What does this mean if you've already booked a Ruby Princess cabin for the ship's original maiden voyage on November 15? If your schedule can accommodate the earlier departure, you'll have the experience you planned. Princess has already double-booked all existing reservations on Ruby Princess' for the new inaugural. But you must call your travel agent (or Princess) by March 31 -- that's a week from today! -- to cement your change.
Can't move the cruise? That's fine, too. To stick to the original booking date, passengers must do ... a big fat nothing; duplicate reservations will expire on their own by March 31, 2008.
Ruby Princess, sister to Crown and Emerald Princess, will be cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean on seven-night sailings, starting this November.
According to the Princess Cruises press release, Ruby's dates were pushed back because of an advanced construction schedule. In addition, the press release says that the new dates give more passengers the chance to try out the new ship. And, of course, more paying passengers equals more money for Princess.
Coincidentally, this is the second inaugural this year taking place earlier than originally scheduled. On December 13, Cruise Critic reported that RCI's Independence of the Seas would take its first cruise two weeks earlier than planned -- launch dates were changed from May 17 to May 6, 2008.
In all likelihood, the reason such ships have been able to be completed ahead of schedule has a lot more to do with the fact that both have been the third in a largely identical series of ships (Independence of the Seas is a Freedom-class ship, while Ruby Princess is just like its Crown and Emerald Princess siblings).
--by Caroline Costello, Editorial Assistant