456 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the ports. Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts,St Thomas and Nassau From the beginning embarkation was quick and easy The staff was outstanding. The service incredible and the food was excellent. Great ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts,St Thomas and Nassau From the beginning embarkation was quick and easy The staff was outstanding. The service incredible and the food was excellent. Great menu choices every night. However, our cabin steward was lacking in removing dirty glasses and not leaving chocolates every night. Great happy hour every day with great waitstaff We always went to Crooners for drinks before dinner and Raymal our waiter was outstanding. Dinner in all dining rooms excellent with great choices and great service We did do an upcharge restaurant Sabatinis and the waiter was not very friendly. Was trying to hurry us. The escargot was the best we every had at any restaurant Music was outstanding. Something for every age group We like cruising out of Fort Lauderdale for the convenience. Entertainment on board was typical. Bingo, ballroom dancing and line dancing lessons, putting contest. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have cruised 4 times! Twice with Royal and twice with Princess and I will say with no hesitation that princess does it better!!!!! From embarkation disembarkation to excursion preparation and execution, just better organized period. As ... Read More
We have cruised 4 times! Twice with Royal and twice with Princess and I will say with no hesitation that princess does it better!!!!! From embarkation disembarkation to excursion preparation and execution, just better organized period. As of now princess is my wife's and I cruise line of choice no question. Dining in the traditional dining room was amazing our waiter was a most wonderful gentleman with an amazing assistant who succeeded in making us laugh every night and the food was a delight with something new each night to try. Afterwards we would find something to,do like trivia in the theatre where we met the most wonderful people from around the world. This the second cruise with Princess cruises as we did one earlier this year as well in the Mediterranean for two weeks in June on the royal princess which was the sister ship to the ruby princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have cruised with princess before so had high expectations. However, meal choices had been greatly reduced and as i had the nerve to ask for my fillet steak well done in chops grille, the chef decided to punish me by beating it to ... Read More
We have cruised with princess before so had high expectations. However, meal choices had been greatly reduced and as i had the nerve to ask for my fillet steak well done in chops grille, the chef decided to punish me by beating it to within an inch of its life (was as flat as a pancake and we paid a service charge of 25 dollars for the pleasure). evening entertainment was poor resulting in us leaving the theatre early a couple of nights.. There was a group of about 800 american holiday making vets, who took complete charge of some of the ship venues every night. Other cruisers were excluded from entering the theatres on these nights reducing our entertainment options. It also appeared (from outside) that their own entertainment they brought along for their sole use, was a much higher calibre than the ship's! We had no prior warning of this, and had we realised how it would impact on our holiday would have chosen a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
What was marketed as a 49 day cruise was actually three cruise segments which resulted in menus, production shows, special events (champagne fountain) turning over every two weeks or so. Overall, my wife and I loved the cruise if only for ... Read More
What was marketed as a 49 day cruise was actually three cruise segments which resulted in menus, production shows, special events (champagne fountain) turning over every two weeks or so. Overall, my wife and I loved the cruise if only for the lovely sea days, mostly wonderful ports and of course the great fellow passengers we met on the various private tours we booked together and of course, our truly wonderful dinner tablemates from Illinois and New Mexico! Also, our table waiters Darwin/Annie & Fredrick and cabin attendant Thawon, were superb, professional and friendly. That said however, there were just too many things that were simply not up to snuff and we overheard many passenger comments to that effect, particularly from Elite and Platinum members. We changed captains in Rio with the Fleet's Commodore coming aboard - he became the most visible member of the crew and provided information to passengers on an almost daily basis. We were also aware that he "went beyond the normal" in ensuring passengers felt appreciated - well done! DINING: the standard of the food has noticeably slipped since our 2014 cruise on Sapphire Princess with mostly soggy vegetables and smaller portions of food. While some meals were memorable, many of the dishes lacked taste and seasonings. ENTERTAINMENT: the 4 x 35 minute production shows were excellent but it simply is not good enough to repeat the same shows again and again over a 49 day cruise. The individual entertainers brought on board were, for the most part, of a high standard and some of these played to smaller houses due in part to the almost total lack of information on them in the Princess Patter. (we also noted many errors in many editions of the "Patter). The Cruise Director seemed to be "missing in action" for most of the cruise, only surfacing to introduce and thank the headliner/production shows. His staff seemed disorganized and dispirited for most of the cruise although James and Ali did their best - Ali disappeared from the ship at Valparaiso without comment and staff told me that she was a) sick; b) nearly at the end of her contract or c) was going on another ship in a different capacity. I found it strange that given most of the passengers hailed from the U.S. and Canada, there were no nationals from those countries represented. The daily passenger entertainment consisted mainly of passenger-directed activities (knitting, mah jong, bridge etc.), endless karaoke and trivia events and spa/art presentations where "hard sell" of products and services took place. While there was a daily early-morning Zumba session, the afternoon one with Lily was cancelled without explanation very early on in the cruise despite it regularly attracting over 100 participants. The port review sessions with "Hutch" were always excellent and informative. What happened to the "Crew Show," always a highlight of any cruise! EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: as someone who regularly was responsible for events while I was in the Army, these two events were poorly planned and executed. People were waiting up to 2 hours to embark with few refreshments available (only outside the building) and little or no seating inside for those who were elderly or infirm; a shortage of wheelchairs was also noted. At least one person collapsed during the embarkation process and had to be attended to by an ambulance. No one seemed to be in charge and little or no information was passed on to the waiting passengers by staff. Disembarkation was an absolute fiasco with assembly area staff giving incorrect information regarding the custom forms to be used which resulted in processing delay by the custom officer as a new form had to be completed by passengers. Once outside the building, the last shuttle was scheduled to leave for the airport at 11:00 a.m. actually left 2 hours and 20 minutes late! I asked two or three staff members who was in charge as people were getting very angry waiting in the hot sun with refreshment/seats; one person eventually said, "well I guess I am." Really! CABIN: we booked a midships cabin on Caribe deck and were satisfied with its layout - excellent use of limited space. We were less satisfied with the bedlinens supplied as they were "tired," "old" and lacked that crispness usually associated with cruise ships. Our bed and pillows were "lumpy" and the bath robes which finally arrived on Day 3, were frayed, had holes and were old, old old! Being on Caribe Deck, we enjoyed a large balcony which we just loved "SICK SHIP" SYNDROME: " Ruby was indeed a "sick ship" for much of the 49 day cruise. We knew of no one among our group who was spared from coughing, fever, nausea, diarrhea and headaches. Some passengers were quarantined to their cabins for 2-3 days but strangely enough, their cabin partner was not - go figure! There were also quite a few negative comments about the operation of the ship's medical department including the doctor's attitude. While people do get sick on cruises, I do fault the staff of Ruby for not reacting sooner to head off what eventually became an epidemic. I also was disappointed that there was little or no information given to passengers to bring home the seriousness of the situation which affected passengers and crew alike. It was our table waiter who told us one night that the sickness alert level had been raised. CHURCH SERVICE: each week, the "Patter" requested a volunteer from the passengers to conduct religious services. For a ship the size of Ruby, this simply is not good enough and as our well-traveled tablemates told us, other cruise lines do provide religious staff to conduct services. PORTS OF CALL: in deciding on which cruise we were going to book for our winter holiday, I noted some advice in Cruise Critic to the effect that one should look very carefully at which ports were to be visited and the length of time in each port (to leave Puerto Vallarta at 4:00 p.m. made no sense from a passenger's perspective.) I should have heeded this advice a little better for while the major ports (Rio, Buenos Aires, Falklands etc.) were stunning, Princess dropped a Brazilian port after we had booked and we were in port on a Sunday for two others. SUMMARY: we did not complain while on the ship and didn't do this review until we could be objective about it. The 49 days were wonderful, people were wonderful, scenery was wonderful! We are actually spoiled now and cannot envisage doing any "shorter" cruises! On board, we had a blast but upon reflection, and based on the foregoing, we do not feel we received "value-for-money" on this cruise. It has also meant that we will not cruise Princess next winter in the hope that it can raise its game - as Platinum members, we know what Princess is capable of. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I loved Princess, I have traveled with them on a few long, long voyages.This was on the Ruby Princess. From the start of this mismanaged voyage there was trouble. In Port Everglades, the ship had lengthy, long lines to embark, no one to ... Read More
