103 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Western Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

We wanted to go on a 14 day cruise but could only find one. This was an older Holland America from Tampa. We passed on that one. That left back to back 7 day cruises that would come back up to Fort Lauderdale. We wind up on Ruby on 3 ... Read More
We wanted to go on a 14 day cruise but could only find one. This was an older Holland America from Tampa. We passed on that one. That left back to back 7 day cruises that would come back up to Fort Lauderdale. We wind up on Ruby on 3 consecutive back to back's of 5, 5, and 4 days. We had the same balcony cabin. The price was excellent. We paid less than $200 per day after on board credits. The 3 cruises each went to Grand Cayman and 2 also went to Cozumel. We were there for the weather and the ship so we did not mind. We were blessed with excellent weather. The turn around days in Ft Lauderdale were bright and sunny. This is not always the case in Feb. Every day on the cruise was beautiful. We did a lot of sunbathing. Port days were spent mostly on the ship although we did go to the beach in Grand Cayman. We would get choice spots next to the rear terrace pool. This is an excellent place. The Ruby is in excellent shape. Very clean. The staff is excellent, very friendly. Food in MDR is very good. The ship was on a 5 day menu so it got a little repetitive. Buffet is so-so, although some things were good. Bad: Sauna broken the entire 14 days. They did away with shuffle board. Canned music for the dance shows. Jugglers very bad. Two of the bands were bad. Sun decks were crowded on sea days. Passengers would have to try and unlock extra chairs from tied down stacks. Often passengers had to carry the chairs from one deck to another to try and get a spot. The Ruby, Emerald, and Crown carry an extra 500 to 800 passengers and it shows up on the sun decks which remained the same size. The soda cards have become way to expensive. I did without out. The model of the ship went from $20 to $40. I collect the models but I wont pay $40. They need more Zuma classes or more room and Zumba gold classes. My wife loves these. Self serve laundry was good but they doubled the price. More good: They had a atm like machine where you ran your cruise card and got your statement right away. Never a line. The computer room was never crowded. Slow but always available right away. Ask your room stewart for a princess robe. They are nice. The weather made this cruise and the ship was very good. We watched many sunsets and saw a few sunrises off of our balcony Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our first Princess Cruise, the Ruby did not disappoint. Although the ship showed her age in the common area, overall I was surprised how well she has been maintained. The carpet in our stateroom and the rest of the ship was quite ... Read More
This was our first Princess Cruise, the Ruby did not disappoint. Although the ship showed her age in the common area, overall I was surprised how well she has been maintained. The carpet in our stateroom and the rest of the ship was quite worn and faded but the woodwork and the marble has been maintained well. Our stateroom was average with no real wow factor. So happy we choose a Balcony. The Stateroom was just okay. We did not like the fact that the comforter was your top sheet and blanket. When we went back to our cabin to nap this made for a very hot and sweaty down time. The shower was very small however, being 6' tall I did appreciate not having to get on my knees to shampoo my hair. The carpet although probably clean but the pattern was wearing. Nothing special from the cabin Stewart. Yes he did his job and when we did see him he was friendly but not as energetic as soon of the Stewarts we seen in the hallways.The wall mounted TV vibrated consistently during the first day so I immediately placed a paper towel between the TV and the wall and this helped the rest of the cruise. The food was a strong 4 stars, the service the same. We did eat at the Crown Grill and it was every bit a 6 Star experience. The quality of food and the service was second to none. For someone who has dined at Ruth Chris, Morton's, and Shula's this rated at least as good as any of these steak houses. The entertainment was very good. I dislike musicals but was mesmerized by the wardrobes and talent of the dancers. The magician was non impressive, the comedian was so good we did 2 shows in one night. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This a 5yr revisit to the Ruby Princess on a short 4 night cruise, from a port intensive 12 day Mediterranean cruise 5 years ago. Also, I was able to enjoy different parts of the ship that I was unable to explore before, because of fatigue ... Read More
This a 5yr revisit to the Ruby Princess on a short 4 night cruise, from a port intensive 12 day Mediterranean cruise 5 years ago. Also, I was able to enjoy different parts of the ship that I was unable to explore before, because of fatigue or time factors. My 1st impressions are that ship is just as clean, well-kempt, and still has that brand new feel. Cabin I would also recommend that even if you are pleased w/your 1st cabin on the same ship, it would behoove you to change the type of cabin, or the location. This would give you a different feel of the ship. Here, we changed our location to a mini suite with bath tub shower combination as opposed to the small showers with flimsy curtains in the regular balcony rooms. This mini-suite had a nice sitting area in the cabin, 2 flat screen TV’s, and a nice size balcony. Therefore we were able to comfortably entertain twice in our cabin, and the guests mentioned that the next time they will book a mini-suite, as opposed to an inside cabin. The welcoming champagne was nice. The beds were comfortable and the room was quiet. From now on, it is a mini suite for me, unless the cruise is port intensive, where there are less sea days and less time on the ship, then a nice or deluxe balcony would suffice. The views of the sunrises, sunsets, and stars are well worth the extra costs. Another advantage of a shorter cruise, is that you can walk on and off w/ your own luggage. To me, this makes it so much easier; as opposed to waiting 3 hrs for your luggage to arrive to you cabin or search for your luggage in marked rows, as that had on do on NCL’s Breakaway this past summer. Thus, late luggage delivery is usually the reason when you see people in the MDR w/ shorts on, mainly men, especially on the 1st night. Entertainment: Their version of the Jersey Boys was nice; I missed the vibrant sail away parties. The band sounded and did not perform w/ the vigor that I have witnessed on other sail away parties, where they had the people up and dancing. In the past, the sail away parties were a must. Here, they had a “musician” playing along with a computer, drum machine, that tried to past as entertainment n the atrium. Expectedly, he drew little interest. The other performers attempting to do a repetitious Motown review were simply tired and sounded that way. Further, there is an over saturation of Motown music. The pianist at one of the smaller venues sounded fresh and nice. I really missed the midnight champagne toast w/ the flowing champagne and the Captain doing the honor. I guess in its place was a dropping of the balloons in the atrium w/ the Captain making a short speech. I guess the cruise lines adjust their quality of activities, entertainment, and amenities based on the length of the cruise and the money spent and made on shorter excursion s. From past experience all the bells and whistles were not pulled out. Food Again, not as good as the past Princess cruises, but the food was nice, not as creative or adventurous on past cruises, and no lobster. In the MDR the food was above average to good. We were not wowed or overwhelmed with a dish, which I really like the “wow” experience several times on a cruise. I guess they get a pass here, because it was a short cruise. However, I found the buffet in Horizon to be diverse, and good. The omelets were excellent. They had the sanitizers at the entrance, but for the most part, no one was strongly suggesting everyone use them & everyone was able to use the tongs to make their own selections. I wish they took more precautions in this area, and simply not allow any one in without using hand sanitizers, going and coming. Why wait until the dreaded norovirus makes an appearance to step up sanitation procedures? However, we did go to Sabatini’s and did have lobster and a salt-baked branzino that was excellent. It seems that to really get gourmet type of food on cruises you have to spend more and go to the specialty restaurants. The pasta, and other dishes had freshness, and a homemade flavor to it. Recommended. However, the service was not a smooth and polished as my previous experiences. Here, the Maître de’ came to our table and asked, like they used to do in the MDR’s. We eat at a different venue each night, Michealanglolos, Da Vince, and Botticelli. I think Michelangelo’s was the best b/c it was the smaller of the other two, and seemed less rushed. Also, the quality of the wait staff has gone down. Not bad, however, the service was not as experienced or as polished as they should be serving on a cruise ship, where dining for many, is the primary attraction. Overall, customer service has been dropping, as businesses attempt to save money, from the smaller seats on many airlines to the quality of the personnel, to being unable to speak to a live person. The apparent philosophy is let’s doing anything to save money, the hell with client comfort, reasonable expectations or protecting the brand name, too often appears that way to me. I guess one reasonably cannot expect the level of service, treatment, and excitement on a longer cruise. I understand Disney is one of the view companies that still adheres an old notion of customer service, and a quality product over a cost cutting policy. Disney here I come. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze, arriving a little later and carrying on & off your own luggage is easier. I will do this in the future, if allowed. Further, we enjoyed bringing on one bottle of wine per person, which comes in very handy when you entertain other cruisers or couples in your cabin. We were fortunate to have excellent weather and enjoyed Seven mile beach tremendously, especially the Tiki Beach area, w/ facilities. However, going in parts of the beach can be a little rocky, and Sandy brought beach shoes and was fine. I did not go out as far as she did, b/c she is a better swimmer than I, and I found the waves a little strong, but he water was nice and warm. Overall, it was a nice short and warm get away from the cold of the northeast. Good crowd control, for a ship that size, more of an adult experience, and better crowd control than we experienced on NCL’s Breakaway in July. One big plus in selecting this cruise, was that we were able to obtain a less expensive flight on Wed & Mon. than the traditional Sat. or Sun. sailings. We left on a Thursday after flying in on Wednesday. Ruby, for the most part, is holding up pretty well.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
BACKGROUND: My wife and I are Platinum with Princess and took this cruise as a mid winter break. Our TA got us an upgrade to mini-suite on deck 8 (Emerald) just over the Club Fusion and extra $$ for OBC (kudos to Carol)! The itinerary ... Read More
BACKGROUND: My wife and I are Platinum with Princess and took this cruise as a mid winter break. Our TA got us an upgrade to mini-suite on deck 8 (Emerald) just over the Club Fusion and extra $$ for OBC (kudos to Carol)! The itinerary included Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Since I am a former teacher (5 years was enough) I decided to give letter grades for each component I reviewed. ARRIVAL + FORT LAUDERDALE: We arrived a day early and stayed at the Oakland Park Best Western. The shuttle was $5 p/p from airport to the hotel. The hotel might seem a bit dated but the rooms are clean, the location is excellent being close to Coral Ridge Mall, restaurants and a Publix grocery/wine/liquor store. The continental breakfast was very good with a variety of items. B+ SHUTTLE AND EMBARKATION: We took the hotel shuttle to the pier ($5 p/p) at 2:00 PM and arrived to no lines whatsoever so we didn’t need our Platinum priority status. As a result, it was all so painless and cabins were ready – WOW that was easy! Embarkation = A THE CABIN: We were on Emerald Deck (#8) aft cabin 720 – one deck above Club Fusion. The mini – suite was GREAT with no noise from the club below us. Elevator service to all decks was quick. There is plenty of storage space on the closet shelves and in the closet itself. The bathroom had a TUB – (imagine that!) and the tub/shower had great water pressure. Our room steward Jojo was very pleasant, helpful (we gave him extra $$ @ cruise end). He also spoke English well so there were no communication issues and we even spoke several times. Cabin = A, attendant = A+ THE FOOD: We had anytime dining but only went to our MDR (Michelangelo) twice. The wait time was not long at all, service was very good, the food was of good quality and the choices were many. One side of the menu had “always available” and that’s a good thing since you could enjoy the daily special one night and then order from the “always available” the next. The only downside to MDR was that the Surf & Turf was steak and shrimp with no lobster. Other than that, we were satisfied. A- Horizon Court: There is probably something bad I could write about but I’m on vacation to enjoy myself and not find fault with the small stuff. Once we became accustomed to the layout and the best times to eat, things were fine. Breakfast, lunches and dinners were all enjoyable and since salads & finger foods are my mainstay anyway, I never walked away hungry. B+ Bar service: Used multiple bars but mostly Skywalker’s for the Platinum/Elite Happy Hour – our favorite bartender was Louis at Skywalker’s. The other servers and bartenders were friendly & made good drinks - I tipped them extra. A Room service: Used it once for breakfast (on Valentines Day) and were very satisfied. A Specialty restaurants: Never ate there. No grade Soda/drink packages: Never used them. No grade SHORE EXCURSIONS: More info