This was my 9th cruise, my husband's 4th and both my kids (ages 17 &14) first cruise. My sister and mother also traveled with us. We drove 13 hours straight through the night from NC to Fort Lauderdale. The port parking was very convenient. Because we got to the port so early, we were able to board the ship around 12 noon. Minimal lines and next to no waiting. As soon as we boarded we were greeted by Princess staff who offered the $250 all you can drink alcohol card. This covered any drink or beer less than $10 each and gave 40% off of wine bottles at dinner. This was a great deal if you planned to drink 7 or more drinks per day. Keep in mind if you choose this, you may not drink as much on port days. It definitely saved us money. We got both kids soda/smoothie cards for $35 each. They each got a water cup souvenir with the card.
The boat was beautiful. It had been 10 years since we had sailed with Princess but I quickly remembered how beautiful and classy the ships were and Ruby Princess was no different. It was amazing how clean the ship was. Every staff member you passed greeted you with a smile/ good morning/ afternoon etc. Our room steward Joequin was very efficient and kind. The cabin was very large to be an ocean view. The shower was small and I could see any larger person having some trouble. There was a huge closet area for luggage and clothing. Beds were a little hard but I still slept well. Our air conditioner on embarkation seemed a little warm and they sent a repairman by the next day and it was fixed. I do recall a foul smell when we initially got onto the boat but this quickly went away. I think it was the sewage that they were pumping off the boat. This sounds gross but the smell was not noticeable once we left the port.
The food was amazing. Presentation was as good as the taste as well. The only complaint was that they did not serve lobster as it was only a 5 night cruise. We did anytime dining but requested and got the same waiter each night. Our waiter Jeffery was phenomenal. As well as our Jr waiter Ketut. They were knowledgeable about the food and very personable. Loved the tiramisu on the 2nd night and the crème brulee (which you could get every night if you wanted to). Also, the prime rib was the best I had ever tasted and you could cut it with your fork. Buffets were good. I did not like the sushi bar which was offered one lunch. I am a huge fan of sushi and I felt that it was mediocre at best. This was my only food complaint though.
Our group stayed in 3 rooms side by side. E521,E601 and E603. 521 and 601 had partially obstructed views but not that bad, you could see about 1/2 the view. E603 view was poor. You could barely see anything.