Ruby Princess Cruise Review by virgintraveller: From start to finish & beyond
Overall Member Rating
From start to finish & beyond
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I am relitively new to cruising, but this is my 6th with Princess, 2 with competitors & a senior citizen.The plane there, was like every other time we go through an eastern city... disaster!. Leaving EIA 2hours late due to one of the flight crew sleeping through their alarm clock...late for a 6:55am flight. The line for the deicing machine was longer than some takeoffs. NO wonder we missed our connecting in Newark. Newark there is a place everyone I spoke too, would rather be somewhere else. The Info Kiosks do not have listings for better priced motor hotels like the "Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale Airport North Cruise Port. The search for a pay phone was aided by the same person that installed the signs to direct hungry travellers to where food in located...those signs are still being printed. Airports (some) have not clued in to the fact that people in general do not like paying high prices for airplane food. They do it because they are forced too. By airports that will not put up More
good signs to FOOD, long lines to get food or no place to sit& eat while carring their luggage because the checkin clerks would not let them check in until 90 min before flight time. Whats wrong doesn,t Newark have enough Baggage carts to mark for a future flight. One fact that seems to escape all the higher ups is when you feed people or at least give them access to food,they are far less likely to get frustrated, nervous,or upset.
Tshe arrival at the Ruby Princess the next day, by the hotel shuttle, was precise, quick, & efficient. Check in was ok, as we had thought ahead & planned our arrival approx. 30 min after they had started to accept boarding. With time to see &get aquainted with the Ruby, we walked, toured, & explored before departure.
The trip was relaxing , tours both on board & off great, the food to Princess's usual high standard. The amenities (golf & tabletennis) were plentiful. The Lotus Spa, one of our favorites, surpassed our expectations even when we were 40min late for an appointment due to a shore tour. With all that said, I must admit, something was missing. There were times we had waiters(Horizon Court) crawling all over us (very few) & other times there & on deck a wairter could not be found by firing a cannon.
Dismbarkation was better than on past cruises. Especially the "Crown" Princess out of Galveston. 01/13 Communications was good in Club Fusion. Unfortunately when we left the ship we felt like we were throwen to the wolves. Ft Lauderdale is not much better than Galvaston Texas. For a recently renovated major port it leaves much to be desired. Long walk to buss, no carts available to use (free of charge at some ports & airports). Luggage pick up very poor; looked like it was designed by a two year old.
I guess we can be thankful if all our baggage arrived there & home with us in the same condition that it left. That simple fact seems too much to ask for or expect these days.
The plane ride home was somewhat better through Houston. Both flights left & arrived at desination on time. Our bigest shock & the reason for this review happened when we got home & started examining our paperwork. Princess in their ultimate wisdom had double charged us for the first 4 day cruise. After the first cruise, we had (or so we thought ) cleared the first bill. In reality the computor carried that balance forward to the start of our second cruise. After several calls to Princess, went unanswered, today as I was writing this review, a Princess representitive contacted us. She explained that we were not alone & that since last Tues, they were looking at all passengers that fell into that situation. Victums of a computor error.The end result (to our satisfaction)was that Princess will give the overcharges +back in shipboard credit. Thank You Princess.
It is a shame that other places like Toronto, Galveston, Newark & airlines like AA, United, & Canadian make a concerted effort to displease, aggrivate, & generally anoy the people they are there to serve & please. Less
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Cabin review: A414
Excellant both for the 2 of us or on previous trips with our teenage son. At least now we got to sleep together instead of being separated into single beds with a night table between us.Loved the balcony almost large enough for a lounge chair to sun tan when the pools are crowded or occupied by a bunch of blue & white towels.
Port and Shore Excursions
Great tour guide with so much information, I felt I needed a tape recorder, not a camera. It really boggles ones mind the stark contrast between the one moment calm & serene beauty to the next moment raw savage rage. The guides respect & caring for such a delicate environmental place is evident in their actions & narration. Remember this is one place you want to keep your face, arms, & legs well away from the water. There is no telling what 6-10 foot prehistoric predator are just inches below the surface, waiting to make you its afternoon snack. The Gator Boys Show is Jaw-dropping. Not only yours but the stars of the show too.
Hell & The Lava Formations were very interesting. A great place to mail a letter home with the “Hell” postmark from the Hell post office; or have your passport stamped. The selection of t shirts etc. was very good.
Especially interesting was the ship wreck exhibit & the 200yr. anniversarial plaque. Remnants of the keel & Propeller were wonderful. The Blow hole was awesome.
Rum Cake Factory
This was a great place to stop & taste the wares. The option of having the cakes etc. shipped home, we will certainly take advantage of if we return to Grand Cayman.
Well narrated, very informative tour. From the Salt flats, prison, Limestone cliffs, to the Historic Lighthouse & surrounding interest points; & the hands on educational trip to the beach & St. Thomas Parish Church. Here on the beach tour we were again shown the Conch & offered some to eat ….. I guess this tour DID NOT GET THE LETTER !!!!! The problem was a lack of specific tour time length. Princess Patter 1-3:45 We were told one thing & leaving ½ hour for extras ; we arrived 45 min late back on board(5:00) for a Spa appointment(4:15). Yes you can say that we should have known something would go wrong & it’s only the Spa but my point is either Princess was not given a general time, or that time was not conveyed to us; & if you use the Spa you realize how hard it is sometime to get appointments; especially near the end of a cruise.
A lot of great aquatic exhibits, a long tour 3+ hours & a long way for those with mobility issues or use walkers/ wheelchairs. Many of the paths had steep slopes, both up & down. I believe the guide did try his best, but with an amplifier/microphone system that made him sound like he was in a 45 gallon drum, one had to be in his hip pocket to understand & hear clearly, what he was saying. Having to ask for washroom breaks was inexcusable. Not being offered any of the food, even on a sample basis, & the hurried attitude that was projected, made one feel you were part of a “Time –Share” Sale pitch, not a pre paid tour. The end of this tour had to be the pay off. Our guide held a door open for us to pass through & on the other side we were on our own. No directions from him. Not back at the place where our transportation was left. This tour definitely needs upgrading. By the way on our way out is where we found the washrooms.
This was a return trip to the Cays & after the first one a few years ago we decided that foot wear was cleaper that Polysporin, bandages & Dr. visits. We decided to avoid the water.
This turned out to be one of the best if not THE best bus/van tour we have been on. Our Tour guide kept us entertained & informed from the moment we started to after we got off. The extra teaching of basket weaving to all on the tour was great fun. All the other stops, from the school where the 20+ students all dressed the same sang for us with such heart & conviction; to the Anglican Church, The Rock Sound Ocean Hole, The Govn. Administration Bldg., The pier with all the fresh caught fish, & Back to Pasquals Four Point Bar & Grill for Conch Show, Dancing & lunch ( did not include the Conch).We were informed that they had received a letter from Princess Cruise Lines & in so many words "DO NOT feed any of our cruise ship clients any Conch"!!! But the smorg lunch we received was lip smacking good.
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