for each is in the Shore Excursion Reviews Grand Cayman: We opted for the Seven Mile Beach Break. B+/A- Cozumel: We didn’t book an excursion but shopped for souvenirs and see the city. No grade but a good time. OTHER SERVICES/MISC: The Internet Cafe is on Deck 5 and has about 12 terminals and several Internet plans. Since we are Platinum, we had 300 “free” minutes. As usual the service is painfully S-L-O-W. C+ We didn’t use the Spa although I used the gym in the early afternoons so I had no issues with finding an open T-mill, elliptical or life cycle. The treadmills, elliptical and pedal machines were in great shape and the weight machines were primo. Gym = A- We didn’t buy any photo packages and ignored most photographers who tried to snap our pix. No grade We didn’t go to the casino. No grade Cruise Director and staff. Nice people without being annoying. A We used Passengers’ Service desk to get printout of our charges and they were courteous and professional. A The boutiques/stores had their usual “sales” which were mostly for old stock and watches. We only bought a couple of small souvenirs and some booze. C We didn’t go to any of the clubs at night – not enough time it seems. No grade We watched Movies Under The Stars on three nights (Gravity, Last Vegas, Captain Phillips) even though it was chilly due to the wind created by the ship moving at ~20 knots. You gotta love those blankets they hand out. Overall a grade of A DEBARKATION: We ate our breakfast in our cabin using food we brought down the day before and then waited inside Club Fusion until they called our tag number. Since we were the last group to be called, it was pretty easy to get off the ship and go through customs. We called the hotel and they picked us up after about 20 minutes. B+ OVERALL: Great time, great value and we’d probably do it if given the same situation. A   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our 3rd cruise with Princess. We have enjoyed our other's with them. However, besides the boring ports ( which we knew we were going to) . We did have fun at the Salsa Margarita Salsa Excursion. Lots of laughs!! Our Room ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Princess. We have enjoyed our other's with them. However, besides the boring ports ( which we knew we were going to) . We did have fun at the Salsa Margarita Salsa Excursion. Lots of laughs!! Our Room Steward was great.The room was a bit small. Having cruised many times on Windstar -- we're used to smaller rooms -- but we had a balcony room and it was tight and not as nearly as luxurious as Windstar.The shower was pealing. We were frustrated by the lack of access to The Sanctuary. On our Alaska cruise a few years ago -- it was easy -- you walked up and could sign up any time after boarding. They didn't reserve a portion for different lCaptain Circle levels and you didn't have to be there each morning at 7am just to TRY to get a seat. However, we did find other quiet areas around the ship to relax. The ship is beginning to show it's age -- lots of pealing paint, our shower had pealing plastic. But -- it's still a beautiful ship. The FOOD -- needs to be IMPROVED -- badly. Again, I know it's cruise food -- but our friends said their food on Carnival was better. The Specialty Restaurants were OK, and better than the dining rooms. But shouldn't have cost $25pp unless they included wine. I will say the desserts everywhere were great -- Here's to the pastry chef!!! The comedian was good -- the cruise shows not so much. All in all we were happy to be traveling with friends and this made a ho hum cruise lots of fun.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I am going to start with the PROS: Room: We were upgraded to an aft balcony cabin. Thanks Princess! The balcony was huge! The room was a decent size and clean. The water pressure and temperature in the shower was great. Plenty of open ... Read More
I am going to start with the PROS: Room: We were upgraded to an aft balcony cabin. Thanks Princess! The balcony was huge! The room was a decent size and clean. The water pressure and temperature in the shower was great. Plenty of open closet space. Bed was comfy to me. There were enough current movies to watch on TV too. Steward: Renato was nice and came by and introduced himself and told us how to reach him if we needed anything. We aren't complainers and are easy going so we never had to ask him for anything. However, he noticed we needed some wine glasses for the wine we brought onboard (you are allowed one per passenger) and he brought them to the room while we were out exploring the ship. Ship: Very nice ship, very clean. I saw staff picking up dropped items, trash and cleaning regularly.Decor wasn't cheesy at all. This ship is large but it was fairly easy to move around the boat if you take the stairs. Staff: Everyone was super friendly and helpful. The wait staff were attentive and came around regularly to see if you needed any drinks. Any time I passed by staff they smiled and said hello. The wait staff were funny and were able to crack jokes with us. They definitely go above and beyond to make sure you are happy. Food: The pizza was good, but not as great as most people have mentioned in reviews. But this is a personal taster. The burgers were fine. Didn't try the hot dogs. Try the fettucine Alfredo in the MDR. It was the best I ever had. I ate it twice because the other items weren't as appealing to me. Food comes out fast. Crown Grill: It was worth every penny. I was stuffed because the food was so delicious! Try the applewood smoke salt with your choice of steak. It was awesome! I highly recommend going there at least one night onboard. International Cafe: Nice cafe to order coffee and get a light snack. Wheelhouse Bar: The fish and chips were good and so were the fries and mashed peas that came with it. Food came out fast. Entertainment: The comedian was hilarious and the magician was amazing! I felt bad for both performers because the crowd was lukewarm. I mean, seriously the elderly crowd barely clapped at all and the performers did their best to excite them and participate. I hope this doesn't reflect on the performers. MUTS was fun. Do it at least once. They come around with popcorn, milk and cookies. The poolside bartending competition was fun and the sexy legs contest was funny. Cons: Food: The food wasn't as varied or tasty as I have experienced on other lines, but I am thinking they are catering to an elderly crowd and that is why the food is...meh. In the MDR, nothing amazed me except the fettucine. To get an omelette or waffles for breakfast doesn't make sense. You had to order from an attendant at the corner of the egg station and he writes it on a slip of paper and hands it to the kitchen staff. No sign that you can order omelettes either you just have to figure it out. I just happened to see someone get one and learned the process. There is not an omelette station where you order directly from the cook like on other cruises. They use canned spinach too. Not ideal. The waffle station was not in the buffet it was at another grill by the pool. Random. Not thrilled with the layout of the buffet either. Too cramped and too hot. Entertainment: The trivia isn't really inclusive for all ages. Lots of references to things that only the elderly would know. There was bingo, but no shuffleboard. I was surprised that a ship that caters to mostly elderly people didn't have shuffleboard. Lol. The Ultimate Deck Party was ok. This wasn't Princess' fault again. I see the effort, but most people just sat there watching the few people do the robotic line dances. You had to practically beg people to dance and clap for the band. Bar: I wish that there were some drink specials like other cruise lines that offers 2 for 1 or lower prices on drinks of the day. The prices were reasonable. They do offer a raffle to pay your bar tab. We didn't get a card until our last night and there was no way we would drink 5 drinks by 3pm the next day for just a chance to win. I also didn't feel that my drinks were ever that strong, but they were made well. Nightlife: It was basically dead at night. I have been on other lines that have much more activity at night. Even if the nightclubs weren't busy on the other lines, the bars were bustling. This cruise was basically lights out after midnight. Went to Skywalkers twice during the cruise and was always back in the room by 12:30. Found it weird that we didn't hear more Top 40 hits either. Played the same line dance and typical latin songs. Another passenger placed a bet with me that we would hear the Cha Cha slide in the next 15 minutes when we entered the club. I said 30. I won. Lol. Overall, This ship caters to an older demographic for sure. I am in my mid 30s, so I wouldn't recommend this cruise for any middle age couples, young couples, people with kids, girl or guy trips under the age of 60. Princess is a very nice line. I enjoyed myself regardless and made my own entertainment...lol. It just wasn't for me and my boyfriend. Every day on this cruise, we witnessed some passenger complaining about really nonsense things and we felt bad for the staff, so we would try to joke with the staff after having to put up with somebody being so rude and at times, ethnocentric. So kudos to Princess for having to put up with all the ornery folks with a sense of entitlement. To future cruisers, remember that you are on vacation and probably retired... RELAX! I knew when booking, that Princess would be a quieter ship and I was looking for serenity, but this was too quiet. I have cruised Holland America (I prefer them over Princess, albeit it can be quite older too), Carnival (too rowdy... I am not 20 something anymore) and Norwegian (so far I think they might be for me) before Princess and I am just figuring out where a 30 something like me would fit in. I still have to try RC and Celebrity. I would only cruise Princess again just because I got the Fare Credit for this particular cruise, but I don't think I will seek out a new cruise after that until I join AARP.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We just returned from a very relaxing 5 night cruise aboard the beautiful Ruby Princess. This was our 13th cruise on Princess and 42nd overall. We are a retired couple (68 and 78), currently living in Palm City FL. It was a last minute ... Read More
We just returned from a very relaxing 5 night cruise aboard the beautiful Ruby Princess. This was our 13th cruise on Princess and 42nd overall. We are a retired couple (68 and 78), currently living in Palm City FL. It was a last minute decision to go and we are so glad we did. We had never gone for just 5 nights and it worked out very well. We are about 90 minutes away from the port and left home about 10:30am on Saturday, the 18th of Jan. We park at the ParkNFly lot and they shuttle us to the port. It is an excellent place to park and much less than parking at Port Everglades. Board was very quick and we were on the ship and in our cabin by noon. We had booked an inside guarantee and I was a bit leery of the location we were given. It was perhaps the quietest cabin we have ever had. We were assigned cabin A748 - completely aft on Aloha deck. It was close to the aft elevators and very quiet. There is more than adequate storage in an inside cabin for a 5 night stay. We tried to pack lighter than normal and it worked well. The itinerary was Cozumel and Grand Cayman - the remainder being sea days. When we left Port Everglades, it was a bit chilly, however we had really nice warm weather on the cruise. On the five night cruises, there is one formal night and they do have Captains Club parties. Since we have been to the ports of call many times, we did not get off the ship. We enjoy the days in port when everyone else gets off and we have the ship almost to ourselves. Grand Cayman is a port with tendering - so be aware of that. We ate all our meals in the main dining room (we chose the DaVinci) whenever possible. On port days, there is no lunch in the dining rooms. The food was excellent. We also enjoyed numerous treats in the International Cafe in the Piazza. Salads, sandwiches, soups, quiche, and lovely sweets as well as specialty coffees. I had a coffee card left over from our last Ruby cruise so we used that for our lattes. The food is gratis, the coffees and gelato are a small fee. We did enjoy one lunch from the grill and pizzaria on a port day. Also very good. The time went quickly, we met lots of great people and had wonderful service everywhere on the ship. Disembarkation was easy and fast as always - we were off the ship by 8:30am and home by 11:30am. I would recommend the four and five day cruises to anyone wanting a lovely, relaxing time. The passenger mix on this cruise was decidedly older, very few children on board. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at melkaz1758@gmail.com. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Left on a 5 day Princess cruise onboard Ruby from Ft Lauderdale. Reason I went was because of the promotion they are having for a free cruise since I am booked with them on a 7day cruise to Alaska in May of this year. We had sailed on ... Read More
