Ruby Princess Cruise Review by w145: Anytime Dining Means Anytime Plus 2 Hours or so
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Anytime Dining Means Anytime Plus 2 Hours or so
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We had a great time on the Princess Alaska cruise so we decided to take a relaxing winter break on the Ruby Princess to Grand Turk and Princess Cay. It was not good. The dining service was the worst I've ever had on vacation. We did "Anytime Dining" or as Princess says "the flexibility to dine when and with who you choose." What a lie. The first night we had to wait in line about 40 minutes to get a pager to wait another 80 minutes to get a table. The maitre'd basically pointed to a table across the room by a service door and said "there" - real consummate host greeting. Service was not terrible but nothing great - food was mediocre and barely lukewarm. People told us that it was just a first night problem. Next night the wait was "only" about an hour wait to get a table - next to a busy waiter station. Again lukewarm food. So we called to see if we could get a reservation and were told just to come around 8 - there would be no problem. So about 745 we went to the second "Anytime" More
dining place to see if that was better. Not much better. When I asked the maitre'd how long we might be expected to wait - the answer was a rather caustic "when the other guests finish eating"...another consummate host. As a reward for asking, when we did get a table it was basically in a waiters station. I could count the silverware every time he opened a drawer. Even the server kept apologizing for the table's location and noise.
One night, after a wait a group of us were marched from one end of the ship to the other to use vacant tables in the fixed dining room. On the plus side service there was good and the food was hot. After the second night I wrote a comment and complaint and dropped it at the front desk - no answer or acknowledgement. The delays in dining fouled up the evening schedule. The ship was crowded and we missed shows because we choose to dine rather than use the buffet. Princess anytime dining was a disaster that put a cloud over every evening.
The planning for disembarkation was also an experience. I filled out the form requesting luggage assistance and disembarkation at 930. When I got my assignment from Princess it was walk off at 730. So I went to the Front Desk to get it changed. After being told I had gotten when I requested (which was untrue) the staff told me that would get it changed in the morning and see that I get luggage tags. Never happened (so maybe Princess was discretely acknowledging my earlier complaint) . So the following evening I had to go through the process again and stood there until I got luggage tags.
My wife told me that the activities were also jammed with the ship's staff commenting on how crowded it was and that they did not expect the turnouts for activities. Less
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Cabin review: D515
The room was good, quiet, plenty of storage. Deck 9 mini suite balconies stick out so there is no privacy - if that bothers you. The steward was good; unobtrusive and professional.
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