I loved Princess, I have traveled with them on a few long, long voyages.This was on the Ruby Princess. From the start of this mismanaged voyage there was trouble. In Port Everglades, the ship had lengthy, long lines to embark, no one to tell you which queue was yours, no one to stop many passenger joining in the middle. The wait staff, many of whom did not speak English adequately (to the extent that their serving partners could not communicate with them) are not trained how to serve at table correctly, removing dishes across the front of diners sitting next to each other is one example. Losing ones wine, serving bottles of wine which had been bought by other people on other nights, whenever this was brought up, accusing one of lying, loudly, in front of the whole table. This did not just happen to me, but several times to others who we shared our table with. We ate at 'anytime dining' so we changed partners daily. When glasses of replacement wine were brought it was never of the quality one had paid for. At best the food was over cooked and mostly flavourless. We had booked this as many others had a single cruise, somewhere it became three cruises. The first time of seeing the very talented dancers and singers perform the various shows in the Princess Theatre it was a delight, but three times the same show, not so much, and the nights they performed there was very little other choice. The same food selections in the dining rooms, advertised as ' have your favourite again, or try something new' does not cut it when the choices are so bad to begin with. Staff members were often rude, I walked into the laundromat on the 11th deck, it was really dirty, someone had spilt washing powder and water over the floor, I spoke with a crew member outside, he told me not his problem, if the passengers made a mess. Maybe not, but as a steward could he not get someone to clean it up? The excursion desk people on the whole were uninformed, and unwilling to help if there had been any problems on the excursions, even when there were 4 passengers complaining about the trip, at the same time, to the 4 people on duty, Princess sells these tours, I am sure makes a profit, and then says it is not their problem when the things advertised do not take place, tours are cut short, or for any other reason. The Internet, is terrible, the worse of any ship that I have ever travelled on, the internet manager, often very ratty in temperament, I am sure this is because everytime it went down and you could not log off, costing you very expensive minutes, she was shouted at. The cabin is exactly like any balcony cabin on Princess, it is a ship not a luxury hotel or even a luxury cruise line. It is fine. Princess has itineraries that no other cruise lines has, this is why one cruises with Princess, but the level of unhappiness with this cruise among the Princess Circle Elite and Platinum members leads me to believe if any other line starts to have the same type of cruise itinerary we will leave in droves. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We are elite and have returned recently from Rio de Janeiro on the Ruby Princess - What a disappointing cruise overall. I should add that after full payment, the price on this cruise dropped to the tune of $500 - $1000 per passenger ... Read More
We are elite and have returned recently from Rio de Janeiro on the Ruby Princess - What a disappointing cruise overall. I should add that after full payment, the price on this cruise dropped to the tune of $500 - $1000 per passenger depending on the cabin category......so no money back, but we got a cabin upgrade. I would rather have the money back to put towards shore excursions!! The itin was good – that’s what we signed up for but the cruise amenities itself definitely were lacking in every aspect. The cutbacks were hugely evident…the toiletries for elite have been cut back, we asked for housecoats only to be told that they were unavailable because they were all being laundered. After three days, we received teeny tiny shrunken worn out housecoats that would fit a 12 year old. Needless to say, we didn’t bother with them. We don’t drink alcohol and asked if we could exchange the free mini-bar booze for soda (like we do on other previous Princess cruises) The front desk told us it was not allowed. We then called housekeeping, they made the exchange within a day. The food in the dining room was at times, tolerable. Many times, we skipped our traditional dining room dinner time and picked our way thru Horizons Buffet for dinner. Even then, it was a challenge – the food quality has gone way down. One can eat casseroles at home!! The activities on board were lame – our cruise director should retire – he is so done with his job – why do they still keep him on?? The celebration of crossing the equator was pathetic, obviously a time killer for being a sea day……people lined up to kiss a rubber fish and to have jello and spaghetti smashed into their faces….really????? We have sailed with Princess at least 25 cruises and are going on a Baltics cruise on the Regal on June 4th, 2015. Having read the comments on this blog on the Regal scares me….I will report back upon our return. By the way, after full payment of this Baltics cruise, the prices dropped dramatically….again...only for new bookings. If they keep this up, they’re going to lose their loyal customers !! We were on RCL for Australia/New Zealand 33 days in Oct/Nov 2014 - superb in every aspect. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our second Princess cruise, and our first cruise longer than 3 weeks. We stayed in a balcony cabin. We usually cruise Celebrity and Oceania. Embarkation: probably, no absolutely the worst embarkation we have ever ... Read More
This was our second Princess cruise, and our first cruise longer than 3 weeks. We stayed in a balcony cabin. We usually cruise Celebrity and Oceania. Embarkation: probably, no absolutely the worst embarkation we have ever experienced. Ever. Signs not clear, "line" attendants rude. Inside, we of course picked the wrong line, and wondered in amazement how the other lines moved so quickly. Plenty of time to "guess" what the problem was -- and it was not the passengers in front of us. A completely "clueless" person checking in -- I would guess she asked for help 3-4 times from someone near her station. She had an "ahah" moment, when someone asked her if she was checking Brazilian passports -- and she said, "oh, was I supposed to do that?" Anyway, the guy in charge of embarkation after that point was good -- and we boarded. -- Cabin: plenty of storage, even tho we were on a long trip. Beds adequate, and we liked the pillows. lots of wear on the furnishings -- room decor needs updating -- Steward was OK, I don't know if he wasn't well, but he seemed a little upset during our trip. Ship: with a trip that included some adverse weather -- inside seating sometimes was difficult. We enjoyed the Wine bar -- but many others used it for other purposes-- that often there were no seats available. Not enough seating at the International Cafe either. Using the Atrium as a venue for some activities made it worse. Activites: If we crossed off all the activities that involved a sales pitch, there wasn't much to do on board. internet was horrible except at off hours-- library was a joke. Happy hour was at an odd time -3-4pm. (usually well attended) We liked the MUTS-- but after 49 days, the repetition was a little too much. We went to some shows, but found you couldn't find a seat unless you showed up 30 minutes early. They tried to hold pool "games", but considering the average age of passengers was 70+, they were not well attended. Zumba class was popular -- the gym was very crowded -- but equipment couldn't be used until a certain time in the morning (i guess someone complained about the noise??). Several treadmills were out of service -- for the entire cruise. The waste receptacle was always overflowing, and I never saw any staff in attendance. The machines have a monitor that blocks the view in front, so having them by the windows was silly. Excursions; we took mostly private tours. The ship's tours we took were fine. there were issues, such as people not being at the departure point in time -- which is typical and why we book private tours whenever possible. Little complaints; there were some issues when we began new segments, and room keys wouldn't work -- not much of a problem except when you wait in line to exit the ship and find you can't leave and need to go rekey your car (and wait in line again) to get off. There were a few "bugs" going around the ship. This ship probably had fewer "sanitizer" stations than other ships we have been on . I also did not see anyone cleaning backs of chairs, etc. Other ships have the hand sanitizer when entering the dining venues, not just when entering the buffet lines. Food: We had anytime dining. we never had trouble getting a table for 2. We enjoyed our wait staff. We bought a wine package, and found wine that we liked. Mid way in the cruise we tried to get assigned seating, to be able to sit near people we had met during the cruise, but we didn't have any luck. The food was good. We didn't go hungry -- we had our favorites, -- the menu repetition didn't bother us. We went to specialty steak house one night -- and found the service to be poor, the steaks too big to eat-- so we didn't return. We noticed it was empty most evenings. Staff in general were very good. Ship's officers were visible and friendly. We enjoyed our trip -- we liked the ports. We would cruise Princess again if the itinerary suited us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We boarded the Ruby Princess in Fort Lauderdale for our 24th cruise on January 3rd for a 14 day eastern and western Caribbean cruise. We had stayed overnight at the Best Western on Stirling Road using the stay and park package. The hotel ... Read More
We boarded the Ruby Princess in Fort Lauderdale for our 24th cruise on January 3rd for a 14 day eastern and western Caribbean cruise. We had stayed overnight at the Best Western on Stirling Road using the stay and park package. The hotel now charges a $10 fee per person for shuttle service to the port. Using the 12:00 o’clock shuttle and Priority boarding we were aboard shortly after 1:00 PM despite heavy traffic delays reaching the port. We had one of our favorite cabins (B749) an aft corner cabin with a larger than normal balcony. Despite the large balcony Princess only furnishes it with two reclining chairs. Thanks to the resourcefulness of our Steward Jun , he was able to at least secure us two foot stools. Being a large premium balcony I believe at least two loungers and two chairs should be provided. We learned that although booked as a single cruise, since the cruise is also marketed as two separate seven day cruises, Princess automatically gave us credit for two cruises and provided two Elite bar setups, two wine tastings and two CC invitations. We soon discovered that our cabin had no hot water at either the sink or shower. After speaking with Jun and the Passenger Services desk and eventually the Supervisor of Passenger Services we finally had shower hot water Wednesday afternoon but still only tepid water at the sink. The shower water soon turned warm and remained this way for the remainder of the cruise. We resorted to using the showers at the spa to get a "Hot" water shower. Since reaching Platinum level we have usually made use of the lounge most evenings. In the past it has been the practice to allow guests to have any of the specialty drinks not just the daily special at the reduced price. Apparently Headquarters have issued a directive that only the daily special is now offered at the reduced price. Another frustration we found was that the wine card promotion was not offered. Reason given was that these were seven day sailings. We had over 700 people doing back to backs! Why can’t the wine card be offered the same way the coffee card is marketed? Our major disappointment was the fact that the aft spa tub on deck 17 was out of service for the first week. On Saturday of the second week it was in service for a few hours then again drained and remained out of service for the second week as well. This was frustrating as it is our practice to go there, directly above our cabin, just before retiring for a late night drink under the stars. The service throughout the voyage was of the usual high Princess standard. We managed to get a standing dinner reservation(306 Michaelangello) and had a great server team headed by Benjamin with Immanuel as his second. Benjamin usually had time to fascinate us with his quite impressive magic tricks. We found the level of entertainment in the showrooms to be a little lacking, however Al Katz, who we have seen before, was the highlight of the first week. The first entertainer of the second week, Miguel Washington, a comedian was outstanding. He had the overflow crowd in Explorers asking for more of his rapid fire contemporary comedy. It was a pleasant surprise not to have to listen to a lot of common comedy about ships accommodation, plumbing food and passengers. Monday we enjoyed the Stardust show a musical review of popular old classics . This was a new show for us and it was well performed. Jun, our Steward, took great care of us and keep us supplied exactly as we requested. We could not have asked for a friendlier or competent Steward. The changes and inconsistencies of Princess practices, the lack of longer cruises in the Caribbean (no return to FLL) and the changes to Elite privileges is rapidly eroding our loyalty to Princess.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Last time we cruised, we notice those cool looking balcony rooms next to the small Terrace Pool (aft) near Horizon dining area. There are two on each side on the Riviera floor. We always get a balcony on that floor but usually it is near ... Read More