Left on a 5 day Princess cruise onboard Ruby from Ft Lauderdale. Reason I went was because of the promotion they are having for a free cruise since I am booked with them on a 7day cruise to Alaska in May of this year. We had sailed on princess once before and had loved it. We especially like their movies under the stars venue. Embarkation was pretty fast, we arrived at terminal at 2:30 pm so most of the crowds had gotten on ship already. Pros: Nice ship, had 5 pools which I liked, and also the ports of call. Room steward was good, room very clean except for the carpet, showed wear but clean. Rooms nice in size and so was balcony. Cons: very small showers, smallest Ive ever seen and we have been on alot of cruises with all the diff cruise lines. A large person def would not fit in there. Food was average in the Lido Deck but very good at their 2 restaurants. Never went to the pay restaurants. I noticed on this cruise that we had a hard time/language barrier with most of the crew. Most of them did not understand us. Also some of the crew not very friendly/serviceable like in other cruises we have taken. One major con: The itinarry was changed and we were not informed. When I asked the front desk about it, they said they could chg itinarry if need be but did not give us reason why. If I had booked a private tour on cozumel like I wanted to it would have royally messed me up since we were suppose to be there on tuesday and arrived there monday. I usually book all my tours through independent and not the cruise lines, thank heavens they were all sold out for the tour I wanted to take. We originally were suppose to have been in cayman on monday and cozumel on tuesday. We were in cozumel on monday and in cayman on tuesday; also the hours on the islands was cut short. I have been on alot of cruises and never has the itinarry change. Weather was great(not a factor) and seas were smooth. If you visit Cayman you must do the stingray/beach tour which is awesome and the highlight. Book thru independent and save money. In cozumel we booked the Salsa and Salsa tour which was great. I was surprised to find out that this tour is only offered thru the cruise line (nobody had mention this). I love Princess' under the Stars theatre. We got to watch the Playoffs all day sunday while in the pool and got to see many movies/concerts under the stars. They give you blankets, popcorn, cookies, love it. Didnt get to see most of the shows because we hung out mainly in the casino, but the comedian was good. All in all it was a great cruise and I would def recommend Princess and the Ruby.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We had a great time on the Princess Alaska cruise so we decided to take a relaxing winter break on the Ruby Princess to Grand Turk and Princess Cay. It was not good. The dining service was the worst I've ever had on vacation. We did ... Read More
We had a great time on the Princess Alaska cruise so we decided to take a relaxing winter break on the Ruby Princess to Grand Turk and Princess Cay. It was not good. The dining service was the worst I've ever had on vacation. We did "Anytime Dining" or as Princess says "the flexibility to dine when and with who you choose." What a lie. The first night we had to wait in line about 40 minutes to get a pager to wait another 80 minutes to get a table. The maitre'd basically pointed to a table across the room by a service door and said "there" - real consummate host greeting. Service was not terrible but nothing great - food was mediocre and barely lukewarm. People told us that it was just a first night problem. Next night the wait was "only" about an hour wait to get a table - next to a busy waiter station. Again lukewarm food. So we called to see if we could get a reservation and were told just to come around 8 - there would be no problem. So about 745 we went to the second "Anytime" dining place to see if that was better. Not much better. When I asked the maitre'd how long we might be expected to wait - the answer was a rather caustic "when the other guests finish eating"...another consummate host. As a reward for asking, when we did get a table it was basically in a waiters station. I could count the silverware every time he opened a drawer. Even the server kept apologizing for the table's location and noise. One night, after a wait a group of us were marched from one end of the ship to the other to use vacant tables in the fixed dining room.  On the plus side service there was good and the food was hot. After the second night I wrote a comment and complaint and dropped it at the front desk - no answer or acknowledgement. The delays in dining fouled up the evening schedule. The ship was crowded and we missed shows because we choose to dine rather than use the buffet. Princess anytime dining was a disaster that put a cloud over every evening. The planning for disembarkation was also an experience. I filled out the form requesting luggage assistance and disembarkation at 930. When I got my assignment from Princess it was walk off at 730. So I went to the Front Desk to get it changed. After being told I had gotten when I requested (which was untrue) the staff told me that would get it changed in the morning and see that I get luggage tags. Never happened (so maybe Princess was discretely acknowledging my earlier complaint) . So the following evening I had to go through the process again and stood there until I got luggage tags. My wife told me that the activities were also jammed with the ship's staff commenting on how crowded it was and that they did not expect the turnouts for activities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Jan. 23-27, 2014  by Mary & Vincent Finelli Five years ago we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on the beautiful Ruby Princess. We remembered well the wonderful time we had then and we decided to book a cruise for our 45th ... Read More
Jan. 23-27, 2014  by Mary & Vincent Finelli Five years ago we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on the beautiful Ruby Princess. We remembered well the wonderful time we had then and we decided to book a cruise for our 45th anniversary on this ship. However, this was a four day cruise, not a seven day like the other one. We would have booked a back-to-back cruise, but a wheelchair accessible cabin similar to the one we had on the first leg was not available at booking time. We had a short cruise, but still a memorable one, thanks to several old friends we found aboard. EMBARKATION This ship still departs from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, where we often find slow moving lines at the security gates. This time was one of the slowest moving traffic, at least for our lane, it took about 30 minutes to clear the gates. Once through the security gates, we dropped the luggage curbside at the pier and proceeded to priority check-in which went smoothly and fast with assistance to our cabin in less than 10 minutes. The only problem entering the ship was the unnecessarily steep gangway, where both Mary’s motorized wheelchair and Vincent’s scooter got stuck and we needed help from the crew. SHIP Ruby Princess is little more than five years old, since her inaugural cruise was on November 8, 2008. Our first cruise on her was in January 23, 2009, during her inaugural season in the Caribbean. She still looks immaculate as she did on our first cruise. The last time she was inspected by the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program she scored 100 points. Evidently, Commodore Giuseppe Romano runs a tight ship as did Captain Tony Draper, who commanded her in 2009. Other information on the Ruby has been reported extensively in our review published on this web site in Jan./Feb. 2009, so we refer the reader for the deck-by-deck description to the earlier review. CABIN Our cabin, Riviera deck #14302 is a wheelchair accessible cabin, similar to the one we had five years ago, on the Baja deck #11301. For the description of the cabin we refer the reader to the earlier review. Our steward Calixto was very efficient and prompt in assisting us in every thing, even to opening our cabin door whenever he saw us approaching. However, we had asked him for a chaise lounge on the balcony, but he was told by his boss, the Head Housekeeper, that there was none available. This was our first time on a Princess ship that Vincent could not enjoy the many hours lounging on the spacious balcony. Maybe, during the next cruise on a Princess ship we’ll find a more understanding Head Housekeeper, who will satisfy a passenger with limited mobility like Vincent, thus letting him spend comfortable time on the balcony. SERVICE & FOOD For us the aspects that have a major attraction to the Princess Cruises are the excellent service and high quality cuisine, especially for the Italian dishes, which we select every time we come aboard. On this cruise we found our old friends, Maitre d’ Nicola Furlan and the Head Waiter Franceso Memeo. We were originally assigned for the evening dinner to the Botticelli Restaurant which is located all the way aft on deck 6. Knowing the ship’s deck plan, we preferred a centrally located restaurant, either the Michelangelo or the Da Vinci, deck 5 or 6, respectively. No problem! In the afternoon we met our friend Maitre d’ Nicola who assigned us an easily accessible table (for us on wheelchair and scooter) in the Michelangelo. He also told us that our friend Francesco was in charge in the Michelangelo. Thank you, Nicola and Francesco for the VIP treatment you gave us. Needless to say, the service at that table was excellent, thanks to the waiters Charlie and Victoria. Most of the Executive Chefs on Princess ships are Italians and that explains the quasi gourmet quality of all the Italian dishes, which the Italian born Vincent appreciated, since they are prepared with original ingredients made in Italy and not imitations (e.g., if the recipe requires Parmigiano or Grana they use the Parmigiano Reggiano or the Grana Padano but not the generic parmisan or some other substitutes which will never match the taste of the genuine product). We remember that the Executive Chef on the first cruise on the Ruby was Manlio Cuzzolin and on this cruise we met Executive Chef Paolo Merio: Both great chefs, who keep up the high quality standard of Princess. We usually order our breakfast from the room service menu: Juices, such as orange, grapefruit, apple and prune; coffee, hot chocolate, tea and milk; fruit like half grapefruit or melon; pastries including croissants and Danish; marvelous strawberry, orange and apricot marmalade; and finally an English muffin sandwich with egg, Canadian ham and cheese. Vincent even got his lactose-free milk. As Elite members of the Princess Captain Circle we were served in our cabin every afternoon at 3:45pm a formal English High Tea: The butler sets the table with a linen cloth and serves it. Mary felt like a queen! Mary’s favorite tea was the Earl Gray Black with Bergamot. Excellent! At sea days lunch was served in the Da Vinci dining room or as a buffet at the Horizon Court, Pizzeria, Trident Grill and Cafe’ Caribe. We always prefer to eat in the dining room, where we have enjoyed some delicious dishes such as the English mixed grill with diverse cuts of meat including lamb, pork and veal, and fritto misto (fried calamari, shrimp, cod, etc.). In addition, there were soups and salads and delicious pasta dishes. We had dinner at the Michelangelo Restaurant every night at 6:00. The menus were long and varied with several always available dishes such as the shrimp cocktail and our favorite “Fettuccine Alfredo” served in a roasted Parmigiano bowl, simply exquisite! Other favorite dishes to us were the following ones. Appetizers: Spring Rolls, Beef Carpaccio, Prosciutto di Parma and Melone, etc.; Pasta dishes: Four cheeses rigatoni, potato gnocchi, Farfalle a la Rustica, Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, etc...; Main Courses: Gamberi alla Fra Diavolo and Prime rib roast cooked to perfection; Desserts: Delicious gelati and sorbet, cream puffs, creme brulee and tiramisu. On our anniversary dinner, Head Waiter Tiziano and the waiters Charlie and Victoria brought us a small but very delicious chocolate cake that Mary referred to a “death by chocolate”. ENTERTAINMENT Various performances, events and activities went on throughout the day at different venues from the Piazza to the Princess Theater, the Explorer Lounge and the Lido Deck, where were shown several times a day Movies Under the Stars and other activities. Vincent enjoyed the Piano Melodies performed in the Piazza throughout the cruise by Jan Gulbicki. Among the shows offered in the theater we saw “Magical Showtime” performed by the illusionist Landon Swank. There is plenty to do for every passenger, just read the Princess Platter and choose among the many events at different venues. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Ft. Lauderdale, FL Sail Away 5:00 p.m. Day 2. At Sea Day 3. Cozumel, Mexico Arrival 8:00 a.m. Depart 6:00 p.m. Day 4. At Sea Day 5. Ft. Lauderdale, FL Debarkation 8:00 a.m. DEBARKATION We had a nice breakfast in the Botticelli dining room and by 8:00 a.m. we were back in our cabin waiting for assistance. In addition to the wheelchair and scooter we have a walker which we use in the cabin. We went to the Casino, deck 6 where all passengers in need of wheelchair assistance wait until their numbers/colors are called. At around 8:30 our number was called and we proceeded with the assistant to the gangway. Here we had the same problem as when we embarked, both Vincent’s scooter and Mary’s wheelchair got stuck on the unnecessarily steep gangway. This time was worse, since the right pedal of Mary’s wheelchair touched the side of the gangway and broke off. She had to go all the way through customs with one pedal only. At least we were at the end of our cruise, so it was not too bad. CONCLUSION This was our 19th cruise on Princess ships, although a short one, it has been a very pleasurable one. We enjoyed our “Dolce far niente” (Sweet do nothing), since our time on the ship now is mainly spent in relaxation. Rarely, do we go down in the ports of call since we prefer to enjoy the ship by visiting the various areas, especially on port days, when most of the passengers go out. The Ruby is wheelchair friendly, with smooth thresholds and lots of automatic door openers throughout the ship, thus we were able to easily access every areas, from the Promenade to the Lido, from the Piazza to the theater, etc.... However, the most difficult aspect was to opening our cabin door, since it does not have an automatic opener and we are both operating our vehicles. Many times we were lucky to have our steward in the corridor who ran to help us, other times some passengers helped by holding the door open. The other problem is the gangway, which we have described above in this review. However, we believe the gangway can be easily modified by eliminating the sharp angles and flattening the walking plane. We have cited this problem before, but without any response. Next cruise will be on the Norwegian Epic, Feb. 9; after that we have booked one on the MSC Divina. March 15th, with our grandchildren Nicolas and Marcello. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We just completed a 4 and 5 day cruise on the Ruby Princess. Princess offered a really good deal and many people were doing multiple back to back cruises. I will tell the good and bad for each cruise. Unfortunately Princess made several ... Read More
