CRUISE REVIEW – Jan. 15, 2014
Type Cruise: 4 Day Voyage to Nowhere (Getaway) from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA.
Cruise Line: Princess Lines (a.k.a. The Love Boat)
Ships name: Ruby Princess. Italian-made 2008; Large type; 19 decks; Navigational crew: Italian/World-wide; Max: 3,599 passengers and 1,200 crew. Note: Only two (2) Americans were in the crew at administrative positions….. go figure.
Dates: Jan. 9, 2014 @ 4 PM to Jan. 13, 2014 @ 7 AM
Parking: Adjacent to departure pier at $15/day. Excellent, quick and easy
Check-In: Slightly unprofessional; some things did not work at first; Check-in Agents used ordinary laptops placed on top of cardboard boxes. Luggage was checked-in at the curb.
Embarking: Somewhat slow due to multiple/long zig-zaging lines. Over a 1 hour process.
Cabin: Original booking was for an Inside Stateroom, but they upgraded us to an Ocean view Stateroom. Well-appointed, could be bigger and the shower was a bit small.
Getting around: Confusing; due to insufficient directional signage throughout the ship; the deck plan provided only showed a profile of the entire ship vice individuals deck plans for each deck. In addition, all the crew members encountered were extremely friendly and helpful to guide us.
Health/Safety: Needs more Purel hand sanitizing stations.
Common areas: Two (2) main mediums sized pool/sunning areas. One pool area has a huge JumboTron screen for Movies at Night and Sports games during the day or night. It can be a bit loud at times. Quiet and cozy smaller pool areas are located at the bow and stern areas.
Activities: Just far too numerous to cover. There is something available for all tastes and styles.
Internet: Satellite (slow) internet connection is available. Price plans vary from $0.79/min to $19.90/hour.
Entertainment: The showroom was large and well appointed. The entertainment was well done.
Dining/Casual: The five (5) casual buffet style dining areas were open “alternatively” between 5 AM and midnight making it a “guess where is” on each visit. The food served was excellent and very well presented, although the selection could have been slightly greater. Of special note, these dining areas had low (7 foot) ceiling heights with a crowded seating arrangement, whereby making it a tight, squeezed-in type of ambience. Avoid the Ice Cream stand for Ice Cream…UGH.
Dining/Semi-Casual: Casual attire, no formal nights during this cruise. The dining room seating and the general ambience was excellent. The latter of the two services was about 55-60% of its full capacity. The service was impeccable and precise. All the chosen food was excellent and well presented. It is worthy of my equivalent to a Michelin 1 Star rating.
Destination(s): Princess Cays (A Princess Line owned 40 acres beachfront area at the deserted southern end of Eleuthera Island in the eastern Bahamas). It was nice and well-appointed with shops and inclusive dining places. The 3,000+ lounge chairs were tightly packed together. It can be a bit noisy at times. The only major issue was when walking into the water at the beach to take a dip …. the bottom was hard coral or limestone, not soft sand, whereby making it difficult to “safely” walk without “water shoes”, especially in rough surf. Renting snorkeling gear is a waste of money since there really is nothing to see underwater. The best bet activity would be the small sailboats to rent for an hour, providing there is wind.
Disembarking: Up at 6 AM, went to breakfast and packed the suitcases by 7:15 AM. We decided to carry/roll out our luggage to save time, and it did. We arrived at the disembarkation muster point on the ship, left the ship at 8 AM, through U.S. Customs / Immigration and in our vehicle by 8:25 AM. Well done.
Overall: We would do again even with its minor issues. Just stay onboard at Princess Cays.
Total costs: Booking rate of $149 base price per person (Original was $449). Itemized: $448 base for two persons with taxes and port fees + $92 gratuities @ $11.50/pp/day + $60 terminal parking @ $15/day = $600 Total for two(2) people.