Last time we cruised, we notice those cool looking balcony rooms next to the small Terrace Pool (aft) near Horizon dining area. There are two on each side on the Riviera floor. We always get a balcony on that floor but usually it is near the center Starboard side (around 607). But this time, we decided to try a rear balcony. BIG mistake. Normally, we spent about an hour a day (or more) on our balcony reading, snacking, watching things go by and I love to go out late at night and read. This time we spent about a tenth of the normal balcony time out there. Most of the day, the sun was beating down on us. If the sun wasn't there, it was raining OR even worse, someone above will wash down the upper deck and the water comes right down on our balcony. I sat down on what appeared to be a dry chair several times and my shorts were soaked!!! We finally learned to keep a towel handy to sit on whenever (which was rarely) we sat out there. Also you will get toothpicks from folks hanging off the rails above dropping them "overboard". This trip also had a lot of rough seas so the door kept sliding open whenever we were outside!! Imagine hearing that door open and close, open and close, again and again......just not worth being out there most of the time. Now the only good thing about that room is the view.....there were a few times when the view was absolutely incredible. In fact, one of my favorite things that we saw/experienced was the water spout. Without that rear balcony, we'd never have seen it!! I even managed to get photos. So final verdict is that we will never again get a rear balcony. Other than that, the trip was good as always!! Our room steward, Douglas was wonderful. Loved the trivia, especially the Who Sang What music trivia. Not enough other games like Scattergories, Taboo, etc., though. They are apparently timed for when then ship is in port. Since we get off on the islands, it means that we were never on board when the games were scheduled. Wish that there were some indoor movies and also would love to see some actual classes like watercolor, photography (without trying to sell us something)--something for those of us who aren't into movies on the deck and pools. Food in Horizon was wonderful!!!! Especially loved the Indian food this time. Overall, the trip was fun and we will be back next year and look forward to our regular balcony on the side!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We've sailed Princess five times. We like the line, even with the sales push, but this cruise was just okay. You have to pay for some things that used to be included, like king crab and lobster, and the ship needs repairs and ... Read More
We've sailed Princess five times. We like the line, even with the sales push, but this cruise was just okay. You have to pay for some things that used to be included, like king crab and lobster, and the ship needs repairs and upgrades... The ship just feels worn, and some failing systems are evident. Our shower sprayed dark brown dirty water one morning. It was disgusting, it turned my towel brown, and we could see grit in the water. The maintenance guys were fast and had the shower fixed in less than four hours. We were allowed to clean up in the spa. The big screen is dying too, which made the movies under the stars less enjoyable. According to the maintenance workers examining the screen from the pool deck, it's been dying for several years, "but it costs over $1,000,000 to repair because the supporting framework around the screen has to be cut out, and that can only be done with the ship out of service in dry dock. The crew did a great job with the various failures we encountered, but there would be fewer challenges if the ship was in better shape. My husband and I would also prefer to pay a few bucks more to avoid the constant sales pressure, but you see that nowadays on most cruise lines. Cruise pricing hasn't changed much over the last twenty years, so the lines have had to make more and more money from the extras, like those annoying photo-ops that block the crowd from getting off the boat. My husband and are are grateful the Princess has further restricted smoking areas. We'd be tickled pink if they'd stop the smoking in the casino too. If that happened we might enjoy a little gambling, and we wouldn't have to hold our breath walking through to the theatre! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
DH & I returned from our first Princess Cruise recently. Overall, it was ok, but there were good and bad things during the week, like all cruise lines. First the Good: We arrived at Port Everglades about 12:30 and it looked bad, with ... Read More
DH & I returned from our first Princess Cruise recently. Overall, it was ok, but there were good and bad things during the week, like all cruise lines. First the Good: We arrived at Port Everglades about 12:30 and it looked bad, with lines half way down the walkway outside, but the line moved forward quickly and we were aboard by about 1:15 PM (the most efficient boarding we've ever experienced). Our cabin was ready once we boarded, so we were able to drop off our carry-on luggage right away. We were in a mini-suite and were pleased with the size, functionality and cleanliness of the cabin. Our steward, James, arrived soon after we entered the room and told us what we needed to know to reach him. He was highly professional and efficient - our cabin was always cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast, and needed supplies were promptly restocked without asking. DH wanted to take the "behind the scenes" ship tour, so we signed up for that as soon as we boarded, and he was among the first 15 to sign up so was able to do something he's wanted to do for years (more on that later). The safety drill was efficient, organized and perfectly adequate. Sail away was pretty much a non-event onboard, but it was still fun to wave at the folks on their condo balconies on land who were holding their Saturday afternoon "sail-away" drink and waving to the cruisers aboard. Overall, the ship was very clean and well maintained, and the staff was very efficient, if somewhat reserved (I, personally, can't imagine having to deal with 3,000 new passengers every seven days). We especially liked International Café for morning coffee and Vines for our afternoon glass of wine. The OK: I'd say that pretty much explains most of the rest of the cruise. Food was generally adequate, if not outstanding, there were plenty of onboard activities, but since most were organized to sell something from the shops, etc. we didn't participate much. We called every morning to set reservations for the anytime dining venue, so we had no long waits for a table, but those in the "no reservations" line looked like they were going to have quite a wait. The Bad: The layout of the ship is strange. We were on Dolphin deck (9) near the rear elevators, and we had the only elevator to Deck 19, but in order to go to dinner we had to go to mid-ship, go down to Decks 5 or 6 and then back aft to the dining rooms; even though there were stairs down on Deck 7 they were always blocked off. The photographers were fairly "in your face" and one entire section of the ship was taken up with their fold-out displays trying to hawk their photos; in addition their backdrops and light reflectors for "portraits" were on several places around the ship until the second-to-last day, including the balconies over the central Piazza, so you had to watch where you walked in order to not trip over their equipment. We also had to deal with them disembarking the ship in port, and you just had to wait if people in front wanted their photos taken - the photographers were stationed, literally, at the end of the gangway. They weren't rude or pushy, just omnipresent. The noise levels at both main pools were WAY to loud (music at one and MUTS at the other) so we spent minimal time there. The Sanctuary pool was much quieter, as was the pool deck on Deck 17 aft, but again the strange layout of the ship meant having to backtrack elevators/stairs to get there, which made it less fun. Finally, disembarkation was a nightmare. We got off only about 45 minutes after we were scheduled (occasioned, obviously by the fact there were only five customs agents on duty that day for the nearly 3,000 people disembarking), but someone we were travelling with had a disembarkation time about 20 minutes after us and something obviously broke down between when we left and they did. It took them another 3 hours (!) to get to disembark; luckily they had scheduled an evening flight, but they were NOT happy. This was their first cruise, and for this reason will likely be their last. The Ports: This wasn't a cruise we had chosen; we were going with a large group for an onboard activity. I would NOT take this itinerary again. Princess Cay - MEH! - fine if you're a beach bunny, but little else to do. St. Thomas - a nightmare - there were 6 (yes, 6!) large cruise ships in port that day (based on my research, if everyone got off all six ships that poor little town was inundated with nearly 20,000 passengers that day). We went downtown, but it was shoulder to shoulder people, so we simply went back aboard and spend the day reading. Pretty much the same for Grand Turk and San Marteen, although not to the same extent. It's sad that the Caribbean today has become so cookie-cutter (Margaritaville and Carlos and Charlies in view of the ship!) It used to be so much more interesting. Too many cruise ships in port and no other economic engines? Maybe Cubans are lucky the U.S. tourist hasn't had easy access all these years - it sounds like they still do have their own distinct culture, which the folks on these three islands are losing quickly, or have lost entirely. Overall: Would I cruise Ruby Princess again? Probably not. While she was clean and well maintained, I found the ship to be somewhat claustrophobic, from the relatively small 3-story high Piazza, to the low ceilings and closed curtains in the dining rooms. I felt "nickeled and dimed" by Princess with the constant presence of the photographers, the "buy this now" mentality of many of the onboard activities, and the general feel of the ship. I'd personally much rather pay more for a cruise so I don't have to dodge the sales pitches during the week. Nothing wrong with Princess, just not really my demographic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Traveled as a couple on this 18 day "Brazilian Adventure", going out of Ft. Lauderdale, through the Southern Caribbean, down to Brazil and ending up in Rio (on the last Carnival day). As always, my wife and I had a blast and a ... Read More
Traveled as a couple on this 18 day "Brazilian Adventure", going out of Ft. Lauderdale, through the Southern Caribbean, down to Brazil and ending up in Rio (on the last Carnival day). As always, my wife and I had a blast and a great experience. However, it is hard not to reminisce about how much better the quality of food and service on Princess were in the past - but such are our times, and we know for a fact, that it is no different on other cruise lines, including the so called "luxury cruise lines" - so we adapt and adjust and still love cruising. Embarkation: As always the worst part of the cruise. Arrived at 1:30PM and encountered two lines, a huge line wrapping around the back of the embarkation building and a shorter one - and of course the long line was for "preferred boarding" (Elite, Platinum and suite guests) - and so our "escape completely" did not include escaping moving slowly in a long queue in the heat and sun of Ft Lauderdale. The only relief from the usual dread of standing in a long line and listening to order-barking-officials/volunteers ot whatever they are, were to see the DYKWIA people briskly walking up to the beginning of the queue waving their priority BP, only to be shown to the w-a-y back (that you couldn’t see because it wrapped around the building) by the line police. Once inside the building (30+ minutes), things as usual went smoother, and our check-in clerk was friendly enough, and we were soon on the ship. The Ship Ruby Princess while laid out like the other Grand Class ships is truly beautiful as stated by many, very well kept up, with all the familiar mile posts on the various levels of the Piazza. With our last cruise being on the Royal P. (which we loved) - we did enjoy the wrap- around promenade deck (sort of - going up one deck in the front) and the central staircase. But the ship was in as good a shape as we had experienced on any Princess ship. Our