We just completed a 4 and 5 day cruise on the Ruby Princess. Princess offered a really good deal and many people were doing multiple back to back cruises. I will tell the good and bad for each cruise. Unfortunately Princess made several very aggravating errors at the beginning of each cruise and these spoiled the mood. You know the expression “never fool with someone else’s money”, well Princess really made some major missteps on each cruise. The first cruise was a 4 day cruise, they could find no record of our shareholder credit and also lost our vouchers for the ”Crown Grill” The front desk was clueless. It took 2 days of our 4 day cruise to straighten this out. Never did they apologize for their mistakes even after they were shown documentation of our credits. On the second cruise they managed to lose our coffee card, this only took one day to get corrected. When you start cruises with this aggravation it is a real downer. Our Meet and Greets went well and Princess was good enough to have their senior officers attend. Nice job to the organizers of both Meet and Greets. Our Gift Exchange went very well. The handsome gentleman who ran it had a great sense of humor. Princess did charge us $10 for the use of a microphone at the event. Really Princess this is a bit petty, charging for a microphone at an event for Cruise Critic. Let me discuss some positives: The entertainment production shows were outstanding, especially the show”Once Upon a Dream”. This was one of the best and most interesting shows I have ever seen at sea. The Deputy Cruise Director, Frenchy, was charming and Chris and Kat from the Cruise Directors staff were also very good. The comedian, Miguel Washington was very funny and did a clean and perceptive show. Unfortunately the Cruise Director, Lee Childers, was not around much, only saw him at the evening shows. Other CD’s are usually all over the ship. Our cabin was nice. I was worried as we were directly under the Lido deck. However we never heard any noise from above. Our room stewards were good and kept our room clean and tidy. Food was good to very good. The french onion soup was a treat and the filet mignon was outstanding. Here is a tip, if you like ice cream sundaes and banana splits, order the “Volcano”. It is on the children’s menu but even us adults can order it. Ice tea was rarely refilled without being asked, also waiters really should take the women’s orders first. Princess does not seem to train their waiters to do this. The Muster drills were well done. Some cruise lines have you stand outside on the deck, Princess drills were much better as they were in public rooms and you could sit down, remember some cruisers have physical ailments that make standing for any length of time difficult or impossible. I do need to mention about the lack of Purell dispensers at the entrance of the main sit down restaurants. Also the soap dispensers in the restrooms were either empty or near empty. All in all we had a good time, had we not had the hassles at the beginning of each it would have been a whole lot better.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We booked this cruise because of the buy 1 get 1 promotion. Found out later that the get 1 had to be a seven day. Not thrilled over this but what can you do. I just hope the Regal Princess is better - sure it will be. That said, I mostly ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the buy 1 get 1 promotion. Found out later that the get 1 had to be a seven day. Not thrilled over this but what can you do. I just hope the Regal Princess is better - sure it will be. That said, I mostly had a great time on the Ruby. An amazing group of people at dinner - we really hit it off all together - more than any other ship I've ever been on. That was the highlight for sure. So much easier in point form so will continue in this: 1) I agree with others - so many of the other passengers were much older than what we were used to - a demographic cross-section of society it is not! Mostly domestic US passengers, many in a higher income bracket who you would find out were in suites, on back-to-back cruises, etc. Too many sales and art auctions and not enough activities. 2) I liked the Movies of the Stars - nice concept, amazing screen resolution, but cold on chilly nights. Movies could have been better. We never made it through a entire movie. Usually hard to find a seat. 2) Good comedian on the one night. Other than that, the entertainment was notable by the lack. Some game and other shows I wanted to see were 1 session during our late dining. That meant missing them altogether. Most of our evenings were spent trying to find something to do or sitting in the middle of the casino by ourselves for hours and hours. we got to know a lot of people and would hang out, but sometimes you want something more! 3) Third point - extremely limited smoking facilities, spread out all over the ship and put in places where you would stick out more rather than less. It was weird. 4) Complicated ship layout - you would have to often go up, across and then down to get to where you wanted to go, back dining room, etc. 5) Nice champagne fountain, party. Nice British Pub Lunch. Very crowded though. 6) No towel animals 7) Room stewards hit or miss - I don't think ours liked us - he told me I got him into trouble - long story but it was an honest mistake but the guilt making he did was not fun. Nice closet space in room. 8) Percentage of friendly staff less than on other ships in my opinion. The ones who were nice were very nice, but few and far between. Ana in Intl Cafe, John in Casino Bar, etc. 9) Please do a drink package! And get better coffee! 10) But oh, entertainment needs to improve. So boring at night!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Embarkation was tremendously slow due to continued "computer glitches." There were not many people in line, but our guy simply struggled to get the information into the system that allows us to get on our way - nt a huge deal, ... Read More
Embarkation was tremendously slow due to continued "computer glitches." There were not many people in line, but our guy simply struggled to get the information into the system that allows us to get on our way - nt a huge deal, but we stood at the counter for 20 minutes. We were excited that "anytime dining" was offered. I don't know if this is new to Princess, but they had no clue how to do it. Some dining rooms allowed "anytime" while others were half "anytime" and half reservation & yet another was only "anytime." This was not communicated to the passengers & there were long waits at ALL dining rooms the first night of the cruise. I expected the food to be on par with Celebrity or Norwegian, but it was not even close. Even the specialty steak house (Crown Grill) was disappointing as my tough, fatty ribeye steak tasted more like bad prime rib - I sent it back. The remaining nights, we simply ate in the cafeteria as the food & service was better than what we found in the dining rooms. There is a lot to like about the Ruby Princess. The ship is relatively easy to navigate & it has an elegant design. Our room steward was great & our room was kept clean & stocked with towels. Our bed, however, was as hard as the pool deck. Extra pilows & Nyquil allowed a little rest, but the mattress was not comfortable whatsoever. The entertainment was mixed. The highlight was a magician who was featured on Americas Got Talent. The comedian was good, not great. The singers & dancers had 1 very good show & 1 not so good. The theater was not slanted enough - so if someone sat in front of you, it was difficult to see. If you sat too close, you could not see because the stage is unusually high. There was not much going on outside of the shows. This is the 5th different cruise line we've sailed with & there were not as many scheduled activities as we're accustomed to on the other ships. If there was an event, the common areas on the ship were to small to handle a large number of people - so we either left, or tried to find an area where we could see what was going on. We traveled with friends & we enjoyed ourselves due to the company. But, this is not a cruise line we would select for future travels. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
My husband and I took a 5 day, 4 night cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. We have cruised before with Princess, and we were not disappointed by the friendly and helpful crew. We were upgraded twice and ended up with a balcony, which was lovely. ... Read More
My husband and I took a 5 day, 4 night cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. We have cruised before with Princess, and we were not disappointed by the friendly and helpful crew. We were upgraded twice and ended up with a balcony, which was lovely. The room was a little larger than the interior rooms we usually travel in and the balcony was ample enough for the two of us to enjoy. Our excursion when we arrived in Cozumel was to Playa del Carmen and the Tulum Mayan ruins. We had to take a 30 minute ferry on very choppy waters where several of the passengers got sick. Once we arrived on Playa del Carmen, we had a 45 minute bus ride to Tulum. Our tour guide, Juan, was the best guide we have ever had. Very informative and you could tell that he really loved telling us about his culture (he is part Mayan!). Unfortunately, the weather was rather chilly and windy and half way through our visit to the ruins, it started to rain. There are no places of refuge to get out of the rain, no bathrooms, nothing, just the amazing Mayan ruins city. I just wish we had more time to spend there but because traffic was really bad coming and going, we had little time to stroll the grounds. Because there were at least 4 buses that had to get back to the ferry, and the traffic was really bad (it took us 2 hours to get back to the ferry), our captain did not take off until we were all on board again. We had the early sitting in the Da Vinci dining room, and the meals, as always, were delicious and ample. We also went to the early showings at the Princess Theatre and the shows were wonderful.... We also enjoyed all the different trivial games that they had on board during the cruise. We will definitely cruise again with Princess because they know how to treat you right.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Just returned from a very nice 4 day "sampler" to Grand Cayman. Princess came up with a great idea to have a bunch of 4 day cruises on a nice ship...we usually cruise Celebrity or RCL but the RCL 3 or 4 Days are typically on the ... Read More
Just returned from a very nice 4 day "sampler" to Grand Cayman. Princess came up with a great idea to have a bunch of 4 day cruises on a nice ship...we usually cruise Celebrity or RCL but the RCL 3 or 4 Days are typically on the older ships. First of all we were in an oceanview on the Lido Deck L102....it was a great deal and the last one left up in the front. I would recommend the cabin....the others up front may be better but L102 is fine. The view is of the deck above the bridge looking out the front....lots of light but you cant see down to the water but can look out front to the horizon and sky. Lots of closet space, no side chair but not a problem...the bed is against the wall...facing the desk and TV...very comfy. Lido deck is where the pools and buffet is so very easy. Here are a few observations and hints. In the spa and work out area are mens and womens sauna and steam rooms...no additional cost...great showers...wonderful place to relax before dinner. The aft pool and lounges is a great place...adults only, very nice service and bar, tables, close to buffet, quiet...and a large hot tube two decks up that overlooks the pool....no one knows about it so quiet and private. We ate at both specialty dining....we liked Sabatinis the best....Crown grill was OK but the Host was a sour puss...we had a reservation and were dressed up....when we got there other guests who had no reservations were being seated in the main dining area, we were shown a table right on the glass in the front right where everyone walks by....on display. I politely told the host the table woundnt work and he proceeded to tell me how we wouldn't be served in a timely way if we sat elsewhere....I let him know I didn't care, we had reservations and I expected to have a steak house experience if I was paying a cover charge...it worked out but a hassle I have never had on the 25 other cruises I have taken. For some reason a Hendricks martini is a dollar cheaper in the Explorers lounge than the Crooners...go figure. Dining room food was fine...we ordered a bottle of wine both nights but had to ask for proper red wine glasses...they have some small cheap wine glasses on the tables and unless you ask they wont bring the better ones.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Day 1. Embarkment went like this. we arrived the day of departure. We took a taxi from the airport, it cost us $15 to the port. Once we arrived to the port we were in a line outside and received a number for when we got inside. Once inside ... Read More
