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We cruised on Princess Cruises last September to Alaska. While we loved Alaska and the itinerary, we were not impressed by the Coral Princess. Everyone has always raved about Princess so we decided to try again, this time in the Southern Caribbean for 10 days on the new Ruby Princess. Once again we were disappointed. Embarkation was fine....long lines, but they moved pretty fast. Our room was ready when we arrived. There was no champagne on boarding, just information about a scavenger hunt of some sort. The Ruby is just the same old ship design....nothing new or innovative. The bathroom and especially the shower was still very small. The balcony room we had was adequate and the beds were comfortable. One complaint with the Princess designed balconies is the tiering style. Instead of seeing the water directly below our balcony, we looked down into the balcony below us. We were on the 11th deck, so no one above us looked down, but privacy is definitely an issue. Also, a constant complaint of mine, lots of smokers who love to pollute the fresh air on the balconies. One feature we enjoyed was the "Movies Under the Stars". At night covers were put on the lounge chairs, blankets and popcorn were passed out, and you could relax and watch a movie up on deck. It was especially fun to watch the football games on the huge screen. Food was edible, but just the usual stuff on the buffet. After 10 days, it was tiring to see the same old stuff everyday. There was not much variety. Some cruises we have been on have omelet stations, stir fry stations, delis and other options to spice the buffet up. Not this one....very boring and it seemed that at least one side was always closed making for long lines and crowdedness in the area. The design of the seating for the buffets is meant to make smaller intimate areas but it just didn't work. There were too many barriers to try to make your way through carrying food. Waitstaff was not friendly. In fact, we saw many being very rude to the elderly passengers. Granted, this cruises average age was probably 80 something, but the rudeness was uncalled for. Dining room food was better than the buffet. On several nights it was excellent....what one would expect on a cruise. But several nights, it was hard to find something to choose on the menu. Plates were not presented as well as they could have been and service was very slow.We chose the anytime dining, and would recommend that you call ahead and make a reservation as it gets crowded. They pass out "beepers" and you have to wait. One night we waited over 40 minutes, then missed the show. We did not get to see many shows. Because of the large senior population on this ship, the early show was impossible. People were in the small theater an hour before the show just to get seats. The shows were sometimes repeated the next night. People raved about the hynotist show, but we were not able to get seats at either show. If you are patient and can sit and wait an hour you will see the show. We did not have that patience. We chose this cruise because we liked the intinerary....all islands we have never been to before. After 9 cruises, it becomes difficult to do that. We were disappointed in our tour in St Thomas....tours are very expensive, and this "Views of St. Thomas" was awful. Unairconditioned trucks, tacky stops, and a guide who we could not understand. The "state of the art" tram up the mountain was old, broken down, and definitely NOT state of the art. Dominica was not a nice place to walk around. Many passengers got off, and came right back on the ship. Locals were unfriendly and tried to rip people off on the cab ride to town. One couple told us about the driver charging $1 to get to town ( which is really only one small street), and then wanted $10 to get back to the ship. The dock was in the middle of a working truck yard and was dangerous to manuver your way through. The other ports of Princess Cays, Grenada, Bonnaire, and Aruba were all very nice. Princess Cays offered many water activities. Bonnaire was friendly, although the beaches are all coral and not great for swimming. The mangrove tour was very interesting. Aruba was gorgeous, and felt very safe. Don't head to the beaches until afternoon, as the winds whip the sand around. Lots to do in this port. Disembarkation was not easy. The typical wait to wait deal. Crowded lounge, then wait to get to customs, wait at customs, etc. You expect this but there were many delays in this ship's processes. Not run smoothly. Overall, we had a good time, but will probably stay with other lines for a while. I think Princess attracts many repeat cruisers who are very loyal even when things are not as they should be. Until they start complaining or going with other lines, things will stay the same. Work needs to be done on friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. Perhaps, the seniors who are so loyal, should try other lines, like Celebrity or Royal Caribbean, to see how they should be treated.

