Fabulous First Cruise
Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We were first time cruisers, so we had nothing to compare it to. We had great overall service. It was nice to be able to dine whenever, even though we had a set dining time in the dining rooms, we could come earlier and eat by ourselves and not feel like we had to eat with the same people every night. We felt the food was top notch. They prepared everything so elegantly, which we appreciated.
We enjoyed the entertainment from the shows, to comedians. They did cater a little more to 65+ or so, which was nice in the fact that this was a trip for just my husband and I, without kids, and we didn't see too many. In other ways though, there was a lot of the entertainment geared for the older generation. You can do as much or as little as you want.
We thoroughly enjoyed the movies under the stars. Between that and taking many of our breakfast foods outdoors in the back area, we spent a lot of time outdoors.
I should mention that during the trip, there was an More
outbreak of the Norovirus! They promptly notified all the cruisers via a letter in each cabin saying that they have quarantined those affected and would take measures to ensure no more. That just meant really, that at all the buffet sites, all the food would be served to you. They really did a great job at taking precautionary measures.
We really had a great first time experience and would highly recommend the Ruby Princess. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
We got on the boat and went to an area where we snorkeled for about 45 minutes. The great thing about it was that one of the crew members got in the water and had some fish bait and lured some small sharks out, which was awesome. Wished we had an underwater camera!
From there, we beautiful boat ride to this secluded island where we were able to see tons of stingray and get the chance to touch and kiss a huge one.
I don't believe we ended up buying any souvenirs here, as the shops were a little pricey and there's no bartering.
The ship has to dock a bit off shore, so you take the small boats in. They had it all run smoothly getting on and off the boats to the island. It was so nice to be the only ship on the island. Plenty of areas and lounge chairs to find a spot on the beach and just chill.
We spent most of our time soaking up the sun, but we also spent some time in the water as well. We brought our own snorkeling gear, so we spent some time snorkeling. The water was crystal clear, so we saw some cool fish and coral reef.
I can't forget to mention the wonderful lunch they served us there. Barbecue style with incredible fresh pineapple, watermelon and cantaloupe. We dished ourselves up and ate on our lounge chairs.
We checked out some of the shops, but wasn't too impressed to buy anything at that point in our trip. We hung around the island taking in the great music this group was playing. We were probably one of the last boats to head back to the ship.
Great first port on the trip!
Beautiful looking island from the port. We didn't book any excursions here, but some friends recommended Maho Beach, so we decided to go. It was a little insane trying to figure out how to get there though. The area where you catch taxis and such was a little chaotic, but we eventually got there in a van type taxi with others, so we were able to share the cost.
Maho Beach isn't a huge area and it's filled with a lot of people wanting the same experience we did. The draw to this area is the fact that it's right between the ocean and the airport. So these airplanes fly right over you as they are about to land. It was a fun experience just to be there when the planes land. It's not so fun to be there when the planes take off though, because you are behind it when it gets ready to take off and you get blasted by the jet blast. Ouch!!! That's all I have to say. You get belted by the sand and it goes everywhere. It's worth trying once to have the experience.
There are quite a few shops by the port, which is convenient. A little overpriced, but we were still able to pick up a few souvenirs. Make sure you have cash on hand for cab rides
Magen Bay Beach
Megan's Bay was a beautiful area, but we wish we had known what little time we would end up having here. We would have loved to have spent more time here. Once we got back on our tour bus (America was our driver and she did a great job), she took us down to the shopping district, the market area. They have tons of makeshift tent/booth type area. We did end up buying some souvenirs, but everyone wants you to buy from them. They are willing to barter a little.
Loved all the colorful buildings and architecture. From here, we caught some type of shuttle from there back to the port and checked out a few more shops.
By the way, while at Magen's Bay, we got cell reception and was able to call home to the states, which was a treat.