Stateroom We had a PH suite, the only available when we booked, and being used to aft suites with huge balcony's, we knew the PH balcony would be smaller and narrower (basically being the size of 2 balcony staterooms balcony). True enough, it was a little crammed, but we were able to have comfortable meals on the balcony for 2 – w would not cut it) and we learned to live with it. The inside was standard suite size and furnishing, not quite sure what we were paying premium price (+$2,000/p) for compared to other suites like the VS. Service Our stateroom attendant was very attentive and discreet, did a good job trying to please us and keeping the suite tidy in the context of having to cover a lot of staterooms and being worked very hard. With that he did a great job. Laundry was included in the suite benefit, but a note on the desk when we first entered alerted us to the fact that laundry turn-around was likely to be “72+” hours due to the "great demand" - Translation: high number of Elites on this journey. Room service was excellent, and as we always tip room service generously (in Cash), we were only served by 2 different room service waiters (who, I am sure, pulled seniority to bring things to us) and always went out of their way to present the food nicely and show appreciation for our tips. Canopies arrived punctually if we remembered to order them every day. We were called daily by someone who wanted to make sure we had reservations for our dinner, which was a nice touch, but far from the absolute pleasure of having a Suite-only-concierge lounge on the Royal with special coffees, foods and orange juice ad libitum 24h/7 with dedicated concierges in that suite there only to to take care of our every want and need. Getting fruit, and fruit we liked, turned out to be very difficult on the Ruby. There was no door order tab provided – even when requested, and when it came down to the sad kiwis and apples lingering at the bottom of our bowl, they were just sitting there getting sadder by the day. I asked our stateroom attendant for a fruit order form to no avail, and finally made one up myself, punched a hole in it and hung it out in the evening – that helped, even though we still got small portions, including of fruits we did not put on the list, and missing fruit (like bananas) that we did want– and thus continued to be a minor irritant throughout the journey. Breakfast in Sabatini We do like the upgraded food, espressos and juices (including mimosas) in Sabatini at their suites only breakfast in the morning. Still feel the pomp-and-circumstances of presenting the menu every morning is over the top when it hasn't been changed since these breakfasts started years ago, meaning that we know every single item on the menu by heart having sailed in suites on many Princess sailings now. But the food is good as they truly make it to order, with whatever twist you desire, whereas the in-suite breakfast, while fancy, is a little more generic. The obligatory over-the-top Serbian waiter complimenting the women for merely existing was on hand as usual - which does get to be a little old (for the man at least!!) Dinner in the main dining room It took us a week before we found "our table" in Michelangelo - and while we really appreciated the helpfulness of the head waiter (Francesco) and our waiter (Rhona) and assistant waiter (Hilton), and while the food at times was great, we were disappointed by the food overall seemingly having gotten a click down in quality compared to last year/the Royal. Turkey dishes had proliferated, and the more exotic dishes becoming more rare. No lobster night for the first time in 10 years – “surf and turf” the closest resemblance. Often the garnish was inedible (and unidentifiable), and even though I was dutifully asked how I wanted my high end meat cooked, whether I said "rare" or "medium rare", it didn’t matter, it always arrived "well done". The breadbasket had been downgraded to only have 2-3 different kinds of rolls, not as fresh baked and delicious as we remember them (and more of the same (I am sure) of dry-as-a-bone bread sticks that looked and felt to be identical to those on our last cruise. But we did enjoy our dinners, if not because of the food, then because of the service, banter with the waiter/assistant waiter and ambience. The Head waiter of Michelangelo was very gracious, and arranged for us to have the same table every evening at 7:00 PM independent of the dine line, and the fact the time was out of “sync” with the seatings, and we truly appreciated that (we did feel our suite “priority” came in handy here). We always sign up for the Chef’s table (and always get selected) and as always, enjoy the greatly upgraded food and paired drinks, part of that experience, as well as being able to commiserate with the Maître Di and Executive Chef. Horizon court food was a mixed bag as well. Sometimes good, especially the salads, sometimes a bust when having unexciting soups and ethnic/geographic themed main dishes which were not appetizing to those not a fan of the theme, with no alternatives if not into the theme. Just not like the “old days” (and not like on the Royal) – but adequate – that is the word: adequate and edible in a pinch. “Bland” as a general theme. Entertainment For as long as we have cruised, we have watched one production show (on our first on the Sea Princess back in the day) and didn’t like it, and never got into that – so we can’t comment on that on the Ruby. Comedians, magicians and jugglers usually are on right in the middle of our dinner (either too early or too late), so we didn’t see any of those either. But we loved the game shows and cruise-staff entertainments. In particular Kess and Charles were in OHO as funny as can be individually, and hilarious together. As groupies, we followed all the games, quizzes and events they were involved in, and that was plenty entertainment for us. Costumer Service Did not have good experience with this. When we lost electricity in most of our stateroom (including a pitch dark bathroom) – the agent at the service desk had great difficulty hiding his annoyance when we “interrupted him” reporting this – did get fixed within a few hours though, but had to take a shower inb the dark after a sweaty excursion prior to dinner. Bar service I had the “all inclusive beverage package” which for the most part worked fine, and with the bartenders at my most frequented bars quickly learning my cruise card ID and preferences. However, there were a few bartenders who would not speak a word after you gave your order and pretty much appeared quite unfriendly, however, that was clearly a minority, with most being very attentive and interactive. But when you stick out for being unfriendly on Princess you do get remembered! Spa Service We are suckers for Spa services, one of our “vices” when cruising. The spa area and services were no different than other Princess cruises – you quickly learn who to pick and who not to, and we as usual enjoyed this part of the cruise Fitness The fitness area was by-and-large underequipped, and we often had to waiting for TM, elliptical or bicycle. The weight and machine choices were adequate, but far from being as elaborate as on the Royal – but most of the time I was able to put in my 1 hour of cardio and 1 hour of weights/machines per day without too many problems. Internet An absolutely disgrace! – Despite getting 500 minutes for free (elite/suite) – never were able to use them. The connection consistently was so slow that pages consistently expired and you had to start over. Was only able to connect to my simple work-email within an hour twice (out of 5) when I finally gave up using time and frustration on this exercise in futility. It is a disgrace that you can not connect to a simple email server without using hours and being kicked out constantly because of “timed out”. And we did disconnect pictures and never tried to send anything but a simple email. Instead joined hundreds at the cruise terminal at our destinations, paying a few dollars to get the same emails done in 30 minutes that hours on Princess failed to do. Shame on Princess to narrow the bandwidth and basically taking money for fictitious internet connection. (Every day for duration of the 18 days cruise, there were a l-o-n-g line of people with all sorts of devices at the Internet cafe not looking too happy! Princess Excursions: Very few choices, basically sucked for our destinations – no other word, very few, and mostly “Scenic bus drives” of one sort or another. Set up much more interesting (and cheaper I am sure) excursions through Costco including SCUBA diving that Princess didn’t offer at all despite being at some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean, and a Carnival street party tour in Rio through guide discussed in the roll call, which turned out to be an absolute highlight of the cruise – absolutely riveting and fantastic, has to be experienced, no pictures or video can accurately depict the energy and fun of these mass carnival street parties for the ordinary Brazilians. Princess offered nothing related to the carnival going on in Salvador, Santos and Rio, only the same tired “scenic city highlight tours”. Disembarkation Chose a Princess disembark tour which was OK, mostly to make sure we saw some of Rio and had our luggage safely transported to the airport with ouyr flight leaving at 21:30P. Once there, they had put our luggage nicely on carts and the day was actually better than expected, seeing the stock highlights of the big C statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain with a surprisingly nice lunch intertwined. Thus, disembarkment was as if you went on any Princess excursion, meeting in the restaurant and being herded when the “bla-Bla” on the walkie-talkie said so. In summary A great cruise on a great ship with hick-ups as mentioned, and an acknowledgement of the ever (however thinly) slicing away at food quality and consistently good service. But having no illusions that it is different on any other cruise line, it is what it is – and we learn to live with it. Paying $15,000 for 2 for the cruise, and $5,000 for onboard activities for a total of 20K I did – again – explore Seaborn, Silversea and RSS to see if the time had come to re-try the grass on the other side of the fence, but when looking in detail at the reviews and remembering our own not too good experience on RSS, we have reconciled, that with warts and all, Princess still seem to hit what we like about a cruise the best on the balance of scales. So yes, we did reserve our next annual cruise for March 2016 on the Grand Princess to Hawaii – for the first time in a “Grand Suite” – which we are looking forward to, as we do spend a lot of time in our suite. Since part of the problem is, that the hundreds if not thousands of Elites on the ship (and we are elite ourselves) having the exact same benefits as we had, with us staying in a $15,000 suite for a couple compared to $4,000 for an inside stateroom, I really would like to see Princess doing more of what other cruise lines like Celebrity are doing: giving more value for money to the high paying guests and in addition to Sabatini have lunch and dinner restaurants for suite guests with upgraded food – now that I would not mind paying big bucks for.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Left Ft Lauderdale on the Ruby on January 10th. Embarkation a breeze. Went right up to the Sanctuary to reserve our spot for the week. Some of our luggage came quickly but one bag did not come till about 6:30pm and had a large sticker on ... Read More
Left Ft Lauderdale on the Ruby on January 10th. Embarkation a breeze. Went right up to the Sanctuary to reserve our spot for the week. Some of our luggage came quickly but one bag did not come till about 6:30pm and had a large sticker on it "Security inspected". Same thing happened to our friend's luggage. Cruise was a pleasure. Well run, clean ship, good meals, nice cabin (aft balcony). Never a long wait for our anytime dining. Sailed on the Royal last year and can say I really enjoyed this one better. Never saw anyone in the dining room in the evening in shorts and tee shirts (unlike the Royal). Saw the captain a few times walking around the ship and he was always friendly. Balcony was bigger than the Royal. Other guests seemed more seasoned. Just a nice group of a few thousand people with only a few exceptions! This is our 6th Princess cruise and have booked for next year. Thankfully we don't take the cruises for the ports any more. Nothing exciting about any of them... Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our cruise took in a wide sweep of the Caribbean with calls at Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel, St Thomas , St Maarten and Princess Cays. Although we purchased the trip as one cruise, Princess treated at as two cruises as it sailed in and ... Read More
