Great New Year's Getaway!: Ruby Princess Cruise Review by Ili from Miami

Ruby Princess 4
Ili from Miami
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Great New Year's Getaway!

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
For the past several years, we've opted to cruise for New Year's. Usually it's been a 3 to 4 night cruise, this time we opted for 7 days. Although it was a great getaway, I have a few comments to share if you plan to go next year to be aware of.

Let me start by saying, I have 2 sons, so it's not that I don't like kids, I just don't like spoiled rotten kids. I like Princess because it's usually a cruise line with mostly adult travelers and even when there have been children, it's usually not a problem. This time around, we were not happy with the amount of children running around EVERYWHERE. What do I mean by everywhere, I am referring to kids going to the middle of stage during performances at the clubs. Parents just did nothing to prevent this from happening. This happened a couple of times and then during the production shows the kids were just plain obnoxious and the parents thought their behavior was funny! Did this spoil our week, absolutely not, but it did disappoint me More to see parents being so unconcerned of others. Therefore, if you are going during vacation times: Spring Break, Summer, Christmas or New Years, know you will definitely have more kids than usual.

Now to Ruby Princess -- the service level has decreased a little in the Restaurant, although the cabin steward and others were great. We were in the Botticelli Restaurant and we had to wait for services that are usually pretty standard, like refilling your water glass. The food was very good and there is really no need to pay for the specialty restaurants.

What I find is that most cruise lines, including Princess and with the exception of Disney, are trying to nickel and dime you for things that are a little silly. What I mean is you have a "coffee" card for specialty coffees, for example, for a cappuccino at dinner, which previously was included. You pay and get 15 coffees. I find that a little silly and unnecessary. The Coke cards are expected and reasonable around $4/day/person and the smoothie card $7/day/person. We purchased the smoothie card for my husband. Looking back on it, how many smoothies can you have a day? To me, it was not worth it. Back to nickle and dime you: In the Piazza they have an area with fine pastries and nice snacks and salads at no cost which was extremely nice, especially when we arrived from the tours and don't really want to eat something too heavy but something to munch on until dinner. Then, you find a sign right next to this, $1.50/scoop for ice cream, which I find ridiculous!

We opted for the second seating, which is the way I always go. Nevertheless, I found out waiting to disembark, that even if you choose anytime dining you can arrange a reservation at the same time every day and if you like your waiter, you can request that they serve you. I have to give them a kudos, they have made more table for 2 persons available, which is great if that's what you prefer. Fabio, the Matre'd at the Botticelli, was wonderful.

Overall, we had a great time. Would I do this cruise again? Absolutely, but this time around, we will be better mentally prepared of what to expect and what to and what not do.

Shopping, we found the best prices for tablecloths and jewelry in St. Maarten, don't wait until St. Thomas, I found the things more there more expensive. I didn't check the price for the liquor to compare, and we bought the liquor at St. Thomas.

I felt very safe everywhere, which was great.


St Maarten, $7/person to get to downtown, roundtrip unlimited times

St Thomas $4/person from pier to downtown, worth it

Grand Turk none needed all is right there for beach

Princess Cay none needed either Coke card does not work at the beach, but the cruise card does work to charge you for whatever you drink (water, soda or liquor) at the same price as in the ship. No cash is accepted for drinks only cruise card. Less

Published 01/09/13

Cabin review: B726

We stayed at the Baja Deck 11 in Cabin 726. The balcony is nice and it is private but can be opened to share with the cabin on your side. I like this floor because no one can look down into your balcony but you can look down at the ones in the floors below, which really is uncomfortable if you like to sit in your robe in the balcony. The closet is average, nothing great but good for a week. The bathroom is SUPER SMALL, a small shower and everything very compact. Even numbers are "port" side. Although the Aloha deck is the 12th floor, we were afraid that we would hear the chairs from above. The restaurants were on the bottom floor 6, and you couldn't go through them. We were at the back of the ship, but close enough to the elevator and went straight down to our restaurant, which was the Botticelli

Port and Shore Excursions

The beach is right there. Go to the right side of the building you enter. The left side of the beach has a lot of rocks. The right side of the beach is much better, but also more crowded. It's great he water is beautiful.
Read 1695 Grand Turk Reviews

This was our first stop but it was the water was too cold to enjoy. I have to tell you that although this time of year the water is cold for this Floridian, the beach is beautiful and clear. I've been here before and it's great to relax.

I loved it! The Dutch part is super friendly and great prices. The prices for linens and jewelry are a little better. Perfume prices are about the sam as St. Thomas. Beautiful beaches. The French side very nice Euro is the currency but $ are accepted. Beaches are "French" so there is nudity. Not vulgar, but if you have kids and not comfortable with this don't go. It's their way of life.

We love St. Thomas although the prices have increased since our last visit, but what hasn't. I found the linens and jewelry a bit more expensive than at St. Maarten. Perfume prices are still better than on the ship and the states.
Read 3995 St. Thomas Reviews

Compare Prices on Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Read more Ruby Princess cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Ruby Princess Review >>

Compare Prices on Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Ili from Miami
Member Since 2012
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Ruby Princess deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Ruby Princess 76% Loved It

1 Night Pacific Coastal
See all Ruby Princess Deals >>