Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale for a pre-cruise night at the Westin Beach Resort. Enjoyed dinner at Spazio which was wonderful! Cab fare from FLL airport was 25.00 and cab fare from the Westin to port was 15.00. Arrived at the port at 11:00, and we were onboard and had access to our D412 mini-suite by 11:45.
I won't go into detail about the cabin, but it was an excellent location on the ship, but I cannot understand why they design a ship with the mini-suites uncovered. Absolutely no privacy, and at times, too windy to even enjoy, versus a covered balcony which is standard on most other cruiselines.
Our Cabin steward Michael, was rarely seen the entire cruise and had the personality of my flip flop. I always tip my steward generously the first day as a sign of appreciation for everything they do. On several occasions I had to hunt him down to request pool towels and if we didn't put our "service my room" tag in our door, our cabin didn't get serviced. There was nothing special about turn down service (no towel animals) and we arrived to our cabin each night with the patters and other information simply shoved under our door.
Pools/Sea Day entertainment:
The Ruby is well maintained and absolutely beautiful. The pools were of course crowded, but our group of 7 eventually found chairs together. Couldn't quite figure out why they would choose a band (East Coast Connection) for pool music. They played rock and roll, with absolutely no Caribbean music or music with a tropical flare, which is usually the norm poolside. While a good band, I just felt that they were more appropriate for your neighborhood bar.
As stated in previous reviews, the cruise director, Lisa Ball was rarely seen or heard from the entire cruise. I did have a chance to chit chat with her a bit on formal night, and she was seriously lacking the personality needed for this position.
We had traditional late seating and found the food to be enjoyable . The maitre D, Generouso was very friendly and always came to our table every night and was also making rounds in the morning at the buffet. I have never experienced this personal touch on other cruiselines, and thought this was a plus for Princess!
We dined at the Crown Grill on Monday, and thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of that.
After 11pm the only place to grab a snack was the Bistro, and they had different choices each night.
There was always a long line for ice cream, but the burger bar and pizza bar moved very quickly.
We saw several of the comedians in the Explorer's lounge and they were hilarious! The magician in the theater was not very good. Skywalkers was busy on one night, but cleared out by midnight. Club Fusion is great space, but unfortunately was empty every night. We enjoy our nightlife on the ship, and found it to be lacking on most nights. Bert was in Crooner's almost every night...and he was good, although he seemed a bit beaten down since the last time we seen him on Princess.
This casino had a very limited selection of slots, and most were all quick hits. Zee, the casino host was a joke. He was rarely there, and when he was, you wouldn't know it. Most nights, the casino was empty and they closed at 12:30 several nights due to it being so empty. We spent more than a thousand dollars in there over the course of the week with no luck. On the last night, 3 others in our party won on the quick hits...a $300, and 2 $180 wins. So, you can win on the last night.
Princess Cayes - We walked down to the graves...which were pretty fascinating. I walked the beach on the way there, and the path on the way back....I would say it's a little more than a mile each way.
St. Maarten: We hired Bernard and had a fabulous time exploring the island....Stopped at Maho to watch the planes, did a little shopping, stopped at Orient beach, and really enjoyed his home made concoction!
St. Thomas: Booked Blackbeard's Castle and Megan's bay through the ship. The castle, really wasn't worth it...but the beaches are always beautiful...even with a bit of rain.
Grand Turk: I booked a dive through the ship and that was incredible. Oasis divers did a wonderful job. Others in our group enjoyed Margaritaville and Jack's Shack
There is no such thing as a bad cruise. We very much enjoyed this cruise, but we always like to make comparisons and evaluate the differences of the lines we have previously cruised. Overall, I feel the staff (including, room steward, bartenders and dining staff) delivered the minimum level of service and didn't seem very happy or outgoing. We usually enjoy the interaction with staff, but found it to be non-existent on this ship.