Day 1. Embarkment went like this. we arrived the day of departure. We took a taxi from the airport, it cost us $15 to the port. Once we arrived to the port we were in a line outside and received a number for when we got inside. Once inside we checked in, pretty easy at 11:00 in the morning. When we were getting on the boat at noon, the line was ridiculously long. Glad we came early. Once we entered the boat they took our picture with a iPhone type of camera and the line moved quickly. We went to our room and one of our bags were there already. The other came later. After watching the boat pull off we had lunch and they had real food. Mash potatoes with real beef...you do get what you pay for. After lunch we toured the boat and seen all the rooms on the boat. We ended up in our room and took a nap that lasted all night. Oh well... Day 2. Woke up early and went for breakfast and it was pretty good. Fresh everything. After breakfast we prepared to leave for princess cay island. Once we got off the tender we were right on the private island. There are no taxi, no real excursions, just some water sports. I ended up going snorkeling while my fussy wife stayed on the beach and caught some sun. After that we walked the strip that they have and seen the bungalows that are for rent. Waste of money if you ask me. We tendered back to the ship and had a late lunch. Afterwards we prepared for dinner and went to the dinning room. The dinner food wasn't the best. Nothing I wanted to eat. They sang happy birthday to us and then we went to the lounge to witness the game show the quest. It was nice but we didn't participate just watched. Afterwards went to the club and it was Latin night so it wasn't for us. It's late and we went to bed...nite nite Day 3. At sea day...woke up late again and missed the first time cruising on princess gala. Breakfast was good again, we had fresh omelets and sliced ham that was warm. The oatmeal is made to perfection. After breakfast we walked around the boat and noticed in one of the dining rooms they were having a $10 shopping spree. We ended up purchasing a sun hat... We went to the Internet cafe and tried to log on and it was taking to long and we were using pay as you go. .79 per minute is costly! (Get the plan). We checked out our next cruise and decided on going on a Mediterranean cruise next. We noticed the international cafe which has sandwiches and cakes to dine on. We tried the shortcake And cheesecake, both were good. While walking around we went outside and they were having a water sport game between two teams. It was funny and kept our attention. We then played miniature golf and had lunch, which was hot and good. After lunch they had on the pool deck another game and this one was a bartender game, so we joined and made drinks to see which one was better and I lost!! It was fun though... This is formal night so we dressed up in gown and suit. We took pictures on the steps. Went to dinner and it still isn't as inviting as we want. Might just try the buffet the next night. Day 4 St. Martin was out stop for the day breakfast was the same. Omelette's and pastry were for breakfast. We walked off the boat to the small Pier then took the water taxi to the main town. $7 round trip per person was the fair. The guys on the water taxi sell beer and water for a good price. Beer $2 and water $1. Once on shore we are approached by several people who try to get you to take a tour of the island. We declined and went right to the beach in front of the church. 2 chairs and umbrella and a bucket of beer was $20. The water was cold but we got in anyway...we're on vacation! They have Segway tours right on the main strip and other activities that you can do. The main focus though is the shopping. All the different jewelers and clothes stores are on the main strip. After shopping for a couple of hours we headed back to the ship on the last water taxi and just made it in time. That evening dinner was in the horizon court because we didn't want to get dressed for the Dining room. Afterwards they had a deck party and we danced at the party until it rained. because of the rain, we went to the club. After that we went to sleep. Day 5 St. Thomas was the port of call and when we woke up we were in port already and we had breakfast and prepared for our snorkel day!!! We departed the boat and jumped in a taxi that cost $10 per person. We went to Coki beach and brought a chair for $5 and I went in the water put my snorkel gear on and told my wife...later!! I was out in the ocean the rest of the day. Took plenty of pictures with my underwater camera. Since its an early day we had to be back by 3pm. Once back on the boat we showered and prepared for dinner. We didn't like the menu for the dinning room so to the horizon court again. We were worn out so we rested and went to sleep. Day 6 Grand Turk was our next port and when we woke up we had until 1pm before we docked. So after breakfast we watched a fashion show and packed for our day. Once off the boat we learned that everything is in port, the shops the beach and all the activities. We wanted to go to governors beach and learned it was about 10 minute walk. So we took the hike and the beach was quiet. Not many people and it wasn't too hot. We brought a $10 chair and I went to see where the fish were so I can snorkel. Not many fish at all!! Bummer. After walking back to port we went to margarita-ville for drinks. After two drinks and a burger and onion rings, the bill was $71!! Geez...a plus was finding out that they had a free hot-spot in front of the smoothie store. i was wondering why everyone was sitting outside the store I found out!!...later after our nap we had dinner and watched a game show then went to bed. Day 7 Last day on board and its a day at sea. Not much going on so we had breakfast brought our pictures and just relaxed for the day. Later we went to dinner and got stuck in the elevator again, and ended up walking up 7 floors. After a good dinner we went to the magic show which was pretty good. He had nice tricks that made you go hmmmm? After the magic show we seen the comedian who wasn't my cup of tea. His jokes were for an "older" crowd. After that was the final show with the crew as entertainment. One lady really sounded professional...now it's time to pack. Well that is my ruby trip...it was a perfect vacation. Being in my early 40's it was relaxing and the service and food was fantastic. Thx Ruby Princess! Disembarkment we decided to get off early due to our plane schedule so we had to be off by 7am. That didn't happen. The machine that scans your picture was broke so we had to wait. Once it was fixed, 20muns later we left the ship. We then jumped in a taxi and headed to the airport. Say bye to the ruby and head back to the cold weather! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Princess Ruby Review This cruise started off fine in Fort Lauderdale, as we went to Lester's diner, a Christmas Boat parade, and Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor. This was the beginning of a very long week I'm afraid. DAY ... Read More
Princess Ruby Review This cruise started off fine in Fort Lauderdale, as we went to Lester's diner, a Christmas Boat parade, and Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor. This was the beginning of a very long week I'm afraid. DAY 1 EMBARKATION DAY... left the hotel at 10:30 and arrived at the terminal by 11:00. We sat un till 11:45 as they we still disembarking the previous guests. Got our sign and sail cards, walked past the photographers and were aboard at 12:10. We were told our room was ready, so off we went.. This started the problems. This was supposed to be a handicapped room.. Well needless to say 2 twin beds not put together and no 3rd bed in sight. Called the stateroom attendant who told me he was at lunch till noon. (Strike 1), okay on to Purser's desk.. no luck there as the entire ship is filled. Got a rollaway, we walked around, took pictures and had some lunch. Food is typical. Arrived back to unpack the suitcases and decorate our door. Muster drill, meeting up with friends and then to dinner. Food really good, service a little slow, but it's the first night. Back to room before the show.. Stateroom attendant told me I had to speak to his supervisor as my door decoration had to come down. This is a 12 x12 scrapbook paper that says "are we there yet"? With our itinerary on it. Well, according to Princess this is a "safety issue" Talked to the supervisor who still didn't give me an answer as to how a piece of paper is a safety/security issue so off to the purser's desk again.. Asked to speak to the Hotel Manager.. NOPE..(strike 2). Told them how can a piece of paper be of concern, when the rollaway is a fire hazard, blocking the door to the balcony that we paid for? "Sorry maam". Ok, so off to see a lame comedian and to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day at Princess Cay.. But after this.. It'll be Royal all the way. Day 2.. No Princess Cay The captain announced about 7 am that there was no way we could be tendered into princess Cay, so it was our first of 3 sea days. There wasn't a whole lot to do, but I spent the day reading a good book and watching "MUTS".. Movies under the stars. The food has improved and it's typical, but in the Horizon Court (aka windjammer} we had Matzo Ball soup. There were a lot of odd things like smoked eel, and other odd fish. For dinner I had spaghetti and meatballs, as there is a lot of shellfish on the menu. Dining room waiter is Laura and assistant is Jeff. Don't see much of him at all. As for our stateroom attendant.. We never see him, and it's a really good thing as I would have a few not polite words to share with him about good customer service. We went to the production show "Stardust" which again was typical. We were told to see this singer in the Crooners Lounge named Bert Stratton. This man has made the evening complete. We went at 9:15and back again at 11:15, a great combination of singing and comedy. Tomorrow's another day. Day 3.. 2nd sea day We are up and dressed and ready to go to a presentation about the Captain's circle. Similar to the RCCL program, and we will see if our Carnival points convert. Rainy day, kind of cold, so it's day to read a good book. Formal day was great as mort people dressed up, plus they had a champagne waterfall which was really neat, but everything good seems to happen in the Piazza about 7pm which is right in the middle of 1st seat dining. After that it was on to watch Bert Stratton and then bed as tomorrow if St. Maarten. DAY 4, St. Maartin We arrived in St Maartin very early and disembarked by 7:30am. Nothing was open, but we got our pictures and spent the morning back on ship. Our tour was of the island with a beach break at Orient beach. We toured both the Dutch and French sides with our tour guide "Jimmy" who was very informative and warned us of placed that we should not go to for our safety. Orient Beach is a "clothing optional "beach, but we were not taken to that part of it. Disappointed to find out that the beach is in the Atlantic Ocean and NOT the Caribbean. Back on ship at 5:30 and time to get ready for dinner and then the Magician. Spent the night again listening to Bert Stratton and then off to bed. DAY 5 St Thomas The day started off cool and rainy, but that didn't last long, and then it was off for a tour of the island, with stopping for a picture stop at Drakes landing and overlook to Maegan's Bay. We had a 2 hour stop at the Bay for swimming and we found 2 Iguana's. We took the tour of Blackbeard's Castle and then shopping in downtown for 2 hours. Since I had nothing I really wanted to buy, this was a really boring 2 hours to wait for our water taxi. Back on ship for formal night, and then an early bed night since we were all exhausted. This was the New Years Eve party night, but did not go. DAY 6 Grand Turk We spent most of the morning taking last minute pictures of the ship as we didn't arrive in Grand Turk until 1PM. We did a tour of the island which was very informative, and then toured the small shops at the pier and Margaretville. The beach is right at the ship and is beautiful, but the beach into the water is extremely soft and you sink with no real feel to the bottom. We decided to go back to the ship and spent time in the pool. We waited for pool games which never happened due to "lack of participation" One of the things about this cruise is the lack of interest in the Cruise Director. We have only seen her on the first day, but the Deputy C.D. Tim is out there sometimes. We went and saw the comedienne and the Bert Stratton again. Tomorrow is a sea day and packing for home. DAY 7.. Sea Day COLD!! Not the weather that I like, so we will see. Did the galley tour, and the backstage tour. Bert Stratton at night, packed and ready to go home. Disembarkation... Never saw this, but our color was at 9:20. We waited and were off the ship at ten. Now.. You wait, get your entire luggage that you couldn't carry the night before and THEN go to customs with this entire luggage. Next time.. One carry one is good for us. All in all, the cruise was ok... Not the worst, not the best, but it was a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
November 15 - 22, 2008 Western Caribbean ruby Princess This was our first cruise with Princess, having mostly sailed with Royal Caribbean. This was our second visit to the Western Caribbean, having visited the same islands on this route on ... Read More
November 15 - 22, 2008 Western Caribbean ruby Princess This was our first cruise with Princess, having mostly sailed with Royal Caribbean. This was our second visit to the Western Caribbean, having visited the same islands on this route on a previous sailing. Our sailing was during the maiden season of the Ruby. We went out of BWI to Port Everglades 1 day before our embarkation date, which we always do. We parked at Airport FastPark. The service is excellent. They were cheaper than parking at airport, and we also used an internet coupon which saved us a little more. We took AirTran and they were so on schedule we actually left the terminal early. When we got at airport we took a cab for about $25 to downtown Ft. Lauderdale. This was for 4 travelers and 4 bags. We stayed at Riverside Hotel. They have nicer cabins, but we were in a basic room which was in a section which had not undergone renovation and wasn't well maintained. The hotel was nice overall, but it was old and not up to date in some respects. The elevators were too small and getting your luggage in and out of it was more than a chore. The parking lot was also available for public use I believe. I saw questionable characters there at times, all hours of night. What was nice is a smoking veranda. Port Everglades is very industrial and less modernized than Port of Miami. Rudimentary in operations, and far less staff. He had to make number slips for us for handicapped check-in by ripping up a piece of paper and writing out a number for us. Waiting around seemed longer. What we didn't like is porters "reminded" us about a tip. I thought this was in poor taste. Check-in was pretty smooth overall, not as efficient as Miami but pretty trouble-free nonetheless. SHIP We thought the ship was just lovely. Steve my boyfriend remarked that he enjoyed the layout much better compared to the open floor plan of Royal Caribbean. He said that you have to walk around more to explore the ship, which is sort of true because things are clustered about rather than bundled into one location. This reduced traffic and gave more intimate areas. The piazza is grand. The International Cafe always offered something new, which is a treat compared to the cookies and crap that are always served on RCL. Gelato was good and low-priced. We took