Ruby Princess Cruise Review by Trophy maker: Not all bad....but not all good!
Overall Member Rating
Not all bad....but not all good!
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Here is my review of the Ruby Princess...
We were a group of six ladies - myself, my mother, daughter, sister in law and two nieces. All over the age of 21.
Embarkation: GREAT! The process was easy - we arrived at noon and the we were on the ship in less than a half hour. We each had a bottle of wine that we checked in. They didn't even open the bags - just felt it for the proper size. We went straight to our rooms which were ready! On previous trips with Norwegian , rooms were not ready for a couple hours after boarding. We each had inside cabins, which were a nice size - larger than I expected, as I have only had balcony cabins in the past. We were missing the shampoo/shower gel bottles - did not receive them until day 4 (yes, we asked for them) - glad we brought our own.
Our room steward stopped by and introduced himself - he always seemed to be nearby. We had asked for robes before sailing -had to ask again on the second day - VERY SMALL and un usable!! More We walked around the ship, then ate lunch in the dining room (we asked several crew where the dining room was and we were always directed to the buffet, but since we read Cruise critic, we knew they were serving lunch in the dining room) purchased our soda package with a travel mug - nice keepsake! We soon set sail and headed to our rooms to dress for our 6pm dinner in the Bonnicelli dining room.
Dinner was great - waiters, Louis and Alexander were very attentive. Alexander (helper) was new and while he always brought the correct drink, he never set them in front of the right person. We had a good laugh about this and it soon became a game! I highly recommend the set dining time as opposed to anytime dining. It was nice to get to know our wait staff. Louis was great about suggesting what entrée to choose and it was always the best delicious! The food on the ship overall was very good, although we didn't spend a lot of time at the buffet, when we did eat there, it was enjoyable.
They did have movies under the stars each night, but unless you arrived early - you probably didn't get a chair - the deck was not large enough.
Day 2 - at sea. Since I always wake up early, I was pleased to be able to get coffee at the buffet. Also the casino was open and I was the only person in there. There were plenty of things to do at sea to keep us busy. The pools were very crowded of course and we even heard of a few arguments over chairs. We found out later that the Sanctuary pool can be used without cost and therefore not crowded. The upper deck close to the Sanctuary always seemed to have a few empty chairs.
We did participate in Passenger feud, a nice little diversion. They had many others, but that's the only one we attended.
Day 3 - Cozumel. My daughter and niece went on the Ruins and beach break tour. They had to meet at 6:45 in the Wheelhouse bar. They were held there for a while before actually departing for the tour. They had a wonderful time and were very impressed with the origination of the whole tour, although they were not impressed with the "beach". The rest of us went on the Passion Island tour. The boat ride to the island wasn't long, and all the people on the island were very friendly. Our server kept our rum punch flowing, he even refused a tip - saying if we were happy with the service, we could tip him at the end of the day - which we did! The food on the island was just ok. Not many shops on the island - but the ones that were there, seemed a bit overpriced. The sister in law got a massage (the islanders walked around giving short massages for free, then directed you to the main massage building for the real thing) she enjoyed it!
The lounge chairs on the island were old and plastic and the tables and chairs for eating were plastic and dirty.
There was one water trampoline in our area, but we were told we could venture farther down the beach to enjoy the other items in the water - we did not.
The tour guide gathered us together when it was time to leave and informed us that if we wanted to tip him, now would be the time because any tipping on the boat back, would not be his. We were then asked by the people on the boat to tip them as well. They played great sing a long music on the return boat ride - great ending to the tour.
Mother and sister in law went to the comedian show in the princess theater and raved about how great it was. Luckily, he was performing again later in the week.
Day 4: Grand Caymans. Four of us booked the Dolphin Swim and Stingray adventure. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS PART!! The tour was supposed to start at 12:30 and end at 5. We did arrive at Dolphin Cove at 12:30, where they told us we would be going to stingray city first - but were told we had to wait for more of the group to arrive and for a bigger boat to arrive as the one there wasn't big enough. (the brochure said the tour was limited to 20 people and twenty people were there!) At about 1pm, more people arrived while we were boarding the boat (the same one that they said wasn't big enough) They put 50 people on this boat that looked like it would hold 35 max! The boat ride was 35 minutes out and we were there for about 30 minutes, then 35 minutes back. Four people had to sit on the bow of the boat - two of them from our group. They were miserable - being doused with waves and then rain!
We thought stingray city was a controlled environment, but it turned out to be a meeting place in the ocean, where several other boats had also gathered. Our ships "captain" got into a shouting match with another boat - yelling at them to move!. While we did enjoy swimming with the sting rays, it was also hard to relax with all the people around. We did not have our picture taken as there were too many people and they "missed us". We then boarded the boat for the trip back. They did offer us a cup of water or a cup of punch. The people who did have pictures taken, were asked to buy them. We were all asked to tip before we got off.
Back at dolphin cove we were separated into 5 groups and told how to pose with the dolphins. We were told where and how to place our hands so that the dolphins could swim by, kiss us or give us a ride for the pictures. Not exactly what we were expecting. Afterwards, we walked up to the "store" and saw some people in the group eating pizza. We went to purchase some also but were told the pizza was only for people with the blue wrist bands - turns out the people we waited on, and the people getting pizza, were crew members from the ship. We would have gladly purchased some pizza as there was no where else to get food. Needless to say, we were embarrassed - and hungry. We were then instructed where to go to look at/buy our pictures. One picture would be $25!!! Or, for $99, you could get the disk with all the pictures from your group. Since there were 4 of us, this was the option we chose. We then boarded the bus back to the port. Luckily, all four of us got on the first bus, or we would have had to wait again. We arrived back at port at 5pm. Our tour started late, but ended on time. Turns out, we were supposed to have a walk where we would see birds and other animals - that didn't happen. I think it's great that the crew gets to participate in the excursions, but not at the expense of those of us that paid for it. We complained to the excursion desk about the tour, but after filling out a form, we were told they would investigate and evaluate for the future.
The rest of the cruise was enjoyable. One night the casino was all smoke free and very crowded. We all went to the magician show -it was just ok. We all went to the next comedian show and laughed until we cried! The young girls went to wine tasting and loved it. A few of us went to the cook demonstration and a tour of the kitchen, also nice.
Last day at sea: The pools were very crowded as everyone was trying to soak up a few more rays! I wish they would leave some chairs out on the decks at night - they always gathered them up and there was no where to sit. We would have really enjoyed sitting on the deck looking at the stars.
Overall we had a wonderful time. The crew all seemed nice - although we heard other people complaining that they were rude, we did not experience that.
Disembarkation was just as easy as embarkation. Less
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