Ruby Princess Cruise Review by davideo: 5 night Bahamas, Grand Turk & Ft. Lauderdale misc. notes
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5 night Bahamas, Grand Turk & Ft. Lauderdale misc. notes
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Other reviews cover most of the facilities, services and ports visited so I'll just add some misc. notes you may find useful. We had a very nice time, not our best cruise, but far from our worst one. Second time on this itinerary.
FLL Airport to/from ship - $20-30 per taxi depending on number of bags and time of day (lots of traffic trying to get into port). A city bus also runs from the airport to/from Port Everglades, but don't know cost or experience (I saw a stop at Terminal 1 parking garage outside car rental center - departures level). The county also has a Tri-City shared ride service if you are willing to wait a little (I think max wait is 30 minutes).
FLL Airport/ Cruise Port car rental shuttle - Ace car rental (2225 S. Federal Highway, about 2 miles from airport and port so you don't have tppay to get to/from airport & ship if you are spending some time/days before/after cruise) picks up and drops off at airport (outside Terminal 1 car rental center More (departures level) and cruise terminals.
Many airlines have now changed their Standby policy from "Glad to have you fill an empty seat on an earlier flight so we can sell another seat for more on a later flight" to "You have to pay today's inflated cost for whatever flight you want to get on, even if it's nearly empty". Doesn't seem to make sense business-wise, but just be aware when you make your flight reservations. Same thing goes if you (even know in advance you) will miss a flight by booking one in the morning and then have to change to a later flight.
3:30pm Tea time on the Ruby was exceptional. Nice variety of mini-sandwiches, pastreis and sconce and great ocasual pportunity to spend a little time with a variety of other travelers you may never meet otherwise.
The fine dining experience that was standard years ago seems now to be reserved for the specialty restaurants. The main dining rooms are iffy in service and food. Not bad, just don't go in with high expectations. Horizon Court (Lido deck buffet) offers most choices and portion control if that is desired.
The show theatre seating is tight (similar to spacing in coach on plane) so not much moving about. All the specialty performers in theatre and atrium were first rate. The ship's shows had good production value, but not exceptional.
Getting on and off the ship was easy. Longest was tender day at Princess Cay, but well organized. If you want a shady spot on the beach you have to get off the ship early. Plenty of lounge chairs, but not much shade outside a few picnic pavillions and smattering of imported palm trees. Same at Grand Turk, but no tendering - open beach with loungers next to pier, little shade. Margaritaville if you want to party. Less
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Cabin review: A243
Cabin steward very helpful and friendly. Best and most interacted with member of staff. I heard each steward cares for 30-40 cabins (cabin type may vary number). Considering the hours they work it seems to me to be equivalent to about two full-time jobs. The daily fee per person would seem fair. I tipped for extra for special services requested. Beds are very firm, ask for "egg crate" topper if you have back issues.
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