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The Eighth Wonder of the World -- Princess Cruise Lines! My family recently completed a Christmas cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 23-30 2012. The highly professional staff kept the vessel shipshape throughout the journey in a most proficient and seamless manner. During our seven night stay we were impressed by a clever layout of the stateroom for optimum comfort with ample balconies, tremendous storage, good lighting, and super bathrooms. Our steward took extra care to make surprise towel animals for our youngest child even though the children's' room was not in his section. Our other steward worked perfectly making our three-room separation from our children seem mostly unnoticeable. Both stewards were quite helpful with the various ports regarding distance for shopping, snorkeling and sightseeing. It was so refreshing to see someone take such intense pride in his work. Both stewards were a joy. Facilities for easy self-service laundry including stations for a quick ironing touch-up was much appreciated for the formal nights. The vast gastronomical experience was led expertly by the Executive Chef and Maitre 'dHotel. We ate in the Botticelli Dining Room at the early sitting and had the type of service that harkens back to a more elegant time. Our waiter was especially professional, sophisticated, and expertly helpful at every turn. My children appreciated the opportunity to try escargot, pheasant, and beef wellington just to name a few. Every evening our waiter would offer recommendations that never failed to impress; from presentation, to timing, to taste, all was wonderful. I would also like to express a special acknowledgement for my favorite gathering place. The International Cafe became the spot to start and end each fun filled day on Ruby Princess. The selections of sandwiches, soup, and desserts were unique, enticing, and delectable and all served in a most gracious manner. We discovered the flavor and flair with which the staff maintained this most comfortable European-style respite in the Piazza. The spa and fitness center were well-equipped but a bit solicitous. Classes for yoga and the like fill up fast so get there early. We enjoyed marvelous fish and chips at the Wheelhouse Pub, a gracious afternoon tea in Da Vinci dining room, and an informative wine tasting hosted by the astute sommelier in Michelangelo. The entertainment including a juggler, comedian Glenn Hirsch,illusionist David Catz, and all the singers and dancers especially Ron Goodman as Cruise Director did a superb job. The magical snow show for our ultimate Caribbean Christmas experience was surreal. Captain Tony Yoemans runs a fine ship and you should be very proud of his remarkable staff. We truly did escape completely! Thank you Princess Cruise Lines.

A Movable Feast

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by Ocean Skimmer

Trip Details
The Eighth Wonder of the World -- Princess Cruise Lines! My family recently completed a Christmas cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 23-30 2012. The highly professional staff kept the vessel shipshape throughout the journey in a most proficient and seamless manner.

During our seven night stay we were impressed by a clever layout of the stateroom for optimum comfort with ample balconies, tremendous storage, good lighting, and super bathrooms. Our steward took extra care to make surprise towel animals for our youngest child even though the children's' room was not in his section. Our other steward worked perfectly making our three-room separation from our children seem mostly unnoticeable. Both stewards were quite helpful with the various ports regarding distance for shopping, snorkeling and sightseeing. It was so refreshing to see someone take such intense pride in his work. Both stewards were a joy. Facilities for easy self-service laundry including stations for a quick ironing touch-up was much appreciated for the formal nights.

The vast gastronomical experience was led expertly by the Executive Chef and Maitre 'dHotel. We ate in the Botticelli Dining Room at the early sitting and had the type of service that harkens back to a more elegant time. Our waiter was especially professional, sophisticated, and expertly helpful at every turn. My children appreciated the opportunity to try escargot, pheasant, and beef wellington just to name a few. Every evening our waiter would offer recommendations that never failed to impress; from presentation, to timing, to taste, all was wonderful.

I would also like to express a special acknowledgement for my favorite gathering place. The International Cafe became the spot to start and end each fun filled day on Ruby Princess. The selections of sandwiches, soup, and desserts were unique, enticing, and delectable and all served in a most gracious manner. We discovered the flavor and flair with which the staff maintained this most comfortable European-style respite in the Piazza.

The spa and fitness center were well-equipped but a bit solicitous. Classes for yoga and the like fill up fast so get there early.

We enjoyed marvelous fish and chips at the Wheelhouse Pub, a gracious afternoon tea in Da Vinci dining room, and an informative wine tasting hosted by the astute sommelier in Michelangelo.

The entertainment including a juggler, comedian Glenn Hirsch,illusionist David Catz, and all the singers and dancers especially Ron Goodman as Cruise Director did a superb job. The magical snow show for our ultimate Caribbean Christmas experience was surreal.

Captain Tony Yoemans runs a fine ship and you should be very proud of his remarkable staff. We truly did escape completely! Thank you Princess Cruise Lines.
Ocean Skimmer’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 10 to 12
Service

Cabin Review

Cabin
The hallways were always neat and clearly marked. The staterooms were spacious with all the comforts of home. We had one each with twins and queen bed setups. The balcony midships was large and marvelous to stargaze at night. The closet provided ample storage with plenty of hangers and the bathroom was well-lit and efficiently designed. Caribe deck was quiet and convenient.
  Ruby Princess Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Grand Turk
    Grand Turk lives up to its name. This port has plenty of chaise lounge chairs conveniently located within steps of the ship. Snorkeling was rewarding albeit entry/exit was a tad black urchin saturated. There are several shops within the marketplace adjacent and transition between the two was aided by handy clean up areas. Store clerks were friendly with no pressure sales.

    At all ports we were happily welcomed back to the ship by friendly staff with refreshing cool cloths for our added comfort.
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  • Princess Cays
    Tendering into the beach areas was smooth and uncrowded. The beaches made most water sports easily accessible for a fee. We took our own snorkel equipment and the water was clean and clear. Princess provided a lovely cookout style buffet with many offerings including varieties of refreshing fruit and grilled fare.
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  • St. Maarten
    The ship docks on the Dutch side of the island that makes shopping easily available within a ten minutes walk to town. A taxi tour can take you the circumference of this volcanic land to taste the other side for the traveling francophile. Philisburg is a bit touristy but with an obvious international patronage.
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  • St. Thomas
    Ruby was further from the shopping of Charlotte Amalie due to the amount of other cruise ships in port. A long thirty minute walk to town was rewarded by the discovering of grotto-style artisans shops we would have otherwise missed. Continued shopping only led to more aggressive store barkers from the same shops found previously in St. Maarten. A quick four dollar per-person open-air jitney ride back to the ship and a sun-basking show by the large indigenous iguanas pier-side capped off a beautiful tropical day.
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