advantage of the pizza and ice cream bar up on the top deck. We never got to go to the Sanctuary. We loved the Terrace Pool. Adagio and Sabatinis along with their Terrace Bar and all centered in this area at the back of the ship, making it a private and nice area for adults. Several little pools and whirlpools for private enjoyment up above. Movies under the Stars was great, but sound transfer could be improved. My boyfriend said if speakers were lower the acoustics would be better. It was sometimes difficult to hear over pool noises and wind, etc. The variety for MUTS was fairly good - concerts and first-run films. We saw Batman Begins which had just come out of the theatre. Very nice that they offer a warming blanket for your legs and popcorn. I loved that. My boyfriend was irritated by people reserving chairs on the pool deck, he said there was never a space unless you got out there early. We enjoyed the sandwich venue they have on the pool deck, with bratwursts and hot dogs and even veggie burgers for me! We didn't go to any of the production shows onboard, but we enjoyed various entertainment at venues throughout the ship - R&B band and pianist Ray Coussins at Adagio, etc. In the piazza there were different entertainers available at various times. Princess was friendly to smokers. There was smoking available at many different places onboard. We didn't like the cigar bar, which was poorly designed. Steve says it was much like a sports bar, and situated right next to the casino which made it very noisy and not relaxing. But it didn't really matter because there were lots of other nice nooks and places to enjoy. DINING I enjoyed the dining options onboard because I am a vegetarian and it seemed there was always plenty of options for me - all properly marked. Food was good, and portions good in the dining room. Service in the dining room was very poor. We had traditional dining, our waiter basically left us after serving the main course. He was helping set up another table and we stopped waiting for any kind of dessert or more water, etc. This was a shock. But we did get a table for ourselves. It was obvious from some other people that service was dead too because they were looking around too for their server. Pretty poor. I was surprised by saltines in their package for cheese plate, not even wheat crackers or biscuits. We never went back to the dining room. An exception to the service was from the Head Waiter, who tried very hard to have vegetarian options available for me and went through the trouble to have a special meal brought to my room, which was delicious and made me feel special. It was probably one of the best meals I had onboard. We ate upstairs for the remainder of our trip. Even on formal night, which Steve thought was pretty funny. Service in the buffet was better. They also identified dishes for vegetarians in the buffet area, unlike Royal Caribbean which only had it in the dining room. Staff not very attentive but still more available. I observed that some staff were kissing up for tips..but this was only a couple times. At dinner service seemed to be more on point than breakfast and other relaxed servings. We took part in the Princess Grapevine, an introduction to different wines. We enjoyed this and felt it was well run. Thank you Princess for having key lime pie and a strong variety in the buffet. I was rather impressed by international cuisines, with Vietnamese lettuce rolls and items that are not normally found in restaurants, more cuisine that is favored among cultural circles. For example, I ate lettuce rolls growing up as a child. But they had it. In general, I felt there were many things for me to eat even for lunch. It was a bit odd the layout for buffet areas because it was a type of circle, and you were either going outside or running in a circle, coming back to elevator. Breakfast seemed boring, hated the stewed prunes and eggs were rather runny one morning. Wished more options were available for breakfast. Lunch and dinner were always good. There was no wine package available, but they did give you juice for free even though it was concentrate. Sabatinis was a total disappointment. Our server seemed like a cool guy, but as a waiter he wasn't real good because he failed to provide enjoyable options for us or know how to respond to them. Steve ordered langoustines, which he said had no meat at all and overcooked. I pointed it out to server and they hastily put together some simple scallops to make up for the mishap. They didn't have a whole lot for me so I mostly had pasta. waiter brought out some steamed vegetables, asparagus and carrots and broccoli. Which I was practically insulted by because in an upscale restaurant you can do better than that. Both the vegetables and scallops were probably only steamed. We were not asked what we would like, we thought they would do cater to us to make evening special, but it wasn't. It is annoying enough that mere excuses are brought up for the rare vegetarian aliens and nothing acceptable can be provided by society. Just wish I didn't have to deal with it on vacation. I wasn't really escaping completely at this point. Steve was very disappointed. We were sitting around awhile, they were busy and left during our main course. Three hours and too much waiting is enough for dinner. We never went to Chops because the service was so pitiful in Sabatinis. Steve didn't leave a tip and he rarely does that, so it must have been bad. STATEROOM Layout is well-designed with closet open and bathroom tucked away and not intruding on traffic space. Bed was comfortable. We had a queen that was 2 doubles joined together, we felt a bit of a gap where the beds were joined but overall sleeping was good. They had new mattresses in and comfortable pillows. We were on BAJA deck, we didn't have a cascading balcony near the back of the ship. Balcony is a bit small but still comfortable. We took advantage of the laundry room which is a great feature. It was private and usually free. Coin-operated but that is fine. I did have a problem with the coin part where it took my money a couple times or failed to operate. Clothes took a little while to dry. Steve said television programming was good at sea, more cable channels and options. I liked the items from the Princess Spa that they had in your bathroom, it was like being at a hotel and a nice touch. SERVICE Customer service was poor in general onboard, it was noticeable. I noticed that some staff looked unhappy like they hated their job or hated us, not sure. Perhaps stressed out. On port days it was unorganized getting on/off the boat. We traveled with my boyfriend's elderly mother and her annoying friend, who uses a walker. I was annoyed by the fact that they made no accommodations for them despite their disability. We were all told to go to Princess Theatre and use the stairs, which were apparently not available. After that ordeal it would have been pretty easy to let them sit on end for handicapped seating. No. For the most part we were ignored. It was noticed by others traveling with us. Staff was fairly apathetic to others as well, aside from one lady who let us use the elevator returning to our stateroom from Jamaica. I used the spa service, for mani/pedi. Attendant didn't really talk to me or was warm. People in general were aloof and distant and sometimes rude in helping you. Someone at Terrace Pool wouldn't sell me cigarettes for another 3 minutes till place was "open" which seemed rude. Even at Guest Relations they were not very personable. The Cruise Director was pleasant and friendly, but aside from that everyone else seemed pretty muted, except for the ship photographers, who were always happy. Tips were charged to your account at the beginning of the sailing. Mostly people didn’t earn their tips aside from our room steward and some other times onboard. We took part in formal night. Steve felt that because of the “freestyle cruising” concept formal night had lost its appeal. We saw several people with t-shirts underneath their blazer, or wearing sundresses. It almost made dressing up an oxymoron. But we did see some people in black-tie attired. We felt a bit awkward next to those wearing less than business-casual though. We liked all our photos and bought most of them. Lighting was good, photos didn’t seem harsh and we liked the black-and-white photography that was offered. PRINCESS CAYS I liked Princess Cays but my boyfriend didn’t. He thought it was boring. I thought it was cute and it was the right size for me, not too big with a little strip of beach. There was plenty to do. At any rate we left the island early because of weather. We’d been docked offshore so we made an early go at it to get back on time. It was cloudy and the weather not conducive to a beach break day. Getting off the ship was pretty smooth. When we got into Port Everglade terminal our bags were all out in the middle of the floor, anyone could take them. You walk over people’s bags because staff just get them out there. This was cool. Made me feel a little better that I had a lock on mine that if someone were to take the wrong bag they can’t just steal my stuff. After all this mess we headed to our bus transfer to take us back to the airport. We had to sit there and wait for late stragglers, this was very annoying. So we left late. And the driver first off made a comment about he appreciates tips just like the porter when we originally got to Everglades. He by himself had to struggle with all the bags so we felt sorry for him and gave him tips for that. But he also inhibited people to help and get their own bags. When we got to airport he closed the doors so we had to wait the 10-15 minutes for him to get everything out. This was frustrating as all of us had planes to catch. Many people commented on this that he was doing it like we had to give him a tip and some didn’t for that reason and I don’t blame them. It was hot and very cramped on bus. Next time we’ll just grab a taxi. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
We were on the last cruise of the Ruby Princess to the Caribbean before she sailed to the Mediterranean on April 18, 2009. This is my third cruise and my husband's first. Embarkment: Very easy and painless. We did have a ... Read More
We were on the last cruise of the Ruby Princess to the Caribbean before she sailed to the Mediterranean on April 18, 2009. This is my third cruise and my husband's first. Embarkment: Very easy and painless. We did have a bottle of wine in our suitcase and security did not care. Formal Nights: Always done on the evening when we were at sea all day. Food: Stay clear of the buffet on Lido deck when you first board. It was a madhouse and people were sitting around the tables talking with empty dishes in front of them. Head out to the pool grill, pizzeria, or the international cafe. We had anytime dining and we thought the food was good. We ate in the Michelangelo dining (less crowds) and always had a table for two without waiting. The only complaint I had was the service was so slow. The servers would wait for all the tables for two would fill and then bring all our food out a one time. If you got there at 5:30 and the last table filled at 6, every table would get their entrEe at the same time. We arrived one night at 5:30 so we could watch the movie at seven. We did not get out entrEe until 6:45 and we missed the movie. I was so disappointed. The first night at dinner, we ordered a bottle of wine. We asked to have to cork the bottle for the following night. The girl kept pouring us the wine. You need to make it very clear you only want one glass of wine. The buffet's food was okay and did serve ice cream every afternoon. There are two different buffet areas and they do serve different foods on each line. The pizzeria pizza, international cafe and the grill by the pool were all very good. We did the ultimate balcony dining, which included fresh flowers and a free photo. It was well worth the $100. The ships photography came and took appx. 8 pictures. Carlos and Roger were wonderful and attentive to us. They gave us plenty of alone time and were always there when we needed them. The dinner started with canapEs and a cocktail of our choice then it proceeded to a crab pastry appetizer, salad (much too large for this many courses), lobster and steak, fresh fruit and mousse, followed by an anniversary cake and cookies, plus a bottle of champagne. Let it be known the ship will only do three ultimate balcony dinners per night unless they are on the same floor close together. We called the first day at sea and they were all booked for the night we wanted. We asked to be on the waiting list and were called the next day because someone had cancelled. I tried to book the dinner prior to boarding and I went through five different people on the phone when I was informed it had to be booked on the ship even though all the literature says to book prior to leaving on your trip. Alcohol: My husband and I enjoy margaritas. We tried them at four different bars on the ship and they were all syrupy sweet even when we asked them not to make them sweet. I did not realize they were from a pre-mix. Ask the bartender to make the drink from scratch and to put some alcohol in the glass because I did not even get a buzz from drinking a double. Laundry: I did not use them but the washers ($1.50) and dryers ($1.50) are on almost each deck. The wash soap was $1 from the dispensing machine. There was a change machine in the room but it was empty. If you plan to use the machines, it would not hurt to bring quarters so it would not be a hassle to find quarters. Stateroom: We had a minisuite on the dolphin deck. Our deck had the farthest balconies out and closest to the water, which I loved. Yes, everyone could see our balcony but I did not look up. Our steward was interesting in a bad way. He let us know from the beginning the company worked him like a machine. He worked eleven hrs a day, seven days a week. I did not want to hear complaints from the employees especially from the steward on my vacation. The steward addressed and only spoke to me. He totally ignored my husband from the first time they met. The steward only addressed my husband one time because I called the steward's attention that my husband was also present. My husband tried to initiate conversations with him. The steward was matter of fact, no happiness was in his job, and I never saw the man smile or laugh. On my way out I gave the steward an extra tip because he did do a good job. I felt he was ungrateful and snubbed my husband as we passed in the hallway to leave. There is a full TV and channels guide located in the back of the small hardback blue book in the room plus a small card to carry for all the dining options times and locations. We found this out late into the voyage. Leaving: We were in the first group to leave at 8:10 am with our luggage. We were in the dining room at 7:20 am, and were able to leave the ship at 7:30. After we cleared customs and out the door, there were two reps from Southwest available to check our luggage and give our boarding passes at the pier. Our plane was leaving at 10:35 so there was no charge to check in our luggage. It was perfect. The cab ride to the pier was $19.50 and returning to the airport was $12.50 which we shared with another couple. Activities: I was surprised at the small number of activities offered for the 3,000+ passengers. Natalie really stood out to me on the activity staff. She was fun,laughing and always having a good time with the passengers. The comic Kevin Jordan was very good. The productions in the theater will entertain you. You need to get there at least a half hour prior to the show to get a seat because the theater seats 900 people. We played putt putt golf (bring your own golf balls) and had few balls available. The adult pool is in the back of the ship and less crowded. The outdoor movie screen plays movies all day so check the Patter for listings. They do have different kind of dancing lessons as an activity. Passengers: We had many different ages and nationalities on board. I was surprised at the number of scooters and wheelchair people on board. There were a few I thought that they boarded to die out at sea. Yes, my husband and I did enjoy the cruise. It was okay but not great. We do about three major vacations per year and I would have to get a really good deal to cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