Our cruise took in a wide sweep of the Caribbean with calls at Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel, St Thomas , St Maarten and Princess Cays. Although we purchased the trip as one cruise, Princess treated at as two cruises as it sailed in and out of Lauderdale on the Middle weekend. This had positive and negative aspects which I will mention in the body of this review. We made our own flight and hotel arrangements so our first interaction with Princess was at embarkation which was a breeze, so much so that it might be the easiest way of travelling to the USA in future! Ten minutes waiting in line compared to the good hour long experience at most airports!. Admittedly the process was a little slower re-embarking on the Middle weekend, but disembarkation at the end of the cruise was also slick. Our cabin was on the Lido deck and was well appointed with a decent balcony large enough to sit and catch early morning and late afternoon sun and enjoy drinks and the few sunsets we got. Our cabin steward, Marian, was great, attending to the cabin most discreetly and providing us with useful tips throughout the cruise. For the most part we dined at Da Vinci Restaurant, although we did have one meal at Michelangelo and one at the premium restaurant, Crown Grill. Our meal pattern was Anytime Dining and worked extremely well. Apart from the first evening, we never had to wait in line and, through a willingness to share, met some great people, some of whom became regular dining partners as the cruise progressed. Apart from our evening meals we also took breakfast at Da Vinci and so avoided the scramble of Horizon Court. We did take one lunch at Da Vinci but found it a little too filling for midday, and our experience of the pub lunch in The Wheelhouse was disappointing with unbelievably soggy batter on the fish.in every other instance we found the main dining room experience to be very good. The menus were interesting and varied and the food of a very good standard. The service was generally excellent despite a few teething issues with staff changeovers at the Middle weekend. Must mention Daniella the hostess at front desk at Da Vinci, always bright and cheerful and most helpful in getting diners sat promptly. As a rule we did not worry too greatly about excursions as they are often hugely overcharged and generally equalled for quality at dock side. As a result we only did two. One was a boat trip to Passion Island, a somewhat disappointing affair with wTered down drinks and an uninspiring buffet at a reasonable but crowded beach. The other was the day package at Mahogay bay on Roatan, adjacent to the port. There's a cable car to the beach and the ticket allowed all day access, as well as providing a beach clamshell with loungers. In addition we took the optional snorkelling equipment. At first that seemed a potentially disappointing choice as our neighbour said there was nothing to see. However we trusted to luck and met a diving enthusiast on the pier who told us it was one of the best snorkelling experiences he'd ever had. He pointed out an area roughly 50 yards out at a 45 degree angle to the left of the pier end. It was great. Huge, colourful fish and attractive coral plants visible even though it was a cloudy, drizzly day. If that diver ever reads this review... Thank you sir! For the most part our evening entertainment was the great people we met whilst dining and we rarely left therestUrant before 9:30. That said we did attend some shows and other entertainment sessions. The "Once Upon A Dream" and "Colours of the World" shows were both very good with excellent video wall backdrops. The Ballroom theme show was mixed. Whilst the dancing was very impressive, some of the singing was poor. We only saw the tail end of Marlon(?) Washington's comedy set but he seemed very good and Carl Strong's comedy set was great. The pianist in Crooners was interesting! His playing was very good but some of his vocal performances missed the mark. We used the Wheelhouse as as pre dinner meeting point for drinks with friends and often found that spoiled by the over amplification of the dancing music. I used the treadmills or promenade deck for running, as with many ships the jogging track it short and tight for comfort. My wife took advantage of the Lotus Spa Sanctuary and thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing time there. It's a pity that some negatives crop up in review but we all have our cruise expectations and it's a shame when some aren't met. We booked a 14 day cruise but we're told there was no wine card over as this is only provided on cruises exceeding 10 days and Princess considered this to be two 7 day cruises. OK that got us to Platimum status mid cruise but it did mean we were paying premium price for our wine. We were offered a beverage card at a rate of $49 per day, but as we don't drink coffee or more than one cocktail a day this was never an economic benefit, so we declined. The wifi was pitifully slow and, as we had no great need for access, we were better served by seeking out free access on shore days. During the second week the ship was joined by a group of 800 Rock and roll enthusiasts who had their own private functions around the ship at different times. This did seem to reduce the number and nature of entertainment options available to all other passengers, which was unfortunate. I never saw any indication that this was acknowledged by Princess prior to the cruise. Our only concern was that areas could become congested outside their show venues at the end of concerts and they could be slow clearing the area, but otherwise they caused us no direct problem. Our greatest disappointment came on the final evening at Crown Grill where a party of 20 diners occupying 2 tables were allowed to holler across the two tables with no comment from management. That they stopped was only because I requested them to do so in an assertive man er. I reported this to Customer Serviceand they were very apologetic but, as this was the final evening, I got no further response from the ship. I will take this up with the company on return home. None of these issues would deter us from joining another cruise on this ship in the future. As we should we are returning home with many fond memories and will look forward to our next cruise with Princess later this year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our quick 7-day Caribbean Cruise started and ended at the Port Everglades Cruise Port. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale late the evening prior to cruise and stayed at the Marriott Courtyard. This was a great choice as the hotel had a ... Read More
Our quick 7-day Caribbean Cruise started and ended at the Port Everglades Cruise Port. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale late the evening prior to cruise and stayed at the Marriott Courtyard. This was a great choice as the hotel had a complimentary shuttle from the airport and to the cruise port. We arrived for embarkation at about 11:30. Since we are Princess Platinum, we moved quickly through the check-in process and were on-board and unpacking by Noon. We always carry our bags on so we don’t have to wait for luggage to be delivered. After grabbing a quick lunch at the buffet we were off to explore the ship. Staterooms are pretty much the same on all Princess ships and on the Ruby we had a balcony cabin on Baja. I specifically chose this deck because of the balcony configuration. The decks above do not look down on our balcony as opposed to those below, which we over looked. The Ruby Princess carries just over 3000 passengers but never felt crowded. I attributed this to the nice weather which spread everyone out around the ship. We had been on the Crown Princess, which is the same size ship, for a Transatlantic cruise. With the cold weather keeping everyone inside, every venue on the boat was always crowded. For breakfast, we generally went to the dining room, especially if we wanted eggs. I’d rather have eggs cooked to order rather than getting them off the buffet. Service was very good. We also like the International Café with its excellent morning pastries and donuts, tasty afternoon salads, sandwiches, and cookies. We took advantage of the British ‘pub’ lunch and afternoon tea. As usual, the pizza and burger grill were excellent for lunch. Our evening meals on the Ruby Princess were all excellent. We prefer traditional seating and ended up eating in the dining room every night. We had thought about going to one of the specialty restaurants but the food was so good in the regular dining room we could not justify the additional expense. They still have escargot, lobster, soufflés for dessert, and Baked Alaska on the last night. One of my favorite things on Princess is the ever excellent Fettuccine Alfredo. I think I had it as an appetizer at least 4 times. Between that, the desserts, and the late evening cookies, the only thing that saved me was always taking the stairs and making to the gym most mornings. Our first stop was their island in the Bahamas, Princess Quay. Having never been there before, we have to say it was much better than we expected. It has a beautiful beach and great view of the ship anchored just offshore. We had to tender in but it was efficient without any waiting. We had reserved a beach Clamshell which helped us enjoy the sun when we wanted and get some shade when needed. Princess does a very nice BBQ on the beach. They had a nice variety of burgers, hotdogs, chicken, ribs, salads, fruit, and cookies. They also have waiters roaming around so that we could have a Pina Colada on the beach and sign it to our shipboard account. It was a very enjoyable day. Next stop was Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Only thing we planned to do was shop and this was the best place to do it. Although we attended the shopping host’s talk on the ship about the ‘recommended’ shops, we found nicer merchandise at other stores. You gotta know they get a cut by sending customers to the ‘preferred’ stores. I did find the bracelet I was looking for at what I considered an excellent price from Boolchand’s. We did find it interesting that in several stores, comments were made about what must agreed to in order to be ‘ship recommended’. Part of the reason we shopped in St. Maarten, was our time in St. Thomas was so short. We did a catamaran cruise and snorkel to St. John which lasted 5 hours, leaving us only 2 hours remaining. By the time we got back we did not have the time to make it to the main shopping area in Charlotte Amalie given the traffic from the port to town. One of the suggestions we had for Princess was to be about to stay overnight in some of the ports. It would be really nice to enjoy an evening in St. Thomas rather than having to be back on the ship at 3:30. Our last stop was Grand Turk, which they really could have renamed ‘Carnival Quay’. The company built the dock and the cruise port area. Apart from it, there is really nothing on Grand Turk. There are then normal group of Jewelry and T-shirt stores. But with a captive audience at the last port, it would not be the place to look for a bargain. Prior to arrival, I had reserved a scooter from Tony’s rentals. His scooters were located just outside the port gate. We drove all around the small island. Since it’s only 7 miles long, this was pretty quick. We missed the ‘downtown’ on our first pass and went out to the Lighthouse. There are LOTS of donkey’s roaming around. They were not a problem for us on the scooter, but the huge potholes were. The roads are in really bad shape and we had to be pretty careful to not fall into one as I’m sure the scooter would not have survived. On our way back, we finally did find Old Cockburn Town. We didn’t miss it on our first pass, we just didn’t think that the dozen or so shacks we passed was ‘downtown’. We did make a stop at Governor’s Beach. It was beautiful and easily walkable from the ship. I know that there are some gorgeous resorts in the Turks & Caicos…but none are on Grand Turk. After making our way back to Ft. Lauderdale, disembarkation was also very easy. Only wait was the understaffed US Customs desks. You would think that with a ship unloading they would have more than 2 officers clearing passengers. Oh wait, there were also 2 going on break at 8:00am. We reserved a Hertz rental car which does run a shuttle to Port Everglades for pick-up only. This was our 8th Princess cruise, and it was as enjoyable as all the others. Our only complaint was that 7 days was too short.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our group consisted of my wife and I, 2 daughters, 1 son-in-law and four grandchildren, ages 4, 4, 8 and 11. We had a pre-cruise stay at Springhill Suites. The hotel sent a shuttle to pick up the 9 of us and our luggage within minutes. I ... Read More
