We stayed overnight in the Holiday Inn Express which was just up the road from Port Everglade. Very handy and a good standard of accomodation with a complimentary buffet breakfast. We caught the free shuttle from the hotel to the port at 11,30 as the checkout time was 11am. This turned out to be a big mistake, when we arrived outside the terminal buildingd the queue was very long and it continued to grow, as there was no sign of any progression inside for checking in. We later discovered that there had been a novovirus issue and that the hold up was due to the fact that the public health authorities were doing an inspection. Eventually things got moving but we must have been waiting at least 45 minutes.
When we went to the buffet to get lunch it was a very long queue and that was due to the fact that all the food was being served by the catering staff...a precaution brought in as a result of the novovirus outbreak. Thankfully the restrictions were relaxed after a couple of days.
The ports of call were generally good. Princess Cays is just a beach which is good for swimming and watersports.st Thomas was a revisit for us and so we took one of the open-backed vehicles to tour part of the island anD spend a couple of hours at Sapphire Bay(St johns on the map) It is the most beautiful spot!!! Dominica was very green and beautiful. We booked our trip independantly through Bumpiing Tours (on yhe internet) It was the Roseau Valley tour and was very enjoyable.We found the proprietor Levi very informative and helpful. In Grenada we were a bit disappointed due to the quietness as it was Sunday.we just wandered ariund and bought a drink in a small bar. The visit to Curacao was aborted due to rough sea conditions, so we had to miss out on what could have been a good port stopover. It was the only day on which we had booked a trip through the ship. The final stop was in Aruba. This seemed to be quite a dry arrid island, and we ended up taking the bus to the area of the island where there is a long strip of hotels. The wind was quite strong though which rather spoiled our beach experience.
Generally speaking we enjoyed our second time cruise on Ruby Princess. I was disappointed that the shows were the same as last January with the exception of one. I also felt that the music around the ship was lacking in variety. On speaking to one of the pianists we were told that cutbacks had been made.As I personally enjoy that aspect of cruising a great deal I found it hard going to keep hearing the same musical group playing the same tunes in the piazza every day. The food was generally good but I felt that the standards were not quite up to last year and at times the breakfast service in the Da Vinci Restaurant was chaotic. Overall I would still cruise with Princess Cruise line, but the experience of embarkation and disembarkation can be very stressful due to the numbers of people and lack of organisation.