Background Information : We are partial to Princess...we went on our first cruise in 97 with Princess and had such a great experience that we never wanted to go anywhere else! Hotel Info (if any) We flew in early on Friday ... Read More
Background Information : We are partial to Princess...we went on our first cruise in 97 with Princess and had such a great experience that we never wanted to go anywhere else! Hotel Info (if any) We flew in early on Friday morning (cruise was on Saturday) and stayed at the Rodeway Inn ...cruise/port....Not a bad hotel...the room was clean, there was a pretty good restaurant in the hotel....internet access, pool...I would stay there again. It was a good bargain and we don't need much. We booked their Port to Airport transfer and that was a BAD IDEA....they contract it out...and although we waited for 25 minutes for the transfer and were the first ones waiting for the transfer (they gave us a description of the van and told us where to wait)....when the van got there....a family of 9...who had just got off the ship went running over and got to the van before us....I said something to the driver and was told we would have to wait for her to take them to the airport and come back....so we flagged a taxi and got there in 10 minutes....I would not recommend using the transfer offered by the Rodeway!!!!! Embarkation Ship Info The Ruby is beautiful. She looks great and as with most Princess Ships, she is elegant and well maintained. There are things I like better about other ships but she is still an amazing ship. Likes: The Piazza is very nice....Vines is a great addition...MUTS is so much fun...glad they are adding it to other ships... Dislikes: I still don't like the Club Fusion set up....I preferred the Vista Show Lounge..I think it is a better venue... Activities: I was not a fan of our Cruise Director. He is a good guy, but not nearly as much fun as some of the other CD's we have met. I did speak to him a couple of times....just in passing...and felt like he was a bit fake. I know others have really liked him and again he is probably a good guy...just not my taste. Along those same lines, we missed some of the activities that we really like....that they didn't not offer...one example....The music trivia games... The comedians were wonderful....we really enjoyed every show we went to. Tony Tillman : Do not miss this show!....he was FANTASTIC!!!! We had fun at Bingo...especially when Mike was calling...if you see him....tell him that it Heinz 57....not Campbell's 57....he was very, very funny! We did like that they did the champagne waterfall early in the evening as opposed to midnight...lots more people got to see it! Service I think Princess is very good at it's service. Our room stewart was not as warm and fuzzy and friendly as we have had in the past, but he did his job and handled anything we asked of him. At dinner, we were so lucky to find Francois and Danny! Table 212 in the Michelangelo Dining Room....anytime dining! Francois is the BEST! He took such great care of us... And the head Waiter...Augustus...what a great job....he was going non-stop all night making sure people got tables as quickly as possible and really keeping that dining room going strong. I have to say he was the BEST head waiter I have ever seen!!! Port & Shore Excursions Travel To Port of Embarkation : The Rodeway provided this service and it went pretty smoothly. I would use this service again. When we got to the ship at 11:25, we went to the Platinum lounge, waited about 15 minutes and were in our room by 11:50...WOW!!!! Princess does this really well!!!! Stateroom: Lido deck 305...we love the Lido deck...so much to do right at your doorstep...and we never notice a noise problem. I do bring a small fan that probably helps...but we aren't light sleepers and again, have never had a problem. We love this deck and our room was great! Dining: I already mentioned this when talking about service....Francois is the best and Augustus in a great head waiter.... Food: We enjoyed every meal. We enjoyed some of the new additions: Homestyle...like the chili....really good! The lobster meal is always good. I didn't see some of our old favs but really didn't care as there was always something that we liked. We didn't eat in the buffet very often but when we did, it was okay. Just what you would expect from a buffet type situation. We did eat breakfast here almost everyday..only one lunch...no dinners. The Crown Grill ...we thought was well worth the money. The filet I had was absolutely perfect...and the service was also very good! Entertainment: I already mentioned this....just to add on...MUTS was fun...we enjoyed Momma Mia and Maid of Honor...watched all the way through...as well as catching parts of other movies....Tony Tillman....best entertainment on the ship....and all the comedian's were very, very funny. Disembarkation : We had a 10am flight...we told them at the Purser's desk and were given the first color off the boat after the walk offs....had we not waited for the Rodeway shuttle that we booked, we would have been at the airport by 8:20...The only complaint I had was that there was line to get downstairs to the luggage. The line was for the walkoffs that need to use the elevator instead of the escalator....there was a crew member there ...organizing...and when I asked about those who did not need the elevator walking around the line, she said no and told me that our luggage was not even there yet...which we all know is a lie. Several people created a second line for those going to the escalator...and this worked well...when I walked by her, she said...see that wasn't so bad....! I have seen this lady before and she is the worst Princess employee I have ever met...she is always at the Port in Fort Lauderdale for disembarkation and embarkation..... Summary: We will be heading out on our first non-Princess Cruise this summer...only because our friends want us to come to them ...in LA... this time and this was what was available in our time and location situation. I hope we will not be disappointed. We really do love Princess and have NEVER had a bad cruise with them....that is not to say that there haven't been things we didn't like, but if it could be changed, they did their best to fix it....For the money, Princess does a wonderful job. We have booked our next Princess Cruise and will continue to use Princess whenever we can...I just wish they would expand their offerings in the spring and summer.... Our cruise was great from start to finish...beautiful weather, beautiful ship, fantastic service....I would say it exceeded our expectations....but since we love Princess and expect it to be great...it was...and always is....!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
Hotel in FLL—we got the Westin Beach Resort from Priceline. The hotel is going thru renovations but it had everything we needed and was right across the street from the beach. Service was impeccable and we had a great room on the top ... Read More
Hotel in FLL—we got the Westin Beach Resort from Priceline. The hotel is going thru renovations but it had everything we needed and was right across the street from the beach. Service was impeccable and we had a great room on the top floor facing the beach. Embarking—It was totally worth it going in the night before and showing up at the port at 11. We were on the ship before noon. The process was extremely smooth. Cabin—Rolando, our steward, was extremely engaging and very cheerful and helpful. The cabin, however, was a HORRIBLE choice. It was an inside cabin at the front of the ship on the Caribe deck. Looking at the deck plan, it appeared it should have been quite since there were cabins both above and below it. However I neglected to notice the Princess theater was three levels below. We heard everything from the theater, including dress rehearsals! There was only one night where we went to bed early where it was an issue, but now I know not to book near the theater. (FYI, this was cabin C211). The size was not an issue since it was just the two of us. Food—we opted for buffets for all meals except for two nights when we tried the Crown Grill and Sabatini's. Overall, the buffets were average. Breakfasts were better than lunch and dinner. There was always something eatable, nothing extraordinary. Of course, the pizza was amazing! The Crown Grill was decent. Better than the buffet, of course, but not memorable. Sabatini's, on the other hand was phenomenal and WAY worth the $20 charge! Our waiter, Alessandro, was hysterical and one course was better than the next...ending with espresso Crème Brule. I also discovered it was less expensive to order a mixed drink, like a Manhattan, than any of their "specialty" drinks. I also stopped by the International Cafe a few times. I am a dessert junkie and I noticed they tended to have repeats of what was in the buffet at dinner but at lunch, they had new and different treats. SanctuaryI booked for the whole cruise cause it was spring break for the younger kids and I knew it would be impossible to find a "good" chair by a pool without getting up really early. The convenience was totally worth it for me...I liked the service a lot and the pool by the spa (adult only) was usually empty. Entertainment—we went to MUTS one night and saw Last Chance Harvey. We wanted to see the Dark Night, but it was Teen Night so the area was way too crowded to find a chair. We also went to two shows. The juggler Sideshow Bert felt like watching a high school talent show. Tony Tillman, however, was very entertaining-not the typical show I would go to...but glad I did. Casino—We both lost big-time...it's a lot of fun but WAY too easy to keep taking out $$ on the cruise card. Service—most cruise staff was very friendly and helpful. The only issue I ever had was in the casino or at the bars if I asked for a tap water. I know they want to sell their bottled water but I felt like I got a slight attitude cause I was opting for the "cheap" stuff. Ocho Rios—I can see why other cruise ships do not go here anymore. You get approached by ppl as soon as you go down the gangway. Every 5 steps you are saying "no thank you" to a cab ride, hair braiding, or drugs. We only browsed the shops and then hung out in Margaritaville, which was entertaining. Cayman Islands—I did this port by myself. I had the "great" idea of trying to walk from the port to 7 Mile beach...not smart in 80 degree weather. I made it about ¾ of the way and ended up taking a bus. The beach was gorgeous and I was so glad I went. Shopping in the port was better than Jamaica, but pricier. Cozumel—This was our favorite port. We decided last minute to do the Atlantis submarine. Seeing the coral and fish was a lot of fun and it's kinda cool to say I have been in a sub. The shopping by the port was the best of the cruise and all the people we met on the island were the nicest of any of the stops. Princess Cay—I also did this port by myself. I had never snorkeled so I rented the equipment and walked to the far end of the beach (past the last cabanas) and went for swim. I saw tons and tons of fish and since there were few other ppl near me, they came right up to me. I wish I had an underwater camera cause so many of them were day-glo and amazing! Disembarking-This was very messy. We opted for "walk off" and went down at our assigned time. It was a madhouse and there wasn't anyone directing ppl where to go so although we got "in line", anyone who got off the elevator after us just moved ahead in the queue, pushing us further back. We got off in about an hour but it just was an aggravating way to end a relaxing cruise. Summary-In some ways 7 days was long with the 2 days at sea. Not that I was bored, per se, but in the evenings, if we did not do the shows, there was little for us to do other than the casino. The ship is very nice to look at and overall it was great trip. They do nickel and dime you with the charges for ice cream and the specialty restaurants. I think I will opt for a European or Alaskan cruise in the future, where the ports are of more interest rather than just relying on the ship for entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
To be entirely fair to the reader, I think you should know my general philosophy. I think people who complain about their cruise experiences are idiots. How can you be unhappy in paradise? Come on!!! With that said, I am happy to ... Read More