Our group consisted of my wife and I, 2 daughters, 1 son-in-law and four grandchildren, ages 4, 4, 8 and 11. We had a pre-cruise stay at Springhill Suites. The hotel sent a shuttle to pick up the 9 of us and our luggage within minutes. I had requested early check-in at the hotel if available. We arrived at the hotel about noon. They had 1 room available, 723 and said that they would notify us when 724 and 725 were available. We took all the luggage into the room and then went to Burger King for lunch.. Burger King is just across a small street that had no traffic. We went to BK again in the evening. When we returned to the hotel, everyone went to the room. About 1/2 hour later the other two rooms were available. One of the rooms. 725 connected with ours, 723. The grandchildren wee able to play hide and seek using those 2 rooms. I would recommend getting rooms across the hall from the highway side of the hotel as the highway noise was somewhat bothersome at night. I was told that to schedule the shuttle to the ship the next day, I had to meet with "Jonathan" after 4:00 PM. I came down at 4 and met with him. He told me that even though I had booked our 3 rooms a year in advance. 224 people form a group were ahead of us. The earliest shuttle we could schedule was at 12:45. The hotel's breakfast the next day was great. The lady that ran the breakfast area was fantastic. Jonathan's shuttle company kept falling behind. We had to wait in a very crowded lobby while shuttle after shuttle slowly filled since checkout was at noon.. They finally brought more shuttles and started catching up, We finally left the hotel at about 1:00 PM. Princess handled the embarkation process very well and we were quickly onboard. I have long felt that the cruise lines are going downhill and treat the passengers no longer as guests, but merely as "cash cows." You used to be able to bring al the wine that you wanted onboard. Rose and I followed the rules and had one bottle in each of our 2 carry-ons. After going through security, we were sent to a table where our bottles were examined. We felt like some sort of criminals. Maybe the next time I have "guests" to my house and they bring wine, I will set up a table to examine it. We had planned to have lunch in the dining room since We thought that it would be hard to find a table for 9 in the buffet. However, because of the shuttle situation, we had to go to the buffet since the dining room closed at 1:30 PM for lunch. To my surprise, we were able to find a table for 9 in the buffet with little trouble. Rose and I had cabin C710. We always get Caribe deck balconies because of the size. Our children and grandchildren were in inside cabins across the hall. I picked this location since the buffet and children's area were directly above and the Botticelli dining room was directly below and this is where they have Traditional Dining. All 3 cabins were confirmed for early dining at 6:00 PM. To my surprise, when we all looked at our cruise cards, we were all switched to 5:30 "Enhanced Dining" in the DaVinci dining room. I was disappointed that Princess couldn't have asked or even notified us about this. DaVinci has 5:30 as a fixed dining time and then it becomes any time dining. My impression was that the wait staff in DaVinci is used to Any Time dining as the service did not seem as good, fast or friendly compared to what we were used to. There were some unforeseen advantages to the 5:30 dining. Once the 4 grandchildren went to the Pelican and Shockwaves rooms in the children's area, they couldn't wait to go back. The early dining helped with that. Also we could beat all the 6:00 PM diners to the theater for good seats for the shows. For breakfast an lunch, we always went to the buffet. We only had trouble finding a table for 9 one time. You have to search for large tables. There were many people that have little concern for others and they would be occupying many of the large tables because they couldn't walk the additional 10 feet to an empty table for 2 or 4. The muster drill was incredibly long and boring. Our muster station was Club Fusion and they couldn't find 3 of the hotel stall that were supposed to be there, so everything was delayed. We enjoyed all of the shows except the guy that thinks that he is Elton John. We chose Ruby Princess for 3 reasons. We had checked out the children's area on several ships and liked Ruby's the best. We wanted to take the grandchildren to Princess Cays and take the twins in particular to Pelican Perch. We wanted to take everyone on the Princess excursion to Coral World with includes the semi-submersible boat with your private seat and window. We had been to Coral World before and it just keeps getting better. In St. Martin, we stopped briefly at St. Martin of Tours Church and then went shopping. I had checked the port schedule a couple of weeks ahead of time and in St. Thomas, we were scheduled to be docked at Crown Point. Instead, we ended up anchoring near downtown and had to take tenders back and forth. The only downside to the itinerary is that we had to stop at Nassau, which we all hate. Princess publishes a security warning from the State Department about crime in Nassau and basically announces, "Welcome to Nassau. If you are robbed or assaulted it is not Princess' fault." We got off and did some shopping in the fenced in area right by the pier. we seemed to be the last ship into each port. I don't know if they were having mechanical problems that were slowing her up. On our sea day after St. Thomas, the ship suddenly listed to the port side. I was sitting on our balcony and could not hear the announcement, but the others said they announced that the ship listed due to a mechanical problem and that the ship would have to slow down. Later they announced that the problem was corrected and that we would get to Nassau on schedule. For debarkation, we went to Club Fusion as is was a priority debarkation lounge for Platinum members. Debarkation was quick. A lady in uniform put our luggage on a cart and escorted us through security and outside terminal. I had scheduled Super Shuttle for a private shuttle to the Fort Lauderdale airport. All 9 of us plus 16 pieces of luggage for $68.00 plus tip. Summary: Ruby Princess was is good shape. The weather was great, the seas were calm. Food was good. Children's area was great Most shows were good. Coral World was great.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Princess is a professional operation, but they're pinching pennies, and you can feel it. The Ruby is a beautiful ship, but it's getting tired. Rust is visible in many places, our head (toilet) seat was chipped, the outdoor movie ... Read More
Princess is a professional operation, but they're pinching pennies, and you can feel it. The Ruby is a beautiful ship, but it's getting tired. Rust is visible in many places, our head (toilet) seat was chipped, the outdoor movie screen malfunctioned and had many dead or dying tiles, and so on. The merchandizing pressure has increased too. Selling is front and center 24x7 -- in ships activities, TV programming, and port access: each port terminal is designed as a narrow tunnel/gauntlet, so passengers are funneled past the usual blitz of booze, poor quality jewelry and watches, and the omnipresent tourist crap, like refrigerator magnates and T-shirts, all at huge markup. Disembarkation was invariably delayed by Princess staff in goofy costumes forcing every passenger to pose for pictures that could be sold later on... We'd rather just pay a little more up front and avoid the constant sales press, but I guess we're in the minority. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our first cruise on Princess was aboard the Golden to Alaska. Our second was aboard the Ruby to the Caribbean. The Ruby was much more modern and showed less wear and tear than the Golden did. Service, across the board, was great, other ... Read More
Our first cruise on Princess was aboard the Golden to Alaska. Our second was aboard the Ruby to the Caribbean. The Ruby was much more modern and showed less wear and tear than the Golden did. Service, across the board, was great, other than the Horizon Court. Out of 7 days we were on-board, we were only offered something to drink twice, maybe three times and we had to go fetch it ourselves when we weren't offered it and the help seemed offended when we finally gave up on them to get it ourselves. Embarkation and disembarkation was miles ahead when compared to the Seattle cruise port, which was terrible. Other than a terrible experience with Delta (who I'll never fly again) the entire experience with Princess was as I'd expected. I won't be looking for another cruise operator anytime soon, that's a fact. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
"Oh, you are the Hammann's? You have been upgraded!" OK. I'm not an idiot. I realize that getting upgraded is fairly standard. However, don't we all love to hear that phrase? It put a smile on my wife's face ... Read More
"Oh, you are the Hammann's? You have been upgraded!" OK. I'm not an idiot. I realize that getting upgraded is fairly standard. However, don't we all love to hear that phrase? It put a smile on my wife's face as well as mine and set the tone for our 20th wedding anniversary cruise. We arrived at 2:00 as suggested by our boarding pass. It literally took about 5 minutes to get through the check-in process. We stood for about three minutes behind on family and then was instructed to move to a quicker line by an attendant. We were greeted, given our cruise cards and moved on to the ship. Quick and easy! We had reserved an obstructed view stateroom and were upgraded to a balcony stateroom. We were excited to see our room. Both of us had never cruised before so we were enjoyed each and every step of the process. From the name tag on the room to the greeting from Jeffrey, our steward, we were amazed at the service. The food and food service was top of the line. We loved our meal times. Not only were we served amazing food, we established some great relationships with the servers who come from all corners of the world. While I haven't been on other cruises so I cannot compare, I suspect that it would be hard to beat what Princess offers in this area. We dined using the anytime dining package which offered a great amount of flexibility. The balcony cabin we were booked into was amazing. It offered amazing views. The bed was comfortable. Our steward, Jeffrey, was efficient and stealthy! It took some getting used to the two a day service plan on our rooms but once we had the system down it was great. The 2015 New year celebration was great. We had a great time hanging out with people of all nations. This was a memory for a lifetime. I certainly would sail Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This ship is in excellent condition. We were on the Ruby a few years ago and I didn't notice any wear and tear since then. She is a beauty! We were on during a very crowded New Year's week and yet never felt too crowded. ... Read More
