This transatlantic cruise on the beautiful Ruby Princess was our 6th cruise on Princess, but was our first transatlantic experience. I must say, that after 14 days on the ship I still was not ready to get off. My husband and I were traveling with two of our lady friends, one of whom is in a wheelchair. Our pre-cruise hotel was the Hampton Inn and Suites, North Cruise Port. We have stayed here two other times, mostly because of the location and the excellent free shuttle service. Though this hotel is well managed, it is getting a bit tired and could use some updating. However, it is right next to a McDonald's, Wendy's, a strip mall with a Big Lots and a Dollar Store and a couple of small bars. It is also about a block from the Old Heidelberg restaurant which has excellent, authentic German food.
Our embarkation was the easiest we've ever experienced, mainly because we are now Princess Platinum Captain's Circle Members. And, they allowed our two friends to board with us which was a big help. My husband and I booked a mini-suite and the two ladies had a wheelchair accessible room. Both rooms were ready as we boarded at noon. Our luggage was delivered shortly after. Our Steward, Rosendo, greeted us promptly and had our names right and used them every meeting thereafter! He always managed to find the times we were not in the room to refresh or clean our room and was so good about answering any questions we had. Our mini-suite on the Dolphin Deck forward had the larger bathroom with the tub/shower combo, which is nice. We had a flat-screen TV facing our bed and then another which faced the couch and chair in the room. Our closet and storage cabinet were the same as you'd find in a regular stateroom but we've always found them adequate. The safe is always nice to have. Everything in our room worked properly.
We chose the Traditional Dining option in the DaVinci Dining room. We like the early dining time so that we always have the option of going to the early or the later shows in the theater. We always had plenty of time to eat our dinner and then find good seats in the theater. Our waiter was one of the highlights of the cruise. His name is Sergio and he is professional, very, very fun, and knows the food choices so well that we often took his recommendations. From the start, he called each of us by name and took the time to really get to know us. His junior waiter was Alberto who was equally fun and professional and very quick with whatever we needed. He also made a fabulous Monte Cristo after- dinner coffee! We found the food choices plentiful and excellent for all the 14 days. The Executive Chef was fabulous. If you get the chance on a Princess Cruise, be sure to attend the Chef's cooking show and tour of the galley.
Dolphin 211 is a forward mini-suite with usual bed configurations, closet and cabinet with a safe. It also has a flat -screen TV facing the bed and then one facing the couch and chair. Balcony is uncovered but has 4 chairs. Hallway here is quiet. Bathroom is larger and has a tub/shower combo which is very nice.