Background: Fifth Princess Cruise. Based in Florida so it was nice to be able to just drive down to port on the day we disembarked instead of having to fly anywhere. We were taking this cruise with two other couples that we had previously (15 years ago) sailed with on Carnival. We only live an hour apart by life makes it difficult to get together. We were all looking forward to a week together.
This is the first time we have sailed on the Ruby but had just sailed on Emerald last year so we were very familiar with the layout. Sure took out the first day of trying to figure out where you were!
We were going to be stopping at Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Having never been to any of these places, we did only Princess excursions. While on board, we went to several game shows, trivia contests, MUTS and shows in the Piazza. We were never without something to do and realized that a seven day cruise may be just too short for us.
All of the servers including our cabin steward were extremely friendly and very accommodating. The bar service was very good and we never really had to wait on anything other than the last night in the main dining room. We did not go to the dining room every night so we did not have the same waiter all week but overall everyone was smiling and always said hello or asked how they could help.
We did not do an excursion in Princess Cays.. just enjoyed the beach and the drinks at the bar. There were some vendors selling items by the beach and the jewelry was very nice and reasonably priced.
In St. Maarten, we went on the excursion that you drove Scoot Coupes on the island. There were many pretty things to look at, we went to Orient Beach (skip the nude part) and then returned to the ship. We arrived a little late to St. Maarten which didn't allow us much shopping when we returned to port.
In St. Thomas, we went on the excursion called Castaway Girl. We snorkeled and had a great ride on a catamaran. I have never snorkeled and they did everything necessary to make me very comfortable. Would highly recommend this excursion and the others in our group can highly recommend the free rum punch on the way back to the ship!
In Grand Turks, the guys in our party had massages on the beach while the ladies shopped. There were a lot of nice stores that were not cruise lined owned and we bought jewelry and t-shirts to take home. Made the trip to Margaritaville and enjoyed nachos and sodas. A little overpriced but we enjoyed the experience of saying we had been there.
We only went to the dining room twice preferring to eat at the pizza place by the pool or Horizon Court. The food as usual was great and we definitely did not ever have a time we were hungry. The IC is a favorite stop along with the soft serve ice cream by the pool. The others with us did go to the dining room every night and enjoyed all the food except for the last night. We did go to Crown Grill one evening and just like the last time we were there, it is well worth the extra cover charge. Just get the sampler of the desserts so you can try all of them!
As usual we were very pleased with our cruise on Princess. We went ahead and booked on the new Royal while we were on board and then bought another set of FCC for 2014.
I just can't see where anyone could ever complain about a cruise... I look forward to everyone we go on and wish that it didn't have to end.
We signed up for walk off at 730am. We were off the ship, through customs and being pick up by Park and Ride by 815am. Would highly recommend them for leaving your vehicle while on the cruise ship. Much cheaper than parking at the port and we never had to wait for a ride to the ship or back to our vehicle.
Wish it was time to board again!