This ship is in excellent condition. We were on the Ruby a few years ago and I didn't notice any wear and tear since then. She is a beauty! We were on during a very crowded New Year's week and yet never felt too crowded. Embarkation took place at 11:30 am but disembarkation was delayed by about 30 minutes. Also the taxi line outside the terminal was horrendous. We waited about 45 minutes for a taxi to the airport. This is the reason I'd never book an early flight. The towel game was in full effect - if you were not out on deck on sea days by 9 am you'd have difficulty finding a chair, and there are hundreds and hundreds of chairs. We watched the Sugar Bowl under MUTS and despite the rain, had a great night! They come around with pizza slices. The gym was packed every morning. You usually had to wait for any piece of cardio to open up. We stayed at the Hyatt House on 17th street pre and post cruise - great location next to Embassy Suites and Publix and Total Wine. Very nice hotel! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I booked a 2 week East/West Caribbean cruise on the Ruby. What I didn't realize was that it's 2 - 1 week cruises back-to-back. Never again. Much different clientele onboard....wedding parties, kids, party-hardy crowd. Not to my ... Read More
I booked a 2 week East/West Caribbean cruise on the Ruby. What I didn't realize was that it's 2 - 1 week cruises back-to-back. Never again. Much different clientele onboard....wedding parties, kids, party-hardy crowd. Not to my taste. Pre-cruise pkg was a 1 night stay at the Sheraton Yankee Clipper resort (which is now an O Resort). This hotel should be avoided at all cost! It's an old, run-down place in the middle of nowhere! Unless you had transportation, you had to walk more than a mile to find a deli. I was in the 'newer' Marina Tower (great ocean view), but upon arrival (had to haul my own bags), there was a man in my room. He had sprayed something that smelled like Raid all around. I had to leave the door and window open quite a while to let that smell dissipate. Then I found out the door was extremely hard to open from the outside. You had to really put your shoulder into it. All issues were brought to the attention of the desk clerks, but they could have cared less. Embarkation day was a mess. There was no welcome letter from Princess upon arrival at the hotel. I had to call the local number to get departure info. Luggage was not picked up, so I hauled it to the lobby myself and the Princess rep said to just leave it in the middle of the lobby and it would be taken care of. I refused to do that and made sure the porter took control of it instead. I have Platinum status and upon arrival at the pier, I sailed thru the check-in procedures and was on deck within 10 minutes! I booked an inside cabin. Steward was not the best. He only changed the bed linen twice in 14 days! He also let dirty glasses/dishes sit on the vanity for longer than he should. Often I would just take my dirty dishes to the buffet myself because I was tired of looking at them! The optional excursions I chose were okay. Some details had changed since I booked them and I wasn't happy about being dumped at a beach for 2 hours when it was only supposed to be a 20 minute photo op! The only crew members that weren't happy & smiling were the 3 grumpy bartenders at the Calypso bar. They were so surly and unpleasant every morning! The cruise director was among the missing! Only saw him at the end of a few shows in the Princess Theater to talk about the next day's activities. But his staff was everywhere! Dave, James, DJ Romeo, Ashley, Kassia, & Aly worked hard everyday to make sure all passengers were having a great time. A special shout out to James & Dave.....YOU GUYS ROCK! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!! James was the Princess Pop choir director and kept everybody moving and grooving....and he was delighted to let us put in a few Christmas carols for our performances in the Piazza. Dave did the best music trivia games....he acted out the lyrics to almost every song and had the trivia players in stitches. It always turned into 1 big sing-along! Both James and Dave made sure I felt included in all the activities and kept me dancing at all the parties. So in conclusion....it was a good trip, I met some really nice people, and the weather was great.... Who could ask for more???? Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Background information - This was my first time sailing on Princess. I had just taken a sort of impromptu Carnival cruise a couple of months earlier (probably won't sail them again), and based on what I knew about Princess, I was ... Read More
Background information - This was my first time sailing on Princess. I had just taken a sort of impromptu Carnival cruise a couple of months earlier (probably won't sail them again), and based on what I knew about Princess, I was looking forward to something more relaxed. I've previously sailed on Royal Caribbean, NCL, Holland America, and Carnival. Travel information - We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and overnighted at the Embassy Suites near the port. The hotel is very conveniently located and handles a huge amount of cruise traffic. We thought the hotel was very comfortable and liked our room and the complimentary breakfast as well. Travel to embarkation Port - We had rented a car with Avis, who maintain a rental facility at the Hyatt hotel on the causeway next to the port. It was perfect weather on the day our ship sailed, and we had several hours to kill so we drove along A1A, had some drinks across the street from the ocean, and then dropped our car off around 1pm. Avis provides a shuttle between their facility and the port, a service we had utilized last year, and it worked just great. Embarkation - Smooth as silk. We weren't in a rush to get on board the ship and probably arrived at the port around 1:30pm. There were no lines at the Princess check-in desks and after we passed through security and filled out a quick health questionnaire, we were given our room keys and were walking on board in less than 10 minutes. The ship's crew took our pictures to match up to our room keys as we entered the atrium of the ship and that was that. Crowding around the elevators was not bad, but we elected to walk up to our cabin. Ship information - If I'm not mistaken, the Ruby Princess is about six years old and it is one of the most beautiful ships I have ever been on. Everything, the public areas, the bars, lounges, rooms, etc. was very tastefully done, elegant, and comfortable. The ship was spotlessly clean, and everything was in good working order. The ship's atrium, which they call the Piazza, is three decks high and is surrounded by shops, some bars and lounges, and a snack and coffee area. Two panoramic elevators travel from the ground floor of the atrium up to the top of the ship, next to the pool and the buffet area. Navigating from one end of the ship to the other was easy, although depending on the elevator bank taken, there are some areas where you have to more port or starboard to move forward or aft as one of the dining rooms blocks your path. The ship is also fairly large so it was not until the second day that I felt comfortable with knowing where everything was. Cabin - We booked a Vista Suite, which was located all the way aft on the starboard side of the ship. A bit smaller than the suite we had last year on Holland America's Westerdam, it was more than large and comfortable enough for two people. The balcony in particular was great. There was a walk in shower and a tub (we never utilized the latter) a walk-in closet, safe, two televisions, a sofa with coffee table, and a small bar/sink area. Small canapes were delivered to the room each night, if we remembered to fill out the order form, and we were also given a complimentary mini-bar setup at the beginning of the cruise. A selection of alcohol minis, beers, and soft drinks were included, but there was not a complimentary restocking of anything we consumed. If we wanted anything replenished, that came with a cost. Complimentary fruit was also delivered during the trip, which we enjoyed. Two service misses in the cabin were a shower door that leaked at the bottom so we were always throwing towels down to stop the flood, and no shelves in the bathroom. The shelf issue sounds very minor, but counter space was limited and there were a lot of wall space that could accommodate a few places to store personal items. Activities - This was a more leisurely itinerary than what I had just experienced on Carnival, with two days at sea at the beginning and towards the end of the cruise. I enjoy sea days, feeling that they force you to relax. As mentioned earlier, the weather in Fort Lauderdale was great on the day of departure and this held true for the entire duration of the cruise. There were a few nights when it was actually a bit chilly out on deck, which did not bother me in the least. Daytime was sunny, not humid, and just great temperatures in the mid 70s to low 80s. Each night we received the "Princess Patter" at our cabin, which is the daily rundown of what's going on, on board and in port for the following day. There was a lot of things to choose from on board to stay busy. We utilized the ship's exercise room almost every day, which is located at the front of the ship next to the spa. A large selection of treadmills, elliptical bikes, resistance equipment and free weights were available. There is a water fountain in the gym but unfortunately the water was on the hot side of warm and tasted awful. We learned after the first day to bring bottled water with us. There is also a locker room with dry and wet saunas. Our cabin was a suite, which gave us complimentary access to the ship's thermal suite, which is located below the spa and gym area. It was nice with a selection of wet and dry saunas, as well as rain and mist showers, but no hydrotherapy pool. It was also in a bit of an odd location with no windows. It was extremely underutilized and I remember seeing no more than one or two other people in it the entire time we were on board. We liked the Westerdam's thermal suite much better. Fellow passengers - A very mixed group on board, leaning towards an older crowd but not entirely. We saw some kids on board, but not too many, and a lot of passengers were our age, i.e. in their 40s. Princess apparently has a big appeal with international customers as there were a lot of British citizens on board, as well as Japanese and Russian. Not a big, party crowd on this ship like I experienced on Carnival, but the bars, lounges, and casino were well attended each night into the wee hours of the morning. Service - Not as good as I expected it to be. Service in the up-charge restaurant, Crown Grill, was very slow both times we ate there, despite most of the tables being empty, and the main restaurant's service was rushed and informal, very much like a banquet meal in a hotel. Some wait staff were a bit cold and on the edge of unfriendly, so that was a bit disappointing as well. The standout was Sabatini's restaurant, where we enjoyed an excellent breakfast on several days, and dinner on two evenings. The staff there was just excellent, friendly, chatty, personable, etc. I can't compliment them enough. Our cabin steward was pretty good and special requests were accommodated, but he was a bit cool towards us. We were always greeted by him in the halls, but we felt our cabin steward on Holland America to be much more friendly and the service better all the way around. Service in the shops and the front desk was not impressive. I'd say it leaned towards a staff that was at best, indifferent and that was disappointing. One thing in particular that was bad was an order we submitted to have our luggage transferred directly from our cabin on the last night to our airline for the flights home. We utilized this service last year on Holland America and it was excellent. For $20 per person, you leave your bags outside your cabin on the last night and don't see them again until you arrive at your destination on the baggage carousel. Princess offered the same thing, or so we thought. I filled out the forms and turned them in but the crew-member manning the desk said he needed hard copies of our itinerary from the airline. The order form mentioned nothing about that and I didn't have hard copies to give him. He said he'd see what he could do and that was the last I ever heard about it. Our luggage did not automatically transfer and we received no notice that they couldn't accommodate our request. I'm inclined to think that our order form got tossed in the garbage. Port & shore excursions - A good selection of things to do were available for each port, although we missed our opportunity to book in Grand Cayman ahead of time and wound up booking a quick island tour in port, which included Hell (yes, that's the name of the town), a Dolphin seaquarium, the Tortuga Rum Cake factory/store, and 7 Mile Beach. The stop in Roatan was actually at Mahogany Bay, which