To be entirely fair to the reader, I think you should know my general philosophy. I think people who complain about their cruise experiences are idiots. How can you be unhappy in paradise? Come on!!! With that said, I am happy to report that I had a fabulous time on this cruise! We left Ft. Lauderdale on 4/11/09. This cruise was meant to be all about rest and relaxation. Mother and I had traveled this itinerary before, so we had no plans to go ashore. We were in Lido 242, a BA category balcony room. It was a great room, very quiet. It is just under the massage therapy rooms in the Spa, so no overhead noise whatsoever. Nice! And although it was not far from two pools, the Horizon Court and Cafe Caribe, we were never disturbed by any associated noise. Mother and I did two things on this cruise that I cannot say enough about. First, we reserved two deck chairs for the entire cruise in the Sanctuary. This cost an additional $20 per day for each of us. But it was well worth it. I knew that one particular, cushioned lounge chair was waiting for me every day, no matter what time I chose to arrive. And the service there was extremely attentive. Quite frankly, I felt like I was on a private yacht up there! One tiny annoyance was that we had to pay a delivery charge for free food to be delivered. I think that if you pay for the entire week (or if you are Elite or Platinum), that delivery fee should be waived. But I would still pay it, just for the convenience! We also did the Chef's Table. We were very fortunate to be selected. We began with a tour of the galley where the Head Chef waited for us with champagne. We were presented with four hors d'oeuvres. First came Tuna Tartar with Wasabi and Pickled Ginger. It was fantastic. Then came Bliss New Potatoes with Sour Cream and Caviar. Ahhhhhh. Then the Fontina Cheese Quiche with White Truffle & Sun Blushed Cherry Tomato. (I can't speak highly enough about this dish. That cherry tomato was roasted until the skin peeled off and was so full of flavor that I wanted to cry.) Then, finally came the Foie Gras Terrine on Toasted Brioche with Apple Chutney. All of this with plenty of champagne. Then we paraded back through the dining room to an elaborately laid table. We started with Risotto laced with Parmesan Cheese and Julienne of Treviso Red Radicchio and Langoustine Ragout. This was served with a wonderful white wine. The palate cleanser was incredible "Amalfi" Lemon Sorbet with Mango Slaw. It had Limoncello vodka poured over it. Holy cow, that was so good! The main course was Roast Veal Shank & Veal Tenderloin, carved Table side, with Cepes and Jus. The shank fell off the bone and melted in my mouth. This was accompanied by market vegetables (asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onions, etc.) and Chateau Potatoes. This was served with a red wine that was, I think, some of the best I have ever tasted. It was a blended wine - mostly Cabernet, mixed with Merlot. The cheese course was a Baked Camembert with Pine Nuts with a Port Wine Reduction, served with fig bread and date bread. What can I say - divine!!! The dessert was an incredible construction that the pastry chef brought out himself. I'm not sure I can describe it properly. It was described as a Passion Fruit Dome Cake with a Whiskey Soaked Raspberry Soft Center served with a Mango Glaze. But to see this beautiful work of art sitting in front of me made my mouth drop open. Each of us had one. On the dessert plate sat a spun sugar "plate". The spun sugar was clear with raspberry swirled throughout. The edges of the spun sugar were lifted up into elaborate folds. Sitting in the center of the spun sugar plate was the dome cake, with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Sticking up out of the cake were two tall pipettes of raspberry spun sugar. Wrapped around the pipettes was a wafer cookie shaped like a pig's tail. Beautiful! This was served with a sweet dessert wine. The whole experience was amazing. I am so glad that we did it!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
We have sailed 5 times with Princess and this was the best cruise we have had in all categories. Boarding the ship was a breeze in Fort Lauderdale. No problems at all getting checked in and to our cabin in 30 minutes. The ship was ... Read More
We have sailed 5 times with Princess and this was the best cruise we have had in all categories. Boarding the ship was a breeze in Fort Lauderdale. No problems at all getting checked in and to our cabin in 30 minutes. The ship was almost completely sold out with over 3,000 people on board. We were amazed that we didn't find ourselves waiting in long lines to board at any of the ports either.We had a mini suite on the Dolphin deck (D326) that had plenty of room and a great view, large bathroom with full size tub and shower. This cabin really allowed us to spread out and be comfortable. We enjoyed breakfast in our cabin each morning. Balcony was great, plenty of room. Some folks didn't like the fact that some upper levels of the ship could look into your balcony. This didn't bother us at all. People were very friendly. Food was great! We had anytime dining and found that to be very enjoyable meeting new people almost each night. We tried to eat dinner each night between 5:45 and 6:15. No problems getting seated they really took care of everyone. Service was very good. We paid the extra $20 per person and ate at Sabatini's on our first sea day. This was well worth the $$ as the food was fantastic! This was an awesome 16 course meal like I have never had before. The food and service here was unbelievable. Well worth the extra $20.. I would recommend this to all. I don't think we missed any of the shows on board. The dancers were great and well put together. Orchestra was fantastic as well. Here we did have to arrive 20 minutes early considering most shows were full. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
The cruise started out with a flawless, quick embarkation. It took less than 15 minutes to go from security, to check-in, to ship. We arrived at the port around 1:30 pm. Our room was clean and beautiful. The balcony had comfortable ... Read More
The cruise started out with a flawless, quick embarkation. It took less than 15 minutes to go from security, to check-in, to ship. We arrived at the port around 1:30 pm. Our room was clean and beautiful. The balcony had comfortable chairs and a nice table for 4 people. We used the anytime dining option which worked well for us. We never waited for a table even though we arrived in the 6:30 pm range. If there was a wait, we would join a group table and enjoy the company of other cruisers. We tried all of the specialty restaurants and the chef's table. We also enjoyed breakfast at Sabitini's which was available for suite passengers. We enjoyed all of the meals and the service was quick and efficient. Our waiter the first night was a bit pushy as he tried to sell drink and coffee cards. Even though we said no, he still kept pushing. We got to wondering if he was working on a commission. The Chef's table dinner was exceptional. It was our favorite activity the entire cruise. I highly recommend this opportunity. My advice is that when you get on the ship, you run for the first phone and dial reservations immediately. By 2 Pm there was already a waiting list. Do not delay or you will miss out. Sabitini's was exceptional and the servers were fantastic. The Head Waiter Luciano was attentive, sharp eyed, and pleasant. Nothing got past him! We enjoyed the English pub lunch of fish and chips, and bangers and mashed in the Wheelhouse bar. This was available on sea days. It tasted just like pubs in Oxford. The Crown Grill food was great, as was the service. We had a bit of trouble when we checked in and 2 of our party were denied seating. It was formal night and the man did not have a long sleeve shirt, but he did have a tie. The short sleeves were unacceptable. My 13 year old daughter was asked to change into a dress. She was wearing a very tasteful Lily Pulitzer skirt, collared blouse, nice sweater, hose, and dress shoes. She looked very pretty and was dressed better than others in the restaurant. This caused her unnecessary embarrassment. Beware of the conflict between the Princess answer book page 10 and the dress code rules enforced at this alternate dining location. The Princess answer book says that dress code is enforced in the main dining and anytime dining rooms. It never mentions alternate dining locations. We witnessed 6 couples being turned away and the restaurant went 30% empty. If formal dress code is to be enforced the Princess answer book should reflect this in the published guidelines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
This was our first Princess cruise and our 3rd overall. I have to say that it was a great cruise from beginning almost to the end. More on that later. We flew in the day before the cruise and stayed in the Crowne Plaza Hollywood hotel. ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise and our 3rd overall. I have to say that it was a great cruise from beginning almost to the end. More on that later. We flew in the day before the cruise and stayed in the Crowne Plaza Hollywood hotel. Nice hotel, but a little far from the port. The taxi cost was $35 from the hotel to Port Everglades. We will stay closer next time. Embarkation: Arrived at the port at 10:30 and received the first boarding (after elite and priority passengers). Began boarding at 11:30 and we went straight to the Passengers Service Desk and signed up for the Ultimate ship Tour. We were 11th and 12th to sign up so we were hopeful. More on that later. Embarkation was incredibly fast and we were in our room by 11:45 even with a stop at the PSD. Luggage was at our room an hour later and our room steward (Mariana) greeted us with a huge smile and our tickets for our excursions. She was great. Our room was spotless and she always greeted us with a smile and a "can I get you anything?" Ship: Beautiful. Loved the colors and decorations were very high class. The ship was extremely clean and even though it is new they were constantly polishing her and doing touch up painting. Stateroom: This was a very nice balcony room on the Lido deck. The balcony was fully covered and the room was close to the elevators. Straight down to deck 7 and you are at the Princess theater. Lido deck is nice since you have easy access to MUTS (great), the pools (nice), and the buffets (very nice). Entertainment: Princess Theater was way too small. I felt very cramped and you better get there 30 minutes early if you want a decent seat. The shows were very good and the singers were amazing. Phil Tag was the comedian that we went to see and he was hilarious. The entertainment in the Piazza was good also. Ports: Jamaica, we took the Mystic Mountain Chairlift excursion through princess and it was a very nice way to avoid the local vendors. It was beautiful on the mountain with swimming, zip lining, and the bobsled. We rode the bobsled and it was really fun. The shops had local vendors but they were not pushy at all and it was very safe. Caymans, we took the trip to Hell, Turtle Farm, and Tortuga visit. Tortuga was disappointing as it turned out to be nothing more than a tiny shop that offered rum and rum cake tasting. Incredibly crowded. The prices were good though and we bought some rum cake. Hell was ok. Only stopped for 10-15 minutes and that was all we really needed. The turtles were fun. Plenty of interaction and the tour guide was informative. Cozumel, we went to the Mayan ruins in Tulum. 45 minute ferry ride to Playa del Carmen and then a long bus ride to Tulum. The guide was incredible and Tulum is amazing. Came back to Playa and shopped for 45 minutes or so and back to the Ruby by 5:30. Long day but well worth it. Princess Cays, we just laid under our clamshell and rested. Very nice place. Ultimate Ship Tour: We were selected and this was well worth the money. We toured on the second sea day. We were told that they had 60 sign up and they only took 12 on each sea day. We felt fortunate. We enjoyed visiting the bridge and meeting the captain. They took pictures and delivered them to our state room. We received a chefs jacket, bath robe, and personalized stationary. All very nice. The head chef was very nice and informative. We met the ships chief engineer. Could have stayed with him for a couple hours. Went back stage and saw how/where the entertainers get ready. I could go on and on. Basically, if you want to see alot of behind the scenes stuff then you should sign up. It is a little pricey, but worth it for a one time thing. Dining: We had Anytime dining and never had a problem getting a table for just two. We went around 6 every night and went right in. The food was good to very good. We ate in the dining rooms for breakfast and the food was incredible. We ate lunch at the International Cafe on most days. The sandwiches were very good and we could watch the entertainment in the Piazza from there. This quickly became our favorite place. The coffee is great there also. Bought the coffee card and used it everyday. Crown grill was great and we loved the buffets too. Never had a bad meal. Service: Incredible. Everyone seemed to be happy to help you when you had questions. The drink servers weren't pushy but they were accessible when you wanted something. All of the servers were very nice and attentive. Disembarkation: Not too good. We arrived in port an hour late due to having problems getting the last lifeboat back onboard at Princess Cays. Left there 3 hours late but only came into port an hour late. Not too bad. The problem was with communication. We were told to be in Club Fusion at 8:10 but since we were an hour late we assumed that we would be told new times to be in our location. No announcements were made so we got there at 8:30. An hour later we were finally told that we could disembark. From that point on it wasn't too bad. Found our luggage quickly and took the princess transfer to the airport for a 1:25 flight. Summary: Incredible ship and incredible service. I would love to sail on the Ruby again and will definitely sail with Princess again. All in all it was a very nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
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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