-shirts, if you didnt want anything all you had to say was no thank you and they left but you could get a good price on some items if you haggled a bit. shopping when we returned to the ship port area was nice and cheap, we got some magnets and tshirts to bring home for friends and family for next to nothing.
St. Thomas - by far the best day we had, it was valentines day, We took a full day cameraman aboard the VI cat. the crew were AMAZING!!! we had an awesome day. as first time snorklers i was a little worried but it was so much fun. we went to a place called turtle cove and seen beautiful sea turtles, stingrays, and tons of fish, it blew the glass bottom boat tour i did in princess cays out of the water. Then when we were all back on the boat they served us unlimited rum punch which i liked, as we cruised to honeymoon beach, this was the most beautiful beach i have ever seen, beautiful white sand, calm sea green waters ahh it was heaven, we had a little buffet lunch there that was excellent. we stayed here for a while then cruised back to the ship. and still had time for some great shopping by the ship. again great prices for souvenirs, jewelry ect.
Grand Turk - this is the port i was looking forward to the most as i had heard the most good things about it. I was disappointed, it was very very beautiful there but there was another cruise ship that came in just before us and trying to find 2 beach chairs together was next to impossible both on the beach and at maragretaville, food and drinks at the restaurant were pricey, as was shopping. we spent a few hours in port when we finally managed to get 2 seats but returned to the ship early to swimm in the pool while most people were ashore and drink a few beer.
Days at sea - we had 2 days at sea one early in the trip and one on the return. these were nice relaxing days, but do try to get some lounge chairs early, there were still some places to sit when we went later but the better seats were taken. the staff offer tons to do at sea and it was great.
tips for first time cruisers:
- if you plan on washing clothes while on the ship bring along some laundry suds and dryer sheets from home like i did. its cheaper
- if you need quick cash, use your cruise card in the casino and bid the amount you want then cash out, there is no charge this way.
- bring a power bad along if you would like extra plug in's
- make sure to bring cash along with you when you go ashore if you wish to buy anything, i think most places take credit cards also.
- i read that the showers were small but im a big girl and it was fine, i did however, take some heavy clothes pins and clip them on to the shower curtain on the bottom so it didnt stick to me.
- i heard some people brought liquor and beer on board by putting it in water bottles, or in the middle of a box of soda drinks and even mouth wash bottles. be creative.
- go to the shows, the staff put alot of work into them and they are all less then an hour and fun.
- duty free liquor on the ship is dirt cheap
- have an open mind, some of the comments i read on here before we left to go on our cruise had me worried but we just went with the flow without expectations and had the most amazing honeymoon. Met some nice people in the process and will travel with Princess again. after speaking with other people aboard the ruby who had traveled other cruise lines they said it was one of the best along with Royal Caribbean.
I had read in advance to booking that the majority of passengers are older, this seemed about right but there was a nice mix of ages, myself and my hubby are 28, and 29 and we had a blast!!! happy cruising!!!