Just back from another wonderful 7 day Princess vacation on board the beautiful Ruby Princess. We were scheduled to go on the same cruise in February but were stuck in the huge storm that hit the North East. What a HUGE disappointment. But we have always had the travel insurance and this time we had the better Princess insurance as it comes with the platinum membership. We received a full future cruise credit.( Although I have learned that there are other comparable insurances that will give you a full money refund in the event of weather cancellation.)
We flew in to Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Hilton Marina. Our room was on the 14th floor looking towards the city and the waterway. It was very nice but I should have asked for a room facing the cruise ships. Having read all of the reviews for the different hotels in the area there were no surprises. It is a ways to walk if you want to get anything and there are no restaurants close by either. Two pina coldas from the bar to take back to our room-30 dollars and we couldn't get into our room until 4:30 pm but all in all it was a good pre cruise hotel.
We checked out at 11:00 am and had really no where to go so we caught a cab to the terminal (Sixteen dollars I think) There was a pretty long line outside and they were just starting to check people in. I saw the preferred check in line and asked a nice gentleman. He said that was for folks with six or more cruises- I said that's us, showed him our boarding pass and went to that door. We checked right in and then were sent to a preferred check in waiting area. There was a delay in getting outboard because of delays in customs that morning, but after a short wait we were on board. My wife has done cruises on other lines but I have only cruised Princess. I have checked other lines and often think about seeing what the others offer. Well after the ease and how great our preferred check in was handled, It will be very difficult to stand in a long line at another cruise ship terminal. I am hooked on Princess and this preferred check in has really cemented the deal for us.
Out itinerary was changed and we did not got to Grand Turk but instead set sail for Nassau. We arrived there early-off the ship by 7 am and we left there at noon. Made for a quick morning but we got to see Atlantis, which we have always wanted to. (Had always thought about going there as well-we will still stick to Princess)We them had almost two days at sea which was relaxing but I do prefer shorter time at at sea and more ports. We then went to St. Marteen where we went to airport beach. A quick 10 dollar cab ride and got to see the planes landing right over our head(Always wanted to do that too). Then St Thomas for a catamaran snorkel trip with Castaway Girl through the ship. It was a great time. Raining when we arrived at Princess Cays. My wife said she didn't think she was going ashore. I said I was heading to the beach not matter what LOL. Well we were one of the first to be off the ship and by the time we reached our chairs, the sun was out, the seas were calm and it turned into a beautiful beach day. A word to the wise-If you want something there you should pre reserve it- I wanted to rent a clam shell shelter- all sold out-same thing with snorkel fins.
We ate at Sabatini's and Crown Grill both were great but the new menu at Sabatini's didn't leave much room to find something you preferred. Ate in the dinning room once and it was fine. We usually prefer the buffet as the food is good-we can almost always get a window seat and it is just convenient for us. Did not do any formal nights-just brought some smart casual stuff so we didn't look or feel out of place on those nights.
We are now spoiled to our Caribe deck balcony rooms. We like the partially covered balcony. The staff were all so friendly. There were more children and teens on this cruise than any other we have ever been on. But they all were well behaved and were hardly noticed. The one thing that continues to amaze me is how pushy some of the adults are getting. I know you are on vacation but so isnt everyone else. One guy in a wheelchair started in the elevator as soon as the doors opened and was a little put out that we were trying to get out first. Dollar for dollar you cant beat the Princess cruise experience.