I don't know where to start. The Ruby is a beautiful, classy, elegant ship. We had a wonderful time. One of the things that struck me was how organized everything was - from "check-in" to "check-out". We got to port early, so we had to wait to board the ship. We were grouped (1, 2, 3 etc.) and called to board around 12:30. Once on board, we went to our cabins (which we are not usually able to do on RCL), dropped off our carry-ons, and went to the main dining room for a fantastic lunch (another first - didn't have to go to the buffet, we could go to the dining room for a leisurely lunch). We attended the traditional muster drill (wish they would lose the life jackets like RCL has) and were soon sailing away.
We like fixed dining, and were assigned to the early seating as per our request. Our waiter, Romeo, and his helper, Renaldo were fabulous. I am used to good service on board ship, but this was better than I can come to expect (not to bash another line, but staff had been spread out more on our last cruise-non-princess). The food was definately a step above what we have recently experienced on the other line also. The menu was extensive and made it hard to decide exactly what you wanted for dinner - it all looked (and tasted) so good. Most days we opted for the open seating breakfast and lunch in the dining room. Again, wonderful meals, great service. We felt like honored guests instead of customers. We did try the Horizon Food court several times also. Wonderful variety. Looked good tasted great. Also went to the Wheelhouse Bar for fish and chips on a sea day. Make sure you do this.
Also went to high tea one afternoon. Outstanding! Scones, finger sandwiches, tasty little cakes, oh yum! If I could afford the calories, I would have gone every day. The International Cafe was great too. Enough about food! On arrival, we found a pleather covering on our bed to protect the spresd/douvet from our dirty luggage. Wonderful. Next we found "real" toiletries in the bathroom - soap(bar), shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (not a cake of soap and gym type attachment with shampoo on the shower wall - shame on you RCL). More suprises - we could order fruit for the room, had preordered some Jack n Coke, which was delivered, and had bathrobes upon request (only 2nd cruise on this line). Mariano, out steward, did a wonderful job also.
Entertainment was over the top. Several lounges were available for various types of entertainment. The Princess Theater had great shows at night (and recent movies some of the days). Speaking of movies, Movies under the Stars was always packed. My husband and his sister caught the late showing of Avitar and were treated to pop corn and milk and cookies. If you missed the movie on deck, it was shown the next day in the theater or other setting, and then the following day on TV. Crooners lounge had a fantastic piano player, Barty Brown. Name a musical, and he'd play the music for you - no sheet music!
The welcome back party was great. Captain Yoemans was very personable. We found out we were in the fourth "party" of the week. Never would have guessed it. The best part is we found the "WOW" factor in cruising again. I didn't feel like were were constantly hussled to buy something. And the nice little touches made the cruise memorable. I didn't mention it before, but a cold washrag, on dock, on a hot, steamy day is worth it's weight in gold. Another nice perk of cruising on Ruby!
We went on the sub. I have always wanted to do this. Saw a sunken boat, airplane, and the coral reef up close. I would love to do it again! Great tour, knowledgeable guide, and we landed on the bottom of the sea -135 feet. Great captain-just softly touched bottom! Booked at excursion desk.
Walked around town and did some shopping. Nice little town, but not much to offer.
Went whale watching! Saw several whales. Most exciting part for us (and crew) was seeing a female whale nursing two small whales. A nearby ship, that was studying whales - out of Nova Scotia) radioed our captain that the female was not related to either juvenile. Very unusual to see two juveniles feeding off of one female!
Took the island tour. Very nice. Booked through excusion desk.
Coral world 5+++. Glass bottom boat tour was better than any other I've been on. Coral World itself is a must see. I'd like to do this again (2nd time) just because you can't do it all. Fed the stingrays and looked at some of the tank exhibits. The best one is in the reef itself. You have to walk out to a small building, in the sea itself. and then go down two stories to reach the reef. There is a beach for kids to swim at and much more. Didn't like the new dock, too far away from everything.