Fooled Again

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by sindy

Trip Details
We cruised on Princess Cruises last September to Alaska. While we loved Alaska and the itinerary, we were not impressed by the Coral Princess. Everyone has always raved about Princess so we decided to try again, this time in the Southern Caribbean for 10 days on the new Ruby Princess. Once again we were disappointed. Embarkation was fine....long lines, but they moved pretty fast. Our room was ready when we arrived. There was no champagne on boarding, just information about a scavenger hunt of some sort. The Ruby is just the same old ship design....nothing new or innovative. The bathroom and especially the shower was still very small. The balcony room we had was adequate and the beds were comfortable. One complaint with the Princess designed balconies is the tiering style. Instead of seeing the water directly below our balcony, we looked down into the balcony below us. We were on the 11th deck, so no one above us looked down, but privacy is definitely an issue. Also, a constant complaint of mine, lots of smokers who love to pollute the fresh air on the balconies.
One feature we enjoyed was the "Movies Under the Stars". At night covers were put on the lounge chairs, blankets and popcorn were passed out, and you could relax and watch a movie up on deck. It was especially fun to watch the football games on the huge screen.
Food was edible, but just the usual stuff on the buffet. After 10 days, it was tiring to see the same old stuff everyday. There was not much variety. Some cruises we have been on have omelet stations, stir fry stations, delis and other options to spice the buffet up. Not this one....very boring and it seemed that at least one side was always closed making for long lines and crowdedness in the area. The design of the seating for the buffets is meant to make smaller intimate areas but it just didn't work. There were too many barriers to try to make your way through carrying food. Waitstaff was not friendly. In fact, we saw many being very rude to the elderly passengers. Granted, this cruises average age was probably 80 something, but the rudeness was uncalled for. Dining room food was better than the buffet. On several nights it was excellent....what one would expect on a cruise. But several nights, it was hard to find something to choose on the menu. Plates were not presented as well as they could have been and service was very slow.We chose the anytime dining, and would recommend that you call ahead and make a reservation as it gets crowded. They pass out "beepers" and you have to wait. One night we waited over 40 minutes, then missed the show.
We did not get to see many shows. Because of the large senior population on this ship, the early show was impossible. People were in the small theater an hour before the show just to get seats. The shows were sometimes repeated the next night. People raved about the hynotist show, but we were not able to get seats at either show. If you are patient and can sit and wait an hour you will see the show. We did not have that patience.
We chose this cruise because we liked the intinerary....all islands we have never been to before. After 9 cruises, it becomes difficult to do that. We were disappointed in our tour in St Thomas....tours are very expensive, and this "Views of St. Thomas" was awful. Unairconditioned trucks, tacky stops, and a guide who we could not understand. The "state of the art" tram up the mountain was old, broken down, and definitely NOT state of the art. Dominica was not a nice place to walk around. Many passengers got off, and came right back on the ship. Locals were unfriendly and tried to rip people off on the cab ride to town. One couple told us about the driver charging $1 to get to town ( which is really only one small street), and then wanted $10 to get back to the ship. The dock was in the middle of a working truck yard and was dangerous to manuver your way through. The other ports of Princess Cays, Grenada, Bonnaire, and Aruba were all very nice. Princess Cays offered many water activities. Bonnaire was friendly, although the beaches are all coral and not great for swimming. The mangrove tour was very interesting. Aruba was gorgeous, and felt very safe. Don't head to the beaches until afternoon, as the winds whip the sand around. Lots to do in this port.
Disembarkation was not easy. The typical wait to wait deal. Crowded lounge, then wait to get to customs, wait at customs, etc. You expect this but there were many delays in this ship's processes. Not run smoothly.
Overall, we had a good time, but will probably stay with other lines for a while. I think Princess attracts many repeat cruisers who are very loyal even when things are not as they should be. Until they start complaining or going with other lines, things will stay the same. Work needs to be done on friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. Perhaps, the seniors who are so loyal, should try other lines, like Celebrity or Royal Caribbean, to see how they should be treated.
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