is something of a compound for Princess and Carnival cruise lines. Very safe and isolated, it's nothing more than a day on their beach with some bars/dining and shops. I'm not a big fan of the Roatan stop, having done it once before on an NCL cruise, so staying within Mahogany Bay was fine. Cozumel was a shopping day for us, and we walked up and down the waterfront and stopped for drinks before heading back to the ship. Again, we were blessed with wonderful weather so being out in the sun all day was not uncomfortable. Princess Cays, which is Princess' private "island" (actually it's a stretch of land on the island of Eleuthera) was beautiful, and here we rented dune buggies and were gone for 2 hours on some very bumpy, sandy roads and trekked to some local sights including a gorgeous beach and an old lighthouse. We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Princess Cays. Dining - Unfortunately it was at best, marginal. The buffet was always easy to navigate, utilizing islands instead of a long buffet line, but the food was not particularly good. We tended to stop there only for lunch, and for dinner on just one occasion. It was very bland, and there seldom seemed to be a theme to the offerings, with the exception of Mexican food when we departed Cozumel. There was also another buffet area towards the back of the ship that was only open for 90 minutes in the afternoon. We tried it once when they were serving sushi and a selection of Asian dishes, but again the food was not very good. Crown Grill was a big disappointment, as I looked forward to the selection of steaks. Having eaten at both Cagney's on NCL ships (always outstanding), Scarlett's on Carnival (again, excellent), and Pinnacle on Holland America (delicious!), Crown Grill was a let down. The aforementioned slow service certainly negatively impacted my opinion, but the quality of the appetizers, steaks, and dessert was also a let down. In fairness I will say that the person I was traveling with said that his seafood entrees were always great. We dined at Sabatini's twice for dinner. Again, my friend said his seafood was very good, but the chicken I ordered on one evening was bland and disappointing. The steak I ordered on the last night of the cruise, however, was decent. We ordered room service a lot for breakfast, and it was always right on time and pretty good. We also received a "suite" breakfast menu each night but no indication on how to order any of the special offerings. The hang tag that got placed on the door to order food included none of the special offers, so we never experienced it. Entertainment - Activities up on deck and in the lounges included several musicians and bands (all pretty good), a ship's theater with shows throughout the week (we caught part of one but didn't enjoy it very much), and a huge video screen out at the pool deck for watching movies. Princess places fabric covers on the lounge chairs and distributes very warm and comfortable blankets for the movies running at night. We watched one, Defenders of the Galaxy, on a chilly and very windy night but enjoyed it very much thanks to the amenities. Princess' staff also circulate during the movies with snacks. Disembarkation - We had to be out of our cabin by 8am and then queue up in a lounge two decks down. There was coffee, water, juice, and pastries. We didn't have to wait long as about 20 minutes later, our group was called to disembark. The process was smooth and we were off of the ship, had our luggage, and cleared Customs and Immigration in less then 30 minutes. We purchased airport transfers and were quickly directly to the motor coaches that took us to Fort Lauderdale. Summary - Coming on the heels of a Carnival cruise, I definitely enjoyed this much more. No offense against Carnival, they have a market they appeal to and are very successful with their niche. Princess' ship was beautiful and the entire week was very relaxing. The disappointments on this cruise pertained to the food and several service misses. I would sail on Princess again to give them another shot as the positives outweighed the negatives.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
RUBY PRINCESS REVIEW NOV 8, 2014 We had a great cruise and I was writing I realized a lot of it was what went wrong. Yes a lot went wrong but I hope it will help other not to fall into the same traps we did. We stayed at the River side ... Read More
RUBY PRINCESS REVIEW NOV 8, 2014 We had a great cruise and I was writing I realized a lot of it was what went wrong. Yes a lot went wrong but I hope it will help other not to fall into the same traps we did. We stayed at the River side Hotel in FLL the night before. It is not too close to the port but on the foodie street. Loved the location would definitely stay again. It is right on the water taxi route and we could just see the port from our room. The lobby was gorgeous. The staff was super. The room was clean large and more than we needed. Las Olas Blvd is just one restaurant after another we finally decided on American Social and outside table. The food was good the beer even better. We took Riverside Hotel shuttle to the port and since we shared-- it was $7pp good deal. Checkin-After drop off it was easy to just walk and start the process. We had to do Ebola forms and the Reps actual made us look at the to prove we didn’t look sick. Then upstairs and check in and waited to board. And before we knew it we were in our cabin! Cabin we were in C628 Extended balcony. Now the only thing is there lots of room on the balcony but the furniture was only to chairs and tall table. NO Lounger No way to put up your feet. And the it was floor was hard- So not happy to have paid a lot for a balcony that we could stretch out on. I tried to put a towel down but the flooring is hard and bumpy. My DH was so kind and “stole” a small table form the lido deck cause with my bum knee I can’t dangle- it needs to be propped up. The other thing about the extended balcony is you can see down into the suites below. On our sailing there was a large group of Adventure Bears, who had some or the suites below us. And well.. there were times it was not PG down there to say the least. Ship- she is a beauty-loved going to piazza and see what was going on from singers to paper plane contest. We just never knew what we would stubble on. The food—all good. Entrainment- Shows on board were varied. The first one “Once a upon a dream” was the best. Love it. Cabaret showtime Broadway Ballroom was just sad and worn Jim Colliton comedy was OK Colors of the world-well lets said we can’t get back that hour of lives. The piano entertainer Tommy McPhee used way too much prerecorded music that drowned him out which in hind sight was a good thing. Pastime Duo in the Wheelhouse bar were really good spent a lot of time there. We enjoyed all the guest dancers you can really see dancing with the stars influence. Islands Princess Cays- we order a clamshell and once we tendered off to the snorkeling side of the beach. Very enjoyable until we had some folks decide they like were we had our clam shell and parked there towels right in front of us. Then were very loud. I really thought if we brought a clam shell we could get our own little piece of beach, guess not. I didn’t enjoy the looking at their backs. I think they were just rude! St Maartin-Well we hit a holiday again so the shops were all closed. We booked Capt Bob Soualiga for day snorkeling. After a short walk we found him and were led to our fast boat. I had email before I booked explaining we were seniors and needed a good study ladder and help getting in and out of the water -we were assured this was not a problem. Well the boat had basically no platform and it was a small metal ladder. I almost said this not going to work but I really wanted to snorkel. First We toured the lagoon which we had never seen before. At the first stop --Matt (our capt for the day) said I will help you down (after I asked) and half way down he let go and down I went under water, just catching my RX mask . My DH watched in horror and didn’t even want to try. He stayed on the boat. Second stop was nice beach, shallow water and we both got into the water very nice. Next to eat lunch. We dock in the water and had to swim/walk to shore. Matt said it is not deep I will help you down. Well again he let go, down I went, the water was over my head so I was soaked and had to swim to shore. Yes I’m short but the water was over 5feet. Lunch was OK drinks not included. The next snorkel stop we need flippers because of the strong current. When I asked for a pair the only ones he had left were mismatched. There were none for DH! He suggested I just fall in backwards from the boat since you could not use the stairs with flippers. Needless to say my DH and I just watched everyone snorkel from the boat. .I almost cried that I couldn’t get into the water. On the way back we stop near the airport watched the planes come in, very cool. I would never use this operator again. Too many falsehoods-not enough equipment on board for all guests. No helping getting in and out of the water. St Thomas-We took ship tour St Johns Champagne tour. This was the best thing we did. The crew was great. The snorkeling was great. The rum punch was great. Saw lots of fish great sail back into port. We had hope to get back in time to do some shopping (since we couldn’t in St Marrtin) and maybe go up to Paradise point for a bushwaker. Well we off loaded went to the place to pick up the ship transportation. There were already 2 groups there. Since it was a ship tour I wasn’t too worried when our crew took off with another group. We were out in the open with no shade, no water, and no bus! Had anyone taken a cell phone we could called the ship. We waited a long time ---how long OVER AN HOUR! Can you imagine-- hot sun-no water-no shade and maybe a a few rum punches! Well by the time we got back we had to shower to cool off. Then there was no time for shopping or Paradise point. We went to front desk to complain they said go to shore tour desk. The shore tours desk said fill out a form. Really all I wanted was apologize,. And little sympathy. We did get a form letter in our cabin on the last day say there were taking off 20% off the tour. Again just a person saying sorry would have better and all I really wanted.. Grand Turk- We walked off the ship and spent the day playing in the water and lounging what could have been better. Things I learned – the self-operator laundry is by tokens. So no need to bring quarters form home. $3 a load. If you have internet package you are on your own tracking the time. DH thought he would get a message or out time. But it just kept running and he went over 3 minutes checking our flight the last night and yes they did caught put to us on the final bill once we were home. Extra large extended balcony and the furniture was awful. NO lounger no foot stool all that room and could lay out NEVER again will I pay for a expensive cabin with no lounger! FCS-love the program-you get an email when processed, and NOT a statement to the cabin. States that on the form you turn in and we didn’t read that far I guess. Movies under the stars never are at a time you can see them if you do anytime dinning. And want to see the production shows Tendering was never a problem-very easy If you are fugal and have lots of OBC you can have a final bill of $8.08 Last day we did Easy off luggage program. Best $20 you can spend. Debarkation was very organized and easy. Walked off the ship went thu custom caught a cab and our vacation was over. Boo-hoo   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
the nov 29--dec 6 cruise to st thomas,st maartin &grand turk was good, not great. staff allowed an excursion operator to cancel a trip ON THE DOCK !!. only allowance was "we will refund your money", of course you will !, ... Read More
the nov 29--dec 6 cruise to st thomas,st maartin &grand turk was good, not great. staff allowed an excursion operator to cancel a trip ON THE DOCK !!. only allowance was "we will refund your money", of course you will !, the trip was canceled !! little things like a smaller assortment of hard rolls and danish, cheaper pizza, etc. give an air of cutting costs. staff STILL superior, hope they just raise prices , rather than cut quality Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Ruby Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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