Princess Forgot My Birthday and Other Misadventures At Sea: Ruby Princess Cruise Review by Steph27

Ruby Princess 3
Member Since 2007
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Princess Forgot My Birthday and Other Misadventures At Sea

Sail Date: November 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Pros: Sabatini's, Crown Grill, Sanctuary, Muster Drill

Cons: Passenger Services Desk, Main Dining Rooms, Piazza, MUTS, Port Info

This was our second time on Princess, but the first time on Ruby. We liked the design of the Diamond Princess more than Ruby, however it was certainly adequate. Overall we prefer to cruise on Celebrity Solstice class ships in Aquaclass which are superior in every category with food in the Specialty restaurants being a tie with Princess. Prior to our sailing on the Ruby we set our expectations accordingly. The Ruby had the itinerary we wanted plus we could use a ship credit from 2009 and the November 2011 birthday credit. We had also decided to disembark in Grand Turk prior to the sailing to spend a few days on Providenciales, which is 75 miles from Grand Turk.

Ship Quality: The Ruby is a nice ship but it has a few drawbacks. We did not like the aft area of the ship where the terrace pool is located. It is small and does not offer More shade. In comparison the aft pool on the Diamond is amazing. They layout of the ship is well done and the decor is mostly pleasing. The decor in Sabatini's and Crown Grill were both well done. The ship was clean but they lacked enough Purell dispensers around the ship. There was nothing in the Internet area to wipe hands or the computer keyboard. Muts was annoying and detracted from our enjoyment sitting by the pool.

Dining/Food Quality: The specialty restaurants were excellent. We ate at Sabatini's twice and the Crown Grill once. The food at Sabatini's was sophisticated and it is uncommon to find langostines or lobster on the Italian menus on other cruise lines. The mussel pot in the Crown Grill was unexpectantly good. The shrimp salad at the International Cafe after our embarkation was yummy but we never found a need to go back for more. The food in the Michealangelo Dining room was only fair. We ate there twice and each time asked for a table for 2 but were told nothing was available. The second time we planned to leave and were then given a pager, waited 5 minutes and got a table for 2.

Stateroom Quality: Stateoom was adequate in size and amenities but as stated above it was inferior to Solstice class ships. Our Steward Rogelio was excellent and tried hard. I dislike the duvet that Princess uses but forgot I could request a top sheet. I did get 2 blankets. The outlets in the room were hard to use as the sockets are too close and you need to charge one item at a time. Shower is small but worked fine. A glass door would have been preferable to the clingy curtain.

Ship Staff: This is where Princess went off the rails for us. I booked the cruise to celebrate my birthday but there was no acknowlegement of the event either on the door or at the restaurant. I mentioned this to the front desk and they said they would rectify it but nothing happened. I completed the comment card the morning before our arrival in Grand Turk. I got a call an hour later from Carlo that he wanted to "work with me". When I met with him he said he would take action (place blame with someone else for the missed bday) but that he could not get back that date. I did not expect much, perhaps a credit for some Internet minutes or $20 for the speciality restaurant as a gesture of good faith. However, I left the Passenger Services desk feeling insulted and worse than when I arrived there. On the way back to our stateroom, Tony the head of housekeeping and and officer overhead us rehash what had just occurred. Tony could not have been nicer and offered us bathrooms to take with us which we kindly declined but at least he tried and was very willing to listen and help if he could.

Entertainment/Activities: The shows were inspiring. We stayed half way thru in the theater. Steve Moris is enjoyable but once you have seen his show that is enough. They used the Piazza quite a bit and that made talking to the people at the Passenger Services desk challenging. It was quite hard to hear. Noise on the ship was a persitant problem. Sitting by the pool with MUTS was irritating and intrusive. Fortunately we were able to use the Sanctuary twice although sign up was not easy. The Passenger Services Desk said "just call them" however the process was different. On one day we tried to sign up and were told they did not know how many chairs were available because people had reserved the day before. The second time we were more successful but the sign up would be better if you could do it online per day.

Lastly I wanted to mention the excellent job Princess does with Muster Drill. It is quite impressive and should we have the misfortune to abandon ship I felt well prepared "walk do not jump off the ship". An area that Princess could improve on for their Caribbean sailings is info on the islands. I have been traveling to the Caribbean since I was six years old. Forty years later the Islands have changed, some for the good and some are struggling. The lack of information on the ports was disappointing. I am mainly refering to the geography and history of the islands (not where to shop!). Less

Published 12/19/11

Cabin review: BDA722 Balcony

A722 was located near the aft of the ship. Adequate size but the sacrifed cabin space for a larger closet area on the other side which I think was wasted space. Would have liked a larger room instead. TV is flat screen but very small and hard to see. Night table are a good size and have two drawers. Balcony was a good size but glass partition is high and once on the balcony you need to stand up to see over it.

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Port and Shore Excursions

I don't know how to rate Grand Turk because we disembarked here and went straight to the airport. The airport is quite nice and an improvement to what was here 20 years ago. I was hoping to have enough time to go the museum in Cockburn town but the instructions from Princess for our disembarkation in Grand Turk was not clear and we wasted an hour. We flew on Air Turks & Caicos (Embraer 120 turbo-prop) to Providenciales which is 75 miles away for 2 nights. We then flew to Miami Sunday afternoon the same day the ship returned to Fort Lauderdale. I highly recommend Provo to anyone who has only experienced Grand Turk. Turks and Caicos is comprised of 8 islands and 40 smaller cays. Wish Princess would explain this in their literature on the ship to the passengers.
Read 1707 Grand Turk Reviews

We were tendered off Princess Cays, not Nassau but there is no option for it. We really enjoyed this port. The water was crystal clear and very calm. Lots of shade and plenty of chairs available. Considered renting a bungalow but glad we did not. The food at the buffet was just ok. The pineapple was delicious and I think grown on the island.
Read 5048 Nassau Reviews

The ship docked in St. Thomas we took a taxi and ferry to St. John, The ferry ride was very smooth. It was like a lake and only took 20 minutes. Upon arrival in Cruz Bay we walked to Mongoose Junction and looked at the stores. It was only 9:30 am so some were not open yet. Around 10:30 am we took a taxi to Caneel Bay. We had stayed at Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda many years ago. They are now Rosewood properties. It was not a problem getting thru the gate at Caneel. However, the chairs and towels are for hotel guests only but the beach is public. We had our suits on under our clothes so we disrobed and went for a swim. The water was amazing. Warmer than in the Bahamas and very clear. We spent about an hour in the water and then "air dried" before putting our clothes on to eat in the restaurant. The terrace restaurant buffet was not open yet for the season so we ate upstair above the bar area with a beautiful view of the water. The food in price and quality was excellent. We had contemplated going to Trunk Bay but we bascailly had the beach in front of the hotel to ourselves. I read later that Caneel has 7 beaches so next time we may explore a little more.

I have been visiting the Caribbean for forty years and growing up my parents owned a condo on St. Maarten. While Philipsburg has been nicely "rehabed" and improved the French side is in disrepair. Marigot was depressing. Most of the good stores have closed due to the down turn in the economy. We rented a car at Hertz and had lunch in Marina Royale at Belle Epoque and then drove thru Grand Case and then stopped at Orient Beach. The sea was very rough and there was a lot of seaweed. The last 2 times we have been in St. Maarten in 2006 and 2010 we went to Anguilla for the day. This time we considered going to St. Barts but the docking time of 10:00 am and departure at 6:00 pm did leave adequate time for the boat and plane to get there and back without rushing. The people of St. Maarten are still lovely and I am hoping for much better days ahead for them.

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Member Since 2007
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