I’ve gone on 4 cruises on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. This was my first Princess Cruise. We enjoyed our stay and would happily return to the Ruby Princess. We went with my mother and sister-in-law.
We parked at Park N Fly which shuttled us to the port. The cruise instructions say it is less crowded at 2 pm when we arrived at the port, which was true, but most people embarked between noon and 1 pm.
The ship is only 2 years old so it has all the newest amenities. Our rooms were very quiet; I could not hear their television in the neighboring room. We did not hear any of the other guests on our floor, something I cannot say about some modern hotels at which I have stayed. The thermostat actually worked, and the temperature changed quickly. The shower offered abundant hot water. The room had a flat panel TV with three movie channels. The rooms had mini fridges and 6 feet of space to hang clothes.
We stayed in E602 and E604, whose views were partially obstructed by lifeboats. E604’s view was more obstructed than E602’s. At 5 am, the outside lights came on, and occasionally there were workers outside by the lifeboats, so you should draw the drapes before you go to bed or when you want privacy. The sink stopper in E602 did not work to allow water to drain. But for the price, they were good values.
The outside movie screen was enjoyable and also served as a sports bar screen for games; it is popular so you will need to claim a seat a half hour before the start of the show.
My girl friend opines the food was better than Carnival. If you tire of the cruise food, there are two exclusive restaurants (Italian and steakhouse/seafood) which you can access for an extra $20 or $25 per person. If you tire of fighting for a lounger, you can pay an extra fee for “The Sanctuary”, a private section.
The shows were better than other cruises; the last show involving a dream sequence was particularly creative, given their budgetary constraints. There were educational classes offered, which was a welcome option.
The parties were certainly more sedate than those on Carnival. No conga lines. It was probably because there were more retired passengers than on the Carnival cruises I've taken.
The gym had an adequate number of aerobic machines, but the water fountain spouted a weak warm stream.
We booked excursions with Princess. We rented a paddle boat at Princess Cay and we took the sub/glass bottom boat in St. Thomas, both of which we enjoyed.
For disembarkation, we rolled off our own luggage early in the morning, which we highly recommend.