Ruby Princess Cruise Review by inncntman: Princess - Always Great
Overall Member Rating
Princess - Always Great
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We cruised on Feb 12-19th, taking along a couple that we were friends with, who had never travelled on Princess (they always travelled on Disney). They enjoyed the cruise as much as we did, and seem to concur on most of our opinions.
The food was impeccable. I hate the term "foodie", but it best describes my wife and I, and we both find Princess food to be above other cruiselines. Almost ever dish (soup, appetizer, entree, dessert) was something that I would have ordered again. Even the buffet seemed much fresher and flavorful than other cruiselines, although the selection seemed sparser (I prefer good food, as opposed to a larger selection selection of bad food). The only disappointment was the cornflake-crusted french -toast at breakfast on the last day, as it was both soggy and tough. Princess is also following the other cruiselines in cutting back on the lobster-tail meal; instead of two tails, you know get one tail along with some shrimp. The fish-and-chips lunch (at the More Wheelhouse?) was very, very good, and PACKED on the second day.
We had anytime dining, and found the servers to be as friendly and attentive as they were for the traditional dining; no lapse in service. There were occasional waits for a table, but nothing extreme.
The wine-tasting was average - you didn't really learn anything, but it was fun.
The art auctions are a hoax, just as they are on Celebrity (and probably others). They auctioned off a Wyland glass sculpture, and declared its value at $3000, and started the bidding at about $1950, not including the auction fee of 15%. That made the total about $2250, and my wife and I had seen an identical piece at Key West for only $1800. I don't really mind the high price, but I do mind when they repeatedly say that you are getting the art at a steal.
The entertainment was good, as always. The stage shows were good, except that the sound mix was muffled for the first two nights, and sounded terrible. The staging wsa impressive, and the themes were good. The featured magician was okay, but nothing special (during his sleight of hand, you could see the cards behind his open hands). The juggler was just okay, and a bit cheesy. For some reason, Bert-with-an-E was somewhat hokey when he played the intimate bars/lounges, but he came off much better when he played the Princess Theater. One comedian was very, very good (Phil Tag?), but the other (Eric Rivera?) was terrible. He simply wasn't funny, and managed only polite laughs. At one point, he called an audience member a "sweet OLD man", and the audience groaned and mumbled their disapproval at him. He grimaced when he walked off the stage at the end.
Our cabin steward was good, but we hardly ever saw him (unlike previous cruises), I think this is another area where princess is cutting back, and employing fewer stewards.
We had room service for breakfast, and it was always prompt and excellent. The egg/cheese/Canadian-bacon/English-muffin was surprisingly good. We did order a fruit basket every day, but it didn't arrive on two different days.
Disembarking for ports was quick and easy. The food at Princess Cays is always tasteless; I don't know why. The hamburgers and brats literally have no taste.
We were accidentally charged for an excursion that we were listed as "waitlist", and never got to. The problem was corrected, but ti took about 15 minutes of checking.
I had teeth-whitening done ($150), and that went fairly well. The technican tried to sell me a "maintenance kit" for $250-$450 dollars, and also specifically mentioned that the tip was "NOT included" in the whitening charge.
My wife had her haircut in the salon, and they did a very, very good job, for only about $60 or so.
The photos on the ship weren't as good as Celebrity photos. The cruise director was enjoyable, but nothing remarkable. However, she and the assistant cruise director were always out talking to guests - it was a nice touch.
Grand Turk is small, and nothing to write home about. Margaritaville seemed to be where the action was, and it appeared that they had a huge pool? We went on a Catamaran excursion, which is always fun. Less
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