It couldn't have been better unless the chocolate pudding in the International Cafe was available all 7 days.
Driving down to FL we were able to stay 20 minutes away in the Comfort Suites in Weston. A good place to stay and no embarkation morning rodeo. By the way around the corner was a great comfort food restaurant, Lucille's.
We left the hotel Sunday morning a little after 11, drove 20 minutes, dropped off my wife and luggage, parked in Terminal 2 and bypassed lots of waiting folk as we are platinum. My wife said she didn't look up at all the waiting passengers as we walked past them, through the x ray and right to the counter. We were on board by noon, a quick snack at the International Cafe, dropped off our carry on's in our aft balcony and had our luggage by 2pm. Doesn't get better than that.
This was our 8th Princess cruise and 2nd on the Ruby. We simply had a delightful time, the ship was clean, the staff friendly and helpful and I can't believe how anyone on this blog can say the Princess employees are not friendly. We didn't become best friends with them but every one you passed had a nice greeting for us.
My wife said our R749 aft balcony was the best cabin we ever had and it was our 3rd or 4th aft. It was just past the doorway that leads up to the Terrace pool. We found no noise from the exit door nor no traffic in our end of the hall as there was only one cabin on the outside beside us. The convenience to the CC and the HC made this a great location. There were no leaners on the aft terrace pool rail so we had a great deal of privacy. All you saw were the feet of the corner chaise lounge on the pool deck. There was little early traffic at the pool nor at night so we felt totally at ease on the balcony with near total quiet even during the day. I had read on this blog that there was a security camera a deck above looking down but it was directed behind the rail not appearing to invade our space.
We never went to the dining rooms and ate on the CC, HC or IC. I added 3.6 lbs so I had no complaints about the food. The pizza as usual was hot, thin, crispy and good. I went to the pool grill a couple of times when it wasn't crowded and had a knockwurst cooked to my specs with a toasted roll. Had plenty of the soft serve ice cream and pop corn so you can see I ate like a kid.
Speaking of kids because it was the holiday week there were hundreds of kids on board and fewer scooters and walkers. A nice change with the kids on board and they seemed pretty well behaved.
We're not big on sight seeing off the ship and did a speed boat, snorkel and beach excursion in St. Maartin. A good time and the Adventure I ships crew were entertaining.
Didn't see any of the production shows but David Cats the magician was good, a real low key Scotsman comedian/piano player was fun and a comedian Miquel Rodriquez??? was OK.
Our children bought spa credits for their mothers birthday so she had lots of spa treatments that she loved. I had a badly needed every other year pedicure from Jason in the spa that was just pure delight.
I found 2-3 opportunities to sit in the steam room, finished a book I had started at home, read two more books and started a third before we disembarked and my wife was able to read even more than me on board.
A high point was Friday nights Ultimate Balcony Dining. We missed the full moon by two days but the sky was full of stars and the moon made a belated appearance. My wife had the lobster and the menu as set including the cocktails and champagne. Me, I asked for mozzarella and tomatoes to start, followed by the Onion soup normally served in the Crown Grill along with some spicy chicken and they served it up to my total satisfaction. I forgot to mention the canapes to open and the four types of mousse for dessert plus assorted goodies. The waitress was excellent and a room service grandee stops in to see if everything was to our satisfaction. Boy was it ever.
All in all a truly relaxing cruise that more than met our expectations. Princess says escape completely and we sure did. Bought future cruise credits and looking forward to planning out next cruise with Princess.