Over the past few years I've had the pleasure of reading many reviews for ships that my wife and I were booked to cruise on. So I thought I would join
cruise critic to write my first review to maybe help some other cruisers.
We flew in from Milwaukee (AirTran Airways) the day before our cruise (Sat.Jan. 7th). We had a room reserved at the Holiday Inn Ft. Lauderdale / Hollywood Airport. We were very satisfied with this hotel. Friendly staff, nice
lobby, clean room and a beautiful outdoor pool area. The best part though, was the complimentary shuttle transportation from the airport and to the Everglades cruise Port.
The next day (Jan. 8th) we were cruising on the beautiful Ruby Princess for
a seven day eastern caribbean cruise. Our ports of call were Princess Cays, St.
Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. This was our 10th cruise with Princess, 11th over all. We like cruising on Princess, never had a bad experience. So we
figure why switch when you like it so much!
We arrived at the cruise port around 11:30 and were in our cabin by 12:00.
There was a small wait for boarding, but no big deal. The time flies as your
talking to other passengers in line anyway. Once on board it was all leisure and relaxation for the rest of the cruise.
My wife and I are easy going and like to dress casual (no dress up on formal nights). So we stay away from the main dining rooms. We like to eat our
meals at the Horizon Court or Cafe Caribe. So many more choices and the food &
deserts are always good. Another popular for us is the International Cafe on
deck 5 in the Piazza. We bought a coffee card ($29.00 + gratuity) for the week
and enjoyed going there for breakfast some days or just having a sandwich or desert during the day. It's a great place to meet people or just people watch.
There is so much to do on a cruise ship. We took in a couple movies and NFL
playoff games on deck 15 midship (Movies Under the Stars). I like it that you
can get popcorn, pizza, ice cream, etc. while watching these shows. And if it's
a bit chilly, they supply blankets. Then the entertainment on the ship is awsome. Steve Morris and Rick Corso were funny comedians. The singers and dancers always put on a good show in the Princess Theater. We really liked the
production shows "Once Upon A Dream", and the other two during the week "Star-
dust" and "Broadway Ballroom". Ron Goodmam was our cruise director, he and his
staff did an outstanding job at all the events. We like going to the triva games and the "Marriage Game Show" is a must, it's so funny. We also like to attend the finals of the "Princess Pop Star". Some of the passegers who enter,
really have some great voices and are very talented. Then we always try a few
rounds at bingo. Didn't win this time, but did on some past cruises. We also
do the penny slots in the casino, The wife actually won $81.00, for me it was
Our ports of call were fun. We are beach lovers, so we always look forward
to Princess Cays in the Bahamas. It's a beautiful beach! What's not to like, I
get to snorkle, swim in beautiful waters, suntan and just relax. Then on top of
that, you have a great barbeque lunch. We like doing beach excursions! St Thomas has one of the world best beaches in Magens Bay (did on our last cruise). But this time stayed on the Ruby to relax by the pool. In St Maarten
we went to Orient Beach, another great beach, clear water and warm, the sand
was smooth and soft. You do occasionally see some topless nudity, but very little. St Maarten also has a great beach in town that you can take the water taxi over to from the cruise port. Lot's of shops and restaurants (Hard Rock)
there. Grand Turk was our favorite port / beach we went to. Did some swimming
at "Governor's Beach" which is a very short walk from our ship. Then behind
the beach is all the shops and a Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. A huge pool
complex is located here for all to use (free). We took advantage of this and
had a couple drinks while relaxing. Also at this port is a display on John
Glenn's first orbit into space. He splashed down near Grand Turk 50 years ago.
Disembarkation was a breeze. We left the ship at 8:15, retrieved our luggageand was through customs 5 minutes later. We caught a taxi right away to
the airport ($16.00 including tip)and were checking in for our flight by 9:00.
Our flight back to Milwaukee was at 11:28. I would recommend a taxi to the air-
port. If you bought Princess transfer tickets for the buses, it would cost you
$19.00 per person.
We are now waiting for our next cruise on the Crown princess. We are doing
a southern caribbean cruise to Aruba and Curacao (April 21-28). We now always
place a $100.00 deposit per person while onboard to receive onboard credit for
our next cruise. Why not have some free spending money.
Best to everyone for their plan cruises in 2012. We have been hooked on
cruising ever since our first one to Alaska in July of 2006. On a closing note,
I am very sadden on the tradgedy that happened on the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. Commodore Giuseppe Romano annouced this tragic event to the crew and passengers while we were onboard the Ruby. I hope
this will never happen again to the cruise industry.